|Year of release||2023|
Last week I (finally) watched the documentary Wham!. The documentary ticks all the boxes that need to be ticked, and still manages to leave its mark. The criticism that George Michael’s demons in particular, are never really addressed, is rather cheap. If you pay attention you can see Michael’s insecurities come and go on his face, and that’s a somewhat awkward experience: that someone who is universally loved can feel so small end insignificant.
Also, Michael’s struggle with his sexual orientation gets a fair amount of attention, as well as the downright evil (mainly) English press, who demean Wham! and Michael at every opportunity they get.
But the bigger story is obvious, the story of a true and sincere friendship between two young men, who differ to their core and are convinced they can conquer the world. That the story of Wham! only lasted for 4 years is almost incomprehensible. The seamless endless string of hits that were unleashed onto the world is unfathomable. The self-imposed assignment to create music that makes people happy, is effortlessly executed.
Andrew Ridgeley’s role with Wham! can finally be rectified. As Michael himself states: “without Andrew Wham! would not have existed”. Whether or not Ridgeley really was that generous towards his friend, who had soon outgrown Wham! and would turn into a super star on his own accord, remains to be seen, but it’s still nice to see Ridgeley be portrayed as the friend that allowed and gave George Michael the confidence to develop his talent and genius.
The bonus are the songs themselves, that are far better crafted (and don’t sound dated at all), than every ‘serious’ music lover would attest to at the time.