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Friday, October 19, 2012

Interviewing Michael Jackson: My 3 Hours with the King of Pop

Interviewing Michael Jackson.

 It's easy to judge based on the image of a person. It's even easier when we don't "know" them personally. We draw conclusions based on what the popular media tells us and surprisingly it has a profound effect on us. Having been in broadcasting for over 20 years, I can attest to the power of media. If we tell you the sky is falling long enough and put enough "experts" on the air, you're eventually going to buy into it.
This is exactly what happened to Michael Joseph Jackson!
After hearing all the news and seeing all the "experts" talk about the greatest entertainer of all time, I felt compelled to write about the "Man in the Mirror." It amazes me that people can get on TV that have had NO interaction with the King of Pop and draw conclusions on who or what he was.
In the summer of 2008, in a very plush section on Beverly Hills, I had a chance to sit down with Michael Jackson one on one for an exclusive interview. We'd been working on getting this interview for well over two years. To put in gently, Michael was gun shy over the media and didn't trust them and when you look at what "we" did to him how could you blame him? We went through the seven gates of hell in order to get a one-on-one with this kind, gentle man. We had to sign waiver after waiver and when it was all said and done, the date, time and location was set.
We were putting together an MJ retrospective that would be broadcast on many major radio stations across the county and around the world. We were told we would have 30 minutes with the King. Now I must admit preparing for the interview I was worried because the "Ryder" as it's called in show business was unlike anything I've ever seen. Basically a "Ryder" is a list of wants, desires, dos and don'ts on behalf of the artist. After reviewing it, I thought for sure I was going to come face to face with the biggest freak of them all.... Oh how wrong I was!
The "Ryder" basically said we had to be 10 feet from MJ at all times, we couldn't touch him, we had to take our shoes off and put "booties" on our feet, we were not allowed to give him anything, we had to sanitize our hands before entering the room and the one that really got us was that we had to refer to him as "King Michael"! So imagine reading this and thinking to yourself of how you're going to pull off a legitimate interview without coming across like an ass! The King Michael.. Get real! What's worse, this wasn't a joke! This was a real document that we had to sign with penalties in excess of a million dollars if we broke the "rules of engagement"!
The night before the interview my entire team was talking about what it was going to be like? After all my crew were seasoned broadcast professionals. We've interviewed everyone from Super Bowl champs to the president and never gone through anything like this before. Needless to say we were a little worried and nervous if we were going to be able to pull it off, especially after going through all the trouble to get the interview!
We were asked to be at the interview location at noon. We were given a room number and a "code" to get through security. By the way, the code... "MJJITK". To this day we still don't know what it means.
After a twenty-minute search of our bags, briefcases and persons we were lead into a room. It was a medium-sized room with gorgeous furniture, classical music playing softly and the drapes closed tight with all the lights on. We were told "Mr. Jackson would be right in". When the security chief told us that we were taken aback. We had just went through a security check more intense then the Secret Service gives when interviewing a president and now we're left alone in his main sitting room waiting for the man himself.
About 15 minutes into the wait, we could hear MJ talking and laughing. He was asking about one of his children and whomever he was talking to was telling him about the child running after another sibling and getting mad because they couldn't catch up. He found that funny and the laughter that came from him was laughter from the soul.
The giggling fainted off and we heard a cough and from the left side of the room which lead to the master bedroom, Michael Jackson appeared by himself dressed in black jeans, a red t-shirt, his hair perfect and very little make up. As he approached we all stood up and the first words out of his mouth was, "Hello, I'm Michael Jackson", he voice so soft but yet with authority.
After the nervous introductions he asked us where he wanted him to sit. I told him anywhere would be fine. He asked if we wanted anything and we declined and thanked him for the opportunity to have a one on one conversation and he did something that totally blew me away. He thanked me for taking the time to come and visit with him. I was floored at that moment. I knew this man wasn't anything like the "Ryder" or the press played him to be. Before me was the most talented man in the world with a heart just as big and soul to match.
We started the interview and it was a typical interview with the basic question on his career and where he's been and where he's going. He took his time with every answer giving honest open answers. During the interview he laughed, joked, made fun of our audio tech because he was wearing a UCLA hat and always looked me in the eye.
I knew we only had thirty minutes so I set the pace and completed the interview with 4 minutes to spare. I thanked him for the interview and he asked me if I had somewhere to go. I told him we were going to see some of the sites and what come out of his mouth next shocked us all. He said that we didn't have to rush off; he had some questions about broadcasting that he wanted to know if we could answer. The King of Pop, asking us to stay.
Of course we did and our conversation went from radio stations and why they play the music they do to the promotions to our kids to his kids to his childhood, our favorite food, his favorite food and everything in between. It was like talking to a best friend that you haven't seen in years. He was relaxed, very open, at times emotional, which in turn made us emotional because of his pure honesty over delicate subjects.
About two hours into our meeting, a man walked into the room and informed MJ that he needs to wrap it up because he has another interview within the hour. He turned to the huge brick of a man and said, "They can wait, they can't do the interview without me."
This brought us to a discussion that makes me want to slap everyone who trash talks this man and gives opinions over media reports instead of the truth. He looked down at his shoes with his legs shaking as if they were dancing in tempo and asked us if we ever felt like a prisoner? He went on to say that all of his life he never had the chance to do anything for himself; he always was made to have someone else do it. Even at 49 years old he still had the chains of his childhood bound to him in a way that prevented him from being anything other than the King of Pop.
Three and half hours had passed and the whole time I was praying that our audio guy was recording every second of what is without doubt the highlight of my career. A middle-aged woman walked into the room and said, "Michael one of the children cut open a knee while playing". His response was genuine and I'll wait until I post the audio to let you hear it for yourself! He was truly an amazing dad that loved his kids!
As we were saying our goodbyes he gave us his personal email address and asked for ours. We had some memorabilia we bought in Hollywood and asked if he would sign them. He asked were we got it and we told him we had just bought it and he said "no-no that won't work" and called for one of his staff. He instructed the staffer to give us our money back for everything we bought and to assemble gift bags for each of us plus our spouses and children and then he signed everything we had and we said our goodbyes. As he went around the room saying goodbye I couldn't get over how real this man was. He was grateful that we took the time to stop by. He got to me and I extended my hand and then I thought of the "Ryder" and all the money I was going to have to pay if I touched him and before I could say anything he hugged me and whispered in my year that it was a great interview and thanked me for not bringing up the scandal with the allegations of sexual misconduct with a child. I had chills from the tip of my hair to my toes and just like that he was gone!
Twenty minutes later a man came into the room to escort us out and he had a cart full of MJ memorable that included jackets, more signed 8x10's, cd's, dolls, DVD's and so much more. 22 bags in all well worth six to seven hundred dollars apiece and then he handed each one of us an envelope that had the money we paid for the merchandise.
I know this story doesn't go into the details of what we talked about. We're working on getting that transcribed and a link to our site so you can listen for yourself what we experienced and by the way our audio man got it all!
Michael Jackson was the most real, honest, loving human being I've ever met. He wasn't a monster, wasn't a freak, didn't look that weird, had the gentlest of souls and cared about his fellow man. When you read the transcripts or listen to the raw audio you'll hear a man that wants to change to world and make it a better place but what he doesn't realize is, he already has and that comes to proof in death more than life.
He wasn't anything like the media made him to be. Yes he was small and looked fragile but looking back I don't think he could have been anything less because of the world he had to live in. The man had every move he made investigated under a microscope his entire life. He didn't have a childhood, never had the real love of a woman of the freedom to be a man.
His children were his life. If the months after the interview he would email me and I would email him and he always talked of his kids and how much they meant to him. He would talk about the tour he was planning in London and how he hoped to pull it off and if he did how it would impact his kids. He was always worried about his actions and how it would affect his children. He talked about getting in shape and how he was looking onward to getting back on stage one more time.
When the news of his death went worldwide I was sad and cried like I had lost my brother. To know him was an honor.
The media and what they've done and said about him since his death makes this interview so much more special to me. I laugh when they say the things they do because they never had the chance to know the man, not the legend but the man.
I had my doubts. I didn't believe he was "innocent." I thought he was a freak and thought this interview was going to be the biggest cluster and a chance to say.. "yea.. He's weird all right".. but instead I found a angel from heaven that God gave us for a short time to open our eyes to the good in all of us and what can happen when a select few take the spotlight and twist it to make him look dark and evil when all along his wings were spread never giving up the will to fly away!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Michael Jackson Battle with Lupus and Vitiligo


