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George Michael and Morrissey discuss Joy Division (and breakdancing) in 1984

In May 1984, George Michael and Morrissey appeared alongside the unhip, uncool and utterly square antique DJ Tony Blackburn on BBC youth programme Eight Days A Week. The show was a weekly round-up of the latest music, film and book releases as pecked over by a trio of celebrities. It was aimed at a young happening audience with the intention of fulfilling the ye olde BBC charter obligations to “educate, inform and entertain” (perhaps not necessarily in that order).

The week George appeared on the show he was storming up the UK charts alongside Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! with their hit single “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” while Morrissey with bandmates The Smiths were just about to release their song “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” And Blackburn—well, he was still unutterably anodyne, nauseating and the very establishment edifice these two young artistes were (in their own ways) rebelling against—no matter how much Blackburn sought credibility by pronouncing his deep love of soul music.

At the time of its broadcast, the fey, young aesthete Morrissey would have been seen as the “cool” one. But in truth it’s George Michael who steals the show with his honesty, sensibility and utter lack of pretension. He says it as it is and plays to no gallery as both Morrissey and Blackburn were wont to do.

The topics up for review the week this trio appeared were Everything But The Girl‘s debut album Eden, the crap movie that film producers Golan & Globus called Breakdance (aka Breakin’) and a book about Joy Division called An Ideal for Living: A History of Joy Division by Mark Johnson. While Morrissey does Morrissey whilst talking about another Mancunian band, it is George Michael who delights with his (low) opinion of pompous English rock scribe Paul Morley and surprises by revealing his love of the brooding quartet.  While the show’s host Robin Denselow (probably an apt surname) asked, “George, I wouldn’t imagine you as a Joy Division fan, maybe I’m wrong?”

George: Ah, you might be wrong! This book, just became incredibly suspect for me, the minute I saw…

Denselow: You do like them?

George: I do like them, yeah. It became very suspect when I saw that it was partially, a lot of the contributions were from a gentleman called Paul Morley.

Denselow: You don’t approve of Paul Morley?

George: You’d need a book a lot thicker than that to list that man’s ideas or hangups, whatever you’d like to call it. It became very, very pretentious, in so many areas, I actually didn’t finish it, I did not get anywhere near finishing it.  And I actually really liked Joy Division, or particular their second album Closer. I thought Closer, the second side of Closer…it’s one of my favorite albums, It’s just beautiful.

Watch George Michael & Morrissey talk pop, film and books, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Making Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ eight times as long yields a minor ambient masterpiece
10:14 am


George Michael

It’s December 16, and If you’re a human being in the western world, you’re probably sick to death of Wham’s synthy 1984 classic “Last Christmas” by now. I argue that it’s the last song ever released to enter the Christmas canon—a friend recently argued for Mariah Carey’s 1994 song “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but I disqualify it on the basis that it’s a fuck-song, it’s a song about fucking your boyfriend, it’s not really about Christmas at all.

Anyway, “Last Christmas.” Had enough of it yet? If you have, you may find the antidote in this YouTube video, in which someone had the genius idea of slowing down the song to a length of nearly 36 minutes, which works really well. Then it sounds like some kind of 1990s dance music, like The Orb or Autechre or somebody. Slowing it down by a factor of 8 gives the sparkly and tinkly yuletime anthem an oceanic, Eno-esque aura. Sure, it’s not Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” stretched out to a brain-pulverizing nine hours, but then, what is? You have to take such pleasures where they come.

via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Gotta have faith?: ‘Christian’ weirdo calls for George Michael’s death on Twitter

Christians For A Moral America took to his (their?) Twitter feed, claiming that Michael “has AIDS” and calling for people to pray for the singer’s death because of his “satanic lifestyle.”

Christ, what a plonker…

Huffington Post reader JohnFromCensornati quipped

Our Grim Reaper who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy multiple names and personalit­ies.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in the US as it is in Iran.
Give us this day our daily hate tweets and forgive us our satanic pop singers and we will never forgive those who gay-marry against us.
And lead us not into compassion­, but deliver us from empathy.
For Thine is the homophobia and the death prayers and the hypocrisy forever and ever.
Or else.

Here’s hoping George Michael makes a complete and quick recovery.

And that this homophobic Christionist dickhead on Twitter walks in front of a bus tonight.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Man annoys the shit out of people by playing ‘Careless Whisper’ on saxophone
03:36 pm


George Michael
Careless Whisper

Oh Lord this funny. As one YouTuber points out, “I used to hate Careless Whisper, but now, the existence of this song is totally justified.”

(via High Definite)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Frank Sinatra to George Michael: Loosen up. Swing, man.
03:16 am


Frank Sinatra
George Michael


It’s been a while since anyone’s mined Letters of Note, but this one was too good to pass up: a 1990 letter from Frank Sinatra to George Michael urging the “reluctant pop star” to loosen up and “dust off those gossamer wings.” (!)


September 9, 1990

Dear Friends,

When I saw your Calendar cover today about George Michael, “the reluctant pop star,” my first reaction was he should thank the good Lord every morning when he wakes up to have all that he has., And that’ll make two of us thanking God every morning for all that we have.

I don’t understand a guy who lives “in hopes of reducing the strain of his celebrity status.” Here’s a kid who “wanted to be a pop star since I was about 7 years old.” And now that he’s a smash performer and songwriter at 27 he wants to quit doing what tons of gifted youngsters all over the world would shoot grandma for - just one crack at what he’s complaining about.

Come on George, Loosen up. Swing, man, Dust off those gossamer wings and fly yourself to the moon of your choice and be grateful to carry the baggage we’ve all had to carry since those lean nights of sleeping on buses and helping the driver unload the instruments

And no more of that talk about “the tragedy of fame.” The tragedy of fame is when no one shows up and you’re singing to the cleaning lady in some empty joint that hasn’t seen a paying customer since Saint Swithin’s day. And you’re nowhere near that; you’re top dog on the top rung of a tall ladder called Stardom, which in latin means thanks-to-the-fans who were there when it was lonely.

Talent must not be wasted. Those who have it - and you obviously do or today’s Calendar cover article would have been about Rudy Vallee - those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

(Signed, ‘Frank Sinatra’)

“Loosen up, man.” (Letters of Note)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment