There are artists in the world whose fame ends suddenly, despite the huge number of hits and thousands of sold-out stadiums. It is to this category that George Michael can be attributed, whose star shone brightly, then faded, then lit up again.
Most recently, Andrew Ridgeley’s book “Wham! George Michael and I” was published – just about the ups and downs from the starry heights. And also about how important it is to value friendship and remain a good person, despite success. Truthful, meticulous, for someone, maybe even offensive, but because of that even more instructive.
Frontman of the mega-popular band Wham! George Michael and Freddie Mercury sang together at the 1985 Live Aid festival in front of 72 000 people. Paul McCartney, U2, David Bowie, Sting and many other world-famous stars were with them at London’s Wembley Stadium, and a billion viewers from all over the world watched the broadcast. Many drew attention to how similar Freddie and George are: their voices, stage expression, plasticity, dedication. And then it turned out that it was also habits in everyday life, the desire to do everything ourselves, not even succumbing to the threats of show industry managers, internal fears, dissatisfaction with one’s appearance and distrust of women.
Queen is still the undisputed idol for millions, and the second one, who also died early, passed away often criticized, was honored with ridicule and even hostility – primarily from colleagues in the show industry.
Of course, any book about a significant musician is primarily about how he achieved fame. Ridgeley and Michael went to the same school. The first was stubborn, purposeful and really wanted to assemble a group. The second is suspicious, insecure and in many respects complexing.
Every star, probably, needs such a friend – who would believe, persuade, help, console in failures, take upon himself the solution of most problems. The book contains a lot of details about how difficult it was to break into the 80s, with which artists and how you had to compete, episodes of everyday rehearsals and walking around studios and record companies. Only such an active, restless, and most importantly, a musician who has humbled his ambitions and a little fed up with his career as a musician, like Ridgeley, could describe this in such detail and self-critically.
Secondly, this is a book about characters. And a warning about how glory and success spoil a person. It is also about how the character of the star changed, his growing phobias, quarrels with producers, sound engineers. After all, over time, George Michael wanted to control absolutely everything himself.
Gradually smiling in public, handsome George Michael began to hate more and more people, someone refused to cooperate with him for any money. And the artist more and more unceremoniously interfered in any processes in which he did not even understand anything, was harsh and not always fair. And Andrew’s good-natured friend, who usually knew how to solve problems in a friendly manner, was no longer around – having achieved success with Wham! George Michael started his solo career.