The year was 2000.
My husband and I were ensconced in a hotel room in beautiful downtown Canton, Ohio.
We had come to celebrate the millennium with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, of which my father, a former professional football player with the Los Angeles Rams, was a member.
My husband was geeking out. Over the course of the weekend, he and I had rubbed elbows with some of football’s finest. Folks like Anthony Munoz, Chuck Noll, Bob Lily, and Joe Namath.
But when did I geek out? When I rubbed elbows with Rick Springfield! In fact, I thought I was gonna die when I met Rick Springfield.
It was from our mundane hotel room that I first heard the chords of “Love is Alright” followed by “State of the Heart”.
Is it? Could it be? I pressed my face against the window.
Rick Springfield was entertaining a crowd of thousands right below my room. He was the headliner at the Hall of Fame Festival Ribs Burn Off!
My husband thought I was ridiculous. Heck, he thought Rick Springfield was ridiculous. After all, it had been years since “Jessie’s Girl” was a #1 song.
Still, I had fond memories of Rick. His was the first concert I’d ever attended. (Corey Hart of Sunglasses at Night was the opening act – woot!) His songs were rockin’ yet not scary rockin’ ala Def Leppard or Poison. And he was cute!
After listening to the concert for a few minutes, pressed pathetically to the glass, I dragged my too cool husband downstairs with me. We rocked out with some of Canton’s finest.
Afterwards, we rode the elevator back to our room. Turns out there was a rent-a-cop in the elevator with us. He got a call on his walkie-talkie that Rick had been safely returned to his room on the 10th floor.
Excuse me? Rick? As in Rick Springfield?
I returned to my room where I fetched my 35MM camera (remember those?). I dragged–and I mean dragged–my beloved husband with me to the 10th floor.
Rick’s room was a party. We loitered in the hallway. A rent-a-cop sent some other fans away, but he allowed me and my husband to stay.
“Why do they get to stay?” whined the ejected (and dejected) party.
“Because they have the buttons.”
The buttons! Yes! Our hotel was reserved only for Hall of Famers and their families (and now Rick Springfield). You had to wear a special button to gain entry and, obviously, to loiter outside Rick Springfield’s hotel room.
And by golly, if it wasn’t 5 minutes later that I asked someone from Rick’s party if I could meet him and they said yes. Here’s proof:
He was a congenial, talented guy and I loved meeting him. I was sorry when he wrote his autobiography years later and came out of the closet as a sex addict. (I didn’t see that side thankfully).
So there’s my celebrity encounter. Did I tell you I also touched hands with the lead singer of Thompson Twins at a concert?
What famous folks have you met? I’d love to hear about your celebrity encounter!
Don’t forget to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy this clip of Jessie’s Girl:
This post was inspired by the great group of bloggers participating in “Finish the Sentence Friday”. Today’s prompt was “I thought I was gonna die when…” Many thanks to co-hosts Finding Ninee, The Golden Spoons, and Dancing in the Rain.