Here´s my review of a great day!
It was an incredible experience! But let me start from the beginning. I attended the concert in Hamburg on October 20th. I live near Frankfurt, so I had to get there by train. I arrived in Hamburg at 5 p.m. and I met Evelyn and Esther at the station.We briefly talked about the Thursday concert which Evelyn attended, too. Later we also met another fan, Thomas as well as his sister at the station. After we introduced each other, we all went to our hotels.
Esther, her friend and me were together in one hotel.We arrived there, left our bags and headed off to the Musikhalle with a cab, where we met the others again.We walked to the back entrance where the security guard told us we had just missed Paul, who arrived there three seconds before we did (that´s what he said).
Evelyn had organized some gifts for Paul (a t-shirt from her and Esther, sweets, guitar strings, a pin, a guitar pick and a rose), and we asked the guard if he could give the presents to someone who will meet Paul, and he said yes.
Then we all went eating at Pizza Hut.We had to hurry a bit and arrived back at the venue at 7.40 p.m.We went in there, our tickets ready, when Evelyn suddenly said she can´t find hers. But fortunately the guards let her in, though. So we went to our seats in the 2nd row and I was really surprised how close this was to the stage! The room filled, and we watched the road crew polishing the guitars. Finally the lights turned off at 8.30 and Paul came onstage. My God, I first couldn´t realize it was really him! He started with ´That´s Where I Belong´ followed by ´Graceland´.We wanted to dance, but the guards showed us to sit down again. Man, they were really harsh! I had a camera with me, but I didn´t dare to make any pictures since my camera has a flashlight and they surely would have noticed that, and it might have even disturbed Paul.
It was great to see him ´in action´. He looked great, red cap, black shirt and black trousers (and funny socks!). At the beginning I had the feeling he looked a bit nerved, but this went away the more he played. The crowd was also rather quiet at the beginning, but they would ´wake up´ towards the end. The applause didn´t seem to stop, and when he finally played ´The Boxer´ as the last encore, Paul let the crowd sing the ´lai la lai´ part.It was fantastic. I never expected such a reaction. The crowd wouldn´t let him go, and Paul was slightly touched. At the end he even shook some hands in the front row. I tried to climb over, but I was too slow. Then he finally left.
For me, the highlights of the show were ´Call Me Al, ´American Tune´ (which he BTW transponded down from D to C - I looked very closely on his guitar all the time - but I still couldn´t figure out the picking pattern for ´The Boxer´) and the new arranged ´I Am A Rock´.
The whole time I thought about how all his songs have touched me, how it all started nine years ago and how lucky I am to see him in the flesh, and so very close! We had eye contact several times.When he sang ´All the girls out on the stoops´ during ´Late In The Evening´, he pointed at us! He also looked up a lot to the balcony. Some people (including me) were shouting song requests, but he didn´t play them. Someone also shouted ´Say a few words´.
When he finished ´Old´ he told us we were old, LOL, and I think it´s relatively true. Most people in the audience were of middle age, I´d say the average age was around 50. I think I was one of the youngest ones in the audience (I was 18 at that time).
BTW the new songs sound great live, even better than on the album.
Pity that everything went by so fast. The concert was over at 10.40 I think.
When the lights turned on again, I asked one of the roadies if it´s possible to get a guitar pick, but he told me this wasn´t possible because the crew members are in a very bad mood. There was a plectrum onstage which Paul had lost during a song and I watched someone picked it up and he was immediately told off by a guard.
We also met some people we know from the internet, and it was nice talking to them and
seeing them. I then bought a t-shirt (the black one with the YTO cover on the front and the tourdates on the back). It was 45 DM (about 30 $) and I think this was an acceptable price.
Then we left the hall and went to the back exit where we met a few more people waiting for Paul to came out. Esther was waiting in front of another exit where the musicians came out. Suddenly she came running to us telling us that we were invited to come with them to the hotel! We were so stunned that we just left the others standing there. I´m really sorry for this and I still have a bad conscience, but we were so excited that we couldn´t think clearly. So we took a cab to the hotel (Esther was given the address).We arrived there shortly after the tourbus, and I could see Paul walking to the entrance with the others.
