This is an interesting topic. I guess after 22 years (has it really been that long?) Neil meeting fans etc is one area that I've either been part of ,or observed for several decades now.
I have so many wonderful memories of things that he has done, and most of it fan friendly and stuff he doesn't have to do...a lot that fans have no idea that he initiated.
I remember this gig on one of the last UK tours and it was raining, Neil looking out of the band room window on a 2nd level and says "Pete there are some fans outside in the rain waiting, lets bring them inside." (this is after the show). We grabbed all the band room towels and dried (possibly some of you guys) and Neil signed many wet CD covers and photos. His main concern was getting people in out of the wet.
Or Neil and Nigel turning up out of the blue at a Frenz BBQ and staying for 4 hours chatting, signing, endless photos, Neil at the BBQ, it was such a fun sight. Even when I turned up at Kare Kare when CH were recording Together Alone, with 10,000 Crowdies Xmas cards for them to sign....that was the only time it was a bit too much ...after 3/4 were signed the fun had left the building....it was just too much...still he wasn't all that pissed. Just had no fingers left (:
I think he appreciates people who have some courtesy. Especially after shows, remember its a day travel on a tour bus, away from home, soundcheck and interviews, performance and usually encores, no excuses as its his job BUT it still puts you in a particular headspace. People can act really strange around him- I have been with a group of thirty fans and truely you can hear a pin drop
some people lose the ability of speech. Some talk ten times as much- some people pull out a hundred covers., sign this and this and this..
that can be too much. I think treat him like a person, get one or two items signed and just be yourself. He'll appreciate that and it's far more relaxing for all concerned.
As far as fan stuff, out of all the people I have worked for he has been one of the most supportive around fan areas. I really do admire him for that, and really at the end of the day if he was a prat or egomaniac I really wouldn't be working for him as I'd hate my job.
After all this time I still get a bit odd around him, maybe thats what makes the myth....he has "something"...people relate to that "something" in many ways. All I know is that I dig him and his family- good people I reckon.