Pictorial Observation
In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, questions still linger. Among many is the debate about Michael's Vitiligo disease versus skin bleaching. (Undoctored) Pictures never lie, but often times, they can be misinterpreted. This hub contains a pictorial of Michael Jackson's struggle with his skin.
To the right is a photo copyrighted by that shows the advanced stages of the disease, as he filmed They Don't Really Care About Us in Rio de Janeiro in 1995. This picture depicts splotches on Michael's arm and his chest. Makeup or video touch up effectively covers these disfigurations in the actual video.
Vitiligo apparent on the chest and arms.
Vitiligo apparent on the chest and arms.
  Next is a photo of teen Michael Jackson. You may notice the discoloration beneath his right eye. Michael was plagued by acne as most teenagers were. The next picture shows the left arm, freckled and white. The last picture shows Michael's right hand and fingernails. The fingernails indicate that Michael wasn't in good health.  
Discoloration beneath the right eye.
Discoloration beneath the right eye.
 Some have speculated that his fingernails are darker because he couldn't bleach beneath his nails. This is a fallacy because black people, such as I am, have flesh, or whitish skin beneath their nails, on their palms and the bottoms of their feet. When I first noticed Michael's nails, I was shocked to see odd coloring. I'm in the midst of researching theories and causes for his nail discoloration. 
Blotchy right arm.
Speckled hand & unhealthy nails.
Speckled hand & unhealthy nails.
  Michael Jackson's close friend, who is also a doctor, Deepak Chopra, told on June 27, 2009 that Jackson suffered from Lupus and Vitiligo. Michael had explained to Oprah in a 1993 interview that he wasn't trying to be white. He said he didn't bleach his skin, and he had a disease that came from this father's side of the family. He didn't name the disease, but he insisted to Oprah that he used makeup to cover the ever-present blotches.
Corroboration of Michael's statement comes from his makeup artist of over twenty years, Karen Faye, who states in the video below that she used makeup to even out his skin. In the video, she said they used to match his color to brown until the white blotches overtook him, and it became an easier process to make the brown white.
To the right are other sufferers of the disease. A prominent newscaster, Lee Thomas also battles with Vitiligo. He calls it a degrading disease. Other stars with the disease: 
Another sufferer of vitiligo.
Another sufferer of vitiligo.
White spot beneath his neck.
White spot beneath his neck.
There are other sufferers of the disease. A prominent newscaster, Lee Thomas also battles with Vitiligo. He calls it a degrading disease. Other stars with the disease:
· Tempest Bledsoe
· Doc Hammer
· John Henson
· Big Krizz Kaliko
· Thomas Lennon
· Hedvig Lindahl
· Joe Rogan
· J.D. Runnels
· Sisqo
· Rasheed Wallace

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Michael Jackson Moonwalk Motown 25

Michael Jackson:

“‘The Motown 25 show had actually been taped a month earlier, in April. The whole title was Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, and Forever , and I’m forced to admit I had to be talked into doing it. I’m glad I did because the show eventually produced some of the happiest and proudest moments of my life.

