Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ninny Beth says Hi to A Rock Star

I said Hi to a Rock Star. That's right, JUST "hi". This is a full circle follow up to the last time that I had interaction with this same Rock Star who just happens to be Rhett Miller, the lead singer of the Old 97's, who just happens to be my favorite band of all time.

The first time it went bad, I was in portland with A & C at the Borders. Rhett had just come out with his first solo album and we'd been singing it for days. He did a small accoustic show in the book store and then signed stuff afterwards. I brought all of my cd's for him to sign and had a plan to be totally and utterly UN-impressed by him when we met, THUS ensuring that he would want nothing more than to be my very best friend in the whole world. This of course would lead to a few songs written with my name in them and a little duet between me and my best friend Rhett on the next album.

C kept trying to take pictures of Rhett while we waited in line and I emphatically REFUSED her offer to take a picture of me with him...because that's what FANS do and I was most certainly not a fan. I was a friend. In fact, I was a friend of a friend of a person who played with the Old 97's once in Texas. And you can bet that I was going to illicit a deep connection by name dropping the friend of a friend of a friend.

When it was finally my turn to talk to Rhett, he shook my hand and all attempts at being cool flew out the window as quickly as a loogie on I-15. I just started talking and it came out something like this ," Iknowapersonnamedknoxpedenwhoisbestfriends ...breath...
withaguynamedteddypendergrast ....breath... whoplayedwithyourbandin1992andhesaysyouarereallycool."
uh huh.
Rhett is about 4 inches shorter than me and the size of my right thigh, so it felt a little strange to know that he wanted to pat my head and send me on my way like a weird little kid. He just smiled and said he knew teddy and what a nice guy and then he asked me how to spell my name and that was that. The moment had passed WITHOUT any exchange of phone numbers, emails or bodily fluids. I was elated and deflated at the same time.

So last night I went to see Rhett again in Park City. This time I had no illusions about becoming his BFF. I'm older now and much less impressed with the Rock and Roll lifestyle. Plus Rhett is now a married man of 3 or so years....much harder to win his love and affection with a lovely modely- type wife by his side. I thought I was immune to his charms. And granted I was a tiny bit more composed this time, but um....not much.

Here's what it looked like.

Picture me in the club talking to friends. Out of my peripheral vision I see Rhett walk by with the rest of his band. Without thinking I reach out my hand in a sort of POINTING MOTION and begin to, that's right, POINT at Rhett Miller. POINT AT HIM, like I just spotted Sarah Jessica Parker with Matthew Broderick and baby, sharing an icecream cone in central park...ONLY HE WAS LIKE 1 foot away. Then to make things even worse, I quickly tranformed the "point" into a close-to-body limp wristed baby wave and eeked out a trembling, "hi". I think he thought I would wet my pants if he didn't respond, so he smiled and said Hi back.

That, my friends, is how you say HI to a Rock Star if your name is Ninny Beth and you consistently refuse to be cool. He did play "Doreen" for me out of pity later in the show, so I guess it wasn't all for naught. Dear Rhett, if you are reading this ever, I really would make a fine friend and duet partner. I promise not to say Hi again.


lovestrong said...

You said it perfectly. I've never had the privilege of meeting anyone I admire, but I have always imagined I would stay perfectly composed and unimpressed. But I'm pretty sure that in practice...the reality would be much more bumbling and clumsy. got to point at him. You're so cool!

FreeSpiritGal said...

I get gitty every time I see one of my music loves in person...but when I met Howie Day...I have to say I kept my cool. I told him he played a good show, and barely smiled. I played it coooool. But that's all I could say, even though at my coment he smiled, and paused as if ready to start a conversation with me, I found I had nogthing else to offer in conversation, okay I froze. And upon seeing that I had nothing more intelligent to say, he walked on by, I still can't beleive I passed that opportunity! Blast.

Sara McOllie said...

In my ritual of perusing friends blogs, what are the odds that two in a row talk about Rhett? It makes me jealous I'm not in Utah...and I never am jealous that I am not in Utah.

Seriously, my other friend saw him at a restaurant prior to the concert so you both have personal moments that are yours alone.

Synergy said...

I had James Hetfield of Metallica on my flight. James effing Hetfield! I tried to play it cool the whole flight, "ya- no biggie. I'm not one of ""those""." I was cucumber-awesome until he was ready to walk off. I also went for the spazzing route. Effusive gushing ensued. So lame. I think I even said something geeky like Metallica rocks or rules or something. Wanted to die. I'm not even an actual fan. But he was larger than life, and a total sweetheart to the clueless lady sitting next to him. He answered like a million questions about California for her, giving her names of mountains and lakes we flew over. She had no idea that she got an hour and a half guided tour by one of the most iconic rock figures in history.

aisy said...

i came via ansley via mcollie... isn't rhett dreamy? that gig rocked in park city. i'm still thinking of him.

lumina said...

Ninny! I am wetting my pants reading this! I'm officially a fan of yours.


Skye said...

One time I met Art Alexakis because I played a multi-band gig that he was headlining. I shook his hand and said "great show."

I really really wanted to say something like, "yeah... I was playing in the other room earlier... don't know if you caught any of it... but annnnyway, as a fellow musician I wondered.... blah blah," but I couldn't think of a way to bring up that I had PLAYED this gig with him without it sounding stupid. So I didn't tell him. And I'm sure he didn't know. I think I'd have noticed if ART ALEXAKIS walked into my gig. But I did rock that night. It's too bad he didn't see me. He would've wanted to partner up for sure. yeah. right.

Adam said...

He didn't sing Solome?