she liked Imaginary Men best of all


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Gotta Have Some Faith in the Sound

2016 was an all-around shitty year. Personally I dealt with a family health crisis, relationship challenges, work and house stress and an overabundance of terrible things happening to people I know and love – accidents, illnesses, multiple deaths of people and their pets. It was unrelenting and I was counting down the days until it was over. And then George Michael died. On Christmas. I mean, REALLY WORLD???

At the start I had no love for George Michael. This particular 13-year-old found Wham! cheesy and deeply uncool. I loved English Pretty Boys in bands and Duran Duran occupied my walls and my record collection. Even though there seemed to be enough similarities between the two bands, for me there were none and I had no place in my heart for two goofballs dancing around in short shorts and fake trumpet playing in pools d879d5e12ec2938f1aadfe3ce81ad5a4(however, saxophone playing on beaches was a-okay. Such is the mind of a fickle teen girl!)

My junior high best friend and I were downright hostile about Wham! Their songs were lame. They were so dorky and they just were trying so damn hard which was probably the ultimate Wham! trait that cynical girls like ourselves with a growing appreciation for The Cure found most unforgivable. My mom and I giggled over George’s dramatics (see, “Everything She Wants”) and the fact that they let themselves get into absurd photo shoots like this:

whamxmas

Yet despite not liking them I had a copy of this postcard!

Then George went solo and became a massive, MASSIVE superstar. He was all over the radio and MTV, he was spoofed on SNL (I still randomly quote Dana-Carvey-as-George’s “look at my butt! It’s hypnotic! You can’t look away!”), he was friends with Elton John and ultimate A-List. His songs started worming their way into my head and staying there. I still remember sitting in the front seat of our school van with my heart aching over every word of “One More Try” on the radio, despite the fact that I hadn’t yet had a boyfriend or any sort of heartbreak (and now decades later with plenty of both under my belt, these lyrics are even more painfully true). I can vividly recall a party at my first college where I was outside cooling down with friends and the first notes of “Freedom 90” came thumping from inside the campus center causing me to race back inside so I wouldn’t miss a single opportunity to holler “YOU GOTTA GIVE WHAT YOU TAKE!!!” while doing a fist pumping dance.

(Sidebar: How fucking GREAT is this song?? IT IS FUCKING AMAZING. End of story!)

When I transferred to Smith College and met my friend Heather that’s when all Wham! Hell Broke Loose, so to speak. Heather and I share a lot of pop culture trivia, Fangirl obsessions, Royal Family knowledge, and deep, deep adoration of 80s music. Being faced with her joy in George Michael’s music made me realize what I already knew but had been held back from admitting by my grumpy 13YO self for so long: I loved George Michael and every damn song he did. We applied for a radio show at our college station and were refused because our eclectic proposed playlist included disco, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam and Wham! (BTW, we are still bitter). We had a pledge that if Wham! ever reunited for a tour or even just one show, we were going to go no matter where it was or how much it cost. To this day, in all honesty only days before his death, we were discussing whether George had reunited with his ex Kenny Goss and I was agreeing to make sure “Wham Rap!” was played at her future funeral, should she pre-decease me.

And that’s the thing that has hit us the hardest: George Michael and Wham! were not just music we liked in our youth and had an appreciative nostalgia for. We talked about, listened to and quoted his music weekly. For us he is an artist who is just as relevant in our current lives and playlists (if not more so, at times) as if it was 1988 right now.We are devastated we will never be able to go see him in concert and clutch each other with joy while singing “I’m Your Man”. For us there was no sadness or bad day that couldn’t be polished up by the appearance of a “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” gif or even a simple text bubble reminding the other “I Love Wham!”

whamgif

George Michael was rich with talent, a beautiful voice and a complicated personal life that gave him the fuel to write so many iconic songs that we are lucky to have with us forever. I recently watched a 1990 documentary  about George and this moment was so very poignant:

I don’t believe I’m important as a pop star…I don’t believe that I will leave a great mark as an entity. I think I’m more realistic than that. I do believe now that I’m a lot better singer than I ever thought I would be but at the end of the day I want to leave something as a writer. And I think to have a passion or to have something that drives you on through life in a creative sense, most of us want to leave something, want to have something that will be remembered without having people really having to search in their memory and I want to leave songs, I believe I can leave songs that will mean something to other generations.

Every few months it seems I find myself seeking comfort in his hit “Praying for Time” which is in fact, timeless given the state of the world today.  I post these words after a lot of mass shootings, terrorist attacks and all around awful news because they capture the hopelessness I feel in such a beautifully accurate way:

praying-for-time

You were wrong George. You’ve left us so very much and I hope you knew how grateful we were, THANK YOU. XOXO.


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80’s Music Videos I Love: Smuggler’s Blues

My friend Heather and I LOVE this video in all it’s totally 80’s, Miami Vice-ian, coke and cash and guns glory!:

Oh how I love Story Videos! Especially ones with lyrics as dialogue, drug running and a member of the Eagles being gunned down by a vengeful drug lord 😉

SIGH. They just don’t make music videos like they used to. I’d like to see Coldplay come up with something this awesome!


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A Stalkers Playlist

I’ve been called a Stalker and I have no shame about it. I mean, obviously! If I did would I have this blog where I detail all the crazy ass things I do in the name of fandom??