As I mentioned earlier, I said no to the idea at first. I had been asked to appear as a member of the Jacksons and then do a dance number on my own. But none of us were Motown artists any longer. There were lengthy debates between me and my managers, Weisner and DeMann. I thought about how much Berry Gordy had done for me and the group, but I told my managers and Motown that I didn’t want to go on TV. My whole attitude toward TV is fairly negative. Eventually Berry came to see me to discuss it. I was editing “Beat It” at the Motown studio, and someone must have told him I was in the building. He came down to the studio and talked to me about it at length. I said, “Okay, but if I do it, I want to do ‘Billie Jean.’” It would have been the only non-Motown song in the whole show. He told me that’s what he wanted me to do anyway. So we agreed to do a Jacksons’ medley, which would include Jermaine. We were all thrilled.

So I gathered my brothers and rehearsed them for this show. I really worked them, and it felt nice, a bit like the old days of the Jackson 5. I choreographed them and rehearsed them for days at our house in Encino, videotaping every rehearsal so we could watch it later. Jermaine and Marlon also made their contributions. Next we went to Motown in Pasadena for rehearsals. We did our act and, even though we reserved our energy and never went all out at rehearsal, all the people there were clapping and coming around and watching us. Then I did my “Billie Jean” rehearsal. I just walked through it because as yet I had nothing planned. I hadn’t had time because I was so busy rehearsing the group.

The next day I called my management office and said, “Please order me a spy’s hat, like a cool fedora – something that a secret agent would wear.” I wanted something sinister and special, a real slouchy kind of hat. I still didn’t have a very good idea of what I was going to do with “Billie Jean.”

During the Thriller sessions, I had found a black jacket, and I said, “You know, someday I’m going to wear this to perform. It was so perfect and so show business that I wore it on Motown 25 .

But the night before the taping, I still had no idea what I was going to do with my solo number. So I went down to the kitchen of our house and played “Billie Jean.” Loud. I was in there by myself, the night before the show, and I pretty much stood there and let the song tell me what to do. I kind of let the dance create itself. I really let it talk to me; I heard the beat come in, and I took this spy’s hat and started to pose and step, letting the “Billie Jean” rhythm create the movements. I felt almost compelled to let it create itself. I couldn’t help it. And that – being able to “step back” and let the dance come through – was a lot of fun.

I had also been practicing certain steps and movements, although most of the performance was actually spontaneous. I had been practicing the Moonwalk for some time, and it dawned on me in our kitchen that I would finally do the Moonwalk in public on Motown 25.

Now the Moonwalk was already out on the street by this time, but I enhanced it a little when I did it. It was born as a break-dance step, a “popping” type of thing that blacks kids had created dancing on the street corners in the ghetto. Black people are truly innovative dancers; they create many of the new dances, pure and simple. So I said, “This is my chance to do it,” and I did it. These three kids taught it to me. They gave me the basics – and I had been doing it a lot in private. I had practiced it together with certain other steps. All I was really sure of was that on the bridge to “Billie Jean” I was going to walk backward and forward at the same time, like walking on the moon.

One the day of the taping, Motown was running behind schedule. Late. So I went off and rehearsed by myself. By then I had my spy hat. My brothers wanted to know what the hat was for, but I told them they’d have to wait and see. But I did ask Nelson Hayes for a favor. “Nelson – after I do the set with my brothers and the lights go down, sneak the hat out to me in the dark. I’ll be in the corner, next to the wings, talking to the audience, but you sneak that hat back there and put it in my hand in the dark.”

So after my brothers and I finished performing, I walked over to the side of the stage and said, “You’re beautiful! I’d like to say those were the good old days; those were magic moments with all my brothers, including Jermaine. But what I really like” – and Nelson is sneaking the hat into my hand – “are the newer songs.” I turned around and grabbed the hat and went into “Billie Jean,” into that heavy rhythm; I could tell that people in the audience were really enjoying my performance. My brothers told me they were crowding the wings watching me with their mouths open, and my parents and sisters were out there in the audience. But I just remember opening my eyes at the end of the thing and seeing this sea of people standing up, applauding. And I felt so many conflicting emotions. I knew I had done my best and felt good, so good. But at the same time I felt disappointed in myself. I had planned to do one really long spin and to stop on my toes, suspended for a moment, but I didn’t stay on my toes as long as I wanted. I did the spin and I landed on one toe. I wanted to just stay there, just freeze there, but it didn’t work quite as I’d planned.

When I got backstage, the people back there were congratulating me. I was still disappointed about the spin. I had been concentrating so hard and I’m such a perfectionist. At the same time I knew this was one of the happiest moments of my life. I knew that for the first time my brothers had really gotten a chance to watch me and see what I was doing, how I was evolving. After the performance, each of them hugged and kissed me backstage. They had never done that before, and I felt happy for all of us. It was so wonderful when they kissed me like that. I loved it! I mean, we hug all the time. My whole family embraces a lot, except for my father. He’s the only one who doesn’t. Whenever the rest of us see each other, we embrace, but when they all kissed me that night, I felt as if I had been blessed by them.