We got out the cab and walked into the hotel where Tony Cedras was already expecting us.We entered the lobby and saw some of the other guys there. Then we saw Paul in the back of the foyer, and he was walking towards us. Obviously he wanted to get an elevator. We were told that we shouldn´t expect to meet him because ´he´s a mystery´, but this is exactly what happened! We asked him if he could sign our stuff and he replied´ ´Sure I can sign this´. Esther got her tourbook signed, Evelyn her ´Mother And Child Reunion´ single and I got my t-shirt signed which I just bought. I told him he could use my back for signing it, which he did. It was kind of cute; he folded it out on my back very accurately mumbling something like ´Sure I can do that´ and signed it. I thanked him and he said ´You´re welcome´.We then asked him if he received our gifts and he told Evelyn and Esther the t-shirt was ´fabulous´. Then he wanted to know if we attended both Hamburg shows and where we are from. I told him I live near Frankfurt and he looked at me and said something like ´Aha´. After this short conversation he said ´Goodnight´ and went into the elevator, but we didn´t know where to go and we had to search for Esther´s friend, so we followed the others. So we were in the same elevator as Paul. He asked one of the guys something but I couldn´t understand it.
When we arrived at the next floor we went out and he said again ´Goodnight´ and walked away.We could still see him standing a few metres away from us.We didn´t know what to do now.We still had to search Rinke so we took an elevator again.
Paul took the one next to us, we could see him through the walls because they were of glass.
We arrived at Tony´s room where he offered us something to drink.We were joined by Alain Mallet a few minutes later. So we were sitting there talking about this and that. I asked Tony if Paul will tour again next year and he said this is very probable, since he did the same whith ´Graceland´; waiting how the record sells, do a small promotion tour and then a big tour again.
After a while, he invited us to come with him and Alain to the hotel bar, but it was very crowded there so we followed him to the hotel nightclub and he invited us for a drink. He talked about a lot of things but unfortunately the music was so loud that I couldn´t understand everything. It was crazy - we were sitting there with Paul´s tour musicians! We also met Vincent Nguini there, who looked a bit uncomfortable. He sat down, got a cigarette, walked away, came back...I guess he was a bit ´displaced´ there. I think this is also why Paul didn´t show up there. Later Bakhiti Khumalo came there, too and asked me and Evelyn if we´d like to dance with him. I still don´t know why we refused!
Then suddenly someone entered telling us that Paul has received the gifts and that they are on a save place now.Was that his manager? I don´t know.
Anyway we sat there and drank our stuff. Later we danced with Tony and Alain which was quite funny. After that, Evelyn and me decided to go, Esther and her friend decided to stay a bit longer. It was a big goodbye, the guys were nice all the time. Alain made sure we got a cab. So we left and were driven back to our hotels. Of course I couldn´t sleep the whole night, I was too excited about all the happenings. My God, I met Paul!
He was very politely, nice and thoughtful. I felt a deep respect for him while we were standing there with him. I don´t know how to describe it, but it was kind of magic, a strange moment...And he is a very special person.
I thought about asking him for a picture with me, but I didn´t do it because I felt like this would have been a bit too obtrusive.We already looked like stalkers because we didn´t know where to go and always walked behind him. Also I think he was quite tired.
I arrived back home on Saturday afternoon. I have put the t-shirt on a save place in my room. I don´t know if I can ever wash it. If I had known before I´d meet him, I would have taken the ´Greatest Hits, etc.´ cover with me for him to sign, and the security guards kept telling he won´t sign anything...Well I think we were incredibly lucky. I guess Paul was in a quite good mood. Evelyn told me it was different after the Thursday concert.
So well, a signed t-shirt still is great, too!
Wow, I can tell you, I spent a lot of money for this trip, but it was worth every penny! Everything still seems like a dream...But this dream was real!