If you’re Proud to be an Obsessive, then may I suggest my Top 5 Stalker Tunes to load into the portable music player of your choice. It will make those hours waiting outside tour buses and in ticket lines pass a little faster!

5. Sarah McLachlan: Possession

Restraining Order Lyric: Oh into the sea of waking dreams / I follow without pride / nothing stands between us here / and I won’t be denied

Even sweet romantic Sarah gets a little hot and bothered by the object of her affection obsession!

4. Duran Duran: Hungry Like the Wolf

Restraining Order Lyric: Woman you want me / give me a sign / and catch my breathing even closer behind

Always groundbreakers, Duran Duran representing the Male Faction of Stalkerdom!

3. Madonna: Burning Up

Restraining Order Lyric: You don’t even know I’m alive / and this pounding in my heart just won’t die / I’m burning up

Play this one while you’re writhing in the middle of the road trying to get your Stalking Target’s attention!

2. Lady GaGa: Paparazzi

Restraining Order Lyric: -Tie – I’m your biggest fan / I’ll follow you until you love me  -And- Promise I’ll be kind / but I won’t stop until that boy is mine / baby you’ll be famous / chase you down until you love me 

I admire GaGa’s sheer determination of will to break this boy’s defenses down under her freaky high heels

1. Animotion: Obsession

Restraining Order Lyric: You are an obsession / you’re my obsession / who do you want me to be / to make you sleep with me

This song is The Stalker’s Anthem. No contest.

Happy Listening and Restraining Order Avoiding!


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80’s Music Videos I Love: Scandal!

I went on a little iTunes buying spree this morning that consisted solely of very early 80’s songs by mostly American artists (’80-’82 being the years before the Second British Invasion of Awesomeness and for many years after I refused to listen anything that was spawned stateside.) One was Scandal’s Goodbye to You:

This song is crazy catchy and still perfect for drunken Karaoke with your girlfriends egging you on after a particularly shitty break-up. I especially love how the video looks like it was made at a booth in the mall! From the cheesy graphics to the freeze/dissolve of the band members, not to mention the dude who is dressed like an extra on Miami Vice.

Hey that’s weird – because I remember the video having new wave “special effects” colors and patterns being smeared all over to make it look even more like something made in a 1982 era Junior High Video and Computer Class! Ah ha! Leave it to ‘ol MTV to have the version I remember – see what I mean??

At any rate before British Pretty Boys came around a few years later, this song and video briefly sparked my desire to be a sassy girl singer who sang flirtatiously to her boy bandmates. However, this feeling did not last into the “Scandal featuring Patty Smyth” years (!! I know, WTF?), during which a boy told me I looked like her in the Warrior video and I pretty much had a lunch period hissy fit of 8th Grade girl proportions about the indignity of the comparison!


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Gotta have some faith in the sound, it’s the one good thing that he’s got!

Guess who I just found out is on Twitter?

This guy! (tm Blogging Pal Julie)

No, not “The Other Guy from Wham!” How did I find out? Simon LeBon of course 😉

Today people were sending him garden pictures by request:

Seeing bright, sunny shots from Greece and Scotland (among other places) certainly made the cold, grim day outside my door a bit lovelier. So thanks for that George!


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I know I’m something special and I look like I’m the best

We interrupt the regular schedule of no-posting-weekends because I just got tickets to SEE DURAN DURAN!!!!!!!

It only took 27 years, but I will l finally get to scream Cherry ice cream SMILE, I suppose it’s very nice LIVE!!!

I’m as giddy as – well – as a 14 year old girl 😉


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Wild Boys never lose it

I’m slightly totally obsessed with the Duran Duran Twitter feeds. Just today John was posting pictures of a photo shoot like a sort of live blog. It pretty much confirmed for me that had this existed when I was 14 years old, today would have been the day I was expelled from junior high for incessant internet checking and squealing! (if teen boys today think they have it bad with Bieber, they should be grateful there is only one of him and not FIVE!!)

The other night Simon was up late into the London night doing his own live tweeting of the interminable and awful Oscars. I have to say there is just something really cool about reading the thoughts of one of your idols in real time. It’s like, “hey! I’m watching the Oscars! With Simon LeBon!!” A friend of mine and fellow Durannie thinks this takes some of the “mystery” away and I can see that. But honestly I just think it’s pretty damn cool.

Speaking of Simon – his life fucking ROCKS!!! Here’s a recent week of his:

  • Attended a posh fashion show which his wife Yasmin was modeling in
  • Went to a posh cocktail party AT 10 Downing Street
  • Saw his wife on the cover of  (another – she’s a supermodel for chrissakes!) magazine
  • Had his name as a clue on a crossword (please call him “47 Down” from now on!)
  • Attended the Brit Awards with John where they hung out with fellow 80’s Brit Pop Idols Boy George and Holly Johnson
  • Made Shepherd’s Pie
  • Jetted off to Milan for Pop Star Stuff

That’s in ONE WEEK!! He also does completely normal stuff like walk his dogs and crab about his daughter running the hair dryer too long!

Duran Duran have a new song All You Need is Now and I have to say, my Inner 14 YO is not a fan of Simon’s beard, but my grown-ass self thinks he’s lookin’ hella good with it ;-):

(Awww look at the New Romantics!!)