OK, so I have a couple things to tell y'all....

1. A number of us with "yog" in our e mail addresses were basically ignored
by AEgean online. The letter from them that ran in YM96 was a forward from
Karen and Briliance.

2. Since George does not want us to admire him in such a fashion, my new
personal address will be

3. I have yet to download Netscape, so I'm not sure what the AEgean site
looks like as yet.

4. YOGMAEL NOW HAS AN OFFICAL MASCOT!!! Courtesy of George Bieliski in
Australia--the George who appreciates me--a furry little Koala sporting a
brown hat sits perched upon my monitor. I think he needs a name...any
suggestions camera crew? BTW, THANKS GEORGE!!! How unexpected and VERY VERY
appreciated. (Yes, it was one of those days...) It's also very appropriate
that the mascot be Aussie, for were it not for Tim--also in
Australia--YOGMAEL would not be here! So let's name this little guy folks.

*************************** (Melanie) writes:
Amanda, I would love a poster. I would love all the posters. Let me know
the details, i can send you a check or whatever. Thanks oodles. I was also
wondering what George's real name is. Someone one told me that it wasn't
george michael...Hmmmmm.

(OK, I'll take a look 'round the shops this week. And no, George's real name
is not George Michael, but rather the far more ethnic Georgios Kyriacos
Panayiotou. AG)

have a super noodle day. -Melanie
*************************** writes:
Hello, Oh Great Goddess of Yogmael !!

(You've been reading my AOL member profile...blame JT. AG)

Well, it is a dull winter afternoon and I really don't feel like doing all
the business work or housework that are awaiting me, so I will give this
transcription thing a shot. You and others in the Yogmael family have been
brave enough in the past, so I shall venture forth, Walkman at the ready.
(Note: I have tried to copy the cadence of George's speech, as well as the
words, so the punctuation goes wacky! People don't really speak in complete
sentences. Oh, to be a court stenographer, or to be able to take
dictation...) Here goes.

Interview from the LWP era taken from a CD by the same name

"This is George Michael and I hope you'll listen without prejudice..."
(various cuts from LWP)
"When, I came up with the title for the album, I was warned actually by a lot
of people actually that it might be misinterpreted because, aah, a lot of
people's immediate reaction was that I was asking people to listen without
prejudice as though the prejudice was normally directed against me, or
towards me, which is true in some cases, but, uhmm, really what I was talking
about was that the album should be listened to by all types and all races,
really, with an open mind because I think radio and video in the last
3 or 4 years has veered very much in two separate directions, one for kind of
America and one for black America and I think that its quite an unhealthy


"My main objective in making this album was just to make an album which was
completely my own, in a sense. I think until now there's always been some
compromise because I've always felt that I wanted to move from one place to
another. In other words, uhmm, I mean, very definitely with Faith I had to

move away from, aah, what the public perception of me was with, uhmm, Andrew
and Wham!"

(Wake me up tune)

"I think that if I had made this album after, for instance, the last Wham!
album, I don't think that people would have accepted it from me. I think
there is always a matter of timing that has to be involved in a musical
career and I don't think it is just a matter of thinkin it. I think its the type of
song that so many people will have different interpretations. I wrote it,
really, thinking just in terms of the way people act. I think people's, uhh,
lack of compassion for one another... and trying to work out why people are
like that these day. And increasingly like that."

"The first two lines of the chorus, the lines - Its so hard to love, there's
so much to hate - came into my head, and very often that's the way a song
will start with me, just a lyric will come into my head...I remember when it
came into mine, I was just driving along, just on my way to get, you know,
some gas...And it just came into my head. Its almost like you get a little
message. Then you have to work around that, think of a melody for those
words. And once you've got that nucleus, then, then you're inspired to write
the rest of the song. But it was something that I wrote it in about two or
three days. I have no idea, really, why I wrote it. It just came very
strongly to me. But all the best things come to me that way, you know. You
almost feel like a channel when that happens."

