From The Desk Of Josh Kantor: Not Recognizing Celebrities

Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor is a utilityman of sorts, playing keyboards for a number of outfits in addition to entertaining the Red Sox faithful. His highest-profile gig is with the fantastic national pastime-themed band the Baseball Project; his hidden-track rendition of the group’s “Panda And The Freak” is a highlight of its aptly titled third album, 3rd (Yep Roc). Kantor is guest editing all week. Read our brand-new Q&A with him.


Kantor: I see a lot of celebrities at Red Sox games. For some reason, the more famous they are, the less likely I am to recognize them. A few years ago, Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsom attended a game, and when the broadcast showed them in their seats, my production department colleagues all said, “Andy Samberg is here,” just as I was saying, “Joanna Newsom is here.” This led to perhaps the only inning break in Major League history comprised of a DJ-and-organist tag-team medley of “I’m On A Boat” (ballpark-friendly version) and “Peach, Plum, Pear.”

On another occasion, Ben Affleck approached me at the organ, and we struck up a friendly conversation. I didn’t recognize him at all and later was confused when a colleague asked, “What did Ben Affleck say to you?” After she chided me about my confusion, I looked up Affleck’s filmography and discovered that, outside of watching Dazed And Confused in 1993, I’d seen none of his movies. My colleague pointed out that I’ve now spent more time talking to Affleck than watching him on screen. I’ve been meaning to see his movie School Ties because my good friend Benari Poulten (above) is in it, though Benari is less upset that I missed that one than he is about the fact that I’ve never seen The Goonies, with which he had no involvement.

Photo by Mindy Tucker.