Secondhand Celebrity!

Lillie Jayne
Musician, Writer, and Waitress extraordinaire

Celebrity Encounter: Bjork

The Encounter:
It was a gray New York afternoon in the spring of 2001, and it was a ridiculously rainy day outside. I would guess April showers. At the time I was writing for a hip-hop and techno music website, and I had to go into the building where our parent company was located to pick up records for reviewing. As I ducked into the building out of the rain, I saw the elevator doors ahead of me starting to close. A funky looking girl was inside. I screamed for her to hold the elevator. She held it for me and when I entered the elevator, it was Bjork.

Bjork as a clown
A Photoshop reenactment by Sarah Feuquay.

As a writer and a musician, you can understand that I nearly passed out. She is one of the artists that I most admire -- everything she writes is so beautiful and fun and has so much integrity without being pretentious. She is also someone I always wanted to know. But of course I was incredibly shy. I wasn't going to say anything to her at all, because I didn't want to invade her privacy. But when I saw something that caught my eye I couldn't keep my big mouth shut.

What was she wearing?
She had on this large, dark trapeze-cut coat, and around her neck was one of those ruffles, much like a clown would wear or an Elizabethan royal. I believe it was yellow, but I can't remember colors so well. On the ends of her shoes were these large pom-poms -- it was clown chic. But of course she looked lovely and not as silly as it sounds. She looked very cute and young, and she was about the same size as me, which surprised me because one always pictures people they admire as being larger than life. Anyhow, when I saw the pom poms on her feet, I very shyly said with a smile, "Nice pom poms."

She got very excited and said to me, "They're from Greece!", and when I got excited, too and said, "Really?!" she said, "Yeah, they're from a traditional farmer costume in Greece!" and we commented on how cool and funny that was, and laughed, something to that extent. Then I said to her, "All farmers should wear pom poms on their feet!" And she agreed with me and we laughed and she got off the elevator.

Could you smell her? What did she smell like?
I really can't recall, but for some reason I keep getting a powdery, flowery smell memory but I could just be making that up. We were wet from the rain, anyway.

How sure are you that it was in fact actually Bjork? And not just a lookalike?
Please. There is no such thing as a Bjork lookalike. At least not on this planet.

In light of this encounter, do you think Bjork is a misunderstood genius or just a Nordic nutjob?
Most definitely the former. She's just a brilliant artist who is creative and fun who has people in her face analyzing her all the time. She's just an amazing girl that most people would probably love to know.

What celebrity would you most like to have an encounter with?
Honestly, she is definitely up there already, because I have always wanted to work with her musically. It is hard to say who you would like to meet, because it is not very often that you would get to really say what you wanted to say to them, and there are a lot of people I admire but wouldn't necessarily want to meet. I have been in love with both Beck and Thom Yorke since I was in high school; a sort of thing where I felt that I knew and understood them and wanted to create music with them. I have also been in love with Jon Stewart for years. And I also have a schoolgirl crush on Liv Tyler. So maybe it's lots of different levels of my psyche we're working with.

How has meeting Bjork changed your life?
It helped me to realize that all of the people whose work I admire are really also just people, and that the only difference between me and them is the level, accessibility and visibility of their achievements. It also made me realize that it is a very big decision to become a public artist and accept fame, because you lose your privacy forever. Everyone always knows who you are and what you do and you are constantly exposed. It made me really happy to be anonymous.

Read more Secondhand Celebrity stories

Top of page