Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wake Me Up

Let me preface this post with the statement that I love George Michael's music. That his album "Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael" is one that I listen to again and again. And that I have no issues with his sexual orientation. I have nothing against homosexuality; two of my very good friends are gay and they've been with me through thick and thin. I love them dearly.

But, I'm wondering how, when I first saw the video of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go--I was in my early teens--I could have failed to realize that George Michael was gay? The swing of the hips, the facial expressions, heck, just the short shorts and the color of his outfit in the second half of the video, gave it all away. If I saw this video for the first time today, I sure as hell wouldn't have any second thoughts about his sexuality. The thing is at that time, I was aware of the orientation of other musicians. Boy George, for instance (but one could hardly mistake his orientation). I saw at once that Freddie Mercury was gay after seeing some of Queen's videos.

So why didn't I see the same in George Michael? I wrote about this topic in another place and another time. And to this day I'm still puzzled as to how I could've missed it. Failing to see the obvious. Selective naiveté, maybe?


Natalia said...

I think part of it for me was wishful thinking. Cause the guy was just super hot. Now...not so much. He mostly looks out of it. But the other part was that the 80s was full of weird fashion. There was Bon Jovi with the long hair and the tights. And he is married and has kids. It was all very hard to separate. But his music was and is quite brilliant.


Debo Blue said...

Girlfriend, didn't the double pierced ears make you think twice?

Lizza said...

Natalia: Weird fashion in the 80s, oh yeah. But I thought he looked hotter in the mid-90s, I think that was when he did the MTV Unplugged thing. I knew he was gay by then. I still enjoy his music to this day.

Debo Blue: I had absolutely no clue. Nada! Weird, ain't it?

houseband00 said...

You're forgiven, Liz. =)

I guess there is a certain age where the gay-dar kicks in.

I seriously was thinking of making Queen my favorite band after Kiss broke up back in grade school. Then someone mentioned that Freddie was gay; so, being the homophobic kid that I was, i let the Kiss torch burn a little longer. Then came The Sugarhill Gang. But that's another story. =)

BeckEye said...

Oh honey, NONE of us girls ever thought he was gay. Looking back it was SO obvious. I'm still like a little kid when I find stuff out about my idols. Like when I discovered that John Taylor was a big cokehead, I was CRUSHED.

Bond said...

as an "early teen", what was "gay" to you?

So many musicians were flamboyant back just missed it because the look and attitude was common...

what we found out later was that some "acted it" and some "lived it"

mist1 said...

But those yellow fingerless gloves are so manly.

zeroimpact said...

I don't know, I've never thought of it or even have anything against them.
To me I'd just like the music and well, it's their life that I do not want to know and interfere
However, I actually like homosexuals more, they are better friends than the ordinary ones

Laurzei said...

I am with you on this one, Lizza. I had the absolute BIGGEST crush on George Michael. The butt shake in the beginning of his "Faith" video made me and my girlfriends squeal!

thethinker said...

The shorts... it's the shorts. That's what tipped me off. Either that, or the gloves.

ian said...

I am reminded of one of the famous Buddy Cole monologues by Scott Thompson of The Kids in the Hall (totally worth watching on DVD).

A little background, if you aren't familiar with them. TKiTH were a Canadian comedy troupe in the 90s that did some very risque humor. Five guys in all, one of whom was openly gay. Buddy Cole was a character created by Scott Thompson, who was, um, beyond openly gay. He had hilarious monologues from his gay bar, about being gay and the general gayness of things. Anyway, here's the line:

Buddy: "I still can't believe Liberace was gay. I just don't WANT him to be!"


Sidney said...

I don't think it matters much. It is their music that counts.

Terra Shield said...

Let's see... I knew GM was gay only after the bathroom scandal... although I had seen the said video a couple of times before that :D

Odat said...



Maryanne Moll said...

Hey, I loved that outfit! Seriously.

(Found another fantastic blog and wanted to share it with you:

Prometheus said...

With songs and accompanying videos like I Want Your Sex and Father Figure, Prometheus knew Georgie was a sex-crazed freak. The gay bit was a surprise. Fully agree with Bond wrt being too young to notice (label?) double piercings as gay.

