It happens sometimes: When the biggest stars and moguls appear before the press at the TV Critics summer press tour in California, outsiders can break into the room in hopes of that big break.
There was an aspiring actress who befriended some critics a few years back, just so she could sneak into a session where Steven Spielberg was going to be.
This year, a grizzled, fairly familiar looking guy ufamiliar with the customs of the press conference took a front row seat at the David Geffen session and got off a question.
“I was just curious if you ever, in your past, have come across an album of astrology songs…”
“Astrology songs?” Geffen puzzled.
“OK, thank you.”
“American Masters” producer Susan Lacy was curious about this odd inquiry.
“I wrote the album,” he said. “I wrote the songs. There’s a sign for each sign of the Zodiac. It’s on YouTube. You can go to ‘astrology songs’ and see a video clip of your sign. And the reason I asked it is because I was just curious how much penetration I’ve gotten with it.”
Not so much, apparently.
Though it was a room full of entertainment journalists, it seems nobody else had heard of cult artist and fringe folksingers Harvey Sid Fisher, who has been touring around playing his album of “Astrology Songs” for decades.
I hadn’t seen him since a gig in Austin that Geffen might have marveled at: a big loud crowd, shouting out their sings, and Harvey Sid responding with the accompanying song, from Taurus (“talkin’ bout the Taurus, talkin’ about the bully bull bull”) to Aires “I am I am I am the ram”).
As he was being talked to sternly by PBS officials after the session, I was the only one to say hello to him. He said he was credentialed by Hollywood Today website, but thought it was worth a shot to attend.
He isn’t touring quite as much these days, but he’s still out there hustling for what he believed in, much like the kid at William Morris who lied about his college credentials to get a job in showbiz.
Late at night, he sent me some info as well as links to his crazy videos, that must have been shot 30 years ago, in a tuxedo and with dancers.
See it here, Geffen, and weep: