TBT: Of Elevators, the 80s, a Legendary Watch and a Legendary Hip Hop Band

In looking through my Google alerts for blog material, I noticed a “Coffee Talk Wednesdays” segment by an Oklahoma City FOX news team in which the three hosts revealed their choices — Stevie Wonder, (comic actress) Mindy Kaling and (comic actor) Will Ferrell — for who they would like to be stuck in an elevator with, and went on to conduct an audience poll. My work and, at times, personal life has brought me face to face with a few famous people. One such encounter took place in a hotel elevator in New Orleans in 1987. While the elevator was not “stuck” (it was simply traveling from floor to floor), it gave a just-out-of-high school goth/Madonna wannabe a chance to attempt to strike up a conversation with the celebrity in the elevator with me: Joseph Simmons, aka Run, Rev. Run and DJ Run of the groundbreaking hip hop band Run DMC. Noticing we sported the same “X” Swatch watch, I said, “Hey, nice watch!” To which, Rev. Run replied, “……” In other words, silence. He just stared deeply into the wall. Oh, well. He could probably tell from my attire I wasn’t exactly a hip hop fan.

(l-r) Jason Mizzell, Darry McDaniels and Joseph Simmons in an early Run DMC publicity photo

I have since learned that the “X” Swatch in question went on to be embraced by the “straight edge” punk movement that eschews alcohol and drugs. That wasn’t why I was wearing it — I simply liked the letter and the Los Angeles band, X. Anyway, original “X” Swatches became legendary and some have even sold on sites like eBay for hundreds, or even a thousand, dollars. No — I have no idea what happened to mine.

The legendary “X” Swatch, circa 1987
“Hey, nice watch!” Your author around the time of the incident

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