George Michael

I apologize to my IndyCar readers. The blog will return to business as normal as soon as the season starts back up but I am also a huge George Michael fan and needed to share some thoughts.

George Michael has been speaking to me since the very beginning. I really enjoyed Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go but it was Everything She Wants that made me a huge fan. Oh and the fact the the man is gorgeous and has a voice like an angel.

Cuddle up baby, move in tight. We’ll go dancing tomorrow night.”- Wake me up Before You Go-Go. 

     “Somebody told me for Everything She Wants is everything she sees.”

Pam and I were riding in the back of my parents car. We convinced them to let us listen to the radio and Everything She Wants came on. I asked my sister who sang it and she couldn’t remember. One minute later George answered when they say Wham! in the song. It made me laugh that the song answered my question and it was at that moment I became I lifelong fan oh and the fact that George is gorgeous- did I mention that?

Christmas 1985 I received Wham! The Video and everyday of Christmas break Pam, Cindi, Pat, Dave and I would dance to the videos and do our best to reenact them. We had such fun.

After that my obsession with anything Wham! just grew. Soon my entire room was filled with posters, I had books and magazines about them and my friends would call if Wham! was on the radio so I never missed a song.

In 1986 I cried when I learned that Wham! broke up.

Fortunately, George went on to have an amazing solo career, Andy also released an album as did Deon Estus, the bass player for Wham! and Pepsi and Shirley the back up singers. I still have their tapes.  It was George’s career though that I followed most closely and his songs that spoke to me.

Tonight the music seems so loud, I wish that we could lose this crowd. Maybe it’s better this way we’d hurt each other with the things we want to say.”- Careless Whisper

      “If you are the desert I’ll be the sea. If you ever hunger, hunger for me. Whatever you ask for that’s what I’ll be. So when you remember the ones who have lied who said that they cared but then laughed as I cried, beautiful darling don’t think of me.”– Father Figure

     “Take me back in time maybe I can forget. Turn a Different Corner and we never would have met. Would you care?”- A Different Corner

In 1988 I saw George in concert. It was his Faith tour. I went with Pam, Cindi and Deanna. The minute we walked through the turnstile I was crying. I was about to see George Michael perform and I couldn’t wait and he did not disappoint. I teared up again during Father Figure.  I spent way to much money on shirts and concert books. It’s safe to say I became an even bigger fan. Pam was able to sneak in her camera and we got a couple pictures.

In 1991 Listen Without Prejudice was released. This album was so completely different than Faith and not at all what I expected but after just a few times listening to it I came to love it even more than Faith. Talk about songs that speak to me.

     “Something in me needs this pain, I know I’ll never see your face again.”Waiting for That Day

     ” Whenever you want me you know that I will be waiting for the day that you say you’ll be mine.” – Heal The Pain

As the years went on George continued to write songs although not as often. It didn’t matter though I remained a huge fan and never tired of listening to his songs. In 2008 George again did a concert tour in the U.S.  I bought four tickets the minute I could and again was thrilled by George Michael. He performed many songs but hearing I’m Your Man live was the highlight for me.

“Call me good, call me bad, call me anything you want to baby. Because I know that your sad and I know I’ll make you happy with the one thing that you never had. Baby, I’m Your Man. 

It’s not unusual for me to have a private George Michael concert in my living room. I put on a DVD and watch, listen and dance to all my favorites. I just had one of these concerts on December 23rd. The boys were outside shoveling but the music was so loud they came to investigate and laughed when they saw me dancing to I’m Your Man.

I’m Your Man was the song I put on immediately after learning George had passed and the song that never brings tears to my eyes had me bawling within seconds. Christmas evening while in the middle of making dinner I took a time out for a short concert and to say goodbye to the man who always knew just what to say when I needed to hear it. He has a song for every occasion in my life and all I have ever had to do was get in my car and pick the song for my mood and I would feel better or at least feel that someone understood even if the man that understood had never met me. His songs touched me and that was all that mattered.

