Tina Turner would stay at the Canterbury Hotel next to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in Downtown Indianapolis – where I would sit and eat shrimp cocktail, untill I was blue in the face, stalking her ride right outside the door. Sadly, the closest I got – was chasing her town car as she sped down and around the parking garage on her way to the airport.
Another close encounter with a superstar was with the amazing Michael Jackson. I did knock on his hotel room suite door back in the 80′s when Thriller had already taken over the music world. I was taking a break from spinning records at the Giraffe Lounge at the Hotel Plaza outside of Disney in Orlando. Sure enough, the rumors were true.. after I knocked on the door with the Michael Jackson logo splashed across it, at the other side of the double doorway was that distinct little speaking voice simply saying “who is it?”
I quickly ran right back to the service elevator which had taken me there…. and right passed two big ass security guards.. who certainly got a hearty chuckle at my expense. I wish I had just been myself that day, then this story would have likely had a much better ending.
Oh… and Robert Plant is another one that got away. It was the late 80′s, I was barely 21, and while backstage trying to decide which kind of beer I was going to get, a man walked up and introduced himself as “Bob”. When I turned around it was the very smooth talking Robert Plant. I said, “You’re not Bob, your Robert Frickin’ Plant”. He laughed and invited me to his dressing room to “get to know each other a little better.” I declined… and sadly wish I had a better story for you today. Soon, however, I will post the photos of that night. I did manage to get him to take his shirt off for me, while still standing outside his dressing room. In the meantime I found this cool shirtless Plant photo.
It was a wonderful sight to see Led Zeppelin being inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors this year. Seeing Ann and Nancy Wilson belt out Stairway to Heaven with a gospel choir backing them up, was something that I will never forget. The look on Robert Plant’s face was priceless. It was an Epic moment for one of the great voices in all of the world of Rock N Roll. Plus… the band was seated next to another hero of mine, Indy’s own David Letterman.
There is another one… I also got to meet Dave, when he was still with NBC doing “Late Night” – the day before Thanksgiving in 1988 I got to sit in the studio audience. Larry Miller and Jack Paar were guests that night and WIBC was even mentioned when Jack came on. Prior to the show starting, Bill Wendel asks if anyone is from Dave’s hometown of Indy while warming up the audience…and sure enough I was on the only one and it was as though I was a car or something. Bill got my name, and what I did for a living, and then quickly introduced the host to the studio audience. When David Letterman stepped out onto stage he came straight to me in the audience. As he stood there he grabbed my hand…and waited for the audience applause to die down then simply said, “so Crystal… how long were you institutionalized?!”