As promised, the Evans chat with George, in all it's glory.

*************************** (Aidan) writes:
Hi Amanda, how are you?

(Aside from having to convert and edit this most appreciated 21 page
document?? Great! AG)

Here's the interview in full for you. Hope you're okay, have a great holiday.

(I don't think it will fit in one issue, but I'll do my best. Fear not, no
text will be deleted. And my comments you'll get later... AG)

Radio One Interview
CE = Chris Evans
GM = George Michael

CE: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Radio One two hour George Michael
special. But before we play it to you, the interview, and then the concert
specially recorded for Radio One, a word of warning. In order to obtain a
frank and entertaining interview, myself, Christophe Lamby Pie, and my
interviewee, George Michael the world famous, global musically unbelievably
talented bloke, relaxed, and just had normal chat, using normal words, and a
couple of swear words do creep in. I
apologise about this, but we didn't want to cut them out, because it takes
away the sincerity of the interview. So we don't mean to offend you in any
way. Thank-you...

Intro of Fastlove...

GM: You want to start it with the opening of the wine?

CE: Would you like to describe the wine, George?

GM: It's a nice 94 Merseaux

CE: What's so special about that

GM: It's the one that I like, that's what's special about it.

CE: Why did you choose it?

GM: Erm, Well actually, it's just kind of the creamiest one, I think.

CE: The creamiest one?

GM: Yeah, Merseaux is really kind of creamy

CE: Is it?

GM: Yeah. It's also really kind of expensive as well so.

CE: It's always a safe bet?

GM: Yeah, it's a fairly safe bet

CE: How much is it for a bottle of Merseaux

GM: In a kind of relatively good restaurant, a good bottle of Merseaux is
going to cost you sixty quid.

CE: Right.

GM: Put it this way, if I order the wine at a meal I always make sure I pay.

CE: Is it always red or white?

GM: Er, Always White.

CE: Why is that?

GM: What are you asking me for? I don't know anything about wines.

CE: Well, you must prefer white to red then, there must be a reason for that.

GM: To tell you the truth, the reason that I stopped drinking red wine is
because I actually think red wine is much nicer than white wine. But the
reason I stopped drinking red wine was that I was informed that it was the
absolute worst kind of alcohol for a singer. Red wine makes all your sinuses
swell and stuff like that, so I stopped but of course then I started smoking
cigarettes, there wasn't much point in
changing over, I should have stuck to the red I think.

CE: What can't I ask you about?

GM: What can't you ask me about?

CE: Yep.

GM: Listen, there's absolutely nothing you can't ask me about. There's lots
of things I won't give you any answers to.

CE: When was the last time anybody slapped you?

GM: Slapped me?

CE: Yeah.

GM: Oh God, when was the last time anybody slapped me? I know I got slapped
in the Father Figure video but that doesn't count because that wasn't for
real. When was the last time I got slapped? About three years ago.

CE: Why?

GM: I think I was a bit out of order, I was being out of line.

CE: Was it a girl or boy?

GM: A girl.

CE: And?

GM: I think that's as far as I can go on it really. It was somebody who was
extremely pissed off with me, and I was drunk and you know..... I think I
said something untoward and I got a slap for it.

CE: Can I just slap you very gently now?

GM: Slap me? Is this some kind of.... are you joking? I slapped George

CE: No, I just want you to go Ooh!, as a comedy slap.

GM: All right then.


GM: Ooh!

CE: There you go.

GM: Shit, that hurt.

CE: OK. Are you worried about this interview?

GM: In what way?

CE: Just generally.

GM: No, if I was worried I wouldn't do interviews I don't think.

CE: Why have you chosen to do one?

GM: I decided this month really. Well the last two months I've been working
various things. Initially I thought I was going to try to do some shows at
the end of
the year. It's not something I really want to do anymore, this promotion. I
think it would be a bit much to have gone through the court case, taken all
that time off, and having my fingers crossed that there would be an audience
for me when I got
back. I obviously thought that there would be. When you get a really strong
response to your work you have to acknowledge it somehow in someway,
especially after such a long gap, so I thought I'd pile a bit of promotion,
kind of quite deliberately once people realised that the album had already

done very well. And I was not going back on my word, and had chosen to do it,
I'm very proud that way.

CE: On the subject of that, rather predictably, why did you choose to talk to
the Big Issue?

