.

This Week In Rock History: George Michael Busted and the World Meets ABBA

Page 2 of 2

April 4th, 1995 - Duran Duran squander their comeback with bizarre covers album

Duran Duran have always had trouble capitalizing off momentum. Just two years into their career, after the release of 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger, they splintered off into solo projects that kept them apart for three years. For the next seven years they struggled mightily to regain their Rio-era buzz – but they finally scored two massive hits in 1993 with "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone." After a grueling world tour and a long break, however, the group decided what the world wanted to hear was Duran Duran's take on songs by Grandmaster Flash, Sly Stone, Public Enemy and the Temptations. It wasn't a good plan.

"Some of the ideas at play here are stunningly wrong-headed," wrote J.D. Considine in his Rolling Stone review of the disc. "Like the easy-listening arrangement of Elvis Costello's 'Watching The Detectives' or the version of Zeppelin's 'Thank You' that sounds like the band is covering Chris DeBurgh. But it takes a certain demented genius to recognize Iggy Pop's 'Success' as the Gary Glitter tune it was meant to be or redo '911 Is A Joke' so it sounds more like Beck than Public Enemy." The LP was a huge commercial flop and it obliterated all the hard-earned goodwill they scored just two years earlier.

April 7th, 1998  - George Michael arrested for committing "lewd act" in a men's room

Hard as it may be to imagine, George Michael was firmly in the closet until April of 1998. That was when he was arrested outside of a Beverly Hills public bathroom for "engaging in a lewd act." A few months later Michael sat down with MTV to explain what happened. "I got followed into the restroom," he said. "Then this cop – I didn't know it was a cop, obviously – he started playing this game, which I think is called, 'I'll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I'm going to nick you.' Actually, what happened was once he got an eyeful, he walked past me, straight past me and out, and I thought, that's kind of odd. I thought, maybe he's just not impressed. And then I went to walk back to my car, and as I got back to the car, I was arrested on the street. ... If someone's waving their genitalia at you, you don't automatically assume that they're an officer of the law... I've never been able to turn down a free meal."

The incident got Michael more press than he'd received in years, and  – showing remarkably good humor – he spoofed the incident in his song and video "Outside." Marcelo Rodriguez , the arresting officer, was so offended by the video that he sued Michael for $10 million. He eventually lost the case. In recent years Michael has admitted that he occasionally still has anonymous sex at public places. "A very large part of the male population, gay or straight, totally understands the idea of anonymous and no-strings sex," he told the BBC after being photographed at a gay cruising spot in England. "The fact that I choose to do that on a warm night in the best cruising ground in London – which happens to be about half a mile from my home – I don’t think would be that shocking to that many gay people.”

LAST WEEK: The Beatles Call It Quits and the Ramones Begin

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com