George Michael's hilarious spat with Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant explained
30 November 2023, 15:03
Pop legends George Michael and Neil Tennant shared the heart-warming moment at the London 2012 Olympics.
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Speaking to the Guardian, Neil said while he didn’t know George too well, they crossed paths here and there across their 30 years in the music industry.
"I first met him in 1982. I interviewed him and Andrew [Ridgeley] for Smash Hits and then the last time we saw him it was exactly 30 years later, at the Olympic closing ceremony," he explained.
He said: “We were in these Portakabin-y dressing rooms and the person next to us is playing music unbelievably loudly.
"I said to our tour manager: ‘Can you go and ask him to turn that down, please?' he continued.
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"And suddenly the door flings open and George, who we hadn’t seen since he’d been in jail, comes in and says: ‘Did you just tell me to turn my music down?’ I said: ‘Yes, I did.’
"And he says: ‘Give me a hug.’ And then he went back to his dressing room, put his stereo on and played 'West End Girls' – loudly."
The Pet Shop Boys singer added that he was sad and 'almost angry' when he heard about George's death.
"I felt sad and almost angry because it seemed like such a waste. He was so young and also I think he was on a path it would have been possible to reverse. But he was very stubborn, George."
The story joins a roll call of many that have emerged since the star's death, many of which showed George Michael's expansive personality, from pranks and witticisms, to incredible acts of secret generosity.
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"He was probably one of the most brilliant songwriters this country’s ever produced, and certainly one of the best vocalists ever, one of the best in the world," Elton said on his radio show The Rocket Hour in February 2017, a month after George's untimely death.
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"It was an amazing friendship based on music to start with, and I remember sitting in the car just off of Hyde Park listening to a cassette of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ and I said, ‘George, that’s the nearest record I’ve heard to a Motown record for years and years.'
"He was the kindest, most generous man, and did it without wanting any publicity," Elton continued.
"I’ve seen him being so kind to so many people. I’ll miss him so much for his music but more than anything for his humanity."