So you think your job stocking shelves at Quickie-Mart sucks? Try being the producer and star of an acclaimed show where two of your band members are sabotaging its success. That's what happened at the so-called "George Michael Tribute Show" Gunnar told you about right here. Turns out that a wrinkled cougar and a sax-playing squatter were only part of the tale. It gets wilder and weirder.
After part one was published, the "George Michael" in question sent three more emails to me detailing his OTHER crazy band member. We'll call this dude "Oscar the Grouch" for the sake of anonymity...and legal concerns. Oscar was the band's longtime organ player. He was a great musician but made things miserable for the star and other members of the cast. As his brain fried and he went into a downward spiral, everything from the Mafia to a talking dead man was stirred into the cauldron.
Let's allow the Wham guy's emails to take it from here (edited by me for content and length).
"You think you know someone. At least someone you’ve been playing with for years. But then there are warning signs and mood swings and suicide threats that you ignore, but ultimately, you find out too late it’s manipulation and sabotage."
"Back in 2012, my organ player Oscar moved to Las Vegas to play in a show (I forget the name). He got a girlfriend and now has a kid with her along with his 7 other kids from many different baby mommas. While he was doing this show, things weren’t to his liking so he left Vegas with a host of stories about how he sabotaged the show because he is “full of truth and justice”, made it close, and the “mafia” was after him and he has to conceal his identity if he were ever able to go back. I should have listened then but his sob stories were convincing."
"Bickering about small things started becoming commonplace amongst the band by 2016. Oscar's beef with me started when I asked him to bring waters up on the stage. He said I asked him to do it because he was Filipino and he was my supposed “waterboy.” Thus, Oscar branded me as a racist. Forget the fact that he hated Mexicans and had a problem with blacks since he (his words) “lived in the hood.” His other accusations of “racism” couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, he would inappropriately talk about other races and say it’s fine because he’s Filipino and he can’t be racist."
"At the time, the band was equal pay, equal say and he demanded that he be paid more than everyone else, including me, so I asked him whose cut he wanted to take it out of. He backed down when the rest of the band told him to pipe down."
The Waterboy (Buena Vista Pictures)
Groups as famous as The Beatles and Duran Duran weren't immune to behind-the-scenes feuding. It's what happens when creative people work and play together closely. I know from all of my own years in the industry. Bring that powderkeg musician lifestyle to Sin City, and things are very likely to blow up.
"Fast forward to 2020 and COVID. The music scene died and he was crying that he was destitute and was going to commit suicide. He cried to me about being in arrears for child support and not being able to get a job. I Venmo’d him $1000 to keep him afloat, plus held a FB Live concert with donations totaling $2000. I got the rest of the band to agree to give all to Oscar as a gift."
"Then came Vegas. There were no guarantees of success and I told any of the guys coming that they come at their own risk since it’s happening during a pandemic. Oscar still came and found housing with a girl he apparently slept with once. He started coming to rehearsals with stories about how he would see a guy parked across the street and he swore he was coming to “get him”. He reminded me not to add his photos to any of the promos because the“mafia” might find him."
A replacement guitarist was found to make the band Vegas-ready, but crabby old Oscar talked so much smack about him that the dude left. Others came in and they witnessed the escalating bad behavior. Oscar fueled rumors that his boss was attracted to one of the dancers, and told others about conversations he was having with his father....who was long since dead.
Much like the situation with Sax Man, Oscar troubled his boss about living arrangements and demanded that cashiers' checks be sent to his landlord. Apparently, the mob goon couldn't find him since he was sleeping on someone's bathroom floor (?). But Oscar's madness wasn't the show's biggest problem. COVID-19 was.
"We had an investor ready to come into the show but it fell through because of COVID. When we closed, finances were in shambles and I was in arrears with some of the players (which was settled within a few months). I never took one penny during its entire run. I had another business that was able to keep me afloat. Producers get the credit for everything, but they also get the blame. That was the risk I signed up for and there were a lot of lessons learned on my end. I offered for Oscar to go home to take another gig and come back when we were able to secure funding. He refused to leave and said he would stick it out."
"When the show ended, Oscar started going around to other shows in the venue, calling me racist and lying about my financial situation, saying he never got paid. He decided to write a (Facebook) shitpost filled with so much libel it required me to send him a cease and desist letter and threats of a lawsuit."
Oscar's internet posts were just the start. He tried to commandeer the band's official Facebook page, website, and band name (which George Michael had already trademarked). Your pal Gunnar has copies of the slanderous posts, supporting emails, and Oscar's own admission that tax forms breaking down his paychecks are correct. I've also got a copy of the letter sent to Oscar by Michael's attorney, accusing him of defamation. Other members of the band have agreed to support Michaels' side of the story.
"Oscar is free to say what he wants but...he's not free to lie. Even though it was completely false, his goal was to sabotage my show just like the last one. I remained silent about this...until now".
Clearing his reputation has been tough, expensive, and emotionally draining, but George Michael is determined to bring the show back for another swing at success. That may just happen, now that the trash-talking trashcan dweller is out of the picture.
Are you done being silent about slander, libel, or gossip? Any horror stories to share about workplace violations? Have you been treated unfairly or ripped off when doing an honest day's work? Gunnar McDixie wants to know and will keep your identity confidential. Email me at email@example.com.