Posted in hello on 11. Nov, 2011
It has been a star-studded week of encounters with famous people. On Monday, after a show at the Bitter End, my friends and I ran into Glen Hansard, the Irish busker from the film Once, who also has been the frontman of both the Frames and the Swell Season. We might have pulled up on the curb and accosted him fanatically, but what can you do? He was super sweet and down to earth, and I might have filmed the whole thing with my iPhone…
The next day, I was working a shift at the Hotel Giraffe while a major Victoria’s Secret event was happening across the street. All the crew, models (yowza), security guards and their bomb-sniffing dog (a naughty German shepherd named Grimm) stayed with us, as well Maroon 5, who performed at the event. I’m definitely taller than Adam Levine. Just sayin. And to add to them mayhem, Kanye and Jay-Z used the Giraffe as a chillout spot before their gig at Madison Square Garden. Hova’s (Jay-Z’s nickname) bosom buddy Chris Martin from Coldplay popped in to say hello, as well. As I held the door for the Jiggaman (another nickname for, you guessed it, Jay-Z), I said, “Good evening.” He said, “Sup, man.” I’m not going to lie to you: it was way f*$#in cool.
But the cherry on top of a Perez-Hilton-worthy week was a couple nights ago at the Sugar Bar in the Upper West Side. I tagged along with my friend Merrily, who goes there often to sing some blues with the house band. After some liquid confidence, I figured I might as well get up and jam on a tune, too. The guitarist let me borrow his axe, and I stepped onstage and asked the musicians, “You guys know ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’, the Ray Charles version?” They kind of shrugged, and we haphazardly started into it. Halfway through the tune, a funky woman with dreadlocks jumps up on keyboard, starts killing the riff, and the band starts grooving hard. I asked into the microphone, “What’s your name?” in an effort to say to the crowd, ‘Let’s give it up for so-and-so’. Without dropping a beat, she says to me coolly: “My name is Valerie Simpson. I wrote this song.” Everyone in the venue laughs in my face, which has probably turned beet red by this point. So I made up a verse about getting my ass handed to me, and people got a kick out of the whole shebang. I spoke with Ms. Simpson briefly afterwards, and offered to buy her a drink, but I think she more or less owns the joint, considering she also wrote “Aint No Mountain High Enough” and a number of other Motown hits.
This has been just one week in New York City. Wow.