Wham!’s Andrew Ridgley just released a new book, “Wham! George Michael & Me: A Memoir,” about his lifelong friendship with George Michael, and shares some very interesting revelations about the late singer.
Ridgeley and Michael met in September 1975, when Ridgeley volunteered to mentor the new kid at school, Georgios Panayiotou, and they became quick friends, eventually forming Wham! together.
In the book, Ridgeley writes that Michael, who he calls Yog, was very shy and sensitive about his looks, and was particularly embarrassed by his hair, glasses and physique. Ridgeley says later when he gave himself a makeover for his pop career, including stubble, and leather jacket, “I thought it was so far removed from who he really was.”
·Ridgeley also shares that the band’s hit “Careless Whisper,” about a cheating lover, was inspired by Michael’s own infidelity. “Yog decided to draw on his own recent teenage experience,” he writes. “The tale he crafted of a cheating lover, hemmed in by guilt, was inspired by feelings prompted by two-timing his girlfriend, Helen Tye, a year previously.”
·Ridgeley also opens up about the first time George admitted to him he was gay. It happened in 1983 when they were in Ibiza filming the video for “Club Tropicana,” and George said to him, “I didn’t know whether to tell you this ... but I’m going to: I’m gay.” Ridgeley responded “Oh, OK. Well, that’s a bit of a surprise!” Ridgeley notes, “He definitely seemed more relaxed, probably because he realized it had made no difference to me whatsoever ... George seemed happy with the announcement.”