This post is inspired by the number one prompt this week from Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: “Write about an experience you have had with a celebrity.”
My father works in broadcast television. Something like 17 years ago, he and one of his friends founded a company called VideoLink. VideoLink provides satellite and fiber-optic transmission services for live TV production (that is a gross over-simplification, but it is not important to the post). They started with one little, hole-in-the-wall studio in Watertown, MA (just outside of Boston) and have now grown to having facilities in Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia along with four satellite trucks. In the early days, I used to work for my father almost every weekend, then as the company grew I got replaced more and more. Then I got old enough that I was useful again every now and then. In any event, working for my father allowed me to meet some pretty interesting people.
This story is from 2001. If my memory and wikipedia are correct, it was March 6 to be exact. Well, it all really started the day before. It was a relatively normal day except that my father was staying a little late at the office. He called me and asked me to find him a nice photo of a beach. So I hopped on the computer (I don’t remember if we were still on dial-up or not at that point) and started searching for beach photos. At the same time it was snowing like crazy outside. I had no idea what the photo was for, but when I found one I emailed it off to him and that was that.
When my father finally got home that night I think we had already known that there was not going to be any school the next day. My father got in and asked if I would come to work with him the next day to take some still photos of the shoot that they would be doing. He also told me what was going on, Aerosmith was going to be in the studio doing promotion for the release of their album: Just Push Play. They were scheduled to be live on TRL on MTV with Carson Daily, but the snow storm closed the airports and they couldn’t fly out of Boston.
Since the band was stuck in Boston they would still go live on TRL but from boston. The beach photo was going to be green screened in behind the band and they lounged around and then Carson would ask them about the release of the album. At this point they ran outside and got on a dogsled and sledded to a record store to deliver the albums.
Well, for starters, Boston is under quite a bit of snow now so everything is closed. They had to call all over the city to find a record store that was willing to open to do the shoot. Then we had to call as many people as we could so that there would be a crowd of fans at the record store and at the studio for when they left on the dogsled. Of course they also needed to find a dogsled as well. It is quite amazing what you can do on short notice. It was all organized by the morning!
So, I spent the day following Aerosmith around and dogsledding with them. The photos I took do exist somewhere, probably in the archives at VideoLink. At the time I was shooting on film, so I don’t have access to files right now. While we were shooting one of the dogsled scenes I actually got to talk to Steven Tyler. I don’t really remember what he said to me. after that though, they almost ran over my dad with the dogsled and he ended up with a pretty good gash in his leg.
In all, it was probably one of the best snow days that I have ever had. I mean, I got to meet Aerosmith. I know that I have an autographed CD back at my parent’s house. Pretty cool.