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13 janvier 2010 3 13 /01 /janvier /2010 16:47
Although it’s probably not what George Michael would like to be remembered for, something happened a year ago that summed him up beautifully. George was taking a late-night stroll on Hampstead Heath when he was ambushed by a photographer from the News of the World. Did he turn and flee? Did he buggery? George just barked at the paparazzo: “Are you gay? No? Then fuck off! This is my culture!”
This is the new George Michael. After his arrest for cottaging in 1998 he came tumbling out of the closet, and straight onto CNN – although it’s debatable how closeted he’d been before. Now George is – officially – The World’s Gayest Man. Passionate and unapologetic, he is also candid. Which makes sense – what’s he got to hide these days? He says we can talk about anything. Except that recent bit of car trouble he’d had – the interview took place just before he was due in court on charges of being asleep at the wheel, and his solicitors had begged him to keep his mouth shut. We meet at his home in Highgate. Someone warned me that it can be hard to shut George Michael up. Thankfully, that turned out to be true.

Okay. Let’s start at the day you were born. That’s what the song on your last album, My Mother Had A Brother, is about. But what’s the actual story? Your uncle killed himself and he was definitely gay? Not that he was definitely gay, but I think he must have been for my mum to have this fear of me being gay. She had a definite fear that I was going to be like her brother – she thought that would mean I couldn’t cope with life. She almost felt like she’d brought this gene... So there were very pointed areas where she let my dad be – supposedly protectively – homophobic.
What does that mean? Well, there was a gay waiter who lived above the restaurant, and I wasn’t allowed to go to the top flat when he was down in the restaurant. You know, in case I saw something.
What – in case you caught “gay”? Yeah (laughs). In case I caught “gay”. My mum became much more enlightened than that, but looking back on it now, I understand what her fear was. I didn’t know the story of Colin, I didn’t know he existed until a certain age. Now it makes sense that she was not herself about it.
She didn’t talk about it until when?
She didn’t talk about her brother until I was 16. And I don’t know if that was a decision or whether she plucked up the courage. It changed my opinion of her entirely, because it wasn’t just that; she’d also seen her father die the same way. They’d both put their heads in the gas oven. And, of course, lucky old mum, she found both of them. I think she only recovered when we were teenagers and were able to give her some perspective. She spent years being so remorseful that it’s impossible to hold that time against her. And the last 20 years of her life, I don’t think we had a cross word. It’s such a shame...
Did you feel that your father suspected you of being gay because of your uncle being suspected of being gay? I don’t know if he particularly suspected it when I was young. It was my mum I felt the fear from. Knowing my father, he couldn’t even consider he could have a gay son. He’s of his generation, a Greek Cypriot man. But my mum was afraid of my father’s judgement of me. i now realise she was afraid that if the gene was in me, I’d turn out the same way – which was easy to believe in 1965. So it’s sad – and I’m sure it didn’t help in my whole sexual development – but there was nothing that even vaguely made me think my mum would have any problem with it. And she didn’t. it was a complete non-issue, ‘cause the reason I came out to my parents was that my partner (Anselmo) had died. So my pain and grief became the issue for her. I wrote them a four-page letter after he died, and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever written, considering my sexuality was the only unsolved issue. It was easy, in terms of my sexuality, to come out to my parents, you know? Not exactly y rare situation, but difficult when you’re George Michael. I really should ask my dad to it to me again, because my mum said it was the most beautiful letter she’s ever read; it explained completely how I felt and why she didn’t have to worry about me. It was the easiest thing – and it should have been the most difficult thing.
When you were growing up, you were going out with girls...
I’d had three girlfriends, and all through that time I’d cruised as well.
Where were you cruising?
Out in the suburbs where I grew up. Back in the days when they weren’t all shut – you know what I mean? And I still saw that as dysfunction of the highest degree. It only really used to happen when I was beating myself up about something else. I was so under-developed emotionally, there was nothing other than physical attraction to either sex. It was stronger towards men, but it didn’t have any emotional pull to it...I literally never had a crush on anyone at school. Never.
I always thought your relationship with Andrew Ridgeley seemed like a crush. You talk about meeting this kid at school who was everything you wanted to be. Good-looking, popular with girls and whatever. But it’s not the same, wanting to be someone and wanting to fuck ‘em. It’s the difference between a girl’s relationship with Robbie Williams and a boy’s relationship with Robbie Williams. Andrew was this sort of idol for me because he was the first person I’d hung around with who was much stronger than me. It was a relief not being the strongest person in my group. This person was supremely confident, and very beautiful, but in a way that was never going to attract me. I’d never go for Andrew! He was too pretty, too feminine, too elegant. But I can understand everyone thinking we were sleeping together. I don’t think he’s horribly adverse to the idea, but I don’t think he’d ever do it. He loves being filthy with women...
And Andrew was the first people you told you were gay of maybe bisexual. Yeah.
You mentioned once in passing about a strange trip to Cyprus, where “some things happened”. Like it was a sexual awakening. Yeah. It was a bit, I’m not going to go into any detail, but it was realising that it was a proper 50/50 split, at the very least. But I still hadn’t been drawn to anyone. I played around with the idea that I was bisexual – mostly by getting drunk (Laughs). And it probably would have gone on a bit longer, but the HIV thing happened, and I thought that I couldn’t sleep with a woman without telling her I slept with men – which made the exercise not worth it. My attraction to women wasn’t strong enough to make that a conversation worth having. So I started not sleeping with them at all, and I had an absolute rubbish level of sex through that whole terror between 1985 and 1993-1994. With the exception of the sex I had when I was faithful to my first real partner – the whole period when you think you’re going to be forever. Which was so late when you think about it – 27.
It’s strange that you managed to go so long without having a crush on anyone, or feeling unrequited love... Not even having a crush on a film star or pop star. I must have been so emotionally damaged at some point. There was something that made me separate the idea of... I used to masturbate about the strangest women when I was young.
I was trying to work up the confidence to ask you that question. You were masturbating over women? Yeah! I had no inkling that there was anything going on until the first time a man made a pass at me. This waiter in this underground club under our hotel in Cyprus. I was 13 and i looked older. I was sitting with my sister at the bar and this Greek waiter, really kind of cute, asked me to dance with him. I was terrified. I leant over to my sister and i said, “That bloke just asked me to dance with him. Does he think I’m a girl?” Maybe he did think I was a girl, I don’t know. It was the most bizarre experience. That was the first time, so you can understand how it was all unravelling. And I really didn’t self-identify as gay, for whatever reasons; it was a real slow development. People assume that I struggled for a lot longer than I did. And, to be honest, the more I know about the gay male community – the more I see of it – I think that some of the things I don’t share with it are probably about not self-identifying early.
Moving onto Wham, there was the very homoerotic leather-boys look. Lines like “I choose to cruise...” Yeah, yeah. It was still possible to play about with it then. We had such a kind of gay image anyway, we just didn’t mind. I think it was knowing on both our parts. Because it was still harmless to do it then, wasn’t it? The whole New Romantic thing had been so gay-inspired, and Andrew loved camp clothes, anyway. He would go to school wearing cherry-silk trousers, and he’d have three little Adam Ant braids in his hair, each one a different colour. Everyone spent their time going: “is he gay?” And I’d go; “He’s really not”.
But it does suggest you can’t have been worried about people thinking you were gay. No. And what people don’t understand is, I was very naive and almost excited when I worked out I couldn’t push it under the carpet. You’re at that age where you’re prepared to make big changes or whatever, and I really did, I really wanted to come out – ‘cause I didn’t realise how successful we were going to be. We said we did, but we didn’t really. And as we became really, really successful, I lost my nerve – that’s perfectly understandable. I was 19, nearly 20, and within a year of that conversation we were like the biggest band in Europe, and within two years we were the biggest Pop band in America and, it’s like, what the fuck are you going to do? You have the option of hiding, and you have some attraction to women at least – what else are you going to do at that age? When you’re more successful than you ever dreamed you were going to be?
But around that time, 1984, there were the first big Pop stars who were out from the outset. Did that make things uncomfortable for you? Not really. I just didn’t come from that place. Musically. I was pastiching various kinds of Pop music, and concentrating on my song-writing, and I had a goal of writing number one songs. I didn’t believe my personality was going to get me anywhere particularly. The only sense I thought I had to become a gay songwriter was when I knew I had to start writing songs about myself.
It’s interesting that’s what people associate with you in the solo years – you’re very much writing songs that are personal, about love affairs or your relationship with the music industry. One thing had to be an honest process and the other didn’t, as far as I was concerned.
One Wham song that always sounded interesting – the mood is so different from all the others – is Nothing Looks The Same In The Light. it seems like you’d had a brief encounter, but had been abandoned soon after. That was about six months before the conversation with Andrew. Two things brought me to the conclusion that I had to come out to Andrew and Shirley. I’d had something go on in Cyprus that had made the level of my attraction to men fairly clear. And about six months before, I’d stayed over at this guy’s house. He’d tried to have sex with me and I’d been too scared. I wanted to stay in the bed for the night. I wanted to be close to this guy, which had never happened before, and it hit me in a very profound way that something else was going on. And that’s what that song was about. Basically, I had a little crush on him for, like, a week. And then I called him – I was extremely naive about how these things worked – and I said: “Can I come over?” And he went; “Erm, well, I’ve got someone here tonight, but you can come over tomorrow”. I just didn’t get it. I was so offended. I thought that was outrageous. That was the only time I ever went to a gay club and got picked up. So that was formative for me. Just after that album came out we went to do the video for Club Tropicana. That’s when I spoke to Andrew.
