Strange things are afoot in the men's room at the Waldorf Astoria
In 1999 I was lucky enough to be invited by VH-1 to attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel. It is without doubt, the highlight of my 30 years in radio.
I was given total access to all things "Hall of Famey!" The day before I was set up in a room with the 10 other radio folks from around the country who were there as well and I was granted access to a parade of rock stars who dropped by for interviews. I talked to Julian Lennon about his father. He shared with me sad stories of a father who was not there. Bonnie Raitt and I chatted about her amazing career and influences. I asked her who she would have induct her into the hall the next year. She as very modest in stating that the day for her was probably still years away. A little smile came to me when she was indeed inducted the next year... Just call me Nostra-dan-mus! Wilson Pickett taught me how to say "Good God Y'All, and Leslie West of Mountain asked me to say hello to his girlfriend in Ft. Collins "on the radio" when I got back to Denver.
I had the ultimate backstage pass. Rehearsals were a blast to watch. Imagine sitting in an empty theater watching Bruce and the E Street band, Billy Joel, John Fogerty and Bono rehearse the songs that they would perform the night of the ceremony...amazing!
But my fondest memory of that quick weekend trip was an encounter with Bono, Bruce, and Peter Wolf of the J Geils Band in the Men's Room at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. There I was at the urinal doing my urinal duties...looking straight ahead like I always do. I can't be distracted. All of the sudden, a distinctly Irish voice wafts through the air saying "you better hurry up and pee mate... the "Boss" is waiting. I looked to my left and it was Bono speaking to me. He told me that Springsteen was standing behind me. Well I turned around and Bruce gave me the N.O.A. (nod of acknowledgement) I turned back around and and told Bono that Peter Wolf of the J Geils band was behind him and asked him if he wanted to race. He said yes, I said go, he said I already am...well because of lost pee-time...I did not win the "Amazing Race" of 1999 in the men's room of the Waldorf Astoria.
To be quite honest, I was a bit embarrassed by the whole episode as I left the water closet. I couldn't help but wonder if I had handled it in a cool enough fashion befitting Bono and Bruce. I wasn't that concerned about Peter Wolfe. Later on the floor I saw Bono and he too gave me a little nod and a smile. So in the end, I was relieved...and RELIEVED!