Friday, June 27, 2008

Story Time...

For every story I tell on this site there are 50 I can't.  More accurately, won't - for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, I don't want to be "that guy."  Secondly, I still work in the industry and don't want to burn any bridges...yet.

That said, I will share this next one because it's results have been all over the internet for a few years...but I was there.  I am not breaking a story, just telling it through my eyes.

Flashback to 1996.  Jewel has just put out her first record.  I have a mad crush on her.  Not an "Uma Thurman" stalker crush, a crush like all da ladies like McDreamy or whatever the fuck his name is.

I am low level producer on a shoot and Jewel is a guest.  My boss knows I think she is awesome so I am put in charge of her for the day.  She arrives and I take her and her A&R person to her trailer.  I ask her if she would like some water.  I reach into the RV's fridge and when I turn around...she is topless.

Now, this is not "making a move" topless.  She just got off a plane, wanted to change clothes and obviously - was not shy.  I was stunned.  I didn't know what to do.  I could tell the A&R woman couldn't believe she disrobed in front of me either.  I politely looked at the ground and excused myself.

I must have been beet red because my boss asked if everything was ok.  I didn't want to say anything because I guess I was afraid this would some how be twisted around and become my fault and I would be fired.  MTV's relationship with a platinum selling artist is much more valuable than me so it would have meant nothing to throw me under the bus.

My girlfriend (now my wife) was there working as well and eventually she or someone got it out of me.  I saw Jewel's boobies!  It was then immediately announced over the entire production's walkie talkies.  "Adam saw Jewels t*ts!"

Flash forward to 2002, maybe 2003?  I have been at MTV for 11 years and "Jewel's t*ts" has become one of those stories that the "old timers" laugh about.  I don't recall ever bringing it up myself, but whenever a Jewel song or video came on I would hear, "Hey Adam, remember the time..."

Well here I am running MTV's flagship show, TRL.  A trademark of the show was an old style photobooth we had backstage.  We would have all the guests sit in it and take photos for the studio wall and we also had a little lipstick camera in there so we could cut to it live.  "There's Britney Spears in the TRL photobooth.  She's up right after the break..."  Like this...

So on this particular day the guest is none other than Jewel.  We are in the control room and sure enough, "Hey Adam, remember the time..."  All the "youngsters" want to hear the story and I am coaxed into telling it.  Afterwards one of the old time executives says, "You know, I never said anything, but that story is bullshit.  She would never do that."

"If you say so," I reply.
"You're telling me that she got topless in front of you?  Why you?" he says.
"Well, I don't think it was personal. She just must be very...comfortable."
"Bullshit," he says again.

I have nothing to prove so I don't push the issue.  I didn't bring it up in the first place.

Suddenly, as if on cue, a crew member yells, "Holy crap!  Look at that!"  He is pointing to a little black and white screen in the corner of our control room's massive monitor wall.  It happens to be the screen that shows the camera in the photobooth.

There is Jewel and her rodeo star boyfriend taking some"personal" pictures.

"I told you she's not shy."

As we are watching with our mouths open we can actually see the moment when they notice there is a camera in the booth.  "Oh shit," we read on their lips.

:30 seconds later there is a knock on the control room door.  Jewel's A&R person (the same one from the RV all those years ago) would like to speak to me.  It is obvious that she knows what happened but she wants to find out how much I know, without tipping her hat in case I don't know.

HER:  "How's it going?"
ME:    "Good.  Really good.  She was great on the show."
HER:  "Yeah.  Hey, I was wondering - that photobooth, does it save copies of the photos in there?"
ME:   "Save them?  No, the ones it spits out are the only photos made."
HER:  "Ok, cool."

I am trying not to crack up because I know she just wants to blurt out, "DID ANYONE SEE JEWEL'S BOYFRIEND SUCKING ON HER T*TS IN THE PHOOTBOOTH!"

HER:  "One more question. There is a camera in there, right?"
ME:    "A little lipstick camera we use for bumpers and stuff, sure."
HER:  "And that camera, does it go on the air live?"
ME:    "If we select that camera it does, otherwise it just feeds into the control room."

At this point I can't take it anymore.

ME:   "Take a deep breath.  Yes, we all saw what she was doing in there.  But it didn't go farther than the control room."
HER:  "And the tape?"
ME:    "There is no tape.  That camera is not isolated.  It only goes to tape if our director selects it and he didn't."
HER:  "Ok, phew.  (long reflective pause) Hey you've seen her boobs a lot haven't you?"

I go back into the control room and double check with my staff - that camera did NOT go to tape right?  No Sir. Check.  We didn't grab any digital stills while she was in there did we?  No Sir. Check.

Ok.  She is safe no one will ever know.

Clearly they lied to me.

As I said, these have been on the internet for years but the story has never been told.  So there you go.  It wasn't anything salacious or exhibitionist.  They thought they were in private...and clearly they weren't.  And yes, I added the black bar myself.

At least everyone knows I wasn't bullshitting but in all honesty a little part of me died because I was no longer the only "civilian" so see Jewel's boobies.


rg said...

A proud moment in history...

Anonymous said...

Yea, he is no "rodeo star." I dont know who was told that but, this was most likely a ploy to hide this guys real identity. This pic is not of "TY". I know "the guy" that IS in the photo personally. Don't ask cus I ain't giving that information away. EVER! I didnt even believe him till I saw the pics. I think he is so out of the loop these days that even he dosnt know about the photo's. lol... He will soon enough.