The performance was still gnawing at me, and I wasn’t satisfied until a little boy came up to me backstage. He was about ten years old and was wearing a tuxedo. He looked up at me with stars in his eyes, frozen where he stood, and said, “Man, who ever taught you to dance like that?” I kind of laughed and said, “Practice, I guess.” And this boy was looking at me, awestruck. I walked away, and for the first time that evening I felt really good about what I had accomplished that night. I said to myself, I must have done really well because children are honest. When that kid said what he did, I really felt that I had done a good job. I was so moved by the whole experience that I went right home and wrote down everything which had happened that night. My entry ended with my encounter with the child.

The day after the Motown 25 show, Fred Astaire called me on the telephone. He said – these are his exact words – “You’re a hell of a mover. Man, you really put them on their asses last night.” That’s what Fred Astaire said to me. I thanked him. Then he said, “You’re an angry dancer. I’m the same way. I used to do the same thing with my cane.”

I had met him once or twice in the past, but this was the first time he had ever called me. He went on to say, “I watched the special last night; I taped it and I watched it again this morning. You’re a hell of a mover.”

It was the greatest compliment I had ever received in my life, and the only one I had ever wanted to believe. For Fred Astaire to tell me that meant more to me than anything. Later my performance was nominated for an Emmy Award in a musical category, but I lost to Leontyne Price. It didn’t matter. Fred Astaire had told me things I would never forget – that was my reward. Later he invited me to his house, and there were more compliments from him until I really blushed. He went over my “Billie Jean” performance, step by step. The great choreographer Hermes Pan, who had choreographed Fred’s dances in the movies, came over, and I showed them how to Moonwalk and demonstrated some other steps that really interested them.

Not long after that Gene Kelly came by my house to visit and also said he liked my dancing. It was a fantastic experience, that show, because I felt I had been inducted into an informal fraternity of dancers, and I felt so honored because these were the people I most admired in the world.

Right after Motown 25 my family read a lot of stuff in the press about my being “the new Sinatra” and as “exciting as Elvis” – that kind of thing. It was very nice to hear, but I knew the press could be so fickle. One week they love you, and the next week they act like you’re rubbish. Later I gave the glittery black jacket I wore on Motown 25 to Sammy Davis as a present. He said he was going to do a takeoff of me on stage, and I said, “Here, you want to wear this when you do it?” He was so happy. I love Sammy. He’s such a fine man and a real showman. One of the best. I had been wearing a single glove for years before Thriller . I felt that one glove was cool. Wearing two gloves seemed so ordinary, but a single glove was different and was definitely a look. But I’ve long believed that thinking too much about your look is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because an artist should let his style evolve naturally, spontaneously. You can’t think about these things; you have to feel your way into them.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012


 "The world is jealous of Africa for many centuries because it's natural resources is phenomenal. It really is. And it is the dawn of civilization. Our history, a lot of our bible history is right there in Africa. And King Tut, all those great civilizations — that is right there in Africa. Egypt is in Africa!And they always try to separate the two, but Egypt is Africa."
 Michael Jackson

Friday, September 28, 2012

MAGICAL CHILD Part 1 &2 written by Michael Jackson


written by Michael Jackson
Dancing The Dream 1992

Once there was a child and he was free
Deep inside, he felt the laughter
The mirth and play of nature's glee
He was not troubled by thoughts of hereafter
Beauty, love was all he'd see

He knew his power was the power of God
He was so sure, they considered him odd
This power of innocence, of compassion, of light
Threatened the priests and created a fright
In endless ways they sought to dismantle
This mysterious force which they could not handle

In endless ways they tried to destroy
His simple trust, his boundless joy
His invincible armor was a shield of bliss
Nothing could touch it, no venom, no hiss

The child remained in a state of grace
He wasn't confined in time or place
In Technicolor dreams, he frolicked and played
While acting his part, in Eternity he stayed

Soothsayers came and fortunes were told
Some were vehement, others were bold
In denouncing this child, this perplexing creature
With the rest of the world he shared no feature
Is he real? He is so strange
His unpredictable nature knows no range
He puzzles us so, is he straight?
What's his destiny? What's his fate?

And while they whispered and conspired
Through endless rumors to get him tired
To kill his wonder, trample him near
Burn his courage, fuel his fear
The child remained just simple, sincere

All he wanted was the mountain high
Color the clouds, paint the sky
Beyond these boundaries, he wanted to fly
In nature's scheme, never to die
Don't stop this child, he's the father of man
Don't cross his way, he's part of the plan
I am that Child, but so are you
You've just forgotten, just lost the clue

Inside your heart sits a Seer
Between his thoughts, he can hear
A melody simple but wondrously clear
The music of life, so precious, so dear

If you could for one moment know
This spark of creation, this exquisite glow
You would come and dance with me
Kindle this fire so we could see
All the children of the Earth
Weave their magic and give new birth
To a world of freedom with no pain
A world of joy, much more sane

Deep inside, you know it's true
Just find that child, it's hiding in you.

