Friday, May 15, 2009

Joan Rivers: 19th Anniversary

The first photo of Joan Rivers and me. Don't you love the tinted eyeglass lenses of the late '80s and early '90s?


April 28, 1990, was the first time I met Joan Rivers. Nineteen years ago. I can't believe it!

My parents knew how much I wanted to see Joan so we traveled from Aberdeen, SD to Minneapolis, MN. Joan performed at the famous Guthrie Theater and my mom went to the show with me.

I'll never forget sitting in the audience waiting for Joan to appear. I was so nervous. I couldn't believe I would be seeing her live! Finally it was showtime. The orchestra played Anchors Away and spotlights swept over the crowd.

Suddenly, Joan burst through the curtains. She was wearing a Bob Mackie evening gown and had a black feather boa over her shoulder. When I saw her, I physically jumped in my seat. It was like I had been zapped with an electrical current. The entire show was a rush and I can remember trying to memorize every detail.

After the show my mom and I went to the backstage party. The performance was an AIDS Benefit and if you purchased a $100 ticket (1990 dollars), you got to go backstage. Joan was wonderful with me and I never left her side. I'm sure there were times when she wanted to call a security guard over to "get this kid away from me." But she never did.

As Joan was talking to others, I saw that her assistant, Dorothy, was holding Spike (Joan's Yorkie). I asked if I could pet him. Dorothy said, "Do you want to hold him?" My heart jumped as Dorothy placed the small dog into my hands. I beamed! I was holding Joan Rivers' Yorkie.

After talking with everyone backstage, Joan, her assistant and security guards headed out the back entrance. I of course followed along. My mom, wondering where her son was going, quickly caught up. We went out a back door which lead to a dark alley behind the Guthrie Theater. A waiting limo was glowing in the darkness. It was magical.

Joan asked if I wanted to walk Spike down the alley to "do his business" before they entered the limo. I would have walked Spike to China if she had asked me. I walked with Spike and then Joan scooped him up, said good night, entered the limo and drove off.

Next year will be the 20th Anniversary of that night.

I wonder how Joan and I will celebrate!?

24 comments:

Kathleen said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it. The more I hear about Joan's generosity, the more I admire her.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! She was really sweet to allow you so much time beside her and to let you have time with her dog as well. It shows how appreciative she is of her fans and what a down-to-earth person she is.

Valerie

RAD said...

Such a cool story..you lucky bugger! Good memory for you too! I happy she won Apprentice! :-)

Sara Krohn said...

Michael, what a wonderful Blog! So, so interesting, I read with great interest. And, wow did you look different 19 yrs ago, yah those tinted glasses didn't do a thing for you.

Thanks for sharing, keep in touch!

Sara (Doll)

Kenneth Fron said...

Michael,

This is truly unbelievable on many levels. Your writing is amazing- so concise and to the point. You hold our interest with every single word. Your attention to detail is awesome. For being 20 years later...you described it like it was actually happening! What a great experience. You have such a wonderful and true friendship with Joan. What a great post!

mistress maddie said...

What a great story! While I never met her I did send her flowers once(a long story) and I got a thank-you note back from her. Yea, I think she is pretty cool!

Wonder Man said...

that's so cool and I love the glasses

Doug said...

Ummmm... The eighties/early nineties were not kind to eye-wear.

Laura said...

Oh, those glasses! Didn't you know about contacts? ;-)

Alice said...

How nice that 19 years later you are better looking with time passing - not many people can say that, it usually goes the other way.

Ann B. said...

Ok, loved the story but how old were you???? 10?

Michael Rivers said...

Hi Ann,

Yes, I was 10. Was there ever a question?

Anne said...

Loved it! I even copied and downloaded the divinely dated photo to both my Joan archive and my “friends” archive.

Terry said...

Many thanks for sharing this story! I loved the photo.

David said...

You were so cute! And you get more handsome every year. It's amazing you've been interested in her for so long.

Michael Rivers said...

Hi David,

I thought I was rather cute too. HAHA.

T said...

You were cute then too...

Rose said...

Wow -- that is fantastic!

Jan B. said...

Now THAT'S a couple! Have a good one!

Maria said...

too cute...

Cathie C. said...

Too funny.

Tom M. said...

A belated Happy Anniversary! Loved it and I can just imagine how excited you were.

Kathy H. said...

God, I love that woman!!!!!!

Jan G. said...

I love it! And you do look much better now. Joan looks the same I think. You know, I read her autobiography years ago and just loved it. Loved reading about her starting in the business. She's really very cool. I didn't watch Celebrity Apprentice but I'm glad she won.