Local celebrities. Every town has them, I think, I know Pittsburgh does. They are people who are famous in their city only and occasionally they cross borders into the next county. Other than that, no one knows them. At this point I step onto my soapbox.
Those of you who know me, know I operate on very little sleep and live off a nap during the day. Saturday on just about two hours sleep, I lay my head down for that nap and within minutes I am blasted away by music. The fair across the street started their concert early. Not only is it a live band, it’s Bruce Springsteen music . I’m not a fan, and not only is it Springsteen music, of course, it’s being played by . . . . him. It’s a freaking nightmare! Not only do I not get my nap, I don’t get one because of him. Local celebrity Joe Grushecky.
You may wonder, what this man ever did to me. Well … first, allow me to give credit where credit is due. He is a great musician and entertainer, his band totally rocks. And I’m sure some people will say he’s a swell guy. However . . . let me take you back. Late 90’s, Dormont Pa.
We’re at the park, the little league game, his son plays with my son. He’s there. At that point I was with my second husband, Steve, who said, “Look there’s Joe Grushecky.”
“Who?” I asked, really not knowing.
“He’s pretty big around Pittsburgh. I wanna go talk to him.”
“Steve, who cares. Drew’s getting up to bat.” But too late, Steve, excited, walked up to Joe. I watched. I heard Steve mention something about a guitar and then Joe lifted his head in an upward motion, simply stated, ‘yes’, turned and walked away. What! Oh my God, did he just snub Steve, the nicest guy in the world. When Steve returned, I asked him if he was snubbed., to which he replied yes. When I gasped my offense, Steve said, “He’s Joe Grushecky. He knows Bruce Springsteen.”
“Oh, who cares who he knows and Springsteen can suck my left toe for all I care. “ I was completely offended by the attitude. I mean we weren’t at the Grammy awards. It was a little league game for crying out loud in a small town. Where did he get off? Still, to this day, I would love to see Joe go head to head in a guitar competition against Steve. I’m pretty confident that Steve would bury him into submission.
You know, a few years back I went to a Who’s Who in Pittsburgh Event (Joe wasn’t there.) I met Donny Iris in the food line. He didn’t snub me. Of course he spoke to me first and I thought he was a homeless person. He said, “Nice spread of food. I’m starving.”
I said, “I bet,” And watched him make a plate. Believing he was a homeless man who slipped into the event, I wrapped up cheese and meat to put in his pocket for when he got hungry later. He thanked me. I wonder if Donny Iris ever thinks back to the day when that crazy little woman stuffed his pockets with napkins packed with cheese.
My point is, Donny Iris is locally bigger than Joe, and he wasn’t a snob.
And I don’t know about other cities, but Pittsburgh talent only strives to be famous in Pittsburgh. They can’t see beyond their fence. Why? Hell, if I’m gonna be famous. I want to be famous everywhere, so famous that Max Beesely in the UK says, “Oh, I just love her.” And eventually ‘Frank’ will emerge and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m Frank, make room for husband number four.”
Oh! Wait. So famous that Joe wouldn’t snub me and would take that head-to-head guitar challenge. Ha!
You're probably thinking, "Gees, woman, let it go, it's been years." Well, I can't. I just can't. I’m still irritated over my missed nap on Saturday and that missed nap brought it all back to the surface.
Stepping of my soapbox now.