I've loved Mr Bolton since I was 14. My friend Martin gave me a taped copy of Soul Provider. Yes - tape. Remember those!? Anyway. He gave me a copy of this album, and i thought it was magic. I used to listen to it ALL the time. It drove everybody round the bend. I used to play it as I drifted off to sleep, falling in to one big MB dream. One particular dream... where he came chapping at my door in a pair of jeans and a white muslin shirt that showed off his muscular silhouette and his nipples. I know I being graphic with the description - but seriously... this one dream was SO vivid. His long hair (as it was back in the day) tied back in a sleek pony tail, which emphasised his chiseled jaw bone and framed his porcelain veneers. He asked my mum if I was coming out, and he whisked me away to have dinner in Pizza Hut. (He knew how to treat a girl.) Then he got up in the middle of the 'restaurant' and sang How Am I Supposed to Live Without You. Cut to me, back at school and being the envy of all the girls, as the story had hit the newspapers and I was 'the girl that had captured MB's heart'.
Aye.... so I was a tad obsessed by the Bolton love. And then my 15th birthday only fanned the flames of MB passion. My parents bought me a ticket to go and see him in concert! And they had to pay for another ticket for my friend to come along too, cos she wasn't too willing to part with any cash to go and see him!? She was in to Curtis Stigers, who was really the poor man's version of MB, so it made sense for this girl to come with me.
It was a great concert. Though we were the only ones there that were throwing our trainer bras at him. Everyone else was throwing support tights and incontinence knickers. The age divide was huge. We were in a sea of middle aged women. Though somehow, his music brought us all together. The age divide melted away as we all waved our arms in the air and sang along to Steel Bars. (Still my fave, by the way..)
From then on, I bought my own new copies of MB albums. I was a die hard fan. Besides - if I didn't buy his albums, how was he to afford the muslin shirts and the Pizza Hut bills?!
Then, a few years ago, Robbie gave me a couple of tickets to see him in concert again. I was over the moon! Then, come to find out that he was leaving me high and dry to go and see some Rangers football game (it was the Champion's League... apparently some big deal) and he made me go with somebody else! RUDE!
This time it was weird though. I was the one with the incontinence knickers and support tights. I was one of the many middle aged women. And I was still shouting for Steel Bars. Though this time I wasn't so star struck. I think he lost some of his je ne sais quoi when he cut off his locks. Like Samson. He lost a certain something. Or maybe it was the fact that he just kept singing all his new hits that I hadn't heard. I wanted the old school stuff! I wanted to hear Time Love and Tenderness! A little bit of Giorgia on my Mind! I was just about to leave mid way through his concert when he EVENTUALLY sang Steel Bars. But as soon as he'd sang it, I was off.
I felt kind of guilty, like I was betraying a friend. I mean - we had history. But.. maybe I'm not the die hard fan I thought I was. I mean - die hard fans would be out buying every single album ever released and know every single song and send birthday cards and teddy bears and would feel genuinely sad/happy to hear of his break up with Nicolette.
I think I'm more of the Greatest Hits album kind of fan. You know - the type of person who only has Greatest Hits compilations in their CD tower.
Michael - Love is a Wonderful Thing. I love your jaw, your hair, your abs, your muslin shirts and your choice of eateries. Just not any of your stuff after The One Thing.