November 26, 2007

I CAN Live Without My Radio

It was a warm spring evening about nine years ago. I was in New York City on a date with the woman that would eventually become my wife. We were walking around Times Square in an attempt to try and find a good restaurant (something that I find to be surprisingly difficult in New York City).

The streets were crowded with tourists. As you walked towards an intersection you would begin to stand in a herd of people while everyone waitied for the beacon of safety known as the "Walk" sign.

As I walked across the street I was looking around. Instead of gazing up at the neon signs and flashing billboards I caught myself looking over at a flashy SUV that was caught at the red light. It was an immaculate black SUV which simply looked expensive.

As I walked closer I looked into the passenger seat. The window was open and the passenger was sitting with one arm hanging out the window. He was wearing sunglasses at night, which is always something that stands out to me.

Once I was within reach of the car I noticed that the passenger was LL Cool J. I was a fan of his music, but I do not think that I ever owned any of his albums. I liked his video for 'Doin' It', but that had nothing to do with him or his music. AS I stood there I realized that seeing LL Cool J was mildly interesting, but it simply did not call out to me or get me excited in any way.

I stood still for a moment in the middle of the crosswalk. LL Cool J slowly looked over at me and smiled. It was clear that I was the only person in the crosswalk that had noticed him. I could not quite tell if he smiled because someone finally recognized him or if he was simply entertained by seeing a goofy white dude staring at him.

After a brief pause I simply yelled out: "Hey, it's LL Cool J!". These simple words somehow broke through all of the commotion of New York City. The energy of the crowd completely shifted as everyone looked around. Moments later some girls could be heard shrieking. As I continued on my way to find dinner the beautiful new SUV was surrounded by a crowd of tourists as people all reached into the car to try and touch the celebrity that stood before them. The light turned green and it took a few moments for the crowd to clear enough room for LL Cool J to move on with his night.

The experience was enough to put a smile on my face. It also created a fun little story that I get to share with you today. I guess this also helps to describe how I feel about the three albums we are discussing this week. I can't get too excited about any of these albums. They are all by pretty good artists. They all contain some pretty good songs. They all fail to leave me with any type of lasting impression. They are all good enough that I would be able to recognize them, but I would just as soon let other people share their own excitement about these works. I would rather simply continue on my way and continue my quest to find a good restaurant in New York City.


venerableseed said...

JH, your celebrity radar is always on, isn't it? Even in the wildernesses of Connecticut you must be thinking, "50 Cent might leave his Hartford mansion and show up at the Buffalo Wild Wings tonight; I'll be the first to spot him" or "maybe Meg Ryan is back in Fairfield seeing her 'rents. She's all mine."

Is that how it is?

Jahidi Hoya said...

I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I look at people's faces when I walk around. I think we all see famous people, but we do not all recognize them.

It is pretty rare that I will go out of my way to track down a celebrity, however when I have done it I have always been successful.

venerableseed said...

begging the question: which celebrities have you stalked?

Jahidi Hoya said...

The holy trinity of my celebrity stalking:

Jimmy Buffett - Got him to call me on the phone in my dorm during freshman year. Also met him in person. Also went backstage for two different shows.

Bruce Springsteen - Briefly met him at a hotel bar in Washington, DC.

Paul McCartney - Though I did not meet him, I did spend the night hanging out with the drummer from his band. Paul was in the same room as me, but I never actually saw him. As a result, I count this as a minor success.

Ancient Scientist said...

Love how the celebrity-sighting story becomes a commentary on the music in the last paragraph - didn't see that coming. Great stuff!