This is the detailed version of the report of the two Hamburg concerts of Paul Simon 10/19/2000 and 10/20/2000. I arrived in Hamburg on the 19th, and at first I met Nathanael and his father from Switzerland at the Musikhalle, later on there were Erwin, Hana and Wim from the Netherlands. We had something to eat together, and of course, we speculated a lot about the concert, which songs he´s going to play, if he´s going to talk to the audience, if the setlist would be the same as the one in Stockholm, and everything. I was very excited already, and my stomach didn´t feel that good´¦.so, I couldn´t really eat that much. Then we met again for the concert in the evening. I was a little afraid they could find my tape recorder in my bag, but luckily they didn´t. Before I got in the hall, I bought the tour-programme-book with lots of nice pictures in it. (among them one from the Washington concert, where you can see the ´Happy Birthday!´ sign made by Christen from this club!) Then I got into the hall, but as I heard before when I asked a guy at the artist entrance, the stage-arrangements weren´t set in time, and so they made the soundcheck just before the concert started, which could be the reason that the sound wasn´t that perfect on this evening (next evening it was better). At 9:30 the lights went out and the band came up on the stage. I realized Paul just in the moment when the lights were set on him. He was so close!!! You got to know that the music hall in Hamburg is a very small, almost personal place, but I didn´t expect him to be that close´¦I sat in the 3rd row, centre stage, and so it was really amazing for me. This was my first Paul Simon concert, and I really dreamed about that a long time before - Now it was live and here and now and he was so close that could have counted the hairs on his arms!!! (If I had the time to do so´¦) He was wearing a black shirt with short sleeves, two buttons open, black pants, black soft leather shoes and his red baseball cap with this ´M´ sign on it which he also wears on the YTO album cover. He simply looked great! He started with ´That´s Where I Belong´, my favorite song from the new album. I realized soon that I was the only one around who knew the lyrics of the new album, no one was singing.
The second song was Graceland, and that should have been the song to get the audience caught, but somehow it didn´t work that well. Maybe this was only my impression, but the people around me weren´t really enthusiastic in the beginning. He was moving around on the stage, getting into it, holding his guitar up, and this wasn´t just for one particular song, he obviously enjoyed standing on the stage and playing his music throughout the whole concert! He had a kind of little conversation with (I guess) Vincent
Nguini, I can´t say anymore, because I was concentrating on Paul, so that I can´t remember it clearly. But whenever he walked over and said something to him, he was smiling afterwards, and of course, that´s what caught my attention. I could see every move on his face, and though he didn´t smile at the audience, it soon became clear that he looked at the people who danced on the two sides of the balcony. So, I guess it was during ´That Was You Mother´, I got up and danced, too, I just couldn´t stay in my seat any longer´¦ Funny thing was that I was the only one in the first four rows dancing. There were people behind me getting up, I believe, but no one in the first four rows except me. And since I had this centre seat, and Paul was standing in the centre, too, I suddenly stood dancing eye-to-eye to him! He looked straight into my face, and then did this eyebrow thing: Looking astonished, like: Wow, she´s dancing! (Hey, he looked at me! Whew! I´ll talk about that later in this report again´¦) He changed the setlist completely, different order of the songs, no break (!) in the concert, and he did a very nice, new version of ´Spirit Voices´ and an amazing one of ´I Am A Rock´!!!
There were lots of little things happening, like, for instance, Paul singing the wrong lyrics in ´American Tune´ he sang ´When the road we´re travelling on´ instead of ´Still when I think of the road we´re travelling on´. He was making little jokes like: the sound of a camera-click in ´Kodachrome´ with the fitting gesture. In general, when a percussion-part of a song came on , they switched the lights on Paul off, and he drank from his water-bottle (Volvic, by the way, from this day on I´ll drink Volvic only, haha!), but in one song they forgot to switch them off, he stood with the back to the audience, and then he realized the lights were still on him, turned around, held up the bottle saying ´Cheers!´ and drank! When he got to sing ´Darling Lorraine´ he introduced the song as one from his new album, and I knew from the reports of the Stockholm concerts that he wanted to go around on the stage in that song and illustrate it with gestures, but I realized that he couldn´t get the microphone off the tripod, because the cable was wound up around, and he tried winding it off in different directions, but he had to start singing already, and still he was trying to get the microphone off´¦! When he sang ´The Teacher´ he was making this ´dividing´-gesture with his arms going up when he sang the line ´so the teacher divided in two´.
