IT was 1983, and Joyce Gibson really wasn’t into pop music.

“I listened to ‘positive punk’ which became Goth, and post-punk stuff like Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure,” she grins. “I did watch Top of the Pops but I really preferred The Tube.

“My twin sister, on the other hand, was a HUGE pop fan. And in 1983, she loved Wham!”

This, says Joyce, is why she ended up dancing her heart out to the cheesiest of pop songs, at a Wham! gig in Glasgow almost four decades ago.

“I read your story about the gig with interest – it brought back so many memories,” explains Joyce.

“Wham! had announced their show at the Apollo in Glasgow some months previously, but I wasn’t paying attention. I did like Wham! Rap – on its first release in 1982 I even bought the 12-inch single as it was political, as I was back then.

“I also enjoyed Young Guns and that unforgettable performance on Top of the Pops. But as they captured the teenybopper audience, my interest waned.”

Just before the Glasgow show, a colleague at work told Joyce she had two spare tickets.

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“This was way before eBay where she could have made a killing flogging them,” laughs Joyce. “It just so happened that my sister, who was studying in Reading, would be home on the date in question, so I asked her if she wanted to go.

“She just about bit my hand off. However, I had to go with her.”

Reluctantly, Joyce agreed.

“We went to the Apollo that night, and although we were only 19, we felt about 90 compared to the rest of the audience,” she recalls. “I remember they showed a video of a (very staged) life at home for George and Andrew and we couldn’t hear the soundtrack for the kids screaming. I had never seen anything like it, and I’d been going to gigs for a few years by then.”

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Joyce remembers standing up on the seats and dancing to the duo’s most popular hits, including Young Guns and Wham Rap.

“There was a party atmosphere,” she says. “But one of my clearest memories of that night was when George said he was going to perform a song alone, one that he had written about a failed romance.

“This was the first time I heard Careless Whisper. The kids weren’t screaming then.

“Everyone fell silent – and of course, that song became a huge solo hit the following year.”

Joyce says she came out of the Apollo that night not entirely sure what she had just witnessed.

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“I had never felt that kind of hysteria for music, but now I understood why Wham! were so popular – George was the star,” she says. “It was obvious he was the talent. Sure Pepsi and Shirlie could dance a bit, but I’m pretty certain Andrew’s guitar wasn’t plugged in.

“George Michael was the star of the show, and he was on the brink of superstardom.”

Joyce never saw George or Wham! play live again although she left the Apollo with a newfound respect for them.

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“I was saddened by his far too early passing,” she says.

“George always seemed a down to earth, decent man and clearly was an incredibly talented musician and songwriter.”

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