Brushes with the Rich & Famous

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This topic has 10 voices, contains 13 replies, and was last updated by  frankm 1832 days ago.

August 8, 2013 at 10:11 am Quote #28823


Let’s hear your stories about meeting the rich and famous. I’ll start it off. It’s really a two part story though – with a 31 year time span between events.

I graduated from Army basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC in the summer of 1981. Most of the guys in my platoon flew from Columbia, SC (city outside the military base) to Atlanta – and from there we flew our separate ways. While we were at the airport in Atlanta, Muhammed Ali happened to go walking by a group of us. I had my Kodak Instamatic camera handy so I ran ahead of him and took a few pictures while the other guys tried to get autographs. I managed to snap this pic – right as Muhammed was looking forward.

Even if I had thought to do it, there really wasn’t any time to get the mailing addresses of the guys who appear in the picture with Muhammed. So there was no chance to send any of these guys copies of the pictures. However, for whatever reason, I wrote their names on the back on the pictures after I got them developed.

Over the years, I’ve occasionally looked at the pictures and thought it would be nice if I could find these guys. But they all have common names. However, the one guy you see with the big smile doing the fist pump – his name is John Hilton – and I remembered a few details about him. When we first showed up at Ft. Jackson, of course, we were in civilian clothes. John was wearing a baseball cap with an MV on it. I thought the MV might represent a school I had wrestled against in high school named Maple Valley, so I asked him about it. He said it stood for Martha’s Vineyard – a fairly well known island in Massachusetts where he had been born and raised. Martha’s Vineyard is home to the Kennedy family’s summer home and a lot of celebrities own summer homes there. I remember John telling me some great stories about getting stoned and playing guitars with James Taylor – another of Martha’s Vineyard’s well known residents.

Earlier this year I thought I would try finding these guys on Facebook … but there were just too many of them with those common names. But I also did a google search for “John Hilton Martha’s Vineyard” – and I found an obituary for a lady in Martha’s Vineyard who had a step-son named John Hilton. The obituary indicated John’s wife was named Lorna. I found a Lorna Hilton on Facebook and knew right away from her pictures, that she was married to the same John Hilton in the picture with Muhammed Ali. I messaged her and told her about the pictures. Eventually I got their mailing address and mailed the original photo (that you see above) to John. He had forgotten all about meeting Muhammed that day. He was really happy to get the picture and was amazed that I tracked him down more than 30 years later to give it to him.

August 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm Quote #28868


We play a game on vacation called Who can run into someone they know when out of town. We’re in Vegas and we get off the plane to hear someone yelling my name. My cousin is in line to get on the plane that I am getting off of. So during that trip to Vegas, we met Tom Arnold (during Best Damn Sports Show). Great guy. Hung around, talked and very polite.

During the same trip, through Caesars forum shops, I grabbed a photo with CarrotTop. Why?? Because I won the celebrity bet by getting a photo with him (everyone else struckout).

August 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm Quote #28878


That is a great story!

Laughing at the Days Garbage Through Loud Volume, This is “Laughing At Reality”..

VHT Member since 2001

August 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm Quote #28882


I met some guys you might all know in 1998.


EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.

August 11, 2013 at 12:26 am Quote #28884


Me with Mikey 1993:

Me with Sammy in 1995:

EVH’s autograph from when I rode the elevator with him & he whopped me in the nuts with his golf bag:

Me with Sheryl Crow in 2006 – her butt touched my hand!! She broke up with Lance Armstrong the next week…hmmmm:

Me with Warren Haynes of Govt Mule 2001:

Me with Matt Abts of Govt Mule 2001:

Me with Danny Louis of Govt Mule 2004:

Metallica autographs from when I met them in 1989:

Met Ratt in 1989 too:

August 11, 2013 at 2:55 am Quote #28890


Those are cool photos. I especially like the Ali one – how great that he looked right into the camera!

Back in college I was in Hawaii with some buddies during the Pro Bowl week. We were in Waikiki hoping to see some of the players and maybe get photos or autographs. I did see Herschel Walker (my favorite player at the time) but my picture didn’t turn out and I didn’t get to talk to him or anything. Anyway, at one point we were walking down the beach where the players were hanging out and we passed right by Jim Kelly and TWO super hot blondes walking the other direction. We walked slowly and stared as they passed. At the same time we spoke: I said “That was Jim Kelly!” and my friend said “Did you see those tits!?” He didn’t even notice Jim Kelly and I hadn’t paid much attention to the girls. As we both turned around to see what we’d missed we walked right into some giant lineman. Still don’t know who it was, but he was HUGE.

August 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm Quote #28948


I talked Joe Lynn Turner’s ear off for about an hour when walked into a the record store I was working at….very nice guy, and answered all kinds of personal questions.
Met the rest of DP the next night at a local bar in Orlando. (JLT was recording Slaves and Masters with them at the time)
While working at Sam Goody in downtown Orlando, many half-way famous people came into the store to shop, But I embarrassed a few of their egos:
Dave Benoit, had a GRP Label jacket on, and I said, “wow, you work for GRP” he said yes, I’m an artist for them….I said nicely, “who are you?”
Scott Hamilton came in and I knew he was famous, but I thought it was Luke Skywalker the whole time…he didn’t know that I didn’t know
Tom Meese of ESPN, came and I kept going, “Man, I know I know you and have seen you before, he was kinda embarrassed that he had to explain that he does “Sports Center with Chris Berman”.
Some customers came to me and said is that Stacey King of the Atlanta Hawks over there? I said I don’t know but I’ll go ask him if you want me to.
So I walked over and said, those 2 guys want to know if you are SK. He said Yep. I said cool, do you play basketball or something? He laughed and said Yep.

