Wham! should've done a farewell tour, Andrew Ridgeley shares regret

Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley regrets that he and George Michael didn't go on a farewell tour to say goodbye to their fans around the world when they split in 1986.



Wham! stars Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael
Wham! stars Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael

Andrew Ridgeley regrets that Wham! didn't go on a farewell tour.

The guitarist-and-songwriter and his bandmate George Michael performed a greatest hits set at Wembley Stadium, London, on Saturday 28 June 1986 in what was dubbed 'The Final' concert, a name shared with the compilation album that followed.

Following the show - which featured special guests such as Sir Elton John and Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon and was attended by 72,000 fans - Andrew and George, as well as backing singers Pepsi and Shirlie, went their separate ways bringing an end to five years at the top of the charts for Wham!, during which time they sold over 28 million records and 15 million singles.

Looking back, Andrew, 60, wishes that he and George - who died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day 2016 - had taken the show around the world.

In an interview with the BBC, he said: "I would have liked to tour 'The Final' to be honest.

"I felt a final tour to say goodbye to our fans around the world would have been a generous gesture. I felt it was a courtesy to them to have done that. The least we could have done, to be honest with you.

"But I also understood [George's] essential ideology behind having just one show."

However, Andrew accepts that the time was right for Wham! to split because the duo had outgrown the concept behind the group, which was first formulated when the two best friends were teenagers at school.

He said: "It was so much about us as friends and our lives together as youngsters [that] it would have restricted George's growth as a songwriter to keep writing within the parameters that Wham set.

"We'd both outgrown Wham."

Wham! are the subject of a new Netflix documentary about the band's phenomenal global success and a new singles box set, 'Echoes From the Edge of Heaven', celebrating their music is out on July 7.