I met Michael Stipe back in the late 90s at a gig in Camden. I was young, horrifically drunk, and probably really annoying.
That probably happens to Michael Stipe a lot, though, so I doubt he remembers me.
I once stayed at a hotel where a radio-industry convention was going on. I passed Steven Tyler in the hall, and we made eye contact. He nodded politely, and I nodded back.
I had an aisle seat for the recent Costello tour with the big wheel of fortune. Elvis bumped down from the stage and went up the aisle in search of volunteers to spin the wheel. The spotlight was in his eyes and he veered blindly toward me. Sweat had visibly soaked through his sport jacket and I instinctively recoiled. Elvis turned away and picked somebody else. I now wish I would have made some physical contact, but in a dry, manly way, like a pat on the shoulder.
London, 1978: Rode an elevator with Johnny Mathis while on vacation with my parents.
San Francisco, 2008: Rode an elevator with Jackson Browne while at a conference.
Incidentally, in 2013 I saw Ozzy Osbourne getting into an elevator at Sirius XM but I could not get on.
In 2003, a band I was in was soundchecking for a show at South By Southwest. While plugging my guitar in, I noticed the singer from the Presidents of the United States of America standing near the front of the stage about 5 feet from me. When it was my turn to check my levels, I made awkward eye contact with him and started playing the guitar part from their first single, ‘Lump’. For some reason, I just kept playing the guitar part from the chorus and staring. I was expecting him to crack a smile, but he just looked at me, shook his head in disapproval and walked away. I don’t think he came back.
My brother’s good disposition was rewarded when we were sitting at the RCMH and actor Mike Myers sat directly in front of us.
We didn’t say anything to him.
In 1985 I saw Howard DeVoto in a London pub and bought him a pint. No, he said, there wasn’t a new Magazine album coming out soon.
While working in a popular high-street music chain in the UK I had to disappoint Keith Morris (Black Flag / OFF!) as the DVDs he wanted to buy would be a different region to his DVD player at home. I then became very self conscious when deciding what music I should play in the store while he was still browsing. Sorry Keith.