Read the George Michael article “My advice to Bros…” written by Paul Simper and published in the No 1 magazine on April 30, 1988.
At the time of the first ever Wham! show you said you were surprised how free of nerves you were. How was it doing the first solo shows in Tokyo?
I wasn’t very nervous in Tokyo. I was more nervous in Australia. (laughs) The thing in Tokyo is half the time they don’t know what you’re going on about so there’s nothing like the same pressure.
Why do you think the album and single have done less well in Britain than America?
They’ve actually done worse in Britain than anywhere else in the world. Some of it can be put down to the fact that my career didn’t get the same kick-start with ‘I Want Your Sex’ but apart from that the only tangible problem is that I still have this tabloid image which is really strong in England. Although Wham! would have been huge anyway it was definitely bigger because of the tabloids and I’m paying for it now.
Is it true a girl leap on your back in Australia?
She just launched herself from the audience. One moment she wasn’t there the next second she was. It was the best piggy-back jump you’ve ever seen. She didn’t fight to get on. It was just like suddenly I had this thing attached to my back – it was like Alien. And she was so strong so I just sort of jigged across the stage with her in rhythm.
Bros constantly cite you as an artist they respect. Do you see much of Wham! in Bros?
(laughs) I noticed the line about ‘I’m a man’ or something. I would say the same with Bros as I said about Curiosity and A-Ha. You should never really judge a band on their first album if they’ve come into the public eye really quickly. It may be a good album but it might not be very representative. If you look at ‘Fantastic’ it’s light years away from ‘Make It Big’. There’s a couple of good tracks but it’s not really an album. I honestly don’t feel Wham! were very similar to Curiosity or Bros because until we were very successful I don’t think we were perfect scream material. But the Bros thing is perfect. If I could say anything to them I’d just say be really careful how much time they give to promotion riding which is really exhilarating now. Don’t devote more time to that than you do to songwriting. I don’t know what Curiosity will come back with but if you look at A-Ha it just overtook them really. It’s so hard not to get swept under by it.
Do you get weird dreams when you’re touring. Like you go onstage and you’ve forgot to put your clothes on?
I’ve had two this time. One was they announced me and I realised I was in the bar. I had to run downstairs to the stage and by the time I got on people were leaving. I turned round to the band and said, ‘come on, come on, play! People are leaving!’ They go ‘what do we play? We haven’t rehearsed anything’. A total nightmare. In the other one I just fell out of bed after a really heavy night, turned up for rehearsal and it wasn’t a rehearsal – it was the actual gig. You always get those.
Why do you now do so few interviews?
Basically, I’ve spent the last four years justifying my success to journalists so I’ve decided now well if they don’t get it they don’t get it. I don’t want to talk anymore to people who want to be proven right in a negative way. I’m really not interested.
Have fans ever got into your hotel room?
Yeah a couple of times. There was one really horrible fan in America. That’s the only thing about America – you have to be more careful as there’s more loonies. It was so sick. This girl was going on about her father having died and then she pushed her way into my bedroom. She said something else about her father and she’d obviously been lying through her teeth. I was so pissed off with her. That’s the closest I’ve come to being violent with a fan because she could say something so sick. I just remember kind of throwing her down the hall.
Were you frightened?
Not frightened. I think indignant is the word. Oh there was that girl who got into my house as well…
What was that?
Oh God, that was an absolute nightmare. I was living in Kensington and I had a videophone on the front door which I didn’t realise had an entry button on it. One day there was this black girl at the door. I didn’t recognise her so I did what I usually do and just left it. But she didn’t go away so eventually I pressed the button to talk to her and ask her to leave. I must have pressed the wrong button ‘cos it opened the door. Not knowing I’d done this I just went back to making some toast or something and when I came out of the kitchen this girl was walking down the stairs. She obviously thought she’d been invited in. I shouted ‘what the f*** are you doing here?’ and she just passed out on the stairs. She was a really tall girl, about six foot two, but only about 15 years old. I thought ‘God how am I gonna explain this? What am I gonna do?’ Eventually she woke up and she was just so beside herself. She kept touching me and going ‘you’re real, you’re real. You’re George Michael. You’re real!’ I was going ‘yes, calm down’. She wanted a cup of tea and she was so beside herself I couldn’t just chuck her out so I made one.
What would you do if you were asked to sing at The Palace?
I wouldn’t go. I got asked to a thing at Kensington Palace a while ago and I didn’t do it. I’ve got nothing against the Royals at all. I’m not anti-Royal. I just think it’s very dangerous for celebrities to get involved with royalty. It encourages Fleet Street. All the Royals I’ve met have been very sweet. I think people who are anti-Royal don’t realise how little remaining character England has and even if it’s not representative, anything that keeps an identity of some sort is not unhealthy.
Will this be your last tour for a long time?
It’ll be the last tour of this size I’ll ever do. But it’s a classic mistake popstars make saying ‘I’ll never tour again’. Actually I’m enjoying this tour more than the others which is strange because in a sense I’m more isolated. Now it’s just me. But I’ve kind of detached myself from it. I’ve no idea where and when I’m playing most of the time.
Didn’t Andrew see the show in Hawaii?
Yeah. He really enjoyed it. Everyone said he was really freaking out dancing at the back which is nice to know. It must have been strange for him to watch, especially doing some of the old Wham! numbers.
- Last Wham! Interview: No. 1 Magazine (1986)
- A Year in the Life of Wham! as Told by George Michael (Smash Hits Yearbook, 1986)
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)
- After George Michael Strained His Back (Smash Hits, 1985)
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)