I have a confession. This is a big moment for me. I normally hate confessional pieces, whether in print or worse, on video. But I’m coming out of the closet… sort of. And I think I’ll feel better about it after.
I have to preface my confession with a quick story. It’s not even a story. It’s just a moment that really affected me. I was driving along in a very masculine, gas-guzzling SUV. I had manly shit stowed in the back: a batting helmet, two bats, a fishing pole, rope (guys always have rope – we rarely have a need for it but we carry it), jumper cables, a few dirty rags. The SUV is black and my arm is bent in the window in a manly way – as if I’m actually holding up the roof of the car. Guys do this because it makes our arms look good.
Okay, here’s the part that is not manly at all. I’m listening to… George Michael’s solo CD, Older. And I’m singing along with it. Strange… don’t you think I’m looking older? But something good is happening… change is a stranger.
I pull up to the light, still singing with the window open. I see a couple cars pull up next to me and I hit the radio with such sudden force that instead of changing to a radio station, I hit the volume so that George is blasting out of my SUV. I quickly change it to a classic rock station. The girl next to me is smiling. Is she laughing at me? Should I hold up my batting helmet and rope? But that might scare her. This is LA, after all. It may look like a threat rather than an attempt to recapture a masculine image.
You’re out of time, I’m letting go… I’m not the man you want. Sing it, George.
Okay, so here it goes…. This is my confession… I like George Michael. His music, not him as a sexual object. And I want to clarify that I like his solo stuff. Not “Wham!”
I feel better already. Look, I still love The Band, Van Halen, and The Boss.
I still enjoy the company of a beautiful woman and given the choice between beer in a glass or a bottle, I take the bottle. I even enjoy the blue-collar comfort of a can. I’m a man. But… I like George Michael. Forget that he used to wear neon green Daisy Dukes and scream “Baby, I’m your man!” Or that he exposed himself in a Beverly Hills bathroom to the undercover cop that just so happened to be urinating next to him. Or, that he was recently arrested in England in the park bushes with his pants down. Maybe he just has a small bladder.
I can’t help it… I like the guy’s music, dammit. When I hear it, I gotta’ sing it. I wish I had the courage to play it loud and proud at stoplights. But I don’t. I wanna’ hear from other closeted, heterosexual G.M fans out there. We should support each other. We have rights.
George Thorogood. George Michael. What’s the difference? It’s all good music.