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21-08-2011, 08:43 PM
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22-08-2011, 07:41 PM
Flashback Of The Week! Dinner With Michael Jackson


About 10 years ago I had the privilege of having dinner with the "king of pop" Michael Jackson. The dinner took place at the home of our close friend's Al and Nancy Malnik. Michael was such a sweet guy and for some reason fell in love with the Dolce and Gabbana pants I was wearing. He asked me if he can try them on. Of course I was not going to deny the king of pop, so I immediately went to the bathroom and exchanged pants. Michael was so happy and excited about the pants that he kept them! In the picture shown above, Michael is wearing my pants and I'm wearing his pants.



23-08-2011, 08:32 PM

Los Angeles, CA-August 22, 2011 While Michael Jackson’s family continues preparations for a tribute concert to the late superstar, fans are gearing up for their own way to honor the King of Pop on his upcoming birthday, August 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California and in Portage, Indiana (just 15 minutes away from his birthplace of Gary, Indiana). The Way He Makes Them Feel: A Michael Jackson Fan Documentary, filmed by Joelle Arqueros, Todd Lampe and ErinRose Widner, will screen in Portage, Indiana at Portage 16 on Sunday, August 28 (11:59pm) and in Los Angeles at Downtown Independent (6:30pm) on Monday August 29, hosted by Film Courage. The documentary spotlights the deep impact Michael Jackson has made on his fans even after his passing. The film presentations will be preceded by live Michael Jackson-inspired performances, by his fans and some of the film’s stars.

Shortly after Michael Jackson unexpected death, there was an upsurge in the presence and voices of his fans that for years had been quiet. The Way he Makes Them Feel: A Michael Jackson Fan Documentary focuses on Michael Jackson’s fans worldwide, from all walks of life and backgrounds, amplifying how one man changed and affected the lives of so many in both gentle and dramatic ways, through his music and his life. The film also closely follows a select few: including Dan Seaton Brown, a renowned artist who recently sold his 144 square foot portrait of Michael Jackson (comprised entirely of soda cans) to Ripley’s Believe It or Not;


and Trevor Jackson, who recently gained attention from the media and celebrities (including Rainn Wilson) for his own incredible Michael Jackson song and dance tribute that circulated on YouTube. The Way He Makes Them Feel premiered Sunday, August 29, 2010 at the Regent Showcase Theatre in Hollywood. The film was also presented at the LA Film + Music Weekend at Laemmle Music Hall on March 25, 2011.

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Filmmaker, Todd Lampe, who is attending the screening in Portage, Indiana explains, “We are thrilled to be screening our film in Indiana, the home state of Michael Jackson. I am fortunate enough and excited to be attending this very special event, meeting admirers from all over, and honoring his legacy with the people who meant so much to him – his fans.”

Live performances inspired by Michael Jackson will also accompany the screenings, with auditions being held the week before the screenings in both Los Angeles and Portage. The screening in Portage Indiana, will be held on August 28th at the Portage 16 Imax, 6550 American Way, Portage, Indiana 46368. Live performances begin at 11pm, with the screening of the film beginning at 11:59 (one minute before Michael Jackson’s birthday). The screening in Los Angeles is hosted by Film Courage at the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 on August 29, Michael Jackson’s birthday, 7:30pm-11:30pm. Live performances begin at 7:30pm. There will be a Q&A with co-producer/director Joelle Arqueros following the screening. For more information please visit hisfans.com or email pr@hisfans.com





24-08-2011, 05:15 AM

T (http://www.facebook.com/LA.Moonwalkers)his page is for those who want to visit Michael places around Los Angeles that you may not know about. I try to research and identify new places and make them known so that we can celebrate Michael by following in his footsteps, or "Moonwalking" around LA.

I am currently looking for information on where BILLIE JEAN was filmed in 1982 - so if you know where, let me know so I can scope it out. Thanks~

24-08-2011, 05:45 AM
Flashback Of The Week! Dinner With Michael Jackson


About 10 years ago I had the privilege of having dinner with the "king of pop" Michael Jackson. The dinner took place at the home of our close friend's Al and Nancy Malnik. Michael was such a sweet guy and for some reason fell in love with the Dolce and Gabbana pants I was wearing. He asked me if he can try them on. Of course I was not going to deny the king of pop, so I immediately went to the bathroom and exchanged pants. Michael was so happy and excited about the pants that he kept them! In the picture shown above, Michael is wearing my pants and I'm wearing his pants.


http://www.lorensworld.com/Life-work/Flashback-Of-The-Week-Dinner-With-Michael-Jackson.html LOL Who Else could shop like Michael but Michael? Well I think she got a great deal out of this too.

24-08-2011, 07:52 AM
I have this book from my grandmothers collection and if I remember correctly, it's signed. (but maybe it was a different book that was signed...gonna have to look tomorrow)
Kahlil Gibran on Buying and Selling

Kahlil Gibran is the author of the book called "The Prophet". In each chapter he touches on a different area of life, for the reader to contemplate. Recently I read the following chapter:

The highlighted part moved me very much and instantly made me think of Michael. His music is food and garment for our soul for sure!

Just read and ponder these lyrics of "Heal the World"

"Heal the World
Make it a better place
For you and for me
and the entire human race
there are people dying
if you care enough
for the living
Make it a better place
for you and for me.

And the dream we were
conceived in
will reveal a joyful face
and the world we
once believed in
will shine again in grace
then why do we keep
strangling life
wound this earth
crucify its soul
though it's plain to see
this world is heavenly
Be Gods Glow"

and these lyrics of "Another Part of Me"

"We're sending out
a major love
and this is our
Message to you
(Message to you)
the planets are linin' up
we're bringing brighter days
they're all in line
waitin' for you
Can't you see....?
You're just another part of me"

When I read the lyrics of Heal the world with attention in what was really said, it hit me and I heard the beckoning loud and clear, so I wiped away my single tear, smiling at the white butterfly and graceful dragonfly that flew by in my garden, my resolve to make a difference for the better was strengthened once more. While the artist may be gone, the message lives on.
Living my life for the highest good, the well-being of the Earth, nature, the animals and the people inhabiting her, that is us!, I feel blessed and loved and I want to put love back into the world, as the world needs it so badly.
To me that is the best and most honorable way to celebrate Michael's life and legacy! :heart:
~ MJJLaugh

Michael Jackson - A Prayer

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http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/gibran/prophet/prophet.htm#Buying (http://www-personal.umich.edu/%7Ejrcole/gibran/prophet/prophet.htm#Buying)

Dangerous booket for the songtext of "Heal the World"
Bad booklet for the songtext of "Another Part of Me"

24-08-2011, 08:45 PM
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25-08-2011, 03:34 PM


As many of you know, Michael’s longtime friend and manager Frank Dileo had been dealing with serious health issues for the past several months. It is with great sadness that we share with you the news that Frank lost his long struggle this morning and passed away at the age of 63.

Frank had an amazing amount of creative energy, a huge heart, an infectious spirit and a larger than life persona that captured the attention of any room he entered. He also cared deeply about Michael, his children and his fans.


Frank and Michael became friends when Frank was vice president for promotion at Epic Records during the release of "Thriller." In his best-selling book "Moonwalk," Michael wrote: "Frank really worked hard and proved to be my right hand during the years ahead. His brilliant understanding of the recording industry proved invaluable."

Frank went on to manage the incredibly successful Bad World Tour. Even after they stopped working together professionally, the bond between Michael and Frank remained and the family friendship continued. In early 2009, Frank was reunited with Michael once again as his manager as preparations began for the "This Is It" concerts.

After Michael’s passing, Frank proved invaluable to the Executors of his Estate, sharing unique insights that nobody else could possibly have.


Said John Branca, Co-Executor of the Michael Jackson Estate: "I had the privilege of knowing Frank Dileo for more than two decades. He was not only one of the great veterans of the music business, he was a beloved friend to me and all who were lucky enough to have had him in their lives. He was one of a kind. He was a character. He was an original. We loved him, and we will miss him. Our hearts are with his family."



Our thoughts and prayers are with Frank’s wife, Linda, his son Dominic, his daughter, Belinda, his grandchildren and all of his extended family and loved ones.

Frank Dileo is Dead - R.I.P. Frank ( 1947-2011)

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26-08-2011, 08:59 PM
Farewell "Tookie"


You have to laugh at Michael Jackson’s wry sense of humor and how he was often caught hiding things in plain sight. In the movie Moonwalker, the drug dealing villain is “Frank Li Deo.” Li Deo is a classic bad guy figure with an unusual haircut and a mafioso style.


I think we can be pretty certain this is a parody of Frank Di Leo who managed Michael Jackson in the eighties and returned to manage him at Michael’s last enterprise– This Is It. There are so few truly loyal friends in Michael Jackson’s life because so many sold him out for cash and their 15 minutes of fame. But there are a few… and Frank Di Leo appears to be one of them. Di Leo was present during Michael’s darkest hours– during the 2005 trial. It is said that Di Leo was there every day.

He is not without criticism because there were those who worried about the kind of exposure Di Leo encouraged and permitted in Michael’s early success years. He certainly could play hard ball and there was more than a tinge of cynicism about him. And isn’t that just going to be true of anyone who must deal with the “Hollywood factor.” How much is enough? How far do you push the envelope? And in the “Hollywood” fashion, everything appears fickle– perhaps even loyalty.” How would one know if not living it?

Whatever happened to break up this team that once set the world and the charts on fire, in the end all must have been forgiven because Di Leo was back in Michael Jackson’s life at he end of his life. It is reported that it was Di Leo whom was with the children when they were told the awful truth about their father.

By all accounts, Di Leo was a colorful character. Bold and maybe even a bit reckless, he was a feature in the Payola scandal that clouded the early record business. He was nevertheless beloved by friends and clients when often a love-hate relationship characterizes such dealings where friendship and business acumen collide. The perpetual “cigar” was Di Leo’s trademark.

Di Leo’s career is wider than most realize. He was not just Michael Jackson’s manager; he managed many up and coming, and “arrived” stars of the music business. He produced the film Moonwalker, and after meeting Martin Scorcese during the filming of “Bad,” he was offered a role as mafia hit man in GoodFellas:

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Thanks to the fan who put this together. Nicely done.

AP Frank Di Leo Obituary Los Angeles


Music industry executive Frank Dileo, who managed Michael Jackson’s career in the 1980s and returned as his manager in the superstar’s final days, died Wednesday. He was 63.

Publicist Karen Sundell said Dileo died in the morning. The cause of death was not immediately available, but he had recently experienced complications following heart surgery.

The short, portly Dileo was a colorful figure in the entertainment industry and had movie roles as an actor, notably portraying a gangster in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas.

A native of Pittsburgh, Dileo began his career in the music industry working as a promoter for CBS subsidiary Epic Records. He signed so many stars that he was credited with catapulting the small company to the No. 2 label in the country. Jackson was at CBS Records at the time and together they worked on the phenomenally successful “Thriller” album.

In his book “Moonwalk,” Jackson credited Dileo as one of the people “responsible for turning my dream for ‘Thriller’ into a reality.”

Jackson wrote that Dileo’s “brilliant understanding of the recording industry proved invaluable” and described how Dileo decided to release “Beat It” as a single while “Billie Jean” was still the No. 1 song in the country.

“CBS screamed ‘You’re crazy. This will kill Billie Jean,’” Jackson recalled. “But Frank told them not to worry, that both songs would be No. 1 and both would be in the Top 10 at the same time. They were.”

In 1984, with “Thriller” soaring, Jackson recruited Dileo to leave Epic and manage his career. Dileo accepted and presided over one of the most productive periods for Jackson.

He executive-produced the full-length Jackson movie, “Moonwalker.” He also wrote, produced and negotiated a series of lucrative Pepsi commercials for Jackson.

And he managed two of Jackson’s concert tours — the Victory Tour with other members of the Jackson family and the Bad World Tour, Jackson’s first solo excursion which became the largest grossing concert tour of all time.

After five years together, Dileo and Jackson abruptly ended their business relationship without explanation.

Dileo went on to manage the careers of other musicians, including Taylor Dayne, Jodeci, Laura Branigan and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. He also worked with Prince on several projects.

He founded Dileo Entertainment Group in Nashville, Tenn., a company focused on launching the careers of young artists.

In 2005, when Jackson stood trial on child molestation charges, Dileo returned to his side. He later described their emotional reunion. After Jackson’s acquittal, they remained in touch and in the summer of 2009, as Jackson prepared to launch his This is It tour, the singer asked Dileo to manage him again. They were working together when Jackson died on June 25, 2009.


John Branca, co-executor of the Jackson estate, said he had the privilege of knowing Dileo for more than two decades.

“He was not only one of the great veterans of the music business, he was a beloved friend to me and all who were lucky enough to have had him in their lives. He was one of a kind,” Branca said, and “we will miss him.”