"I think there's a lot less John Lennon in there than people relate to it...
I think that the thing that I associate with John Lennon is simply the vocal
sound. And there was this kind of very close, repeat, kind of echo that
Lennon used alot, especially in the Phil Spector sessions."

(John Lennon insert ... "Living life in peace...")

"And I used that once the song was already written and down, I started to
think that the song has that kind of feel to it, the song has that kind of
feel, so I'm gonna see if it works to use that kind of vocal. And its kind
of, I suppose in a sense, its a tribute when you, when you make a very direct
reference. To me that's my way of kind of showing the people that I think
have made admirable music, really. You know, I felt passionate about what I
was singing and that's I think, if anything, I hope that's what people relate
to Lennon's stuff. I hope that that is the connection because I did really
feel something when I was singing this."

(..."so maybe we should all be praying for time")

"I think one of the beauties of writing is that your interpretation, the
listener's interpretation, can be completely off, but really mean something
to them. That's the point, uhmm, and I think that's another very strong
reason I felt that there shouldn't be any kind of visual interpretation of
the song. Which is why there's no video. And I think that, more and more,
as video advances, people's way of listening to music becomes far less
imaginative, and not just less imaginative, I think its, its done a
disservice because the best music is always open to interpretation, and open
to complete emotion. And you shouldn't have a storyboard running through
your mind when you're listening to it. It should something different to each
person. I felt when I finished it that I really didn't want to lay down
something for people to make messages clearer because maybe my messages would
be, not as strong as the ones that they would feel themselves, you know?"

(Freedom 90 segueway)

"Freedom 90 is my confessional, I suppose. Its my way of kind of putting the
past behind me in a lyrical sense, if, to some degree, I think that it sounds
more like a Wham! record, in terms of its energy and spirit, than anything on
Faith did. Uhmm. And that's deliberate because the first half of this song
deals directly with those years."

"When I came into the business I had no idea that I was going to be any kind

of any physical entity. I'd grown up with Andrew. I was a particularily
unattractive, uhmm, adolescent, and aaah, he was always very handsome and I
always assumed that the vast majority of physical attention would be on
Andrew. I think when things changed and I started to feel some of that, I
got completely carried away, because, aft me in this position, I have a platform now, uhmm, from which I
can actually write and have these songs heard. Hopefully, the loss of the
visual image is not going to damage me too much. I understand that it could;
I understand that its a risk, but I'd like people to believe that I'm not
stepping back from video because, just because I think I'm big enough now and
I don't have to do it. I'm stepping back because I think that's the way to
protect myself as a songwriter."

(Freedom 90 plays... "and the boys from MTV")

"The reference to MTV really talks about the way I reinvented myself for MTV
when Wham! finished, and, obviously, very successfully because it was a
completely different phase of my career. And I'm just really again, its, it
talks about the fact that, aaah, I worked as a strategist really. I was kind
of managing this person that was half of Wham! and then needed to change, and
was still not me, really. I mean, both of the images, the old Wham! image
even though it was far more embarrassing to me now than the image from Faith,
they were, to some degree, both fairly removed from me as a person. And the
song just deals with the fact that I'm not going to do that anymore. I mean,
its about as confessional as you can get, really."

"There are parts to, uhhh, this lyric that could be taken completely as a
relationship type of lyric. And that is deliberate because what I'm really
trying to say is that my relationship with the public has been almost like a
personal relationship. The line "I don't belong to you and you don't belong
to me" means that, really, that I should be able to step back from certain
things (i.e. the visual interpretation), uhmm, without real recrimination,
and also, that I have to work to keep people's support by, you know, giving
them the best music that I can. I don't believe that I deserve loyal support
without working for it, but at the same time, I think I should be able to
make the decision that I don't want to be a quote/unquote, video star
anymore, without people thinking I'm just being offhand because its a very
important decision that I've made, and I haven't made it flippantly, and I
haven't made it thinking that I won't have to, uhmm, you know, somehow make
up for it. And, hopefully, the way I'll make up for it is with better

(Stevie Wonder singing They Won't Go When I Go)

"Well, Stevie Wonder is, possibly, my favorite writer. Uhmm, and definitely
one of my favorite singers. One particular period, in the seventies, he was
just writing masterpieces, one after another, there was just like, no
question, he was the most, just consistently brilliant writer. And this
particular song, I've always thought it was a beautiful song which had not
been arranged to full effect."

