Hollywood publicist Dan Harary talks 50 years of celebrity encounters in new memoir – Daily News

Hollywood publicist Dan Harary talks 50 years of celebrity encounters in new memoir – Daily News


Dan Harary’s life has been filled with celebrity encounters.

Long before he became a publicist in Hollywood, Harary was a celebrity magnet.

At 15, he started working at the Sunshine In, a concert hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was 1972 and on his first night on the job he had his first run-in with a famous person. Musician Richie Havens performed that evening and Harary asked him to sign a poster for that show, which he framed and still has hanging in his Beverly Hills home.

It was that poster that inspired Harary to write his book, “Flirting with Fame: A Hollywood Publicist Recalls 50 Years of Celebrity Close Encounters.” The book chronicles the famous folks Harary came in contact with—for better or worse. He’ll be at Book Soup in West Hollywood on Aug. 10 for an in-person book discussion and signing; he’ll be introduced by his friend of him, the actress Dee Wallace, who he met on the set of “The New Lassie” in the late ’80s.

“Last year, during a time when we were still locked down because of COVID, I was turning 65 and I looked at that poster in my living room and I thought, ‘Wow, that was 50 years ago,” Harary said during a recent phone interview. “I just took out a piece of paper and a pen and I started writing down as many celebrity names as I could think of — and there were hundreds. I wrote it in a very linear way and when I was done, I said, ‘Well, I guess this is a book.’”

Harary grew up with working-class parents who were musically gifted, he said. His dad played trombone in marching bands and his mother was a singer. Harary played piano until “The Monkees” television series debuted in 1966 and he ditched the keys for a drum kit to be more like his new hero, Micky Dolenz. He would meet Dolenz in person 20 years later at an Alice Cooper show, feeling disbelief he was casually chatting with his idol of him.

Since Harary played in bands in high school, his job at the Sunshine In was a dream gig. He got to meet Fleetwood Mac and Kiss. He also hung out with Bruce Springsteen, though he admits he was never really a fan of his music. He had many encounters with Springsteen in those early years, including one instance when he and his mother were in the car and saw Springsteen hitchhiking. Though Harary knew him, he shrugged him off and they blew right past The Boss.

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