Monday, 9 January 2017

The night the music died

I will never forget the moment I heard George Michael had died.
Christmas day 2016, 23:00 hours, my mobile beeped, it was my friend Jamie texting me: Oh Nikki.xxx
I was standing with a glass of Prosecco in one hand, wrapped in my Christmas bubble, with no idea my little bubble was soon to be well and truly burst.
Of course at the point of receiving this text, I didn't imagine in my darkest nightmares that it was to inform me of George's death.
I was concerned my friend may have experienced a drunken tumble, or perhaps a family fall out over who would carve the turkey, or a punch up with a pal who could no longer tolerate Cliff Richard singing about mistletoe and wine.
Nope, I did not for one dreadful second think his text would be followed by: I think you better put on the news Nikki. It's George, he's gone.
I may not be a rocket scientist, yet even I knew Jamie did not mean George had gone to Specsavers.
He'd gone from this world.
With shaking hands I googled his name and when I read the breaking news I just kept saying, "No, no, no, no, no."
It was the most awful end to a splendid day.
My phone continued to beep with other friend's asking if I had heard he had died peacefully in his sleep, and offering their condolences.
For 34 years he'd been my hero.
To be precise he was my brother's hero at first, and this soon rubbed off on me. My dear late brother even looked like George during the Careless Whisper days, and when he picked me up from a party once someone actually screamed, they thought George Michael had walked in the room!
All these precious memories came crashing down on me.
George had always been my happy place.
He was the most amazing and beautiful soundtrack of my life.
He'd entertained myself and friends on tonnes of joyous occasions.
I am fully aware he wasn't really a personal friend. I guess he was more of a virtual friend? Although I have met him in real life, what a day that was.
He once signed a record cover for me which I have learned he spoke about during a Holland interview, because he wrote, 'To Nikki, a very happy birthday, try not to loose your shoes, George Michael xxx' and it's not every fan he tells not to loose their shoes.
I have seen him perform live many times, watched and read more or less every interview (I'm now searching for that Holland interview) and tweeted him back more times than I care to admit.
He was also a kind and generous soul, some stories emerged during his life time, and many others since his death.
He donated goodness knows how much to charity, some via proceeds from records he didn't even make public knowledge at the time. He arranged a private free concert to the nurses who once cared for him. Plus he paid for IVF treatment for complete strangers after hearing on television they were trying to find the money, therefore a girl was brought into this world all because of him.
He was 53 years young.
Too young to be taken, so much still to give.
With a grieving family, friends and fan base on Christmas day 2016.
I don't think I slept a wink that night.

1 comment:

Amel said...

I heard about his passing later and I thought of you right away, Nikki. You're right, music can link us to so many other memories. Perhaps that's also why it can have such an impact on our lives.

Rest in peace, George. I love reading about his personal message to you. <3