Dileo is survived by his wife, Linda; two children, Belinda and Dominic; and a grandson, Frank.


Frank DiLeo was a good friend to Michael Jackson and someone whom never abandoned a friend in his greatest hour of need. The fans have been writing that they are very sad and very upset and they send condolences to his family. I have it from credible sources that Tookie was met at the gate with a giant cuban cigar and was ushered in by an angel on one side and a skinny little Moonwalker on the other. May they both rest in peace. Another one gone too soon.

Written by Rev. B. Kaufman on August 25, 2011



27-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Love is all there is

I believe that when we pass, the outcome of that life left behind is measured, or viewed in terms of love. Because love is all there is. We came into this world with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing. So, that big house, or that funky car, or that prized collection, it all means nothing in the end. What has true meaning and everlasting value is the print we leave on the hearts of others. The love we share, the caring, listening not talking is what has value.
Michael knew that like no other and he lived his life, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts of millions. That is what I tried to show with these videos. I hope you like them! :heart:

Michael Jackson - Major Love Prayer Every 25th of the Month

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Michael Jackson - Pure Love

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28-08-2011, 09:04 PM
A Michael Jackson Fanfest in Leiden, The Netherlands

Today I went with a friend to a Michael Jackson tribute day in Leiden, The Netherlands, to celebrate his life and legacy on the day before what would have been his 53rd birthday. There were impersators; young ones and older ones, male and female and they gave their best on stage. There was a quiz with yes and no questions, leaving one winner, a lottery that also benefitted the bear forest in Rhenen. I had bought four lottery tickets and I simply never win anything. This time I won a book, a graphic novel as a biography of his life. ( It's in Dutch and will be sold through bol.com). How sweet to win a book that I just bought an hour before! So I gave it to my friend. She came to Leiden with a present for me: 6 CD's. That is being Mike-Like; living and acting in his spirit.

I tried to take pictures of one of the best impersonators: Milly Magic and the Smooth Dancers, but the pictures were too dark, moved, or a huge loudspeaker suddenly stood in the way when he moved over the stage. He did all the songs from Ghosts, Dangerous and Smooth Criminal.

It was truly a joyful and happy day, filled with laughter and it was exhilerating to be able to talk about Michael and his legacy all day with like-minded people.

Like the impersonators were of all ages, races and creeds, so were the fans, from the very young to the not-so-young-but-still-very-young-at-heart. It was beautiful to see how Michael's music and dance united us all, but through it all what really binds us and holds us together is the L.O.V.E. The message of love, hope and unity that is sung loudly and joyfully. Michael's true and everlasting legacy is his message of love. He was the messenger, and now it is up to us to live up to that message and become messengers of love ourselves. That would be his greatest birthday gift! Bless you all in the fan-community! :heart:

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Hallelujah, I am now the proud owner of the Ghosts DVD. It was apparently only released in China

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The graphic novel that I bought and then won an hour later. Such is life, win things so you can make your friends happy

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Writing paper with a Michael watermark on it. I will treasure this and only use it for someone who appreciates Michael!

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More writing paper. We received both sets as a gift at the door

And I bought two heart-shaped keychains with a lovely picture of Michael in each one. I'm a happy trouper! :happy:

29-08-2011, 08:43 PM
Celebrating Michael for his 53rd Birthday
written by Jan Carlson

One in Service

In thinking about this week’s topic, I sat down and tried to list all the ways Michael Jackson served humanity during his all-too-brief physical life … and continues to serve us even beyond.

First, of course, he gave us all joy through his music from the time he was just a little, tiny boy. That gift of joy cannot be undervalued or depreciated; it was what attracted all of us to him in the first instance. It made us pay attention. We laughed and sang and danced along for over forty years … that’s almost half a century! It’s an interesting phenomenon, but it’s very difficult to be beset by everyday problems when you’re laughing and singing and dancing, isn’t it?

Though, perhaps, communicating and channeling the joy he received through music was his first and most recognizable way of serving his fellow man, it was by far not an isolated example. Through this first and most recognizable gift, he revolutionized the recording industry, the world of physical expression and dance, the visual arts, film making and he redefined the term ‘superstar.’ Not bad for a little African American boy from Gary, Indiana. If that was his only claim for ‘servant of the millennium fame,’ it would be enough.

But it wasn’t enough for him. In addition, he taught us all how to be concerned about our brothers and sisters who suffered from famine or drought in far away, never-heard-of-before countries which do not enjoy our 21st century modern conveniences … or victims of disasters closer to home … at the same time that he was selling record-breaking numbers of records. Talk about killing two stirds with one bone, huh?

Even that wasn’t enough for him. No. He also had to pour his own time and personal assets and resources into hospital wings and burn centers and orphanages in every city he visited around the globe, personally taking toys to relieve children whose lives were too often cut short by disease or abuse or abandonment or disadvantage. He had to airlift medical supplies and viable food into war-torn areas like Sarajevo and donate over $350 Million Dollars to UNCF and Make a Wish and Dreamstreet and AmFar and the Prince’s Trust and various uncountable charitable organizations.

Enough yet? Not! No, he also felt compelled to invite these disadvantaged or catastrophically ill children into his home to offer them a few hours of carefree childhood in a safe, protected environment free of drug dealers and intravenous feeding tubes when possible, shepherding them in person throughout a fairy wonderland with ramps for wheelchair access. He suffered agonies as a result of that compulsion, but he did it anyway … because that is who he is.

I am reminded of Jesus’s words to his disciples: “He among you who would be greatest must be a servant.” And to illustrate his point, he washed their feet, the job of a slave in those households that held slaves … or a woman in those that didn’t. I think Michael filled the bill rather nicely.

And it is his example we follow when we contribute to help vaccinate children through UNICEF or to build a group home in Kenya or to any of the groups that are celebrating Michael’s birthday this week by remembering to help his children around the world … in his name … and in his physical absence. In this way, we draw closer to him in our own hearts, we show the world his message in action and we draw closer to each other.

We are One with him in service to our fellow man. And he smiles.

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Michael Jackson - August 29, 2011 (53rd Birthday)

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Note the picture at 3:11 where Stevie Wonder is taking Michael's picture! Isn't that funny ?



29-08-2011, 09:49 PM
The Child In Him

I loved the child in him
so innocent and sweet
The mischief in his eyes
the blush upon his cheek
The tender way he spoke
that showed me that he cared
The touch of his warm hand
that gently touched my hair
The smiles that we shared
that filled my life with glee
For when I was with him
I found the child in me

~ Jean Gabor


http://www.majorloveprayer.org/2011/08/one-in-service-celebrating-michael.html?showComment=1314589453322&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+majorloveprayercomments+%28Co mments+Major+Love+Prayer%29#c3788090319795215262

30-08-2011, 09:27 PM
Who Can Forget Him ?

These tributes, and others, see here (http://www.sundaytimes.lk/mj-month/9392-who-can-forget-him.html), were sent to a newspaper in Sri Lanka, the Sunday Times. The newspaper, not a tabloid!, asked fans from around the world for their positive contributions about the King of Pop. You can read some of them here:

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Most people see Michael Jackson as the ‘King of Pop’. However, he was much more! Those who were able to see beyond the music and the dance, beyond the lies propagated by the media and the slander perpetuated by the detractors and gold-diggers were blessed to know the real Michael Jackson.

And as they did, their lives were changed forever. For they realized that Michael Joseph Jackson was a poet-prophet of the modern age whose entire life was dedicated to helping and healing the world, inspiring and uniting people and uplifting their consciousness with his extraordinary art, philanthropy and life. With his beautiful, compassionate and courageous heart he stood for all that was good in a world gone bad.

He was a messenger of love, hope and peace in a world filled with hatred, hopelessness and violence. He was a spiritual guide whose wisdom awakened and continues to awaken many around the world. He was the epitome of artistic perfection and also an inspiring example of how we as human beings should be. With his remarkable faith, resilience and integrity he taught us how to carry on being the light despite the darkness around, to hold on to the highest ideals and to never ever give up.

And though their hearts and minds feel broken and shattered with the immeasurable loss, it is these admirers to whom Michael Jackson was more than the King of Pop that are now carrying on his mission of healing the world for us and for our future generations.

Ankita Srivastava,

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I still cannot, at times, think about him without tearing up. If I were to sum him up in one word, I’d call him ‘Magic.’ He was simply out of this world. The memories I have of Michael go far back. I was fortunate enough to live at a time, when Michael breathed, danced and sang his genius.

Some of my fondest memories include singing Heal the World at a charity concert, popping in the Bad cassette every day after school, staying glued to MTV for his music videos, looking forward to long road trips thanks to my trusty walkman, and of course Michael tapes, and a very special day back in the 90’s, which I want to describe a little more in detail.

It was a crisp December morning just before the school holidays, and I was making my way to class through a desolate school backyard. To the side, on my far right, stood the hostel, and music was being played. It was, ‘Will you be there’, and the song just drifted with the wind, and came to me. I was simply elated. I wish I could go back to that day, and relive that moment. It was simply magic!

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A fan who grew up in Ethiopia writes

Growing up in Ethiopia, there were not a lot of artists that influenced me. When I was five years old (1993), was my first exposure to Michael Jackson, the artist. I watched his BAD short film and I just fell in love with it. Trying to imitate him, wearing black cut out plastic bag and wearing it like a glove, and trying to do his moves (failing miserably). I drifted from him and his music for a few years but never forgot that he wrote and dedicated a song *We Are The World* for my country and all over Africa, and also raised money over $60million. After moving the United States, I started to research him and his work & what I found was a remarkably kind, generous, loving, peaceful and caring person who was a genius in more ways than one.

When the trial started in 2004, I was adamant in supporting him through and through because I believed in him. If it were not for Michael, I would not have been who I am today. I am a Social worker whose aim is to help people in need. Michael showed me through his philanthropy work that we are all humans and if we cant help other fellow human beings, then what is our purpose. I Love Michael like a father, brother, and a friend. His passing made me realize that the life I have is precious and I must make the most of it by being there for others.
I Love You, Michael, I Miss you


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In their words

"He dances with the breathtaking verve of his predecessor James Brown, the beguiling
wispiness of Diana Ross, the ungainly pathos of Charlie Chaplin, the edgy joy of a man startled
to be alive."
-- Jim Miller (Newsweek)

"What is a genius? What is a living legend? What is a megastar? Michael Jackson -- that's all.
And when you think you know him, he gives you more...I think he is one of the finest people to
hit this planet, and, in my estimation, he is the true King of Pop, Rock and Soul."
-- Elizabeth Taylor

"He wasn't ever really interested in money. I'd give him his share of a night's earnings and the
next day he'd buy ice cream or candy for all the kids in neighborhood."
-- Joe Jackson (father)

"Michael's a natural. He's a very hard worker and a super performer. But most of all, he's a real
human being."
-- Stevie Wonder

"He's not afraid to look into the worst suffering and find the smallest part that's positive and
-- Frank Dileo

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31-08-2011, 09:28 PM
A grateful Jackson disciple
By Joe Brown

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | 2 a.m.

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Erich Bergen plays the role of Four Seasons songwriter Bob Gaudio in “Jersey Boys” at the Palazzo.

When I heard that Michael Jackson had died, one of my first thoughts was of actor/singer/songwriter Erich Bergen, who plays the role of Four Seasons songwriter Bob Gaudio in “Jersey Boys” at the Palazzo. I knew Bergen would be taking the news harder than most.

When I interviewed Bergen in April, I joshed him about his lifelong love and admiration for Jackson: A search on YouTube delivers a video (made at a make-your-own-video booth at a Macy’s department store) of a 4-year-old Bergen dancing and lip-syncing to “Billie Jean,” holding a toy microphone fashioned for him by his mom; there’s also a video of the grown-up Bergen, now a polished pro, performing the song on a New York City stage. Long after the point when it was considered cool, through Jackson’s bleaker days, Bergen, now 23, remained outspokenly loyal to his embattled artistic hero.

I’ve had my say about Jackson in the paper. So I reached out to Bergen and invited him to share his thoughts in the space below.

Bergen tells me he’s putting together a Michael Jackson tribute concert to benefit a local charity, bringing together other Vegas performers who were inspired and influenced by Jackson’s life and art. Check twitter.com/erichbergen for details as they emerge.

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King of Pop began performer’s music education

My parents didn’t know what to do with me, an only child who had more energy than a shaken can of Red Bull. “Sesame Street” did the trick for a little while, but I outgrew that by age 3. That’s when, in addition to cartoons and “Goodnight, Moon,” they showed me MTV and handed me Rolling Stone magazine. I suppose, looking back, they were desperate.

Soon my entire focus became fixated on one performer who dominated TV, magazines and every other form of entertainment. His name was Michael Jackson.