August 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm Quote #28950


fleetwoodgak: I talked Joe Lynn Turner’s ear off for about an hour when walked into a the record store I was working at….very nice guy, and answered all kinds of personal questions.

JLT came to Korea in 2002 with the “Voices of Classic Rock.” They played at a stage setup on a baseball field at the military base where I was assigned. There was no backstage area to speak of, so the entertainers just hung out in the open in the immediate area. There were only a few hundred people there at best. JLT spent most of the pre-show playing catch with a bunch of kids who brought a football along. Glenn Hughes, Pat Travers, and several others performed also. It was a great show too.

August 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm Quote #28952


I was working at a hockey shop a freind owned one Saturday and a black guy comes in and is looking around. Store had about a dozen people in it and they all looked at him like whats he doin here in a hockey shop. No one recognized him. I knew right away who he was and as it turned out he lived in an apartment behind the store. When he left we shook hands while I was behind the counter and he said good luck with the store. I replied take care champ thanks for stopping by come back again. As he walked out a kid said why did you call him champ. I said I cannot believe not one of you recognized a former heavy wieght boxing champ of the world. That was Leon Spinks.
Best story I ever heard of someone meeting a celeb was my late father in law. He was flying through an electrical storm coming from Denver to Chicago. In first class sitting next to a guy who he couldn’t place. Finally after pounding down a few he comes back from the washroom and says you know we are sittin next to each other and haven’t introduced ourselves. My name is Vic Lombardi. The guy says are you related to the late Vince Lombardi. Father in law goes he was my fathers second cousin, and I figured out who you are. Your a former NFL quarterback. The guy smiles and goes yes I am. Father in law goes your Bart Starr! The guy laughs and says no I’m John Unitas!!!

August 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm Quote #28954


videoman320: I said I cannot believe not one of you recognized a former heavy wieght boxing champ of the world. That was Leon Spinks.

Maybe it was because he had gotten his teeth fixed since they last saw him on tv.

August 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm Quote #28974


I don’t know if I have told this story before or not …

Back in 1989 I was in college in Illinois. There was an intermin course, called the Entertainment Industry. It was a month long course, all January, classes everyday for the month. One week during the course there was a trip to L.A. The professor set up all sorts of visits in L.A. We got to tour Capitol Records, the Disneyland backlot, NBC studios and got to attend the NAMM show. The NAMM show was very cool, I saw all sorts of different artists, Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Matt Bissonett, Ronnie James Dio among others. But this story is not about the NAMM show … it is about the Disneyland backlot tour. We received a lecture from the Vice President of Operations of Disneyland and got a tour of the backlot. After the tour was done the Vice President said, well, the park closes in a couple hours, if you like why don’t you go ahead and just walk around the park and enjoy yourselves.

I was walking around the park with a little hottie that was on the trip … no I had no chance with her. I had a girlfriend back in Illinois and she had a boyfriend. We were just two classmates walking through the park. It is also nice to be walking with an attractive person. Anyway, I digress, we were walking along when she started hitting my arm. She was all excited. I had no clue why. She said, did you see who that was we just walked past? I turned around to look. I had no clue. She started jumping up and down and getting all excited. It’s Martin Sheen, Martin Sheen. I was like, really? Whatever. Martin Sheen was with one of his non-famous sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

I said, let’s go up to him and ask for his picture. She said, no I don’t want to bother him. But just then someone else walked up to him and asked for a picture. So she agreed, hey if someone else is bothering him so could we. Martin Sheen ended up being very nice. I took her picture with him and then she took my picture with him. Martin Sheen commented that the flash on the camera did not go off when she took my picture with him. I said, that’s OK, and thanked him for the picture. He ran off to catch up with his family. I’m certain if I would have asked for a second picture because of the flash he would have had no problem with that. The picture turned out OK.
Later on maybe I’ll tell the story about meeting Gary Richrath, Dweezil Zappa, Ronnie James Dio or others. I’ve never met Dave, Sam, Mike, Ed or Al. I met Willy Davidson, anyone know who Willy is? He is very cool.

August 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm Quote #28975


frankm: I met Willy Davidson, anyone know who Willy is? He is very cool.

You can’t be from the Milwaukee area without knowing… :mrgreen:

August 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm Quote #28976


ron: You can’t be from the Milwaukee area without knowing… :mrgreen:

Any connection to the motorcycles?

August 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm Quote #28978


steecoe: Any connection to the motorcycles?

How’d ya guess? Yup Willy (actually I think it is Willie) is connected big time to motorcycles. I only met him once but he was very cool. It felt like meeting a legend. but he was just another cool guy.


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