PERFORMING ARTS

Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir

Dutton. Oct. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9781524745318. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781524745332. MUSIC
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Musician Ridgeley met George Michael when they were school boys at Bushey Meads School, in Hertfordshire, England. Fast friends, they pored over record collections, wrote songs, started a short-lived group, and eventually formed Wham!, one of the most successful British pop acts of the 1980s. In this breezy, nostalgic memoir, Ridgeley recounts roughly a decade of their friendship, starting with their first meeting in 1975 and concluding with Wham!’s farewell show at Wembley Stadium in 1986. Early on, Ridgeley seemed to be the motivator, as Michael struggled with self-confidence; however, Michael eventually blossomed and rose to stratospheric heights as a songwriter and singer. Readers get a front row seat to Wham!’s early live and TV appearances, music videos, and world concert tours, including a historic one of China in 1985. Ridgeley vividly portrays the pandemonium of excited fans and tabloid frenzy.
VERDICT This fond memoir of friendship and fame will appeal to fans of Wham! and 1980s pop. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]

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