The first video of Michael’s I remember watching was “We Are the World,” his 1985 mega-anthem written with Lionel Richie and sung with 400 other people. I still credit my musical ear to that song. I used to sing it in full, imitating each performer’s unique voice, entertaining guests at my mother’s parties.

I became a total Michael nerd. I didn’t just own a copy of “Thriller” and watch the “Motown 25” TV special over and over again. By the time I was 14 years old, I had enough Michael Jackson memorabilia that the Village Voice did a feature on me for the paper’s “Money” column.

My love of everything Michael led me to discover a universe of music. His inspirations became mine. I studied Jackie Wilson and James Brown and by age 7 I knew the entire Motown catalog. Instead of an allowance, I got a new CD each week, and my musical world kept expanding. But I always came back to Michael.

What sparked this obsession with the King of Pop? I think it was his energy. It was the way I felt when I watched him perform. It made me want to get up and do it myself, and for years, I swore I came pretty close. I wasn’t just casually copying the leg kick, or the moonwalk. I would watch these videos with a mental note pad, studying each moment as if I were about to play the man in a biopic.

I remained fascinated even through Michael’s dark days. And while eventually the posters came off the wall, and the memorabilia collection was put in boxes, I never stopped listening, never stopped watching and never stopped dancing.

At the newsstand today, I was confronted by Time magazine’s special edition commemorating Michael’s death, with Herb Ritts’ beautiful photo from the cover of the “Remember the Time” single, and the words “Michael Jackson 1958-2009.”

It’s an important piece of Michael memorabilia, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. It seemed so final. While I’m not in denial that my hero is gone, the constant reminder is too much.

An audience member who watches my performance in “Jersey Boys” on any given night would never know it, but inside, I’m just imitating Michael. From Day One I’ve been chasing his energy, hoping to somehow affect one person the way he affected me from afar. I’d like to think that in my own way, I can carry it on.

Hey, Mike, thanks for everything.

— Erich Bergen



01-09-2011, 09:37 PM


Your beauty flows,
Like ringlets
That tenderly twirl around my heart,
Blossoming vines of Elysium
Entwined in endless spirals,
As my eyes behold the tendrils
That once caressed the face
Of my Beloved,

Your beauty moves,
Like quicksilver,
Luminescent shimmer through my soul,
Mirroring bright the gleam of life,
Mesmerized in magical bliss,
Entranced by the lightning
That once had kissed the feet
Of my Beloved,

Your beauty resounds,
Like carillons,
Resonating joy of heaven's chord,
Sweetly guiding my spirit aloft,
I melt within an angel's voice,
Adored and soothing,
Blessed joy, from the lips
Of my Beloved,

Your beauty exalts,
Like revelation,
Enduring paladin, teacher of love,
Enticing souls to revived memory,
Of mission shared, compassion aware,
Bid me listen to faith and truth,
Sweet gifts from the heart
Of my Beloved,

Your beauty flows,
A river of love,
Unrestrained by time and space,
Conquering illusions of mortality,
Erasing fear, this priceless gift,
Rejoice! Embraced with gratitude,
My love, devotion,
This blessed communion,
Beloved, forevermore.

(c) 2011 Deborah Michaels
September 1, 2011




03-09-2011, 08:31 PM
The Man Behind the Myth

This video is a bit longer than usual, 20 minutes 13 seconds, so take a moment to sit down and watch this video attentively, because it is well worth watching! After that please share it with your friends on social network sites, so people can understand how and why the media did what they did and who Michael really was. He wasn't the freak or weirdo the media portrayed him to be, as this video will clearly show you, that was used by certain "journalists" who learned that the name Michael Jackson was a cash cow for the media. And if there is no "cow" to "milk", what better way than to make up stories that have nothing to do with the truth.
Michael, we love you always!!! :heart:

If you want to watch it in full screen then click here (http://www.vimeo.com/28381782) to watch the video on Vimeo in full screen.

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/28381782?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/28381782">Man Behind the Myth</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8320073">Walking Moon Studios</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Who was Michael Jackson really? Michael Jackson's work, life and his "troubles" are not what you thought they were.
Jackson was used and abused relentlessly by a media gone mad because any mention of his name drew crowds and cash.
Learn the truth of who Michael Jackson really was as we take a look at the story behind the myth.



04-09-2011, 08:32 PM
Come Back and Dance
By Lauren Trainor Thu, Sep 01, 2011

“Mr. Bojangles, come back and dance. We need to see ya…dance again.”


Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was quite fortunate as a child, because my mother exposed my sisters and me to the music, movies, and entertainment figures from previous generations. She was a “bobbysoxer” with a passion for Sinatra, and his voice played in our home frequently, accompanied by her memories and stories of seeing him in concert. Friday late night movies featured: Frank, Gene Kelly, Astaire, Crosby…resulting in a serious crush on Kelly and his wonderful dancing. To this day, I own Sinatra CDs and continue to place “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” among my very favorite recordings. It was natural for me to become aware of Sinatra’s association with Sammy Davis, Jr.

In the 60’s, these two men, along with Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, comprised the“Rat Pack”, a popular act at the Sands in Las Vegas and a notoriously irreverent, funny, and sophisticated group of men, who obviously admired and enjoyed each other immensely. All were top-level entertainers, yet Sammy Davis shined as the most supremely talented dancer, singer, and musician.

Sammy was born in Harlem, and passed away at the age of 64 in May 1990 after a lifetime on stage. As a three-year-old, he danced with his father and uncle as part of the Will Mastin Trio in vaudeville, and grainy film captures a massively gifted dancing child at the age of six. During his life, Mr. Davis experienced brutal racism, and actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement and is credited as being instrumental in breaking down racial barriers in the entertainment industry, particularly in Las Vegas.

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Michael greatly admired Sammy and studied his showmanship and style, as he did James Brown, Fred Astaire, and Jackie Wilson. In his autobiography, Moonwalk, Michael states, “I love Sammy. He’s such a fine man and a real showman. One of the best.” He also gifted his glittery, black jacket from Motown 25 to Sammy, and served as an honorary pallbearer at Mr. Davis’ funeral. Michael’s affection and respect for Sammy is wonderfully evident in the words, and one-time only performance of “You Were There”, a song written and sung for Mr. Davis at his 60th Anniversary Celebration in 1990; a young artist gracefully thanking his predecessor for his courage and determination in the face of adversity; a snapshot of a torch passed and accepted. And the older man, unable to speak, yielding to youth with obvious emotion.

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Sammy’s regard for Michael as an entertainer and person can be appreciated through his words, “Everything Michael Jackson does on stage is exactly right.” And again, during one of his performances, he told the audience that, “Michael Jackson is more than a friend, he’s like a son.” In 1989, Michael was the first recipient of the Soul Train Sammy Davis, Jr. Entertainer of the Year Heritage Award. Sammy’s moving introduction and personal congratulations to Michael, can be seen here:

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Sammy Davis, Jr. was perhaps the most well-known and popular African American entertainer until the late 60’s when his career waned. A child performer on stage, who established a phenomenal solo career based on talent, determination, good nature, and fearlessness in the face of racial discrimination. Michael’s life followed many of the same challenges and successes. He forged new paths from the old, and broke through artificial boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality, as he 'moved the human race forward', symbolically accepting the baton handed to him by a mentor and carrying it with pride. Michael’s creativity, music, film, and dance, consistently demonstrated his quest for a connectedness of the human spirit based on the power of Love.


In 1968, Jerry Jeff Walker composed and recorded “Mr. Bojangles”. Sammy frequently incorporated his own interpretation of the song into his performances, and with a fedora and tap shoes, he sang about honky-tonks, hard times, and a reverie of a dancing life. One can see hints of the future in the touch of his hat and achingly familiar poses. The following is a poignant tribute to both men, both gone now; the older singing and dancing a tribute to the younger, with lyrics and emotion that resonate thru time…

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“Mr. Bojangles, come back and dance. We need to see ya…dance again.”



05-09-2011, 09:22 PM
Carlos Santana Records With Michael Jackson
April 18, 2001


SAN FRANCISCO — In the midst of a yearlong hiatus from the road, veteran guitarist and bandleader Carlos Santana has recorded a new song with reclusive pop star Michael Jackson.

"I was very honored that he called on me to work with him, and I love the song," Santana said. "He gave me a call last week, and he was really happy with it." A Jackson spokesperson confirmed that the track is intended for the performer's long-awaited new album. Jackson announced Monday that he will reunite with his brothers as the Jackson 5 and perform with Britney Spears, 'NSYNC and a host of other pop stars at a tribute concert to himself in September (see "Michael Jackson To Perform With 'NSYNC, Britney, Jackson 5").


Santana, in San Francisco to launch a new line of women's shoes and men's hats and neckties, said he has a few song ideas for the follow-up to 1999's nine-Grammy-reaping smash, Supernatural. "I have a lot of sketches," Santana said. "The only thing I don't wanna do is repeat myself. I don't want to compete with it or repeat or duplicate or anything like that. ... What I usually do is clear the table completely and start like I don't know how to play. I grab the guitar and it's scary, because I convince myself that I don't know how to play. It takes a lot of courage to do it that way, because you're not coming in with a briefcase full of licks and everything else." Santana greeted hundreds of fans who gathered in the women's shoes department at Macy's on Wednesday (April 18). The line of fashion accessories bearing his name includes neckties adorned with images from the Supernatural album cover as well as brightly colored mule shoes — named Gypsy, an allusion to Santana's cover of Gabor Szabo's "Gypsy Queen" — decorated with spangled flowers and a vine-laden Paul Reed Smith guitar.

Other shoes are named for Santana songs or records, including "Smooth," "Maria Maria," Shango (1982) and "Jingo" (but no "Sole Sacrifice"). Hats for men are styled like those Santana wears — felt fedoras, berets and Kangol-style caps — bearing Santana logos, including the emblem for his Milagro Foundation, which sales of the items will benefit.


The foundation funds other organizations that provide services for children in the areas of the arts, education and health. Decked out in traditional Mexican outfits, members of Rondalla Alisal, a Milagro-funded youth music troupe, played "Corazon Espinado" for Santana, who got down on his knees to join them on conga.

Santana said he hopes his charity work will help in eliminating school shootings and other problems facing today's youth.

"It hurts me, man. It really, really hurts me — the Columbines, the Santana School [shooting], it has to stop, and I believe in my heart that just like we stopped Vietnam, it can stop," Santana said. "Santana has entered that kind of center stage where Hebrew, Apache, Japanese, Palestinian, Mexican, they're all connected to Santana in a way that is pretty phenomenal. To introduce all these lines of colors, shoes and music — it's all to create, like a spider, to create this web and not let people fall through the cracks. I'm not alone. Everybody I talk to — musicians, Michael Jackson, everybody — we all want the same thing: we want to heal this planet."



Found this fan-made video of Whatever Happens and it's worth watching. Unfortunately it's impossible to embed it so I can only give you the link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLxs1l3l4HE&feature=related
I love this song but I also love the ending very much where Michael says "Thank you, Carlos". Even though I'm a female, it almost made me wish my name was Carlos, just so I could hear Michael say my name!
~ MJJLaugh

06-09-2011, 09:55 PM
Note from MJJLaugh:

As regular visitors of this thread will know, I stay far away normally from subjects like these. But I came across this article today and this is simply too important not to share. Especially since the media is back to their old tactics of getting one-sided information from their preferred experts who suit their agenda.

I want to take this opportunity to point out a book that Dr. Barry Friedberg has written, which deals with Michael Jackson's death by propofol overdose in combination by lack of monitoring of the patient.
I haven't read this book yet myself, but I believe this book to be highly informative and written by an expert, a certified anestheiologist.
The book is called "Getting Over Going Under" and it is available in print edition as well as a Kindle edition.


Product Description
The most disastrous complications from 20th century anesthesia (delirium, dementia and death), a higher risk for patients over 50, as well the unpleasant side effects (postoperative nausea and vomiting and narcotic-requiring pain) can be reduced or eliminated by the use of a simple, easily obtainable machine to monitor your brain waves during surgery. Learn the questions to ask your doctor BEFORE going under and what to say to demand the best care during surgery. Only YOU can make sure of awakening as the same person you were before anesthesia.
Relying on vital signs to guide anesthesia dosing invariably results in the routine practice of anesthesia over-medication for fear of under-medication. Vital signs alone are now discredited as notoriously unreliable guides to brain response under anesthesia.
Getting Over Going Under will explains the importance of a brain monitor and how to go about making sure it is used whenever you ‘go under’ anesthesia. Directly measuring the brain’s response to anesthetic assures that you will not get too much or too little but always the right amount (aka Goldilocks Anesthesia) for your individual sensitivity.
Dr. Friedberg’s Method of intravenous anesthesia is the use of propofol and ketamine in conjunction with brain monitoring. So safe is this regimen that the US military is using it on wounded Coalition soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The use of a brain monitor would have prevented the death of Michael Jackson form inadvertent over-medication with propofol. The brain monitor could differentiate the level of effect of propofol from the other benzodiazepine class of drugs in his system.
As either a patient, doctor or facility administrator, you will learn how to address the patients three main concerns: waking up as the same person that went under anesthesia, avoiding postoperative nausea and vomiting and vomiting, and avoiding having one’s brain bombarded with pain signals under anesthesia.

