Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta: The Night I Met River Phoenix

**Candid Carrie hosts the Fx4 extravaganza each week! So after you read my story, go check out her site and the others who join in with their cool pics!

It was a Friday night. March 1, 1991. The spring of my sophomore year in high school. I had spent years prior to this night combing magazine aisles for the latest issues of Bop! and Tiger Beat. I had collected pictures, decorated lockers and notebook covers and drew many a "River" with a heart dotting the "i" in his name. I saw his movies, watched all his t.v. interviews and even begged a movie theater manager for a poster of his WORST movie, all so I could have that gorgeous face to look at all.the.time. I was in lust.

My friend "G" & I set out for a local club downtown to see River's band "Aleka's Attic" perform at a benefit concert for our local food bank. The anticipation on the ride over to the venue had me in tears. Yes, I'm a crier. I was actually WEEPING at the thought of meeting my dream guy. That's a 15 year old for ya!



Here's "G" & I outside my parents home. I'm the one on the left rocking the tie-dye and acid washed jeans. Nice. What was up with my hair? I'll tell ya. My hair gets really light in the summer and I was growing it out, so there's a couple of inches of dark winter roots. I've never colored my hair. A decision I maybe should have re-thought back then.

Anyway, the happy look on my face is not only that I'm about to meet my dream guy, but that my parents have NO IDEA where I'm going tonight. Ha ha.





So, we make it to the venue and there are people EVERYWHERE. Not suprising because this event was well publicized and (imagine that) I'm not the only fan of River Phoenix in my town apparently. The nerve of some people. So, I elbow my way into the cigarette smoke-filled room and try to get a place to stand, remotely close to the stage. The venue wasn't huge, but nevertheless, it was hard to see the stage. The concert began and we were delighted to hear the very unique style of music that they performed. They had your typical guitar and drums, but they also featured an electronic violin and a trumpet. All the musicians were GREAT!


Here's River and his sister Rainbow singing a tune. River played lead guitar. Swoon! He was dressed so grunge that night. It was hot.









They performed several songs and then I watched while River was interviewed by a blonde reporter from the BBC. They sent a film crew all the way to my little town from England, just to film this little concert. I was SO jealous of that reporter. And she was totally macking all over River. Bleh.


This musical note is a sticker from my scrapbook that I couldn't remove. See, I had to pull these out of my scrapbook just to share them with you. I'll do anything for my readers!

This was a shot of the whole band with the bimbo reporter. And they were eating pie. Don't ask me why. I remember it being for some stupid publicity something or other. I just knew River was staring right at me. Delusional.

So, after the concert, River came out into the audience to be with his stalkers peeps. I knew this was my chance! Carpe Diem! It was now or never. I had to go talk with him.

I made my way through the droves of people and spotted him sitting at a table fawning all over a girl who was 2 years ahead of me at my school. I know I turned green with envy as I saw him taking a drag off her cigarette and laughing close to her face. How could that hussy steal my man? I marched over to him and stuttered a "Hi! Great concert!" He looked up for 2 seconds and shot me a smirk. And then, I held out a piece of paper and asked for his autograph. He looks up again and says "I don't do autographs." As the tears started to well up in my eyes, I know that a look of horror must've come across my face. Did he really say that to me? But, I'm his future wife biggest fan.

I guess the look on my face and the thought of dashing the hopes and dreams of an innocent starry-eyed teenager were just too much for him. He took the paper, scrawled his initials and handed it back to me and that was it. I walked away, somewhat disillusioned, but with a piece of my guy forever.


The picture isn't good, but I wasn't ripping the paper out of my scrapbook to scan. If I ruined it, I would cry all over again. But, there it is. His autograph. Sigh.

And so, was it all I thought it would be? No. Am I glad I met him in person. Yes. Do I miss him? Terribly.

And that was the night that I met River Phoenix.

31 comments:

Kat said...

I don't think I would have had the nerve to go up to him. I'm so impressed. And impressed that you used your womanly wiles to get River Phoenix to do what you wanted. That is worthy of note :-)

Angela said...

Oh man I LOVED reading that story! It's starting to come back to me a little bit. And I don't blame you for not tearing up the scrapbook! You've worked way too hard on them! Thanks for sharing the story. I am loving these trips down memory lane. I was just trying to think what I must have been doing while this was going on.

Anyway, love and hugs!

Shannon said...

I've been looking forward to hearing this story for days... you did not disappoint! I would not have had the guts to go up and talk to him.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy Haley (coffeejitters) said...

great story

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Fun story!!! Brushes with fame are so interesting!

Kelly said...

Fun Story; great memorabilia!

Lex the mom said...

Unbelievably cool! What a thing to have & to cherish! He was a bit of brilliance & I miss him, too! You are a lucky woman.

Great images & story! Thanks for sharing!

Outnumbered2to1 said...

What an awesome story.

Jenn said...

Great story you should have had someone snap a picture too!

angie said...

Oh wow. Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable story. I read every. single. word. I used to love River too. Sigh.

Rhea said...

Hilarious story!!

Swirl Girl said...

WOW! What a story!

I wonder if that hussy who stole your man tells the same story about the little girl who got his autograph!

Imagine - had things been different, you could have ended up being his future widow.

so sad about River...

Z's Mom said...

That is an awesome memory. I'm glad he came through for you with the autograph....

Nancy said...

oooh - I *LOVED* River too! I'm so jealous that you got to meet him. What a great memory for you...and good for you for not ruining your scrapbook!!!

Thanks for sharing though :)

Michelle said...

