The interview of George Michael entitled ‘A Table For Two’ written by Peter Martin and published in Smash Hits magazine on August 2nd-15th, 1984.
Steaks, potatoes, green beans, George Michael, Peter Martin, a couple of bottles of wine and a table for two.
George Michael flew in only an hour ago from a chateau in the South of France. “19.45 to be precise. A quarter to eight for those of you who aren’t cosmopolitan jet-setters.”
It’s impossible to tell, with remarks like this, if he’s mucking around or if his permanently high-flying way of life hasn’t finally taken its toll. He says he’s not particularly concerned how he comes across in interviews any more. He just likes to “have a laugh” and if that “annoys as many people as possible”, then so much the better.
We’re in his Dad’s restaurant in London’s Edgware Road. It’s called Angus Pride; he used to work there once but got the sack for giving people the wrong drinks. The two of us (joined later by his friend Pat), get stuck into whopping steaks, sautée potatoes, green beans and strawberries to finish. The white wine flowed and so did the conversation.
What are you up to in the South of France?
An album. We’re spending six weeks out there making an LP which will be out in October. We’ve got another month in which to write, perform and produce five songs. And I think we’re going to do an Isley Brothers cover off an album called “3 + 3”. Our album is called “Make It Big”. So the actual album title will read “Wham! Make It Big” annoying another million people. I think the next single will be “I Don’t Want Your Freedom” and I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.
What really happened to Andrew’s nose?
When he was a child he broke his nose twice, both times by jumping into the wrong end of the swimming pool. He had a perfectly straight nose when he was a little boy – I know, I’ve seen pictures of him as a baby. Anyway, ever since I’ve known him he’s been leaving wet paper hankies all over the place ‘cos he’s got terrible breathing problems because of his nose. So for the last four years he’s said he was going to get his nose done, but he kept putting it off ‘cos it’s a bit of a big operation. But last week he finally found the time to go in and get it done. It was mainly medical but of course he wanted a straight nose as well. Anyway someone phoned him up last week and said The Sun know you’re in hospital having your nose done – what are you going to say? So he said he’d ring back in ten minutes and worked out this scam with David (Austin). And it worked brilliantly – they were front page news for the next three days! And Andrew and all-and-sundry had a giggle! But from now on we’ll probably get loads of stories about what a fake Andrew is.
Which of the following would you most like to produce?
a) Neil (from The Young Ones): I haven’t actually heard his record yet, so I don’t know if he can actually sing. It’s probably very funny but enough people laugh at our records already.
b) Bronski Beat: No, I think they’re far too earnest for me. Know what I mean? I don’t think they’d be a laugh in the studio. I’d probably want it to sell as many copies as possible and make it a great pop record and they’d probably want to prove a point.
c) Divine: Only if he promised it wouldn’t be another version of “Blue Monday”. I like his image but I hate the records.
d) Everything But The Girl: They’d be the only ones I’d really think about. I’d like to produce Tracey Thorn because I’d know what to do with her voice. Her single “Plain Sailing” is an absolutely brilliant record.
Have you got a girlfriend? (We’ve just been joined by George’s friend Pat, by the way.)
From now on I’ve decided not to say anything when people ask questions like that. Are you a poof? Are you this? Are you that? I’m just fed up with it. (But there is someone sitting next to you. “I’m not someone,” she protests.) Well, why don’t you say there is this girl who kept coming up and sitting at our table? She was wearing a green and white top from Miss Selfridge and she wouldn’t go away!
Are you in love?
Only with success. Ha ha. No, I haven’t been in love in years.
Are you frightened of growing old?
No. I’ve thought about this, actually. I’m not frightened of getting to 40 or 50. I’m not going to be one of these people who sits up worrying about how many wrinkles they’ve got. Anyway I’ve already decided I’m going to wrinkle distinguishedly. I’ve got the wrinkles all worked out, where they’re going to be.
Who would you like to sing a duet with?
a) Alannah Currie: I’ve never actually heard her voice. (Yes you have, says Pat.) Did she do that bit on ‘Hold Me Now’ – (squeals) ‘hold me in your lovin’ arms’? God, I thought it was him in a harmonizer. Well no, I don’t think so. I don’t think we’d get on somehow. She seems a very earnest person.
b) Madonna: I’d love to sing with her. I’m working on it actually. She’s the most gorgeous looking woman. And she’s got the most sexy voice.
c) Tracey Ullman: I don’t think it’d be very good for either of our images.