Almost all of the people got up to dance when he sang ´Call Me Al´. After that song, he took some time to thank the audience for the applause, making this praying-gesture and bowing, and you could feel that he really was moved by the reaction of the audience. This came very honest. Among the encores was ´The Boxer´ and ´Bridge´, which, of course, lead to an enormous applause at the end, (Everyone singing the ´Lie-la-lie-part in the boxer !) but we couldn´t get him back to sing the Sounds Of Silence. So, this first, hilarious concert was over. I rushed out to the back entrance, to wait for him. Nathanael, his father and Erwin, Hana and Wim came also, and around us a crowd of, let´s say 30 people. Whenever the door opened, people were looking for Paul, but one after another, the band-members came, but everyone said: ´No, it´s not me, Paul is still in, and it´s going to take some more time´ So, we went on waiting. Suddenly, a security-guy opened the door and said: ´Mr. Simon already left the house via the backdoor.´ We said: ´Well, we are at the back-door! So, where did he get out?´ I searched for that door with three other people, and finally we found it, one guy still standing there, disappointed because Paul didn´t say or sign anything, he just rushed into his car (as the guy said) without even noticing the people standing there. So, there wasn´t much hope to get his autograph or even be able to talk to him the other day.
10/20/2000: Well, the next day I was running around in Hamburg to buy him some presents. We already had the t-shirt (with Esther and me on it and the line ´My favorite fans´ below our photo), and I also bought him a guitar-button in the shape of the key that stands in the beginning of every music-line (it surrounds the g-line in the music-system, I can´t find the English name for it), and some new guitar strings, a nice plectrum and some marzipan-stars with a note saying ´Some stars for our star´. I met Esther in front of the music hall then and told her about the concert the day before. Esther wrote a letter that we put in the bag with the t-shirt just saying that we thank him for coming to Europe again, and we wish him all the best for his future, etc. and we included the calling card of the N&LS club. We met again at the backdoor at around 6:30 pm and convinced a guy from the security to put the presents in Paul´s dressing-room, so that he really receives them, because we thought we would never be able to give them to him in person. Then we quickly went for something to eat, and got back to see the concert. Then, the shock of this evening came for me: I didn´t have my ticket with me, I put it out of my backpack when I was at my friends place´¦! I really thought: Now it´s over, I won´t be able to see this concert, but Esther told me not to panic, and we asked a security-girl if I can get in without, because I knew where my seat was, and she said yes, but first she looked in my backpack, and of course, she found my camera. So, I had to leave it out, but that didn´t really matter to me, the main thing was that I was able to see the concert! And, anyway, it would have been impossible for me to take photos, because this time, I sat in the second row with the other girls, and that was even closer than the first time, and Paul already saw me in the first concert, so, it was like a hint that I shouldn´t even dare it.
Ok, this was my second PS concert, and, believe it or not, but it was even better than the first one! I sat with Miriam, Esther and Rinke in the 2nd row. He started with ´That´s Where´ again, and made a mistake in the very beginning, which only a few of us realised: He sang ´When I hear you smiling´¦!´,(well, getting old?´¦)
Before the concert, we decided to get up and dance, as soon as the chance would be there. So, when he played ´Graceland´ as the second song again, we got up and danced! And, of course, he looked at us! And I could see in his face that he recognised me from the first concert, and that he liked it a lot that we danced. Unfortunately, the guys from the security were not of his opinion, and told us to sit down again! (Arrgh!) Well, again, he was enjoying the concert a lot. All these little things happening, and he was getting down on his knees playing the guitar, jumping around, even dancing! He had the same clothes on as the other day, and so I think this is the clothing for the whole tour. Some guys from the band were eventually starting to flirt with us, making little gestures, smiling, etc. (this is important for the further history of this evening) When Paul played ´Late In The Evening´ and he sang the line ´All the girls out on the stoops´ he pointed us!!! In one song (can´t remember which) he suddenly dropped his plectrum by accident, and of course, we tried to get it at the end, but weren´t allowed to fetch it. In the encores, the audience was really caught. He let the whole audience sing the Lie-la-lie part of the boxer (all alone!), thanked us for minutes (at least it seemed to last minutes), and finally, he shook hands with the audience in the first row!!! We tried to get over the first-row seats to shake his hands, too, but it was too late, he had already stopped it. But obviously, he was very touched by the reactions, he smiled and thanked us (again, making the ´praying-gesture´), and was very happy and satisfied, I believe. I hope I didn´t forget to tell you other details from this concert, if I did, please remind me, folks!