Did he take it well?
A different Corner also seemed to be about a specific situation, you splitting up with someone... Oh yeah! It was actually my first true infatuation – it involved no proper sex, nothing. Think about how self-obsessed first love is. It was me going, “I’m ready to feel this now”. The other person is almost incidental – they’re the victim, really. I obsessed about this person for ages, and soon after I met him he said; “I don’t want to be your boyfriend”. Which was a very clever thing to say at the time.
‘Cause I was such a fuck-up. For a while I really felt sorry for myself, and in that period I wrote Different Corner. It wasn’t even first love. It was; “I’m impatient to feel something, and I’ll do it with this person”.
It’s striking how gender-specific songs like Fastlove and Jesus To A Child were. Of course. If you really look at it, no-one who’s not ready to come out releases Older. Excuse me, but I think the word “Jesus” is a male reference. Fastlove, at the end, is so clearly about cruising even if you didn’t know what the first half was about. Spinning the Wheel is about HIV. It’s a simple metaphor, but very obvious.
Isn’t that song also you complaining about someone else going cruising? Yeah. But I was talking to myself. It’s also about the idea that there’s someone you know and you get the idea that they’re not practising safer sex.
That’s also the theme of infidelity that runs through the album Faith, when you wrote “Explore monogamy” in the video for I Want Your Sex. Yeah. Confused boy, wasn’t I, at the time?
Explore monogamy. Discuss.
I didn’t have the courage of my convictions, did I? I needed to put something in to pacify the Aids hysteria. They needed me to put it in the context of a relationship. It was so obvious that people were going to start trying to censor all this shit. And I knew, in a way, that would get me attention at the time, and I genuinely had written the song about a man I couldn’t get to fuck and sleep with me. Even though I knew he was fucking crazy about me. He was the guy I was in love with when I was with Cathy (Jeung), who was definitely in love with me at that time. So it was very autobiographical. Cowboys and Angels was about those two people. I Want Your Sex was directly about being tired of waiting for this French guy – so I was writing about all that confusion.
Was there any record-company pressure not to come out?
No. If your goal is to become the biggest-selling artist in America – which was still my bizarre goal – you’re not going to make life difficult for yourself, are you? I’m not going to say that I would have been writing gay lyrics by then, but I certainly wasn’t going to when I was still kidding myself, and still trying to crack America. After I got arrested I said I didn’t think my audience in America would desert me because I was gay. I had no idea how rough it was going to be once I came out! I was naive enough to think it was going to be better than that, ‘cause otherwise I would have been too proud to take their money. Whereas, thank God, I took the money. That time set me up for years. But again I was naive. I thought: “I’ll still get some airplay”. But it was no different to when it happened to Elton – they just went Phwish! I wasn’t getting much airplay.
People talk about me losing my career in America because I cruised. No. I lost my career in America ‘cause I took on Sony. Simple. It was already kamikazed there, so it didn’t really make much difference. If I’d been successful in America then, I probably wouldn’t have cruised there.
So you went cruising because you could?
It was easier. I looked different, and Older hadn’t been successful in the US. They hadn’t seen the videos, so I could kid myself, you know? But there was no question that was a completely self-destructive act. I spent years making sure I’d never go anywhere neat anything like that in L.A. – I knew how awful the police were. So why did I do that? To come out in the most self-destructive way possible!
Do you really believe that?
Absolutely! I was still hugely angry about my mum’s death and I couldn’t aim it at anyone but myself. There’s no other explanation for it, really.
But the incident at the toilet in the park – you’d been doing that quite regularly? I’d been doing it for quite a bit before and someone had been trying to sell pictures for seven or eight months, but they needed an arrest to go with it. I didn’t go into the toilet in the pictures. Me sunbathing with my big fat belly; that was the worst part of it. Fancy having that happening to you when you’re 13 and a half stone! But that’s how relaxed I was about it - and that’s how in denial I was about it. I had fun for quite a while – before it all collapsed.
You must have enjoyed that relative anonymity?
Of course. Sexual freedom is such a major element of being a gay man today. Ultimately, it’s just hard for me to accept that I’d lose out on anything. It really is.
Surely people must have recognised you sometimes? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And if they did, I’d ask them if they wanted to come home. If they were nice. LA’s a good place for cruising. They’re not dogs in Beverly Hills. But, there’s something about American gay men that doesn’t really connect with me.
It seemed you’d as good as come out before the arrest. In your interviews with Tony Parsons in The Mirror... I hadn’t been denying it, but I hadn’t said it, had I? Maybe they needed it said?
But you’d written a song about how you were in love with this man and he died. How much more out could you be? Exactly. And I think I even had a handlebar moustache for about a day and a half. That’s really trying hard, isn’t it? Part of me was saying: “Look; it’s not a matter of shame. It’s a matter of privacy; it’s up to me when I talk about this”. I was really angry that the world was turning into this place where people thought they deserved to know.
And a celebrity has to come out twice.
Yeah. And, I came out at 27. It’s not that late. I came out to all of my friends, and all my family, outside of my mum and dad. I came out to my sister when I was 19 – one of them. The one who lived with my parents didn’t know, for obvious reasons. I didn’t want to put her in that position. So it was like, “For fuck’s sake. This is so ridiculous!” I was just trying to do my job, and trying to be honest in what I wrote, and they wanted me to spell it out and weren’t allowing me any sense of Jodie Foster-ism, as it were. I resented that. Apart from, by then, I kind of blamed them for Anselmo’s death, because if he hadn’t been terrified of them he would have received treatment in LA or London. He received treatment in Brazil, ‘cause he didn’t want to bring that on his family. I’ll never forgive them for that.
Can we talk about Anselmo? You said you met him at a concert in Rio?
I didn’t meet him at the concert. I realised about a day after we’d met that he was in the crowd. He’d told me he was there. And I realised that I’d seen him and had to avoid him ‘cause he was staring so intently at me – and he was really cute. I put that together later. It’s quite a sweet thing really, but when I saw him the next day in the lobby of the hotel I made the association. The bizarre thing was, I saw him with this girl and presumed he was straight. I thought, “Lucky cow!” And he looked at me as we were leaving the hotel to drive to this island 200 miles away. I’d fallen in love by then twice – with the wrong people, really – but I already knew that feeling where you kind of click, before I even said a word to them. And it happened in the lobby when I looked at him. And I remember getting on the bus and thinking, “That’s really odd, I got that little click – I’ll never see him again. Why would that happen?” Three days after we arrived, he’d made his way onto the island, through one of the promoter’s children or something.
So he’d been at the concert and the hotel as a fan?
Exactly. I hadn’t realised that. And he’d followed me for 200 miles – that would send me running for the hills normally. I remember freaking out when he got to the hotel ‘cause I thought, “Fuck, that’s why I was going to see him again”. We had about two or three days on the island... and we got it together. And within days I outed myself to just about everybody in that circle of friends, work colleagues and stuff. It was very immediate.
Did you still have to keep the relationship clandestine?
No. I never did that. I always presumed that, by then, the press knew I was gay. There was so much rumour out there. But I never checked into separate rooms. I’d hold hands with him at restaurants and stuff. I was already: “If it happens, it happens” – ‘cause I was in love. And then, within six months, he became ill and it became a totally different kettle of fish. I had to protect him from my life. Which was tough. And it was one of the best reasons for staying in LA. They left me alone out there. They knew I was gay. That was the odd thing. It was “Don’t ask, don’t tell” with the press for a long time.
But there were British paparazzi out there...
No, they didn’t follow me around. I managed to stay out of the public eye pretty much for six or seven years. I didn't do one interview. I didn't want any more to do with that. Before Older I didn’t think I was going to make videos again. I was determined that it was bad for me.
Do you regret you didn’t make more records then?
I think it’s amazing there was anything, let alone that it was good. I was so devastated by Anselmo dying. I was in a world of my own. I didn’t attempt any relationship in that time. And then, of course, I met Kenny three years after Anselmo passed away. And I called my mum to tell her, ‘cause I knew she’d worried since Anselmo died. Actually, I called everyone to tell them this fantastic news. And my mum had obviously been plucking up the courage, but she told me that she had cancer and she’d already had some of it taken out. She managed to convince me that they’d got it all really early – which was bullshit, as it turned out. So it was a really bizarre thing, that I’d found Kenny to continue this great experience with. Even though it was a horrendous experience to lose Anselmo, it had been a terrific experience to have my first relationship. Then, at the point I felt ready to start that journey again, the poor man had to hold me up. I was on my knees again, just horrible timing. After my mum died, I went pppphhhh...
Kenny Goss has clearly been very good for you. The big question everyone wants to know is, are there wedding bells in the air? They’re not imminent, ‘cause I’ve still got people outside my house – three or four days a week. Someone followed me into my doctor’s this morning. And it’s going to be our wedding. It’s not going to be “Sonny and Cher”. So... as long as it takes for it all to die down. I think it’ll die down after the tour. As long as I don’t get myself into any more trouble, which believe me I’m not going to. I’ve had to be do fucking good recently. But it’s only temporary (laughs).