GM: I do actually believe that there shouldn't be people with their hands out
on the street, in this country these days, and half of me thinks the next
government has to do something about it and half of me thinks no government
is ever going to be able to do anything about this ever again. Sometimes I'll
put my hand in my pocket, and nine out of ten times I don't have any money on
me, you know. Because I don't carry cash, I'm like that. I really think its a
great idea in any situation to encourage self-help as opposed to charity. I
think the Big Issue is a really great idea in the first place, plus it was a
way of me talking and doing a print interview without it being in the
mainstream press. Obviously I'm not a big fan of the mainstream press,
so....It wasn't bad, I was very pleased with the way it read, it didn't feel
like a great interview when I was doing it, it still felt like someone
prying, you know.

CE: Did you say you hate the tabloid press then?

GM: No I didn't, I said I wasn't a great fan.

CE: They are in a way responsible for you in the beginning

GM: They're responsible for me now, I think that's why I don't, it think it
would be very
stupid for me to say I hate them because, much as I dislike the things they
about me there's no question that they help my career.

CE: Have they had a real go at you?

GM: Over time, they've had a pretty hard go at me yeah. I think people don't
realise how hard a go at me they've had, simply because I don't respond to
any of that.

CE: Somebody said to me once, somebody who is very high up and you know him,
probably very well, he said the way to react to the press is to think that
there are only two people who remember the article, the person who wrote it,
and the person who its about. Is it like water off a ducks back now?

GM: It really is, honestly, to a degree that I'm really glad of because it
now even amazes me the things they can write about me and I totally forget or
I just .. It really is a separate character that they're writing about as far
as I'm concerned and I'm perfectly happy with that and myself I'm not
offended by anything they write anymore.
I get offended by things they may write that will include other people. I
think sometimes friends and family have been caught in the crossfire a bit,
but, other than that I really don't care. They can write what they want about
me really.

CE: Would you ever take action against them, for anything, based on what you
just said?

GM: There are certain situations, you know I remember my old famous quote
always used to be "as long as they don't call me a child-molester they can
call me what they like" and now of course that's not such a joke anymore is
it. There almost nothing that I can think of that I would respond to. I tend
to respond .. I tend to get
annoyed when they make me out to be a ... Normally if they're having a go
about money, or sex or anything like that I just kind of brush it off. When
they make me out to be some kind of real arsehole that tends to be when I get
the most tempted.

CE: You can't sue for someone to be making you out to be a real arsehole
though can you?

GM: Well the only time I sued The Sun was over this ridiculous story that
said that I had gone into the Limelight club and thrown furniture around and
said "Don't you know who I am?" And then apparently I threw up over some poor

CE: But what is the basis of suing someone. Is that defamation?

GM: Well no, it was the fact that I hadn't actually entered the club. I
hadn't actually done anything other than had walked up to the club and seen
that there was a private party for a, I think it was an Andrew Lloyd-Webber
party and I walked out again. So everything that they actually put in there
was fabricated. It's incredible, The Sun has this way of rephrasing things so
that you're not even sure whether you said it or not. You just know that you
don't remember sounding as stupid as that. They have, whatever you call it,
Sun speak.

CE: You know when you started, and you were very excited and carefree as we
all are, did you ever imagine that you would get so angry that you would sue
a newspaper? When you start you just don't care do you?

GM: Of course, when you first start you welcome them with open arms, it makes
me go cold to think, I had someone from the Daily Mirror at my 21st birthday
party, I mean, that's how....

CE: And now?

GM: I don't think it's likely, no, they won't be at my 40th you know.

CE: We've been out for dinner before, do you think I like you?

GM: Yeah. Do you like me Chris?

CE: Just tell me why you think I like you.

GM: Because I think you probably like me because I'm nowhere near as big an
arsehole as you expected George Michael to be. That's about right isn't it?


CE: That's bang on. What do you think people generally think of you, or have
you already answered that question, in what you thought I would think of you.

GM: Yeah I think so, most people probably think that I'm a bit of an

CE: What about the people who buy your records though, they don't think that.

GM: No, I think probably not. A lot of my character is very evident in the
way that I write. And if you're a fan of the way somebody writes you listen
to the lyrics, and the lyrics say a lot about their character. I think that I
don't write like an arsehole, I just perform like one. That's kind of what I
think. I have a very, very bad physical self-image, I always have, and I've
never made any bones about that. I really don't like the way I look in
general, I'm not comfortable with it so do everything I can to be as groomed
as I can for people because I have this ridiculous desire to live up to their
expectations on that level because I'm so insecure about it. On every other
level I think I've dragged myself esteem up to a point where I'm perfectly
capable of dealing with being a celebrity but on a level of being looked at
I'm still not pleased.

