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You're Not Famous . . . Until You've Had Your Picture Taken With This Man

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Paul Walton with, clockwise from top left, Madonna, David Letterman, Hillary Clinton, and Leo DiCaprio.  

BACKSTAGE AT THE GRAMMYS

Hiya! Paul Walton from San Diego! Hi! How are ya! Omigod! There's the host! What's her name? What the dickens is her name -- Rosie! Hi! Rosie! Paul Walton from San Diego! You did so great, Rosie! You were great! Great! You were -- oh, hi! It's Paul Walton from San Diego! I thought I recognized you! Let's get a picture! Thank you! No, I'm still single! One of these days, I'm going to find the girl of my dreams! Hey! How are you? Hi! Paul Wa -- Oooooooooh! There's the Dixie Chicks! Omigod! What's that Dixie Chick's name? I wish I had my camera! I just gave somebody my camera! Where's the gentleman I gave my camera to? I'm going to try to locate him -- geez! I feel naked. I have three rolls of film and no camera. It's almost like I have no pants. Oh! There he is! Wheew! Okay. Okay. I got the camera. The Dixie Chicks are great! What's your name? Martie Seidel! Thank God I have my camera back. Martie! Could I ask you for one quick picture? You're great! Paul Walton from San Diego. I own a hotel in Escondido. Health spa and resort. I'd like to give you my card. You can come and sleep over! I love life! This is like climbing the highest, highest mountain! John Tesh! Hi, I'm Paul Walton! Somebody as tall as me! The Hite Report! I have to get my camera! This is the problem, I keep giving my camera to people and -- Hi! Paul Walton! Oh! It's Martie Seidel again! John, may I have one quick picture? Wow! With John Tesh!

THE ZEIT GUY

-- You're filtering the Zeitgeist, Paul.

-- The Zeit guys, who do you mean? What Zeit guys?

-- ZzzziiiiiiTTTT! GiiiisssssTTTT!

-- Oh! I've heard of that term -- what is it?

-- You're capturing the trend of the moment -- i.e., celebrity.

-- Yeah, I'm the living date-time stamp. You know how some people want their photographs stamped with the date and time? I hate that. My date-time stamp is myself in the pictures. I can look at my hairstyle and suit in a photo and tell you exactly what date and time it was taken. And next year if everybody says the Zeitgeist of Celebrity is over and it's suddenly the Zeitgeist of Hurricanes or the Zeitgeist of Natural Wonders, I'll be the Zeit Guy there too. You should see my majestic pictures of Hurricane Bob! And the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, the Matterhorn, and Plitvice in Yugoslavia. Because all I'm doing is recording the historical moment.

THE FOOD LINE

I'm looking for the girl of my dreams. I know she's out there somewhere, so I'm events-oriented. I'm not celebrity-oriented. I'm events-oriented.

I went to Hurricane Hugo. I went to the falling of the Berlin Wall, the earthquake in San Francisco, the bombing in Oklahoma City the next day. I was at the Mississippi floods. I'd love to be a hero. I'd love to save someone, and if it happens to be a pretty girl, it wouldn't be a bad way of meeting.

Clinton's bus tour? I got on his bus at Lexington and rode all the way to St. Louis! Whether it's a special event, a tragic event, a celebrity event -- these are the defining moments of my life.

I'm not going to the Academy Awards to take a picture with any specific actor or actress. I'm going for the event. These actors and famous people, politicians, musicians, whatever, they're just an ancillary thing. They happen to be there and they happen to be in my food line. So, gosh, I might as well talk to them. But the primary thing is just going to the event and finding the girl of my dreams. I go to the Polo matches in the Hamptons, spring break in Daytona Beach, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the Jazz Festival in New Orleans, the Grammys, the Earth Summit, the MTV Awards, the inaugurations, the United Nations Commission on Truth in El Salvador, Cannes, Fantasy Fest in Key West, Telluride, natpe, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines looking for a cornfed girl, the Golden Globes, Carnival in Rio, National Press Club lunches, the Vermont Maple Syrup Celebration, the one-hundredth anniversary of North Dakota . . .


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