The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

06 Feb
Eric Greenberg

I’m “That Guy” and I’m Sorry (sort of)

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog, barry | 8 comments

When I was young, I used to practice signing autographs in my notebook during school. To Steve: Best Wishes, Eric Greenberg. To Bill: Good Luck, Eric Greenberg. It seemed like such a cool thing to do and it probably never occurred to me that it might actually get old after a while. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn the hard way. It’s only a matter of time before I get cornered at the mall by a crazy band of Greg Brady Project fans that have been looking at my blog photo with a magnifying glass.
Back in the day, I wasn’t just into signing autographs for imaginary people. I was also into collecting them. I had one of those books of the stars’ addresses and used to send out letters in bulk. I pretty much sent everyone the same note telling them how big a fan I was of their work and then sat back and waited for the responses to roll in…and they did. “To Eric: Welcome to my neighborhood, Fred Rogers.” “John Ritter was here.” “With Love From Carol and all the Bradys, Florence Henderson.” My mailbox was the show biz center of Massachusetts.
Again, I was much younger then. Seven or eight years old. Sixteen tops. These days, it’s incredibly rare that I ask someone for an autograph. Maybe I’ve become a little more used to running into celebrities. Maybe I just don’t have a whole lot of room for this stuff in my apartment. Maybe I’m just trying to be a little more considerate. For every polite fan that waits for the right moment, there are plenty who are a little too pushy at inappropriate times, and I just don’t want to be “that guy”…usually.
Seven or eight years ago, I was sitting in a LaGuardia airport terminal when the PA announcement came. “Passenger Barry Williams, report to the counter. You have a phone call.” My eyes took a quick spin around the room. Nothing. Did I catch that name right? Was I hearing voices like Ray Kinsella in the cornfield? Either way, the odds had to be pretty low. There have to be hundreds of guys with that name. A short time later, there it was again. “Passenger Barry Williams, report to the counter.”  Twice was all it took. Whether it was the real Greg Brady or not, I had fallen off the wagon.
With a tight grip on my notepad and the entire terminal under surveillance, poor Barry never had a chance. It was really pretty appalling. The guy was clearly running late when he entered my radar and was actually in line to board the plane by the time I got to him. In my defense, I did make a point to tell him that he’d been paged and even told him to skip the autograph and check it out (Yeah, like I really meant that.). Not only was Barry incredibly nice and insisted on signing for me, he actually had to pull his suitcase out of line to do it. All this time later, it’s still sitting in a frame on my desk. “Eric: Keep on groovin’, Barry Williams.”
I’ve been playing it cool and professional here for the last few months, but now it’s time to come clean. Hey boss, I’m “that guy” and I’m sorry (sort of). But I’m not giving it back!




    Bob Hunt
    on Feb. 6th, 2008

    Ah, well, he knew the good karma he was spreading would one day return to him, didn’t he?
    By the way, HAVE you kept on groovin’?

    Eric Greenberg
    on Feb. 6th, 2008

    When Barry Williams tells me to do something, I do it.

    Mona Carol
    on Feb. 7th, 2008

    So I’m not the only one who feels -really- funny intruding on celebrities to get an autograph…?

    I’ve had my share of encounters – probably more than a typical “fan” usually has. (mostly to do with a now off the air show called Third Watch) And I became more concerned with the fact that I might be bothering someone than to actually approach them to ask for an autograph after a while. Some of my best experiences with “celebrities” have not involved autographs or even pictures.

    I think it’s just … you know, they’re folks that I admire. But they have a right to privacy — who am I to take that away from them?

    on Feb. 7th, 2008

    Alas Eric, I thought that I was the only one that Barry had wrote “keep on groovin’” to, lol. Nah, not really. And I still have that autographed picture and the book, and the pic of he and I at his appearance at our college, somewhere in all my boxes of things I have accumulated over the years.

    Jonathan S
    on Feb. 7th, 2008

    I always feel like famous people don’t need to be bothered by the likes of me. A little while back, I was shopping in downtown Seattle with my preschool daughter. We went into an elevator. The only other person in the elevator? Julia Roberts. I smiled. She smiled. My daughter looked up at me, “Can I push the buttons?” I said, “Ask her.”

    on Feb. 7th, 2008

    You weren’t that guy in HS that always wrote in the binding of the yearbook, “You’re a great person and I’ve enjoyed writing in your crack”…? Are you?

    Eric Greenberg
    on Feb. 7th, 2008

    Hang on. Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to approach celebrities to say hi or get an autograph. Just be polite about it.

    Signing autographs and talking with fans is part of the deal and I don’t think Barry would want it any other way.

    on Feb. 8th, 2008

    Eric is right. If you are understanding of their space, they will be understanding of your ‘want’ to have a brush with fame. I used to be on TV as a sports reporter in MN. While I was on the field waiting to do an interview, a young kid wanted to give a ball to me and he asked for my autograph. His dad said “you don’t want his autograph.” He was right, I told the kid to save it for a ball player! Still laugh when I think of that one.

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