CALENDER: 24. April



Thu 24 Apr 1997


excerpts from the chat with George, which was broadcasted by London's Capital FM Radio as a part of US Pepsi Charts.


"The Pepsi Chart with George Michael live from Los Angeles..."

George Michael: 

Over here in America it's really exciting, and this generation of Americans does seem really excited about English bands, backs the right horse, and actually backs things that are really creative and things that only, you know,... as a society different kinds of music ... and different race music, and I really think we got (...) and I hope to God that the record industry understands that Americans want their chests with no hair on them basically.

The Spice Girls are a phenomenon. I love the Spice Girls, I have to say, much as I thought I never would ... [channel cut out]
...a phenomenon and I really hope they get sidetracked by that, because they really are a one-off, they really are a one-off. Because America is buying Boyzone, it doesn't mean it's gonna buy any number of things hat are successful in England. Really, what America is listening to for us is the ... [very hard to transcribe - help!]

DJ: Well, George Michael is back on the line from Los Angeles. So George, Star People number 17 this week on airplay, which is pretty good, and of course, released tomorrow, and here we are talking about another single you're involved with. I know it has been played before but obviously this is the edited, final cut-down version. It's strange to have two singles out at the same time, isn't it?

George Michael:

Under different circumstances it's something that wouldn't happen, but, I mean, I didn't know that what happened to my mother was going to happen at this stage, so it's really a coincidence, and by that strange coincidence I have two records on the radio within a couple of weeks, yeah.

DJ: Now, this is all part of you getting involved with you launching your own record label. So what's that about?

George Michael:

It's really about trying to have a corner in the industry where artists know where they come if they want to kind of, you know, respect any freedom to do what's really about 50-50, it's I'm having to do our best work, and them having to do their best work, and being free to leave if that doesn't happen. The success of the label will really depend on my decisions, on my choices, so if I think they've got the talent to do this. So if I fail miserably, it will all be down to me, and I realise that.

DJ:So tell us about Toby Bourke...

George Michael:

Well, he's a perfect example of what I mean. He has the kind of voice that's everything that mine isn't, you know, it's kind of ... [raw ?] and very kind of spontaneous, and I just love it, so that's the sort of thing I'd like to help.

DJ: Well, I think it's time we played it, so if you'd like to introduce this song, and tell what it means for you.

George Michael:

Yeah, I'd love to. It's a song written by Toby Bourke, with a couple of additional verses written by me. What I would like to say is, if you listen to the record in the context of Toby's parts being my father, and my parts being me, then, you'll guess what the record is about. I'd just like to say that I hope it helps my father, and anyone else who's lost anybody recently that's having a bit of trouble believing that they're still there for them, you know.

DJ: Okay. Thanks a lot for talking to us, George.

George Michael:

Allright, thanks to everybody again, and I really, just hope they like the record, because I'm really proud of it, and I know Toby's proud of it, and I'm proud of him.

Extra concert dates have been added to singer George Michael's first UK tour in 15 years as early ticket sales exceed expectations.

About 200,000 tickets were released in various stages on Sunday, with dates added in London, Birmingham and Manchester throughout the day.

Dan Marshall from promoter Marshall Arts Ltd said demand for the greatest hits concerts had been "very strong".

The company had "moved quickly" to confirm a total of 14 gigs, he added.

The tour is entitled 25 Live, and will see Michael performing tracks from all of his solo albums plus classics from his time in Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley.

He is playing seven dates in London, three in Manchester, another three in Birmingham and one in Glasgow.

The singer begins the tour in Madrid on 27 September before playing the first UK gig - at the MEN Arena in Manchester - on 17 November.

'Fantastic ticket sales'

"Ticket sales are fantastic," said Mr Marshall. "It's fair to say that the majority have been sold. In London, we've moved very quickly to put three additional shows to what we went on sale with."

He added it was "not unusual" to have extra dates lined up for release if demand was high - but said a fast decision was needed on Sunday when it became clear so many fans were clambering for tickets.

"We did have additional shows at Earls Court ready to go, but the demand has been such that we've moved quickly to have these on sale."

Recently attention has been focused on Michael's personal life rather than his music.

He was cautioned for possessing cannabis after being arrested in London in February.

On Saturday's ITV1 Parkinson chat show, he laughed off an early-morning crash into three parked cars as an accident which occurred because he was "a terrible driver".