Because now, I´m coming to the part when it really became a dream come true. After the concert ended, we got to the backdoor where Paul left the other day, and waited for him to come out. Suddenly, Esther came running to us from the other backdoor, bowed over to Miriam and me, and said in a low voice: ´We´re invited to the hotel, and we can even go with the tour-bus, they´ll take us with them. But this is only for us four girls, so, don´t tell anybody.´ Well, we ran to the other side to see what was happening, and to see if this was true. We were, of course, asking Esther how she did that, and, well, she just said she talked to the band-members, and they said they saw us dancing, and that they remembered us, and they said we shall come to their hotel!!! Is this believable???? Esther had the address of the hotel on a sheet of paper, so, we took a taxi, ´cause the tour-bus was already rolling when we got there, and we arrived at the hotel just when Paul´s car arrived there also. We saw him getting out, then we got out, too, and went into the hotel, he was standing in front of it, signing some autographs for some fans who waited outside. Then one guy of the band members said that Paul usually never gets out of his room anymore once he went in, and so I said, hm, then it´s better we ask him to sign our stuff now, and so we got our autograph-stuff ready, and he came in. He was very nice and friendly, and we asked him if he could sign the stuff, and he responded ´Surely I can sign that!´ and so he signed Esther´s tour-programme, Miriam´s t-shirt, and my Mother& Child Reunion-single. Still, we weren´t sure if he received our presents, and so, we asked him ´How did you like the t-shirt?´ and he said ´The t-shirt? The t-shirt is fabulous, it´s fabulous!´ Then he asked us where we are from, and we told him, and then he asked ´Who´s been there the other day?´ And Miriam and Esther said they weren´t and I said yes, I was there yesterday, and he looked me in the eyes and said ´Oh, yes, I remember!´ (Hilarious!!! Isn´t it???!!) He also looked at me and Esther again, and said, ´Oh, it´s you on the t-shirt, isn´t it?´ well, of course, we smiled and said yes, it´s us!!! He said something about seeing us dancing, and we told him we were told to sit down again, and he asked, ´Well, who said that?´ and we said ´The security-guard´ , and he answered ´Well, that´s bad, I didn´t know that.´ It became very clear that he likes it a lot when the audience is dancing! (so, whenever you are able to see him live, get up and dance!!! Make him happy!!) We thanked him for the autographs, and he said
´You´re welcome!´ Well, then we had to search for the friend of Esther, Rinke, because she was gone in the room of Tony Cedras already, and we got in the same elevator with Paul (and some other bandmembers), well, thinking about that now´¦if the elevator got stuck´¦what would have happened? Well, of course, it didn´t get stuck. Paul got out of the elevator, and when he passed me, something - I don´t know what it was - got stuck in my hair (maybe his long fingernails? J), he didn´t say anything, but I´m pretty sure that he had two or three hairs from my hair on his shirt then, it really twinged my head´¦!!! Well, if someone ever finds two or three very, very long blond hairs on Paul´s shirt: It´s from me! J We got into the room of Tony, and Rinke was already there, we sat down, talked together, drank something, well, smoked - guess what - , then Alain Mallet came in also, and we finally went in the hotel bar, had a few drinks, danced, well, it was all very relaxed, just a thing among friends. So, we didn´t even dare to ask for photos. It was all too personal to ask for that. During our stay in the bar, suddenly a man came up towards us, and asked, who gave the presents to Paul? I said this was me, and he said something I couldn´t understand that good, the music was getting louder and louder, and so after the third time he said it, I finally got him, and he said ´I put the
presents for Paul in a special place.´ I asked: ´So that he can get them?´ and he said ´Yes´ and went out of the bar again. Tony said this was the manager of Paul!! So, I really wonder by now, what could this mean? Paul already got the presents, because he said he liked the t-shirt, well, maybe he told his manager: ´Make sure that these girls know that I received their presents.´ Or something like that, but well, I´m not sure. If anyone of you have an idea what else this could mean, tell me!
Tony told us many little stories about Paul, for example, that he can always remember events exactly by date and place, for example, he sometimes says: In that town, we played this song in that way, do you remember? But no one except Paul does´¦! Another little story: Paul considered flying over to New York for one day between the Hamburg and the London concerts, and guess what for? Just to see a baseball-game of his favorite team, the NY Yankees! He decided not to do it, because his voice would suffer from the flight.
Well, the rest is silence. We have to do it that way at the moment, to respect the privacy of some people. I really hope I didn´t forget to say anything. This is the longest concert-review I every saw´¦I hope you enjoyed it, and didn´t get bored!!! Thanks to all the people who made these two days become so special for me! And a very big thank you to PAUL of course and his bandmembers!!! It was hilarious, and I never thought this could become real. So, you see, dreams can come true! Believe in them, trust your charm, ask people, and even if they say no, don´t give up (and dance! Dance! Dance!)!!!
Ok, here we go. This is a full report on the Paul Simon concert of October 20th 2000 in The Musikhalle in Hamburg. A lot happened so be prepared for a huge report:-))
I came to Hamburg with an old Paul Simon friend of mine, Rinke. Our train was pretty late so we had to rush to our hotel. Rinke was pretty tired from the walk to the hotel, so she decided to stay there and have a rest while I took a taxi to get to the Musikhalle on time to meet Evelyn at 15.00h (3.00 pm). We met and she told me all about the concert of the day before.
For the rest of the story I will point out some of the things she told me. You can read her review on the new MSN PS club. She told me that the audience was pretty boring the first night and that she danced as the only one in the first four rows, so Paul definitely saw her:-) After the concert Paul came on a back door and didn´t sign or say anything. He was probably in a bad mood´¦
Back to Friday afternoon. When we were sitting discussing the night before, a man came to us and introduced himself as Laurens Vos asking Evelyn, whether she was Evelyn:-) He had seen that we would meet and he was there with his son. We had a short talk and then we decided to see whether we could get in or anything.
The artists entrance was open and we went in to ask whether we could get the posters that were on the wall. They told us to come back after the concert. We then told that we were from a big online fan club and that we had some gifts for Paul, but that we wanted to be sure he would get it. The friendly man told us that we had to come back at 18.30h. At that time Paul and his crew should be eating in the Musikhalle and we could hand over the gifts to someone from security´¦
After this we rushed to the central station to pick up Miriam. Miriam and I went back to the hotel, Evelyn went to her friends place and we decided to meet again at 18.15h to give the presents.
When we got to the Musikhalle again we first waited for Evelyn at the main entrance. Then I suddenly realised that if Paul was going to eat there, he had to get in the building, so we walked to the artist entrance. When we were about 50 metres away we saw a car arriving and some people came out and got in the building. One of them was small and wore a white hat and we thought it could have been Paul. When we got at the entrance we were to late. Laurens Vos was there and he told us it was indeed Paul we saw going in. But Paul didn´t say anything or even looked up´¦
Still we waited for Evelyn but she didn´t show up yet. Then someone came out and told us that Paul wouldn´t sign anything that evening. That was quite disappointing.
We got pretty hungry and I brought the t-shirt. I was just at the point of handing over the t-shirt (with Evelyn and me on it and the words ´My favourite fans´) when Evelyn came with more presents. We told the security guy that we spoke someone who told us we could hand the gifts over. He told us to wait a moment. Then an other guy came out and he said he would give the presents. But he didn´t bring them in. He was teasing us, telling: if you are real fans you have to wait at least 12 hours´ We were getting a little irritated cause we were hungry. Then the man we spoke came out, recognized us and said that we could handover the gifts for Paul. At the same time a crew member came out. We gave him the gifts and left to eat.
Then we hurried back to the Musikhalle to see the concert. When we got in and got our cards I saw Evelyn going through her back again and again. She couldn´t find her ticket and almost panicked. I told her to stay calm and we went to the guards and explained the situation. We knew exactly where our seats were and eventually she was allowed in:-) We sat down and I prepared my recording stuff, but I had to be very carefully. We were on the second row (soooo close!) and security walked around. I put the tape recorder under the seats of row one and we waited for Paul to come out.
It took some time and the audience started applauding to get them out. Finally they did and they started to play That´s Where I Belong. At the second song (Graceland) we stood up and danced. We were the only ones to do so (except for some people at the balcony). Paul of course looked at us, as did some other members. Then a security guard came to us and told us to sit down (what a shame!). So the rest of the concert we hat to dance sitting on our chair. That was so hard. Nevertheless the concert was great. The audience was very enthusiastic and you could see that Paul enjoyed playing. He danced, laughed, joked with the musicians, thanked us: ´Thank you so much, I appreciate that´. He didn´t talk much to the audience, only thanked us a lot.
