Thursday, January 02, 2020

Careless Whisper - a Peckham ballad

The late great George Michael may have grown up in north London and Hertfordshire, along with his Wham! mate Andrew Ridgeley, but who knew that one of their best known songs was written in Peckham?

As told in his recent recent book 'Wham! George & Me' (2019),  Andrew Ridgeley moved in with his then girlfriend and later Wham! backing singer Shirlie Holliman 'who had got a job working in an outdoor pursuits store in the West End. Her aunt lived in Peckham and was happy to rent her basement flat to us for next to nothing. It was a far cry from the thriving district it’s become since. Much more 'Only fools and horses' than artisan bakers and craft beer shops' (this was in 1981).

Andrew and George were working on some of their early songs at this point, most notably Careless Whisper which Ridgeley says they worked on at both George's house in Radlett and the Peckham flat.  And it was 'on the tatty sofa in that Peckham flat' that Michael crafted the lyrics to that song. Sadly the address isn't stated, if anyone knows please comment so that we can get a plaque put up there!

St. George Michael spotted in the religious records section of Bromley Oxfam

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