"I read a lot of mags, online sites, etc. and I always wonder what ppl think about the celebrities and what they are saying about the paparazzi. Some say they are vicious, others not. What do you think?
Living in Aspen, I have seen a LOT of paparazzi B/S going on. For the most part they are like flies buzzing around your head. You just want to swat them! I was around celebrities all the time since I lived and worked there and so did they. I watched the dynamics of paparazzi vs celebrity and most of the time it wasn't an agreeable partnership. Most of the time you could see the disgrace on the faces of those being hounded by those pesky photographers.
There was an instance in town that I remember, quite vividly. I was at Carl's Pharmacy with John one morning. I took a ride with him into town from Windstar. We went to the pharmacy. I remember going in the back and saying hello to my friend, Marie Kuen. She ran the mini mart in the back of the store. It had snacks, drinks and odds and ends. It was mostly for tourists but I stopped in there every time I was in town. I was addicted to their chocolate milk. Anyway... I heard John raise his voice. It wasn't unpleasantly so, but it was enough that it got my attention so I trotted back up into the front of the store to see what was up. Well it was PAPARAZZI badgering him. I knew them well. They are like wolves, hunting and circling their prey to bring it down for the kill. John was a pro when it came to the paparazzi. He was genuine and he was really a NICE, down to earth guy. What you saw was exactly what you got.
So, knowing that fact, the wolves always took advantage. JD was great. They knew he was a good interview, he always had a smile. I walked up behind him to try and interrupt the moment. I was tryng, I guess, to 'save' him from THEM. I was 16 years old. So I just kept saying, "John can we go? When can we go? We need to go, we're going to be late." The reporter was spewing that something was going on with JD about a moving violation involving him and the reporter was adamantly trying to get JD to make a comment, one way or another, about the situation. At this time I knew nothing of the incident and I knew that he was trying to 'escape' without having to be confronted. It was good that I was there because I was the scapegoat.
After they tried to get him, several times, to talk about the alleged moving violation ( that was the phrase that kept going around and I wondered what the heck a moving violation was!!) he finally had just about enough. I saw his jaw stiffen as he clenched his teeth but he never yelled. He smiled and he softly stated, "If you don't mind, we were just leaving." and he took my hand and we walked out of Carl's Pharmacy, got back in the jeep and drove around the block.
On that ride around the block, he taught me something about journalists that I'll NEVER, EVER, EVER forget. I was angry at the paparazzi for badgering him in the store like that and making him feel so uncomfortable. I asked JD why he didn't get upset and tell the guy to take a hike and he told me this, "Each of us has a job, his job is to take pictures and get a story. If he doesn't, he doesn't get paid. My job is to write and sing songs. If I don't, I don't get paid." I didn't ask him what a 'moving violation' was. I didn't say much at all. I just sort of sat there wondering about what the reporter was trying to get at and WHY. I never did ask JD about the moving violation but I did learn later on that it meant a 'speeding ticket'!!
Paparazzi have a place. They are necessary, but they need to be tactful and respect personal space boundaries. When they step beyond those boundaries is when they become annoying and even dangerous.