George Michael était gêné d’avouer à sa mère son homosexualité, car il avait peur qu’elle considère son orientation sexuelle comme une maladie. Confession du chanteur au magazine britannique Gay Times.

« Ma mère a eu peur que je sois gay. Son frère lui aussi gay avait mis fin à ses jours. Elle pensait que je ne ferais pas face à la vie.

Elle s’est sentie presque désolée, puisqu’elle croyait qu’elle m’avait transmis le gène de l’homosexualité. Ma mère ne m’avait jamais parlé de son frère jusqu’à l’âge de 16 ans.

Rappelons que la mère du chanteur est décédée en 1997.

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13 janvier 2010 3 13 /01 /janvier /2010 16:23
EXCLUSIVE: HIS ONLY INTERVIEW Mum hid gay uncle from me Aids fears stopped my sex with women

TODAY, George Michael is in the dock at Brent Magistrates Court - tomorrow he will be playing to thousands of screaming fans at the new Wembley Stadium. But then his life has always been marked by incredible highs and terrible lows...

The lows include him being arrested in public toilets, falling asleep at the wheel of his car and smoking marijuana on telly. And the latest downpoint sees him in court facing a sentence for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Over the last few weeks, the former Wham! heart-throb, who is worth an estimated £60million, has been forced to come to terms with the fact that his private life has been spinning out of control.

Perhaps it's this realisation that has prompted 43-year-old George's frankest interview to date.

In it, he reveals he only had three girlfriends before coming out, why it took a tragedy for him to tell his mum and dad he was gay, that the spectre of Aids stopped him sleeping with women, and why he never fancied his straight Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.

George was 29 when he came out to his parents. Yet his mother Lesley's fears that her only son might have inherited a "gay gene" overshadowed his childhood in North London.

Her brother Colin - who was suspected of being homosexual - had committed suicide.

"My mother had this fear of me being gay," explains George. "She had this definite fear that I was going to be like her brother - she thought that it meant I wouldn't cope with life.

"She almost felt like she had brought this gene. So there were very pointed areas where she let my dad be - supposedly protectively - homophobic.

"There was this gay waiter who lived above our family restaurant and I wasn't allowed to go to the top flat when he was in the restaurant. You know, in case I caught something. In case I caught gay.

"Knowing my father, he couldn't even consider he had a gay son because he is of his generation, a Greek Cypriot man. But my mother was afraid of my father's judgment of me. I also now realise she was afraid that if the 'gene' was in me it would turn out the same way for me as it had for Colin."

George pays tribute to his dead uncle in the track My Mother Had A Brother, on his latest album.

He adds: "My mother didn't talk about her brother until I was 16. I don't know if that was a decision on her part or whether she just plucked up the courage.

"It changed my opinion of her entirely because it wasn't just that - she's also seen her own father die the same way. They'd both put their heads in the gas oven. And, lucky old Mum, she found both of them.

"She spent years being so remorseful that it's impossible to hold that time against her. And in the last 20 years of her life, I don't think we had a cross word actually."

In his interview with Gay Times magazine, George explains that he only came out of the closet to his parents after the death of his first love, Brazilian dress designer Anselmo Feleppa.

They met at the Rock In Rio festival in 1991 - six months later Anselmo had an HIV test which proved positive. He died of an Aids-related brain haemorrhage in 1993.

George has said of that time: "I sat at the table not knowing if this man I was in love with was terminally ill and not knowing whether I was terminally ill. It was possibly the loneliest time of my life."

He was so traumatised by his loss that he no longer feared his parents' reaction to his homosexuality and finally admitted all in a letter.

"I wrote them a four-page letter which was the easiest thing I've ever written considering it was the only unresolved issue - to come out to my parents," says George.