Michael Jackson family: What justice for his death? Propofol expert answers.
By admin · April 30, 2011 · Filed in In the News

The most meaningful justice for Michael Jackson’s family will to have his death serve as a wake up to all Americans about the critical need for brain monitoring to avoid anesthesia overmedication.

Newport Beach, California, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) April 29, 2011 — No amount of legal defense attorney posturing can relieve Conrad Murray of his responsibility to have watched & monitored his patient,” says propofol expert, renowned anesthesiologist, Barry Friedberg, M.D.

Unlikely the Jackson family will get meaningful justice from the criminal justice system. Even if convicted of involuntary manslaughter, accused Conrad Murray only faces a maximum of 4 years time. Hardly justice for killing Michael Jackson.

Jackson’s death is the sad (and preventable) tale of anesthesia overmedication. Yet the vast majority of Americans are routinely over medicated every day when going under anesthesia for surgery. Why? Their anesthesiologist is not measuring their brain.

“Brain monitors are found in 75% of US hospitals, yet only used 25% of the time, mostly because patients simply do not know to ask for one,” says Friedberg.

Anesthesia over medication is especially perilous for people over 50. Nearly 40% of people leave the hospital in a ‘brain fog,’ clinically called Post Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD).

One person dies daily from anesthesia overmedication. But death is not the worst result of the nefarious practice of routine anesthesia overmedication.

The movie ‘Awake’ terrorized Americans about being awake during surgery. However, waking up in the middle of surgery is a very slight risk that’s 82% reduced when a brain monitor is used.

The most serious risk faced from routine anesthesia over medication is waking up with dementia after anesthesia (DAA) & never again being the same person who went under anesthesia for surgery.

“Going under anesthesia without a brain monitor is like playing Russian roulette with your brain,” says Dr. Friedberg. “You have to live with the long term effects of your short term care.”

The most meaningful justice for Michael Jackson’s family will to have his death serve as a wake up to all Americans about the critical need for brain monitoring to avoid anesthesia over medication.

Goldilocks anesthesia is not too much or too little but always just the right amount.

Over- and under- anesthesia is 2 sides of the same coin: failure to measure your brain!

Download three free letters to help you get Goldilocks anesthesia @ www.drbarryfriedberg.com

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07-09-2011, 08:04 PM
Remembering Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson performs onstage circa 1970.

The Jackson 5 perform on The Ed Sullivan Showon May 10, 1970 in New York City.

Michael Jackson in 1971.

Michael holding a plaque commemorating milestone album sales of his single “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” May 1972.

Michael and his sister Janet pose for a photo at their Hollywood Hills home on December 18, 1972.

Jackson 5 performing in concert on August 26, 1973 at the Forum in Inglewood, CA.

The cast of The Wiz (L-R Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross and Ted Ross) pose for a publicity shot in 1978 in New York, NY.

The Jacksons variety TV show in November 1978 in Los Angeles, CA.

Performing onstage in 1980 in Los Angeles, CA.

Holding two American Music Awards here, won for his album Off the Wall, January 30, 1981.

Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson on April 9, 1983.

Jackson 5 Victory tour at Madison Square Garden on August 1, 1984.

Quincy Jones and Michael at the Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration show on September 7, 2001.

Michael on stage with Usher, Mariah Carey, *NSYNC, and others during the United We Stand concert on October 21, 2001.

Beyoncé presents the humanitarian award to Michael Jackson at the 2003 Radio Music Awards on October 27, 2003.

Michael Jackson announces his summer residency at the O2 Arena at a press conference, March 2009 in London.



08-09-2011, 09:20 PM
JC Agajanian’s stunning interview about Michael Jackson. HE WILL NEVER BE REPLACED
August 29, 2011

Dear friends, let us all join together in celebrating Michael Jackson’s birthday today.

JC Agajanian JR

A small gift has been reserved for the day. It is the work done by a team of Michael’s supporters who transcribed the interview of an old friend of Michael Jackson, JC Agajanian JR (made in July 2009). The man was a radio guest at the Haunted Saloon and his account of the time his family spent with Michael is something really extraordinary – it is heart-warming, fiery and exceptionally sincere.

And this in spite of the fact that JC Agajanian JR is absolutely not prone to idealizing people. He comes from the famous racing Agajanian family and is son to JC Agajanian, who has been inducted into the National Midget Car Racing Hall of Fame. The Agajanian family has been running the Turkey Grand Prix race for decades now and it is JC Agajanian Jr. who is keeping up with the tradition and continuing with racing business.

In short he is no nonsense man and this makes his memories of Michael Jackson all the more precious to us.

Please listen to Mr. Agajanian vehement support for Michael Jackson and read the transcripts that follow:



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Ike: The gentleman on the phone is Mr JC Agajanian, Junior. JC is a dear friend of Michael’s, and you’ve spent many times with him and I thought, “Boy, we gotta have you on the Haunted Saloon tonight to talk about Michael Jackson. Welcome to the Haunted Saloon, JC. We lost another good one, didn’t we?

JC: And just to be serious for a moment, David, I gotta tell you we did lose in fact, I believe the world, in fact lost, a very, very special talent. And I think that’s something we need to keep in mind when all of the lies and baloney and all the speculation and all the gossiping and all of that is come and gone, the bottom line is that we lost somebody that will really never be replaced.

Ike: Yes, and you know Jay, tell us about some of your experiences, like that you’ve told me, tell us on the Haunted Saloon. Tell us about the time you spent two weeks up at the Neverland Ranch, with Michael.

JC: Well, you know what… it was a pretty special deal and I have to give you a little background, a friend of ours that I know both Bartender Bruce and yourself both met, went back in the old Ascot days, Sandy Seamen who went onto LA Gear tennis shoe company that hired Michael to work for him and that’s how I got to know Michael.

So… really that was my entree and I have three kids, JC the Third, and David, JC is his middle name of course, and Amy, and they were doing a commercial for LA Gear and they were on set when Michael was there to do a commercial.

Frankly, the kids and Michael got along, there were a lot of other kids there that were going to be in the commercial. Of course, LA Gear makes adult and children’s shoes, so it was a natural set up. Michael was there… wait, in fact, I’ll tell you what, my wife Francie was the one who went to this commercial shoot and I was with you guys that night and we were working and they were working too, you might say. Michael said that sometime we had to come out to Neverland Valley…

Wife: Ranch (inaudible, speaking to husband in background)

Neverland's Zoo

Ike: And that’s another thing that my wife Francie has reminded me of, it was a ranch, it was beautiful and it was… he had horses and it had reindeers and he really liked horses and that’s really something that I think everyone in the Haunted Saloon that’s listening maybe didn’t know about Michael… He appreciated wild life, he appreciated of course all the exotics that were there. They had wild horses walking around, they had giraffes, when we were there a little baby giraffe was born.

But we were invited up to, and I won’t stretch this enough, we were invited up to Neverland, which we thought he was saying just to be nice and we spent quite a bit of time up there and he wanted us up there as parents and he really enjoyed, really, having the kids up there as well.

Right, you know, as soon as I say that I know there’s gonna be eyebrows going up, but it wasn’t like that, and I have to tell you, his honesty in these interviews, is what I think got him in trouble. And him just saying stuff from his heart, stuff that was just how he felt honestly, adults would look at it and raise an eyebrow, twist what he says and make it not his intention.

Neverland in the morning. All pictures are from: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/neverland-valley-ranch/images/19487929/title/sign-near-entrance-photo

So the place was just gorgeous, it was Disneyland, it was 2500 acres and most of it was manicured. It was really just a fun place to be. He was a very generous, generous person. The kids would run around, they’d have their jackets on or they’d throw them on the ground, or tennis shoes, throw them off and go get on the big giant trampoline that was on the same ground as the big giant swimming pool.

That evening whatever was taken off was washed and magically folded and put back in their rooms. The staff there was just unbelievable. Water balloon fights, he had an Indian village that we were welcome to stay in overnight. We had dinner brought up to the Indian village, we ate in the teepees, there were heaters in there, it was just everything you could think of. Let me entertain any questions you might have, Ike.

Ike: Is it not true that your own kids wanted to go to court and testify, because they’d been there many, many times and never had a problem. Isn’t that true that they wanted to go to court?

JC: Well you’re absolutely right Ike and in fact Michael’s lawyers had called and asked if my kids would be interested in testifying on behalf of Michael and they were ready to fly – JC3 and David up from San Diego and Amy here from Hermosa Beach and fly them up, but at the last minute they didn’t need any more character witnesses.


JC: But let me tell you something that came up about his bedroom, and the “secret room” and all this stuff that went on. Francie and I were in his bedroom, my kids were in his bedroom, his bedroom was a playland, it had Disney things in there, it was like a living room. And when he said, “I invited kids in my bed” [sorry, JC, Michael never said it – he simply said he gave his bed to others] it’s… first of all, any kids that wanted to have a slumber party there, the “secret room” that they referred to that was locked up and so on, that was where he went to sleep.

When he said, “I’d be happy to give my bed to kids”… what he meant by that was, when he grew up, he didn’t have a bed. All the Jackson kids slept in one room. To be able to sleep in the bed was a big deal! And the people just didn’t understand that what he was saying was, when you give someone where you sleep and you leave and you go to another room to sleep, you’re giving them the bed, you’re sharing the most you have.

It’s like sitting at the table and going, “Yeah, you could have this steak and go eat, I’ll eat the beans over here.” They just didn’t understand and his honesty in saying that got him in trouble.

Ike: Yeah, I know that, it’s just you know, you fascinated me before when we talked about this and you told me a lot of different stories. You told me one that when you first got there, he walked you around the garden and there was like, “zanes” and things around the garden, or something?


JC: Yeah, you know what Ike, when you called last night and asked if I’d share some of my memories and thoughts about Michael after he passed, of course because you called me and because you and Bruce called me and asked me to come on the show, I said okay, but I’ve been asked to do other interviews that I’ve turned down.

Neverland house. Dining room

One night when we were sitting at Michael’s dinner table and it was a beautiful dinner table, it was a beautiful Tudor house that he had and it was four stories and he had a wonderful cook that cooked whatever and in fact before we got up to Neverland they were asking, what did the kids like to eat? They wanted to have whatever they liked on him.

But we were sitting there at the dinner table and of course we – I made a point of saying a prayer before dinner, Michael was a spiritual guy, nobody’s ever said anything like that, they don’t let you know, but we had a prayer at the dinner table before we started to eat dinner, and as we were eating we were talking about various things.

And believe me, Michael insisted that we ask any question that we have, if we saw something in the news, if we heard something about elephant man bones or if we heard sleeping in chambers, any of that – ask me, ask me whatever you want, and believe me, my wife Francie that both you guys know, did ask plenty of questions, but Michael looked at the kids that night at dinner, we were about two thirds of the way through and he said “Listen kids, I don’t necessarily want you to tell anyone about our friendship when you get back to your schools.”

And they looked at each other puzzled and looked at Michael puzzled and said, “But Michael, why not?” And Michael looked at them and said, “There’s a lot of mean people out there and there’s a lot people who say mean things about me and I don’t want you to have to be put in a position to defend me.”

So, I think so much of your kids that I don’t want them to have to defend me and get in fights and say, “No, Michael’s really a good guy and don’t say bad about him.” He was so thoughtful that he was asking the kids to keep our happy time and our friendship private and not share it and he was always selfless like that, Ike.

Ike: Uh, that’s really something, you know that, and it’s really actually very sad that he had to go to those extremes.

Part 2


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Ike: Uh, that’s really something, you know that, and it’s really actually very sad that he had to go to those extremes.

"He was a very loving father". South Africa, 1999

JC:…it really was, he never had a chance to any time to himself, he grew up, as everybody knows, without a childhood, you and Bruce know that he worked since he was a little kid. And don’t forget that there were many facets to Michael, what a lot of the people saw on television that was the celebrity factor; there was also a loving father, and that is NOT a joke, he was a VERY loving father; and there was also the kind generous friend, he was without question that.

And he was very shy, when we first got up to Neverland, he had his sunglasses on, he had on his hat, he was shy just seeing us again, but eventually he warmed up to you.
But you’re right, when we first got up there he put us in a golf kart, a special golf cart, that was a long one, and took us all around the ranch which was just –

When we went up there we thought we were coming to a ranch that was kind of like a cowboy ranch. Like the Haunted Saloon like what would be just outside your doors there. Dirt, horses, and so on. But it was actually what we see on television now, rides and movie theatre, he took us all around, to see all of his records –

But I just thought of something, if I can just continue, you know me I’m really short on words but… [Laughter] …uh thank you Bruce –

Neverland map. The movie theater is a separate building on the left (#24)

He had a movie theatre that was set up for children that were sick, that were terminally ill, it was a movie theatre, lovely seats, rocking type of upholstered chairs, there were about 35-45 seats, a full size movie theatre, screen, behind us a regular projection, that you would see in a regular large movie theatre, uh the projection room was above us, but at the back of the movie theatre behind the seats, were two bedrooms.

