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One Night, One Story: Night Of The Awkwardly Famous.

We watched as random celebrities wandered into the bar at The Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. They enter like deer attempting to cross a road. Their eyes dart around and they gingerly move forward, relaxing as they spot another celeb. “All clear”, their minds assure them.

They acknowledge one another with a slight nod as if to emote “I’m here, Mon frère. We got this.”

My soon to be wife Kelly and I, and our friend Jill sat along the wall nursing our drinks. Billy Ray Cyrus, a few drag queens, and some random people sat quietly in the bar looking at each other. Waiting for something, anything to happen.

A few hairy dudes with cigarettes dangling went to the bar, It was the Counting Crows. D’arcy of The Smashing Pumpkins recognized Adam Duritz and they were joined Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson’s band. They wandered over to a table and sat down. The drag queens soon joined them and laughter and drinks flowed.

Here we were three normal people from New Jersey watching the night unfold when one of the Counting Crows starting hitting on my girlfriend Kelly. Jill smiled and said, “let’s see what happens.”

Off to my right a young man was trying to impress a young blond. I heard him say he was in a film. Gremlins. It was Zach Galligan he was trying everything in his power to charm her right up to his room. He resorted to showing how many push ups and sit ups he could do.

Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford appeared in the lobby to gasps of everyone in the place. Cindy scooted out and Rande sat with the rockers on the couch.One of The drag queens noticed Billy Ray Cyrus and called him over to the table where the rockers embraced him and invited him to sit.

Every so often a man would come out of the elevator and take a long look at the people in the bar and take a lap around. No one paid him any mind. This would happen every so often for the next few hours.

The Counting Crows guy hitting on Kelly gave up, Zach Galligan was now doing jumping jacks, and the man from the elevator was Peter Boyle of Young Frankenstein and the new hit show Everybody Loves Raymond.

As we were settling our bill and preparing to leave Billy Ray Cyrus said good bye to Kelly and Jill and said “We need a picture”.

September 9, 1998.

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