"Ask them how many of 'em saw Walk the Line," an older gent instructed the camera woman outside of Lestat's Coffeeshop last Saturday.
Perched on a patio chair where serial goths usually trade secrets of how to reach D&D enlightenment, the photographer had the wide-eyed holy shit look of people witnessing a life-changing moment.
"How many of you have seen Walk the Line?!" she yelled.
Below her, 75 teen and pre-teen San Diego girls affirmatively screamed in piercing unison, like so many lobsters when their cute, little crustaceous feet hit boiling water. In the middle of them was a dapper, O.C.-ready Tyler Hilton. The photographer snapped a shot, then snapped 40 more.
Apparently, the same thing that's renewed Folsom State Prison's status as a vacation destination for bank robbers and e-mail scam artists has also made Hilton's fame spike. Actually, Hilton was also an actor on the WB's One Tree Hill, but it's better for your sanity if we tell you that his role in the recent Johnny Cash biopic catapulted his young career.
Hilton played Elvis in Walk the Line. And he played him as though he'd snorted all the coke in Colombia and then did a gummer with Costa Rica's stash. His second record, The Tracks of Tyler Hilton, was released by Maverick Records in 2004. It's a nice thing. Kind of like a coffee-table book-pleasant to look at, with bits of Wal-Martian insight and creativity. Something to pass the time between Skating with Celebrities and the new episode of 24.
But to these 15-year-old girls, Tyler Hilton was their own personal Johnny Cash. And their Luke Perry, or at least their older sisters told them so.
"Oh. My. God." said one apparently 13-year-old girl with toilet-paper creating unnatural creases in the area of her shirt that would, god willing, one day be home to real breasts. She and her friends walked away, their headshots of Hilton freshly autographed, stoked beyond belief. The older friend was probably 16, enlisted because she could drive. She had chosen a low-cut garment that more than screamed, "Do me like I've never been done before! No, really. I've never been done before."
It was a scene of innocent crushes and illegal come-hithers. Undoubtedly the biggest Lestat's has seen since the last Jason Mraz surprise show. Soon, Tyler was gone, and a few girls milled around, shell-shocked by the brush with fame. Four goths also stood nearby, talking in such a romantic way about "half-giants" (the large, new character in the video game "Dungeon Siege") that you could tell the game made their dicks feel bigger. Or at least distracted them long enough to keep them from opening fire on the lunch quad.
The teenage girls could relate. They'd just photo-opped with their own half-giant, and he was dreamy.