When you put Bill Murray in front of a camera, one of two things can happen. You might get Happy Bill and a moment that goes viral, or you might get Angry Bill and a camera that ends up thrown off a balcony. According to The Boston Globe, Angry Bill squared off with a photographer in Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday night.
The photographer in question is Carly Simon’s 71-year-old brother Peter Simon. According to a police report, Peter was taking pictures of a live band for The Martha’s Vineyard Times at a restaurant in Oak Bluffs, MA. Peter claims he stepped away from the dance floor to check and see if he got any good shots, and that’s when he felt someone grab him from behind, whip him around, and slam him into a door.
Peter wasn’t sure who it was – he said in the police report that he thought it was a bouncer. Peter then pulled a “Do you know who I am?” as Peter apparently has a regular feature with The Martha’s Vineyard Times called Vineyard Scene. The man grabbing him responded with the same, but Peter didn’t know who he was. It wasn’t until he saw his alleged attacker dancing later on that he realized it was 67-year-old Bill Murray.
Bill allegedly shouted expletives at Peter, and threatened to have him thrown out of the restaurant. Bill eventually stood down, but it didn’t end. Peter claims Bill later came up to him and dumped a glass of water on his head and camera.
Eventually the police were called. Bill told police that Peter had been “taking pictures” of him and “harassing” him. Oh Bill…you’re so vain, you thought Peter’s camera roll was about you. Peter was told by police he could take out a criminal complaint for assault and battery. Peter claims he was uninjured during the scuffle, and that he hasn’t yet pressed charges.
The owner of the restaurant allegedly told police that Peter had no business photographing anyone in the restaurant, and that he was being “generally annoying.” Peter claims he was invited by the band playing that evening to cover their gig. The Martha’s Vineyard Times confirms that that’s the reason why Peter was there.
Bill is a public person, and even public people need some privacy to let loose, have a few drinks, and get freaky on a dance floor without seeing photographic evidence of it printed the next day. So I kind of understand Bill’s freak out. But it would be so much easier if he came with some kind of a warning. Like those helpful dog vests that either say “Pet me!” or “NOT FRIENDLY.” Actually, you know what? Unless you want a soggy camera, probably best to assume he’s not friendly.