Those bedrooms had full floor to ceiling glass, those rooms were supplied with oxygen, and a hospital bed, a large hospital bed like a double bed that could tilt up.

And any kids that came out to the ranch, whether they were from Make-a-Wish Foundation or any of them, they were welcome to come in and see these first-run movies, to see things that maybe they couldn’t go see in the theatre because they don’t have oxygen in a movie theatre, and Michael went through a lot of expense and a lot of trouble to have these two rooms for kids that were terminally ill to come and be at the ranch and see movies and so on …

…Gosh there’s just so many stories that never make the newspapers, never report about Michael, his generosity and how much he truly loves children, and like we were talking about earlier, his inability to have a childhood, so part of him was childlike because he never had that childhood, he envied the children that were outside playing in the park while he was rehearsing, while he was singing, while he was practicing his dance moves.

While Joe was cracking the whip – and I don’t mean that in a bad way! – But Joe worked in a steel mill in Indiana and he took these kids from nothing to right up to the top of the line, the were talented, but he bought instruments he bought everything they needed, and he gave up himself, and yes, he swatted the kids and I have to admit that JC and David [his sons] have been swatted a couple of times too, it may not be politically correct, but it is Armenian correct and that is what we have to do!

Part 3


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Ike: So you, as well as the whole world, we were so shocked to hear that too. It was so shocking.

JC: It was shocking and I’ll tell you what. We knew Michael some years ago. I know that he had a problem with painkillers from when he had gotten burned doing the Pepsi ad – that was some years ago – and he had … really a lot of pain that followed that. And I believe that he was in a lot of emotional pain as well.

He carried a lot of things, he internalized a lot of things, he didn’t have many people that he can, he could confide in, and he really… I don’t want to say ‘admired’, because that might be the wrong word – but really enjoyed being around a family like the Agajanian family were, where there was just a mom and dad and kids that liked to mess around and meddle ……… and say “sit down” and “don’t make so much noise” and just correct them and ……… and he’d laugh. He just really enjoyed being around real people because he was surrounded with people who were either “yes” men or interested in what they could get from him. And we were neither.

Ike: Yeah, exactly. You were just the regular folk and he liked that.


JC Agajanian, his wife Francie and Joy Benson

JC: Yeah, you know… the kids loved to ride horses. The kids would go to a cowboy camp, down near Oceanside, inland. I guess, where was that, Francie?…. Oh, …. California, that’s where this cowboy camp was. They go every year there. They loved i!. Everything was period, everything… there were gun fights in the streets when we brought the kids – and it was just… it was perfect. It was like Tombstone, but a smaller version. The kids learned how to ride properly, they learned roping, they learned everything in that area.

When they got to Neverland, Michael who had horses and wranglers that were full time there, asked the kids if they wanted to go riding, and of course they said “Yes!” , and in fact it was at the dinner table and he said “Well, just call the person in charge, call the head wrangler, tell him what time you want to go out on the horses, and he’ll have them ready for you.”

So the kids said “Let’s go tomorrow morning”, and they did that. Of course I didn’t get up (laughs), Francie was the one who got up with the kids, got them situated with the wranglers and went to breakfast in the main house. Our living quarters were just outside the main Tudor house that Michael lived in, and we lived on a little lake when we were there. A very beautiful setting.

So, I went back to sleep, and about an hour or two later I get a knock on the door……Michael had a full security setup, he had officers there, he had security cameras everywhere, he could watch, if children who were invited there if they were getting in trouble, or near a pool, full security. Security guards that were mobile, security guards in full uniform, the entire property was secured and safe. He had his own fire department. He had his own helicopter, paramedics. Everything was on site.

It couldn’t have been a safer place to go, no matter what. And a lot of this stuff, the gossip that goes on, it couldn’t have happened because I went into the security room, which was a secret area, a private area, and there were cameras, and there were screens that could see everywhere at Neverland. They were never not watched, no matter where.


JC: So the kids got on the horse with the wrangler, wrangler up front, a wrangler in the back, my three kids in between, as they went up into hills, Francie was with them. I am sorry, I forgot you were with the kids! And as they’re going up into the hills there are bears, deer, and so on and so on in the hills around that area. They were going up a trail, and evidently the horse smelled bear, they can smell bear, it frightened them, and there was some movement in the bushes, and all the horses reared, and spun around, and started running full speed down the hill, back towards the barn, and safety. They were out of control, literally.

As they got to the bottom, JC was able to whoa his horse, because he was a bigger kid at the time, and all the kids knew riding, but the horses were running out of control. David, who is our middle son and is a gymnast, jumped off and rolled and he got banged up a little bit but was OK, but our youngest Amy was thrown off the horse, hit the ground, and her head hit the ground terribly, and she was knocked out. Francie was also thrown from the horse, and was unconscious on the ground.

Within minutes, paramedics were there, ambulance was there, and I had a security guard – as I told you earlier come to my door, because I had gone back to bed. And I got dressed right away.

“Mr. Agajanian we have a situation, we need to take you away immediately.” I scrambled and jumped in the cart, rode straight to where they were, and there were fire engines and lights going and everything. It was immediately taken care of, and I rode into town with Amy.

And in the ambulance she was beginning to convulse. I was so frightened, I was worried that we were gonna lose her. Francie was in the same ambulance, and she was out of it, she didn’t know where she was. She thought she did but she certainly didn’t. We got to the emergency room, and they said “You’re gonna have to go into town!”, they took us in another ambulance immediately to Cottage Hospital, which is down near Santa Barbara, I think.

Amy Agajanian on Oprah's show

All I have to say is Michael’s people were at that hospital from the time we were in there, I was praying in that hospital, I was very worried that we were gonna lose Amy, and she had the brain scan, there was some swelling, but she was OK. And Michael’s people were there the whole time. What Francie? Oh, she had a fractured skull!

But we were guests there, and Michael’s people were worried that we were going to sue Neverland, and sue Michael, and so on, and one of his attorneys called and asked how we were doing, and asked if there was going to be any litigation, and of course we said “Friends don’t sue friends over accidents!”. Amy was OK after that, but Michael had a limo at the hospital for us, and he would have come to the hospital himself but it would have created too much craziness.

So he would take us back and forth to dinner back to the house, and run Francie and I back and forth to the hospital, Francie stayed with Amy, and Michael that morning had left to do a recording session in town, and when he heard that Amy was hurt, he sent all of the musicians home, and got in a helicopter, which he didn’t like to do, he didn’t really like flying at all, he would have rather a limo or taken his transportation, but he flew out there, and even though he couldn’t go to the hospital, he stayed at Neverland, and stayed on duty until he found out that Amy was OK, and it just showed the kind of guy he was.

He stopped his work, and sent, it was probably close to 100 people and musicians recording and all that, home so he could come out there because he had heard that my daughter had hurt herself at Neverland. I know it’s a long-winded story, and I apologize to the guests, and you and Bruce, but this stuff just comes out of me guys, when I hear… when I hear things said about a guy who was really an innocent, honest, loving, and caring guy, I just need to tell my side of the story.

Ike: Well said, well said. We thank you for sharing those stories tonight with us.

Part 4


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Ike: We thank you for sharing those stories tonight with us.

Bruce has a question: Your impression of the way the news media has treated him in the last 48 to 72 hours.

JC: Tragedy. Tragedy, Bruce. The way they treated him is the way they treated him his whole life; like a freak show!

I’m asking everyone, I’m begging everyone to just reserve your comments, I’m begging you to NOT listen to the gossip, to NOT listen to the sensationalism. Yes, Michael had many facets to him, many sides, and yes he was having a problem with drugs, as many people do in our society, but he wasn’t a monster, he was NOT a child molester.

JC Agajanian about Jordan Chandler: "The first kid said, 'I can't go up there and lie about Michael' and this is when their case fell apart"

I have a ton of stories guys, next time I see you guys I’ll tell you stories about why and how those lawsuits “just went away”, and why the first kid refused to go on the stand as his father wanted to, to tell lies about Michael, and he told his father “I can’t go on the stand! I don’t care how much money you’re gonna get, I don’t care about the future of doing a recording company”, like his dad wanted to, “I can’t go up there and lie about Michael”, and that’s when their case fell apart.

And the $25 million dollars to their family, never happened. It went into a trust fund, and it was not that much money, it was a much smaller amount, it was all blown up out of proportion.


JC: And just wait until you try and get a handle on the truth everyone, because right now I just watched “Extra” before I called your show, and they were showing things like I just told you about, “There’s some mysterious hidden room, and it’s lined with children’s toys…”, and it’s just a bunch of baloney!

It was a room with toys for kids that were sick that came over, and there were tables with toys to play with, and there was an arts and crafts room, and all of this was there, and it was a room that you can just walk into, on the second floor of the Tudor house!

Michael and Prince in a house bedroom. Neverland

And only this room that I just told you about – it was his private bedroom, where he would go when the kids would want to have a slumber party – he left and slept in his other room by himself. He gave his bed. He invited the kids [he never did, they crawled in all by themselves] to sleep in his bed. He wasn’t in it! He made a point of that.

But it’s just been twisted, and I’m just asking everyone to please, DON’T listen to the lies, DON’T’ listen to the gossip, DON’T listen to the stuff that’s just made up, although I know you don’t know how to figure out what has sensationalism and what has little chunks of truth, but like I said Francie and I were just watching not only Access Hollywood, but all the rest of them, and they take these things that I just told you about, and they twist them, and make them sound weird and strange, and it’s just not so.

Everything had a reason for it.

Ike: Yeah, and there’s a lot of speculation out there, I think the one thing that I did notice though is, observing, the fact that he was so frail, and he looked like he was just a little over over 100 pounds or so.

JC: Yes, that’s true. He was never a big guy. He was a little guy to start with. He was always thin.

And I really think a couple of things, you know. First of all, he was a vegetarian, he was very conscious of his health. He would meditate. He would exercise. He did a lot of work and he tried to keep his weight down so he could dance, he did a lot of things to try and be as fit as possible. So I think near the end here, as he wasn’t well, and he wasn’t, and I think there were some illnesses that were not detected. He was always very slight, but it got out of hand.

Ike: So you say he was a vegetarian? What kind of things did you eat when you were there?

JC: Say that again? I’m sorry.

Ike: You said he was a vegetarian.

JC: He would have anything the kids wanted, from hot dogs to hamburgers to steaks, and so on.

A long banquet table stretches out under a tree in the grounds behind the main house at Neverland Ranch

He didn’t have any booze at Neverland while I was there. I know someone said there was no alcohol. I know someone said that underneath the game room that there was a wine cellar with some very, very wonderful wines and stuff. He may have had that for special guests.

But there was not booze available to anyone while you were at Neverland. And it didn’t matter if it was us, or the kids, or anybody. No booze, no alcohol was available. And he would have, now don’t forget he had a fabulous, he had 2 chefs in this wonderful kitchen there, and they would make Michael’s food for him, that they knew that he liked, and so he ate Indian food, he ate a lot of vegetarian meals, and Fracie just reminded me that when we had hot dogs, he’d have a tofu hot dog, or something that appeared to be a hot dog, and tasted like a hot dog, but was something in his diet.


JC: And that’s why it’s hard to fathom a guy who was so self-conscious about his shape. Now don’t forget he was 50 years old!

He was very young looking, but he was 50 years old, and he still danced like a 20 year old. And that’s coming out when you’re hearing about the rehearsals for the London tour that was right here in Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Ike: Jay, I hate to cut you off, we have to move on now, but man I want to thank you so much for sharing those stories with us.

JC: You’re sure welcome, and I’ll tell you what, this is the only show that’s gonna hear any of this from me. I’ve already turned down other interviews, and I wanted you and Bruce and your listeners worldwide to hear this information and know from somebody that was firsthand there, and will call BOLONEY on the people that are saying stuff.

Yeah, he had a hard time other parts of his life, but he was a kind, generous gentleman, and that’s how he should be remembered.

Ike: Well said. Thank you so much Jay!

Lady: Well, I know that people have said a lot of things about Mr. Jackson over the years, but the thing that I really think is most important right now is three children have lost their father. And that’s the most important thing. And all of us who are parents understand that more than anything, that’s the thing to focus on. Three children have lost their father.

JC: Absolutely. God bless you, that’s the truth, and let that not be lost with all the craziness.

Ike: Thank you so much, Jay!