(Stevie Wonder singing blending into George's version)

"I think at the time he'd kind of just discovered synthesizers, and there was
so much synthesizer work going on that I thought it was detracting from what
he was doing as a singer, so I grabbed that opportunity and thought, right,
I'll take this song and strip it down just to piano and vocal, and see how it
goes, and I was really pleased with the result."

(More TWGWIG - George version)

"I did the backup vocals on the track, and its difficult because, one of the
things about doing your own backing vocals is that your timing is obviously,
naturally, always going to be the same. So you have to think about, if
you're doing something like this where you want to get that kind of gospel

feel, you have to think about trying to make the voices try to sound like
different people. You have to change the tone and change the timing of each
vocal, so that they don't all just move as one backup vocal. It was quite
interesting to have to do that, but I mean, it worked because I think, in
general, people don't think that, it doesn't occur to them, that those backup
you expect a rock drummer to come in on the, you know, the second verse, or
whatever, but I, I just thought it had more emotion and it had more, uhhh,
clarity without any drums, you know, so I just kept it to the guitars and the

(Cowboys and Angels)

"Cowboys and Angels is just a metaphor for men and women, really. The song
is just about the kind of tug-of-war that goes on and the way relationships
slide one way and the other. And there's always someone with, you know, with
the upper hand kind of thing. In terms of the music, I had been listening to
alot of 60's, uhmm, kind of Portugese music, and Brazilian music, and when
they teamed up with people like Nelson Riddle and stuff like that. I really
wanted to get that feeling of a sixties soundtrack, you know, one of those
ariel shots they do of a car driving in the south of France, you know."

"It took me longer than any track I can remember recording because the
arrangement was so difficult because, you know, being a jazz arrangement, it
really had to be authentic and that, when you're not working with real jazz
musicians, and, of course, I was playing some of the stuff on it, you have to
be really careful that you don't fall into some kind of pop or rock cliche,
so it took along time to do."

(Waiting for that Day)

"Waiting for that Day, the musical concept behind it was to take a very black
rythmn and something which has been used constantly in recent dance records.
There's a sample of the James Brown intro into, the song's called Funky
Drummer, and its just the drum track. I wanted to use it very bare, and
place a completely non R&B song over the top of it, so I used accoustic
guitars and old sixties keyboard sounds."

( can't alway get what you want...)

"The reference to the Rolling Stones song was just that, really, it was a
reference which, apart from melodically over those two chords working
perfectly, you know, it, uhmm, it just was my way of kindof, of tailing off
the song because, uhhh, the song in some sense is about a relationship which
has been over, but, aaaah, I wanted to kind of rekindle. And the idea being
that it had been obvious that in the interim period neither party had got
what they wanted out of life, and maybe it was time to reassess the
situation, i.e. come back, you know - Uhmm, didn't work by the way (laugh)."

(Mother's Pride)

"Mother's Pride has the most direct message, I think, on the album, really.
There can't be that many interpretations of this. Its really women's roll
in war, I suppose, becuase war is always presumed to be male territory and
women stand back. And I think the fact that men go into war, and their whole
attitude to aggression and fighting, or whatever, that feeling. I think part
of it is instinctive, but I think part of it is instinctive in women, too. I
think the pride they feel in their husbands or their sons, and also that need
to harden their sons, you know, is there in them, too. I think, although
alot of women, very rationally, would say that they want their sons to become
very caring, kind of non-sexist, all this kind of "new man" thing, I think
even though they, rationally, that's what they want, I think instinctively
its kind of hard to do."

