Somerville – where the stars come out

On March 23, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

del_ponte_3_webLife in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte

(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)

We all know by now that President Obama once lived in Somerville. But there are lots of other famous people that have been in and out of Somerville as well. I am taking everyone’s word that the following events are true.

I recently asked my friends who was the most famous person they had ever seen visiting Somerville. I got a flood of very interesting responses.

The people mentioned that I was most impressed by were actually members of the same family, The Kennedys. One guy who lives on my street saw John F. Kennedy and his Brother Robert in Davis Square. Ted visited Somerville High School and Davis Square also. Another friend saw Jackie O on Temple Street in 1960.

Hillary Clinton visited the Edgerly school years ago.

One of my favorite experiences was when Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen spent a couple of hours at The Embassy Lounge on Somerville Ave. in the late 70’ or early 80’s. They were in town to broadcast a Pat’s game and just popped in. A friend bought former Detroit Piston Bill Laimbeer a beer at the Surrey Room. Celtics legend Bill Russell was at a Somerville corner store years ago. Cambridge Rindge and Latin alum Patrick Ewing was seen frequently in the Ville. A friend told me she crashed her car into his once.  Former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant was hanging out at a house on Belmont St., and Mo Vaughn was at Lincoln Park Community School. Hulk Hogan actually dropped into my daughter’s birthday party at the Holiday Inn in Somerville back around 1994.

Actor Chris Evans was at the Mount Vernon for his grandmother’s’ birthday party. He is Somerville coach Tom Hellen’s cousin.

A select number of people got the privilege of seeing U2 at The Somerville Theatre back in 2009, but rock stars have always hung around Somerville. The J Geils Band played at Somerville High decades ago and Aerosmith had a rehearsal space on Lowell St. for years. They also used the Somerville Police prison cell to for an album photo shoot. Other famous rockers who performed in the Ville were Bo Diddley, Peter Tork of The Monkees, The Guess Who, and The Grass Roots.

“Da Schnoz” himself, Jimmy Durante visited Somerville High once, and former fitness guru and actress Jane Fonda was seen at Brighams on Winter Hill in 1980. Remember Nan’s Sub shop across from the High School? Actors Patty Duke and John Astin were former customers. Kevin Spacey performed his Bobby Darin act at The Somerville Theatre and a guy I work with saw Tom Cruise at a house party in the early 1980’s.

I also heard that Robert Urich drove his famous green Mustang through some Somerville streets while filming an episode of Spenser for Hire. And I love this next sighting. Mr. T was signing autographs at the opening of the Brooks Pharmacy on Somerville Ave. Someone said they saw The French Chef Julia Child shopping at McKinnon’s in Davis Square (she lived in Cambridge). Farrah Fawcett Majors was supposedly at Memory Lane. Rex Trailer rode a horse in Somerville’s Memorial Day parade one year. Queen Latifah was in Casey’s.

Cam Neely and Lyndon Byers were seen in the Ville a lot back in the day (I used to see L.B. in Redbones). Cowboy and music legend Roy Rogers appeared at Somerville High years ago. Former Celtics star Hank Finkel was in Mama Gina’s around 1975. The ill-fated 1985 Super Bowl bound New England Patriots were allegedly bar hopping in Somerville before the big game.

I met Arlo Guthrie and James Taylor after a concert at Tufts. I got Arlo’s autograph on a dollar bill, then framed it.

Somerville is lucky to have produced talented entertainers such as Bobby “Boris” Pickett and my good friend actor and comedian Tony V.  Ben Affleck, Jimmy Tingle and Lenny Clarke are also talents that frequent the Ville.

So you see, Somerville is a popular place for famous people to hang around. It all started long ago with Paul Revere and George Washington, and it just keeps getting better.


11 Responses to “Somerville – where the stars come out”

  1. j. connelly says:

    Lot of stars. One of the Aerosmith lived in Somerville, used to see him and his beautiful wife/girlfriend shopping in the square. Saw famed Bruin Phil Esposito in the “ville’.

    I don’t count Obama, a Hahvud lawyer & sworn officer of the court. He moved back to Chicago & left the taxpayers of both Somerville & Cambridge with thousands of dollars in illegal parking fines from when he lived here, a true Scofflaw. Only reason the tickets finally got paid a few decades later, was when his presidential campaign committee came to MA to pay them off several months before the election so it wouldnt become an issue showing his dishonesty. Typical politician, he’s no better than the rest, there are very few honest ones out there

  2. david moro says:

    Nice im suprised bill laimbeer dident get into a bar fight lol jane fonda and julia childs at mc kinnons is classic

  3. A.Moore says:

    There has been another band at the old Aerosmith Lowell Street place hoping one day to get their act going. Not sure if they are still there but were for quite a while. So maybe we will another group out of here.

  4. gary m says:

    And yes– outside playing at a promotional event I believe by the water tank near the river at the Assembly Square Mall in the early 80’s– Freddie Cannon (not Dion) and the Belmonts (without Dion).

    And BRUCE at the Somerville Theatre.

    Go VILLE!

  5. Steve Keenan says:


    Don’t forget to mention actor John Fiore(Law and Order as Profaci,The Sopranos as Gigi(remember how he was killed off?),etc..

    John grew up on Governor Winthrop Road in Ten Hills.

    The Beacon Street Union(with John Lincoln Wright)played at Somerville High as did Paul Peterson(from the Donna Reed Show). Now I’m showing my age-that was many moons ago.

  6. Boston Kate says:

    “He moved back to Chicago & left the taxpayers of both Somerville & Cambridge with thousands of dollars in illegal parking fines from when he lived here, a true Scofflaw.”

    A true scofflaw – be serious, that wasn’t money that was taken away from Somerville and Cambridge.

  7. Richelle says:

    Actor Chris Evans is Michael Capuano’s nephew.

  8. Joe Biden says:

    Obama’s outstanding parking tickets were in Cambridge, not Somerville, as reported in the Somerville News itself:

    So yes, he was a scofflaw, but J.Connelly can untwist his knickers, as the President did not impose an additional burden on Somerville taxpayers.

  9. j. connelly says:

    Bullcrap…time spent on processing, attempts to collect, etc., cost taxpayer $$$, you got to be dreamin to make statements that there was no cost burden placed on the taxpayers He did owe fines in both Cambridge & SOMERVILLE, just check the Boston news medias, both print n t.v. & municipal records. What more could you expect from a Hahvud educated politician, just another crooked clone.

  10. jimmy Del says:

    WOW ! in all my research noone mentioned Bruce at the Theatre and I totally forgot. All the other comments are great ! Paul Peterson….” My Dad ” Who could forget that song ? And The Beacon St Union.!! I have a picture of me and John Lincoln Wright that was taken at a fundraiser 3 years ago. Im sure there have been lots of other star sightings in the Ville .

  11. SO says:

    Don’t forget the Hanson Brothers played at Somerville Theater and also Bare Naked Ladies!
    Didn’t Leonard Cohen play there too?
    Neil Young and his wife played across the street from the theater at ‘Johnny D’s’ last year.
    Myself and Jimmy Reilly of ‘Stiff Little Fingers’ had a few drinks at my Somerville abode some years ago.
    Then there’s Mark Wahlberg.

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