Here’s a super message just received from Dave Stevenson.
“Having purchased the bottle of pink champagne weeks in advance, the day before the Manchester concert I gift wrapped it in a silver box but it looked a bit plain, so I decided to spruce it up with 12 pictures (3 on each side) of myself and Shirley I had acquired over the years.
I can never really relax and enjoy the concert until I have been to Shirley at the stage. I decided I would go to Shirley after ‘The Living Tree’. She finished the last note, the orchestra stopped and the lights dimmed. I got up and went towards the stage thinking ‘will she remember me?’
Years ago I would get very nervous about going to Shirley at the stage, but now it feels like I am meeting an old friend. I raised my hand to get her attention – she looked at me, smiled and walked over and we shook hands. The expression on her face and the tone of her voice confirmed she had remembered me and knew who I was. (After all it had been 3 years since the last tour.)
‘Hello, how are you?’ she asked. We had a short conversation but then she became intrigued at all of the pictures on the box and started admiring them.
I returned to my seat having accomplished something I had been looking forward to for months. I usually get a red carnation from Shirley during ‘Hey Jude’ but unfortunately missed it.
At the end of the concert we are all normally standing for ‘I Am What I Am’, but the medley put paid to that. At the end of the medley during the standing ovation there wasn’t the usual surge down to the stage due to stewards being over protective. I kept edging forwards looking behind me to see if others were doing the same, a steward put his arm out to stop me but too late – I was at the stage, I reached and waved to Shirley, she saw me. walked over and shook my hand again.
By that time there was a mass of hands reaching up wanting to be touched by Shirley. She worked her way across the stage and upon reaching the end, returned to centre stage where I noticed she was holding a fragment of the red dress that had come adrift. I waved frantically at her as if to say ‘me, me, me’.
She walked in my direction, I reached as hard as I could, and then I saw the fragment falling in my direction. Standing on my tip toes I reached and grabbed it. This more than made up for missing the red carnation.
There was a picture recently on Peggy’s blog showing Shirley holding the fragment. Also when I watch Shirley on the Royal Variety I now think ‘I have got part of that dress’.
Attached is a picture of the red dress fragment. A wonderful end to a wonderful concert which I will remember forever.”
Wow! Thanks Dave for sharing your experience.
When it comes to being a fan, you certainly are no featherweight!
I wonder if you could auction the fragment at Christie’s?
Later in the tour, lady in red Shirley commented on the bits falling off her gowns, saying that she will end the tour singing naked. Which brought plenty of cheers from the men
Getting personal interest stories like this makes running this blog such a joy.
Thank you so very much Dave.Your other photos will be uploaded soon.