First time Offstage Michael...
In 1992 when the Dangerous Tour kicked off in Munich I had to finish school and was only able (ehh allowed) to go to the concert (so, yeah, I missed out on the great outings in Munich, I even missed out on the video shoot for Give in to me!). For the next city I had a ticket, Cologne, I was at the hotel, but anyone who knows the Cologne Hyatt also knows it can be a challenge...
Hence, my first offstage sighting of wonderful Michael was in Hamburg, 7 August 1992. He arrived at the Hotel Atlantic fresh from the airport wearing black pants, black shirt and hat and the silver-mirrored pilot sunglasses. (See images of him arriving at Hamburg Aiport for instance at http://mjphotoscolle...burgarrivaljpg/)
When the bus drove in I did not really see much, tinted windows, a gazillion of people, and me totally new to the business! But at the hotel window - he was on the second floor I think - he came to an OPEN window and waved.
The image of him smiling and waving is - to this day - burnt into my memory.
He did come to the window a couple of times, waving behind curtains, with flowers etc. There was one car parked in front of his hotel window where three (or more?) fans were standing on top screaming for him. Excitement and all, y'know... After they came down it had a HUGE dent instead of a roof.
The next day was concert day in Bremen and it was a very hot, hot, HOT day - in terms of the weather.
9 August 1992 will also always be a very special day because it was the day of the Hamburger Dom Funfair, but first some snapshots from the afternoon. Michael played/flirted with the fans from the roof of the Atlantic hotel.
We were leaning against the wall opposite of the rear entrance of the hotel (across a narrow one-way street) waiting for him to drive away. But nothing happened. Sometime, I guess just out of boredome we looked up to the sky wondering about the weather and happened to glimpse at the roof of the hotel.... Well, what can I say.. there he was!! He realized he had been spotted by a few of us, he put his finger to his lips "shhhh" and then started blowing kisses, pointing, waving all with a HUGE smile on his face.
Many of those leaning were following the tour, so nobody said a word until one of the local girls realized what was going on and screamed like there was no tomorrow. The crowd that had been clinging to the gate where Michael's bus was parked ran over to our side of the street and Michael disappeared. The crowd ran back to the van side of the street and Michael appeared again, blew kisses and cracked up in between... they came running over to us, he disappeared... back and forth, back and forth for quite a while. It was quite funny.
The way around the Atlantic Hotel was a one-way street and right in front of the hotel was a traffic light that was ALWAYS red when Michael's van approached!!!! :-)) So instead of running with the van, you could also just await it at the traffic light and hope for some sign language communication with Michael.
8:30 pm 9 August Michael left for the funfair and we raced there with a taxi. What a remember is his ugly yellow shirt :-). (also in the Dangerous Gallery to admire) What a shirt!!
For some reason beyond comprehension, we were allowed to walk with him!!! I think we were about 15 followers who made a circle around Michael and Brett and Karly, so they were protected not only by bodyguards but also by us. Somewhat. Anyhow. Well, we wanted to believe it :-)
I could not believe it. And to this day I am somewhat amazed. I walked more or less next to Michael. Wayne was on the side I was on just said something like "Just don't touch him". One of us said to Michael "remember Michael every child is a song" (referring to a present) and he turned to her, grabbed her hands and say "ohhhhh thank youuuu" (so, yeah, it seemed he had received it!).
Michael was going on rides laughing, laughing, laughing. I remember his happy laughter so clearly!
When in the labyrinth everytime he thought we did NOT see him he would fool around with Brett doing
super-stupid things to the bodyguards; the moment he saw us and knew we saw him he was very well behaved and waved, blew kisses.
Of course after a while it got ugly because "normal" funfair visitors wanted "to get a glimpse" and small children were almost trampled upon. We decided to return to the hotel because it could have only been a matter of minutes until Wayne would decide to end the spectacle. We jumped into a waiting taxi in front of the funfair and 5 Min later Michael was back at the hotel as well and waved once quickly before going in.
Funny sidenote - the taxi we jumped in had been waiting for Wayne, Charles and Ian.....
Treasurable, wonderful memories....