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George Michael on Freedom

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    (tape rewinding)
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    (funky music)
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    - [George Michael] I've always had
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    a very strange sense of my own future.
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    And as a child, even though I had no idea
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    that I could write or
    sing, I was convinced
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    that I was going to be a pop star.
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    I had no real inclination
    to shout about it,
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    because I just felt it
    was going to happen.
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    I don't think it was until
    we made the album Make It Big
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    that I actually accepted
    that I was a singer,
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    I was gonna be a singer
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    that could actually get
    some respect from people.
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    (cheering)
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    ("Everything She Wants" by Wham)
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    ♫ Oh
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    ♫ Oh yeah
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    - [Joe Smith] When the decision
    was made that you wanted
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    to go on your own, what do want to be?
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    - [George] We could've just
    kind of kept on being Wham
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    and me gradually making
    George Michael records,
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    but that would've been
    a real sham, you know.
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    Everyone is right now expecting me
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    to move into the kind of artist
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    that they've been comparing me to
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    for the last couple
    years, i.e. another Elton.
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    But I do have the advantage of youth.
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    I'm gonna make two types of music.
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    One is the type that people
    are expecting me to make,
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    because it's really what I'm best at.
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    And well, I would imagine
    whatever happens from now on,
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    I'll probably be remember the most for
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    is my songs in terms of structured balance
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    and stuff like that, with strong melodies.
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    ("Careless Whisper" by George Michael)
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    ♫ The way I danced with you
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    ♫ Oh
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    You know, I've done that.
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    I've done Careless Whisper.
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    But also, there's a kind of sexuality
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    that I haven't really made the most of
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    with the first part of my career.
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    I suppose, obviously, as a
    22 year old, 23 year old,
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    obviously I'm more experienced sexually
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    than I was as an 18 year
    old, so maybe it's time
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    for that to start reflecting in the music.
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    (funky dance music)
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    - [Joe Smith] What was the
    China experience like?
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    - [George] It was pretty
    horrendous, actually.
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    The idea of playing to those people,
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    being the first people to
    play real Western pop music
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    to those people, was a great privilege.
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    It was just that the
    place is so oppressive,
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    you know, the actual atmosphere.
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    We played two concerts, that's all we did.
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    One in Beijing, which is in, or Peking.
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    And what happened, basically,
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    was that we opened with a black dj.
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    And this guy did just about
    everything that a dj could do.
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    He did break dancing, he spun the records,
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    and scratching, and everything.
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    People were jumping, and
    then they're out their seats.
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    He ran around the auditorium
    dancing and stuff to our music.
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    The people were kissing him
    and tryin' to dance like him.
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    It was absolutely brilliant.
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    And there was about a 15
    minute break before we came on.
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    There was an announcement,
    obviously in Chinese,
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    so we didn't understand it at
    the time, made to the audience
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    that there was to be no dancing
    for the rest of the evening,
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    they want people to remain in their seats.
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    So we went out and played
    to nothing, you know.
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    We went out and played to
    13,000 people sitting down.
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    ("Everything She Wants" by Wham)
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    ♫ Tell me why all I need is you, you, you
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    There was one funny thing,
    (cheering)
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    actually, is that when you actually tried
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    to get the audience to clap,
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    they have no perception
    of clapping in rhythm.
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    So you'd clap,
    (clapping)
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    and they would just applaud you.
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    (laughing)
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    Everyone was smiling,
    but basically we just,
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    first, the first feeling was of failure,
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    that there was no way
    we could communicate.
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    Then, there was, when
    we actually found out
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    what had gone on, I was just furious.
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    I mean obviously I felt
    responsibility at the time
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    to represent my generation
    from the West in a good light,
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    and pop music in a good light.
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    I felt that was what we were there to do.
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    And after that, realizing that
    they had no real intention
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    of allowing people to
    absorb what we were doing,
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    I just felt really betrayed.
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    (funky dance music)
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    I suppose what I really want is to be able
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    to do what I want creatively,
    succeed publicly, and be able
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    to progress without screwing
    the rest of my life up.
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    That's the way I see it, really.
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    In 10 years time, I think I could be
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    a very, very big star, as
    opposed to just a star.
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    And although there is that
    half of me that wants it,
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    there is another half of
    me that's very frightened
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    of it as well, because I don't think
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    it has a good effect on people's lives.
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    I don't want to be dragged
    into the kinda down sides
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    of this business that
    are so easy to fall into.
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    I mean, I'm very excited about the future,
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    but at the same time it worries me.
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    (fun dance music)
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    I've had songs swimming around
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    in my head for about two years.
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    I just keep the songs and
    the arrangements in my head.
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    And it's very, very silly in
    one sense, 'cause, I mean,
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    I might go and bang my
    head tomorrow or something.
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    And I, where's wood?
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    There's no wood to touch.
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    (murmuring)
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    (knocking)
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    Touch wood! (laughing)
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    I don't, but, I mean, I might go
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    and have a nasty fall
    or somethin' and lose,
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    you know, an album's worth of material.
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    But I have this thing
    that if it's in my head
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    and it's still there,
    it's because it's meant
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    to be there, you know.
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    I have kind, it's like a superstition.
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    (tape rewinding)
Title:
George Michael on Freedom
Description:

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Duration:
04:55

English subtitles

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