Below are the messages of Wham!’s George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley printed in the foreword of the Wham! Final Concert program. The Wham!
Letter of George Michael
Today will be the most important day of my life.
Someone or something has been smiling on us over these four years, and sometimes I feel it all happened almost too fast, too quickly. There hasn’t really been time to appreciate or savour things.
If I sound like I’m complaining, please don’t get me wrong. I still can’t believe my luck. I just wish I could do it again, in slow motion, to take it all in. Because something’s telling me that whatever lies ahead, nothing will mean as much to me as this group has. I could never match the clarity of vision with which the two of us, as teenagers, created our ideal of a pop group, or the passion and energy we needed to convince people all over the world that Wham! should be in their homes, a part of their lives.
Well, I don’t think it would be too much to say that we have convinced a fair old number (certainly we are more successful than anyone, including us, could have guessed we’d be, four years ago), and I think it’s fair to say that Wham! is a small part of everyone’s life these days, whether it be at home or in their car, or as a flash-gunned face aside some ridiculously trivial headline in their daily paper, and so here, ladies and gentlemen, is where the dream should come to its natural end. Four years may not be the longest lifespan for a band, but I think that Andrew and I can safely say that we put more care and hard work into that time than most bands put into a decade.
In return, we have seen loyalty and support beyond belief. The idea that today, 72,000 people left their homes to see Wham! say good bye is one that will only fully come home to me when I stand on stage facing you all. The fact that the ticket demand would have required us to say goodbye several times is the greatest compliment that any artists could ever hope for.
Thank you everyone. Thank you Andrew. Today will probably be the best day of my life – so far.
Letter of Andrew Ridgeley
Just over four years ago to this day in May 1982 the single release of ‘Wham Rap!’ presented to George and myself, as this concert does today, the culmination and realisation of our hopes, ambitions and dreams. Four years ago we barged our way into this industry and set about our goal to become the biggest and best pop group in the world.
In June 1986 we find we have achieved success on a scale of which our young, innocent minds could scarcely have imagined, and with that we have changed our lives.
Of these past four years this concert will live longest in my mind, as a gift from my youth. In four years we have grown from boys to men. We have grown up in public, under the parasitical pen and the scrutinising lens of the media. We have grown up to our own soundtrack, created by the energy and enthusiasm of youth, with the passion and innocence with which we all approach adult life. Now we have grown out of our youth; to a degree, it has been squeezed out of us, but has it ever tasted so sweet!
We all wake up in the middle of our best dreams, just as you move close to the first kiss, just as you open your mouth for the first bite, just before she says to you…and so this dream ends, but, in this particular instance, we get to kiss the kiss, bite the bite, to say goodbye and thank you.
To all our fans, our friends, our record buying public, we would like to express our gratitude, and our thanks to the people who, we hope, have shared in our fantasies and our aspirations. To all the people to whom Wham! means a little happiness, a little sadness, a moment to themselves or a memory rekindled. It would be nice to be able to say goodbye in person to everyone around the world for their support throughout our career. However, I can think of no better way to say farewell than in a blaze of glory in front of those of you here today.
Above everything else, this would all have meant very little to me without the friend with whom I shared it, who gave it a perspective and a sense of humour to shoot it down when it flew too high.
I’m going to cry now.
- Andrew Ridgeley on Life With and After Wham! (Hello!, 1997)
- Wham! You’re On Your Own, George (Sunday Times, 1986)
- Last Wham! Interview: No. 1 Magazine (1986)
- ‘George Michael, Seriously’ from Rolling Stone Magazine (1988)
- Not So Young Guns (Juice Magazine, 1998)