Paul R kindly sent this wonderful message.
He also posted it on the Dame Shirley Message Board today:
Hello to all.
Thought I’d let the dust settle following the recent tour before I wrote this piece.
I simply want to say some ‘Thank You’s.
Firstly, a big thank you to Dave Spencer for all his hard work in enabling true fans to see this year’s tour ‘close-up’. Real fans put in so much work promoting the Dame and her music in between tours that it is only fair that they should get priority seating. But without the good work of Dave this wouldn’t happen. Dave helped me to obtain great seats for Manchester and Birmingham (although sadly my mother’s health meant she couldn’t attend Birmingham) So ‘Thank You’ Dave.
Secondly, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Clear Channel Entertainment for their help with the Cardiff concert. This year I intended to take my mother to all concerts, and at the time they were announced I wrote to Clear Channel directly to ask if they could provide some seats close to the stage because of my mother’s deteriorating eyesight. (This was before I knew of Dave’s offer to fans). They eventually came back with the best seats I have ever had to any concert – centre front row Cardiff.
Let me talk a little about the Cardiff concert, just to explain just how much this meant to me and my mother. My mother is a huge Shirley fan and has been since the start of her career. I’ve helped her see the Dame a couple of times over the years – 1994, 1998, and (with Dave’s help) in 2003 and have been lucky to get her fairly good seats. Imagine her delight when she was told that she would be sitting in the front row of a Shirley Bassey concert.
To the concert – well it has all been said over the last couple of weeks so I won’t go on at length. Simply to say that she was fantastic – again! Superb versions of the Living Tree, You Needed Me (my personal favourite at the moment) and Maybe This Time (please let there be a full version on the new album!!). Her voice is certainly changing – much deeper and huskier but actually more suited to some of the slower numbers in the set. The live concert setting is where Dame Shirley seems to find that extra spark – compare AAW with this show!
For anyone who was at the show, my mother was the one who (despite the security!) got up to give the Dame a bottle of Mumms and a card. She was slow getting to the stage and the first few bars of New York had began as she reached it. (Apologies to the fans and Dame Shirley for that!) Shirley spotted her and graciously interrupted her start to come over, crouch down and accept the gifts. My mother had now managed to achieve her lifetime ambition which was to meet her idol, albeit briefly, shake her hand and say ‘thank you’ to her personally for everything she has meant to her over the years. ‘Thank you and ‘I love you’ was her response adding ‘Yumm Yumm, Mumms’ when she saw the Champagne! She then returned to the stage and asked the audience ‘Any more before I start again?’ in such good humour! A fantastic night which will be remembered forever.
(For those on the Message board – see the photo on Peggy’s Blog)
Thank you also to ALL on the message board / Peggy’s Blog who have been an inspiration to me and have helped in so many ways in obtaining memorabilia for my mother. (Harry H, Peggy, BigSpenda Johnny One Note, Mikey Mike, Theo, John De Greef, Astrid, David B, Ed etc etc). I’m just sorry that I didn’t get the chance to meet with you before and after the shows. My mother really wasn’t very well and it took all her effort just to get through the concert. I did get to meet Harry H briefly – thank you for your kind words Harry. Unfortunately, I do now have to focus on my wife who is not well and so I won’t be able to contribute to the board / Blog as much as I would like from now on. However I’ll still check in from time to time and will try to stay in touch with members directly. I know I said I’d put together a DVD compilation for fans and because of my wife’s illness I’m not there yet. But I will do this as soon as possible and I’ll make it available over the board – if that’s alright Tony? This will be my personal ‘Thank You’ to all of you who have been such an inspiration over the years.
And finally, the biggest ‘Thank You’ of all goes to – yes you guessed it – Dame Shirley Bassey!
Dame Shirley – your music, your performances and your truly remarkable character have been an inspiration to my mother since the very start and you have helped her find courage and strength through many personal tragedies. Your kind words on that night in Cardiff meant the whole world to one elderly, grey-haired lady from Sunderland. So on behalf of her I say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ and wish you every future success, health and happiness – you deserve it!
Love and best wishes to all
Well said, Paul R. We all wish your mother and your wife the best.
Warmest wishes to you as their carer. Please keep in touch.
By the way, I think your mum must be tough getting through those security guards at Cardiff. I saw her bravely go forth.
Sitting in the front row helped. I don’t think the goons realised what she’d done until it was over. Shirley was clearly delighted with the gift. A Great moment and thank you for sharing it with fans around the world.
Here’s another movie clip from my phonecam gadget.
Not great quality, very short, but an enjoyable part of John Barry’s exquisite Moonraker, performed exqisitely at Cardiff. It might take a while to load on broadband but it sure is worth it!
Free Audio CD samples from Amazon.com: