Like most, I was completely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Michael on Christmas Day. As well as Bowie, Prince and many many others over the course of 2016, his passing was completely unexpected.
Especially at the young age of 53.
I’ve been a fan of Mr Michael since his early Wham! days, and have followed his career ever since. I’ve owned several of his albums over the years, and in fact had been listening to his greatest hits album the day before he’d passed.
I still remember the summer of 1987 when ‘I Want Your Sex‘ came out and all the controversy that surrounded it. Radio stations banned it, parent’s wouldn’t let their children listen to it.. but yet it still became a huge hit around the world, and was the anthem of that summer for my 14 y/o closeted self.
OK, I’ll admit it.. I fancied the pants off of him in that video. 😉
Another song of his that definitely made an impact on me is ‘Outside‘ – this was his post arrested-for-lewd-behaviour release that was a satirical look at the situation set to a bumping disco beat.. and also lead to him finally coming out publicly to the world.
This was the song that cried to the world ‘it’s ok to be yourself and love who you want’. And for a generation of gay men, that it’s ok to be gay and to be unabashedly sexual.
More than anything I appreciated how he was completely unapologetically himself and didn’t white-wash his sexuality. He did what a lot of gay men have done at some point in their lives and gone looking for sex in a cruising area… Only he got caught doing it, and it unfortunately became tabloid fodder.
Or at least that’s what I took from it all. LOL
As tribute, I’ve posted below the video for ‘Amazing‘. Because in my eyes, he was truly ‘Amazing’.
R.I.P. – George Michael
On a side note.. almost a decade ago back in Montreal, I was casually seeing a guy who fancied himself a ‘George Michael’ look-alike for awhile, though I couldn’t see it. He actually used to perform (lip-sync I’m assuming) at parties on the side. Strange.. 🙂