I’m Coming To Take You to Lunch: A Fantastic Tale of Boys, Booze and How Wham! Were Sold to China

Unbound. Apr. 2023. 408p. ISBN 9781800181670. pap. $18.95. MUSIC
To read Napier-Bell’s words, Wham!’s concert in China in the early 1980s was the result of two key desires on his part: to spend as much time in Asia as possible and to eat as many good lunches as he could. Both certainly figure in this memoir. It highlights the sheer unbelievability of that decade through his increasingly improbable adventures as Wham!’s manager. Napier-Bell’s desire to generate worldwide buzz by booking a live appearance behind the Great Wall made sense in the pre-internet era, reliant as it was on mainstream press, nascent cable news, and old-fashioned social networks made up of phone calls and, yes, lunches. The book’s emotional core revolves around two relationships: one with obsessive perfectionist George Michael, already planning to go solo before Wham! even peaked, and the other with the enigmatic Rolf Neuber, who keeps turning up to help Napier-Bell for reasons of his own. What emerges is a surprisingly personal memoir that lightly fuses political shenanigans, artistic temperaments, sitcom timing, questionable documentation, and coincidental repasts.
VERDICT A breezy but insightful snapshot of an era implausible even to those who lived it. For fans of Wham! and pop culture aficionados.
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