Thursday, January 22, 2004

Drop the Name Bomb

Name droppers didn't always bug me. My first recollection of obnoxious name dropping is from an AOL content programming meeting overrun with uppity NYC types. "I was having lunch with Dominick Dunne. . ." when Dominick Dunne had nothing to do with the conversation. Or when asked if she could get Jakob Dylan for an online chat, a woman responded, "I'll call him and up see what I can do" as if she was his bud and no that she was going to call up his manager's assistant. POSTSCRIPT: There was no Jakob Dylan chat that week.

I like to name drop sometimes, one time, when I was a little kid I was running with a bunch of helium balloons and managed to smack the best mayor Pittsburgh ever had, Richard Caliguiri, right in the face with them in front of a bunch of folks. Seven years later he died. Pittsburgh has never been the same.

One time, in 1993, along with Sam, Erikas and Jason, I was on the White House lawn doing a radio talk show on Clinton's failed Health Care plan for WRCT. Andrea Mitchell was a doll and gave us exactly what we wanted. Tim Russert was kind of a trouble maker, but he did give us what we wanted, but he didn't do it right, but we couldn't remember his name at the time so we had to just take what we got. Tom Brokaw was a dream so we didn't mind when he refused to give us what we wanted, but his security guard (name unknown) did say to me "Not to be a dick, but Mr. Brokaw is a very busy man." Speaking of dicks, Wolf Blitzer didn't give us what we wanted and did it rather rudely, but we got vindication because his cameraman gave us and our radio station serious props. Looking back, I now understand the cameraman was an angel and I wish I would have demonstrated a lot more appreciation at the time.

There was another angel that night, in the form of a White House Intern (before that term became a dirty word), I think his name was Andrew Bloom and I think he went to Auburn, but I am probably getting all of this wrong, which doesn't really help my name dropping credibility. But he was the one who made our experience really special by getting us guests, when nobody else would, like Dee Dee Myer's assistant. Andrew also explained to us that we didn't have to leave after our show, which made all of the above name dropping possible.

Frank O'hara was a name dropper and I love his poems. Here's a classic.

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don't know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn't even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or
Brendan Behan's new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don't, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing


Post a Comment

<< Home