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Another person saw me signing and asked for my autograph. I signed for him, realizing there was a good chance he had no clue who I was...but I wasn’t charging $25.

I left before the show ended because I had to go to a fund-raising event the Grammys were having that included George Martin. It would be my last chance at meeting him.

I called my girlfriend from the road. She asked if anyone asked me for my autograph, and I said, “I signed a few.” She seemed excited.

I basked in that for a few minutes before explaining, “I’m embarrassed to say, I had to solicit the signatures.” She never stopped laughing long enough for me to tell the story.

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 3:10 p.m.

(story continued)...

As I walked back over to the Grease booth to listen to Jeff Conaway talk to some fans, I spoke with the director of the movie. The only other thing he directed of note was The Blue Lagoon.

He was signing a bunch of stickers, that I noticed another cast member signing earlier. I’m guessing they’re going to put these on huge movie posters or DVDs, and sell them as “autographed.” Not sure why they don’t just have a bunch of DVD sleeves, as most fans aren’t going to want something that’s just filled with stickers that are signed.

I asked him if as a director and not someone seen on the screen, if that afford him a level of obscurity when out in public. He smiled and said, “Yeah, I have that semi-obscure degree of fame. I can go out and have dinner somewhere, unlike John Travolta. I might sign a few autographs at a film festival or something, but that’s about it.”

I see Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, who I had forgotten was even in Grease. He also had some fame with the TV show “Sunset Strip,” and a hit song with Connie Stevens called “Kookie Kookie (lend me your comb).” There was even a diner called Kookie’s named after that, on the end of Miramar Road. It became Keith’s in the mid-90s.

I tried talking with him, but he wasn’t very receptive. And I had read at a car show, he yelled at one man for videoing him, even as the mans young daughter cried. So I’m guessing he’s not the friendliest.

I speak again briefly with Pearl. And he told me that the other cast members of Grease and Saturday Night Fever didn’t get much of a career boost from the success of those Travolta films.

I wondered if he was implying that the actors were typecast, but felt it would be rude to ask him why he felt that was. After all, I first saw Stockard Channing in Grease, and she’s had a great career in film. Olivia Newton-John did a few things, before focusing more on music. And Jeff Conaway, well…he seemed to have ruined his career in other ways.

I left well before the show ended on it’s second day. And as I was leaving, I ran into this crazy African-American guy I see at some concerts in San Diego. He was all excited because he just met Will Ferrell outside one of the talk shows. Ferrell tried running away from him, but finally stopped and quickly signed an autograph.

I once did a story about how Will Ferrell was one of the worst autograph signers and isn’t great with fans. He then read what I wrote on Conan O’Briens old show, before holding up a mechanic hook for a hand and exclaiming “I can’t sign autographs! I have no hand! Did you ever consider that reason before writing this article?” It was pretty funny.

I had to get to the fundraising event the Grammy’s were having with George Martin. It would be my last chance at getting his autograph on my Sgt. Pepper record, which is signed by all the Beatles.

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 3:12 p.m.

I got a press credential as Tom Jones was soundchecking. I hear him singing an amazing version of The Long and Winding Road.

A woman that claimed to be a police officer was trying to get into the event. She also wrote for some small magazine that nobody at the booth had heard of. She comes over to make conversation with me (and ask how I got a credential), she told me she has a son that’s a big time chef in Rancho Santa Fe. She said if I go there, he’ll hook me up with free food. Somehow, I doubted that.

Rumor around the press table was that Paul McCartney would be showing up to this event.

About 30 minutes later, security was going to take us to the red carpet, where we’re allowed to shout out questions and hope the celebs came over to answer them.

When Yoko Ono showed up, she pretty much smiled and just walked by. The entire situation was awkward. I felt like the paparazzi outside the Oscar ceremonies.

I heard people yell the name “Olivia,” and thought it was Olivia Newton-John. It was Olivia Harrison, George’s widow.

Eagles guitar slinger, and Encinitas resident, Joe Walsh showed up with his wife. I heard one of the reporters next to me say “You know he married a woman that’s a judge down in San Diego.” I heard she was a lawyer.

I’ve met him so many times before, I didn’t have anything to ask.

When ELO singer and Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne walked by, I called him over. I said, “I don’t really have a question for you. I just wanted to say how great it was hearing two of your songs in Boogie Nights.” He thanked me and the pretty woman with him said “That was cool, wasn’t it?”

