A new documentary about the successful 1980s pop band Wham! airs on Netflix today (July 5th). Wham! follows the rise of the chart-topping duo, which consisted of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.
The pair, who were close school friends, formed the band in 1981 before splitting in 1986. During their short career, they sold over 30million records, releasing hits such as ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’.
Michael passed away in 2016, leaving Ridgeley as the only surviving member of Wham!. However, the musician looks back fondly on his time in the band.
Discussing the documentary, he told NME, “The nice thing about Wham! is that it was almost exclusively a joyful and positive period in both our lives. It had a beginning, middle, and an end – so it makes a great story.”
Ridgeley added, “With George’s death, I became far more aware of how strong the affection for Wham! is, the place it holds in people’s imagination, and fondness towards the band.”
The musician cites their close friendship as the reason for their prosperity. “The documentary sets our success in the context of our friendship and how that defined Wham!. It’s our authentic friendship that marked us out as unique.”
“George is fondly remembered by everyone who knew him, and I’m pretty sure he would have liked and approved of the choices we’ve made. The good thing is it’s narrated purely in George’s voice, using archive interviews, and my own, which makes it feel intimate.”
He also believes that Wham!’s music has mass, enduring appeal. “The music’s always been played. If you consider that the first Deadpool movie featured Wham!’s ‘Careless Whisper’ quite heavily, I think it seems to be as strong a part of the popular culture as it’s ever been. The music stands the test of time and has a vibrancy and energy which appeals to Gen Z.”