"My mum said it was the most beautiful letter she had ever read, that it explained completely how I felt and why she didn't have to worry about me. It was the easiest thing that should have been the most difficult.

"I should ask my dad to show it to me again."

During the early years in Wham! George had girlfriends. He dated actress Brooke Shields, model Pat Fernandes and makeup artist Kathy Jeung. But he also took male lovers.

Then, at the height of his fame, he became so terrified of Aids that his love life became, in his words, "rubbish".

"Basically, I had three girlfriends and all through that time I cruised as well," he admits. "It only really used to happen when I was beating myself up about something else.

"I played around with the idea that I was bisexual - mostly by getting drunk. But then the HIV thing happened and I couldn't sleep with a woman without telling her that I'd slept with a man.

"Obviously my attraction to women was not strong enough to make that conversation worth having. So I started not sleeping with them at all.

"I had an absolute rubbish level of sex through that whole terror, between 1985 and 1994 - with the exception of the sex I had when I was faithful to my first real partner, Anselmo."

Ironically, at school everyone had suspected Andrew Ridgeley of being gay, not George.

He recalls: "Andrew loved camp clothes. He'd go to school in cherry silk trousers and have three little Adam Ant braids.


Everyone spent their time going: 'Is he gay?' And I'd go: 'He's really not!'

"He was beautiful but not in a way that was going to attract me. He was too pretty, too feminine, too elegant. I can understand everyone thinking we were sleeping together - but he loves women."

Then, when the two schoolpals found fame in Wham! pop pin-up George felt it would be disastrous for their career to admit his true sexuality.

"I lost my nerve," he says. "I wanted to come out but I didn't realise how successful we were going to be. I think that's understandable. I was nearly 20 and we were the biggest band in Europe, and within two years the biggest pop band in America.

"If your goal is to become the biggest-selling artist in America you're not going to make life difficult for yourself, are you?"

Yet that is exactly what he did. In April 1998 he was arrested and later convicted of trying to initiate sex in a public toilet with an undercover policeman.

It was the most shocking public outing imaginable - made worse by the fact that George had found the new love of his life, Kenny Goss. Sadly, the start of their relationship coincided with his mother's battle with cancer - she died the following year.

"I met Kenny three years after Anselmo passed away," says George. "I called my mother to tell her and she told me she had cancer and she'd had some of it taken out. She convinced me they'd got it all really early, which was bull**** as it turned out. I was on my knees again. Just a horrible thing."

George's life has certainly been an emotional rollercoaster and this week has been no different. But as he becomes the first artist to play at the new Wembley tomorrow - before taking his 25 Live tour around the UK - it is with the intention of beginning a new, calmer chapter in his life.

He plans to "work out who I am and where I am going". And he and Kenny want to make their relationship official, although he denies the rumours of an imminent ceremony.

"It's going to be our wedding," insists George. "It's not going to be Sonny and Cher.

"As long as I don't get myself into any more trouble - which, believe me, I'm not going to."

MORE revelations from George are in this month's Gay Times, out on June 20.

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13 janvier 2010 3 13 /01 /janvier /2010 16:13

Star wants private wedding to Kenny
Exclusive by Billy Sloan Showbiz Editor

STEP inside George Michael's plush London home and it's
clear to see he enjoys a superstar lifestyle.
There are Tracey Emin originals on the walls and a huge
tapestry which reads: "Drunk to the bottom of my soul".

The shelves are littered with expensive coffee table books
about fashion designer Bruce Webber and the controversial
photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

A baby grand piano sits in the corner and the window looks
on to a beautiful garden with a fountain in the middle.

The 43-year-old singer has it all... well, nearly.

George is paying the price of fame generated by 85million record sales.

It is two years since he said he would like to enter into a civil
partnership with his US boyfriend, Kenny Goss.

But his A-list celebrity status has scuppered any wedding plans.

The refreshingly-frank superstar told me:
"I would take no pleasure in entering into a civil partnership
if there was ANY publicity around it.

"In a few years time I won't have photographers camped
outside my house every day.

"When you announce you're going to play the first show at
the new Wembley Stadium this summer you're not really saying:
'Hey, leave me alone.'

"But once this has all died down my personal life will get
back on a more even keel.

"That's when I'll get married - I don't want to share any more
of my life than I have to."

Would it make a big difference to his relationship with Goss,
a sports executive from Dallas?

"It wouldn't make a difference to my life but it would provide
a protection for Kenny that he should have," said George.

"Actually, in a bizarre way I think the avoidance of marriage is
one of the benefits of a gay relationship."

The singer has also changed his mind about being a father and
adopting children.

He said: "Would I like to have kids?

"When I was younger, absolutely. Now, I think not. I'd say 70
per cent of the people in my life are straight. I have watched
friends' lives and seen the mixed blessings of having a family.

"All I can say is the joy must be overwhelming to compete
with that level of anxiety and responsibility.

"As an older man, the idea of having grandchildren is probably
the only thing worth hanging on for if your health is failing.

"We won't have that, which is a bit of a shame, because
I have no desire for children."

He added: "I've always hung out with gay men and enjoy
their company but I've had quite a difficult time in some ways
relating to what should be my own community.

George invited me to his home for a chat to preview
the biggest Scottish gig of his amazing 25-year music career.

He'll perform to 40,000 fans at Hampden Park in Glasgow on June 17.

Our conversation covered his disgust for Prime Minister
Tony Blair his love of top TV soaps EastEnders and Coronation
Street and why he's turned down a fortune to reform Wham!,
the 80s pop duo in which he shot to megastardom with
music partner Andrew Ridgeley.

Last November, George wowed 10,000 fans at the SECC
in Glasgow as part of his first concert tour in 15 years.

The supercool singer revealed he was so scared of going
on the road it gave him nightmares.

George said: "I ended the 80s very afraid to tour again.
I was frightened of that level of celebrity.

"I was so distressed that I could never imagine going on
the road again.

"It's not the performance which scares me - going on stage
and singing is natural to me.

"But I had terrible nightmares and it got to the point where
I could hardly sleep.

"In one dream I would be on stage and discover the band
had forgotten to rehearse the songs. In another, I was up there semi-naked.

"It was very nerve - wracking."

Luckily, George conquered his fears and the 2006 arena tour
was one of the most successful of his career.

He said: "Actually, it was the most positive experience
of my whole life. It was incredible.

"As long as I know there are enough people out there
I'm comfortable singing in front of thousands of fans.

"The response I got made so much sense of everything again.
It was very good timing."

"In the 15 years I was away I didn't miss it. Being on tour -
as the boss of 100 people - is a lot of pressure.
It makes those around you behave really differently -
even if it's only temporary -and that hasn't changed.

"My natural position in life is to trust and get on with people
and my music is all about trying to give people an escape.

"But I'd spend half my time defending myself to the media.
It all seemed nonsensical."

George can't wait to appear in Scotland again.

He said: "I've always loved playing there from the old days on
the tour bus with Wham! The Scots have a real spirit and identity
the English are afraid of."

The singer - who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou -
is the son of a Greek-Cypriot restaurateur and ex-dancer mother.

He formed pop duo Wham! with guitarist Andrew Ridgeley
and the pair had a string of hits including Wake Me Up Before
You Go Go, Young Guns, Last Christmas, Club Tropicana and
I'm Your Man.

In 1984, George sung on the Band Aid hit, Do They Know It's Christmas? and 12 months later Wham! became the first Western pop act to tour China.

But the duo split at the peak of their fame in 1986 with
an emotional sell-out gig at Wembley Stadium.

George became an even bigger star as a solo act with hits such as Careless Whisper, Father Figure and A Different Corner -
plus award winning albums Faith (1987) and Patience (2004).
The singer has performed with pop greats Elton John,
Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Queen.

In 1998, the singer was famously "outed" as a gay man
after being arrested for engaging in a lewd act with an
undercover policeman in a Hollywood park.

In 2006, he hit the headlines again after a series of incidents
when it was claimed he was under the influence
of drugs while driving.

Unfortunately, with a court case pending the singer
can't discuss the allegations for legal reasons.

"My instinct is to defend myself but my lawyer has told
me not to talk about it," said George.

Last Hogmanay he played a one-hour concert in Moscow
for 300 guests of Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin and
earned a cool £1.5million to boost an estimated personal
fortune of £50million.

He could add to his vast wealth by reforming Wham!
but George
claims he has turned down big bucks to get back
together with Andrew.

"I've never been tempted because Wham! was of its time,
" he said.

"When the group started, Andrew and I were both kids.

"We were at an age where how you were developing as a person
was just as important as the songs you were writing.

"It all made sense then but at this point, a Wham! reunion
doesn't make any sense.

"It would be very profitable I'm sure but I don't think either
of us would put ourselves through that again.

"It would be almost as bad as The Sex Pistols when they reformed.
Almost as useless an idea, other than to make money."

It irritates George that the 80s - with its mullet hairstyles,
DeLorean cars and Rubik's Cubes - are regarded as the
decade music forgot. Videos for Wham! hits such as
Club Tropicana and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go are
served up as reminders of pop's cheesiest-ever period.

George said: "I'm very proud of what Wham! achieved.
The 80s were a naive time.

"People don't remember we didn't have stylists -
we made all our mistakes as adolescents in public.

"It was a period when young people didn't dress like
their mums and dads. You had all these years where you could be yourself.

"Kids now, by the time they're 14, the girls want to wear
Prada and the boys want every gadget they can get their hands on.

"They dress like little adults. That's bad. We had a period which was so much more fun than that."

Money-spinning reunions by The Police and Take That
haven't convinced the singer to change his mind.

"I'm sorry but I find it distressing that the period for nostalgia
has gone from 20 years to 10.

"We're so impatient we can't even WAIT for nostalgia," George told me.

"Take That came back with a perfectly acceptable record and good for them.

"But I can't believe the way the media have treated Robbie
Williams over this.

"It's their dream come true for Take That to have come
back and knocked a bit of stuffing out of him."

George also revealed he is not planning to keep performing
forever and will retire from the music business.

He has patched up his very public spat with old mate Elton John, who celebrated his 60th birthday last month.

Would the singer ever follow in his pal's footsteps and play a residency in Las Vegas?

He said: "It's the kind of thing I might consider but I wouldn't
want to be as visible as Elton is.

"I suppose it's a way of maintaining your career but I
don't want that.

"I wouldn't like to still have a publicity machine s
urrounding me
when I'm 60. God, no."

Je ne me marierai seulement quand je ne serais plus célèbre

La Star désire un mariage privé avec Kenny

Entrer à l'intérieur de la maison de George Michael à Londres, c'est évident de voir qu'il savoure un style de vie de superstar.
Il y a les originaux de Tracey Emin sur les murs et une tapisserie immense sur laquelle on lit : « Bu au fond de mon âme ».
Les étagères sont jonchées de livres couteux, une table à café du modéliste Bruce Webber et du photographe Robert Mapplethorpe .
Un sublime piano à queue installé dans le coin et les regards de la fenêtre sur un beau jardin avec une fontaine au milieu.
Le chanteur de 43 ans a tout... bien, presque.
George paie le prix de la renommée produit par 85 millions de diques vendus.
Il y a deux ans depuis qu' il a dit qu'il aimerait s'engager dans un partenariat civil avec son ami Américain ,
Kenny Goss.
Mais son statut de célébrité a sabordé tous les plans de mariage.

Le superstar reposante m'a indiqué :

" Je ne prendrais aucun plaisir en entamant une association civile s'il y avait quelconque publicité autour d'elle.
Dans quelques années où je n'aurai pas de photographes campés chaque jour à l'extérieur de ma maison ."

- Quand vous annoncez que vous allez jouer le premier spectacle au nouveau Stade de Wembley cet été
vous ne dites pas vraiment : ‹ Hé, laissez- moi seul ›.

" Mais une fois que tout sera atténué, ma vie personnelle reviendra plus stable.
Quand je me marierai - je ne veux pas partager plus de ma vie que je ne fais ."

- Ferait-elle une grande différence de sa relation avec Goss, un dirigeant sportif de Dallas ?

" Elle ne ferait pas une différence à ma vie mais elle assurerait une protection pour Kenny, qu'il devrait avoir,"
a dit George.
En fait, d'une manière bizarre je pense que l'action d'éviter le mariage est l'un des avantages d'une relation gay "

- Le chanteur a également changé d'avis au sujet d'être un père et d'adopter des enfants.

Il a dit : « Aimerais-je avoir des gosses ?

" Quand j'étais plus jeune, absolument. Maintenant, je ne pense pas. Je dirais que 70 pour cent des gens dans
ma vie sont homos . J'ai observé les vies des amis et j'ai vu les bienfaits variables d'avoir une famille.
Tout ce que je peux dire est que la joie doit être écrasante pour concurrencer ce niveau d'inquiétude
et de responsabilité.
Comme un homme plus âgé , l'idée d'avoir des petits-enfants est probablement la seule chose de valeur
pour s'accrocher si votre santé échoue.
Nous n'aurons pas ça ,ce qui est un peu une honte, parce que je n'ai pas de désir pour les enfants ".

Il a ajouté : "j'ai toujours traîné avec les hommes gais et apprécie leur compagnie mais j'ai eu assez de moment difficile
par certains côtés concernant ce qui devrait être ma propre communauté "

- George m'a invité à sa maison pour une conversation, pour présenter le plus grand concert écossais
de 25 années prestigieuses de sa carrière musicale.
Il s' exécutera devant 40.000 fans au Parc de Hampden à Glasgow le 17 juin.
Notre conversation a couvert son dégoût pour le Premier Ministre Tony Blair, son amour de la série TV EastEnders et
Coronation Street et pourquoi il a repoussé une fortune pour réformer Wham !, le duo pop des années 80
dans lequel il a tourné avec le partenaire de musique Andrew Ridgeley.
En novembre passé , George a fasciné 10.000 fans au SECC de Glasgow comme première partie de son premier concert
depuis 15 ans.
Le chanteur supercool a révélé qu'il était si effrayé d'aller sur la route, que ça lui a donné les cauchemars.

George indique : « J'ai terminé les années 80 très craintif pour voyager de nouveau . J'ai été effrayé de ce niveau de célébrité.
J'étais si angoissé que je ne pourrais jamais imaginer aller encore sur la route .
Ce n'est pas l'exécution qui m'effraie -aller sur la scène et chanter est naturel pour moi.
« Mais j'ai eu des cauchemars terribles et arrivé au point ou je pouvais à peine dormir .
« Dans un rêve que j'ai fait, j'étais sur la scène et découvrait que la bande avait oublié de répéter les chansons
Dans un autre, j'étais en haut à demi nu.
C'était très éprouvant. "

Heureusement, George a conquis ses craintes et la tournée 2006 était une des plus réussies de sa

Il a dit : « En fait, c'était l'expérience la plus positive de ma vie entière. C'était incroyable.
Aussi longtemps que je sais qu'il y aura suffisamment de personnes dehors je suis à l'aise pour chanter
devant des milliers de fans.
La réponse que j'ai obtenu, tellement tout ressentir de nouveau. C'était exactement le bon moment.
Dans les 15 années que j'étais loin je ne l'ai pas manqué. Etre en tournée - comme le patron de 100 personnes -
est beaucoup de pression.
Ceux qui s'exécutent autour de vous se comportent vraiment différemment - même si ce n'est que uniquement passager -
et cela n'a pas changé.
Ma position normale dans la vie est d'avoir confiance et de réussir avec les gens et ma musique tout en essayant
de donner de l'évasion aux gens.
Mais je dépenserais la moitié de mon temps pour me défendre de la presse.
Ca me paraît tellement absurde.

- George ne peut pas attendre pour apparaître de nouveau en Ecosse.

Il a dit : " J'ai toujours aimé jouer là-bas, les anciens jours en bus de la tournée avec Wham !
Les Ecossais ont un vrai esprit et ont peur de l'identité anglaise "

Le chanteur - qui est né Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - est le fils d'un restaurateur Grec-Chypriote et
d'une mère ex-danseuse.
Il a formé le duo pop Wham ! avec le guitariste Andrew Ridgeley et le duo a eu une chaîne de succès comportant
Wake Me Up Before, Young Guns , Last Christmas , Club Tropicana et I 'm Your Man.
En 1984, George a chanté le succès au Band Aid, Do They Know It's Christmas ? et 12 mois plus tard Wham !
est devenu le premier groupe pop à faire une tournée en Chine. .
Mais la division du duo au sommet de leur renommée en 1986 a affiché complet par un concert émotionnel au Stade de
George est même devenu une des plus grandes Stars comme numéro solo avec les succès comme ceux de :
Careless Whisper, Father Figure and A Different Corner-
et en gagnant la récompense des albums Faith (1987) et Patience (2004).
Le chanteur a interprété avec les grands de la pop-
Elton John, Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston et Queen.
En 1998, le chanteur était fameusement « outed » en tant qu' un homme gay après avoir été arrêté pour s'être engagé dans
un acte impudique avec un policier clandestin dans un parc de Hollywood
En 2006, il a atteint de nouveau les titres après une série d'incidents quand il a été prétendu qu'il était
sous l'influence des drogues tandis qu'il conduisait.
Malheureusement, avec un procès en instance de jugement , le chanteur ne peut pas discuter les allégations pour les raisons

"Mon instinct est de me défendre mais mon avocat m'a dit de ne pas en parler," a indiqué George.
A la dernière Saint-Sylvestre il a joué un concert d'une heure à Moscou pour les 300 invités du milliardaire Russe
Vladimir Potanin et a gagné £1.5million pour augmenter une fortune personnelle estimée à £50million.
Il pourrait ajouter à son immense fortune en reformant wham ! mais George revendique qu'il avait refusé beaucoup
de dollars pour revenir ainsi avec Andrew.

" Je n'ai jamais été tenté parce que Wham ! était de son époque " a t-il dit.
" Quand le groupe a commencé, Andrew et moi étions les deux gosses.
Nous étions à un âge où comment vous êtes en évolution autant qu' une personne qui était simplement
importante comme les chansons que vous écriviez.
Il faut se faire une raison, alors hormis ce point, une réunion de Wham ! ne peut avoir de signification.
Ce serait très fructueux j'en suis sûr mais je ne pense pas que l'un ou l'autre de nous, nous brancherions de nouveau.
Ce serait presque aussi mauvais que les Sex Pistols quand ils se sont reformés.
Quasiment comme une idée inutilisable, autrement que de gagner de l'argent . "

Ca aggace tellement George les années 80 - avec ses coiffures de mullet, les voitures de DeLorean et les Cubes de Rubik -
sont considérés comme la musique de décennie a oublier.
Les videos de wham ! les succés tels que - Club Tropicana et Wake Me Up Before You Go Go- étaient servies
pour mémoire de la période pop ' cheesiest-ever ? ' .

George indique: " Je suis très fier de ce que Wham ! avait accompli . Les années 80 étaient une période naive.
Les gens ne se souviennent pas que nous n'avions pas de coiffeur - nous avons tous fait nos erreurs comme les
adolescents dans le public.
C'était une période où les jeunes n'étaient pas habillés comme leurs mamans et papas.
Vous avez eu toutes ces années où vous pouviez être vous-même.
A présent les gosses en cette période ont 14 ans , les filles veulent porter de la marque Prada et les garçons veulent
chaque gadget qu' ils peuvent se transmettre .
Ils s'habillent comme des petits adultes. C'est mauvais. Nous avons eu une période qui était beaucoup
plus amusante que cela."

L'affaire lucrative des réunions de Police et Take That n'a pas convaincu le chanteur de changer d'avis.

" Je suis désolé mais je trouve affligeant que la période de nostalgie fonctionnait de 20 années à 10.
Nous sommes si impatients que nous ne pouvons même pas attendre de nostalgie," m'a dit George.
Take That est revenu avec un album parfaitement acceptable et bon pour eux.
Mais je ne peux pas croire la façon dont la presse a traitée Robbie Williams à ce niveau .
C'est leur rêve qui s'est réalisé pour Take That, et ça lui a fichu un coup ."

George a également révélé qu'il ne projette pas de continuer à exécuter pour toujours et se retirera des affaires de la musique.
ll a rafistolé sa dispute publique avec l'ancien camarade Elton John, qui a célébré son soixantième anniversaire le mois dernier.

Le chanteur suivrait-il les traces de son vieux copain et jouir d' une résidence à La Vegas ?

Il a dit : " C'est le genre de chose je pourrais considérer mais je ne voudrais pas être aussi visible que
ne l'est Elton.
Je suppose c'est une façon de maintenir votre carrière mais je ne veux pas ça.
Je n'aimerais pas encore avoir une machine de publicité m'encercler quand j'aurai 60 ans. Dieu, non "

Repost 0
13 janvier 2010 3 13 /01 /janvier /2010 16:07


George Michael : « Mon talent est ma seule protection »
La star anglaise, qui chantera le 22 juin prochain au Stade de France,
n'est pas épargnée par la presse de son pays,
toujours à l'affût de ses excès. Dans son manoir londonien,
où il a reçu notre journal, George Michael s'affiche serein.

LE MANOIR londonien de George Michael ressemble davantage à une immense bâtisse bourgeoise qu'à l'antre d'un artiste excentrique. Dans ce quartier chic et aéré de Highgate, sur les hauteurs de la capitale britannique, rien ne semble avoir changé depuis des lustres, sinon les Jaguar, Range Rover et Rolls qui sillonnent en silence les avenues arborées. Ici, la star a pour voisins l'ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan, la chanteuse Annie Lennox ou encore, il y a peu, Sting.
Ses larges fenêtres donnent sur des arbres à perte de vue et sur un jardin en étages dans lequel batifolent des labradors. Aux murs, des boiseries et des toiles de maître. Sur les tables basses et dans les bibliothèques, des ouvrages d'art posés en désordre. « C'est la première fois que George accepte de recevoir un journaliste chez lui », glisse son manager. Quelques minutes auparavant, le même a précisé que le chanteur n'évoquerait pas - sur les conseils de son avocat - son procès à venir pour possession de cannabis et conduite sous influence du même produit. Une affaire qui fait grand bruit en Angleterre, attisée par une presse jamais tendre avec ses stars, en particulier avec George Michael. En jeans, sweat-shirt et baskets, le maître de maison s'assoit dans un canapé blanc après s'être servi un verre d'eau. « J'ai passé récemment une visite médicale pour les assurances, confie George Michael, en guise d'entrée en matière. Le médecin m'a assuré que j'avais la tension d'un jeune de 20 ans. Certainement parce que je bois beaucoup... »

Qu'est-ce qui vous a décidé à remonter sur scène, après plus de dix ans sans concert?

