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Opposites attract?
July 11, 2011 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Unlikely encounters between famous people is the subject of this tumblr. E.g. Samuel Beckett drives Andre the Giant to school, Janis Joplin has a blind date with future drug czar William Bennett,, or the previously noted meeting between Rosalynn Carter and John Wayne Gacy.
posted by Obscure Reference (26 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sort of previously.
posted by palbo at 8:16 AM on July 11, 2011


Vaguely related, with a chance of overlap: awesome people hanging out together (previously).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2011


As palbo said
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2011


... except the newly linked site has actual background, instead of random pictures of people you know, which I appreciate. Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:18 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember reading somewhere about Ted Kennedy dancing with Grace Jones at some fancy White House party during the Reagan administration. Just imagine.
posted by hermitosis at 8:25 AM on July 11, 2011


Albert Einstein had a distinct smell? Too bad Wavy Gravy wasn't a little older. Now those walks with Wavy about 25 years old would have been intense. (Also did not know BB King named Wavy Gravy.)
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:27 AM on July 11, 2011


Between drinking in pubs with rock stars, and driving professional wrestlers around, it's remarkable that Beckett was ever able to get any writing done.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:44 AM on July 11, 2011


And then there's nuggets like this:

Yes, that Neil Diamond. Nice Jewish kid from Brooklyn with a penchant for writing catchy pop tunes, which unfortunately was the antithesis of cool in 1968. Sure he had money and fame but he had no Rock credibility, no gravitas of any kind … until the fateful night that Jim Morrison showed up backstage after a show at the Troubadour. The two hit it off, smoked Mary Jane, swigged tequila, ended up driving all over the Hollywood Hills. Jim told Neil that I'm A Believer was better than anything the Beatles ever wrote. Neil said the same for Light My Fire, which Jim didn't write (Robby Krieger did), so he spiked the tequila with enough STP to launch an Apollo moon shot and the rest is, shall we say, destiny.

No, as a matter of fact, there is no mention of this incident anywhere on Wikipedia, but as the guy who told me about it pointed out, neither is there any mention of the 1977 Gibby-Haynes-snorting-coke-with-George-W-Bush incident in Lopeno, Texas. And we all know that happened. And then there's the Hot August Night album, recorded live August 24, 1972, at LA's legendary Greek Theatre. No way did that Neil Diamond performance just happen. No way is that howling, wild haired, gold chained, rhinestoned, denim clad shaman the same guy who wrote Sweet Caroline. The liner notes say he shattered the night. I say he shattered the space time continuum and achieved what can only be called Messiah status, particularly on side four. Holly Holy, I Am I Said and then a take on Soolaimon and Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show that conceivably redeems Judas. Not to mention, it converted Bob Dylan but that, as they say, is another made up story.

posted by philip-random at 8:44 AM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nothing about Nietzsche and Wagner? Too bad. It was a pretty funny relationship, from what I remember from about a zillion years ago in college. If I recall correctly (which I might not), the story goes something like this:

Nietzsche was great "friends" with the Wagners and stayed with them for some time. Except that he actually disliked Wagner, but was so (unrequitedly) in love with Wagner's wife that Mr. Ubermensch himself would run errands for her, do her shopping, and so forth. This went on for quite awhile, apparently, and all the while Nietzsche was desperately in love with Cosima Wagner and deeply resentful of her husband. And yet he couldn't screw up the courage to say or publish anything explicitly critical of Wagner himself until after the composer's death. Good times.
posted by dersins at 8:47 AM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is really fun.
posted by OmieWise at 8:58 AM on July 11, 2011


There are a few in this old question I asked.
posted by mattbucher at 9:17 AM on July 11, 2011


I hope Janis Joplin kicked Bill Bennett in the nuts.
posted by blucevalo at 9:28 AM on July 11, 2011


Not an attraction of opposites, but this does bring to mind Pitch N Putt with Beckett and Joyce. [SLYT]
posted by mosk at 9:29 AM on July 11, 2011


Wow. T. S. Eliot and Groucho Marx. And Eliot was a Marx Brothers fanboy.

That makes weirdly perfect sense.

