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…

05 Dec
Bob Hunt

What, me starstruck?

written by Bob Hunt in Blog | 1 comment

What did the starstruck fan say to the minimalist composer?  Nothing!

You may have seen recent airings of an entertaining credit card commercial starring Mary J Blige.  In the spot, an everywoman in a hotel elevator is stunned when Blige comes aboard for a few floors.  The dazzled fan tries desperately to compose herself, but she cannot.  As her favorite singing sensation leaves the elevator, she manages to utter only a small and incomprehensible squeak.  It’s a great vignette that perfectly captures the humiliating experience of being starstruck.

Perhaps it resonates with me because I once found myself in a similar situation (well, similar in the geekiest sort of way!).  When I was a freshman at Ohio State in the late eighties, the great minimalist composer Philip Glass came to campus for a marathon performance of his epic Music In Twelve Parts.  The piece was typical of his work in that it consisted of a seemingly endless series of subtly changing repeated arpeggios.  Its length, however, was remarkable, requiring two fifteen-minute intermissions and an hour break in the middle so the audience could get dinner!  As a wide eyed college student who fancied himself a patron of the arts, I ate it up, mesmerized by the hypnotic repetition.  Besides, I was already a big fan of the score Glass had composed for the wordless arthouse film Koyaanisqatsi.

The titanic event was preceded by an art exhibit featuring works by the minimalist sculptor Richard Serra and a John Cage installation that emitted barely audible electronic tones from a series of speakers set up along the perimeter of the gallery.  I joined a capacity crowd of modern art enthusiasts, edging my way through the throng and trying to make heads or tails of what I saw and heard.  As I craned my neck around to catch more of Cage’s elusive tones, I suddenly realized that I was standing right next to Philip Glass, who was engaged in a quiet conversation.  So unexpected was this to me that I was overwhelmed at once.  I wanted to speak to him, to express my appreciation of his work, but who was I to approach a world-famous composer?  I had to back off a moment to gather my courage, but when I turned around, he was gone.

It was all so silly, really.  I would imagine that, surrounded as he was by artsy-fartsy intelligentsia, Glass would have enjoyed hearing a few earnest words of gratitude from a naive college student.  But such is the nature of being starstruck.  It makes us ask ourselves, “Who am I in the light of such greatness?” and renders us speechless.  Pathetic, perhaps, but there it is.

And how about you?  Do you have a starstruck moment you’re willing to confess?  The comment box awaits your story.

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1 Comment

    on Dec. 6th, 2008

    Growing up in the San Fernando Valley (where all the movie/television studios are), it was second nature for me to see celebrities. I just never got excited by celebrity… except for once. I was in a department store when I noticed a girl (this was 1986) browsing through the clothing racks. Nobody noticed her but me, and when I saw her body guard following ten feet behind, I knew I was right. It was Lisa Marie Presley. I wanted to approach her, tell her that I’m a huge fan of her father, and that I, too, lost my dad at a young age. I just wanted to connect with her, just for a moment. Alas, I couldn’t feel my legs. I couldn’t move the lower half of my body – I was frozen in my spot. I helplessly watched her walk away. That was my one and only starstruck moment. I still shake my head at the thought of it.

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