George Michael’s Former Friend Talks to the Tabs

Georgemichael_2The British tabloids seem as if they’re chomping at the bit to dig any bit of dirt up on George Michael. Toby Bourke, a “former musician pal” of Michael who says the singer has ruined his career with his pot-smoking habit, claims to The Mirror that he saw Michael smoke “20 super-strength skunk joints a day” at one point. Said Bourke:

“Drugs have turned him into a stoned waster and made him depressed. Dope is his poison. Dope destroyed his will to work. When you smoke as much as George has done you simply cease to function. Cannabis has wrecked his career. All that dope put paid to it. I don’t think you’ll see much more work from him. He is basically lazy – and it is all the cannabis he’s smoked that has made him like that.”

This was when they were working together on the single “Waltz Away Dreaming,” a time before Michael had announced to the world that he was gay.


“He was stoned all the time. It was pretty much a haze of dope the whole way through the recording sessions. He would smoke skunk joints in the studio when we were meant to be working. He was easily getting through 20 joints a day. The joints were in a Marlboro box and had been rolled by one of George’s lackies. He would smoke one, take a break, then spark another one up. I remember how smelly and pungent it was when he was smoking them. But nobody was allowed to complain.”

Bourke also says that Michael was obsessed with feng shui:

“George had a big thing for feng shui for a while. It was as though he thought that V would solve all of his problems, which was ridiculous. I hadn’t heard a dickie bird from anyone on George’s label for two months, then the manager rang out of the blue and sounded really excited. I was hoping he was going to say that George was ready to get back in the studio. But instead he told me things would soon start going again – because they had feng shui’d the office.”

While it’s not clear what the most recent contact Bourke has had with Michael, it does appear that either Bourke wants publicity or he’s out to damage the singer’s reputation.

Michael seems to be doing that very well on his own, however with two recent incidents. One involved police finding the singer slumped over the wheel of his Range Rover and the other involved a three-car hit-and-run accident.

Now, I thought the singer had retired, but his website says he’s working on tracks for a new album, which is great news. Hopefully he’s using some of those feng shui techniques on his life, because it sounds like things could use a bit of rearranging.

Exclusive: Drugs Could Kill George Michael [mirror]

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  1. Randall says

    well, this may be a bit cynical, but for my money, the repetitive hammering away of the words, “joints” and “cannabis, cannabis, cannabis” “skunk+dope” again and again sounds suspiciously like ‘talking points’ in an attempt to lure the public’s mind into believeing that pot is causing GM to clip parked cars and pass out . possible, yes, but me thinks there’s some darker substances in the glove compartment and this ‘recording studio friend’ is really a cog in Michael’s Damage Control steering wheel..

  2. humarojo says

    It’s no secret that George is a bit of a stoner… He even admits it publicly. On tape. Check out this nugget from a BBC doc:

    “I think from then on I was recovering and I started recording “Older” and it was long process, probably because I was so stoned….”

  3. Linear says

    After the boring snore that was GM’s last album, and his recent public incidents/behavior, I think he’s about to slip into The Michael Jackson Celebrity Mess Zone.

  4. Marco says

    Yeah, getting stoned really hurt the creativity of Bob Marley, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Tricky and just about every other artist under the sun.

  5. Jonathon says

    Don’t blame it on the dope, honey.

    George’s career has taken a nosedive because of his habit of getting arrested in very embarassing ways. I expect that he lost some of his straight fan base when he was arrested for having sex in a public bathroom. His further arrests (and the latest incident with crashing into parked cars) haven’t helped either.

    I also don’t believe that he is smoking 20 joints a day. Unless it’s spliffed (mixed with tobacco), that would be an awful lot of pot. I don’t think that he could even function at all if he maintained that sort of habit.

    I agree somewhat with an earlier poster who suggested that perhaps this whole “dope” thing is being used to cover up something more nefarious.

    His career might pick up again if he actually could produce something listenable. ‘Father Figure’ was pretty crappy, in my book, and I can’t recall much else he did solo that I enjoyed.

  6. Shirley says

    I was fortunate enough to work with George on a live MTV interview special a few years back — followed by him inviting 2 or 3 of us out to dinner with him & his partner Kenny that night.

    They were charming & delightful & wicked fun to gossip with. Nobody was in a drug haze, nobody was fucked up — the whole day & evening were quite lovely.

  7. humarojo says

    Don’t blame it on the dope? Come on. Sure pot has helped to “creatively influence” myriad pop music figures, but in George’s case, it’s clearly hurting him: He’s admitted that smoking pot negatively affected recording of one of his albums, he was arrested for Class C drugs (which includes pot) passed out in his car, and is now being investigated for hitting three parked cars. I don’t think one hits three parked cars without being under the influence of *something*. Given his recent track record, I doubt he wasn’t high when that happened.

    I’d also argue he recovered pretty well from the 1998 arrest for “engaging in a lewd act” with his reactionary single “Outside”. That song was such a public relations coup for him, however lost its intelligence was on an American audience, mainly because George’s stateside career was pretty nonexistent before the “lewd act” arrest. His last major American hits can easily be tagged to the early 90s.

