Wham!

Our part in pop history.

 

The Three Crowns played a small but significant part in the story of “Wham!”. Andy and George became friends the first day they met at Bushey Meads School. Their first group was called The Executive and they practiced in St Peters Church Hall  across the road and came to The Three Crowns afterwards.

They would drink coke and try and hide away in the snug as they were all under age.

On the day before he turned 18, on January 25 1981 Andy and George were in the Three Crowns when he saw a good looking  blonde girl he recognised from school. He went up and said “Hello Shirlie” and the two started talking.  Shirlie Holliman had been in the year above them at Bushey Meads. George and Andy would go out with Shirlie and David Austin from The Executive  to the Three Crowns .

After leaving school they decided to form Wham! in the snug of The Three Crowns.

 

They took the name from a rap that Andy had made up and, as George put it, “there was no point in calling yourself “Wham” if you weren’t going to have an exclamation mark!”

 

They made a demo tape which included `Wham! Rap`, `Club Tropicana` and `Careless Whisper`, and sent it to lots of record companies but all turned them down.

Andy had a friend Mark Chivers from Bushey who introduced him to Mark Dean who lived down the road from him. Mark Dean had already had some success in the music business with Soft Cell and ABC and was looking to set up his own record label. Andy gave him a copy of the demo tape and every time he saw him in The Three Crowns would go up and ask him if he had listened to it until he finally did.

He was impressed so held a series of meetings with George and Andy before signing Wham! to his new label, Innervision Records, in March 1982 and it took off from there.

Author and writer Adrian Cork explains in more detail.

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