The story of Dean Hamer and George Michael

Well-well! Since we are dropping names from the past, we may as well mention this one, since it was one Dean Hamer who originally recorded/copied the current batch of tapes I’m busy converting to MP3 as I write this.

Now, Dean was a bit of a peculiarity when he joined my high school class in early 1987. You see, he was fresh from the distant and excitingly exotic land called the Yooo-SA (Miami, Florida, to be more exact), and it was for that reason that he was an angry, young man: used to driving his own Honda Civic (known as the “Accord” in South Africa) to school, he was now dependant on public transportation — which was probably as bad as having to wear a uniform.

As a fellow “uitlander” it was therefore inevitable that we struck up a bit of a friendship, and that’s how I came to have copies of recordings from Power 96 and the now-defunct Rhythm 98, his favourite radio stations from “back home”.

1987 was also the year that George Michael released his controversial “I want your sex” tune.

Censorship was still pretty tight in those days. Big Brother continued to ensure that his little white sheep did not stray too far off the grassy meadow, so the single was not released in South Africa and simply omitted from local pressings of his “Faith” album.

The absurdity thereof is compounded by the fact that the song was, however, readily available on the domestic release of the “Beverly Hills Cop II” OST album — which was promptly copied for me by young Dean since he happened to be supplementing his pocket money by working at a CNA store at the time.

And there you have it.

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