George Michael. Il a fallu du temps pour que je me sente assez fort pour m'exposer ainsi. Pendant les années 1990, j'étais en pleine déprime et je ne m'imaginais pas capable de me montrer devant des dizaines de milliers de paires d'yeux.
J'ai aussi constaté que l'industrie du disque se cassait la figure. La scène m'est alors apparue comme une bonne solution pour me relancer, faire des projets.

Se produire en public, c'est l'essence de votre métier ?

Non. Dans mon cas, c'est plutôt l'écriture. Mais lorsqu'on est à la tête d'un répertoire comme le mien après vingt-cinq ans de carrière, il faut le faire vivre avec les gens qui l'ont apprécié et qui l'ont acheté.

Que ressentez-vous lorsque vous chantez des titres de votre ancien groupe Wham !

Je me sens très fier. Je suis à l'aise avec cette partie de mon travail. Je me sens nostalgique de ce temps-là, et je suis touché que des chansons comme « Everything she Wants » ou « I'm your Man » soient toujours aussi bien accueillies. Lorsque je me retrouve face à tous ces gens, tout s'éclaire pour moi et ma vie reprend une certaine cohérence.

Vous écrivez de nouvelles chansons en ce moment ?

Pas vraiment. Une série télé américaine d'ABC qui n'en est qu'au stade du pilote va utiliser ma musique. Je vais probablement leur écrire quelque chose. En ce moment, je me concentre surtout sur cette deuxième partie de tournée. Je vais principalement passer les deux prochains mois à la préparer et à exercer ma voix. Je n'ai pas le droit de décevoir. Mon talent constitue ma seule protection contre les attaques que je subis. Heureusement, il n'y a pas de malentendu avec mon public. Ce n'est pas le cas avec les médias...

« Je fais ce que je veux »

C'est-à-dire ?

Je pense, au fond, que je représente quelque chose de profondément décevant pour la société. J'ai grandi au milieu de gens qui pensaient que le style sex, drugs and rock'n'roll était compatible avec une vie heureuse tout en travaillant. En étant marié, avec des enfants... Ma génération et la précédente se sont aperçues, au milieu des années 1980, que c'était impossible. Moi, je n'ai pas d'enfant, pas de responsabilités. Je suis gay, je fume de l'herbe et je fais exactement ce que je veux de ma vie grâce à mon talent. Je représente donc un idéal que d'autres ont dû abandonner et ils m'en veulent pour ça. Surtout les hommes. En revanche, je n'ai aucun problème avec les femmes. Ce sont surtout elles qui amènent leur mec à mes concerts.

Vous êtes marié à votre compagnon Kenny Goss. Songez-vous à l'adoption ?

Non, pas avant longtemps. Lorsque j'étais plus jeune et attiré par les femmes, j'ai certainement pensé à en avoir. Cette confusion sur ma sexualité m'a d'ailleurs valu quelques déconvenues... Je suis conscient que les gays comme moi, en vieillissant, se retrouvent souvent seuls, sans enfant ni petit-enfant autour d'eux. Je l'assume : je veux laisser cette blessure ouverte, tant qu'elle sert ma créativité d'une façon positive.

Avez-vous l'impression que votre parcours a changé la perception du public à l'égard des homosexuels ?

Il y a beaucoup de gays qui attirent les femmes. C'est mon cas. Mes chansons les touchent profondément. Ajouté au fait que, encore une fois, j'ai passé une partie de ma vie avec elles, je pense représenter un bon baromètre de ce que l'on accepte ou pas d'un homme gay aujourd'hui. Cela fait parfois de moi une cible. Je suis également conscient que mon style de vie ne m'a pas toujours servi...

1963. Naissance, le 25 juin, dans la banlieue nord de Londres, de Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, alias George Michael, de parents d'origine chypriote.

Premier album du duo Wham ! formé avec son camarade de lycée Andrew Ridgeley. Leurs tubes : « Wake Me Up (Before You Go Go) », « Everything She Wants », « Careless Whisper »...

1987. Premier album solo, « Faith ». « I Want Your Sex », « Faith », « Kissing A Fool » sont d'immenses succès.

1990. « Listen Without Prejudice », avec le hit « Freedom ».

1996. « Older », troisième disque solo, inspiré par la disparition de son compagnon Anselmo, emporté par le sida.

1998. La compilation « Ladies and Gentlemen - The Best of George Michael » se vend en France à 900 000 exemplaires. Condamné pour attentat à la pudeur après avoir été surpris dans les toilettes d'un jardin public de Beverly Hills, à Los Angeles.

1999. « Songs From the Last Century », reprises de standards.
L'album s'écoule, en France à 400 000 exemplaires.

2004. « Patience », son cinquième album.

2006. Se produit les 9 et 10 octobre à Bercy. Sortie de la double compilation « Twenty Five ». Au total, George Michael a vendu plus de 80 millions de disques dans le monde.

Propos recueillis par Sébastien Catroux

Le Parisien , vendredi 06 avril 2007
Repost 0
13 janvier 2010 3 13 /01 /janvier /2010 15:43
Article publié le 06 Janvier 2006
  Propos recueillis par Stéphane Davet

Star de la pop dans les années 1980, le chanteur est au centre d'un film en salles le 11 janvier. Dans un entretien au « Monde », il s'explique sur son parcours et ses engagements. Star incontestée de la pop des années 1980 et du début des années 1990, George Michael a aussi connu quelques incidents de carrière - affrontement contractuel avec sa maison de disques Sony, attentat à la pudeur orchestré par la police américaine dans des pissotières de Beverly Hills, attaque des tabloïds anglais après sa prise de position contre la guerre en Irak -, qui ont un peu terni sa popularité dans les années 2000.

  George Michael, en 2004.



Longtemps réfractaire aux entretiens, celui qui est encore considéré comme le dixième musicien le plus riche du Royaume-Uni s'explique sur son parcours, ses embardées et ses amours dans un documentaire, George Michael : mon histoire, de Southan Morris, à sortir dans les salles françaises le 11 janvier 2006 . Le Monde l'a rencontré, dans un palace londonien.

Vous qui avez si souvent refusé les entretiens, pourquoi avoir ressenti le besoin de raconter votre vie dans un documentaire ?


J'ai toujours trouvé difficile de devoir à la fois montrer son travail et exposer sa vie. Il y a chez moi quelque chose de très anglais qui ne trouve pas digne de montrer sa douleur. J'ai hérité de ma mère ce côté très victorien. En même temps, mon oeuvre est extrêmement liée à ma biographie. En travaillant sur la longueur avec une équipe de cinéma, j'ai pu me confier plus facilement. Je me suis dit aussi que ce sont les fans qui iraient voir ce film, qu'ils pouvaient me voir m'étrangler en évoquant la mort de mon amoureux. Ils savent déjà à quel point ma vie a inspiré ma musique.

