18th December 1996

I knew the competition winner would be announced today and I woke up hoping beyond hope that NRJ would contact me. I still had a few hours to wait though, and it wasn't until I arrived home from University at 5.00 p.m. that my father told me they had telephoned. I hadn't won yet but they wanted to know a little more about me, in case I did.

I rushed to my room and turned on the radio. I was so excited and couldn't do anything but listen until I heard something about the competition. I was glued to the radio for over two hours and then it happened. At 7.20 p.m. NRJ announced, "and now we'll call the winner of our Sting competition: fbien". The telephone rang. It was amazing. I couldn't believe it. There I was, talking on the radio about my favourite subject and I couldn't find anything to say. I was just too excited. It finally ended when the radio station gave me the name and telephone number of the person who would be arranging my prize. I put down the phone but was still very excited. Before long, I was jumping around and shouting and it was a whole 5 minutes before I calmed down enough to phone my parents, my friends, anyone! I just had to tell the world what had happened. It was so unbelievable. Just like a dream. That night, I couldn't sleep.

21st December 1996

It was Sting's Toulouse concert today and I'd arranged to meet Estelle and Leslie at my home, two "Sting" friends, before the show. Noa was supporting Sting for the tour and I must say, she was the best supporting act I've ever seen. She had an wonderful voice and helped to make it an amazing concert. Sting performed so many tracks and he was in a really good mood. But there was more to come. Kenny Kirkland sang during "Let Your Soul", and we were treated to an acoustic version of "You Still Touch Me", with all the band at the front of the stage. Noa joined Sting for a incredible version of "Fields Of Gold" and Sting asked a boy and girl to join him on stage for "I'm so happy". The girl Karoline was wonderful and asked if he would sing in French. Sting explained that he didn't know enough French but sang the child's song "Alouette". It was so funny! Finally he sang "I'm so happy" and wore the Father Christmas hat that somebody had thrown on stage. As if that wasn't enough, he followed the performance with the most amazing versions of "Bring On The Night" and "Roxanne".

It really was a wonderful concert but to be honest, I only had one thing on my mind. Tomorrow, I meet Sting!

22nd December 1996

It was D-day and it felt like an exam day. It was so strange. I had to be at NRJ radio by 5.00 p.m. and meet the competition organiser, Olivier. He was so friendly as he showed me around the station and afterwards we recorded a short interview about my passion for Sting. It was then time to go to the Zenith, where the concert and interview were to take place. It was so exciting being on the other side of the stage and to have this little plastic sticker on my shirt. I'd seen so many people wearing passes at other concerts and I'd always wanted one.

Dominic Miller arrived first and I asked him to sign the copy of his "first touch" album that I'd brought with me. He was so surprised but very pleased that I had it. I also took a moment to explain why I was there and that I would be helping with the sound check. And then came my first disappointment. Dominic told me that Sting wouldn't be at the sound check as he was visiting friends in a chateau near town. He wouldn't arrive until 7.30 p.m.! Kenny Kirkland, Vinnie Colaiuta, Butch Thomas and Clark Gayton arrived a few minutes later and Olivier, who was still with me, took my picture with Dominic and Kenny. Finally, it was time for the sound check, even if it was without Sting. It was so funny. Vinnie was playing drums as usual but Kenny insisted on playing Bass instead of the keyboards. All the roadies and musicians were laughing but even so, I thought he was very good. Afterwards, Dominic played the beginning of "Demolition Man" to check his guitar. It really was fun but without Sting, it was over in less than 5 minutes. I then asked Vinnie if I could take a picture with him but he was wet and explained he'd like to take a shower first. I knew what he meant as I felt the same.

Even though it was strange and exciting being so close to the roadies and musicians, I still couldn't help feeling sad and disappointed that Sting hadn't turned up.

I also spoke to Dany Quatrochi, Stings personal roadie. He was very friendly but shy. Vinnie was very honest though and told me he was a little fed up with the tour. It was only two days until Christmas and they were still on the road. He also told me that Sting wasn't very happy with the drum solo and other things like that and finally agreed to have his photo taken with me.

with Dominic...
with Kenny...
and with Vinnie...

And Sting still wasn't there! The next 30 minutes were awful. I knew he had to arrive soon and my heart stopped every time the door opened. It was terrible! Then at around 8.00 p.m., he arrived. His hair was short and he looked very impressive in his long coat. He didn't appear to be in a very good mood though, and he walked past me as if I wasn't there. He had the "Grotesque" face, if you know what I mean, he was very impressive. He passed in front of me again, when he decided to return to the dressing room and find something to eat. It was awful. I still hadn't met him. By now, it was time for Noa to perform and it was clear that my interview wouldn't happen. I just had a long and miserable wait until Sting and the band passed by me again, on their way to stage.

Thankfully, Pascal Bernardin, the French tour manager, noticed how miserable I looked and took pity on me. Perhaps my interview would take place after all? But not today. Pascal could only invite me to Bercy on the 5th February. It was better than nothing though and the meeting was arranged. I just had to wait.

Regrettably, I was still feeling disappointed and couldn't enjoy the concert as I had the night before. On top of that, Sting appeared to be in a good mood again and I couldn't understand it, after seeing him backstage. Eventually, I just told myself he wasn't usually like this and it will be better next time. The concert was good though and this time he invited my friends, Toni Carbo and Estelle, on stage to sing with him.Christmas and New Year didn't seem as much fun as usual either and I still had to wait for the Paris concert on 5th February.


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