During the concert we had eye-contact several times with the band members and Paul. At first I thought it was my imagination and that they were just looking to the audience and not to us, but later on that thought proofed to be wrong. They were really seeing us.
During Late In The Evening Paul pointed at us at the words ´all the girls sat on the stoops. Later during Proof, Paul stood right in front of Rinke and me. Then the music stopped and he said ´Proof. Somebody is going to call you some day, tell you something that you already know´ while looking at the two of us. We were nailed to the ground and afterwards were totally happy. That one was for us!:-)
The audiance was so enthusiastic that he did not only play the two encores (kodachrome and proof and Bridge) that were planned, but he came back a third time. He sang The Boxer and the audience sang the lie-la-lie part. It was a great experience. At the end he thanked us again and said he would never forget this night. He was really touched by it:-)
Then many people came to the stage and Paul started shaking hands (he almost was pulled of the stage:-)) We wanted to climb over the chairs but we were to late´¦he left. After the concert we met some other club members and had a talk.
Then we decided to wait at the backdoor where Paul came out the night before. Although they said he wouldn´t sign anything. Rinke already went to the artist entrance where about 50 people were waiting, so while Evelyn and the rest were on their way to the backdoor I went to get Rinke. I saw her and told her we had to go to the other side of the building. When we walked away the band got out and we decided to go back. I wanted to get some autographs of the band, because Paul would probably not sign.
So we went back and got in the crowd which was in front of the door. I saw the bus a little further and I thought: ´well, they have to go to the bus, why not wait there?´ so we did. At that moment Tony Cedras came to the bus and I asked him to sign my book. He did and we had a little talk. He said he had seen me and Rinke. Then the other band members came out and I got their autographs. Some of them said that they had seen us dancing. I was talking to Tony and suddenly he invited me to come to the hotel. I first was a little sceptical, but then he showed me a card with the address and I wrote it down. At the same time Bakithi Kumalo invited Rinke. He said he played for her all evening (yeah right;-) ). I asked whether Paul was in that hotel too, and they said he was. Rinke and I looked at each other and said OK, we´re going!. I told Tony that we would come, but that I wanted two more friends to join us and that they were on the other side.
I ran away to get Evelyn and Miriam and just at that moment Paul came out and I saw the crowd go wild. He apparently was in a good mood, cause he gave hands, signed stuff and allowed pictures to be taken. I hesitated to stay, but I thought: I am going to see Paul in the hotel everybody is on him now, never mind, so I ran further to get Evelyn and Miriam.
I got to the other side, all excited asked Evelyn and Miriam whether they wanted to go to the hotel. I can still see their faces:-) but I was as surprised as they were:-)) We ran back to the bus, but it was already leaving. Luckily I had the address and we took a taxi and left the crowd to go to the hotel.
When we arrived we saw the tour bus and everybody got out. Including Paul. Paul was talking to some other fans outside and we got in with Tony and the others. I asked whether I could talk to Paul and Bakithi said they we had to do it now, cause Paul wouldn´t come out of his room anymore. So we waited for a moment for him to come in. Rinke was already in the elevator with Tony and went up.
Then Paul came in and I asked whether he could sign my book. ´Sure I can sign that!´ and he signed our stuff. Then I asked him whether he received the gifts and especially the t-shirt and what he thought of it. He said ´The t-shirt is fabulous!´ Then asked where we were from and who was there the other day. Evelyn said she was and he looked at her and said he remembered her from the other night. Then he looked at Evelyn and me and recognized us from the t-shirt: ´It´s you on the t-shirt, isn´t it?´ And we told him that we indeed were the ones on the shirt.
