George Michael, 42, was arrested in London early Saturday morning after being found by police slumped over the wheel of a car. He was taken into custody and held on suspicion of possessing two separate Class C drugs, then bailed out.
“We were called by a member of the public to a man seen slumped over the steering wheel of a car on the street close to Hyde Park Corner,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman told the BBC. “A search of the man revealed what was believed to be controlled substances.”
Back at the end of the ’80s, George Michael came to a “underground club” I was DJing in the warehouse district of L.A. – at the time he couldn’t have been a much bigger star. His funky, rocking, sophisticated Faith album had been released in late-’87 and was a critical and commercial smash, winning the best album Grammy, going on to sell over 10 million copies and yielding number 1 singles “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Monkey,” and a number 2 with the steaming, percolating “I Want Your Sex.” The album thrived on the dance floor, MTV, urban, pop and modern rock radio and confirmed Michael a major league talent as singer, songwriter, producer, and pop star.
Michael’s tall, striking, modelesque female companion dragged him up with her to make a request, and he mumbled rather shyly something about me doing a “nice job.” I told him I thought his success was totally deserved and that Wham! — “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper,” “Everything She Wants,” “I’m Your Man,” “A Different Corner” — had been underappreciated and misclassified as a teenybop confection in this country. He smiled slightly, murmured thanks and they disappeared into the flashing, blinking miasma of the gyrating throng.
Since then, Michael has lost a companion to AIDS in ’93, lost a court battle with his record label Sony in ’94, lost his mother in ’97, was arrested for a sex act in a public restroom in Los Angeles the following year, leading to a public admission that he was gay.
In a 2004 documentary on his life, George Michael: A Different Story, directed by Southan Morris, Michael stated that he was retiring from public view and that his genre of music was “dead.” For a guy who is only 42, Michael sure acts old and defeated – I hope it isn’t so.