I have autograph dreams (I just read that in a Martin Luther King, Jr. voice). They happen about once a week. I once dreamed I got onto the Queen tour bus, and everyone signed the “A Night at the Opera” album (perfect white background for a black Sharpie), except Freddie. I kept following him around bugging him, and in my dream, my mind said -- wait, Mercury is dead. How is this possible? That logic woke me up.
I’ve had dreams where I was meeting McCartney, but didn’t have anything for him to sign, so I quickly drove home to grab a Beatles album, only to return and he was gone.
There are dreams where I had a Sharpie that wasn’t working.
I’m sure you all have similar dreams. Well, another thing my brain does when it comes to autographs, and I’m not proud of this -- I wonder what will happen to a persons collection once they die.
The first time I thought about this was when my friend one a Les Paul guitar signed by Les Paul. Since he had always bugged me for one of my McCartney autographs, I told him if I died I’d leave it to him in my will; but only if he left me his Les Paul. He agreed, and we both laughed about it.
A friend of my stepfathers had a basketball signed by the 1973 New York Knicks (with many Hall of Famers). He was competing in a tournament at half time as a kid, and that was his prize for winning. As he walked off the court, he saw Joe Namath in the front row. He asked him to sign the ball. That basketball was sitting in a storage unit and he said he’d give it to me. I told him I’d buy it, and he said he wouldn’t think of taking money from me. Well, he died a month after that conversation. Believe it or not, when his daughter called to tell me about his passing (they were estranged), I worked up the nerve to call her back a few days later and tell her he promised me the ball. I was smart enough to add, “But...I’d gladly pay you for it.”
I never got a call back.
Well, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going through a bout of lung cancer. She’s recovering, but has missed a month of Supreme Court arguments.
There’s an interesting documentary on her that came out last year called RBG (it was nominated for an Oscar). The filmmakers behind that found out Ginsburg was a big movie fan. My wife loves the fact that when Armie Hammer met with her, after being signed on to play her husband (in the movie On the Basis of Sex), she couldn’t take her eyes off him. Who could? We were once talking to him at the bar of the Critics’ Choice awards, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. But I digress.
The filmmakers decided to start getting Hollywood stars to sign a get well card to her. That list includes Steven Spielberg, Amy Adams, Ted Danson, Helen Mirren, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Quincy Jones, Spike Lee (who was nominated for his first directing Oscar), Glenn Close (who will win her first Oscar for the amazing film The Wife), Regina King (who got a nomination for If Beale Street Could Talk) wrote in the card, that she’s the true Super Diva (RBG wore a shirt while exercising that had that on it).
Beale director Barry Jenkins signed the card, and director Spike Lee referred to her as the “Judge of Brooklyn.”
Director Ron Howard also put his John Hancock on it.
Laura Dern wrote “You are our grand reminder to use voice to fight for truth.”
A few talk show folks signed the card, including Stephen Colbert and Meredith Vieira.
And how did filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen get all these autographs? They brought the huge card along with them during awards seasons events over the past few weeks, including the Directors and Producers Guild Awards, the Oscar nominees luncheon, BAFTA, and the awards show I got to attend and vote on -- the Critics’ Choice Awards (the photos of me are from the awards this year, with Oscar nominated Willem Dafoe and director of the best movie of the year -- Green Book -- Peter Farrelly).
Now, when Ginsburg first went to the hospital, it brought up the debates people had when President Obama was in office. Many felt she should retire, so that he could name another Supreme Court justice. She didn’t feel the same on the matter, and now Trump is the President. If she should pass away in the next two years, many are going to freak when he names another Republican to the seat (you saw what people did to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, which quite frankly, was one of the most disgraceful personal attacks I’ve ever seen). If Trump is in office another six years, well….Ginsburg would have to live to be 91 to keep that from happening.
Yet all I keep thinking now is...when she passes away, which one of her kids will get this card autographed by Hollywood’s biggest names?
I met a guy last weekend who worked with Paul McCartney when he was working sound for the Ed Sullivan Theatre. He told me great stories about how nervous Sir Paul was when he had to perform “Yesterday” by himself on stage. McCartney wrote him a few letters after that, as well as a Christmas card. The guy said, “I have two sons, and I can already tell they’re going to be fighting each other after I die, over who gets the McCartney stuff.”