#126-#131: RATT, White Zombie, Todd Barry, Tracey Ullman, Vince Vaughan, Warren G.

The Simpsons’ baby mama. I love her.

#126: RATT’s Stephen Pearcy: One of the few hair bands that I still love, RATT came through Tampa in the late 90s, and I interviewed both Pearcy and Brett Michaels of co-headliners, Poison. I don’t remember much about either of those two guys, except that Pearcy carried a chipped shoulder over having to alternate headlining slots with Poison. “Back on the Strip it was always them opening for us,” he claimed. He seemed kind douchey. Pearcy currently stars in a brand new Geico commercial, fronting his band in the attic of a couple whose new home is having “RATT problems.”

#127: Sean Yseult of White Zombie: The bassist has lived in New Orleans full-time for a long while now. I see her everywhere. She plays in bands with my friends. I interviewed her once for a woman’s magazine, then again for the release of her photography book, then for Gambit Weekly about her band Star & Dagger. The first time we met, I went by her big purple New Orleans house, and interviewed her between the coffin and rack of candles in her den. She seemed nice enough.

#128: Todd Barry: I really like Berry’s comedy, but I’d forgotten he was performing at the tiny Dragon’s Den, when I just happened to be outside leaning against the club’s front window one night. Berry walked out and right up to my friends and I. A little drunk, I stood straight up, “Oh wow! Man, I love you!” He smiled and went to shake my hand, until I said, “I totally forgot you were performing tonight!” His smile vanished: “You weren’t at the show?” he asked and walked off.

#129: Tracey Ullman: True comedy goddess. Mother of the Simpsons! I was at a book party at a bar one night in L.A., there to visit author Jerry Stahl, who brutally brushed me off. As I hung at the bar alone people-watching, I saw Tracey fucking Ullman darting around the room, as if looking for someone she couldn’t find. I felt my blood pressure rise, because I LOVE HER. I always think no famous person can impress me, but amazing artists sure can. It felt nice just to be in the room with a true comedy hero, and get to watch her a little, though she didn’t seem happy. But on my way out to the cab we exited the door at the same time and we organically said hello to each other, and I will never forget looking down into the cute, smiling face of Tracey fucking Ullman.

#130: Vince Vaughn: One night out drinking in the French Quarter, I found myself in El Matador on the corner of Esplanade and Decatur. Fairly lit already, I ordered a drink from the bartender before realizing he was actor Vince Vaughn. His buddy Rio Hackford, son of director Taylor Hackford, played a small part in Swingers and now owned El Matador. I remember VV as a good, nice, attentive bartender, especially impressive on a packed night. I asked those around me if he was raising money for a charity or something, before I didn’t tip VV, since he’s rich.

#131: Warren G: I happened to find a Warren G Regulate t-shirt at the thrift store in Tampa, Florida, and rocked it till the wheels fell off. I wore it to work in the empty newsroom one Saturday, a couple days after I had covered the Up In Smoke tour, on which Warren G had performed. As I typed the morning obituaries, the phone rang. “Yes, I am with the Up In Smoke tour, and I think you should write a story about how poorly it’s being run,” a man began. “I have some inside information that I think you’d be very interested in.” I wrote down his words as the man went on like this for a while. I told him the tour had left Florida, and I wasn’t sure if our paper would do an investigative piece, but I promised to pass his info on to my editors on Monday morning. I asked for his contact info, and also his name. “This is Warren G, man.” Suddenly, recognizing the voice, I blurted, “I am wearing a Warren G t-shirt right now, at this moment.” This coincidence did not impress Warren G.

Michael Patrick Welch’s “132 Famous People I Have Met” series is FREE, but please consider donating to his VENMO (michael-welch-42), or to his PayPal account (paypal.me/michaelpatrickwelch2), so he can feed his kids, pay his mortgage, etc.

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