UFO at Manchester... some comments, 24th November 2000

I hooked up with the tour in Newcastle (Thursday 23), and since that time it has become apparant there are serious issues that need to be addressed. Detailing every incident is, I feel unecessary, but I do feel people need to calm down and focus on the real issues at hand. I personally feel it is pointless berating Michael for his behaviour, the reasons why will become clear in the following passages.

People need to know the truth! Yet, the fact is, there are two truths here. Firstly, it is true that on Friday 24 (Manchester Apollo) Michael was inebriated with alcohol, to such an extent, that he could not physically play his guitar. I've followed Michael's career for 24yrs and I've never witnessed a more inept display. He was appalling. More importantly, his behaviour towards Phil was absolutely disgraceful. He was intimidating, provocative, aggressive, abusive and (certainly for Phil) downright frightening. Now! And this is a central point, I have no desire, in any shape or form, to justify, condone or excuse Michael's behaviour over the past few days. That being so, in order to see the 'big picture', it is imperative that people know the second truth. So what is it?

Well, (at the moment) it seems that Michael is drinking very heavily. Thus, it is obvious his ability to play is being grossly affected. Moreover, the physical and psychological affect that such heavy drinking has on a person can be infintely damaging. The fact is, people need to understand that, at the moment, (it seems) Michael is psychologically and physically unwell. I say this purely to give people a wider, more objective, understanding of what is happening. Yes, his behaviour has been dreadful, but I would ask people to see the 'bigger picture' before they make rash judgements, which are based on nothing more than emotional hysteria, fuelled by misinformation.

The truth is, (and I won't go into detail) over the past few days, I know that I have been the focus of some unwarranted accusations from Michael. Thus, I, more than anybody should be annoyed with him. The fact is, we need to acknowledge that (at this moment in time) for whatever reason(s) Michael is 'unwell'. At times such as this, he needs all the love and support that is possible to give. The truth is, I pray that Michael will pull through this, and get well. It is obvious the tour is in jeopardy. Moreover, it clear that it would be beneficial to all, if the rest of the tour was cancelled. Why? The fans should not have to witness anything like what happened in Manchester. The rest of the band (especially Phil) should not be subjected to such abusive behaviour, and Michael needs to return home and get help.

Yours, in friendship,

Alan S. Walsh BA (Hons) MA

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