GM: I remember being a kid and thinking I loved what Adam Ant did in the
early eighties, right, I thought he was so cool, right, and so handsome and
all that show and everything.

CE: He was the thing.

GM: He was the thing. Yeah. And I remember being in my bedroom and thinking
it's such a shame, because basically no matter how good I am as a musician,
I'm never going to be that famous, right, because I don't have that way of
pushing myself forward visually, and physically and I'm not interesting
enough to people. So, I was determined to be noticed for what I did. What I
didn't realise was going to happen was that the whole Wham! thing. Obviously
Andrew starting it off and everything. I didn't realise that I was going to
be selling something else as well. I didn't realise I was going to be selling
my physical persona. The truth is what do most people, when you see somebody
famous on the street, or in a restaurant, and you're with people, what's the
first thing people talk about? Because there's nothing else, you didn't speak
to them or whatever, you talk about how they looked. If those people all go
home to their own lives or to their own
friends, and they talk about the fact that they met George Michael today, or
they saw George Michael today or whatever, which is nice for them all right,
a bit of entertainment for them in the evening, but you can be absolutely
sure that if you look shit that day, that's the first thing they'll say.

CE: But why do you care about that?

GM: I don't. I don't. On a rational level I don't care at all. That's the
point, I've actually managed to realise that it is not rational, that I
shouldn't spend any time worrying about it. But it doesn't stop the fact that
I still, when I'm getting ready to leave the house, I
still feel that I've got to do my best before I leave the house.

CE: When you were on the MTV awards last week, although when this goes out it
will be a few weeks ago, you arrived in the biggest, sequinned limousine that
I've ever seen. You come out ...

GM: Mirror-tiled, Mirror-tiled, it wasn=92t sequinned.

CE: Mirror-tiled, sorry whatever, and you come out and this is the guy I went
out to dinner with the night before, literally, the night before, and you
come out, and you've got the shades on, and you've got this, I don't know,
this waistcoat / dresscoat / outfit on. And it's like...

GM: There he is, George Michael, there's the arsehole!

CE: But why do you do that though?

GM: Because people love it. At the same time it is great entertainment

CE: Surely, ultimately, you've got to draw them in, and they've got to know
you, they have to know you.

GM: You don't think that they do by now?

CE: Well no, because the facade that you're talking about isn't you in this

GM: No, that's true.

CE: You, in this interview

GM: That's one of the reasons for doing this interview. You see, what I'm
trying to tell people is look, you actually quite enjoy me being an arsehole
up there, and looking like, people enjoy me looking that self-absorbed and
that kind of full of confidence and that is performance, you know that is for
me, a career that I never expected to get into. Performance is never
something that I expected to get into. But the fact is that it is one of
those things that I do quite well. I can work it out and I can do it well.
And people enjoy it, so I should have the freedom to do it and not worry
about the people who don't care about the music anyway, just think, what an
arsehole in his big silver car or whatever, but I think that the people who
really like the music and that understand the music will get that as well.

CE: Do you still wake up everyday with Richard and Judy? (Aid: Presenters of

a terrible morning show. They were on Chris' show, TFIriday the other day)

GM: I do, indeed. I do, yeah. I do. Richard and Judy, I have a good old laugh
at Richard and Judy in the morning, it's kind of brainless stuff when you're
half-awake in the morning, isn' it?

CE: What's your routine in the morning?

GM: My routine?

CE: Yeah.

GM: I get up about ten o'clock normally, and I go through the thirty or forty
messages I've received since I last picked up my messages and then decide,
slowly, who to call back, because I'm normally extremely tired in the

CE: Your circle of friends, would you say it's very small?

GM: Yeah, it's pretty small. It's not very small, it's pretty small. I've
got quite a wide circle of friends but my close, close friends, I spend most
of my time with a small number of people at the end.

CE: And you have done for a long time?

GM: Yeah.

CE: If you get to the point, where privately, like you said to me about a few
certain individuals, if you get to the point where they're not at their best
anymore, who would tell you to stop? And how would you know, you wouldn't
know yourself?

GM: Who would tell me to stop? Well, luckily, a couple of my closest friends
take great pleasure in putting me down, so I've got people who would tell me,
absolutely, this is a pile of shit, don't put this out, but in all honesty,
I'm very, very self-critical, and I throw away an awful lot of stuff. I'm not
a Prince type that can lay hundreds and hundreds of tracks down and think
that because they're me, that they must be good. I throw an awful lot of
material away because I just know it's not up to scratch. It's quite often
material that other people like.