The reporter next to me called Tom Jones over. He spent about 20 minutes answering his questions, even after one of the show coordinators kept saying, “Mr. Jones, we really should get going now.”

Guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck walked by quickly, with sunglasses and a mop of hair over his eyes that looked like it hadn’t been combed in days. He looked like a rock star.

George Martin showed up, and I noticed he would come to various reporters and answer their questions. When he got to me, I figured I’d ask a question before I asked him to sign the Sgt. Pepper record. I said, “I loved how you remixed the songs for Love in Las Vegas. That show is amazing.” He put his hand to his ear and said, “Yes, All You Need is Love was a difficult song to record.”

He saw the confusion on my face and said “I’m sorry, I have difficulty hearing.”

I then smiled and said, “That’s okay.” I showed him the Sgt. Pepper record, and as I was pointing out all the Beatles signatures on it and saying it wouldn’t be complete without him signing it, he quickly said “No, no. I can’t do that. I’ve got to go now.” Security swooped in and got him away from me.

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 3:14 p.m.

About 20 minutes later, we were having wine and mingling before the show started. I saw Martin holding court with a couple of people. I didn’t want to interrupt and ask him again.

I saw his son, who has produced a number of musicians and also worked on those songs for the Vegas show. We talked briefly, and he seemed in good spirits. I asked if he could get the record signed for me and he said “Oh, that’s not going to happen tonight. My dad isn’t doing any autographs.” I told him how important it was to me, and how I’d even pay any amount of money to his dad or a charity of his choice.” He laughed and said, “Give me the money to get it signed, not him!” I laughed and said, “I’d do that.” As he walked away he said to send him an email and we’d see what happens. Before he walked backstage he turned back and said, “Make sure you insure it, though.” He also added, “It’s Giles, not John.”

Damn. I had his name wrong.

The dinner was incredible. The wine they brought us was great. And I sat at a table with a women named Charlie, that provided the wine. They had great stories about what it’s like running a wine shop.

A reporter from the LA Times sat at the table with us, and was vigorously taking notes. I said “I feel guilty that he’s working so hard. I’m just watching Jeff Beck and drinking.” The table laughed.

I saw someone I knew near the front of the stage, and I went over to talk to him. He was in awe of Beck, and had an album for him to sign. I said “I don’t think anyone will be able to get signatures tonight. I tried for George Martin earlier.” Just then, Beck walked over to talk to a show producer, and my friend got his autograph. I whipped out my ticket and had him sign that.

Burt Bacharach was getting ready to go onstage and I told him his last show in San Diego was great. He looked at me a bit confused, before thanking me. I hadn’t seen him in San Diego, but I read a review.

I went back to my table.

In between songs and performances, an MC was being funny and auctioning items off. One item was sheet music to a Beatles song, signed by Paul McCartney and George Martin. I then wondered if that’s why Martin wasn’t signing other items.

The most interesting item auctioned was having your name appear in a Playstation video game. Joe Walsh was in a bidding war with someone, and at around $15,000 he won.

After more auctioned items, more bands performing Beatles tunes (including America, who was the only band that didn’t do multiple songs).

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 3:18 p.m.

When the event was ending, and plates were being cleared, I went over to say hello to Walsh. He was talking to Jeff Lynn, so I didn’t interrupt. It was the first time I had seen Walsh’s wife up close. She was a gorgeous, short blonde. And if she’s a judge, as one reporter said earlier…she should be given one of those cheesy TV shows immediately. When they finished their conversation, someone asked Walsh for an autograph. I told Lynne the song “Do Ya” is one of the best tunes in rock history. He smiled and thanked me.

I forgot what I said to Walsh, because as we were talking, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tom Jones walking over. He’s one of my moms favorites, so I thought I’d get him to sign my ticket for her. As he signed it, I asked how often he’s asked to sign underwear or bras. He said, “Oh, I’ve signed thousands.” He started chatting with a couple of women that were drooling over him. I called my mom to see if she was awake (it was around 11:00 p.m. and she’s usually in bed by 9:30). She said I woke her up and I quickly told her I might be calling back with someone that wanted to sign hi to her.

The last time I did that to her, it was an older woman I met at a party that had broken my arm when I was 4-years-old.

I asked Jones if I called my mom, would he talk to her. He smiled and said, “Oh sure, let’s do it.” As I pressed redial, he asked my moms name. I said, “Judi. She doesn’t know it’s you that’s calling, so you’ll have to say your name.”

