Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 14, 2010

Star Collector

"Think I'd let her keep on going
Wherever it is,
She's going to.
Give her an autograph and tell her,
'It's been nice knowing you'
Cause she's a star collector,
Collector of stars,
She only aims to please
Young celebrities....." The Monkees

It's no great surprise that I've always been a bit star struck. Just a bit. Thought I'd share some of the autographs I've obtained over the years. Some I got in person, some other people got for me, others I sent away for. There were some celebs who we've seen while out and about, but never approached because it would have been extremely inappropriate. Although I couldn't help blurting out to Brian at the Safeway down near Ocean Beach in San Franisco, "OHMYGODISN'TTHATPAULKANTNER?" Brian's like, "Smooth. Real smooth". Well it took me by surprise! I mean, who thinks about Paul Kantner needing milk and toilet paper like the rest of us? And he shops at my Safeway? I mean, who knew, right? *Note to you youngsters: Paul Kantner was in the 60's band Jefferson Airplane, who also hail from SF.

I was unable to locate the one from Robert Urich, from when Ellen & I skipped a morning's worth of classes at Emerson to watch "Spencer for Hire" being filmed near campus. When the crew broke for lunch, Mr. Urich kindly signed autographs. Another is from Elvis Costello, when Holly & I got backstage at the Cape Cod Coliseum in 1983. I know where these 2 are, it just would take some serious digging to get to them. I also have a few handwritten letters sent to me by Kajagoogoo bass player, Nick Beggs, in the mid-80's, but again, it'll take an Act of Congress for me to find them!

Nick Lea, aka 'Krycek' from "The X-Files". My cuz Diane got this for me at an X-Files Expo, back in the 90's

Brian got this autograph from Seattle Seahawk Cornerback Marcus Trufant. 'Tru' is a local boy, born & raised in Puyallup, and he and his foundation do a lot of charity work. Brian met him at a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game a few years ago.
Snagged a baseball's worth of Seattle Mariners autographs in 2006 when they played an exhibition game against their AAA Farm Team, the Rainiers, in Tacoma. Of the 6 names, Matt & Jose are the only ones still left on the team.
I sent away for this one from former San Francisco 49ers tight end, Brent Jones, who was my fave player on the team (after Steve Young of course).
In the late 80's, I found out Danny Bonaduce was a DJ in Philly. I had heard a rumour that the first 'Chris Partridge', Jeremy Gelbwaks had died in the 70's, which was why he left the show. So I wrote to Danny and asked him. He wrote back to let me know Jeremy was alive and well, but included this amusing inscription on the photo he sent me.
Diane used to work in the film industry in the late 80's and early 90's. She got me this autograph for my b-day from Emilio Estevez while working on "Men at Work".
Diane also worked on "Ghost" and got Patrick Swayze to sign photos for me, my mother in law and sister in law.
The whole reason Di got into film was because of seeing Harrison Ford in "The Empire Strikes Back". Her whole goal was to meet him. She was lucky to score a job on "Patriot Games", where she achieved her dream. She quit film after that.
Here's one from actor Lorenzo Lamas that my ex got for me, when Lorenzo happened into Pizzaria Regina at Quincy Market in Boston, in about 1984. Jimmy also met singer Paul Young at Regina's and got me an autograph from him as well.

I was thrilled to get to meet Steve Smith, aka "Red Green" at the only Western Washington showing of "Duct Tape Forever: The Red Green Movie". Red Green is more known in Canada, but since we get the CBC, I really got into him. It's a really funny show. One night on PBS, they were doing a Red Green themed pledge drive, and the top 10 cities with the most pledges would receive a meet & greet with Red himself, and the limited release "Red Green Movie" would be screened in those cities. Tacoma crushed almost every other city, and ended up in the top 10. The movie was shown in Renton, which is centrally located for fans from many areas in the state. I have never seen so much red & green plaid, and duct tape, in my life. It was a blast. Steve was very, very funny. I had the best time. The place was packed, and the fans enthusiastic and appreciative.

I realize that a lot of people wouldn't think the humour was that funny; my parents never got it either. It was also popular in Iowa & Minnesota.

OK this one has a pretty weird story, and considering who it involves, I'm not at all surprised. I was at work one day and sorting the mail for the Suite, in the fall of 1991. Because I also had some catalogs and packages shipped to me at work, I'd also have stuff to review and open. As the office manager, I got a lot of solicitations too. Most of it went in the garbage. One day I'm sorting and an envelope to me catches my eye. The return label said, 'S. King, street addy, Bangor, Maine'. I paused. If you know anything about Stephen King, you'll know it's no secret that he lives in Bangor. Nah, I thought. Can't be. Impossible. I opened it to find a letter from Stephen King's assistant, telling me she was responding to my inquiry about obtaining a signed book. She told me if I mailed a book w/ a self addressed stamped envelope, Stephen would sign it. Thing is, I had no memory of writing any such letter. I still don't. That's something I would have remembered, Believe Me. Back in the 80's, I worked with someone at Channel 56 who was King's assistant & chauffer in the Boston area. I wondered if Dan was behind it, but I couldn't see how, although he came to the Cape to see Brian & I when we visited that spring of 1991. I didn't remember giving Dan my address in SF and we didn't even discuss Stephen King when we saw him. It was very strange indeed.

