Tuesday 27 December 2016


It's an odd thing to cry for a stranger. To feel sad and shed tears for a celebrity, for someone I've never met, on an ordinary summer's day at the bottom of the world, is a very strange thing indeed.

But that's what I did yesterday, when I heard that George Michael had gone. It's silly really, but his silky voice formed the sound-track to my youth: it was there for the break-ups, the growing-up and everything in-between. I danced with abandon to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go at Candyos, a dodgy Lower Hutt nightclub we used to sneak into as under-aged Sacred Heart students, I sighed over George's floppy blonde locks in the video to Last Christmas and the day I graduated from journalism school in Auckland, we busted out the gin and Faith and had a party that started at noon and reached far into the next day. A few years later, when I lived in Wood Green in North London, I saw George being ushered into a sleek black Range Rover outside a Greek cafe that someone told me belonged to his uncle; I wasn't too cool to stop and stare.

This morning, as I dragged my sorry butt around the Wellington waterfront, a world away and decades after my infatuation with Gorgeous George, I had this song on high rotation. It's my favourite George Michael song and I will never tire of listening to that incredible voice.

RIP George.

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