CE: Would you ever write a Disney soundtrack?

GM: No. No I don't think so.

CE: Are you bored yet?

GM: Are you having a go at my mates?

CE: No, I'm not at all, I just want to know.

GM: No, I would never do that. I wish that Elton hadn't done that.

CE: Circle of Life was a good song though. I was thinking about it this
morning. I like that song.

GM: I just don't really think that a great musician can be done justice by
cartoon characters really. I know Elton loves the stuff and he's thrilled
with it, and it's sold very, very well because lots of people loved it and
it's great. My own feeling is that I don't want to hear Elton John's voice
and think of Simba the Lion, you know. It's just, I have too much respect for
what he does, as a musician. The truth is, Elton made an album, and it
probably sold more than any album he's made since the seventies, at least.
His next album, didn't... Those people were buying a Disney album to some
degree, had they all being buying an Elton John album...

CE: They were buying an acquired album.

GM: Yeah. Exactly and I think the album he followed it up with was the best
album he'd made in years and years, and I think a lot of people didn't take
it particularly seriously because of the Disney record. He'll hate hearing
this, I'm really sorry to say this but I thought it was beneath him really.

CE: Have you told him?

GM: I don't know if I've ever told him actually. I think I kind of did
initially, but he's very enthusiastic about these things and its his,
absolutely, he knows what he's doing, he knows what he wants to do. I
personally can never see me putting myself into that position.

CE: You should tell him. You'd hope he'd tell you wouldn't you?

GM: Yeah, I think I did tell him to tell you the truth. I'd certainly tell
him when what I think, I'd definitely advise him when I think he's putting
out something that I don't think is going to do well. And I'd definitely tell
him what I think he should put out, when he plays me stuff. For instance,
Believe, which was the first single off of his last album, it was one of the
best songs he'd written in years and years. They were going with something a
bit more commercial and up-tempo first and I think I was part of Elton's
decision/reasoning maybe in deciding to put out Believe, but again, everybody
I spoke to, it didn't do great chart-wise, but everyone I spoke to said that
they loved it, which I hadn't heard them saying about things off of the Lion

CE: Can you believe he's your mate?

GM: Yeah, I've known him for so long that still occasionally when I'm with
him, I get a little voice from a nine year old that says "God, I can't
believe I'm here!"

GM: It's just a very weird thing, it never stops that. It never stops with
the people you idolise as a child I don't think that that ever goes away,
however long you know them.

CE: Also, he's not only your mate, but he phones you up and says "What do you
think of this?"

GM: Yeah

CE: What do you think about that?

GM: It's amazing. I've had an incredibly, you know, two of the biggest

records of my career were with people I'd idolised as a child, and neither of
those things happened in any kind of deliberated way. They just both came
out of situations, you know, with Elton, he came on with me at that certain
point, he'd sung with me many times before
when we decided to release the record, and the Queen situation, the tragic
thing about that was that I was singing with three of four people that made a
huge difference to my life when I was a child. So, that was extremely tragic,
but somehow, the fact that I've ended up working with these people is some,
and not just working with them but doing some of my most well received work
with them, is there's a very strange sense of destiny about it, obviously,
for me, I can't believe it happened really. I look back on a lot of things,
when I look back on my career in general, I do find it quite hard to believe

CE: I think, out of all the people I've tried to draw a parallel with, as far
as you're concerned, I do think you're closest with Freddie Mercury.
Everybody says Elton John, everybody says Stevie Wonder or whatever, it's got
to be Freddie Mercury, because the songs you write don't make sense next to
each other. And his songs never made sense next to each other.

(A little bisexual apperatif doesn't hurt either... AG)

GM: You mean as a, you mean they don't make sense in terms of direction?

CE: They're just like, Kissing A Fool, compared with Praying For Time,
compared with A Different Corner and Careless Whisper, they just don't make

GM: But they do make sense don't they? The thing is they don't in the sense
that they don't show any particular, there's a kind of continuity that no-one
can quite put their finger on, you're right, If you look at Night At The

GM: You're right it was all over the place, it was kind of '"vaudeville",
then heavy rock, and yeah, absolutely right. And that's something that I
think it is something that is difficult for artists to actually fight
against, because people want you to make a lot more sense than that.

CE: What about Faith? It was so simple.

GM: Yeah, but you'd be amazed at how much time it takes to be that simple.