En voyant dans le film quelques images de concert, on se demande pourquoi vous refusez depuis des années de partir en tournée ?


J'ai effectivement l'impression de pouvoir créer un lien instantané avec le public. Je prends du plaisir en concert, je connais cette émotion, ce besoin presque hystérique de bouger sur scène pour rendre les gens heureux. Mais pour ces deux heures de plaisir, je vis vingt-deux heures d'enfer. J'ai toujours eu l'impression que ce grand cirque menaçait ma santé mentale. Je n'ai jamais été aussi proche de la folie qu'en tournée. Il faut avouer que je suis devenu très feignant. Avant, j'étais quelqu'un d'anxieux. Mais dix ans de vie avec un super-compagnon m'ont libéré de ces angoisses. Cela dit, il est aujourd'hui plus facile de tourner sans s'esquinter et sans perdre de l'argent. Il est très probable que je donne des séries de concerts dans un futur proche.

Pensez-vous que si vous aviez gagné votre procès contre votre maison de disques Sony la face de l'industrie du disque en eût été changée ?


Je cherchais à établir pour les musiciens le même type de contrat que ceux existant dans l'industrie du cinéma, depuis les années 1950 et le début des années 1960, quand les studios ont concédé aux acteurs leur indépendance. Les contrats des maisons de disques ont été créés sur les vieux modèles des contrats de cinéma asservissant les comédiens, mais ils n'ont pas évolué en même temps. A un moment, tous les gens de l'industrie étaient persuadés que j'allais gagner. Mais le juge croyait qu'il risquait de saboter l'industrie musicale britannique, qui, à l'époque, était le plus gros exportateur du pays. Quand on regarde la situation aujourd'hui, je crois que la seule chose qui aurait pu sauver cette industrie, c'est un meilleur contrôle de la qualité. Les artistes étaient plus aptes à le faire que ces imbéciles de directeurs artistiques.

Voyez-vous l'explosion d'Internet comme une bonne chose ?


Même si des sociétés comme Apple ont pris trop de pouvoir trop rapidement, je préfère avoir à faire à eux plutôt qu'aux maisons de disques. Je pense que le développement sur Internet ne fera que resserrer les liens entre les artistes et leurs fans. Depuis quelque temps, je propose sur mon site des morceaux à télécharger, dont le paiement va à des organismes caritatifs.

Votre carrière a été marquée par plusieurs incidents de parcours ; comment retombez-vous sur vos pieds ?


Le sens de l'humour me tire en général de ces guêpiers. Mais quand, en 2002, j'ai pris position contre la guerre en Irak, en attaquant Tony Blair et George Bush dans le single Shoot the Dog, le magnat de la presse Rupert Murdoch a décidé que j'avais outrepassé mes droits de chanteur pop ; il a fait sonner la charge dans ses journaux et a tué mon album. Pour eux, la pop ne doit pas se mêler de politique, c'est dangereux. Ils n'ont pas tort, regardez la pression qu'ont mise les jeunes mobilisés par Bob Geldof, lors du Live 8, sur les gouvernements du monde. Ce qui m'a le plus déçu, à l'époque, a été le manque total de solidarité des autres artistes à mon égard.

Noel Gallagher, le chanteur d'Oasis, a dit de vous : "Comment faire confiance à un type qui pendant quinze ans a menti sur ses préférences sexuelles ?"...


C'est une remarque tellement ridiculement homophobe ! Pendant longtemps, je me suis surtout menti à moi-même. Vers l'âge de 19 ans, j'ai failli faire mon coming out, mais la peur d'inquiéter ma mère, alors que nous étions au coeur des années sida, m'a empêché de le faire. Jusqu'à l'âge de 25-26 ans, je n'étais pas complètement sûr de moi. Une fois que je l'ai été, j'ai commencé à écrire en conséquence, en étant aussi honnête que possible. Mais tant que vous n'avez pas dit "je suis gay", vous n'avez pas fait votre coming out.


1964. Naissance de Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, à East Finchley, dans la banlieue de Londres, d'une mère anglaise et d'un père chypriote grec.

1981. Sous le nom de George Michael, il fonde le groupe Wham ! avec son camarade de lycée, Andrew Ridgeley. Jusqu'à sa séparation, en 1986, ce duo disco pop connaîtra de nombreux succès (Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Everything She Wants), surtout auprès d'un public de jeunes adolescentes. Ce qui ne l'empêche pas de prendre régulièrement position contre le gouvernement de Margaret Thatcher.

1984. Parution de son premier single solo, la ballade Careless Whisper, qui devient un tube mondial.

1987. Sortie de Faith, premier album solo, lancé par le très suggestif I Want Your Sex et des clips vidéo luxueux. A la croisée de la pop et du rhythm'n'blues, le disque est vendu dans le monde à plus de 10 millions d'exemplaires.

1990. Sortie de l'album Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. Mal à l'aise avec son statut de star, le chanteur refuse de répondre aux interviews et d'apparaître dans ses clips. Il accusera sa maison de disques, Sony, d'avoir sciemment coulé les ventes du disque et de le maintenir en "esclavage professionnel".

1993. George Michael perd son procès contre Sony, mais triomphe dans le stade de Wembley en accompagnant le groupe Queen, lors du concert donné en hommage au chanteur Freddie Mercury, mort du sida.

1998. George Michael est arrêté pour atteinte à la pudeur dans les toilettes publiques d'un parc de Beverly Hills, piégé par un policier en civil. Son ami Elton John remarque qu'"une pissotière n'est pas le meilleur endroit pour faire son coming out".

2002. Attaque Tony Blair et George Bush, au début de la guerre en Irak, dans le single Shoot the Dog. Les journaux appartenant à Rupert Murdoch tirent à boulets rouges sur le chanteur.

2004. Parution de l'album Patience, vendu "seulement" à 3 millions d'exemplaires. George Michael annonce qu'il désire dorénavant diffuser ses oeuvres essentiellement sur Internet.

2005. Chante au Live 8, en duo avec Paul McCartney. Annonce son mariage avec son compagnon, Kenny Goss, suite à l'adoption de la loi britannique sur les unions civiles.

2006. Sortie du film documentaire George Michael : mon histoire, et préparation d'une nouvelle compilation sur laquelle doivent figurer deux inédits. George Michael annonce qu'il remontera bientôt sur scène.

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7 janvier 2010 4 07 /01 /janvier /2010 19:00
Well they met up on a chemical weekend
Bodies hot although the evening was cool
Now he works all the hours that god sends
And she whiles away the hours at school
Like a fool he tells her this pure white kiss
Maybe a purple too will be enough for you
And as her heart beats faster now the things to ask her

About love without love

So they wait upon the word of a cheap friend
For they need to know the place and time
When the sun comes up they’re in at the deep end
30,000 people in a field out of their minds
He wants to kiss her but his mouth’s so dry
When she gets like this he wishes she was still high

About love without love

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19 décembre 2009 6 19 /12 /décembre /2009 13:10

Live Final X Factor le 13 Décembre

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19 décembre 2009 6 19 /12 /décembre /2009 12:51

  En duo avec Joe McElderry, le 12 Décembre à X Factor




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16 décembre 2009 3 16 /12 /décembre /2009 14:21


DS 005
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15 décembre 2009 2 15 /12 /décembre /2009 12:35
LE PROGRES du 2 octobre 2006
Article paru le jour du concert de George Michael à Lyon

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Georgios Kyriákos Panayótou