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WARNING : Blatant, unapologetic bragging contained herein !
Inspired by S.A.Murray

S.A. Murray left a comment on my "Brush With Dizzy" blog asking if I had a photo of myself with Dizzy Gillespie from our meeting many moons ago and sadly, I don't have one. Cameras were not aloud in the auditorium where he was performing. This made me think of many other lost photo ops throughout my long strange trip of life so far, and a couple that were not lost.
,...and now for some BlancheNoE history.
When I was 19 years old, I began working for a music store/recording studio/location sound and installation company. Yes, we did it all which might be why the company went out of business after only 4 years, but during those 4 years we worked with some very big names. Heck, on one gig alone,
Taylor Hackford's " Hail, Hail Rock and Roll " I got to meet, hang out and work with MOST of my musical heroes over the course of 2 months. We provided the location sound for rehearsals at Chuck Berry's private club house and for the final big birthday show for Chuck at The Fox Theater in St. Louis. Here's a picture of a much younger me with Chuck Leavell, keyboard extraordinaire, sitting at a classic B3 organ in Chuck Berry's clubhouse :
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It was Mr. Leavell who suggested the picture. When you are working these gigs, you just don't walk around with cameras or you're liable to get thrown out. The list of names for the missed photo ops on that gig alone reads as follows : Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Steve Jordan, Johnnie Johnson, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Joey Spampinato,Linda Rondstadt,..oh yeah, and Chuck Berry (meh). I'm sure there are a few I'm missing. There is a photo of me with Keith Richards which is in the possession of an ex-boyfriend but S.A. has inspired me to try to track it down. I'll keep you posted on that one.
The biggest whoa-shit-I-might-pass-out moment on that gig was when a restored model A motored up the drive and deposited Julian Lennon about 8 feet away from where myself and the other grunts were breaking for a smoke. I got chills, I got dizzy and almost puked. I like Julian just fine but it was the fact that there, standing right in front of me was a substantial chunk of John Lennon's molecules and passed on living DNA. It was magic. Julian is very nice by the way, and a joy to work for. The biggest surprise of the gig for me was Keith Richards. I'd always seen him looking so badass on the album covers and in the magazines and he had a reputation for not suffering fools. He was SUCH a sweetheart, just a genuinely nice man. he showed me pictures of his daughters so many times I could probably still draw them from memory (okay, he may have had some short-term memory issues). The funniest moment came when after a long morning of dodging advances from two particular horn-dog roadies, I left the main rehearsal room and went to sit in the bar on the other side of a glass wall where I could still see the ongoing rehearsals. I figured I could hide there from my new,..uh,..admirers.
I was sitting on a stool with my elbows on the bar watching through the glass when a door behind me opened and an interloper sat down right next to me on my right side when there were clearly 10 other stools around the bar available. I assumed it was a lurker and quickly, coldy and in a huff jumped down from my stool and stomped around to the cooler behind the bar to grab a water and storm out when I heard, " so, you're the barmaid then ? " in the most lovely proper English accent.
I looked up and forgot who I was because staring back at me inquisitively was Eric Clapton. Thank goodness Alan Rogan, Keith's guitar tech. came waltzing in and said " ya' made it then Eric,.." and proceeded to fix him a vodka-tonic. Yeah. I was worried about getting hit on by E.C., Okay, I'm sure he wouldn't have hit on me. Judging by the manner in which he threw back his drink I'm pretty sure he was just really thirsty.
In the only other surviving picture from my wacky sound-tech/install days I'm posing with Steve Stevens at the N.A.M.M Show ( National Association of Music Merchants ) in Chicago. Billy Idol used to sing for him *snicker* and he was THE hottest guitarist on the scene at the time. I used his " Run Across the Desert Sands" on one of my vids on LV (which I can't access now) and you SHOULD download the song from somewhere even if you have to buy it. You won't regret it.
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,..and yes,..that is a drinky-poo in my hand. If I hadn't been there with my boyfriend, I totally would have left with Steve. WHAT ?!?!? JUS' SAYin.

Man, I'm sorry if all this sounds like the bragging that it is but S.A. Murray ? Thanks for sending me down memory lane. I already greatly appreciated my life but especially in the last couple of years I'm discovering that I do indeed lead a charmed life. I'm so glad that it led me to the real stars of my life story, You, my wacky, talented, loving, silly, emotional,courageous, supportive and cherished friends.

Views: 72

Comment by AnnelidaFilms on November 1, 2010 at 2:46am
I was on the "Bozo the Clown Show" in 1960 when Willard Scott was playing Bozo. It's true!
Comment by BlancheNoE on November 1, 2010 at 8:22am
@ Jim-You are a god.
Comment by S.A. Murray on November 1, 2010 at 12:12pm
Way cool :) .. my brushes with fame pale in comparison, but I've had a few .. Forrest Tucker from the 60's show "F Troop", Frank Vincent from Goodfellas, Roger Dean the artist.. and a friend and myself missed an opportunity to hang out with Jon Anderson of YES after a Kitaro concert... that really sucked after we found that out :/ .. My wife and I met Wolfgang Puck @ "Wolfgang Puck American Grille Atlantic City" and got him to sign our receipt ... of course no camera. But I did have fun with Preston & Steve on WMMR in Phila. :)
Comment by BlancheNoE on November 1, 2010 at 2:57pm
@ S.A. Murray- I freakin' LOVED F-Troop so I wouldn't call that pale,...and about missed opportunity, when the Stones made their big (one of many) come back tours and came through St. Louis, my boyfriend and I assumed Keith had forgotten about us and wouldn't know us from Adam. A friend came into the music store the next day and said " Hey ! where WERE you guys. I saw you on the list but I couldn't find you,..." DOH ! Jon Anderson would have been WAY cool. He can still pack the house 'round these parts. I saw Yes on their Masterworks tour and when they came on stage myself and everyone around me thought ' yikes,..they are getting up there in age ' and Jon and the boys wasted no time in schooling us good ! They were unbelievably awesome, still. Now I'm gonna go check yer link.
Comment by Marie on November 1, 2010 at 6:14pm
Musical coolness! My only brush with fame was in the 80s, I got to have coffee with Saul Rubinek. He was very gracious and I tried not to be an idiot. ;-)
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on November 1, 2010 at 9:22pm
Holy bejeezus, how long have I known you now - I've never heard any of this. You are SO not a braggart, in fact, you're, like...the ANTI-braggart.

Very cool bwf's!
Comment by deepinthewoods on November 1, 2010 at 9:55pm
Wow that was some gig!
Comment by photo2010 on November 2, 2010 at 2:17am
Amy, those are some way cool remembrances, not braggings at all ! You make me reminisce about my career as a photojournalist. I got to meet and photograph many celebrated folks from a variety of fields. Because of my job, I couldn't ask to be in a picture with them, but I did get to chat with many of them and shake their hands. A few who were exceptionally friendly asked to be in a picture with me, Madame Sadat was one, and Harry Belafonte put his arm over my shoulder and asked another photographer to take our picture. Unfortunately I think I left that picture at my job when I left. A few other ppl I got to photograph were Itzhak Perlman, Billy Joel, Cokie Roberts, Leonard Bernstein, Ray Charles, Kurt Vonnegut, Elie Wiesel, Presidents Bush (SR), Ford, and Reagan, Dith Pran, Bill Cosby, Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Jason Robards and Paul Newman. Many more, but I probably have crossed into bragging territory already. I have little stories about my interaction with most of them, but sadly I don't have all those pictures as I was working for an organization and they owned the rights..and I didn't have the time to make copies for myself, though I do have publications (somewhere) in which many of the pictures appeared. Someday...
Comment by photo2010 on November 2, 2010 at 10:19pm
BTW, your cuteness factor in those pics is off the charts! ;-)
Comment by BlancheNoE on November 2, 2010 at 11:47pm
@ That Girl- You say the nicest things. I think we should be friends. Lou Reed? pfft,..yeah, we're friends (you&me).
@ Marie- Oh boy do I know about trying not to be an idiot. I was so nervous and felt like a complete dork around most of those famous folks. That's part of the allure of the interwebs video thing for me,'s in my FAvor to be an idiot here. It's great ! ,...much easier than trying NOT to be one.
@ Syd- naw, you were just obviously asleep on the way to D.C. when you said you were listening to me. I was wondering why you were wearing your sunglasses at night.
@ deepinthewoods- DEEEEP !!!! so nice to see you even if it's a partial view. It was one HECK of a gig for sure. I ran into another ex Paradise Sight and Sound employee last year and we had to check each other on whether it really happened.
@ photo2010- GEEZE Kevin,...Harry?, Ray?, Kurt?, Leonard?,....PAUL ?!?!?. Okay, consider this your official "Brush With Fame" Blog Tag. You must pick one of your favorites and write a blog about it. YOU'RE it (TEEhee).


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