Thursday 3 May 2012

Doppelgänger - A New York Moment

In New York on one of my occasional Stateside trips to visit relatives, I was walking on The Bowery one balmy evening in 2005, zigzagging across the street between the gridlocked traffic.

'Hey man...' a voice called out from an open car window, '..hey...Robyn Hitchcock...I love your music...' 

At the time my grey hair was fairly unkempt and I was wearing a black & white polka dot shirt. I'm also quite tall, so I guess it's a plausible mistake, not to mention a flattering one - I've been a fan of the great man since The Soft Boys' 'A Can of Bees' LP in 1979.

I half-smiled in the guy's direction as the traffic moved on and then noticed a small spring in my step. It was the first time I'd ever been mistaken for someone even slightly well-known - and it was someone I liked!

My second experience as a doppelgänger (this time of a different musician) was in the same city a few years later and in a slightly more public arena....but that's another story. 

For now here's Robyn in 2010, performing a pretty obscure 1988 b-side and a long-time favourite song, Ghost Ship.

(I met Robyn Hitchcock once in the late 1990s and neither of us - or anyone else in the room - remarked upon any physical similarities between us!)


C said...

That's a great story! And a good doppelganger to have! I've fond memories of coming home from work (record shop work) with 'Underwater Moonlight' and playing it to death for some time...
I've never had a famous doppelganger, but seem to have a lookalike in my nearest town - people keep waving, saying hello, even stopping to chat (that gets awkward) in the street and I haven't a clue who they are. At least the person I'm being mistaken for does seem to be quite popular, but I wonder who she is?!
I am married to someone who at various times has been 'mistaken' for Bill Wyman, Marc Almond, Ron Wood... then in later years was told he looked like Bob Dylan! And Gene Wilder!??? I don't know quite what people are seeing but it isn't the same as I see at all!

flycasual said...

Ha, nice story....I'm a fat Matt Damon apparently. I'll take that, thank you!

The Swede said...

That's quite a band you're married to, C!

I wonder who your lookalike is - and if your friends stop her in the street for a chat?

(On the subject of doppelgängers, do you remember a 1970s Roger Moore film called 'The Man Who Haunted Himself'? Much darker than his usual stuff. Freaked me out when I first saw it as a young lad!)

The Swede said...

I'm told that Matt Damon is often mistaken for a slimmer flycasual....!

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