Now that Exile on Carson Street is over (and was a great success), I can finally brag about my one true brush with fame and stardom. I’ve been waiting patiently. My time has come. Are you ready? Okay. Here goes.
I once met Mick Jagger.
You may touch me now, if you have five dollars.
It’s true. I met him. The whole story will be included in my tell-all book, “My Life with Mick Jagger”, in bookstores this Christmas. When something this Earth-shattering and life-changing happens to a person, I feel as though it is that person’s God-given right, no, his obligation, to charge people $29.95 to read about it. And so, this Christmas, a book, by me. If you’re like me, too busy meeting big rock stars to sit down and read, I’ll encapsulate the 360-odd pages into a short tale.
It was in New York, winter 1987. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was quarter ‘til nine in the morning. I was on an elevator. The doors opened and there he stood, alone, dressed in a blue jogging outfit. He strode onto the elevator and as the doors closed, we shared a conversation I will never forget. It changed my life and I’m sure it had an impact on him as well. It was one of those moments in a person’s life so cataclysmic that it is crystallized in the brain.
He looked at me.
I looked at the floor.
“Hello,” I said.
“Good morning,” Mick replied.
And then I said, “Daaaaaaaarrrrrgggghphhhht.”
The rest of the ride was had in silence. We’d both said everything that needed to be said. We connected, and we knew it would be forever. The elevator doors opened. Jagger walked out of my life. As the doors closed, I mumbled, “Nice to Mick you, meet.”
Nice to Mick you?!
I don’t know what it is about celebrity status that makes me an idiot. I’ve interviewed many famous people in person or by telephone. Some have made me slightly nervous, but I’ve never been a babbling idiot, at least, not like I am when away from my job. Put me in a radio studio, give me the specific duty of chatting with Jack Nicholson about his latest movie or Paul McCartney about his upcoming Super Bowl halftime show and I am a composed, professional machine. Question, question, question, answer, answer, answer, smile, smile, chat, chat, and a nice handshake on the way out the door. However, once removed from the life preserver of a studio microphone, I completely fall apart, whether it’s Mick Jagger on an elevator or the local weather guy walking out of a Starbucks at the mall.
“Hey! Jeff Ver-siz-la!"
“Yeah. Thanks. Good to see you again.”
It’ll all be in my new book, “My Life with Jeff Ver-siz-la”.
After my brain was reduced to Spam in what will surely be my only chance to stand within two feet of a legend, I wanted to tell someone. I was in New York by myself on a radio gig. I don’t know anyone in New York. I told the first person I saw, a guy on the street. “I just met Mick Jagger!” I said enthusiastically. He smiled and replied that fish had eaten his bicycle. As soon as I got back to my hotel room, I called home to Pittsburgh. “You’ll never guess who I just met in an elevator!” I said to my wife. “Mick Jagger!”
“Really?” she answered. “What did he say?”
“He said ‘Good morning’!” I shouted into the phone. “He said good morning to me!”
“You didn’t fall apart and act like a total retard again, like you did when you met Gilligan, did you?” she asked.
There are advantages and disadvantages in living with someone for nearly three decades. One advantage is they know you well. One disadvantage is they know you very well.
“You didn’t touch him or anything, did you? Did you make any sense or did you just mumble?”
“Well,” I answered truthfully. “I didn’t touch him. And I said hello.”
“That’s an improvement,” the wife said into the phone. "After what happened with Grandpa Munster.
Mick is hosting Saturday NIght Live this week. You may sit very close t your TV, but you'll never be as close as he and I once were. The two of us once shared a moment, an elevator, and ruined at least one pair of underwear.