GEORGE MICHAEL: Former Wham partner Andrew Ridgely opens up
With the first anniversary of George Michael's death just two weeks away, his onetime partner in Wham! has commented on their friendship. Andrew Ridgely told London's Daily Mail, "Nothing had prepared me for the depth of pain George’s death precipitated. The shock and disbelief were overwhelming." Andrew learned of George's death just five minutes after E-mailing him a Christmas greeting.
The guys met while in school in 1975 and became friends and musical partners for more than a decade. As teenagers, Ridgely recalls, they were "voracious record buyers [of] Elton John, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Eagles, Elvis Costello, Earth Wind & Fire and David Bowie." Revisiting the past three decades, Andrew admits, "I had somehow lost sight of quite what my childhood best friend meant to me."
Ridgely admits, "Wham! was never meant to grow old. We knew it had a finite lifespan. Neither of us could see how we could carry off [our songs] in our 40s. Also, we both understood that for George to realize his full potential, he would have to do it alone." They last performed together at London's Wembley Stadium on June 28th, 1986.
VAN MORRISON: Live DVD on the way in February
Van Morrison's 2016 concert for the BBC will be out on home video on February 16th.
Made in a small performance space, the video recording features such Morrison classics as "Brown Eyed Girl," "Jackie Wilson Said" and "Here Comes the Night." There's also a bonus second disc with a dozen songs from his 70th birthday concert (Up on Cypress Avenue) in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland in August 2016.
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS HEADLINES: December 12th
Steve Van Zandt is “seriously considering a live album” from this year’s tour with his Disciples of Soul. He says, “A lot of new arrangements compared to the album versions makes it valid for me. [As for a] DVD we’ll have to see.”
Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience, a documentary that has screened at festivals and on AXS TV, comes out tomorrow (Tuesday) on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming services. Directed by Kath’s daughter, Michelle Kath Sinclair, it celebrates the life and legacy of the guitarist, who accidentally shot himself to death 40 years ago next month. Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, Stewart Copeland, Steve Lukather of Toto and former Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine are expected to attend a theatrical screening of the film Tuesday evening in Beverly Hills.
Vinyl reissues of two old Ringo Starr albums -- 1973’s Ringo and 1974’s Goodnight Vienna -- will be out January 19th.
Producer and former Yes member Trevor Horn lost his Bel Air, California home to the wildfires sweeping across the area. He says, “We haven’t been able to get there yet but by all accounts it’s completely burnt down.” The six-bedroom house included a studio. As reported last week, drummer Simon Phillips also lost his home and is currently raising money on GoFundMe.
Barry Manilow may be nearing a deal for a new Las Vegas residency. Sunday, he tweeted a photo of Christmas trees in the lobby of the Westgate Casino, a hint that it may become his new musical home.
The bus Paul McCartney and company rode during the Wings Over Europe tour in 1972 is reportedly back on the road in Britain. Paul himself has tweeted seeking information about it. The double decker is covered with artwork from the creators of the Yellow Submarine movie.