I'm not one who lives vicariously through the lives of the rich and famous. People are people and we all poop the same way.
On the other hand, the whole six degrees of separation thing intrigues me too. If you're not familiar with the idea, it was once proposed in a book by the same name that you can connect any two people in the world with no more than 6 other people in between. You know someone who knows someone who knows someone else. A recent paper proved that the concept is very real.
I know some well known people. I bet most people do. This very entry came to mind because I recently communicated by email with a friend of a friend and I discovered that I am quite familiar with him and his work. He had no idea who I was but I knew who he was. To balance it all out, and of course stroke my ego, there are a few well known people that drooled over me because they read one of my books or used some of my software.
So who do I know personally that you may have heard of?
I went to high school (in Willits, California) with Mona Gnader and the late Jeff Buckley. Mona is the bassist for Sammy Hagar. I found this out a while back when just searching on random names of people I remembered from school. The thing I remember most about Mona is she always said Hi to me when we hung out near the band room at lunch time. I know little about her life since then. Her name just popped into my head and I was glad to see she did well for herself. What I remember about Jeff Buckley is that his rendition of "Stairway to Heaven" at our final high school concert was phenomenal. On the same day I looked up Mona's name, I looked up Jeff's and found out that he had died a couple weeks before my search. I tried to look up a guy named Jeff Alcorn too but had no luck. He was one hell of a drummer. We weren't buddies but he was always cordial. The last time I saw him was 2 years after high school at the July 4 carnival. He walked up to me, saw a tiny christian IXOYE fish pinned on me, smiled, said the words it stood for in both Greek and English and then walked away.
I know Hal Wagonette who has a gold record from when he was in the group "It's a Beautiful Day" I've messed around in his studio with my good friend Kurt Kroh. Tre' Cool from Green Day is also from my home town but I don't think we ever met. Maybe he had a different last name. I know Craig Anderton who is well known by anyone into electronics and music. We met at Kurt's home one late night when Craig came over to check out some MIDI stuff Kurt was working on. He ended up giving me a ride home that night.
My mother's has a few notable associations too. She lived around the block from Lily Tomlin and played at her house. She also went to school with Freda Payne who sang "Band of Gold." I love that song.
One of the most interesting connection points was when I was talking to a customer of mine on the east coast. Out of nowhere he asks me if I know a guy named Randy. His friend Randy lived in the same area code as me so he assumed that I must know him. Millions upon millions of people lived in my same area code. I named off the only Randy I knew, a man who lived 230 miles away from me and lo and behold it was the same Randy he knew. That was just plain weird. Weirder still, it turned out that there was a group of 5 people, including me and the other two guys who all knew each other but nobody knew that the others knew each other, if that makes any sense. All pairs, no triads. Wild.
None of this means a damn thing in the grand scheme of things but it's interesting to note the connection points between myself and others.
Here is an interesting news story about the physics of friendships and social networking.