JC: Thanks everybody at the Haunted Saloon! We love you guys! We wish you the best!

Ike: Love you too!

* * *



As a Postscriptum to the above here is what the team member Rockforevenron wrote to us about Amy Agajanian, Mr. Agajanian’s daughter with whom she managed to talk on the phone.

There are several remarkable things about Amy’s memories of Michael. One of them is this – though Michael spent a lot of time with Amy – more than with her brothers – he never allowed the little girl to stay alone in his room as he took special care not to put her in any compromising situation whatsoever (he was an old-fashioned type of a guy). It didn’t dawn on poor Michael that by driving girls away from his bedroom he was only giving food for nasty innuendos to those media beasts…

Rockforeveron’s story:

“Amy was a very close little pal to Michael in the early 90s, kept up with him a little over the years, is a young woman now who, along with her family, is utterly devastated by Michael’s death. I talked to her on the phone for over an hour a few months ago.

She doesn’t remember or know much legal stuff, other than the whole family was at the airport waiting to testify on MJ’s behalf, when they were disappointed to get called by the lawyer and told they wouldn’t be testifying. She also was at a Neverland celebration afterward and said it was so joyous! Everyone singing! Her older brothers were allowed to sleep over at the house, but even though she was MJ’s closest pal and spent far more time with him than the boys, she was relegated to a guesthouse with her mother. She was pissed! Michael explained to her it wasn’t proper for little girls to be in his house overnight unchaperoned. Michael’s feelings about this explain completely why it was always boys overnight. But you hear nothing about his little girl pals.

She said she thinks she was MJ’s best friend (but of course she wouldn’t really know for sure) until Lisa Marie came along. She told me about accompanying the couple to a few outings, and she BURNED with jealousy, the poor little thing. She said it was obvious they were in love, always holding hands and kissing. So Michael started finding less and less time for her.

Oh, in the interest of fairness to LMP , she said LMP was as sweet as could be to her and she did come to like her.

And… she said she’d love to come on this forum and answer questions, loves to talk about MJ but no one ever asks her (?!).

She was the one on Oprah, and who walked with him hand-in-hand at the Superbowl. She described the thrill of it to me. She said she had no idea it was that big a deal or that Michael was that big a deal, and was utterly stunned and overwhelmed. Michael just told her they were going to a concert, so she had no idea what to expect. She hadn’t known Michael was famous until that moment. Can you imagine?”

Indeed, can all of us imagine that Michael never told those children about his fame? And these media beasts say he wanted to impress the children and lure them into his life by the shine of his gold? It was absolutely the other way about! He wanted the children to give him the feeling of what normal like is like and what it feels to be a simple and ordinary person…

Amy and her parents were guests on Oprah in February 1993, on the same day that her live interview with MJ aired. Here is the video of Amy Agajanian on Oprah’s show:

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And a partial transcript from http://lacienegasmiled.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/the-invisible-children-michael-jacksons-female-kid-friends/

Oprah: “Michael Jackson as we’ve often heard is surrounded by children and through the years he’s befriended young actors like Emmanuel Lewis and Macauley Culkin. But you don’t have to be a child star to get Michael’s attention. I first met my next guest when I was visiting Michael’s ranch a few weeks ago to shoot the promos. Her best friend just happens to be the biggest superstar in the world and the whole universe saw her at Michael’s side during his superbowl performance, please meet Amy. Amy, we’re glad to have you here. On the day we were there shooting our promo Amy wanted us to finish so we could go out and play with Michael, isn’t that right?”
Amy: (nods her head)
Oprah: “What’s he really like, Amy?”
Amy: “He’s just like a kid. He wants to stay a kid but he grew up.”
Oprah: “Do you spend a lot of time with him?”
Amy: “When I go up there I spend almost most of my time with him playing.”
Oprah: “What do you play?”
Amy: “I play on his rides and we play hide-and-go-seek.”
Oprah: “And how did you meet him? We want to know so we can do the same thing.”
Amy: “Well I was doing a commercial with him. I was four and I didn’t know anything about him. And I went into his trailer and sat right up on his lap and he said to himself that he was going to be friends for life.”
Oprah: “The two of you?”
Amy: (nods)

My very big thanks to all the people who helped collect and transcribe the material for this post – Tamia, KC, Rockforeveron and David Edwards. I am sure that Michael is happy seeing us together in doing one job.



09-09-2011, 09:59 PM
Michael's lawyer Tom Mesereau speaks about Michael:


"Michael Jackson was one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever met. He really wanted to do more than just be a musical genius. He wanted to heal and change the world through love, through kindness, through art and through music and I do believe the world’s a better place because he was with us.

He was very gentle, very kind. There was, I sort of describe it as a universal Michael and Michael the individual. There was the universalist Michael who wanted to change the globe. Wanted to see the entire world focus on children and he felt that if children were properly loved and cared for that we would significantly reduce the violence in the world, significantly reduce the meanness in the world, significantly reduce poverty, and all of the world’s most important problems. He felt that the way to do that was to focus on the world’s children. So that’s the universalist Michael who thought he could heal the world through music, through love, through humanitarian measures. He was one of the greatest humanitarians in world history. He actually is in the Guiness Book of Records as one of the largest donors to children’s causes.


There also is in the individual Michael, who I dealt with, who was a person, and he loved to see a child smile. He built Neverland to see children happy. He was one of the wealthiest men in the world. He could have spent all of that money selfishly. Instead he had a zoo, he had an amusement park, a theatre, he had statues devoted to the world’s children. If you looked at the artwork in his house, a lot of it centered on children and seeing them happy and respecting them for who they were. Their race, their religion, what part of the world they were from, what kind of native traditions they had. This was someone who as a person, loved to see a child smile. Loved to see a child from the inner city who was growing up in poverty and violence come to Neverland and look at a giraffe and smile and look at an elephant and smile. Get some free ice cream and just be happy. It just meant a lot to Michael because he was a very good person.


To Know Michael Is To Love Him

I remembered seeing the video posted at Facebook, but not having seen the video itself, I remembered the title and was intent now on finding it, thinking it would be beautiful, touching and a tad heartbreaking, and it is. And what a surprise to find that the video ends with Tom Mesereau's words!! I believe I was led to this video today, and someone in heaven is smiling broadly "mission accomplished!". By the way, the audio of the video doesn't start until 0:59.

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10-09-2011, 09:00 PM
Remember, we are one


Remember, We Are One

We all drink from one water
We all breathe from one air
We rise from one ocean
And we live under one sky

Remember we are one

The new born baby cries the same
The laughter of children is universal
Everyone’s blood is red
And our hearts beat the same song

Remember we are one

We are all brothers and sisters
Only one family, only one earth
Together we live and together we die

Remember we are one

Remember we are one

Peace Be on You Brothers and Sisters
Peace Be on You

~ Anwar Fazal, Chairperson, MIN

Michael Jackson - What More Can I Give ?

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11-09-2011, 07:25 PM
Recipe for YANA Soup - You Are Not Alone


The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. ... Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King


Recipe for YANA-Soup

CD Player
Michael's songs
L.O.V.E. in abundance
innocent fun
laughter and joy
tears of loneliness

Make sure that the CD player is on the proper volume level, i.e. "Are You Nuts?"
Put Michael's CDs in ready-to-play mode and hit "play'
Fill the extra large pan with plenty of L.O.V.E. and add a cup of innocent fun. Make sure to add a can of laughter and joy for a sizzling texture. The rainbow will give it the bright colors but that is added a little later.
Let it simmer and in the meantime you can bathe in the moonlight. Make sure there is a portable CD player that is suitable and safe for bathrooms and take one Michael CD with you so you won't need to run back.
If you need to cry a little, that's okay. Michael, your friend for eternity, will help you get through this. You Are Not Alone! I'll Be There! Will You Be There ?
One or two tears can fall into the soup, this will give it the ripened flavor and dissipate any lingering bitterness. You can add the rainbow now.
Open your heart and fill your soul with the leftover L.O.V.E. in abundance.
Add as much Hope and Unity as the soup needs.
Enjoy your YANA-soup that makes you feel the connectedness. Can You Feel It ?
Serve it with the love!

PS. The handkerchief is to blow your nose so the kitchen and your face doesn't become a mess!

~ written by Elmira van Galen


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12-09-2011, 07:50 PM
Michael Jackson - Power of Oneness Award (2003)



2003 - Michael was honored for his contributions to Racial Harmony at the Third Annual "Power of Oneness" Awards held at the Universal Studios Hollywood Globe Theater in Los Angeles, CA. Ed Begley Jr., The Jim Henson Company, Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary and Brad Gluckstein are among the illustrious honorees.

Michael Jackson received The Power of Oneness Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to writing, singing and speaking about the need for us to take responsibility for the worlds children and making the our world a better place. "Man in the Mirror", "Heal the World", "Black Or White", "The Lost Children", "We Are the World", and "What More Can I Give" are but a few of the inspiring songs Michael has recorded during his career, showing by example how music can be used to entertain, heal and educate.

The 2003 Power of Oneness Awards ceremony preceded by a dinner & silent auction; items for auction have been donated by Universal Music, Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana, artist Romero Britto, Tiffany & Co., and many more. The awards program (written and directed by off-Broadway playwright and choreographer, Kamal Sinclair-Steele) promised to be a vibrant fusion of dance, music, multi-media, spoken-word and theatrical presentations representing a vivid celebration of the creativity and diversity of the human family - a celebration of our oneness.

2003, Michael Jackson accepts, from Neverland Ranch, the "Power Of Oneness" Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Annual Power Of Oneness Awards in Universal Studios, Hollywood, for his contributions to racial harmony, life-long commitment to singing, writing and speaking of the world's responsibility towards its children and the betterment of the planet. Oneness is a non-profit organization co-founded by American record producer, songwriter, musician and singer, K.C. Porter in 1999, with a mission of eliminating racism and promoting racial unity through the healing quality of music and the arts.

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13-09-2011, 09:03 PM
Michael Jackson - Once in a Lifetime Event - September 13, 2003

Romero Britto and Michael Jackson


A golden ticket invitation-only, star-studded celebration honouring pop artist Romero Britto will be hosted on September 13, 2003 at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. 250 couples will enjoy a day- long extravaganza in royal style, including red carpet access to Neverland's amusement park, zoo, immaculately groomed gardens and more. Other events will feature a tribute to Romero Britto, "Songs of Oneness" concert, silent auction and check presentations to Oneness, The Make-A-Wish Foundation and E Ai Como E Que Fica..

Oneness, a national non-profit organisation located in Calabasas, California, has as its mission the elimination of racism and promotion of racial unity through music, the arts and education. Founded in 1999, Oneness has produced dozens of programs to implement their mission including multicultural after-school programs, plays, lectures, concerts and more. Among the more notable of programs created include the "Songwriter's Summit for Oneness", where both world-renowned and aspiring songwriters/musicians gather to write songs reflective of racial unity and social justice. The "Power of Oneness Awards" honours artists whose work contributes to the promotion of racial unity. Founding supporters of Oneness include Carlos Santana, Sarah McLachlan, Michael Jackson, Common, Chaka Khan, Brian McKnight, B.B. King and many others. Oneness thanks Michael Jackson for supporting its efforts to promote unity among all people through music the arts and education..

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Tri-counties California are proud to be one of the beneficiaries of the "once in a lifetime" event at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. We appreciate the support of the donors, volunteers and attendees who will help children with life-threatening medical conditions experience the power of a wish..

E Ai Como E Que Fica is a grassroots organisation located in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that provides food, clothing and medical care for children living in poverty. Britto, a native of Brazil himself, states, " humbled and honoured to have a tribute party that will help E Ai Como E Que Fica ... I am very thankful for this tremendous honour to be part of an event that will serve children living in poverty.".

All three charities are honoured to receive donations from the upcoming event and are grateful to Michael Jackson for his support. The funds raised September 13th, 2003 will greatly help the organisations continue their vital services.

[i]A large "What More Can I Give" limited edition print on canvas, designed by Romero Britto





14-09-2011, 05:42 PM
www.mjfriendship.de is excellent

14-09-2011, 09:02 PM
Point of Light Ambassador

In 1990, the Point of Light Foundation created by President Bush SR, was to encourage American citizens to lend their services to the community in "a call to action."

On May 1, 1992 President Bush presented Michael Jackson with an award acknowledging him as a Point of Light Ambassador. The award was in recognition to Jacksons efforts in inviting disadvantage and underprivliged kids to his ranch, as well as giving his time to visiting hospitals, orphanages, assisted living homes and hospices. in Jackson's speech he stated, "I believe each person can make a differnce in the life of someone in need. That is what a point of light is."

It has now been in operation for 20 years.

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16-09-2011, 08:59 PM
Dreaming the Dance

you were there alone but an echo touch my heart.
You took my breath away, for in being locked inside,a silly daydream

Midnight came-
And shadows fill my soul -
awaking deep inside of me,a nightmare of fright.
so afraid-
Are you standing beside me now.?