After a few seconds, with me praying that my mom didn’t just fall back asleep or just avoid dealing with whatever I had up my sleeve, I hear Jones say “Hello, Judi? Hi, it’s me Tom. Yeah, I just called to see how you were doing.”

There’s a long pause and I hear him say, “I’m just hanging out with your son, having a few drinks. We’re having a great time.”

There are shorter pauses, with Jones making small talk. I can only imagine what crazy things she’s saying to one of her heartthrobs. After a few minutes he said, “Okay, it’s late, so I’ll let you go. Nice talking with you.”

He hung up the phone and handed it back to me. I thanked him and he thanked me. I gave one of the guys walking with him my card. He had told me he was his manager and I said, “Hey…for him doing that…if you guys are ever working on a charity or anything, I’ll gladly donate $500 bucks to it. Just call the number on here.”

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 3:19 p.m.

(the conclusion)

As I got on the 405 southbound, I called my mom back up. It was 20 minutes later, and she wouldn’t be asleep now. Not after talking to Tom Jones.

I woke her up. She was furious and said, “What do you keep bugging me about? I’m trying to sleep.”

“How did your phone call go?”

“You mean with that guy, Tom. I don’t know. His accent was so thick, I was having trouble understanding what he was even saying to me.”

I then inquired, “You did understand it was Tom Jones, right?”

There was five seconds of silence, followed by a scream. Followed by her saying, “He probably thought I was such an idiot. I wasn’t saying anything, just ‘okay’ and ‘uh huh’. I didn’t know what he wanted or who it even was. Why didn’t he say his last name?”

After we hung up, I thought about how I wasted Tom’s time.

But I never heard from Jones’ people regarding the $500. So at least it was a free phone call.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 7, 2009 @ 5:14 p.m.

I walked by Annette Cardona, who played Cha-Cha

Cha-Cha was SMOKING hot! I hope age has not destroyed her beauty-that would be a major let down in my life....

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Russ Lewis Oct. 7, 2009 @ 5:25 p.m.

"I told Lynne the song 'Do Ya' is one of the best tunes in rock history." It is, but the Move's version OWNS the ELO version.

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Josh Board Oct. 7, 2009 @ 9:29 p.m.

Ya know what? I heard that it was a MOVE song originally, but had never heard the original.

I made the mistake years ago, of buying a Move Greatest Hits, because I like a few of their songs. And I was very disappointed. Not that I'm a huge ELO fan. I grew up with their songs, but can take'em or leave'em.

Cha Cha looks friggin' INCREDIBLE, even still. She looks like she's 45, and she's in great shape. I overheard her say that she works as a counselor for troubled teens.

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nicolasgt Oct. 8, 2009 @ 2:23 a.m.

Where and when did this convention take place??? Have you got pictures of it?

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Josh Board Oct. 8, 2009 @ 9:43 a.m.

Here's a link with a few pictures, from the story last week:

They have these conventions every few months, at the Marriott near the airport in L.A.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 10:43 a.m.

Cha Cha looks friggin' INCREDIBLE, even still. She looks like she's 45, and she's in great shape. I overheard her say that she works as a counselor for troubled teens.

By JoshBoard

WOW, it jst so happens I am "troubled" right now, and I also have the mental age of a teenager........so where do I sign up for some Cha Cha attention!

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or Oct. 9, 2009 @ 12:16 p.m.

surfpuppy619, you really wouldn't get along with her at all. Besides counseling teens, she's also one of those people you rail about, a teacher. She's been teaching @CSUN for about 5 years or so.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 2:25 p.m.

LOL^^^^....................I get along gresat with teachers, being that I am a licensed teacher myself.

Believe it or not, I get along with cops abd ff's too. I just disagree with their compensation scales, but that is not personal, just business.

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Josh Board Oct. 9, 2009 @ 3:13 p.m.

Seriously, Surf...she actually looks better in person, if you can believe that.

And she's so nice. What's great about her is, she really doesn't feel comfortable with all that type of attention. Some of those people just relish it, which is kinda bizarre to me. It's one thing to enjoy the attention and being friendly about it. But it's this weird dynamic, since they're also charging $25 for an autograph!

She also talked openly, if I recall, to someone about being pregnant while they were filming Grease. I Googled that later, because I wondered what her age was during the filming. And something online said it was a very complicated pregnancy. I forgot what exactly happened, but....

It was fun watching all this weird stuff with semi-famous people.

