I’m still a little bit star struck.
Last week, on the first leg of my journey home from my summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., I traveled with one of my all-time favorite singers and songwriters, Carly Simon.
Here’s what happened: As we were walking along the pier to enter the queue for the ferry back to the mainland, a woman in a billowy white dress, a big handbag, blonde hair and a very familiar face walked up behind us in line.
I looked at her and smiled, then looked away, and then a little bell went off in my head. I turned and looked again, and she smiled back at me, and I stuttered something like, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like. . . um wait a minute. . . are you Carly Simon?” As a long-time fan, I knew that she lived on Martha’s Vineyard, so the possibility was not completely far fetched.
She smiled and said, “Yes, I am,” and seemed eager for a friendly chat, so I engaged. I introduced myself and my partner Barkley, told her I was a big fan and that I cut my music-listening teeth on many of her hits on AM radio way back in the 70’s. (like You’re So Vain, Anticipation, Nobody Does It Better.)
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I was looking around to see if her people, her handlers, her bodyguards or anyone else was around and realized quickly that it was just Carly, all by herself. She was toting a box of 100 or so CD’s that I offered to help her with, but she insisted on carrying it.
She told us that she was doing some very personal publicity for her new acoustical album Never Been Gone— and that the box was full of teaser CDs with two songs from it. Her plan was to stand at the entryway of the returning ferry and hand them out to passengers, and urge them to go to a record store on the Vineyard to buy the album for half price when they presented the teaser CD.
We made a little more small talk, boarded the ferry, she sat down, handed me a CD, we said goodbye, and I walked away floating about 10 feet in the air.
I found my seat, got out my iPod and started listening to her Greatest Hits album. After a song or two, I decided to go back and ask her to sign the CD she’d given me and maybe even ask for a photo.
With pen in hand, I went back to where she was seated, still by herself, and asked if she’d autograph the CD. She said, “Of course,” and pulled out a Sharpie (natch) from her big bag and asked, “Would you like to sit down? Now, Chris, is this just for you, or for you and Barkley?” (Inside, I thought, wow, she even remembered our names!)
I sat down. She signed the CD and we talked for ten minutes or so, about the horrendous summer heat wave, about her 42-year-old horse that recently died, her bout with Lyme’s disease, the brand new iPad she was fiddling around with, life on Martha’s Vineyard and about my week there.
Finally, I mustered the courage to ask if I could snap a photo and she said, “Of course, let’s do it!” I took two pics and then we huddled over the camera and she chose the best one. I returned to my seat, and continued on my journey to Boston and then back to the Bay.
What a great way to end a great vacation!
So anyway, frequent travelers . . . since this is a travel blog and not a celebrity blog, let’s add a travel angle here with a question:
Have you ever encountered a celeb or superstar on your frequent travels? If so, how did you react? I’d love to hear your stories and I’m sure other readers would like to hear them, too! Comments, please! Let’s have some fun with this . . .
Love her! Glad she was so friendly
Sent via email by reader “P”
OK…here’s a celebrity encounter….
While staying at a resort on Hawaii’s Big Island a few years ago, may partner and I decided to take an afternoon excursion provided by the hotel. As we waited for departure in the lobby, one guest stood out slumped in a chair wearing dark glasses, scruffy t-shirt and shorts. Not typical attire for this resort. As we climbed into the Suburban, the man and his companion were inside and greeted us as we slipped past them into the back seat. As he turned, it struck me that it was Steve Martin. He eventually turned to ask our names and where we were from and not wanting to appear too star-struck, I as is only polite, I asked him his name as well. “I’m Steve and we’re from Los Angeles” was the reply. Over the afternoon, we chatted more and more without acknowledging “who” he was and decided anonymity was probably the best way to play it and said “Aloha” when the tour was complete.
That evening we wandered to the beachfront bar for a sunset drink and after being seated for a few minutes, the beautiful woman came up to us and invited us to join them at their table for a drink. We engaged in conversation and shared our experiences and favorite places from our many previous trips to the Island and wished them a great stay. Over the next few days, as we passed one another near the pool, we would wave and exchange greetings never acknowledging his star status. It was just, “Hey Steve. How are you today?” And, as we toured the Island visiting our favorite places, everywhere we went merchants said the Stave Martin had just been to there while we just smiled and knew he had been listening to our recommendations.
Tom McShane says
Great story Chris. So nice to know how grounded and personable Carly was.
Scott H says
Diana Ross, also on the Vineyard! All of the employees in the MVY airport knew her and she sat next to me on the little prop plane back to Laguardia! She is another famous Vineyard resident and sure Carly told her about her run in with you!