Have you got a ‘Frankie Say’ t-shirt?
No. You know what – they actually offered us a free one and we said no. I don’t think I could bear to wear one. It was a Frankie Say: War Hide Yourself one. Actually they’re good but not as good as the Choose Wham! ones – they’re much more like the original Katherine Hammett design. What happened originally was I went out and bought a Choose Life t-shirt, ‘cos I thought it said Lose Life. And when we got to Number One we thought it’d be really funny to get Number One t-shirts ‘cos so many people would be annoyed with us ‘cos we were like wallowing in it. And then I thought – how could you go further than that? So I got all the diamantes and Pat and my sister sat up all night on the Wednesday sticking these diamantes on. They cost me £80 quid! It was so heavy. It pulled the collar right down – showing off the hairy chest again!
What do you think of Frankie Goes To Hollywood?
Well, I’ve bought both their records – I like the 7″s better, the 12″s are self indulgent, care of Trevor Horn. Actually I think he’s a genius, but I think they’re in danger of overkill. I realise a large proportion of Frankie fans wouldn’t touch a Wham! record but by the end of the year it might change because a lot of people who’re put off by our image and the girls who supposedly scream at us will hopefully come back ‘cos – I hope – the records will be so much better.
What makes you angry?
People who assume they know something about you when they meet you for the first time. People who think I’m a slag ‘cos they’ve read about my ‘exploits’ in the News Of The World. What else? Customs officials. Since I started wearing an earring I get nabbed every time I go through. They take everything apart – they get shaving foam, all my Clinique range, the shampoo, the conditioner, the contact lens solution all over them. Serves ’em right.
Which of these TV shows would you like to be in?
a) Crossroads: I literally haven’t seen it for years so I don’t know how good the plot is at the moment. Or if there’s anybody tasty looking in it, so I’ll pass on that one. Apparently, on my bad days I look like Benny.
b) Man About The House: That’d be brilliant. I saw it the other week and it was real nostalgia. The clothes! When I was a kid, right, about 11 up to the age of 15, I spent about three years with the totally fashion-conscious Andrew Ridgeley, who had all the high-wasters with the right amount of buttons, and he had the platypus boots and the cheesecloth shirt and everything. After that I actually turned to being self-conscious but before that I didn’t give a damn and my mum used to dress me. She dressed me in what she thought was the latest gear, so I looked just like Richard O’Sullivan. Flared trousers, patchwork shirt that had to be seen to be believed, right, a great big thick knotted gold shimmery tie and a tank top. And the hair parted just so, coming down to here. Amazing. So I would have been perfect in that.
c) Question Time: No, I’d make a total prat of myself on that, so I wouldn’t do it. I’ve no idea about current affairs. I always steer well clear of that kind of thing ‘cos I’m selfish and I’ve got better things to do with my life. The one thing I’d vote on is disarmament, right, but people say it’s not as simple as that, but it is.
What do you think of Simon LeBon’s quote?
“It was good keeping Wham! off the top for a week after all their boasting about how they were going to go straight in at Number One and sticking their necks out like that. There’s nothing more unattractive in artists than a false sense of importance. I mean you should never embarrass your public like that, it’s worse than insulting them.”
It’s terrible but everybody always gets misquoted in the press. And Simon believed these things I supposedly said. I mean, if Simon knew me a little better … I’ve only met him once. What happened was we got accosted by 50,000 reporters – well, nine actually – when we came back from – where were we? Miami! – anyway they said ‘how about the single going in at Number Four’ and we said it’s great. But then we said it’s a bit of a shame really because the midweek chart said we’d come in at Number Two, which meant we were a little disappointed. But that got turned into us saying we were going in at One. That was all.
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)
- George Michael: Artist or Airhead? (Musician, 1988)
- ‘Souled Out: George Michael’ Published in Interview Magazine (1988)
- George Michael in Q Magazine Interview (October 1990)
- Wham! Teen Dreams Come True (NME, 1983)