Where have you been?
when my heart was so alone.
And why did you wait,
so long to become my muse?
Tell me-
Do you hide behind the shadows of my mind?

Did you know,
echo's of your song takes me to the roots of my heart?
Like an oak-
you tower beside me lifting over clouds
Can you see-
Your voice is like a lifeline for me
Please try to see-
Only asking you to see with the eyes of your heart.

Lips to voice-
you whisper and awaken all my joy,
All the bliss that my soul is now aware,
Breathing life-
without words you hum me a lullaby,
Can it be-
can you show me, living life is filled with hope.

Sing to me-
Can it be the song I long to hear?
Your voice cradles me, so softly
And in a instance could I be
Dreaming life…
In the light and without any clouds.

Of Michael with open arms
Embracing me....
All my wounds healed by lyrics
Dance with me..
for one night,close to me or just ...

...side by side-
dreams come true
when dance the light of memory
with you just one hour...
Until there is no light left…
Into darkness never fearing
our shadows knowing there
Is a solitary light tonight
within me,
MichaeLOVE light.

© Skydance/Mari Josee
Aug 29,2010
Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Author


17-09-2011, 01:24 PM

19-09-2011, 05:15 AM
Songs - who sang what and who could have sung that other song ?

With great anticipation and a mix of emotions, Karen boarded a plane bound for New York on the morning of May 1, 1979. Production meetings commenced the following day with Phil Ramone asking, "Ideally, what would you like to do?"

"Well, I love Donna Summer," Karen replied, explaining how Summer's latest single "Hot Stuff" was her current favorite. "I'd give anything if we could do a song like that!" This certainly surprised Ramone. Disregarding her brother's plea, she went on to explain that, in addition to singers like Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand, she loved just about anything of the disco genre.

Karen took up residence in a posh suite at the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. She was fascinated by the panoramic views of the New York skyline and the idea that there were butlers assigned to every floor, but within weeks the novelty of the revered Central Park address wore thin. "We were talking about stupid expenses and the hotel," Ramone recalls. "I said to Karen, 'Why would you want to do that? If we're going to work together, why don't you come live at my house? We've got plenty of room.'"

Ramone proceeded to move Karen into the master suite of the relaxing estate he shared with girlfriend Karen Ichiuji in Pound Ridge, a small town on the New York and Connecticut border. The quaint surroundings of this rural community were much like Hall Street from Karen's childhood. The two Karens quickly became close friends. Ichiuji was a singer herself who recorded under the name Karen Kamon and would later contribute the song "Manhunt" to the popular motion picture soundtrack for Flashdance. Phil called her K.K., but Karen preferred her own silly nickname of Itchie. Living together allowed producer and artist to discuss plans for the solo project around the clock. "She was a workaholic," Ramone says. "That house was a very creative house for me, and it was for her, too."

Karen and Phil set out to establish a common vision. Their hour-long commute from Pound Ridge to Manhattan's A&R Studios, located at 322 West Forty-Eighth, allowed the two to peruse demos for the project. "The laughs and silliness we shared on those trips forever made us friends," Ramone recalled in his book, Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music. "While we were driving, Karen would be the DJ, playing all the songs that had been submitted for her consideration. She'd sit with a legal pad, listen intently and rate them. 'Should this be on the A list, or the B?' she'd ask."

During these initial stages, Ramone extended an invitation to friend Rod Temperton to come to New York to write for Karen. The former keyboardist for the funk/disco band Heatwave accepted and moved into Ramone's guest house with only a keyboard and a set of headphones in tow. "All you had to do was make coffee and give him cigarettes," says Itchie. "Our house became this big musical commune." Temperton offered Karen several of his own compositions, including "Off the Wall" and "Rock with You," but at that point the songs were just grooves at the piano, still in their most raw form. She declined both charts, saying they were too funky. According to Itchie, "Everyone else loved the idea," but the project was young and lacked direction. Within a few months, Ramone introduced Temperton to Quincy Jones when the two attended a barbecue held at the home of the pop music titan, and the songs were soon pitched to Michael Jackson.

Karen visited Jackson in the studio during his 1979 solo sessions while he laid down tracks for "Get on the Floor," a song he had cowritten with bassist Louis Johnson. "Phil wanted to show her what Michael's album was like," recalls Itchie. "He was so upset that Karen didn't want to do any of Rod's material at first." Ultimately she chose two Temperton originals for her project, "Lovelines" and "If We Try," the latter being a particularly satisfying match for her smooth and flirtatious vocals. "Once Rod started arranging for her, they got along so well," Itchie adds. "She loved the harmonies they created, and they were so right for each other musically. She felt comfortable working with him, and it was kind of like being with Richard in a sense, artistically."

The two Temperton songs Karen passed on became huge hits for Michael Jackson on his Off the Wall solo album. Also featured on the album was his recording of "She's Out of My Life," a song by Tom Bähler long rumored to have been written in response to the end of the composer's own brief relationship with Karen Carpenter in 1978. "Some believe that I had written that as a result of mine and Karen's breakup," Bähler says. "The fact is, I had already written that song by the time Karen and I became romantic. That song was written more about Rhonda Rivera, who later married my friend John Davidson. Rhonda and I had been together for two years, and it was after we broke up that I started dating Karen."

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20-09-2011, 08:02 PM
Story Behind The Picture:


It was just by coincidence that I became acquainted with Michael Jackson. It was 1983 and my wife, Flora, was pregnant with our first child. Frequently, we ate at a vegetarian restaurant called The Golden Temple. Generally we went during the hours between lunch and dinner. There were few other customers during that time period, but there was one other regular: Michael Jackson. He had recently become a vegetarian, and he was fascinated to follow the progress of a vegetarian pregnancy. When our son, Elijah, was born in June, Michael was excited to see him. Once he asked me what it was like to be a father, and he told me that that was what he wanted most of all in life: to have a child of his own to take care of. Even then, there was something poignant about this man who had not been allowed to be a normal child himself wanting to be a father.

On February 18, 1984, when Elijah was eight months old, we took him to The Golden Temple. There were no others customers except Michael and his 13-year-old friend, Emmanuel Lewis, who was known to the world as “Webster.” Michael said that he wished he had a camera because he wanted his picture taken with Elijah. My wife had a camera in her bag, but no film. Michael suggested that she could get some film at a nearby drugstore and asked if he and Emmanuel could take care of Elijah while we waited. When Flora returned, Michael suggested various poses and she snapped a number of photos of Elijah with Michael and Emmanuel. Michael asked for copies of the prints when they were developed.

Each of the photos turned out to be of interest, but there was one, of Michael holding Elijah in his arms, that stood out. Looking at it today, 25 years later, and seeing Michael’s bright look and clear smile, I can’t help but feel sad. He looked healthy, happy and untroubled. His album Thriller had caused a sensation. “Beat It” had been released only four days earlier. And ten days after that afternoon at The Golden Temple, he won eight Grammy Awards. When we next saw him at the restaurant just after his night of triumph, he was beaming, but he also seemed a bit embarrassed by his success.

I got a lot of mileage out of that photo of Michael Jackson and Elijah. Whenever I traveled, I brought with a packet of family photos. The Michael and Elijah photo was the last in the set, and when people got to it, they were usually stunned. Wherever I went, China, Russia, Burma, Tahiti, everyone recognized Michael Jackson. I have to admit that, as a journalist, I used it to put people at ease when I wanted to interview them.

Now that he is gone, I want to share that photo of Michael Jackson, from a time when he appeared to be at peace with himself and with the world. This is the way I want to remember him.



21-09-2011, 08:28 PM
Michael Jackson and Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin wrote the music to Michael Jackson's favourite song - Smile - but more than that he was a great admirer of Chaplin's films at the man himself who he called "a genius, the king of pathos". he would often dress as Chaplin and told people "I sometimes feel as I am him".


Referring to the profound emotional impact of becoming a “child star,” Chaplin observed “my childhood ended at the age of seven.” Undoubtedly, one aspect of Michael Jackson’s deep emotional identification with Charlie Chaplin was their shared experience(s) of pre-maturely terminated childhoods.

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Over and over again, Chaplin’s friends observed that even as a grown man in his thirties there still was a hurt little boy in Charlie that never grew up .

While the intimate personal details of Michael’s early childhood are not known, it takes no stretch of the imagination to see some of the ways in which Michael yearned to create and permanently relive a Peter Pan-like childhood existence on his Neverland Ranch.

If Neverland was Michael’s Xanadu, Charlie Chaplin’s life-story apparently served as a Rosebud-like reminder to Michael of his own prematurely interrupted childhood as a workaholic show business performer.

On June 17, 1988 — Michael visited the Chaplin family in Switzerland. Pictured below Michael holds two Honorary Awards awarded to Chaplin in 1929 and 1972 by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Chaplin’s wife, Oona O’Neill holds the Academy Award for Best Original Score, awarded in 1973.


A day without laughter is a day wasted.
~ Charlie Chaplin

Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people.
~ Charlie Chaplin

I am for people. I can't help it.
~ Charlie Chaplin

I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.
~ Charlie Chaplin

I have no further use for America. I wouldn't go back there if Jesus Christ was President.
~ Charlie Chaplin

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery.
~ Charlie Chaplin

We think too much and feel too little.
~ Charlie Chaplin

The Greatest Speech Ever Made

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22-09-2011, 08:38 PM

The Message of the Sunflowers:
a Magic Symbol of Peace
by Georgianna Moore

Once upon a time the earth was even more beautiful than it is today. The water was pure and deep, reflecting within itself the sunlight which gave life to all the creatures beneath the waves.

The earth was green with many kinds of trees and plants. These gave food and shelter to the birds, the animals, and to all mankind. At night the air was so clear that the starlight gave a glow almost as bright as the moon.

The people of the earth lived close to nature. They understood it and honored it and never took more than what they needed from it. The people lived in peace so they prospered and began to build many nations all around the world according to nature’s climate.

But one day, a terrible thing happened. A strange spirit of greed entered the hearts of mankind. People began to be jealous of one another, and they were not satisfied with all the good things they already had. The nations wanted more and more of everything: more land, more water, more resources. They squeezed precious minerals from the earth to build terrible weapons to defend their nations from other greedier nations. They killed one another. They polluted the air and the water with poisons. Nature began to die.

This is called war. War is ugly. It destroys love and hope and peace.

Then one day a magical thing occurred. The birds of the air, the animals of the land, and the creatures beneath the water came to an agreement: if they were to survive, something would have to be done to stop these wars. Only through peace could their world survive.

“We cannot speak the human language,” they declared, “and mankind can no longer understand ours. We must find among us a symbol of peace so brilliant that all who see it will stop and remember that peace and sharing is beautiful.”

“I am what you need,” said a golden sunflower. “I am tall and bright. My leaves are food for the animals, my yellow petals can turn plain cloth to gold, my seeds are many and are used for food by all living beings. Yet, the seeds I drop upon the ground can take root and I will grow again and again. I can be your symbol of peace.”

All nature rejoiced, and it was decided that the birds would each take one sunflower seed and they would fly over every nation and plant the seed in the earth as a gift. The seeds took root and grew, and the sunflowers multiplied.

Wherever the sunflowers grew, there seemed to be a special golden glow in the air. The people could not ignore such a magical sight.

Soon they began to understand the message of the sunflowers so they decided to destroy all of their terrible weapons and to put an end to the greed and to the fear of war. They chose the sunflower as a symbol of peace and new life for all the world to recognize and understand.

A ceremony was celebrated by planting a whole field of sunflowers. Artists painted pictures of the sunflowers, writers wrote about them, and the people of the world were asked to plant more sunflower seeds as a symbol of remembrance.

All nature rejoiced once more as the golden sunflowers stood tall with their faces turned eastward to the rising sun, then followed the sun until it set in the west.

They gave their goodness to the world so that everyone who sees a sunflower will know that the golden light of peace is beautiful.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As many of Michael’s fans and the media gather outside the courthouse next week on the first day of Murray‘s trial, try to imagine the feeling in the air. The anticipation of this long-awaited trial has built to a crescendo and the energy is palpable. We are, after all, on the threshold of some sort of resolution to this horrific injustice. We all want our beloved Michael to be vindicated, as he should be, but we are braced for the inevitable litany (by Murray’s defense and especially by the media) of all the untruths and misunderstandings which plagued Michael throughout his life. The reality of having to stand by and helplessly watch as Michael is stripped of his dignity in the public eye once again is almost more than we can bear. The oceans of tears we have shed since his death over 2 years ago are still fresh and the pain of his loss is still an open wound, raw and throbbing.

