Ge­orge found hap­pi­ness in love and friends and fam­ily W

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

HEN the late Ge­orge Michael de­cided to make a film about his ca­reer, the idea was to fo­cus on his in­fa­mous court case with Sony. But it soon be­came ap­par­ent there was a much big­ger story to tell.

Here the film’s co-di­rec­tor and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer David Austin – a life­long friend of the star – talks about the can­did de­tails Ge­orge wanted to share with his fans. GE­ORGE would come to Lon­don and would edit the film. I mean, lit­er­ally, the film more or less is Ge­orge’s cut. He was edit­ing right up un­til the 23rd; we had Nile Rodgers over in Lon­don film­ing his part and Ge­orge was due to go back in on the 27th (of De­cem­ber 2016, Ge­orge died on De­cem­ber 25) to con­tinue edit­ing, which, sadly, didn’t hap­pen. what ac­tu­ally hap­pened was I was go­ing through a cup­board one day and I found this lit­tle Har­rods cooler bag. It had all of his home footage that he’d lost, that he’d shot him­self, which is all that stuff that you see in the cen­tre of the film. I talked to him about it and he looked through it, and I thought he’d be ner­vous to... I’d al­ready cut a few lit­tle tiny bits of Anselmo into the film and I thought he’d be ner­vous about that, but I think he wasn’t, he em­braced it and he loved it. HE loved Anselmo, he was an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant per­son in his life and it just came from Ge­orge, it came from Ge­orge’s heart. That’s re­ally the heart­beat of the film in the cen­tre, you know ... all this home footage, that’s the real heart of the film. I LOOK at kids like Justin Bieber to­day and think, ‘my god, look at this multi-mil­lion pound in­dus­try around them’... but I think when you’re in the eye of the storm, you don’t re­alise it, you’re just get­ting on with the job, rolling your sleeves up, and I think it just all comes nat­u­rally. He was brave to do what he did, that’s for sure; a lot of peo­ple would have stepped back and would have done as they were told. But not Ge­orge, he felt slighted and he be­lieved in what he was say­ing, and like El­ton (John) says, Ge­orge is a very stub­born per­son and when Ge­orge puts his mind to some­thing, he goes for it. It was a big deal, the court case; I mean, what could have come from that could have been in­cred­i­ble, had he won. YEAH, he did ac­tu­ally. He says in the film. And when we were talk­ing about the case and how we were go­ing to han­dle it – and I didn’t re­alise this at all – but he turned around to me and said how he re­gret­ted it. He wished he’d never taken Sony on in the first place, be­cause it dented the ar­mour in his ca­reer in Amer­ica. I think also the fact he dis­cov­ered that Anselmo wasn’t well ... all these things hap­pened at the same time.

What’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing that peo­ple don’t re­alise is that, while this court case was go­ing on and he was on the stand, he was hold­ing it (Anselmo’s ill­ness) very close to his heart; ob­vi­ously no­body knew, he hadn’t come out at the time. OH yeah, to­tally. He ab­so­lutely did ... with Anselmo and later on in his life.

You know, he was a very happy, con­tented man, he found hap­pi­ness in love and he found hap­pi­ness in his friends and fam­ily. We had a fan­tas­tic re­la­tion­ship. IT would have been about writ­ing and giv­ing amaz­ing mu­sic and amaz­ing vo­cal per­for­mances full of in­tegrity. Ge­orge was one of those peo­ple who had a rare gift... when you write mu­sic or you sing, mak­ing a record is one thing, but if you can res­onate with the pub­lic, if you can touch peo­ple; that’s another level. Ge­orge had that and I think that’s why Ge­orge’s mu­sic... there are two tracks in par­tic­u­lar we have (which haven’t been re­leased) that are just ex­tra­or­di­nary pieces of mu­sic.

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