Paddy on George Michael

Very sad news this morning. George Michael was one of the greats: prodigiously talented as a performer and songwriter. I always remember him at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, which up until his performance had looked a bit like the audition scene from “The Commitments”, with a lot of big names really struggling with the material. George hit the stage like a boss and owned it from the first note of “Somebody to Love”. He made it look easy.

Those who knew him say he was kind and generous too. He took a lot of flak as a gay performer, and cleared the way for many who followed him.

And he was one of the few of Paddy’s contemporaries who got a good word from him as a songwriter, even in the early interviews where Paddy professed to having a copy of Wham’s “Last Christmas”. Here he is talking about “Jesus to a Child” in 1997

And here’s the song Paddy mentioned, which is one of my favourites too.

11 thoughts

  1. It’s really a shame that this man has gone, and that during his lifetime he didn’t get the widespread recognition of the “critical” listeners, as the attitude of the reporter in the short snippet reflects. It doesn’t surprise me that Paddy speaks in favour of him, since they have the same saccharine ingredients in their voice – and sugar, psychsomatically speaking, makes you feel good.

  2. I love the way Paddy corrects the interviewer – who clearly considers George Michael deeply uncool. He’s quite right, of course. Many of George’s songs were deeply personal. My favourite? Different Corner.

  3. Two magnificent songwriters, why wouldn’t Mr McAloon appreciate Mr Michael’s rich tapestry of work?
    I think if you have any heart and soul at all you can hear the effort and personal experience in George Michael’s work. From the glossy pop beginnings to darker autumnal haze of his later work. There’s beauty in many things, it’s up to the beholder to find it…..

  4. John Lennon was a great loss. Colin Vearcombe was very sad. George Michael I have no comments on the person. But I found his singing weak and all the songs I’ve ever heard from him quite forgettable in complete contrast to Prefab Sprout!

    1. Simon – you’re kidding, right? George Michael was one of the greats. That voice made it sound easy, but it isn’t. Try ‘I can’t make you love me’ or ‘The long and winding road’ live on YouTube – OK, both covers, but they’re stunning and kind of prove the point.

  5. Quite right Gareth, there was something special about George Michael even during his pure pop phase. Then he only got more and more interesting. And needless to say McAloon is also one of the greats 🙂

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