Every George Michael fan is familiar with the question. "So why exactly are you a George Michael fan?"
Whenever I meet someone new it doesn't take them long to notice I'm a GM fan. And then the question is asked, sometimes followed by a baffled: "You do know he's gay, don't you?" Um, yeah, I noticed, thanks for asking.
So I try to explain why George is 'my man', so to speak. It's not easy, not because there aren't enough reasons but because it's so hard to confine myself to just a few. I can talk about my fascination with all things George for a loong time. Sound scary? Well, did you ever hear a man talk about his favourite soccer team? I'm a bit like that, dull but harmless.
Anyway, the last person I talked to about George (in response to the question) informed me that I talked about George as if he were my brother. Well I should hope not, I don't fancy the pants off my brother!
Actually I fancy George Michael a whole lot more with this pants on! Shocking I know and most GM fans probably won't agree with me. Perhaps it's because I'm a lesbian <grin>. Seriously, I think that George Michael can rock a suit like nobody else! Those Armani suits he wore on the first leg of the 25Live tour? So, so sexy! Just look at him in this 25Live clip from 2006!
Which brings me to the first of many reasons why I adore the man. The man is just an amazing live performer. Not many popstars can deliver a fantastic vocal performance in concert without the technical help to make them sound good that's available in a studio, but he sure can. I have to admit I love his live voice a bit better than his studio voice, because he doesn't get to be too perfectionist in a live setting. Even George Michael, perfectionist that he is, has to accept that a live performance can't be a 100% perfect and to my ears that makes it even better.
And I love the way he is on stage and how he connects with the audience. You feel he's genuinely happy that you're there, that he's glad all those people showed up just for him. And it doesn't matter if he's a total showman, bouncing around the stage as he did in 2008 or kinda shy and not moving much at all on stage as he did in 2006. Either way he has this unbelievable stage presence, you just can't take your eyes off him.
And then there's the voice! That golden voice.
His music has been in my life from the time I was a teenager and a bit of a snob, too afraid to admit to my friends that I loved Wake Me Up before you go-go and all the other Wham! songs. He was there in my twenties, back when I thought I was straight, when I got my heart broken for the first time by some boy. I put One More Try and A Different Corner on repeat for days at a time and slowly got over the pain.
His CD Patience was my salvation in the crazy months before my wedding day. Whenever I felt overwhelmed by the homophobia of some official or family member or other I took refuge in the touching My Mother Had A Brother or the upbeat American Angel and Amazing.
Even now his music means so much to me. I turn to George Michael to be comforted whenever my inner baby is in unbearable pain. She just loves his cover of True Faith. So yeah, if any one person features heavily in the soundtrack of my life it's George Michael.
Next time: Part 2 with more excellent reasons why I adore George Michael.