I'm quite impressed that you were scrapbooking that young. It must be really nice to have memories so readily accessible like that!

dougandcheryl said...

Wow. I'm jeolous. I was so in love with River Phoenix. He's one of those celebrities I'm still really sad about. That's great that you got to meet him, if only for a minute.

buffi said...

I had a HUGE crush on River Phoenix, too! How very, very cool that you got to meet him. I was so sad when he died. What a tragedy!

Laurie said...

That was a great story! I am glad that you got to meet him. I was in love with Joe McIntyre (from New Kids on the Block) and I was going to marry him. Now that the band is back together I may now get a chance to meet him.... Wonder what hubby and the kids would think of that!

Julianne said...

I love a good celeb encounter story, especially one with pictures!

I loved River too.

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, you had me at " I spent my time combing the aisles for Bop..." I was RIGHT THERE with you!! Do you know how excited a magazine rack made me circa 1988-1993? I'm sure you understand. :)River pictures covered every inch of my peach-colored walls. Every. Inch. River was my dream guy (maybe still is?) and I enjoyed this story more than words can say. In fact, since discovering it last night, I have been back to your blog several times, ha ha. LOVE this story.

I was 15 in 1991, too, and have been in love with River since 1988. Everything you said in this post really touched me - we were feeling the exact same things for this man we had never met, but felt that we knew so well. I have NO IDEA what I would have done if given the opportunity you had. I would have been sobbing all the way to the venue, too! I am so proud of you for talking to him, and I love your description of the "hussy." You really had me laughing!

Yes, that reporter is annoying- there is an interview from this night on youtube.com. Have you seen it? She is totally flirting with him, so shamelessly. But then again, I am sure River could have had any girl he wanted, didn't we all love him so much??

I am so glad that he signed your paper after all. It would have broken my heart to read that he hadn't.

Feel free to email me anytime. I had forgotten about River for so many years, but he has really entered my thoughts again this past year for some reason. Again, thank you so much for this wonderful story (and pics!).

Liz
elizabetharnold17@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

The clip from YOUR night! Re-live the memories of meeting Riv (and the super-annoying reporter...sigh.

Liz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R0qzhnBXWs&feature=PlayList&p=7F54A3CEBE031A9A&playnext=1&index=6

Anonymous said...

No offence, but he sounds like a real tool. I guess I'm a bit young to know anything about River Phoenix (I was born about 3 months before your story took place :P), but if my celebrity crush treated me like that, they'd be taken off my list.

Anonymous said...

yeah, he didn't sound too nice. i think we have too much of an ideal impression of him... you've totally ruined River for me. thank you. now i can stop obsessing LOL! NOT! but gosh, what a disappointment. still, it was good that he did give in and sign it for you. he probably didn't want to be signing all night given that if he signed one then the rest will make him feel obligated to sign them all.

wait, is this even a true story? i guess i'm skeptical because it just so happens to the be same night of the WORD interview (posted on youtube). and how could you NOT take a picture OF RIVER????

Jen said...

First of all, I was all over the Bop/Tiger Beat centerfolds of River. He made it to my teenage bedroom wall of fame (along with Corey Haim). I would have given anything to meet him. I'm so jealous (even if it wasn't the most ideal interaction).

I think it is hilarious that the anonymous commenter is arguing the validity of your story. It isn't like you made up some crazy story about going back stage and making out with him. Whatever!

Thanks so much for linking up.

Elena said...

River. *sigh* I miss him terribly too... What an AWESOME story! I am so green with envy that you got to meet him in person.

Anonymous said...

GREAT STORY ACTUALLY IAM RELATED TO RIVER I KNOW YOUR PROBALLY THINK YA RIGHT BUT IS TRUE IM HIS COUSIN. MY MOTHER IS HIS MOTHERS SISTER RHONDA AND WE ARE CURRENTLY LIVING IN QUEENS NYC. MY MOTHER STILL STAYS IN TOUCH WITH MY AUNT HEART AND MY UNCLE JOHN EVEN THOUGH THEY LIVE FAR AWAY... RIVER WAS A LOVING SOUL AND HAD FAULTS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE . HE WAS ALWAYS LIKE A BIG BROTHER TO ME ... I MISS HIM DEARLY

Olivia said...

CUTE STORY. ACTUALLY IM RIVER'S COUSIN MY MOM IS HIS MOTHERS SISTER RHONDA AND WE ARE QUITE CLOSE TO THE PHOENIX- BOTTOM FAMILY. AS A CHILD RIVER AND I WERE QUITE CLOSE WHEN HE CAME BACK TO AMERICA AND USED TO ENJOY PLAYING GAMES WITH HIS SISTER RAIN . ITS A SHAME WHAT DRUGS CAN DO TO A PERSON . RIVER AS I KNEW HIM WAS PURE GENTLE AND LOVING. IAM HIS COUSIN AND I TRULY MIS HAVING RIV AROUND.

olivia said...

sorry two posts came up i didnt know if the first one took or not....

LiLica said...

Great story! OMG , I would die for having met him even for a second! Congrats for this story!
I was 11 in 91, when I was 12 River came to Brazil(where I'm from) but I never managed to find him >(
Just a comment: I do think , thou, that River was not very fond of autographs not because he was being mean to fans,but because he considered himself a "non-celebrity-person", I think he was never comfortable with this " celebrity condition"so that's why he refused autographs!

OfficiallyHeath said...

Wow! I actually do find that really rude of him. Like, for him to just look up at you, look away, then just hand you back the paper like it was nothing; That's huuuge to a fan!
But I still like Rio, not saying he's rude but that particular moment is a little rude really!

 

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