#18–#22. Buncha Short Ones: Al Roker, Bret Michaels (Poison), The Cramps, Dame Dash, Debbie Harry. (1989–2003)
[Some of these “famous” people encounters were super brief, and lacked any story arch. Still, I found each amusing in its own way, and I want to document every single one, regardless. So, from time-to-time, I will lump a buncha short anecdotes together into one entry, like this:]
#18. Al Roker (New Orleans, 2004): I chatted with Roker while bussing his table at a MidCity fine dining restaurant. Not many people recognized him because he’d just lost all that weight. This was right before he mentioned “sharting” on TV, then excused it by saying he was simply championing those suffering from IBS. I, however, am convinced he just made a bet with someone, where if he lost he had to figure out a way to say “shart” on-air.
#19. Bret Michaels (Tampa, 1999): Wow, I totally interviewed this dude on the phone when Poison ran a co-headlining stadium tour with RATT, but I don’t remember a damn thing about our conversation.
#20. The Cramps (New Orleans, 2003): I was working as a stagehand at House of Blues in the French Quarter. One afternoon, I’d just finished setting up the Cramps’s drums and amplifiers on stage when we all heard a pounding on the back door. I ran and opened it and there stood Poison Ivy and Lux Interior. They smiled big, but looked dead — like rock n’ roll vampires who hadn’t enjoyed the sun in centuries. They said a cheery hello and handed me a couple guitar cases, and I suggested some places where they could go eat lunch. For looking so scary, they gave off super positive vibes.
#21. Dame Dash (Tampa, 1999): I don’t remember interview this co-founder of Roc-a-Fella either, really. I only remember that the Hard Knock Life stadium tour was coming to Florida, with Jay Z, DMX, Method Man and Redman, and I wanted free tickets, and so I tried to interview Jay Z, but they gave me this guy I’d never heard of instead. Like Bret Michaels, Dame Dash made no impression.
#22. Debbie Harry (Ft, Myers, FL, 1986): My first ever real job was as a busboy at a seafood restaurant in Florida. No one else recognized Blondie’s Debbie Harry when she came in with an elderly lady and they both ordered the all-u-can-eat snow crab legs. I did not let on that I knew her identity, but peeped her name on her credit card. She was very nice and tipped well.
Michael Patrick Welch’s “132 Famous People I Have Met” series is FREE, but please consider donating to his VENMO (michael-welch-42), or to his PayPal account (paypal.me/michaelpatrickwelch2), so he can feed his kids, pay his mortgage, etc.