It goes without saying that George Michael’s videos reigned in the 80s. But one thing always bothered me about the video for “Careless Whisper”: how he almost fell off a balcony.Around halfway through the song, his girlfriend dumps him and flies away on a seaplane. This is hilarious, in hindsight, since it’s not a very common form of transportation in Miami but maybe her destination is only accessible through water. But I digress.
The seaplane takes off, and at 3:18 George is in head-to-toe white walking along with his hand on a banister. As your eye travels to the right you notice, whoa, it’s completely open. I was three when this song came out and don’t remember the first time I saw this video. Since they filmed it in my native South Florida it’s part of that wonderful tapestry of 1980s Miami-ish videography. In my toddler-mind, my beloved George—who introduced me to the glories of neon—was about to fall off a building probably close to where I lived. This theory gains traction in the last scene as he walks around the balcony of a very tall building, in his tan-enhancing tennis whites.
As I child I blended these scenes together and convinced myself that there was a gap in that balcony and it was only a matter of time before he fell. I caught the video yesterday in a beauty salon in Santiago, natch, and realized that these were two separate buildings. Moreover, it’s likely the first location is a dock of sorts related to the seaport he rushes to before his steady flies off.
Maybe this wasn’t something worth blogging about. Nonetheless I feel incredibly relieved to have silenced that nagging feeling. And researching this video has turned up this delightful list of random facts.
And now I leave you with one of my favorite George Michael tunes,”I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (1987):