Wham should have done a farewell tour, says Andrew Ridgeley

Concert by Wham

37 years to the day after their final performance at Wembley Stadium, Wham's Andrew Ridgeley said he wished they had gone on tour.

The Final, which was released nearly four years after their debut single, Young Guns, launched bandmate George Michael's solo career.

Ridgeley claims he would have preferred a little more time for the band to say goodbye.

He admits to the BBC, "I would have liked to tour The Final.

"I believed that a farewell tour to all of our fans would have been a kind gesture. I considered what they did to be polite behavior toward them. To be completely honest, that was the least we could have done.

But I also recognized [George's] fundamental philosophy for only having one show. ".

The Final was incredibly emotional.

George appeared in his signature leather jacket and glasses and proclaimed, "This is the best thing I've ever looked at," as the stadium erupted in the opening notes of Everything She Wants. We have four years' worth of gratitude to express this evening. and I'm confident we'll take pleasure in saying them. ".

Hits like Club Tropicana, Freedom, and Last Christmas were performed during the show, which featured 72,000 fans and guest appearances from Simon Le Bon and Elton John—who for some reason was dressed as Ronald McDonald.

Then, after only two short hours, Wham performed "I'm Your Man" and ended the show.

Fans attend Wham's final gig
The Wembley performance was in such high demand that it almost tripled its original capacity.

The group would "represent a chapter in our lives," according to Andrew, and they always knew that.

"Writing in accordance with Wham's guidelines would have impeded George's development as a songwriter because it was so heavily centered on our friendship and our shared youth.

"Wham was too big for us both. ".

In advance of the Netflix documentary about the band's meteoric rise and the release of the brand-new singles box set Echoes From the Edge of Heaven, Andrew spoke with the BBC.

Here are his reflections on being a member of the biggest pop act of the 1980s.

In one of their earliest publicity images, Andrew (on the left) and George.

When 12-year-old Andrew agreed to mentor a transfer student by the name of Georgios Panayiotou in September 1975, the Wham journey officially began. They grew close over their shared love of music and dislike of school.

"We would skip class, go to the chip shop, buy a chicken and mushroom pie, and play records. Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Elton John were among our many musical favorites. And we were huge Genesis supporters. Genesis played at Earls Court in 1978, which was our first concert experience. It didn't quite fit the picture George wanted to present, so I don't believe he ever mentioned it.

We started talking about starting a band when we were around 14 years old, but George insisted that it had to wait until after his O Levels. He was under a lot of pressure from his parents.

However, after our exams were over, we were told, "Wait, I need to get my A levels. I railroaded him into it because I felt compelled to bring up the subject. ".

Wham on Saturday Superstore
The children's program Saturday Superstore was where Wham made their debut on television.

Wham Rap!, their debut single, was unsuccessful in reaching the UK's top 100. Their second single, Young Guns (Go For It), debuted at number 87. The future of their career was in jeopardy.

We probably wouldn't have had a third single if Young Guns hadn't been a success, to be honest.

"Getting on [the children's TV program] Saturday Superstore was one of the major turning points. We climbed to just outside the top 40 as a result of that. Then, famously, Top Of The Pops needed a replacement after someone dropped out, so we were asked to step in. That performance was crucial in every way. Everyone in those days watched Top of the Pops, so the next day a new act would be a topic of conversation. ".

Wham in concert
As "Whammies" and "Durannies" battled it out to see which band had the sexiest members, the pair quickly gained notoriety as pin-ups.

"When I told my dad we'd been offered a record contract, his response was, "That's very nice, Andrew, but when are you going to get a proper job?' But since our success happened so quickly, those doubts were quickly allayed.

"At the Lyceum for [Capital Radio program] The Best Disco In Town, we gave our first performance in front of a crowd that was clearly a Wham fan base. I do recall being taken aback. The response was very different from what we might have expected in a Kettering basement disco. ".

Wham followed by paparazzi in the 1980s
As a party animal, Andrew developed a reputation.

With stories about "Randy Andy's" one-night stands, fast cars, and nose jobs, Andrew quickly established himself as a regular on tabloid front pages.

"The Sun made up a story about me seeing two Page Three girls, and they had a picture of the two girls posing with a cardboard cut-out of me - of course, I'd never met them," the author of the article said.

Furthermore, they could get away with it. They acted and behaved absolutely freely. ".

In his memoir, Andrew claims that the attention placed on his extramarital affairs served to "take the heat off" his bandmate, who had come out to him privately in 1983 but was concerned about a homophobic backlash if the public learned about it.

The songs that were created for Fantastic [Wham's debut album] are solid pop songs. The writing in Bad Boys is excellent, but George detested it. He was writing according to a formula, so I understand why he hated it.   .

"However, he wrote Wake Me Up in just eight months, and it represented a quantum leap in terms of sophistication, songwriting, arrangement, and production. entire nine yards. The gravy was simply different.

"I feel like his songwriting was liberated by Wake Me Up. He realized that he could pretty much do whatever he wanted. ".

I'm Your Man is my favorite Wham song. It exudes such an ancient energy.

It was the first Wham song with solely sexual lyrics. That subject predominated our lives at the time. Additionally, it expresses musically the same vigor and excitement that the sex most likely did.

A coming-of-age story, I'm Your Man. George underwent a significant transformation once he started to believe in his skills. He developed an inner confidence that he had been missing when we were children. ".

Wham in China, 1985
The first Western pop group to tour China was Wham in 1985.

We fulfilled all of our goals when we toured China and the US in 1985 and our album debuted at number one in the US.

"And I, for one, had had enough of the results of our success. A break held no fear because some of them were, in my opinion, unwanted and undesirable. ".

George contributed to Andrew's solo album after Wham, and Andrew joined his bandmate on stage for the 1991 Rock In Rio Festival.

Before fading from view, Andrew put out one solo album in 1990, titled The Son Of Albert. In order to raise money for the suicide prevention organization Papyrus, he is currently preparing to cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End.

It's a lot of work trying to get them played [on radio], but I suppose I could, when people ask me if I still write songs.

Songs must be sung and heard, preferably as an entire listening experience. There isn't nearly enough listening going on as there is far too much music being heard. ".

Despite their fierce rivalry in Scrabble, George and Andrew remained friends up until his passing in 2016.

Did either of us play the word "Wham?" I don't believe we ever had the letters, but we would have tried because getting a W on a triple letter is a good score.

. "

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