He said he had seen us dancing and we told that we had to sit down again. He looked very surprised and asked who told us to sit down. We said it was the security guard and he looked a little annoyed and said: ´That´s bad, I didn´t know that´. We thanked him for the autographs and for the wonderful night and he got into the elevator after saying: ´You´re welcome´ and ´Goodnight´. Then we had to find Rinke and the band members cause they were somewhere in the hotel. There was no way but up and there was still room in the elevator where Paul and his people were in. We asked whether we could join and he said ´of course, come in´. The elevator stopped at second floor, but we had to get to the third, so we stayed in when Paul got out. Then we discovered that there was no third floor to go to! So we got back to the second floor and got out. There we saw Paul again and it was a little embarrassing how we seemed to follow him, but we didn´t!:-))
The hotel was huge and we didn´t know where to go to, so I went to one of Paul´s people to ask how we could go to the third floor. Then he pointed us other elevators that went to the next floor. When we got to the elevators we saw Paul going in, but we didn´t want to get in again (feeling stalkers) so we took an other one. That was the last time we saw Paul.
We went to Tony´s room where Tony and Rinke were talking. He offered us a drink and after a while Alain Mallet came in too. We had a drink, smoked a ´J´ and talked a lot. Then we went down to the bar of the hotel, but it was too crowded there. Therefore we went to a nightclub in the same building as the hotel. It had a dress code, but because we were with Tony we were allowed to go in anyway:-))
We got in settled ourselves and Tony ordered us drinks. Then we talked a lot about Paul, music, Harper, all kind of things. Later on Vincent Nguini joined us, but he didn´t say a lot. He sometimes sat at the bar, other times he joined us. Still I don´t have the idea he felt uncomfortable, maybe he just wasn´t in a talking mood.
At a certain moment I was talking to Tony when he suddenly introduced me to a man. He said it was the personal assistant/manager of Paul -C. Vaughn Hazell-. We shook hands and had a short conversation (I can´t remember what we said precisely). A few seconds later he was gone again.
-Later I heard from Evelyn that he came into the bar to look for us. He said to Tony: ´Are these the girls who gave the t-shirt?´ and then he told Evelyn that he had put the t-shirt in a special place with the instruments so it wouldn´t get lost. Then I was introduced to him. I now realize that he came to the club especially to find us and say that to us (!!!). (I wonder whether it was his own idea or that Paul told him to do so: ´Hey C. I am going to bed now, will you make sure that these girls from the t-shirt know that I am taking it with me? I believe they are at Tony´s place now. Goodnight.´ Then C. was searching the hotel to find us and finally end up in the Shark Club:-)))) but then this is only my imagination working:-)) )-
After some more talking we went to the dance floor. I had to get rid of all the dance-energy I got at the concert, but wasn´t allowed to use:-) It was very strange and fun to dance there with Tony and Alain and all kind of strange men in suits. After some dancing we sat down again and did some more talking.
At a certain time Evelyn and Miriam decided to go home. Because Miriam was in the same hotel room as we were and we had only one key, Rinke and I had to leave too, or stay for the rest of the night. We discussed the situation and decided to stay and see what happened. So we stayed. We went back to the hotel room to smoke another one and after a while we got back to the club for more talking and dancing. When the club closed we went back to Tony´s room again and stayed there the rest of the night. We drank, talked and in the end sometimes fell asleep half. At a certain time we were so hungry that we ordered breakfast. (´Roomservice!´ man that was a 5* hotel where we ´spent the night´!!!).
The guys had to leave early to get the plane to London and after saying goodbye and collecting some more autographs we went back to our backpackers hostel:-))) I think we arrived just after Miriam had left.
Tony gave me his e-mail address -two of them- but I tried to send something and got a failure notice. Probably it doesn´t exist. I gave him my address too and I made him promise to write, but I guess he won´t do that. I gave him the URL of the NALS club too and it was in the letter I included with the t-shirt as well. So they surely know we exist now, beware!! If I ever get e-mail from Tony or perhaps from Paul or his people -he has our e-mail addresses as well- I´ll let you know in NALS. Though I won´t give the e-mail address, not that I don´t want you to have it, but I can´t just spread it. If they send it they probably trust me to keep it for myself and I won´t break that trust´¦
I had an wonderful evening. I will post the things I can remember from our conversations in NALS, perhaps some things will come to mind later. There is so much to remember, it is quite difficult. So much happened. If there is anything I missed or if something comes to mind later. You can find it all in NALS: http://excite.clubs.com/paul_simon
I am convinced now that if you really want something, it can happen, but you have to try. Just do, but don´t lose yourself in it. Thank you Paul, thank you Tony and the others. Thank you Paul fans with whom I can share this experience! I can´t be more happier then I am now:-)))