It has taken me a while to sit down and write this post. I remember the exact moment and time when Paul told me that George Michael had died. I have to say 2016 gave me so many blows in that sense that it didn’t come as a huge surprise, but I am still not over the irony of it being his Last Christmas. I always knew I liked George Michael, and I have defended his voice on more than one occasion, but what I forgot is how present he was when I was growing up, how influential he was, and the mark he left. I think he was in my life more than I wanted to admit. I also think I am suffering from a case of delayed mourning.
I didn’t know what kind of post to write, but since a few weeks have gone by, I have had time to listen and I have chosen my favorite performances. Though I have to recognize that this performance was certainly a milestone, they (Wham!) were clearly lip sinking and I cannot consider that a live performance. So, without further ado, here come my favorites:
If you are a child of the MTV generation, like me, MTV played a part in raising you, shaping your sense of the world and your notion of success. At this point, if you were on the channel, you had made it. The celebration of MTV´s 10 years on the air could not have been complete without George Michael. The song is a shout for Freedom. He wrote about feeling like a meat puppet for the pop industry, about how he wanted to break free from his contract with Sony, and hints at his sexuality. By the way, the video is awesome and he got supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz and Cindy Crawford to lip sync on his behalf. No small feat.
Somebody To Love (with Queen)
The performance showed the entire world the quality of Geroge Michael´s voice. Freddie Mercury knew it and had praised him, and especially loved the song ´Faith´. The tribute concert for Queen´s singer took place at Wembley Stadium on April 20th, 1992. The proceeds from the concert were all given to AIDS research.
This is from a Benefit concert for The Royal Trust of The Princess of Wales, featured George Michael, K d Lang, and Mick Hucknall, and was hosted by David Bowie. But GM was the headliner, and as usual, he delivered.
Praying For Time
This is one of those performances I found while looking for material for this post. And then I remembered how much I love this song, the anguish in the words but the hopeful way he sings them. So strange, the song and that I just wrote that, but that is how I feel. Magnificent and flawless.
a while ago I wrote a post on the video for this song and the repercussions of one of the most public coming outs in history, and this stripped down performances enhances the voice of the man but keeps the funkiness. FUN!
I was watching an interview where George Michael said
“It´s the things that are missing that make you a star, it´s not what you already have”
I think that is so telling. That need for approval, to be loved…I think after all he did know he was loved and he was a mega star, and while the news has now sunk in, I am finally ready to accept that he is my favorite guilty pleasure.