I am still in shock and so sad at the news that George Michael died on Christmas Day. When my friend text me and said "have you heard"? I knew before she even said the words.
I think as a true George Michael fan you're almost always braced for bad news - there's been a few bombshells over the years and his silence for the last year or so never really boded well as he loved a bit of interaction with the fans or lovelies as he calls us.
There are a tribe of lovelies and they are all a very chilled bunch not like other icon's fans, I think because George always was.
There are already so many press stories circulating, mostly speculation, only some probably with elements of truth. George didn't care about the press being silly, he let them get on with it. George was the most self aware pop icon, so he never needed validation from the press. He got that from people that listened to his music hence the album release Listen without Prejudice.
I wanted this post to be upbeat and not too long; so here are my top memories/facts of George.
1. I loved Wham! But thought George was a big hairy man so was horrified when my sister got me concert tickets on my 14th birthday.
2. This turned out to be my best concert ever and from then on I was George Michael obsessed
3. When I was 15 I went with my friend to find George Michael in Hertfordshire where he lived. We didn't find him but we found Andrew Ridgeley instead who was lovely and even sent me a birthday card for my 16th birthday. I entered the story as part of my GCSE project.
4. When I was 15 I lived in a pub and once George Michael's assistant returned my call and the whole pub went silent when my dad shouted she was on the phone. I think I rang her to invite George to my birthday party lol
5. When I was 20 I worked at capital radio - the head of programming got me an invite to their charity dinner George was patron of. It was the greatest gift anyone ever gave me!
6. I wasn't allowed in VIP area but I went trundling in anyway and no one had the heart to stop me sitting down and chatting to George. Who was really nice and kind; promised me he'd listen to my demo tape I'd made for him ( not sure he ever did) but glad I got to actually engage with him. We had our photo taken with my boss at the time and when I look back the photo just doesn't seem real. Glad I had the balls to be that brazen, as what a memory to cherish!
7. A few months later my boss at capital told me I'd never find out where George's launch party for his album Older would be - so I took on the challenge, found out and just walked in. I spent the night chatting to his mum and dad, before being asked to leave by my boss for gatecrashing. Oops
8. I worked at a studio once where George recorded and always stroked his little dogs when they visited. I never saw George again until years later when he worked at another studio I worked at and we said hi and I told him the lift was dodgy.
9. Our paths very nearly crossed again through mutual friends and I kind of thought they would again. But I'm very lucky to have had the time I did get - it's more than most. Apparently he knew of me. Haha
10. My favourite Wham! Song is called - If you were there it's a cover of Isley Brothers. George's voice is amazing.
11. George wrote Last Christmas whilst Andrew watched Match of the Day
12. My favourite George Michael song if I had to absolutely pick one would be One More Try.
13. I met George Michael's concert promoter through work who got me some amazing seats for the last show I was every to see him in. I will always be grateful for that as I had terrible seats before that.
14. George was a really nice guy. Never heard anyone that met him or worked with him say anything bad. The studio boys always said the recording sessions were long with George as he was such a musical perfectionist.
15. Princess Diana once asked George to wave at me as I was shouting to get his attention at a take that concert. I was the only one in a George Michael tee shirt so it was hard to miss me. (Cringe but hilarious)
16. When I was 20 George's record company promotions guy gave me a cardboard stand up promo of George Faith album cover - I've had it ever since behind my wardrobe. It's nearly as big as me.
17. When Jesus to a Child came out I was allowed to deliver it from the record company guy to the studio at Capital Radio for its first worldwide radio play. So exciting.
There's so much more I could write but he's pretty much the reason the first 10 years of my adult life were spent working in and around the music industry and the list of people I've met through him or as a result of being a fan of him is endless.
I'm sad he couldn't stick around, it doesn't really seem real. But what a legacy he's left behind, not just through his music but also for just being a really nice person.
RIP GEORGE ❤️