CE: Tell us.

GM: To me, the better the song is, the simpler it should be recorded, or the
simpler it should be recorded, the better the song it has to be. So something
like Faith which was really, really simple, the arrangement has to be
absolutely rock solid, so that with a really, really simple format,
everyone's still going to get it.

CE: Why did you prelude it with Freedom? Because I've got to tell you, as a
disk jockey, right, it's the hardest record in the world to cue up, because
we've always got to cut off the freedom bit.

GM: Because the track was called Faith, I wanted to insinuate something
religious about it at the beginning of it, it had to be an organ, and I
thought what's the song about, and Faith was basically absolutely nothing to
do with Freedom, from Wham! one, but I knew that from a melodic point of
view, it would sound really good there, so I
stuck it there. Do you know what I mean?

(Ahem, well then I must be a dolt, because if you listen to Freedom and Faith
back to back, you get a two part song...along the lines of Madonna's Take a
Bow and You'll See... AG)

GM: There's a song on the album called It Doesn't Really Matter, which is one
of my favourite songs on there. But that has literally got one of those
little old, do you remember those Dr Rhythm boxes? The first rhythm
synthesisers, and it's just got a little Dr Rhythm thing going on, bass
guitar, and me playing a few piano chords, I think I, I did play it all. It's
one of the simplest things I've ever recorded, and it's right in the middle
of the album, and the rest of it is quite heavily produced. I love that, I
really love that, but, a remarkable number of people don't notice the song.

CE: Here's a question for you, right in the middle of all that, right?

GM: All right.

CE: When you wrote Careless Whisper, based on what you just said, did you
think people would want to hear that?

GM: Yes. I remember having a conversation with Andy, Andrew Ridgeley, and
saying to him, Andrew, because we didn't know what we were doing at the time
and we weren't sure whether we wanted to have a band, or whether to have just
the two of us, and we write Careless Whisper together, and I remember when we
demoed it, and we made this crappylittle demo that cost us thirty quid to
make, and literally, we were in Andrew's front room whilst his mum was out,
and he had like a broom with a microphone tied to it, and one of those little
four track, portastudios that had just come out at the end of the seventies.
And I remember, we made the demo, and I remember saying to Andrew one day

when we were walking along from school, remember saying to him, I don't care
what anybody says, whether or not either of us are going to make it, or
whether I can be a singer or whatever, I said to Andrew,
"someone is going to have to want to make money out of this".

CE: Because?

GM: Because I knew, in my own head, I knew it sounded like a number one song.
You know, even though I'd never made a record.

CE: Was it about anything?

GM: No, it was about nothing to me really. I worked at the cinema at the time
and I just kind of put lots of bits and pieces, influences, all kinds of
romantic imagery that was just totally clichid.

CE: Tell us what number bus you wrote each line on.

GM: It was the 142. Actually it wasn't the 142, I told you it was the 142
before but it wasn't. I can't remember.

CE: Well, initially you wrote each line.

GM: Yeah, I remember where the melody, which is obviously my most famous
melody, it's the one you hear in the lifts all of the time, I remember
hearing the melody for it, as I walked out onto the bus, and was handing the
guy the change, and it was really, as the guy was handing me the change, I
remember getting the melody and going up and sitting at the back of the bus
and putting word to it and everything.

GM: And I used to do just a little bit every day, on my way between working
at the cinema and working as a DJ. I used to just kind of work on it every
day in my head.

CE: A friend of mine said, because I talked to him about the conversation we
had over dinner with him, a good friend of mine, knows a lot about music,
been in the music business for a long time, written for the papers, when they
were good, for about eight or nine years. And I said to him, one of the
things you were terribly worried about, you said this to me, was that you are
petrified of losing your talent
to write songs, because you've seen some people, no names, your words, you've
seen them lose it. Do you think then you're facing two deaths, the scary
thing about death is that it's inevitable, one is a mortal death, and are you
saying that you face another premature death as a popular globally renowned
musician and songwriter.

GM: I would say that one of my obsessions now is to make sure that I only
have the one death to deal with.
And on that cheery note, I end part one of this issue...

The rest will be on it's way as soon as it's done, give me a couple hours.


Back to Main Archive Page
George Michael main pageLatest George Michael NewsGeorge Michael Biography
25 Live - George Michael 2006 TourGeorge Michael AlbumsGeorge Michael Singles
George Michael DVDs & VideosPatience - The Album George Michael Books
Older - The AlbumMusic ChartsConcert and Theatre Tickets