Anyway, if the offer was there, who am I to turn it down? The only thing is that Mr. King got the date wrong, it was actually 11/27/91 when he signed it, not 1992. It's also pretty freakin weird that the day he signed the book was also my birthday. oo-ee-oo
Saw Native American author and American Indian Movement activist, Mary Brave Bird (aka Mary Crow Dog) speak in Berkeley in 1994, with her co-author, Richard Erdoes.

Also saw Native American author Ed McGaa Eagle Man speak at a bookstore in Sebastopol in 1992.

I wanted to go meet Bob Weir and his sister, Wendy, at their autograph signing for their book, Panther Dream, but I was sick, so my friend Rita took my book and got them to sign it for us, in November, 1991.

But we did get to meet Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia, at a benefit in San Francisco in June, 1990. This scan is actually a photocopy of the original signatures because it is carefully stored and hidden. After Jerry died, we actually moved it to our safe deposit box in the bank because a lot of people knew we had one, and because Jerry so rarely interacted with people, especially fans (he was reclusive when not on the road), we decided to err on the side of caution.
In 1988, I met up w/ my cousin Karen, Aunt Gloria and Uncle Steve at NBC in NYC to be in the audience of "The Phil Donahue Show". It was a lot of fun!! I'd planned the trip to go New York for a couple of days to bum around the city and see some family in Yonkers. It was a coincidence that they were going to be in NYC for the Phil show that day, and that they also had an extra ticket. I spent most of the day wandering around shooting pics and shopping in The Village, then walked up to NBC to meet them. Former White House Spokesman, Larry Speakes, was the guest, to promote his book.
And in 1987, I rounded a corner in Chinatown, San Francisco, to see James Coburn shooting a print ad for cigarets! He stood on a milkcrate above the crowd and smoked the product while extras walked back and forth in front of him, as they shot the ad. I was watching and taking a few pictures and a PA came up to me and told me to be one of the extras and just walk back and forth with everyone else, so I did. Then Mr. Coburn signed a few autographs.

And lastly, from 1982, when we got backstage at The Clash show at the Cape Cod Coliseum, on Joe Strummer's birthday. That was a night to remember. The Clash rocked big time. They were so good live. It was a high energy night. It was my last big hurrah and send off before I started college at St. Joe's. Topper Headon was so fucked up with drugs by this point that they asked their first drummer Terry Chimes (aka Tory Crimes) to step in for their Combat Rock Tour.
Now if I could just meet Vincent and Pyper before I die, I'll be a happy camper!!!!


  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    That's quite a collection hon!

  2. Kathleen2:18 PM

    Is this the same Clash show that mum jokes she almost contracted an STD at?

  3. Yes Kathleen. We were sitting on a couch with Paul Simonon. The couch was questionable. hahaha

  4. oh my word - you've sure done and seen some amazing things and those autographs are a real treasure trove --- ya don't come 'cross many celebrities where i live in suburbia LOL

  5. Wow, what a great collection! I never was an autograph collector. Don't know why. I had a lot of opportunities to get them but never thought to ask. In most cases it was because we were partying or working and in some because they turned out to be such assholes I didn't want anything to remind me I actually met that jerk. lol

    I do wish I had thought to get autographs now, though. :-/

  6. that is sooooo cool. and the memories attached with them must be wonderful. 2 of my most cherished possessions are a mickey mantle baseball card which i really had to convince him to sign...something about making money off his autograph. AS IF!! the other thing that i have is an old promotional poster for a bank in detroit who were sponsors of the tigers' radio broadcasts. the entire 1984 world championship team and coaches signed it. courtesy of wjr radio's sports director. whew....sorry i went on and on!

  7. What a busy little bee you've been. I think I got a couple of DJs' autographs once, but they are long gone. Famous people often look so different out of their costume and makeup that they've gone by before I've recognised them. I have a habit of saying, "Wasn't that so-and-so?" to their disappearing back. Not often, though, you understanding. In fact, about twice!

  8. Anonymous5:23 PM

    What a great post! The Monkees song lyrics so appropriate here...I belonged to a fan club after the show was long over but was syndicated on TV. I have all autographs except Davy and he lives in PA! LOL!

  9. Wow! That's an impressive collection Jojo.

  10. Great collection, JoJo. I have quite a few baseball autographs from when I had my season tickets with the Mariners in the late 70's My seat was in the first row behind the visitor's bullpen in the Kingdome. Also did volunteer work for the M's and was an officer in their "women's club". I sure miss living in Seattle.

  11. Interesting....

    I especially like the Jerry 'n' Bob one - but there again, I woyuld wouldn't I?