A close review of a hard-core member of Cliff Fan Club in Korea(KCFC)
 


Cliff's 4 nights and 5 days' stay in Seoul, Korea
form Oct.15(Wed) to Oct.19(Sun), 1969
It was about 12:15pm in Oct. 15, 1969 which was 30 minutes late than the schedule when JAL appeared in my sight. A lot of fans waiting at the greeting area could see Cliff getting out of the plane almost as the last passenger. He was wearing navy jacket and dark grey striped pants in light grey background. The first impression of smiling Cliff was he has a look of a British man. When I saw him through the movies and pictures and the sleeves of the LP's, I thoguht he should have an Oriental look in any sense. No, I was wrong!! He had bigger beautiful eyes and sharp nose than I imagined.

He said he thanks the Hankook Ilbo(the sponsor) to greet him at a VIP room with courtesy and warm welcome of his fans shown in the airport. He mentioned he heard about Korea while he visited Japan. David Bryce(his manager then) said Korea is not a small country at all and has a big population than he knew.

Cliff unpacked at the suite 735 of Bando Hotel(Lotte Hotel now) with his staff. And 2 hours later, he was rehearsaling at the auditorium of the Hankook Ilbo with the Shadows, MBC orchestra and 3 female back vocals chosen among the MBC choir for about 3 hours. He looked greater and impressive at the time of the rehearsal than at the concerts, I thought, as he was more relaxing and comfortable. I have prepared what to talk to him if I have a chance to see him for months and months, but my lips were stuck and couldn't speak a word at all though he is just in front of me. When he showed up at the rehearsal, everybody in that auditorium ran to him to get his autographs that there was a chaos for a short time. I couldn't move from where I was. My legs wouldn't move a step towards him like my lips refused to say a word. But, I and 2 other friends, his ardent fans were invited at the rehearsal and sitting at the fifth row watching him singing and leading the pleasant atmosphere all through it. Finally it was over.

I thought "Ah, he is leaving for the hotel" and sighed myself. At that moment, a miracle happened to us. He was walking towards us!! He smiled at us and gave us his hand saying "Other people came to get my autographs. But I'd better come to my fans and do it for you." It was real, real. I wasn't dreaming at all. I heartily understood nobody would care for their fans better than him.

At the night he arrived, the British Ambassador to Korea held a reception in the British embassy for Cliff and his staff. The guests included mostly foreign diplomats, those working in the media, and 6 Korean famous singers. I felt kinda guilty having more chances close to him than other club members that I didn't get in but waited outside. I think I had to get as many chances to get closer to him and make more detailed reports for the rest who didn't go there. And I could smell his after shave.............
Cliff wanted to eat Korean traditional food for the dinner next day(Oct. 16), that the sponsor arranged a Korean restaurant in the Walker Hill. They took bool-go-gie and Korean roast beef pretty much. They all seemed to enjoy it a lot. Cliff drank a couple of sakei(Japanese alcohol) though he does not drink much. One girl serving at the other side of the restaurant noticed Cliff when he was going to leave by a reserved bus. She came running to him bare foot before having a minute to wear her shoes.

The sponsor was paying the bill for that dinner. Cliff paid for it saying "You are paid for salary. But I make good money for the concerts that let me pay this. You can spend that money with the staff after the concerts." After he left, we were treated and fed so well by them. Thanks to Cliff!!

On his third day in Seoul(Oct. 17), he wanted to go out of the city and see the country sides, but considering his schedule, we took him to the Secret Garden. He said it was impressive and beautiful and some places look like his own garden.

On his fourth day in Seoul(Oct. 18), we held a party as his 29th birthday party as well as a reception for his fan club members. Ki-young Chang, founder of the Hankook Ilbo took part in this party to see him: wondering who is that popular guy occupying the hearts of all teen age girls in Korea.

CFC gave him some presents, ie. Korean traditional costumes, and Korean style case for the glasses, and a badge of CFC made of gold. He thanked for this reception and gifts from his fans. David Bryce looked after him so perfectly. When the fans rush to him, he blocks them away from him yelling and shouting. On the other hand, Cliff was joking and playing with his fans withsmile in his face.
One of the highlights of that day was Korean traditional dance supposed to be performed by the club members. But they didn't show up until the party was almost over. At that time, all the girls' high schools in Seoul were in alert as per his visit, they all announced that week of his visit to have the mid-term exams. They tried to keep the girls away from his concerts. Some schools sent the teachers to the airport to supervise the students on Oct. 15. And one school whose most of the students were his fans didn't release them until it was dark. The 5 performers were attending at this school and couldn't make it any earlier. They finally escaped from the school and joined the party in vain as it was too late.... I was told they paid for this brave break next day.

He had very tight schedule during his stay, but he made a chance to visit the Salvation Army located behind the Ducksoo Palace and donated some amount of money. He shopped mostly in the Bando Arcade, which is inside the hotel accomodation.

He didn't forget to comment the followings to CFC: I have known that Korea may not be a big market for me. But I am glad to find out there are a lot of my fans here. I would expect your continuous support very much. He never showed a sign of being tired at all. He was such a caring person by birth dearly.