George Sends More Smoke Signals

George Michael marked the beginning of another tour by telling viewers of a TV chat show the world would be a better place if more people smoked cannabis.

In a pre-recorded interview with Michael Parkinson, which ITV 1 aired on the evening of his sold-out opening show at Aarhus soccer club’s NRGI Park, he made what some sections of the print media called "a series of startling confessions."

He put his erratic behaviour down to what he described as his attention-seeking and "self-destructive" impulses, apparently brought on by the death of his mother a decade ago.

The former Wham! star is due for sentencing at London’s Brent Magistrates’ Court May 30th, just a few miles away from the new Wembley Stadium he’s due to play June 9-10, after pleading guilty to driving while unfit through drugs.

He was arrested after being found asleep, slumped over the wheel of his Mercedes at a busy northwest London intersection.

Passers-by called police when the traffic lights changed to green and Michael’s car didn’t move, blocking the way of other cars traveling along Cricklewood Lane and Hendon Way.

He told Parkinson the incident was caused by his dependency on prescription drugs and his tendency to chase one with another to counter the side effects.

The 43-year-old star has developed a knack for having his TV interviews coincide with the beginning of a run of high-profile shows, although there’s evidence that suggests his attitude is changing a little.

Last October, a fortnight before his first U.K. shows in 15 years, he was on "The South Bank Show" and said he wished he was not in the news so much for the wrong reasons.

"I hope my future is very different. I hope I learn to shut my mouth. I should learn to shut my mouth and sing. That would be clever," he explained.

On May 18th he seemed more resigned to accepting that success means sometimes succumbing to tabloid hell, telling Parkinson’s viewers, "I think that the sex I have is worth being in the paper for," referring to much-publicized incidents including being caught cruising on Hampstead Heath and being arrested for propositioning an undercover policeman in a Los Angeles public lavatory.

In terms of performance, several European promoters rated Michael’s 2006 tour as one of the highlights of the year. His current run, also promoted by London-based Marshall Arts, shows no signs of being any different.

"It was a thrill to have been promoting such a great performer," Kim Worsoe of Copenhagen-based International Concert Organisation told Pollstar after Michael sold out May 18-19 at the 33,000-capacity Danish soccer ground.

The tour moved on to Budapest Nepstadion, Bratislava Stadium, Sofia Lokomotiv Stadium, Bucharest National Stadium and Prague Strahov Stadium.