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Martin Kemp reveals George Michael wasn’t a fan of Do They Know It’s Christmas

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Martin Kemp reveals George Michael wasn't a fan of Do They Know It's Christmas

It was written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to reports of the famine in Ethiopia, and raised £8million for charity within the first year of its release. 

But Martin Kemp, 60, has revealed that George Michael wasn’t a fan of Do They Know It’s Christmas, because he thought the lyrics were ‘too down.’ 

The singer is set to share memories of his late friend and Wham! bandmate in an upcoming radio special called ‘George Michael: 5 Years On‘ airing on Christmas Day.

 

No way! Martin Kemp, 60, has revealed that George Michael wasn't a fan of Do They Know It's Christmas, because he thought the lyrics were 'too down' (Pictured in 1984)

No way! Martin Kemp, 60, has revealed that George Michael wasn't a fan of Do They Know It's Christmas, because he thought the lyrics were 'too down' (Pictured in 1984)

No way! Martin Kemp, 60, has revealed that George Michael wasn’t a fan of Do They Know It’s Christmas, because he thought the lyrics were ‘too down’ (Pictured in 1984)

Speaking on Greatest Hits Radio, Martin shared his memory of recording the star-studded Christmas song Do They Know It’s Christmas.

He recalled: ‘I remember clearly talking to George at Band Aid before we went in and recorded the vocals. He wasn’t very happy with the words. I think he was in Wham! mode at that time, and his head was full of happy pop songs.

‘He didn’t like the words that Bob and Midge had written for the song. He thought they were too down.

‘It was only later after we recorded it and listened to it that he really appreciated that. Listen, it takes a big man to accept it sometimes.’      

Iconic: The song was written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the famine in Ethiopia

Iconic: The song was written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the famine in Ethiopia

Iconic: The song was written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the famine in Ethiopia

And it wasn’t just George who was wrong about a song, with Martin admitting his first impressions of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go were way off.

Speaking about the first time he heard the Wham! hit, Martin shared: ‘I remember clearly the first time I ever heard that. Shirlie and I had to drive round to his house because I left my jacket there the day before.

‘When I knock on the door, he says to me, ‘Martin before you go anywhere, come upstairs I want to play you a new song.’ We go up to his bedroom and on the tape recorder he plays the demo of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’.

'Worst thing I've ever heard!' It wasn't just George who was wrong about a song, with Martin admitting his first impressions of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go were way off

'Worst thing I've ever heard!' It wasn't just George who was wrong about a song, with Martin admitting his first impressions of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go were way off

‘Worst thing I’ve ever heard!’ It wasn’t just George who was wrong about a song, with Martin admitting his first impressions of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go were way off

‘I say all the things that are right that you should say like ‘This is brilliant, it’s going to be a great song. You’re going to do really well with it, it’s going to be a smash.’ Then I say goodbye to him, get my jacket and I go.

‘I sit next to Shirlie in the car and I said to her, ‘Shirl, he just played me the new song Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Listen I think it’s going to sink. I think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard.’

Thankfully Martin was proved wrong, as the song went on to become the band’s first UK and US number one hit, selling over 2million copies in the US alone. Martin said: ‘Anyway what do I know, good job I’m not his manager!’   

Generous: Speaking in the specially recorded radio programme, Martin also shared details of George's incredible generosity and fondness of the festive season (Pictured in 2005)

Generous: Speaking in the specially recorded radio programme, Martin also shared details of George's incredible generosity and fondness of the festive season (Pictured in 2005)

Generous: Speaking in the specially recorded radio programme, Martin also shared details of George’s incredible generosity and fondness of the festive season (Pictured in 2005) 

Speaking in the specially recorded radio programme, Martin also shared details of George’s incredible generosity and fondness of the festive season.

He said: ‘George absolutely loved Christmas. Christmas in the Kemp household didn’t start until December 14th when two giant hampers would be delivered through our door from Harrods.

‘Two massive baskets full of wine and cheese and food and meats and everything you needed to have a great Christmas. This didn’t happen just once or twice. This happened for 30 years. It’s very weird today that we don’t get those hampers.

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‘When he first became this global superstar, and all of a sudden had all of this money, he wanted to share it with his friends.

Thoughtful: 'Christmas in the Kemp household didn't start until December 14th when two giant hampers would be delivered' (Pictured with wife Shirley, daughter Harley Moon, 32, and son Roman, 28 in 2019)

Thoughtful: 'Christmas in the Kemp household didn't start until December 14th when two giant hampers would be delivered' (Pictured with wife Shirley, daughter Harley Moon, 32, and son Roman, 28 in 2019)

Thoughtful: ‘Christmas in the Kemp household didn’t start until December 14th when two giant hampers would be delivered’ (Pictured with wife Shirley, daughter Harley Moon, 32, and son Roman, 28 in 2019)

‘I remember one birthday that he had, he took everybody on a DC-10 (plane). All of his friends, to Richard Branson’s Necker Island. And we spent a week there, twenty of us. Scuba diving together and building sandcastles together. I will never forget it. 

‘But he was like that, he was so generous. Not just with his money but also his time. He would listen to you if you had problems. He was just such a lovely man.’  

Listen to ‘George Michael: 5 Years On’ hosted by Martin Kemp on Greatest Hits Radio on Christmas Day between 5-7pm. 

You can listen to Greatest Hits Radio on FM, DAB digital radio, on your smart speaker, mobile device or online at greatesthitsradio.co.uk

Martin Kemp reveals George Michael wasn't a fan of Do They Know It's ChristmasSource

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