So I’ll close with George’s own words. As I said, a song for every occasion.

“Say goodbye don’t tell me why you had to go….

And now you’ve gone away and left me crying like a baby.

Alexander Rossi

When rumors first began that Alexander Rossi might not be returning to F1 but instead coming to IndyCar I was not thrilled. Rossi himself did not appear thrilled. He was quite public saying he was looking for a seat in Formula One and that IndyCar would be an option only if Formula One did not work out. Well as we know Rossi signed with Bryan Herat/ Andretti Autosport for the 2016 season driving the No. 98 car. I was so disappointed. There are so many talented drivers who would do anything to drive an IndyCar and Rossi gets a great deal with a great team and doesn’t seem to appreciate it. 

If you know anything about me you know I love IndyCar because of the drivers. They are the heart and soul of racing in my book and I will defend them to the end but I was having a tough time with Alexander. As the Indianapolis 500 approached I had thirty drivers I wanted to win. Some more than others but I would have been happy with 30 different outcomes. Juan Pablo Montoya was not on my list. JPM has just never been a favorite and he had just won in 2015. I was hoping to see someone new. Ryan Hunter-Reay was also not on my list. While many say he is great with fans that has just not been our experience. RHR won in 2014 so he already had his win, I was hoping he wouldn’t repeat. The third driver I did not want to win was Alexander Rossi. Rossi just didnt seem to understand how special IndyCar is and especially what winning the 500 means. This was the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. I wanted someone to win who truly understood what an honor that would be. I wanted Marco Andretti to win, or Helio Castroneves make history with a fourth win, or A.J. Foyt’s team win at the place that made A.J. a household name. It was an amazing race and while it was won on fuel strategy it kept us guessing until the last second. In the end it was Alexander Rossi that took the checkered flag. I’m always disappointed when the race is over simply because the race is over but this year the 100th race was over and one of the three drivers I didn’t want to win had just won. Wow! It took me awhile to wrap my head around that. 

Rossi did seem very humbled and shocked by the win and I began to soften on my feelings towards him. As I said I will always defend my IndyCar drivers. This post is about the closest I will come to saying anything bad about the drivers and I’m actually struggling to write this. I’m a diehard fan and love the sport, I want to like the drivers. Listening to the radio conversations between Rossi and Herta also made me like Rossi a bit more. As the season progressed and I adjusted to the fact that Rossi had won I became more accepting. I began to feel that if Rossi stayed in IndyCar I would be much happier about his win. At Road America the boys and I were able to meet Alexander. We got his autograph and a picture and I asked him point blank do you plan to stay in IndyCar. He was vague in his answer saying he didn’t know. I said that I hope he does which was true, part of the reason I’m not a big Montoya fan is because he won the 500 and left for NASCAR.  I want our drivers to stay in IndyCar but especially our 500 winners. 

As the season went on it seemed more likely that Rossi would stay in IndyCar. Rumors even went around putting him in a Penske car. Turns out Josef Newgarden got the Penske ride and Alexander Rossi would be staying with Andretti Autosport. There is still some speculation as to who will call his races as many are suggesting that Bryan Herta will be calling Marco’s races. Either way I’m thrilled that Rossi is staying in IndyCar. 

On Wednesday the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the unveiling of the Borg-Warner trophy complete with the newest winners face on the trophy. I tweeted Alexander that morning saying he must be having a good year as he made the front of the Nolen Christmas card. He responded with in minutes and that my friends is what I love about our IndyCar guys (and gals). I guess he does have what it takes to be one of the best. Talent, a great personality and an appreciation for the fans. Watching the live videos (Watch here And here) also showed how much he did appreciate winning and how daily he is learning what a true honor it is to have won such a prestigious race. 

I would be thrilled if Alexander won the Indianapolis 500 again and would also like to see him on the Nolen Christmas card. He has become a favorite for sure.