Video made  by sofurgofromashes


written by Michael jackson
Dancing The Dream 1992

Magical child once felt a twinge
A faint recollection, a memory unhinged
In the colors, the forms, the hue
There seemed a mystery with a subtle clue
Behind the wind, the storm, the gale
Within the shroud, beyond the veil
Hidden from view in a wondrous pattern
There seemed a force that he could not fathom
Its music and cadence were playful and sweet
He danced in bliss to its throbbing beat
He did not mind either cold or heat
On the mountain high was his royal seat

Strangers came and scorned his joy
With ridicule and banter they tried to destroy
What in their minds was a skillful play
With cruel darts they tried to plunder
To suffocate and strangle his innocent wonder
Fighting hard, despite their blunder
Again and again to steal his thunder
Despite their attacks, they could not break
With all their barbs they could not take
God's gift of love, which they could not fake
Not knowing his strength or what he sought to seek
They complained aloud and called him a freak

But the mysterious force just kept its hold
Magical child grew brave and bold
Diving deep into his soul
In exquisite ecstasy he discovered his role
In his Self was infinite scope
This mysterious force was mankind's hope
Piercing through that mask of Being
In that silence beyond all seeing
Was a field with a different story
A field of power, of awesome glory
With other children, if unfurled
Its tidal wave would change the world
Magical child was ready to bow
Sow the seed, pick up the plough
With effortless ease, without a sigh
Without a tear, without a cry
With silent perfection
Under God's direction
To sing together as one race
Stem the tide, transform this place

Magical children, don't worry how
Don't delay, this moment's now

from the book DANCING THE DREAM by Michael Jackson
1992, Doubleday.
Video made  by sofurgofromashes

HEAVEN IS HERE Written By Michael Jackson


written by Michael Jackson
Dancing The Dream 1992

You and I were never separate
Its just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
There is only one Wholeness
Only one Mind
We are like ripples
In the vast Ocean of Consciousness
Come, let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life
The birds, the bees
The infinite galaxies
Rivers, Mountains
Clouds and Valleys
Are all a pulsating pattern
Living, breathing
Alive with cosmic energy
Full of Life, of Joy
This Universe of Mine
Dont be afraid
To know who you are
You are much more
Than you ever imagined
You are the Sun
You are the Moon
You are the wildflower in bloom
You are the Life-throb
That pulsates, dances
From a speck of dust
To the most distant star
And you and I
Were never separate
Its just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life
Let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Curving back within ourselves
We create
Again and again
Endless cycles come and go
We rejoice
In the infinitude of Time
There never was a time
When I was not
Or you were not
There never will be a time
When we will cease to be
Infinite Unbounded
In the Ocean of Consciousness
We are like ripples
In the Sea of Bliss
You and I were never separate
Its just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Heaven is Here
Right now is the moment
of Eternity
Dont fool yourself
Reclaim your Bliss
Once you were lost
But now youre home
In a nonlocal Universe
There is nowhere to go
From Here to Here
Is the Unbounded
Ocean of Consciousness
We are like ripples
In the Sea of Bliss
Come, let us dance
The Dance of Creation
Let us celebrate
The Joy of Life
You and I were never separate
It's just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens of
Heaven is Here
Right now, this moment of Eternity
Don't fool yourself
Reclaim your Bliss

Video by sofurgofromashes

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Remember The Time raft Written On The Back Of A Clock

Remember The Time Draft Written On The Back Of A Clock, 12th August 1990

Michael’s words:

Do you remember
On that summer night
When I gave you that ring

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Michael Painted As The Lady Of Shalott Paintings by Brett Livingstone, 1994

Michael Jackson And Proposal To African Oakland Artist 1989-1992, Liza Minnelli, diamond ring, pre-raphaelites, secret girlfriends, Brett Livingstone
Lady of Shalott, Pre-Raphaelite Waterhouse painting

Tells the story of Lady Shalott who had an unrequited love for Sir Lancelot:
The work is a representation of a scene from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s 1832 poem of the same name, in which the poet describes the plight of a young woman (loosely based on Elaine of Astolat, who yearned with an unrequited love for the knight Sir Lancelot) isolated under an undisclosed curse in a tower near King Arthur’s Camelot.


I dream of you at night
You whisper in my ear
I wait for you in silence
Yet still you won’t appear

Michael Jackson Love Notes And Love Letters

 I still can feel you with me
Even though your  far above
I love you so completely
You are my only love
- 2. 14. 1991

Michael Jackson painting, Michael Jackson love letter, notes, secret girlfriends, Michael Jackson Love Letters
Painting by Bret Livingstone
Beautiful painting ~ Michael and his water nymphs...

“the girls who are over-obsessed with me, who follow me, who almost make me kill myself in my car, who just give their lives to do anything with me, to see me – they’ll do anything and it’s breaking my heart. It’s running me crazy. It’s breaking up my relationship with my girl, with my family. That’s the ‘Price of Fame’.”

This is a note found with the new song to be relese Sep 18-2012! 


A little known fact is that this artwork is a modern day remake of the world renowned painting by John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) entitled "Hylas and the Nymphs" and painted in 1897. This scene has also been recreated by other artists, most notably by Henrietta Rae. You will find photos of both these works on this website. The painting depicts a moment in Greek mythology where Hylas is lured into the spring by the nymphs. Notice the nymph pulling Michael by the arm and into the spring. Michael and Brett chose to recreate this magical and mythical scene due to Michael's own persona of peace and love. It is as if Michael saw himself in Greek mythology and immortality. What has been perceived to be a controversial painting is in fact a magical and romantic masterpiece of such depths few have understood until now.
A brief history about Hylas: In Greek mythology, beautiful youth. He was the son of Theiodamas, king of the Dryopes, and friend of Heracles. Heracles took him along on the Argonauts Expedition. When they reached the shores of Mysia, Hylas went ashore to find water. He found a spring, but the Nymphs of the water lured him into the deep. Hylas fell in love with the nymphs and remained with them to share in their powers..
"Art and music are timeless. As it crosses cultural boundries, whether in words or in images, art has the power to speak the dreams of a generation. This power must be cherished, shared, respected, and above all, used for worthwhile endeavors. I am gratified to have affiliated with Brett Strong. He, like Michelangelo, is gifted, and like that great Renaissance artist, is a dynamic visionary."
~Michael Jackson

