I stared at my mobile in shock. “What?!” I demanded the word, my eyes popping at what was before me.
Hubbie was concerned “what happened?”
I stared at the message bestie had written to me. ‘George Michael passed away.’
It was sadly fitting that the message came from her. George Michael was a favourite and prominent musical figure in our teens. Careless Whisper, Too Funky, Freedom and I Want Your Sex were regular sing-a-longs. I even think I have the handwritten lyrics to Careless Whisper given to me by bestie, stored away somewhere in my old room at my parents’ house.
What a year. First the shocking passing of Prince – and now, George Michael? I had always believed I would see him one more time, at least…
So many memories, so many life anthems. Each of his songs brings a different vision, a different story or place to mind.
But first, the memory my sister tells me. She is a teen, in the 80s. She and her bestie are at the airport. Wham steps out of a car; they turn, and wave up, to a large group of them. Directly at them. A swarm of fans push up against them, squashing them against the front rail they are up against. Later that night, she is in a fan picture on the news behind the newsreader who is reporting on Wham’s appearance in Melbourne.
She was the first George Michael fan in our family. I naturally followed.
Bopping to the beat of Too Funky. It was my internal anthem as I walked, my inner music that I used to repeat to myself to raise my confidence as I went through my early teens.
Then as I got older, that anthem got replaced by Flawless. In the car, volume on full, powering through the streets with George beside me ( 😉 )
Faith. Like seriously, who in this world looks cooler than George in his toe-tapping skin-tight jeans and aviator sunnies. I don’t care his sexual orientation (um, Ricky Martin obsession anyone?) but that man is damn! good looking.
My Twisted Lyrics series over on SmikG is inspired by a misheard Careless Whisper lyric, posted by an online writer who wrote that instead of hearing the correct “Guilty feet have got no rhythm!” they heard “I must admit I have no rhythm!” That error made me LOL so much, and stayed with me for so long that many, many years later, I decided to implement that misheard lyric thread into my parent blog.
My first few months of coffee. Maybe 5 years ago now. On a Saturday morning, making myself a fresh cuppa as I watched George Michael music videos, and literally jumping out of my skin with dance to the song “I’m Your Man.”
I LOVE that song. I can’t explain to you how much the beat lifts me up, quite literally.
Amazing. When I bought the single, I played it on repeat, for an entire weekend non-stop. I could not get enough of the melody, his voice, and the words
“I think it’s amazing, I think you’re amazing.”
2010. His first Melbourne concert in 20 or so years. Bestie is with me. Our teenage dream fulfilled. He calls us Sydney, multiple times. We scream, in both horror, and shocked amusement at him, jumping on the first raised level of Etihad stadium, with 1000s of others, the concrete slab actually rocking against our pressure.
(A photo I took on March 3rd 2010 at Etihad Stadium)
That night he sang many of my favourite songs. We rocked to the classics, he did awesome club-versions of Flawless and Spinning The Wheel, as well as his Wham, I’m Your Man 80s fuelled dance-hit. He also performed a song that I had not as yet fallen in love with…
When I later, only days after the concert, fell deeply in love with A Different Corner, I was shattered. I had heard the most beautiful voice singing the most heartbreaking and beautiful words to the most dreamlike and woeful music, and yet I hadn’t appreciated it fully at the time, because I had not yet fallen in love with everything about the song.
I always thought I would hear him perform that version live again. I was convinced I would, and that I would cry, as that song has made me cry so many times before.
53. Only 53. I’m still in a huge amount of shock. People are talking of 2016 as a shocker of a year, and until this happened today, I was a staunch defender. Yes, every year has its ups and downs, and yes, another of my faves, Prince passed earlier this year… but I was adamant that this year wasn’t a write-off, and that there was good, much good to be taken from the past 12 months…
It’s too early for me to make a call. 4 days until the end of 2016, and I just don’t know what to say. Two musical legends have passed, and life just isn’t the same. The world isn’t the same without them in it. The genius, the amazing talent that inhabited this world, is gone.
George Michael will live on, there is no question about it. In our hearts, in our memories, on our screens, and on our radios…he will not fade away.
But we are sad. I am sad. So, so sad.
Because he, is Amazing. Too Funky. And quite simply, Flawless.
“I think it’s amazing… I think you’re amazing.”
R.I.P George Michael 1963-2016