So maybe actor and comedian Bill Murray was just passing through. Maybe he wasn't here to scope out the city for minor league baseball. There was reason to wonder — he's part owner of several minor-league baseball teams, including the St. Paul Saints and the Hudson Valley Renegades.
But officials confirm that he didn't visit The Diamond or contact the mayor. The star did, however, spend Saturday afternoon singing with street performers in Carytown and finished up at the Camel early Sunday morning.
Saturday, around 5: Murray's in Carytown. Alison Self, a Richmond singer and songwriter, plays music with some friends across the street.
“My friend Nathan looks over and he's like, ‘Man, that guy over there looks a lot like Bill Murray,’” Self says. “I think that is Bill Murray.”
He wears a hat and a white-and-red gingham shirt, and according to Sarah Kelley, a sales assistant at Phoenix Clothing, he purchases two straw hats. He palms one of the gold safety pins attached to the hat.
“In case the world ends,” Murray says.
He walks out of Phoenix with a female friend.
Self calls out: “Bill Murray! Can we play you a song?”
“Yeah,” Murray shouts back, crossing the street to join them.
Self and her friends launch into “Cindy in the Key of C.”
“Oh yeah, I know this one,” Murray says, and begins mouthing along.
After the song finishes, they talk about bluegrass music. Murray says he hasn't spent much time in Richmond, and is getting a tour from his friend, Olga.
Murray drops a $50 in Self's guitar case.
Self calls her friend Jasce Burrow, who bikes down to Carytown and shows Murray his tattoo from Murray's film, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” directed by Wes Anderson.
“That's amazing,” Murray says, reaching out to touch it. “I'll have to tell Wes about it.” — Rich Griset
Later that evening: Who does he think he is? Walk right in without paying? Not a chance. An older man with a baseball cap pulled down and a younger woman on his arm walks into the Camel, past the doorman and heads for the bar.
I run up to him, tap him on the shoulder and tell him to go back to the front.
“Don't you know there is a cover?” I ask.
He flashes a “Don't you know who I am” look. I don't. Turns out I'm demanding that Bill Murray pay the $7 cover. He does. With a $100 dollar bill. He wears khakis and a tangerine-colored button-down.
His friend appears to be in her late 20s — he's 58. She wears a glamorous cocktail dress and three-inch heels. She's about half his height. Another couple seems to be with them, staggering behind.
After 15 minutes or so the whole place knows he's here. The band finishes around 1 a.m. and Murray walks up to Robby Saady, drummer of the Sharp Comfort. Will he keep playing? They've run out of originals, Saady informs him. They play covers until about 2.
Before he leaves, a “Ghostbusters” fanatic confesses her love for him. Murray seems to enjoy the evening and asks if the band is selling any albums. It isn't. — Lauren Hill