Liz Taylor, I agree wholeheartedly with your observations about Neil - I was struck as well the first time I saw Neil with how worn he looked. Much different than the rock star image in my head. He looked tired and annoyed and had much more grey hair than I expected. A real guy - who'da thought?!?
Mabelle, I recognized myself in your reflections and thought for a moment you were going to say something scary about my craziness last summer at the SF show! (But then I checked your profile and realized who you are - Hey girl, how is life down under???)
I posted a (somewhat lengthy) reflection of my personal experience of meeting Neil on the "Is is silly to want to meet Neil" thread. I didn't realize much about Neil at the time, and didn't know he doesn't like to sign autographs. From the way I saw some people just demanding things from him, I understand why.
I've had my chance to 'bear my soul' and offer him my thanks for being such a special part of my life. I think now that there are separate places in my heart to hold icons who are also people; one place of holding on to all the gifts I've received and the 'inner rockstar' I project onto such icons, and another place of letting go and being separate from them as folk.