Friday, August 31, 2012

Michael Jackson: Exclusive Liner Notes from “Bad25″

Michael Jackson: Exclusive Liner Notes from “Bad25″

Exclusive: Here’s some more info from the boxed set of Michael Jackson’s “Bad 25″ anniversary project coming on September 18th. Jackson fans should be ears up on this since we get some explanations for how the estate put the project together after Frank DiLeo unexpectedly and tragically passed away. Here’ an excerpt, plus a description of some of the unreleased songs I wrote about this morning. I’m telling you, “I’m So Blue” is one I cannot get out of my head. Very annoying, in a good way.
Excerpt: “A lot of time was spent listening to all of the recordings in the archives from the BAD era… Some tracks we found were very early recordings. They had no lyrics except possibly the chorus but more complete music tracks. Some were actually so complete that any other artist but Michael Jackson – who worked tirelessly to make sure his songs reflected his vision – might consider them finished tracks… As such, we have given a little information for each recording. As Michael wrote in a note at the time, he was determined to get exactly what he wanted on the recordings of his songs… In addition to the demo recordings, also on the “bonus” disc are the three recordings that were included in the 2001 re-release of the BAD album – “Fly Away,” “Streetwalker” and the Spanish version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” In addition, a French version of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is included along with the earlier mentioned remixes.”
It is well-known that Michael might start a song for one album, and then choose not to use it. The song would later be pulled from his vaults for possible use on a subsequent album project. “Don’t Be Messin’ Round” is an example of one such song, and how it took shape at the time of BAD. Indeed, Bruce Swedien has called it one of his favorites.
For Michael, creating a demo is how he let someone (in this case Quincy and Bruce) know what he wanted to hear in the finished recording. It also was a vehicle for writing both the lyrics and the music (since he didn’t actually write leadsheets). And because he was such a perfectionist, this really meant giving them a demo that, to most people, would be considered a finished “record” and not a demo at all as Bruce Swedien, among others, have noted. This is an example of one of those “demos.”
As noted earlier, this is a song that Michael knew could be controversial and, as a result, he spent a lot of time thinking about the story for the song and the voice through which the song should be told. The song is
about a girl whose father is a priest; she was raised in the Church and on the Bible. She gets married in the Church but decides, against the Bible, to have an abortion and she wants “Abortion Papers.” As Michael indicated in his notes, “I have to do it in a way so I don’t offend girls who have gotten abortions or bring back guilt trips so it has to be done carefully… I have to really think about it.“ This is an early example of a song with a controversial subject.
Generally, Michael’s process for creating a song would start with the chorus and harmonies first and it would build from there to include melodies and the lyrics for the verses. This piece shows a song that is clearly still a “work in progress” but with a full, finished chorus and harmonies.
Sometimes a song is written with a story in mind. In Michael’s work notes we found the story for this song – blind obsession. He described the story as “the girls who are over-obsessed with me, who follow me, who almost make me kill myself in my car, who just give their lives to do anything with me, to see me – they’ll do anything and it’s breaking my heart. It’s running me crazy. It’s breaking up my relationship with my girl, with my family. That’s the ‘Price of Fame’.”
When you listen to some early demos of songs, you can tell instantly what song it is. This is NOT one of those songs. It is an example of how different a song can be during its early stages of development from its later, finished polished version. If it were not a well known fact that “Smooth Criminal” was developed out of “Al Capone,” it would be hard to know that it had its roots in the material based on listening to this early recording.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Exclusive Michael Tells “Where I Met Lisa Marie And How I Proposed” Ebony Magazine

