Tuesday, December 12, 2017
EXCLUSIVE

RIP GEORGE MICHAEL (1963-2016)

As another sun sets on the music industry, with the passing away of the legend, George Michael, renowned Bollywood actor, Boman Irani, shares a heartwarming message about the Wham! singer, whose songs were iconic of an era…

Just as that iconic 1971 Don Mclean song, “American Pie”, bemoaned “the DAY the music died”, 2016 could well be ‘the YEAR the music died’. Cohen, Prince, Bowie, Frey and now George Michael. Names grouped together in death. If grouped together in their lifetime, we’d have a concert that could have saved a planet. To name a duo WHAM, has to have been inspired by the fact that George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were two of the most boring names for a pair who wished to descend on the ‘bubble gum pop’ scene with a bang. So WHAM it was, that heralded their arrival with a “wake me up before you go-go”.

A song that was welcomed by a scream from my nieces every time it played; and it played every time they entered the house till they left it. There was no denying the fact that trapped in this bubble that was waiting to burst, was an artist ready to unleash his voice and talent independently. What followed was a prolific career of hits, fame, collaborations and controversies. That’s how that timeline normally plays out. No point here to wiki his list of hits.We are all too familiar with those. It is that familiar syndrome of pacing FAME with your ‘wants’ of life, that came to the forefront in the mindset, influence and eventual lifestyle of George Michael

He was described as the “reluctant pop star”, he spoke very often about the “tragedy of fame” and even lived in its denial. It took the greatest of them all, Frank Sinatra, to rap him on the knuckles in a letter directed at him. He wrote: “and no more talk of this ‘tragedy of fame’. The tragedy of fame is when no one shows up and you’re singing to the cleaning lady in some joint that hasn’t seen a paying customer in days.” This was when George was just Twenty-Seven. So for the next Twenty-Six years, George Michael has been battling with the grand riddle of human existence.

What is that Pot of Gold at the end of a rainbow that we yearn for all our lives? Do we ever find it? If we do, why does it sometimes turn into our foe? I heard of the passing of George Michael from my nieces. Who else? They simply loved him. I have been teasing them relentlessly since 1984 about their love and lyrics of ‘wake me up before you go-go’.
Fate would have it that my wife came from the same space and taste. Yes, fate would have it that that very song is played in my home every single day. This is not an exaggeration. Every-single-day. Normally grounds for divorce. Think about it; my wife has loved the man from his days of glory to his days of chosen oblivion. From her early days as a spinster, to her current status as agrandmother. That is some legacy!

Fans tend to assume. Pass judgment. Have opinions. So not for a minute am I suggesting that your quiet passing was bereft of you not having found your ‘pot of gold’ of happiness. It is reported that you went peacefully. And for once I would like to believe in the reports. Hope you found what you came on earth for and in the ever after. RIP George Michael.
BOMAN IRANI