Opening night of the festival, there was a rumor running through the crowd that Jack Black was there. His supposed presence made no sense to me, and no Jack Black was seen.
But tonight, I did spot a familiar face in the crowd before the first show. I wondered, "Is that..?"
So I ventured over and said, "Johnny?" And sure enough, Johnny Legend it was. Johnny Legend...the inspiring rockabilly singer. Johnny Legend...the co-writer and director of the cult film My Breakfast with Blassie (1983) that starred Andy Kaufman and wrestler Freddy Blassie. Johnny Legend...whom you may have seen as "Skinny Corpse" in 1989's Bride of Re-Animator. Johnny Legend...all-around talented and offbeat guy, not to be confused with the boring singer John Legend. Yes, it was the real Johnny Legend standing there in the lobby of the Castro Theatre tonight.
One of the best nights I ever had out was when Johnny Legend played the DNA Lounge. The evening started with a showing of the obscure 1968 movie, The Monster and the Stripper, which starred singer Sleepy LaBeef as "The Swamp Thing." Then a great local rockabilly group called the Honky Tonk Angels played. (I can still recall the song "Never No More.") Then Johnny acted as referee in a Mexican style monster wrestling match. And then, to cap the evening off, Johnny and his band played a smoking hot set (featuring special guest vocalist Tony Conn) with old sci-fi and monster movies clips projected behind them. Best of all, the entire evening was free, because the DNA was trying to compete with a sold-out Mudhoney show next door.
So, it was nice to have an honest-to-goodness celebrity sighting at the film festival, and it was great to be able to personally thank Mr. Johnny Legend for the many times I've enjoyed his performances. He was gracious, we chatted for a minute, and then he hit the snack bar.
As for the movies tonight, one from Spain and one from Norway, they were both winners. As with the others, more to come in a few days...