So, I thought I would post it here, for myself, and other friends, and link others here if they want to share my "first" memories.
The first - TV
While BtVS was showing, my friend Toni talked about the show, but I said I wouldn't watch something with magic, vampires, etc. It just wasn't the show for me. Anyway, half way through season 7 her 2 daughters stayed with me. One evening as they were watching TV I went in to ask if they wanted a cup of tea, and someone was saying a poem. I glanced up to see this Victorian man talking to hi mother. As I continued to watch he became a Cockney with bleached hair ... I can honestly say he came right off the screen at me. I asked the girls about him and was told he was a vampire ... and they said a bit more about his story. The man himself made me look at the show, his story made me watch the following week ... and as the show finished those few weeks later I was so hooked that I wanted to re-write the ending. That led me to fan-fiction, writing my first ever story , to LJ ... and the rest is history.
The screen magnetism and believability of both his characters in that episode (Lies) still show in everything that I have seen him perform. Although having seen him, a couple of years ago, become Spike on stage really reinforced his amazing acting abilities.
The second - Music
Most of you know I had a "lonely" childhood in lots of ways - and one of those was isolation from parties etc. So much so I never really thought about it as I grew up. I used to hear of parties and concerts and never bothered. I played in an orchestra and performed in concerts, but never went to hear others perform.
However James changed all that.
As I got friends through LJ I heard he was coming to England and the time came, and went ... and I realised for the first time I feel I had missed out. So 18months later when I heard he was coming to England to do a selection of things I bought a ticket for the Friday evening concert ... then had to work out how to get there! The support act was okay, and the whole thing of live music began to make sense ... then James stepped on stage. I was mesmorised.
In many songs he looked out at the audience (and although I know from experience stage lighting is a pain, you really get the impression that he is singing just to you. His focus is amazing - and as his somgs are totally his, you know they mean something. He explained most of them - and for that hour you felt that he was relaxing in your front room, singing about what life has meant to him.
And, yes, he sang "London City" ... and I loved the song. I suppose, for me, it was the first time I had "met" him ... and my love of the song stands.
The third - Face to Face
Having decided to go to London I then decided to go to Milton Keynes the next day.
I had an autograph with him and was overawed to realise that he shook hands with every person, looked at them, smiled. He made those few seconds so personal. I thanked him for the previous nights concert and mentioned something about it ... and rather than a throw away answer I was expecting he replied specifically and actually asked me something.
He gives such focus to you ... an amazing talent.
I then had my photo taken ... I walked in, he shook hands ...and ... that's all I remember! He put his arm around me (I know as the picture came out) and I don't remember any more! JamesFog at it's best!!
So, now 5 years on, I still love how amazing he is both on screen, and with his fans. He appears to love life, and want to share that with those around him.
I wish I could tell him how much he has meant to so many people - how he has affected do many of us.
If it hadn't been for him (and his death as Spike) I would never have written, never have found LJ and my friends,a nd never attempted the art work I do.
He has given so many of us so much - I hope he realises how muach so many of us appreciate him. And for those who gained inspiration from him, I hope they remember that as the years go on.
Thank you James - Happy Birthday.
I pray that you will have a wonderful day today and that the coming years will be truly wonderful for you.