One woman who was in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (she played the slutty gal that Nicholson smuggled into the hospital, who sleeps with stuttering Billy Bibbit). She's a singer, and was selling signed CDs. She saw me, and started freaking out. She insisted I was a famous actor. I kept telling her I wasn't, and she kept insisting I was. It was my 15 seconds of fame.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 3:55 p.m.

She saw me, and started freaking out. She insisted I was a famous actor. I kept telling her I wasn't, and she kept insisting I was. It was my 15 seconds of fame.

By JoshBoard

Kewl!

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 4:03 p.m.

I just pulled the story on her from IMDB, and she is teaching at Northridge.

She also had the pregnancy problem while filming Grease;

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0152975/bio

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 4:12 p.m.

OMG ...Cha Cha looks GREAT!!!

Here is an interview with two other Grease co-stars, Barry Pearl "Doody" and Didi Conn "Frenchy", from 2008. Cha Cha has an incredibly nice, warm and henuine personality. Now I wish I was at that show with JB!

Cha Cha is 60 years old here, Frenchy @57 looks amazing too!

Skip to 1:30 in the vid;

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or Oct. 9, 2009 @ 6:01 p.m.

The CSUN faculty register says she teaches Chicano Studies as a part time instructor. She got one of her degrees from NYU. Here's a good info page for you, surfpup. She's an extremely accompished woman. http://www.coolwatersprods.com/id132.html

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 9, 2009 @ 7:19 p.m.

Wow, good find.

I just googled Cha Cha and she is on Classmates.com

She is one smart woman. And yes-it's true-she does have a graduate Social Work degree from NYU! So she has serious brain power.

What is FAR more interesting is that Cha Cha graduated from John Marshall HS in 1965, which is where the ending carnival scene from Grease was filmed. I think John Marshall may have been where they also filmed the John Travolta athletic (track, baseball) scenes too.

The opening "Ridell High" scenes at the begining were filmed at Venice HS in Venice, CA.

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gardenparty Oct. 10, 2009 @ 12:04 a.m.

Surfpup, that's an easy one. No hills or mountains in the background. That means it's at Venice High. Marshall is in Los Feliz. If you don't know LA, that's by Griffith Park. If I remember, it's maybe a mile or so off the 5 freeway

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 10, 2009 @ 8:19 a.m.

I can't recall if the athletic scenes had hills in the background, I am going to have to look next time I see the show......

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Josh Board Oct. 10, 2009 @ 11:02 a.m.

Two things about the athletic scenes. A lot of people don't realize, that blonde athlete that Olivia Newton-John was all over...that was a young, blonde Lorenzo Lamas.

Second, when Travolta trips over the hurdles that he's jumping while running (in an effort to impress Sandy), she immediately comes over to help him. Okay, that's sweet.

But then Travolta and her point at Lamas, giggle, make fun of him, and scamper off together. Okay, fine. But doesn't that now make her character a real jerk? That guy did nothing wrong.

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gardenparty Oct. 10, 2009 @ 11:30 a.m.

surfpup, let me rephrase..... There were no hills in the athletic scenes. They were filmed at Venice High, not Marshall.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 10, 2009 @ 3:26 p.m.

OK, I couldn't remember if there were hills ornot.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 10, 2009 @ 3:30 p.m.

A lot of people don't realize, that blonde athlete that Olivia Newton-John was all over...that was a young, blonde Lorenzo Lamas.

I knew that.

What most people don't know, because they were too young, is Joan Blondell was one of the office ladies (at like 70 years old).

Joan used to do tons of movies in the 30's, and she was always so funny, and very VERY good looking.

She never made it beyond a B level actress but if you watch Turner Classic Movies they will run a Joan Blondell day every now and then and play all her movies. She was hiliraious as a comedic actress.

It is amazing how Grease has turned into the phenomenon it has, and it holds up so good over time (can't say the same for Saturday Night fever).

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 10, 2009 @ 3:30 p.m.

A lot of people don't realize, that blonde athlete that Olivia Newton-John was all over...that was a young, blonde Lorenzo Lamas.

I knew that.

What most people don't know, because they were too young, is Joan Blondell was one of the office ladies (at like 70 years old).

Joan used to do tons of movies in the 30's, and she was always so funny, and very VERY good looking.

She never made it beyond a B level actress but if you watch Turner Classic Movies they will run a Joan Blondell day every now and then and play all her movies. She was hiliraious as a comedic actress.

It is amazing how Grease has turned into the phenomenon it has, and it holds up so good over time (can't say the same for Saturday Night fever).

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gardenparty Oct. 10, 2009 @ 5:27 p.m.

"It is amazing how Grease has turned into the phenomenon it has, and it holds up so good over time (can't say the same for Saturday Night fever)."

This is true but really maybe not so amazing when you think about it. Although Travolta was a bigstar, SNF was only a movie born out of a magazine article. Grease, of course, already had a much stonger heritage as a Tony nominated Broadway musical. I don't recall how long it ran, but I know that when it closed, it was the longest running show ever on Broadway. It's still a staple in regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre etc. Our daughter's high school drama club even did it. We went to a performance at the Pantages earlier this year (though I could have done without the Taylor Hicks appearance). A piece of little known trivia. Porn star Harry Reems was originally offered the role of the coach, the one played by Sid Caesar.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 10, 2009 @ 8:15 p.m.

True-Grease had a major built in following and fan base.......

I thought that SNF was a bigger hit back when in the 70's, but I just checked and Grease ($341 M)made more money than SNF did ($237 M)-I guess my memory was off.......

Hard to see Harry Reems playign Sid Caesars role...... Sid, like the entire cast, meshed perfectly with the others.....

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Josh Board Oct. 11, 2009 @ 12:17 a.m.

Sid Ceasar was so great in that role. Although, it didn't utilize the mans brilliant comedic timing, still great to see him. Even in such a small role.

I disagree about SNF. Aside from the disco tunes, the movie really does hold up. Just like Rocky, from 1976, does. Because of the story. A guy dealing with women, parents, and bosses. And the conversation that's taking place. It really isn't as dated as one would think, looking at the DVD box with the disco ball and goofy white suit (which movie critic Gene Siskel, who claimed this to be the best movie of all-time...bought at auction for $14,000 or some low amount).

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 11, 2009 @ 9:08 a.m.

JB, Rocky holds up good, very good for being 33 years old.

Gene Siskel was a HUGE fan of SNF, and I remember Gene saying once that if you could remember the names of movie charcters that movie had a tremendous impact on you-and Gene then said he would always remember Tony Manero, and after he said that i too would always rememebr that character's name.

Gene bought the SNF white suit for $1,500 at auction back in the 70's, and JT signed the inside of the label because Gene showed it off on an episode of "Sneak Previews" (or one of the shows that had 5 or 6 different names with Ebert).

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Josh Board Oct. 11, 2009 @ 1:43 p.m.

I was disappointed, though, when Gene "sold out" and sold that suit for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I mean, if you're rich, and you love something, why sell it just to make a small profit?

And really, remembering a main character from a movie, is a bad example by Gene. What if someone hated Napoleon Dynamite? I seriously doubt that means they'd forget his name.

I would say Gene has a point, if you remember multiple character names: Milton, Michael Bolton,...darn, can't remember the boss from Office Space. I just blew my own point!

Also, Rocky holds up...but my stepbrother has problems with the movie, because the fight scenes were done so poorly (punches that miss by about 6 inches). Maybe that's why Stallone tried to do real fight scenes with that big Russian dude (and then ended up in the hospital, almost dying).

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verolicas69 Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:31 p.m.

well, i don't know. We have this autographed copy of Get Shorty and who knows how much that can be worth! ;}

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Josh Board Oct. 15, 2009 @ 10 a.m.

Am I the only one that was disappointed with Get Shorty? I love Elmore Leonard novels. And Jackie Brown was such a great film adaptation of his Rum Punch. But, Get Shorty had it's moments, but I felt it tried to hard to be hip. And it just wasn't as good as so many similar films (Out of Sight, etc)

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cold666pack Oct. 24, 2009 @ 3:13 p.m.

One of the most prized possesions of a friend of mine was a check made out to a political party by James Dean. I wonder if they didn't cash it since they showed it to me. I guess not, otherwise why would they have it?

One of my own prized possessions is a dictionary that I had signed on the page with the word "hero". Its signed by John McCain.

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Josh Board Oct. 26, 2009 @ 12:50 a.m.

For some reason, checks are cashed and they still get out there. Joe DiMaggio once went off on a bank, because they "stole" a check he made out to Marilyn Monroe, after she cashed it. Someone wanted an item signed by both of them, and then sold it. He got it back quick enough.

I've seen pieces of homework signed by James Dean. Other pieces by Buddy Holly. It's funny to look at their signature, as a 6th grader.

Your "hero" sure doesn't know how to pick running mates!

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