For true pop music devotees — and particularly for those who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s — 2016 delivered a year of The Day The Music Died-level emotional trauma on a monthly basis. Like some kind of Plague Upon the Rock Stars, 2016 wiped out an entire lifetimes’ worth of legends, including David Bowie in early January, then Keith Emerson in March, Prince in April, Leonard Cohen in November and, as the year’s final fuck you — on Christmas day no less — we lost George Michael. Continue reading The George Michael Collection at Christie’s
Russell Young (born March 13, 1959) is a British-American artist. In the late 1970s, while living in London, he gained recognition photographing the early live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and The Smiths. During this period he shot portraits of Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman. In 1986, he shot the Faith sleeve for George Michael. In the following ten years he directed more than 100 music videos during the heyday of MTV.
In September 2000, while living in New York City, he began to concentrate on art and to devote himself to painting. Young is best known for his enamel, screen-print paintings on linen, which explore celebrity, rock and roll, death and history. His earliest notable works as an artist are his “Pig Portraits” – life-size Police mug shots of celebrities screened onto canvas. First shown in 2003, they proved a critical success and were exhibited in London and the United States.
Russell Young is represented by Taglialatella Galleries in NYC and you a can see a good selection of his large, glittery portraits any day, just by popping in during regular business hours. I took this shot of Young’s portrait depicting a stunning Liz Taylor at the opening reception for the launch of his new print of Jackie O. You miss so much when you don’t live in NYC.
In the October 2008 issue of Modern Drummer magazine (Todd Sucherman on the cover) you’ll find my updates with George Michael drummer, Carlos Hercules and Spencer Smith of Panic at The Disco. Read the full issue online Here.
I do a good job of keeping this on the downlow, but I am actually completely gay for singer George Michael. So, it was a thrill for me to be able to attend George’s show last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where Geoffrey and I found ourselves about six feet from the stage. Insanely gay!
George’s current tour features an out-of-control light and stage show, the star of which is the award winning, state-of-the art LED Video Screen designed and developed specifically for George Michael’s 25 Live tour. I am not fronting when I say that George’s show was so mind-blowingly psychedelic that, by comparison, it made Pink Floyd’s laser light spectacular look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree before the Holiday Spirit brought it to life.
The stage is also unique in that George’s fifteen-piece band performs behind him on a three-tier grid stage that looks a lot like the set of The Hollywood Squares. I’ve never seen anything like it. George played for three hours, with a 20 minute intermission at the one hour mark, so you can absolutely say that the tickets are worth whatever you have to pay for them, or whatever sexual favors you must provide in trade.
After the show, Geoffrey and I took our excited little asses backstage, where Geoffrey turned into a little girl and completely lost his mind after talking to George for five seconds. It was really quite adorable. I was also able to hang out with George’s drummer, Carlos Hercules, who had gotten us the sweet list action – thanks, Carlos!
And we both had our photos snapped with actor Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, How I Met Your Mother), who seems like a very sweet and hilarious person (and really cute). All in all, an excellent night out in the city!
Oh, one more thing: one of George’s longtime back-up singers, Shirley Lewis, is married to this guy!
Madison Square Garden
July 21st, 2008 SET LIST:
Fast Love/I’m Your Man
Everything She Wants
One More Try
John & Elvis video
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Spinning The Wheel
Kissing A Fool