  8. Chad Hanging says

    Not sure why his last album is always panned. It’s not his greatest but it was good. When I’m into an artist I recognize any effort in the context of their entire body of work. It would have been better received if he hadn’t taken so many years in between albums and isolated himself from promotion and the world in general. Particularly by people either never liked anything he did or seem to be downright giddy at each of his public foibles. I once asked a friend from Britain how they were receiving it there and she said it was successful but not overwhelming because there was a perception that it was geared towards an American audience. I was surprised by this but if that’s the case and he wrote it with American in mind it makes it an even more biting album lyrically with songs like John and Elvis Are Dead, American Angel and Shoot The Dog which to my knowledge is the most wicked comment on the relationship between Bush & Blair to date.

    And so what of this dope allegations? It’s not like he hasn’t admitted to that and worse. He’s written about it in his music. He’s an artist for christ sake. Doctors & lawyers do pot. What’s the big deal?

    It must be tough going in the Michael-Goss home. How difficult it must be for Goss to see George not only get caught passed out in the car recently but here we are again with him slipping further. Then again, didn’t Goss recently go through alcohol rehab? I wish only the best for both of them. Too bad we can’t let a day go by without ripping another gay artist to shreds.

    GTI, Hot Shot,
    He parks it there, just to piss me off.
    Bullyboy, gonna show ya who’s tough,
    I’m gonna shoot the dog, I’m gonna shoot the dog

    It’s party time, everyday
    I spent Saturday night on Novocaine
    Called the pigs, but nobody came
    I’m gonna shoot the dog, I’m gonna shoot the dog… (come on ladies)

    Nine nine nine getting jiggy
    People did tou see that fire in the City?
    It’s like we’re fresh out of democratic,
    Gotta get yourself a little something semi-automatic yeah…

    That’s why I’m always getting stoned yeah
    That’s why I’m out there havin fun again
    Good puppy, good puppy
    Rolling on over…

    The Gaza Boys,
    All that holy stuff.
    I got the feelin when it all goes off,
    They’re gonna shot the dog, they’re gonna shoot the dog.

    So, Cherie my dear,
    Could you leave the way clear for sex tonight?
    Tell him
    “Tony Tony Tony, I know that you are horny, but there’s
    somethin bout that Bush ain’t right”

    The Ayatollah’s getting bombed yeah,
    See Sergeant Bilko having fun again,
    Good puppy, good puppy,
    Rolling on over for The Man…

    I believe, I believe what the old man said
    Though I know that there’s no lord above
    I believe in me, I believe in you
    And you know I believe in love
    I believe in truth though I lie a lot
    I feel the pain from the push and shove
    No matter what you put me through
    I’ll still believe in love
    And I say

    Cherie Baby, Spliff up
    I wanna kick back mamma
    And watch the world cup with ya baby
    Yeah, that’s right!
    We’re getting freeky tonight
    Stay with me tonight
    Let’s have some fun while Tony’s stateside
    It’s gonna be alright
    It’s gonna be alright
    See Tony dancing with Dubya
    Don’t you wanna know why?


  9. Pickled says

    Jonathan, you are amazing. Please go back and Listen to “Older”, which should have been album of the year. Ah celebrity, we love to see them fall. Frankly, I can care less as to what it is keeping George in auto accident frenzy mode. I remember years ago watching this MTV unplugged show with George and thinking, “this guy seems depressed.” Now depression might be could for musicians..they stay home, they pout, they write some great songs. I like this guy. I think he is not only a major songwriter, but one the few great surviving tenors left. I am saddened by all this….but it can and has happened to all of us…our lives are not always pretty, but fortunately, we don’t have are private lives posted in the media everyday either. So George, get some anti-depression medication, get help and for Gods sake, get it together.
    I would remind you of the inspiration of Stevie Wonder’s music, the lyrics of Joni Mitchell, the sexiness of Jobim, the power of music…which you have, which is an extraordinary gift, given how talentless most of us are (ok, some of you are funny)…and the last recording, Patience, was pretty brilliant..some people just don’t get it.

  10. BeenThere DoneThat says

    Humarojo is right, George willingly divulged the *shocking* 20-J’s-A-Day thing quite some time ago, on more than one occasion. I’m sure lots of people ARE chomping at the bit for some dirt (I’m positively shocked that The Smoking Gun hasn’t yet acquired a mug shot or 3 to flash) but just possibly Mr. Bourke was looking for a chance to get some publicity. By any chance does he have a new release forthcoming??

    Anybody that’s been involved with GHB to any extent can surely understand its connection with the GM dramas as of late. I could relate the slumped over wheel/crashing into cars/staring blankly verbatim with exact circumstances in the lives of me and friends of mine. G is a scary, scary, S C A R E – R E E thing and I thank God on a regular basis to have met a person, at the exact same time I “met” GHB, who literally saved my life, time and time again, during the times I “blacked out” while under the influence of that drug. And to vaguely remember a couple times I was alone behind the wheel of a car, or van, and the tragedies that nearly happened… simply terrifies me. Being that GHB was found on him during the steering-wheel incident, and seeing that second picture of GM posted here, I would bet my last dollar that George is going down that exact path.

    S C A R Y ! ! ! ! !

  11. checkingin says

    Nothing new here. George Michael admitted as much in his documentary. His music’s not as good as it was though. He’s weird behavior of late probably means he’s just bored bout everything. Maybe that’s why he called his last album Boring.

  12. Steve says

    Im desparatley seeking guitar tab for “Like A Baby” and I cant find it anywhere. I love that song and the guitar in the song is awsome. thanks in advance

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