For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

George is Coming!

So, it turns out George Michael's coming to Vancouver on tour. Gayboy's pretty giddy about it and demands we see him together. It's Friday, July 4th.

One of the huge, strange bonding moments Gayboy and I had, leading up to his coming out to me not too long after this, was when we had to make some trip out to the valley for whatever reason. We rode back to Vancouver through the hickville part of Surrey (where people keep appliances on lawns and such) and me blasting George's "Songs from the Last Century". Before he came out, Gayboy was always kind macho and put off by femme things, but blasting George the crooner's mellow album and belting out the standards kind of set the scene for the friendship that grew after his outting.

I saw George the last time he was in Vancouver, the only time he's ever played this city for anything. It was his Cover to Cover tour, in which he did none of his own work, just others'. Everything from Play that Funky Music to Superstition. It was great. It was 17 years ago, man. Wow. Old, anyone?

I don't do big arena shows much anymore, but George, hey. He says he wants to be the Tony Bennett of his generation, and that's how I've seen George since about '95 or so, honestly. I see him as being the epic belter of classics from his Songs from the Last Century, where he takes a song from every decade -- from Roxanne to Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? -- and gives 'em all the jazzy cabaret treatment.

In that way, he's been underappreciated for a long time, and I think he's taken forever to finally see himself the way I think is right, that he's not a pop star... he was, but he's not anymore. Now he's a master of the standards, a big voiced lover of the old stylings who can, and does, make music from any decade of last century work.Very flexible guy.

George Michael's "that guy" as far as singers go for me. The guy whose music always worked for me, whose songs felt like a friend, you know? I got over it a long time ago, but Songs from The Last Century has been one of my fave albums of the last decade, despite being into, largely, completely different music than I once was.

But the great thing about a GM show is pretty simple: he's a perfectionist. He won't allow poor quality or bad design to marr his performance. He's a control freak from the top to the bottom, and it'll show. Granted, a lot of the really big performers are that way, but George is also a huge aesthete and it's apparent at his gigs.

The bad thing about it is, it took him 17 years to do another tour of this scale, and he says he doesn't ever want to do it again. Believable, sadly. So, it better be great, 'cos I may never see him again.

Oh, and no posting on George is complete without referencing his incredible bad behaviour of recent years: Personally, I've had some huge asshole moments of my own in the last three or four years, and I'm fortunate I never have cameras in front of me. Huge asshole moments. Huge! I suspect George is having that acting-out phase that comes from trying to figure out who the fuck you are again after your life comes apart through adversity. Something I'm a little too in the know of. I suspect he's having a phase and will, sooner or later, be a dignified, mature, stately British fellow in his 50s. The tour's probably exactly what he needed. Ha. The musical equivalent to getting laid every single night and being loved en masse. Must be great for an aging ego.

Personally, when someone who seemed as together, smart, and with it as George used to seem can go cocking it all up like he has, it makes me feel better about my own moments of fuctedness. But that's why everyone's into hearing smears on celebrities, so I'm hardly unique there.

And, hey, George is finally doing a speaking role on Eli Stone this week. How exciting.

Boo, hiss: my long weekends are finally over and I got little done this weekend aside from sleeping and slacking. Which was really, really nice. :)