Source: Ebony Magazine – By Robert Johnson
Oct 1994
In the first one-on-one interview the “King of Pop, Rock and Soul” Michael Jackson granted after he shook up America with the announcement of his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late Rock ‘n’ Roller Elvis Presley, the mega star revealed to EBONY where they met and how he proposed.
Some published reports said that the couple had known each other only eight months before Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson issued a statement, saying: “My name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. My marriage to Michael took place in a private ceremony outside the United States [May 26].” She said the marriage was not formally announced because “we are both very private people living in the glare of the public media… I am very much in love with Michael. I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family and living happy, healthy lives together. We hope friends and fans will understand and respect tour privacy.”
It was their love of privacy that prompted media probes that resulted in published stories that stated the couple knew each other only eight months before beginning their romance that led to matrimony. The truth is that Michael, now 36, and Lisa Marie, 26, were just a couple of youngsters when they met in Las Vegas 20 years ago. He was 16 and she was 6. The Jackson Five, with Michael out front as the lead singer, appeared at the MGM Grand Hotel April 9 through 23, 1974, and August 21 through Sept. 3, 1974.
Michael, taking time out from his studio recording session in New York to give EBONY an exclusive interview, recalls:
“Her father [Elvis] used to bring her to catch our show where all nine of us [Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy, Maureen 'Rebbie,' LaToya and Janet, then 8] were performing. It was a real family show — the only family show in Las Vegas which allowed children to come.” He continued: “Elvis would bring his daughter, Lisa Marie. She would sit right in the front and bodyguards would be right there. Afterwards, she would be escorted backstage and I would meet her and we would talk. This happened quite often. She would come again, again and again. It was quite an event. After that, I didn’t see her for quite a while. You know, it was like ships passing in the night — hello and goodbye.”
Lisa Marie married musician Danny Keough in 1988 and two children (Danielle, now5, and Benjamin, 2) were born to this union. Differences that the couple did not reconcile resulted in a “quickie” divorce in the Dominican Republic last spring. Three years ago when he started the DANGEROUS album, which featured such hits as “Why You Wanna Trip On Me,” “Remember The Time,” “She Drives Me Wild” and “Can’t Let Her Get Away,” Michael said their relationship reached a new plateau.
“We sort of went out together. Then we would talk on the phone… I noticed that we had come closer. We went to Las Vegas for The Jackson Family Honors [in 1993]. We later traveled to Atlanta for (former) President Jimmy Carter to visit children, but no one knew that she was there with me. The brilliant thing about us is that we were often together but did not let anybody know about it. We got to see each other that way over the years. We were really quiet and comfortable with each other. That’s pretty much how the dating started happening.”
It was during this period that Michael said their relationship changed from being good friends to lovers. As a sensitive songwriter who deals with feelings that run the range of human emotions, Michael has an uncanny sense of the chemistry in writing songs. For him, that chemistry is inspiration. If you listen to the lyrics of ”Remember The Time” and “I Can’t Let Her Get Away,” in the 1991 release of his ‘Dangerous’ album, you conclude that Lisa Marie could have provided the inspiration. She certainly provided the kind of support he needed in 1993 when he was going through legal trials and tribulations.
“I was on tour and it seemed like I was in Armageddon — Armageddon in the brains,” Michael remembered. “All these horrible stories were going around about me. None was true. It was unbelievable. Lisa Marie would call. I could count my true friends on one hand. She was very, very supportive the whole time. That really impressed me. She would call and be crying. She was angry and really wanted to choke people. But really, what impressed me was earthquake day in L.A. [June 28, 1993],” Michael says with an air of excitement. ”On earthquake day, my phone just happened to be working. I was terrified — almost out of my brains. I thought the world was ending. I got a phone call that day and it was from her, right after the quake. “Later, in London, where he underwent treatment for addiction to prescription drugs, Michael said that Lisa Marie gave him the impression that their relationship was moving them toward each other in ties that bind. ”She would call me, but she didn’t always get through to me. And that made it very frustrating for her. I got all the messages… She was very concerned.”
It was after these experiences that Michael say she came to that moment when he had to say “This Girl Is Mine” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.” (Michael chuckles at the play on the words of two of his best-selling songs.) “It kind of unfolded,” he said of the moment of truth. ”We spent a lot of time on the ranch [his sprawling, multimillion-dollar Neverland] and just walked around and talked. It happened! It unfolded all natural. We could feel the feeling we had for each other without even talking about it. It was all in the vibrations, the feelings and the look in our eyes.”
After he recounted how a friendship turned to romance, Michael was asked: “Who proposed, you or Lisa Marie?” He responded: “I proposed.” Blushing at the recollection, Michael said: “Well, first I asked — I’m the shyest person in the world. I said to her — we were on the phone — “If I asked you to marry me, would you?” She said, “Of course!” Then there was silence. I said, “Excuse me, I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” he laughed sheepishly. ”So I came back. I didn’t quite know what to say. But that’s how it happened.”
Following the telephone proposal and acceptance, the engaged couple promptly met at Neverland, where the romance started. It climaxed in marriage on May 26 in the Dominican Republic, proving that love conquers all. The couple honeymooned briefly in Budapest, Hungary, where the bride shared sometime with the groom on a film location, where he produced a promotional video for his upcoming album, ‘HISTORY.’ They also spent some time doing what they both love — caring for children. They visited children’s hospitals where they comforted the young patients and distributed toys. This was a prelude to the priority they have agreed upon. The priority is not recording together, although Lisa Marie inherited her famous father’s talent for singing and his estate valued at over $150 million.” All this talk about us recording together is a complete rumor,” says Michael, whose financial worth is estimated to be over $200 million. ”The thing we want to do most is centered around children. I never met anybody who cared so much about children the way I do. I get real emotional about children. Lisa Marie is the exact same way. Wherever we go, we visit children’s hospitals. My dream is that when we go to South Africa and India, we will aid children,” he discloses. Asked about plans for their own children, he replied: ”It’s already happening.” Then the fifth born of the nine Jacksons paused and added: “I want more children than my father [Joseph] has.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Michael Jackson - HOME (rare poem by MJ)

Home gives you love to complete your life
Home gives you sunsets to warm your heart
Home gives you friendship to brighten your being
Home gives you patience to accept the truth
Home gives you comfort on a difficult day
Home gives you rainbow beneath the clouds
Home gives you hugs when your sprit sag
Home gives you faith so you can believe
Home gives you carriage to know yourself
Home gives you beauty for your eyes to see
Home written by Michael Jackson


BAD - 25th Anniversary (2 CD)

New York, NY – Epic/Legacy Recordings in collaboration with the Estate of Michael Jackson today announced the highly anticipated track listing for the September 18th release of Michael Jackson BAD25 that celebrates the legendary album and record breaking BAD tour. Featured in the deluxe package, are three CDs, two collectible booklets, and the first ever authorized DVD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD World Tour – the July 16, 1988 sold out Wembley Stadium show in London.

Filled with previously re-mastered versions of iconic hits and un-released recordings from the King Of Pop, the BAD25 anniversary deluxe edition CDs and DVD will include the following:
CD one features re-mastered versions of Michael's biggest hits on the original BAD album, including, "Smooth Criminal," "Man In The Mirror," “Bad,” “Another Part of Me,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and "Dirty Diana" arranged in the same sequence as they appeared on the original album released 25 years ago. “Leave Me Alone” was added to the album as a bonus track following its initial release and has been included on the disc.

