The article “Everything He Wants” by DJ David Jensen appeared in the February 21, 1987 issue of No 1 magazine.
Number One and back in the country, George Michael celebrated his smashing return by talking to Capital Radio DJ David Jensen last week about work with Aretha, his solo album and plans for an AIDS benefit …
David Jensen: How are you feeling?
GM: Fine. I’ve basically been resting. I’ve been going here and there for 6 months basically not doing much work and now I’ve got to get down to the new album.
DJ: I hear the Solo album has got a lot of surprises on it. One paper said you were intending Dean’s corporate some early American blues type stuff
GM: There is a kind of jazz track that I’ve written and I’m just trying to work out now how I’m going to arrange it. Whether I want a Ronnie Scott’s type thing or an old fashioned. Nelson Riddle type arrangement.
There are a lot of different types of surprises but that’s one I’ve been waiting to do for quite a while.
DJ: Is the idea to get away from Wham! material as possible?
Well, it does really have to be different from Wham! Material but it’s not me itching to do something else, because I’m happy with the Wham! Stuff.
It’s just the Wham! Image did have certain restrictions and there are lots of things I wrote during the last couple of years that really couldn’t be incorporated into that. This is just a chance to use them.
DJ: Are you pleased to see Pepsi and Shirlie giving you competition?
It’s unbelievable. I spoke to them a couple of weeks back when the record had gone somewhere in the high 20s. I said to them we’d be in direct competition!
It’s incredible timing. I can’t believe it. It must be like a dream come true for them. It’s five years since we first charted… it’s perfect.
DJ: There’s a report that you and Andrew are going to reform Wham! For the Prince’s Trust. Is that true?
That rumour’s been circulating and building for almost three months. I don’t know where it came from. Initially I just let it ride bu there are absolutely no plans to do a concert.
I’m really sorry if people have been misled. I think it would look rather silly getting back together a whole ten or twelve months after you’d decided to split.
DJ: Do you still keep in touch with Andrew?
Oh yeah. I spoke to him a couple of nights ago. He’s over in LA at the moment talking to some film people but there’s no question of a concert.
DJ: Does a film career interest you at all?
I’m definitely interested. But I have a different idea of a film career than most people seem to have for me. There have been certain offers over the last couple of years — very much major parts, very much in the sphere of “teenage market” films.
But if I’m going to make a go of it I’d like to do it in a much slower way. Start with a really small part and find out what I’m actually best at.
You have to work out whether you’re just being conceited or whether there is genuine ability there. The musical thing right now is much more important.
DJ: How did your single with Aretha came about?
Basically about two years ago I was asked if I would like to produce and write something for Aretha — there was no talk of singing then. And at the time I just didn’t think I could do it.
I said I’d love to, but Aretha was may favourite female singer of all time and I just didn’t think I could sit behind a desk and tell her what to do. I didn’t have the confidence and at that time I’d only just started producing.
Then last year there was some talk of singing live with her after the show I’d done with Stevie Wonder and Smoky Robinson in America. I was very flattered and said I’d love to do it but that fell through.
But we spoke on the phone then for the first time and agreed it would be nice to do something on record. After that it was just a matter of getting sorted out which song it was.
All those reports about me begging the record company were rubbish. It was a great honour for me to the song but basically it was a joint thing. We both thought it would be a good idea.
DJ: Are you planning to work together live?
Aretha doesn’t really like to travel. I did both the song and the video in Detroit. She doesn’t like planes.
DJ: What about you? Will you consider any live work?
I hope to be doing something at the AIDS concert. But in terms of my own live workI caan’t really to go out till next year ‘cos I wouldn’t really like to perform until I have a full set that people are familiar with.
I’m itching to play already but I’ve got to be practical.
I’m also doing something with Paul Yates for Sex with Paula at the end of the week which will be an extra show about AIDS to go on the end of the series — how it changes people’s sexual behavior. I’m pleased to do that.
DJ: Finally can you pick a track from ‘The Final’ for me to play?
It’d have to be ‘Everything She Want.’ I have to admit I do listen to my own music — arrogance coming through here! — and if I had a choice of one track that’d be it.
Aretha Franklin on George:
We spent eight or ten hours making the video and he was great. He is an absolute pro. I’m very happy with the look and quality of the video. It was nice that we performed together.
MORE ON THAT AIDS CONCERT
George also phoned Simon Bates Radio One show on Friday morning to confirm that he would definitely be appearing on at the AIDS AID Concert at Wembley in April.
“But I don’t want to mislead fans into thinking that this is going to be some kind of George Michael comeback concert,” said George. “I’ve come into this fairly late and a lot of other people have already put a lot of work into organising it.
“I’m just one of lots of people involved (others who’ve said they’ll appear include the Communards and Holly of FGTH) and there’s no way I can do a full-blown gig.
“But I’m definitely going to be doing two or three numbers.
“If I were a 14-year old kid I’d be really terrified about AIDS because there’s still so much ignorance. The government’s ads just aren’t getting the message across clearly enough. It may not be a very palatable subject but we have to talk to kids about it in a way they’ll understand.”
- ‘Souled Out: George Michael’ Published in Interview Magazine (1988)
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)
- ‘Too Funky:’ Story of A George Michael Charity Record
- List of Duets and Backup Vocals
- George Michael Interview in Record Mirror (1987)