The article “Melanie: My Little Brother was written by John Kercher and published in the Dec. 21-28, 1985 issue of No. 1 magazine.
If there is one girl who knows more about George Michael than any other, then its sister Melanie. John Kercher found out about her and young George.
What was George like when he was growing up?
I don’t think you could say that he was your regular sort of boy. I mean, from what I remember, he was never interested in the kind of things the rest of the fellas were, like football and cars and things like that. He wasn’t an introvert and I wouldn’t say he was shy like some people have made out. He definitely knew what he wanted to do at an early age!
And what was that? Music?
Definitely. At school when they offered the opportunity to be able to play the violin he was one of the few who stuck his hand up. But he really wanted to play the drums and he pestered the life out of our parents until they bought him a small kit to practice on.
Were there any other avenues he would have chosen?
He wasn’t cut out for the usual sort of job. Even when he did a part time in British Home Stores stockroom to raise some extra cash for equipment, I think he was sacked before he didn’t wear a tie!
I’m certain, from what he’s told me, that if he hadn’t gone into music then he would probably have become an actor. He did work for a while as a DJ in a sports complex. It was really my parents who insisted he stayed on at a school to do A-levels. He didn’t want to do them at all.
Most brothers can happily keep their sex lives to themselves. You see it all in the national newspapers. How does it feel?
I suppose at first you’re a bit surprised, but I don’t really take too much notice of it! A lot of the stories are all blown way out of proportion. I know that he gave one interview to a magazine some time back where he opened up and made some comments about his about his first girlfriend, or who he went to bed with, and that small item was soon headlines around the world!
How much do you think George and yourself are alike?
Probably in quite a few ways. We can be quite honest with each other and we also share the same sense of humour.
How much do you think George has changed since he began a recording career with Andy?
He’s obviously become more mature. Naturally he would have anyway, but he’s more shrewd and intelligent now. He’s extremely confident too. But anyone who thinks he lives like a star would be mistaken, He’s quite unpretentious.
Does he still come back home much?
He’s often there. He had to get a place of his own because it was nearer London and more convenient for his business activities. But at every opportunity he’ll be slumped in an armchair at our place. We don’t get loads of fans knocking on the door anymore. Occasionally someone might make a long distance, a pilgrimage but nearly all get treated with the same polite answer that he’s not home. The fans are pretty good and understanding about it. Usually I’ll answer the door, and even if George is listening in the next room, he’ll stay in the background. He does need some privacy.
Does he feel he’s bothered too much by people?
I don’t think so. But it’s that situation of signing maybe a hundred autographs and then as the next one comes up he’ll need to dash to a meeting or studio and that person’ll think he’s stuck up! Occasionally I get him to sign things for me for people, but only a couple at a time. I don’t want him to think he’s been used or that every moment of his time is being taken up.
And what about money?
He has to be wary of people. Those he speaks to might easily misinterpret what he says. He’s definitely not mean. In fact he’s a generous type, but not in the way that he would flaunt it. It’s quite true what he said about money not being all that important to him.
He shows his generosity in subtle ways. Like he won’t go out and buy jewellery, furs, cars and the like for the family. But then he’ll be going on a world tour and suddenly there are air tickets, hotel bookings and the entire works for Mum, Dad, my sister and I. And what better than the chance to see China, Japan, America, The Far East. It’s lovely.
But what kind of reaction do his old friends have to him?
It’s difficult. George and Andy used to love going back to their old haunts to meet friends and be in the surroundings that they grew up in. But the situation develops where he feels he can’t say …. “let’s all go to …” wherever, because those people he’s asking might not be in a position to afford it. On the other hand, if he offers to pay, then they think he’s being flash. There can be a lot of resentment. He doesn’t want to be misrepresented!
What kind of requests for you get from fans?
Mostly for locks of his hair. It goes into the bin like everyone
What’s your personal favourite record of Wham!
That’d be “Everything she Wants:”
Do you get to hear the songs before Wham! record them?
Oh, yes. Most of them. George ‘ll play them to me at home maybe. And when they’ve recorded a song or a video. George ‘ll make a special trip from London so that he can play them to Mum.
- Wham! Teen Dreams Come True (NME, 1983)
- Wham! Nothing Looks The Same In The Night (Melody Maker, 1983)
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)
- Wham! You’re On Your Own, George (Sunday Times, 1986)
- George Michael’s Interview with the Gay Magazine ‘The Advocate’ (1999)