CD two offers fans a rare listen to thirteen additional tracks, 6 of which are previously unreleased demo recordings created at Michael’s personal studio built at his then-home on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, California. Also included are all three bonus tracks from the 2001 expanded edition of BAD, the previously un-released French version of Michael performing the classic, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a high power version of “Speed Demon” remixed by Nero and the brand new remix of “Bad” worked on as an electrifying collaboration between Pitbull and Dutch DJ Afrojack.

Recordings included in this package reflect the songs and spirit of Michael Jackson’s artistry during BAD’s recording sessions and have been selected to show the different stages of how Michael’s songwriting and recording genius took shape. Some tracks are so complete that any other artist but Michael Jackson – who worked tirelessly to make sure his songs reflected his vision – might consider them finished tracks. Others are less complete but offer insight into Michael’s creative process in its various stages. Included is the demo, “Al Capone,” an early incarnation of what ultimately became “Smooth Criminal,” “Don’t Be Messin’ Around,” an example of a more complete demo, and a song initially titled, “Song Groove.” That song later became known as “Abortion Papers” which according to Michael’s own records, he spent considerable time in weighing how best to thoughtfully address something that was, and remains, a very personal and sensitive issue.
A true highlight of the package is CD three and the DVD – the never seen before live concert on DVD and its accompanying music CD of Michael’s legendary July 16, 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium. The concert is not a compilation of performances, but rather one complete show, exactly as Michael performed it for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and the 72,000 fans who were in the audience for that night’s sold out show. This show was one of the seven record-breaking nights played at the venue attended by more than half a million people – three times that many people tried to purchase tickets. The DVD was sourced from Michael Jackson’s personal VHS copy of the performance as shown on the JumboTrons during the concert. This footage was only recently unearthed and is the only known copy of the show to exist. The visuals have now been restored and the audio quality enhanced so that fans can share in the excitement of that famous night in 5.1 surround sound taken from the original multitrack recordings made that night.

In addition to the complete Wembley Show, the DVD will also contain “The Way You Make Me Feel” from Michael’s July 15th performance at Wembley Stadium. This is the only song not performed on July 16th due to the late start of that night’s show. Also included are the thrilling early performances of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Bad” from the Yokohama Stadium performance in September of 1987 during the first leg of the BAD World Tour.

BAD - 25th Anniversary (2 CD)

Includes bonus CD of additional material from the BAD sessions and new remixes
BAD - 25th Anniversary (2 CD)
Pre-Order - Ships on or before September 18, 2012
This 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's landmark album features the remastered original album PLUS a bonus CD of additional material from the BAD sessions and new remixes. It also includes an exclusive booklet which includes previously unseen photography from the BAD era.

CD one features re-mastered versions of Michael's biggest hits on the original BAD album, including, "Smooth Criminal," "Man In The Mirror," “Bad,” “Another Part of Me,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and "Dirty Diana" arranged in the same sequence as they appeared on the original album released 25 years ago. “Leave Me Alone” was added to the album as a bonus track following its initial release and has been included on the disc.

CD two offers fans a rare listen to thirteen additional tracks, 6 of which are previously unreleased demo recordings created at Michael’s personal studio built at his then-home on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, California. Also included are all three bonus tracks from the 2001 expanded edition of BAD, the previously un-released French version of Michael performing the classic, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a high power version of “Speed Demon” remixed by Nero and the brand new remix of “Bad” worked on as an electrifying collaboration between Pitbull and Dutch DJ Afrojack.

CD ONE – Original Album
  1. Bad
  2. The Way You Make Me Feel
  3. Speed Demon
  4. Liberian Girl
  5. Just Good Friends
  6. Another Part Of Me
  7. Man In The Mirror
  8. I Just Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
  9. Dirty Diana
  10. Smooth Criminal
  11. Leave Me Alone

CD TWO – Bonus Tracks, Unreleased Tracks, Demos, Remixes
  1. Don’t Be Messin’ Around
  2. I’m So Blue
  3. Song Groove (A/K/A Abortion Papers)
  4. Free
  5. Price Of Fame
  6. Al Capone
  7. Streetwalker
  8. Fly Away
  9. Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu (I Just Can't Stop Loving You, Spanish Version)
  10. Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin De Nous (I Just Can't Stop Loving You, French Version)
  12. Speed Demon (REMIX BY NERO)

CD THREE – CD Live at Wembley Stadium July 16, 1988
1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'2. This Place Hotel3. Another Part Of Me4. I Just Can't Stop Loving You5. She's Out Of My Life6. I Want You Back / The Love You Save / I'll Be There7. Rock With You8. Human Nature9. Smooth Criminal10. Dirty Diana11. Thriller12. Working Day And Night13. Beat It14. Billie Jean15. Bad16. Man In The Mirror

DVD – DVD Live at Wembley Stadium July 16, 1988
1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
2. This Place Hotel
3. Another Part Of Me
4. I Just Can't Stop Loving You
5. She's Out Of My Life
6. I Want You Back / The Love You Save / I'll Be There
7. Rock With You
8. Human Nature
9. Smooth Criminal
10. Dirty Diana11. Thriller12. Bad Groove (the Band Jam section)13. Working Day And Night14. Beat It15. Billie Jean16. Bad17. Man In The Mirror (Encore)
And Bonus Tracks Include:
1. The Way You Make Me Feel (Performed at Wembley the previous night, July 15, 1988)
2. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You/Bad (Performed at Yokohama Stadium, September, 1987)
Pre-Order Now