History classes should make this kind of reading part of the curriculum; it puts the historical figures in context, and turns them from historical figures into actual people.
posted by MrVisible at 9:34 AM on July 11, 2011


I love the Samuel Beckett - Andre the Giant and Einstein - Wavy Gravy ones, because they are unlikely. Joyce-Yeats is interesting but hardly unlikely; it would almost be more unlikely if they never met.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:46 AM on July 11, 2011


At long last, Gable asked Faulkner who he thought were the greatest living authors. “Thomas Mann, Willa Cather, John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway, and myself,’’ Faulkner replied, with characteristic modesty. Gable was taken aback. “Oh, do you write, Mr. Faulkner?’’ he asked. ‘‘Yeah,’’ said Faulkner. ‘‘What do you do, Mr. Gable?”

Hilarious.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:50 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, this picture (Johnny Cash and Ray Charles) is awesome.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:53 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


British politician Mo Mowlam and serial killer Ted Bundy:

From The Guardian obituary:
... The first occurred as a result of her typical disregard for her personal safety. She lived in a seedy area of the town that was close to the university campus, and nearly became the victim of a man who, it transpired, was apparently stalking her.

She escaped unhurt when he broke into her apartment while she was there, but weeks later the psychopathic serial killer Ted Bundy murdered two women students on the nearby campus. He was caught and eventually executed, having confessed to 23 murders, in all of which he stalked his attractive women victims. Mowlam was always convinced that he was the man at her back door.

posted by humph at 10:01 AM on July 11, 2011


"... While scripting Lolita in Hollywood, the Nabokovs attended a dinner party at David Selznick's luxurious house. Billy Wilder was there, and Gina Lollobrigida, too.
"She speaks excellent French," says Nabokov.
"It wasn't that good," interupts Mrs. Nabokov.
They were also introduced to a tall, rugged fellow.
"And what do you do ?" inquired Nabokov.
"I'm in pictures," answered John Wayne ..." (via this or this)
posted by mattbucher at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2011


"Just relax."

A distinctly German voice — simultaneously echoing the eternal soothing of the ocean surface and the chaos of its merciless depths — fell down through the passenger window, alongside the inflated airbag, and into the dizzied ear of Joaquin Phoenix.

"I am relaxed."

He replied, not sure where he was or why the universe had suddenly twisted itself into its current inversion. He opened the automobile's window.

"No. You are not."

And as the primal liquidity of consciousness settled itself, Phoenix felt the true gravity of the leveling words. Yes, like two charged poles of a revolving planet, Werner Herzog's eyes gazed with unfathomable concern, drawing him back to an altogether simple order.

It felt pure and strange, like it must be for an albino alligator to peer across man's brief yet deceptively distant history. And it summoned a sense of undisturbable calm in Phoenix, enough for him to open the car door and set foot on the earth's impacted ground again.

"Thank you."

But already, Herzog was gone: A man driving the edge between abyss and everyday that some might be so bold to call Sunset Boulevard, listening for the forlorn howls of the fallen and acting as divine sentry for those who might pass through its mysterious divide. Nothing more or nothing less.

Are we reminded of the wilds of fate that we try so foolishly to discern? Or is this simply the unquantifiable machination of the society our kind has struggled to form and uphold over the long millennia?

Or perhaps it is not for us to answer such meaningless questions, but to simply, as our story's messianic figure might suggest, just relax.

-Werner Herzog meets Joaquin Phoenix in a car wreck, in the style of Werner Herzog fan-nonfiction
posted by pokermonk at 11:39 AM on July 11, 2011


Check this one out: Sherman Hemsley of the Jeffersons was evidently a huge fan of Gong. Here's Daevid Allen's account of meeting Sherman Hemsley.

Another weird one is that Meier Kahane, the right-wing Israeli politician, was the rabbi at Arlo Guthrie's bar mitzvah.
posted by jonp72 at 11:58 AM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


‘Don’t answer the door because it might be the man.’

Awesome.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:44 PM on July 11, 2011


Here's Daevid Allen's account of meeting Sherman Hemsley.

To clarify: Daevid Allen of Gong meets Sherman Hemsley of The Jeffersons, his biggest fan.

Thank you for that, jonp72, the world is officially weirder and better than I imagined.
posted by philip-random at 4:29 PM on July 11, 2011


I've always thought Ernest Hemingway vs Wallace Stevens was a peculiar match-up.
posted by whir at 5:21 PM on July 11, 2011


Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla
posted by Lverner at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2011


David Bowie and Bing Crosby
David Bowie and the Fonz on Dinah Shore's TV show.
Nardwuar the Human Serviette VS Don Cherry

posted by philip-random at 5:48 PM on July 11, 2011


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