I got to the venue in Kansas City and met Kathy, another fan I had gotten to know on their facebook page. She and I got there early hoping to meet them before the show, but they were doing interviews all day, so we just sat in her car playing their cd's and getting to know each other. Finally, we went to dinner and then the show. I was so excited! I had a great time looking at all the loot for sale and listening to the chatter of all the fans who had come. I made my way to my seat and got ready...they did not disappoint. Even though they were far away, their energy was contagious. All of them sang so well and were so engaging and I really hoped I could meet them.
After the concert, I went to the backstage door feeling a little silly at 60 to be hanging out at a stage door. I had done tons of that as a teen, but as an adult it was a little strange. However, the lads (we don't call them guys) all came out more than happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures. Here is the one I had with George that night.
Once again, I got to the venue early. This time, I was in luck. Because it was not an arena, the tour buses were parked right on the street next to the theater. I met Ryan and had a nice little chat, and then Neil. I asked Neil if he could get George as I had this gift for him and he said, sure he would go backstage and get him. He also kept saying "You're so kind." which I thought was kind of cute. In fact after the show he came out to where I was standing in line with other fans and remembered my name and said, "Linda - did you like the show?" I was touched he remembered my name and several girls pounced on me after he left wanting to know how he knew my name!. But I digress. Shortly after Neil went inside, George came out looking for me. I raised my hand and he came over to where I was standing. I gave him the album and he was really touched. He said it would hang in pride of place in his house. We talked about Harry for a while and then other singer-songwriters that we liked and I encouraged him to look into Randy Newman and a few others he hadn't heard of. Then he asked if I had his personal CD and I said no, I hadn't gotten it yet. He said "Wait right here," and ran back into the theater. A few moments later, he reappeared with a copy of his CD. He asked if I would like it signed, and of course I said yes. He asked if I would listen to it and report back to him letting him know which songs I liked and what my review of the whole album would be. He said "Promise?" and I said "Promise." Then he said, don't tell anyone I did this, I don't usually do this!
We spent a good half hour chatting and I was really touched by the time he spent with me and the fact that he felt my opinions were valuable. He was a really stand up kind of guy.
During the show he looked at me during one of his solos and winked. Then while taking bows, he came right up to where I was sitting and pretended to tip his hat to me. Afterwards, while I waiting on line to meet the others, he came by and said thanks again.
Today, as I write this, I am in shock. George had a massive heart attack at his home in Glasgow last night and passed away. He was only 46. His fellow performers in Celtic Thunder are reeling under this news and my heart goes out to them and his lovely wife and daughter. He was a huge family man and adored his wife Carrie and daughter Sarah who is only 13. Normally he would be touring doing PBS promos for the fall tour, but for some reason, he did not go. How wonderful he spent his last days with the people he loved most. His last tweet, which was last night was this:
Harry Potter night tonight again with Sarah. There's nothing like it………. The movies are ok.
We will all miss him, his friendly demeanor and his wonderful sense of humor.
As George would say, NNGB - night night and God bless.