I used to work at Kingston Mines, a relatively famous Chicago blues club, and celebrities seemed to stop there when they were in the area. Some noteworthy people I encountered were:
- Fran Drescher, and that is her real voice. Her persona was exactly like her character on The Nanny; she nasally called me sweetheart and tipped nicely. She really is rather sexy, despite that obnoxious stereotype she portrays.
- Soul Asylum, or at least three of its members. I am not all that familiar with the band but recognized the lead singer. They were stoned, completely expressionless, hardly moved and ordered nothing.
- John Popper of Blues Traveller. He drank a rusty nail, tipped averagely and was extremely distracted by Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues onstage, with whom he wailed on harmonica later that night.
- Laura Flynn Boyle, who has been in several movies and whom I remembered fondly from Twin Peaks. She appreciated the reference but ordered nothing. She smiled a lot more than her snooty entourage and is even more petite than you might think.
- Dan Aykroyd, somewhat of a legend in the blues world thanks to his famous persona Elwood Blues. He was wearing a lowered baseball hat in an attempt at anonymity but was swamped by fans anyway and didn't stay long.
- Jay Leno filmed one week of The Tonight Show in Chicago for some reason, as you may recall. He came to our club after being rudely shoved out of a lesbian bar across the street. You have no idea how short he really is. He drank a tonic with lime.
- 98 degrees, a cheesy and talentless pop band whom I had never heard of and didn't recognize. They were apparently big among teens and daytime MTV watchers and were arrogantly offended that I regarded them as if they were just any old customers. They ended up being thrown out later that night for more arrogant behavior. Not a damn soul in the blues world knew who they were or gave a damn. They couldn't seem to accept that.
- Brian Dennehey, a big screen and Broadway actor whom you may remember as the main alien guy from the Cocoon movies. He was starring in Death of a Salesman somewhere in Chicago and hung out at our club every weekend while he was in town. He is really huge and wore a white suit and matching brimmed hat. Very jovial; a Jack Daniels drinker.
- All four members of Phish came in, but I only actually served Mike Gordon. They played three consecutive shows in Chicago last fall and came in to the Mines all three nights in the hopes to jam with blues legend Carl Weathersby. It was a really big deal; I have alot of friends who are huge Phish fans and I called them all to come in, they actually got to shoot a game of pool with Jon Fishman and thus acquire amazing bragging material for life.