Tracey said...

I'm sorry...I'm just laughing too hard at that outfit. Can you see him singing Rod Stewart's "Do you Think I'm Sexy" in it?

H said...

But it doesn't matter does it?

never stopped me from crushing on Boy George. I had NO CLUE what gay meant then. So I just thought Boy George was whacko in this super cool way. Waaaaaaaaaaay cool. I still think he's cool.

About George Micheal... umm see him and madonna were my first music-video introduction to pop music, so in that sense last christmas and wake me up are HUGE in my head... but I've always found him a bit creepy [it's that big blond hair I'm almost certain]. It's only when I found out he was gay, have i lightened up. I kinda think he's fun now.

Kiyotoe said...

maybe you were so caught up in his music, it really didn't matter.

I remember being a kid and getting trouble (as usual) for singing "I want your sex".

"Baby, i know you're asking me to stay, say please please please don't go away......"

sorry, got caught up in the moment.

Natalie said...

I didn't know what Gay was at the time. Once I knew what it was and found out it was no shocker. I'm with Kiyotoe and remember being told to stop singing "I Want Your Sex" and "Faith". To this day I listen to "Father Figure" more than any person should.

thepinkangel said...

I never thought about it that way. I'm in the same boat as you. How could I not have seen it? weird.

Lizza said...

HB: Glad you outgrew the homophobia. And I'm looking forward to that Sugarhill Gang story. :-)

Beckeye: I had such a big crush on JT, too. He was a cokehead???

Bond: You're probably right. Flamboyance in terms of 80s fashion is an understatement, though. :-D I mean, wow.

M1: So was the rolling-the-eyes-just-so bit.

ZI: I agree. His being gay wasn't the issue for me; I was just wondering how I (and so many others, apparently) didn't see it at the time. Regardless, I appreciated (still do) his music.

Laurz: He was captivating! And hot, too. :-)

Thinker: Haha, yes! But I didn't make that connection back then.

Ian: Haha! Tongue-in-cheek denial of the obvious.

Sidney: Yep. And I enjoy his music a lot.

Maryanne: You loved the short shorts? Heehee.

Thanks for the tip! I'll look at it soon.

Prometheus: Those videos were steamy.

Tracey: Haha! Oh lord, that's a funny image. Thanks for dropping by. :-)

H: No, it doesn't matter at all. I was just wondering how I could've been so clueless in spite of all the signs. I'm not the only one, apparently. I like George Michael.

Kiyotoe: Haha! You better make an audio post of you singing that.

Natalie: I think Father Figure is a terrific song, too.

Rach: Exactly! But no matter.

Lizza said...

Terra: I think I realized it too at that time.

Odat: Glad to have made you LOL! :-D

Mrs George O'Dowd said...

Liz and H,

When I was a wee lass of 14, I fell HEAD OVER HEELS-I -shall-make-my-way-to-London-and-marry-him-one-day-and swear-on-my-mom's-life kindof IN LOVE with Boy George. read-bunny boling kind of fatal attraction - And it lasted for about 10 years.

So my dear H, I think we've bonded for life after that admission of yours.

Liz, sorry but the perma tan didn't really do much for me. I was more of an Andrew Ridgeley kinda girl. ~flutter~flutter~

Danielle said...

I loved this song. I remember constantly asking my mother who sang it I kept getting wham and duran duran mixed up. Why? Beats me. I loved Boy George too. I found nothing wrong with how he looked.
We are born with open minds, I guess.

Thanks for the video too.

Lizza said...

Mrs. Dowd: Haha! I loved watching Boy George and listening to his music. He was so cool. But I never had a crush on him.

Danielle: Welcome! I loved Duran Duran too. And I think we're born with open minds too, then we grow up and become jaded somehow. :-)

CSL said...

I don't think at the time it was even something I coded for. I remmeber my step father singing, "Wake me up before you go go, don't you care that I'm a homo." I just attrbuted that to his general shithead nature.

lizza said...

LOL. Now that was a crazy ditty.