"With this album the lyrics tended to come first. Definitely, the
inspiration came from the lyrics, rather than, ahhh, melodies. And then it
was a matter of finding melodies in my head to match, and equal, the power of
the lyrics. Probably, its the first time that's happened. I mean, I think

until now, my overall priority has been with melody. I think probably until
now, I was a little bit reluctant to tell the world about what I felt about
certain things. I think that comes one, from being English, because the
English tend to have a real...especially in my position, when it comes to pop
stars, its very frowned upon to take yourself seriousl think that my definition of "soul" is
something that comes from the heart, as a singer, something that goes form
the heart to the mouth and bypasses the head. I, I definitely know that I
never thought I sounded black. When people say how come I have a black
following, how come I've had that much support from the R&B, I think its
really because I've tried to do that. As I've, as I've progressed as a
singer with each album, I think I try and say what I feel and really make
that jump from the heart to the mouth, and really kind of try to pretend that
there's no kind of thought process in between. Every time I go back into the
studio, I think I get closer to doing that."

"Soul Free, in terms of a vocal, I think its got the most release on it,
maybe. It really kind of blasted. And I had real fun doing it, but I'd like
to think that I do it all over the album. You know, I've really tried to, to
be as honest a singer as I can this time."

(Freedom 90 returns)

"This is the first album I've enjoyed making, actually. Its the first album
I've taken my time and said, "OK, it'll be ready when its ready", you know.
Uhmmm, because originally, it was going to come out, probably, at the end of
last year. And I just decided that I had to relax. Uhmm and I really did, I
mean, I felt at the end of making this album that I could have just carried
on, whereas, making the other albums in my career, I have been completely
exhausted by the end of them, and really glad it was over, you know. Uhmm,
but this time I'm really enjoying myself, so... I'll probably go in and
start recording again very soon."

('ve got to have some faith in the sound, its the one good thing that
I've got)

"I would say that ten years of writing, its gone from what was craft, I
think, because, I think that putting together songs and arranging songs, I've
always had a real pride in it as a craft, uhmm, and I spent a long time
perfecting that into songs that you'd hear on the radio, that would grab your
attention for three or four minutes, and that were much more radio songs than
anything else, and I think now I've got to the point where what's just as
important to me was to really, uhmm, take something out of myself and give
it. I've always written from a point of view of wanting things to be heard -
for different reasons."

(Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go)

"I mean, I think WMUBYGG, however much people have put it down, I think it
was very much a very strong pop record. I think the best of my material,
even from really early material... there's no doubt that people of my
generation, when they hear it in twenty years time, they're going to remember
it, they're going to be nostalgic about it because it was actually that it
made an impression."

(Careless Whisper)

"I think the same thing applies, in some ways I think Careless Whisper is
fairly lightweight, even though people love it, but I know that it will be
around. That is the way I write. I mean, I have always written with a
complete disregard for whether or not something really applied to now. I
mean, quite often it did apply to now, but my main reason feeling about a
song is that it should be able to be taken out of context, and without
everything that is going on around it, and still sound good. That's the

(various snippets)

"I think I could very much say that George Michael is a different person now
than the person who wrote the songs, even on the last album, let alone the
earlier albums, and definitely, the person who wrote for Wham! was a

completely different individual, I mean, obviously the same person, but with
completely different objectives and with a completely different outlook on

"What I think will make me happy now is to feel that I am recognized for
constantly trying to push what I am doing, musically, to another level. And
that, to me, is an unbelievable dri people enjoy. Now I had better get some "real" work done.

(THANKS A HEAP!!!! This was very generous of you, and we all thank you! AG)

Anyone in the Southern Ontario area up for a night of George? Let me know...
To Wrap it Up:

Tomorrow: News on AEgean online and George sightings in France...

"Never state, what you can't imply."

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