Current Mood: Ecstatic
What a build-up of emotions, expectations and suspense over months… and suddenly it’s all over! Unfortunately, the wireless internet at the hotel we were staying wasn’t working for me. That was the one single hair in the soup. However, on reflection I came to the conclusion that it was a good thing: it protected you from numerous posts telling you how excited I was. And it prevented me from spending the nights surfing the net instead of sleeping!
I wrote the following in our hotel room on Saturday night when – you guessed it – I should have been sleeping. But I was still too hyper for that; never mind that we had to get up at 5.30 am for our return journey.
So, this was my amazing weekend in Nuremberg, Germany:
The most amazing weekend trip of my life is coming to an end. After leaving Gozo on Thursday with the ferry at 6:00 am, we arrived at our hotel precisely at 4:00 pm. Although ten hours travel sounds like a long time, all the connections (flight – S-Bahn – ICE from Munich to Nuremberg) worked out extremely smoothly without any stress or anxiety. In fact it was a rather pleasant journey! The hotel (Aria Hotel, definitely recommendable budget accommodation, especially if they get their wifi up to scratch!!) was a pleasant surprise.
Friday at 1 pm the whole gang met up for the very first time: lunch at Sausalitos. We are pretty sure that this was a unique fan meeting because of all the nationalities involved: Mick from Ireland, Anina from the Faroe Islands, Claudia & Ali, Gregor & family and Miriam & Olaf from Germany, Christine & Christian from Austria, Sylvia and her friend from Switzerland (though sadly they missed the lunch), George and I from Malta.
Some of us had never met any of the others in person, yet we all recognised each other instantly. Lots of hugs made the rounds, and the smiles and laughs hardly ever stopped from then onwards. Sausalitos, by the way, is highly recommended too; great eatery, tasty food and rather generous portions!
A couple of hours later, and excitement slowly overtook the relaxed atmosphere: Linda Tyler, one of Roger’s managers and a marvellous lady, had invited us to attend the soundcheck at 4.30 pm! I owe Linda big time… she was the one who’d made this happen for me!
Arriving at the concert hall, the porter seemed to doubt our claims that we’d been invited, but he directed us straight to the office where Linda was in a meeting. Amazingly, she too recocgnised me immediately (I suppose that’s what happens if you’re a blogger LOL!) and told me it was so great that I had managed to come! Linda led the whole gang to a place in the hall from where we could follow the soundcheck, turning around once on the way, saying with a big smile, “Oh, this is great!”
Roger hadn’t arrived yet, so we took the opportunity to spread out Christine’s birthday banner for Roger on the floor, so that we could all sign it. :)
First to arrive for the sound check was Aaron MacDonald, who proceeded to start with the soundcheck alone, until finally Roger appeared too, walking straight out of his car onto the stage! We were treated to some nice banter between Roger and Aaron, and – among other snippets – to The Awakening, which had been requested by Claudia and Anina, and Roger’s new song, “Teach me to love again”, which is wonderful and will be for ever – for reasons explained a little further down – indelibly stamped in my mind. (Hope you’ll pardon the pun!)
All too soon the soundcheck was over, Roger & Aaron were gone, but an instant afterwards, Linda appeared and told us we were going to meet Roger together – and a few minutes later Roger appeared. Totally predictably I was dreadfully stuck for words; hopefully he didn’t notice what an idiot I really am! Equally predictably lots of photos where taken…
Arndt, the webmaster of Roger’s official German website, took photos of the whole group – we’re all looking forward to seeing those!! (Arndt, dies ist ein Wink mit’m Zaunspfahl!!) Claudia handed over our birthday card; starting out from Claudia’s home, it had travelled the world and was signed by fans from as far as USA and even New Foundland, and got back into Claudia’s hands just the week before the gig. Phew!!
And once more… time flew. Roger was gone, our group went for a drink at the adjacent hotel bar, before returning for the show at 8 pm. I know that this has been mentioned by many fans countless times before, but it can’t be said often enough: Roger’s voice is really still as strong as it’s ever been, and at this particular concert it was absolutely flawless. There wasn’t even audible strain on the third “who I am” in The Logical Song… try to sing it yourself and you’ll know what I mean!!
The highlight… After rendition of “Teach me to love again” Roger changed from the Steinway to his keyboard. And here’s what he said to the 2,200 people in the hall: “I’m going to do something now that I’ve never done before in my life: I’m going to play it again. But this is actually a special birthday present for Sabine, who came all the way from Malta. Where are you Sabine?” I hesitatingly, blushingly, lift my hand and briefly wonder if this is the moment when I am waking up after all, finding out that the whole thing was just a great dream. “Sabine, Why don’t you stand up and everyone can applaud?” Later, some people in the audience even wished me a happy birthday. I had to ask Gregor for help to refresh my memory about this… My mind had quit working at the time; it was a very emotional moment, and I was simply overwhelmed!
I’ll post more photos of the concert later this week. It takes such a long time to edit them, and apart from that I’m thinking of the best way to post higher quality pics (the ones in this post are all in low resolution).
It’s 10 pm on Saturday evening; about an hour ago we returned to the hotel, pretty knackered. We spent the afternoon strolling through the old city of Nuremberg with Gregor and his family, Claudia, Mick and Anina. Claudia’s little daughter wasn’t feeling to well, so Ali stayed behind with the kids while we worked our way uphill to the castle.
Ever so slowly, we all went separate ways after that. Saying good-bye is not something I like to do – and especially not to these friends!
If you think that you can’t find real friends on the internet… well, you’re dead wrong, because I found them! ;-)
PS – and this is important: KATHY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THIS… IT WAS AN EVENT I WILL SURELY NEVER FORGET! AND: YOU WERE VERY MUCH MISSED BY ALL OF US!!
And thus ends my tale of meeting Roger Hodgson. I’d never had the desire to meet famous people in person as much as I wanted to meet Roger, and he did not disappoint me. (I disappointed myself because I wasn’t able to tell him so much that I’d wanted to say!!) As much as Roger is a star, he’s a great, very down-to-earth person. And he’s living proof that whatever you wish for – if you really believe in it – and in yourself – you will make it happen!
Thank you Kathy… thank you Linda… and thank you Roger!