Do you personally know the Pet Shop Boys or have any official affiliation with them?

I have no official affiliation with them. My website is merely a hobby and "academic interest" on my part. As such, I never dreamt that I would ever actually meet them in person. But, as it turned out, I did get to meet them after roughly 13 years of being a fan. Naturally, my partner George and I attended one of the shows on their Autumn 2006 North American Fundamental tour. And thanks to my participation in their documentary A Life in Pop and the very great kindness of a certain contact, we were able to obtain backstage passes.

After the show (and a marvelous show it was at that!), George and I went backstage and, along with about a dozen other guests, met Neil and Chris. George took a photo of me with Neil (unfortunately, it's a bit blurry) but I didn't get a picture taken with Chris. Regardless, this was one of the great thrills of my life!

Neil and Chris are both extremely charming and affable in person, even after the rigors of a performance. Of the two, Neil seems the more outgoing. Chris comes across as somewhat more shy and reticent, although I'm sure he opens up a lot more among people he knows well.

I didn't get to talk to them very much—our time was very limited and we had to share them, so to speak, with the others present—but, as we chatted and drank champagne together from paper cups, I did learn the following things:

We were also fortunate enough to meet and talk with them again during the U.S. leg of their 2009 Pandemonium Tour, both at the pre-show "Meet 'n' Greet" and backstage after the concert. Having neglected to do so at our previous meeting three years before, I presented them with copies of my 1994 book Rock on the Wild Side. Chris accepted his copy and immediately started thumbing through it, but Neil handed his back, saying with a smile, "I have a confession to make—I already own a copy." (A delightful revelation!) Neil was particularly generous with his time at the after-show get-together, talking to us at length about the concert, certain songs, their local visit, other stops on the U.S. tour, restaurants where they've had particularly good meals, and the like. I told him, among other things, that I thought this show was the best that I'd attended yet and that "All Over the World" was an especially good live number that they should consider making a concert staple. Regrettably, we didn't get to speak nearly as much with Chris because he spent most of his time visiting with another group of people. (Hey, we can't expect to keep them all to ourselves! wink)

We also met them again during the 2013 Electric Tour, once more at both the pre-show "Meet 'n' Greet" and after the concert. Once more we spoke at greater length with Neil, but this time we were able to talk to Chris for a while as well, which was delightful. And we met up with them both again (as well as with Pete Gleadall and a few other members of their party) following their local 2016 Super Tour show.

Thank you so much, Neil and Chris, for meeting with us! I'll always greatly treasure these wonderful experiences!