Claudia Obergfell - Germany
Well, I'm still completely absorbed with our tour, we had a hell of a time during those four weeks on the road! We met Keith again, and also finally Bryan - and both events were really amazing because it was so unexpected when we met them, and they were so kind to us...but I'd better tell things one after the other!
I'll start with the 4th Wembley gig, on the Sunday. I was absolutely thrilled as Keith finally sang "YOU'RE THE REASON I WEAR BLACK" for us. It was in fact the second time I heard him perform it live, after that Saturday at Wembley in 1994, and it was absolutely gorgeous!
In Germany the whole band were fighting with a cold, so the concerts there tended to be a little bit shorter than the UK ones, but it didn't really matter as the guys were all playing at their best, and Bryan made some good efforts digging out the most surprising songs! Thus in Rostock they did LET ME TAKE YOU DANCIN' on the B-stage instead of SHE'S ONLY HAPPY..., other songs included I'M READY and cover versions tbey don't play very often nowadays like IF YOU LEAVE ME...,JUMPING JACK FLASH and a Bad Company song called READY FOR LOVE that I've never heard before!
The biggest thrills for Andrea and myself actually took place outside the concerts. I really have to admit that. One thing that we found out was one of our friends was working with the merchandise at almost all German shows, and she managed to arrange for me to watch the soundcheck three times altogether - in Rostock, Stuttgart and Beyreuth, and twice for Andrea - in Stuttgart and Bayreuth (since she couldn't come to the first four shows in /Germany. As you can imagine that was a huge challenge for us, and we immensely enjoyed it!
But we'd never have expected what a chance we were given, really...In Stuttgart - our "homecoming" concert - we were in fact allowed to be within the auditorium itself during the soundcheck, so we were really close to Bryan and the guys. The first person we actually bumped into as we came in was Danny Cummings, and he was really surprised to see us! Bryan also noticed us as he was walking over from the main stage to the B-stage (since they always play songs on both stages at a soundcheck, unless they have very little time). When they finished then, an absolutely incredible thing happened...Bryan came over to where we were sitting, completely on his own accord! I couldn't believe my eyes and only
have a vague memory that I fumbled for my photos in my bumbag as I, of course, wanted him to sign one for me - and I dropped them all right in front of his feet! That's how nervous I was... But anyway he was absolutely sweet, picked up my pix for me, and shook our hands to say hello, and went on telling us that he's seen us at so many concerts! He then stayed with us and we chatted for about 15 minutes, and then he signed an autograph for me and posed for a photo with the two of us. It was absolutely stunning! There was quite a funny moment too when he asked us if we were selling T-shirts now, as we had been sitting in a merchandise stand! He didn't leave until 5 minutes before they opened the doors to the crowd outside, and we nearly forgot to rush to the front to be the first ones. The concert was really excellent that night, though it didn't really seem to matter...
There was a really disturbing incident at the next shoundcheck we attended since the situation was such that Bryan and Keith seemed really pleased to see us again, whereas the German promoter thought differently! Thus Keith asked us to come down into the auditorium again as we were on the seats next to the stage this time, and we told him we actually weren't allowed inside, and Bryan looked over and smiled too but then that guy came and kicked us out! He then meant to make us believe that Bryan was in a bad mood and didn't wish any spectators in there! But later in the concert Bryan wasn't in a bad mood at all, on the contrary, and it didn't look like he had objected to our presence either! It rather looked like he was trying to make sense of our sudden disappearance...
The day after they were playing Munich and as we were going for a walk around the hall in the afternoon we suddenly discovered Keith near the backstage door with 5 or 6 girls standing around him. So we went over there too and Keith saw us and at once said "Hi!". We were a bit surprised because he was obviously very delighted to see us, but anyway he then explained to the other girls, "You know, you have to admire those two young ladies because they've been to every single show since this tour started!" He also said something like we were their biggest fans or so, and I was really embarrassed. I didn't know what to say to that! It was so completely unexpected too...
Keith was absolutely nice and chatted with us for a while, and of course I seized the opportunity to talk to him about the day before and explicitly told him what that German guy had said to us. But Keith said at once that there was absolutely nothing behind it, and continued to tell us that he and Bryan had just been talking about us that morning when they went to see the football, and that they were both really thrilled because we were coming to so many shows! And as we'd only mentioned that we had nearly been kicked out of the entire building the day before, and that only the fact that we had already given away our tickets to some friend had saved us, he at once asked if we needed tickets for Munich! I thought that was extremely nice of him, though of course we already had our tickets! After a while he then said he had to leave so everybody asked for his autograph but he said he was in a hurry. Even so I asked him too if he would sign the photo that Ceri took of me and him in London for me, and another for Andrea and he said yes and signed them for us!
After he had gone in we went back to our queue...Well, so our tour came to an end and we were honestly sad it did, but we couldn't have gone on for much longer like that - it was too exhausting!!!