25 July 1992 was the day Michael played his Dangerous concert at Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and I saw him for the first time with my own eyes. I remember gazing at him as he performed one perfectly choreographed song after another, trying to convince myself that he was human, and not some fantasy character from another realm.
Michael Jackson HIStory concert
In September 2006, I travelled to Prague in the Czech Republic for the opening concert of the HIStory tour. This trip was a first for me in many ways – the first time I’d waited outside his hotel, the first time I’d been within a few feet of him and, miraculously, the first time I connected with him.
One night, I was standing outside his hotel with a group of people who I had befriended. Michael had been to a toy shop that day and kept throwing soft toys out the window, much to the delight of his fans. At one point, he trained a pair of binoculars on us and then began pointing excitedly.
He reappeared a moment later with a giant green dragon. Of course everyone reached for it as it flew down and it ended up torn to pieces. I was overjoyed to see that one of my friends, a tall guy from Prague, had got one of its legs…and totally blown away when he gave it to me, insisting I have it.
It might not sound like a huge deal now but it meant sooo much to me at the time – to hold something in my hands that Michael had actually touched. It was the closest I had ever been to him. I still have that partial toy and I often think of the guy who gave it to me. I hope that wherever he is, he’s having a wonderful life.
On the night before the concert, Michael left to go to Letná Stadium for a final rehearsal and we managed to get inside and watch the entire concert from just a few feet away. So when I saw the public concert the following night, which I watched from the second row, I knew what was coming.
When Michael walked out on stage carrying a suitcase, I started shouting, “Billie Jean!” The people around me must have thought I was crazy as there was no indication that he was about to sing that song. But I didn’t care. I wanted to grab his attention and I knew this was my only chance.
Michael put the case on a stool, popped it open and extracted a sequined glove, at which point everyone realized what was coming. Just before the opening beat began, he looked right at me and winked (just like the wink he gives Katie in Moonwalker, which of course was a huge part of my childhood).
It was the most AMAZING moment of my life. I couldn’t believe that in a crowd of 120,000, I had found a way to connect with the biggest superstar on the planet and the man I love more than life itself. That was magic.