It's a little late but wait... I'm sure I can add something to this... Let's take a stroll down memory lane to how I know our beloved webmaster. I'll try to follow the form of the staff members...
I still remember first talking to Mark back in 2004 for the first time. Linkinparkforums.com was that place to be, and I was trading with his assistant at the time. He gave me the Juke Joint 2000 show for free. I proceeded to trade the show out to everyone and everyone to build up my own collection. I was solely responsible for that show becoming common when it did. (forgive me for not remembering his name... 'Don Byers' maybe?) But then I heard that this assistant of his was ripping off tons of foreign traders at the time, so I decided to deal with this guy directly. I was happy I did, as Mark was quite possibly the only guy I met that was as big an LP fan as I was... Man we could talk for hours about a single bootleg and not get bored, we talked for hours and hours about Linkin Park live shows. I learned so much from Mark...
The common LPL member (staff or otherwise) wouldn't know this, but I was there.. From the time the entire LP community alienated him, and I (along with a guy called Vash) were his only friends, to the time he was bitching about not being a moderator on linkinparkforums.com, to the time he got a cease and desist letter for curefortheitch.com, to the time he first envisioned a LP Live Guide.... I was there.
I remember... One night I got a message from some guy in L.A. claiming he had a Linkin Park bootleg from 1997. I called bullshit, but he provided me with a pretty convincing clip. Naturally, the first guy I went to, was Mark. Bet you wouldn't know this, but at the time, he was one of my best buddies in the LP community and we talked online everyday. He listened to the clip, and was just as ecstatic as I was, but we agreed to keep it under wraps until I could uncover more information. The guy who gave me the clip started getting distant and avoiding me for the longest time. As time went on, the first thing Mark would say to me every day when I first went on AIM was "Did you hear anything about that Xero show?" He started becoming distant as well, we were talking more about how great it would be to get the Xero show, and how we could be trading partners if I did, than about Linkin Park in general like we used to. Imagine his disappointment when I finally got a second clip from this guy, and all this second clip did was prove how fake the show really was. Me and Mark stopped talking for a few months.
Fast forward to the end of 2005.... Linkin Park was on hiatus, trading was becoming less widespread, but Fort Minor was going full steam ahead. I think this is when I realized how obsessed Mark is with Mike Shinoda, because me and Mark were talking all the time again, only about Mike Shinoda and Fort Minor now. I was happy, because I got tickets to see Fort Minor live in Toronto. This was also a very exciting time for me, because it was the first LP (or LP related) show I was attending since I started trading. So naturally I wanted to tape it, lol. Mark was very excited, because I fully intended at the time to release the show everywhere once I recorded it. Unfortunately I didn't know exactly how to get the show off of my tapes and on to my computer. It was like last year all over again, now Mark was asking most days "How's that Toronto show coming along?" and not much else. It was around this time that the idea for a Linkin Park Live Guide started making rounds among Mark's "inner circle" if you want to call it that.
Bet you wouldn't know this, but I came to Mark with the idea of a LP Live Guide before he even mentioned it to me, and long before what you see now even existed... That's when he told me that he was already contemplating this grand idea of having a fully updated, as complete as possible, all inclusive LP Live Guide.
I was ecstatic about the idea, and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He told me that he had no idea, since he didn't even know what he was going to do with it yet. It was then that I offered my 2006 FM show to him. I figured if he could release a live show exclusively through the Live Guide, then that would have to get people to notice it and get behind it. I made it my personal mission to find a way to get that show on to the internet. I made some progress over time and found a way to do it. I remember somewhere during this time, Mark was becoming a pretty popular guy. He started talking about expanding the live guide into a full Linkin Park website of sorts. Once again, I asked if there was anything I could do to help, and once again, he told me that he didn't even know what he was going to do yet.
Alas, they say bad luck always hits when you least need it to. My family's mortgage was foreclosed and we had 30 days to clear everything out and find another place to live. I was forced to completely cut off from the internet for several months, and didn't even get a chance to announce my long absence. (which is cheesy anyway, since people always do that but then come back a few days later...) It wasn't until after MTM was released and the the touring for that album was in its second year that I finally had a computer and internet back full time. I was shocked when I looked up the live guide, and found an awesome website with a grand layout, a forum, hell a whole community to go with it. Everyone was there... nkmar, AndOne, Jen, shadowfax, Astat, just to name a few. Only a few people remember who I was at the time
Whew! So... Here we are today, you're the man of the hour, and I'm sitting here bitter wondering why the hell everything went in the direction it did. I'll always remember sticking up for you when everyone wanted you to just leave the community, when you had no one else to talk to online. I'll also always remember you for not giving a rat's ass about me (beyond what live shows I had) when I needed it, apparently not thinking I'm good enough to help you with anything relating to your live guide, acting like you barely know who I am when we used to talk everyday for at least six months straight, and of course still not recognizing me for anything other than when my bootleg can be your next exclusive.
Happy Belated Birthday Mark.