We are concerned about his children and we want so achingly for the world to understand the absolute truth about everything that was good and honest and real about Michael Joseph Jackson. All of these emotions have stirred our determination to do what is right and our passion for seeing that the truth be told! But being the unique individuals we were created to be, we don’t always agree on how to go about it. Tension and disrespect have been fostered between fans on the web as individual opinions are expressed, and disagreements have fueled the fire of our desire to see justice finally be done for the man we all love. We have turned on each other, making judgments where we have no right to. We have created division where there once was unity.

This is called war. War is ugly. It destroys love and hope and peace.

In the midst of our determination, we have forgotten why we came together in the first place. And we have forgotten that we, along with his family and friends, are now Michael’s representatives in this world.

Michael was always about Love and Peace. Now WE must be the peacemakers!


When the Call For Love facebook group was first started this spring, and the trial was initially set to begin in May, there was a small group of us that formulated a plan to restore unity among the fans and to create an atmosphere of Love and Peace at the courthouse on the first day of the trial. We gathered our resources and made plans to order 100 sunflowers to be delivered to the courthouse and distributed among the various fan groups there before the Jacksons would arrive. We also ordered 4 white roses, each to be handed directly to the Jackson women as they entered the courthouse. Now, finally, after these long months of waiting for the trial to begin, our plan will be carried out! Our friend in LA, Betty Byrnes, is going to do everything she can to make sure it is carried out in a way that will foster Peace among the fans in the midst of the chaos. Fans who are now divided will be unified by the offering of Peace as symbolized by the sunflower. All of us who cannot physically be there for this important day in Michael's HIStory will be represented in this offering of Peace, Love and Unity that was Michael’s message! The lines of division will be erased as each sunflower is passed from one to another - differences forgotten in a moment that acknowledges our singleness of purpose! Barriers torn down in true Michael-fashion for the world to witness.


Imagine the sea of sunflowers visible to everyone there, including the media. This will help us all to remember that we have a responsibility to always be about Peace and Love as Michael’s representatives in the world - during this trial and for the rest of our lives.

THIS IS IT! … THIS is how we Love him and honor him!

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"Dear God, Bless us all as we move closer to this important trial in Michael's HIStory. May we be true representatives of the Love and Peace which Michael LIVED every single day of his life. Help us to be the embodiment of that perfect Love in all we do, so that we may effect the change which is so badly needed in this world today. Thank you for the gift of Michael and for his gift of Love and Peace upon this Earth. Amen." ~ written by C. Burgess




23-09-2011, 09:19 PM
A Call for Love During the Murray Trial

Reminder: This Sunday is the 25th & WE'RE SENDING OUT A MAJOR LOVE! More updates coming! Thank you ♥

sunflower michael jackson justiceUNITE in PRAYER,

Sept. 27, 2011
8:00 a.m. PST
- in the front courtyard, where
sunflowers will be distributed -
C.S. Foltz Criminal Justice Center
210 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Lottery for tickets to obtain a seat inside
the court room is at 7:30a.m. PST.
Only 6 seats are available.
more info: mjbliss.blogspot.com
Dear fellow MJ fans, we are combining our voice with a great many others in the MJ community for a worldwide CALL FOR LOVE during the difficult times that lie ahead, and we'd love if you would join hearts with us in this. As you know, this coming Tuesday (September 27th) the trial of Conrad Murray begins. As Michael's fans we have the power to show the world who he was and what he stood for with our words and actions. We are his voice now, his representatives. We reflect his light, and as co-bearers of his legacy we now stand exposed before the world in a new and often uncomfortable way. It is our great and humbling responsibility to teach future generations who Michael Jackson really was, both by shining that light on the TRUTH and by showing the world how he has touched, awakened and changed the hearts of so many. We've already begun to make headway, from the Gardner School auditorium, to the astounding number of charity projects in his name, to the continuing joint efforts to stop/correct deceitful, false or belittling media coverage. We may not have control over all the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we do have a voice. Never let anyone tell you that we don't. Michael used his and now we must use ours. The question is: what are we going to say? Will we be a scattered myriad of voices across the internet filled with negativity, adding to the prevailing trend and playing right into the hands of those who wish to portray us and Michael in a negative fashion? Or will we join hearts and come together in ONE VOICE, in peaceful and prayerful determination for truth and justice? Will our voice be one of hate or of love? Both have energy, drive and momentum, but into which direction is up to us.


Please know that no blame is meant toward anyone. No finger pointing. We are all human, we've all been hurt, we've all had moments when we've lashed out with anger. The finger-pointing must stop if we are to truly heal. As Michael said, "We must learn to live and love each other before it’s too late." We have been through so much, and if you can remember right now how it was LOVE that brought us together, if you can feel for a moment that unity within LOVE, the feeling of it, of swearing to forever remember it and to uphold Michael's legacy of it... you'll find that glow inside that begs us to walk the talk, whatever happens. And that feeling, that knowingness of love, is inside each and every one of our souls. We are one.

Yes, we can be angry. If you're angry you can't help but feel it. You have the right to be angry; for all of us, for Michael, for his beloved children, for the world's children. Anger cannot be denied and hidden within, or it churns into hatred and shrivels the heart. But we have a choice to either channel those emotions into the same negative, destructive beams of darkness that were so often directed at Michael, or to take the high road and strive to transmute this energy, heal it and find a way to shine light into the world. It is during times of great darkness that your light is needed the most! We still have painful realities staring us all in the face and drilling into the depths of our spirits... and it hurts. There's no denying this. But we cannot let it destroy us. Read again: We cannot let it destroy us; Michael's 'Army of Love', his 'Soldiers of Love'. Remember? Love is not just empty platitudes or spoonfuls of sugar sprinkled over the pain. This is for REAL. You know this love, through and through. We all do, for it's what brought us together. Please, let us never forget it, for without it we are lost. Feel it, know it, live it. That is spirit, that is truth, that is Michael.

"In a world filled with hate,
we must still dare to hope.
In a world filled with anger,
we must still dare to comfort.
In a world filled with despair,
we must still dare to dream,
In a world filled with distrust,
we must still dare to believe."

Do you know the saying "nothing worthwhile is ever easy"? Well, this is where we find ourselves. Each person must search their own soul to find a center of peace and to discover how and where they can use their talents to channel this energy. No one is perfect, but we can try. It is a dilemma: how do we move forward, past all that's happened, through all that's still to come and somehow make LOVE our weapon to conquer any evil? Rest assured, it can be done, for God does not give us any task we're not ready for. None of us wanted this one, but it's ours nonetheless, and it will not complete itself. We have to rise to the challenge, rise up against the onslaught, be strong and most of all be brave within our hearts to succeed. It takes courage and humility to stand strong and look for the humanity in an enemy, withholding the poison arrows while trusting a jury. And it takes practice. That's alright, for we're all works in progress, still learning how to operate from the heart with ever-increasing frequency. And all of us across the planet have been blessed with the same exquisite teacher to help point us onto this path. "It's all about love." Truth and wisdom from the man himself.

And so, if you'll be in front of the courthouse on Tuesday (or any day after), sending banners from around the world or just writing on social networking sites, we're collectively asking that we all make an effort to remember the LOVE, the mission, the message, and to do our best to act from a place in our heart that demonstrates it. Remember that the world is watching. The media is watching. The children are watching. Everything we say and do now reflects on each other ... and it reflects on Michael. And it teaches ... just what it teaches is our choice.

"I was sick over the notoriety
of the attacks. I don't know if
[television news] played it too
many times, but we went from
fear to hate to anger to vengeance."
~ MJ on 9/11 & What More Can I Give

Can we set aside our differences and together show the world with ONE VOICE that we, MICHAEL'S FANS, are a UNITED FORCE and that we can RISE ABOVE attempts to brings us down, and RISE ABOVE whatever they throw at us? Yes, we can. We are stronger than war, for we are for PEACE. We are stronger than lies, for we are for TRUTH. We are stronger than revenge, for we are for JUSTICE. We are stronger than name-calling, for we are not bullies. We are stronger than hate, for we are for LOVE.

We will stand strong. We will represent. We will not give up. We will support truth, as our prayers sweep away the lies. Our love will support Michael's family, each other and all those who are working for justice. And we will do it in RESPECTFUL SOLIDARITY, with DIGNITY, GRACE and CLASS, just like Michael would. Thank you, namaste, and so much love to ALL of you. Know that you are never alone. "Don't let go of my hand..." ♥ ♥ ♥



25-09-2011, 07:07 PM
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Jonathan, people speak of an energy around Michael; a light. Did you ever feel that?

Jonathan: All the time, every time I am around him. That’s why you know you are in the presence of greatness. That’s why you know you’re in the presence of somebody special. Just count the number of fans and people and the multitude that love him around the world. He’s one man loved by… CNN said that over one billion people mourned Michael from all the remote areas of the world, as well as all the known areas. What other human being can draw that much sympathy and that much hurt from their loss. Michael had something special, a radiance, and when you were in his presence the whole room changed.

People would say, “Michael’s coming,” and everybody got nervous. As soon as you had the vision of him, even just knowing he was coming, you felt something, like a tingle happening. Just to watch him walk through the door, it’s like all the molecules in the air stop and you can pinch them with your finger; pick them up. It’s like you could see the smallest speck; you could see the molecules in the air when Michael walked in the room. He changed them; the molecular structure of the air. And that’s the equation of what happens when Michael enters, and everybody in the room felt it and knew it. Then their attitudes and personalities would change. They would perk up their attention, but they would always say, “There’s something with him. When he came in I got nervous. I felt something!” And I would hear that over and over again and I would say, “I know, I know. I’ve been feeling it for thirty years.”

And he was just so pleasant; just something with his imagery. Everybody radiates from a different frequency, and Michael had the highest level of energy I think without being from another world. His gift and his humanity of spirit were just so powerful and great and deep. He was a different human being from most of us; from all of us. He did affect everybody that came around him, from leaders of the world to normal folk, from children to people, grandmothers. Every single person that’s been around him said they felt something, that I remember seeing or talking to.

And that’s why people cry. People absolutely cry. I would sit on stage and watch them pass bodies, like back in the medieval days when people died of the plague. You would see them lift bodies, arms dangling and legs, heads swinging, and there was like an ocean of people with their arms up passing bodies to the front, to the gate. There would be a line-up there of emergency vehicles… five, ten of them lined up. There were stretchers and triages back there. One by one, people were passing them forward; sometimes a multitude of bodies moving across the crowd being passed to the rescue people. They would give them smelling salts and try to revive them. Some people were just totally gone, unconscious, you know, like totally no life in them, and that’s just from being in that stadium with Michael. I just got to just sit back there and marvel at it. It was just the most powerful thing to see, and that’s just from that one man in the center of the stage. He made even men pass out; women and men. That’s a power and Michael knew it. He knew he was gifted with something special, a purpose; uniting the world and uniting people.

- Jonathan Moffett, drummer


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=192197470851411&set=at.109546429116516.14661.100001834795939.14616 51667&type=1&theater

25-09-2011, 07:15 PM


You know I had to grin when I saw those "exclusice to...do not remove tags" on that picture.
There's a story to these pictures. That in particular is a picture from the German youth magazine "Bravo"- I remember it so vividly because I had actually bought that same specific issue. :rofl:

Every year the reader of that magazine would vote on their favorite music acts, actors etc- and Michael had a huge, gigantic following back then as well. He's holding the "Otto" award there- by 'Bravo'. People voting could also enter contests to win a meet&greet with those they voted for.
They'd fly the winning contestant there and they would take a picture, I'm sure they didn't have more than seconds, though- and I remember enviously reading about those who won these contests.

I just remembered that because that picture sent me down the ultimate memory lane into the early 90ies.

26-09-2011, 09:05 PM
Stories Behind the Pictures


Todd Gray on this photo: Once Michael was just surrounded by his family and friends he became the playful, trickster and jokester. Sometimes he'd call me up, disguise his voice, make up a name and ask me to do something foolish. He could mimic a variety of voices and played many pranks on me. One time I took pictures of him while he was in bed because he was late for a meeting I'd set up and wouldn't get up. He was like, "Todd, I'm gonna get you for that!" And he did. I'd forgotten all about what happened while he was performing one night and he'd told me to stand in a specific spot to take photos of him when he began singing that song. I did as I was instructed. So right before I go to take my position, Michael drops to his back and starts saying, "Help me, help me! I need some woman to touch me!" and every woman in that place collapsed on me. I was between them and Michael and I couldn't even get one shot in and he gave me this look like, I got you. Afterwards, I said you think you're so cute, and he says, "What do you mean, Todd?" I'm like, Mike that hurt; those people were crushing me and all he said: "Todd, the spirit just takes me sometimes and the spirit just took me." That's when I knew that was payback and that was the last time I stepped out of line with him (Laughs.)



27-09-2011, 08:17 PM
Michael Jackson - "Once Upon A Time"

This is only day one of the trial against Conrad Murray. In this thread you can find refuge from the cold, harsh world with scientific facts, numbers, medicines, incompetent doctors and proven and unproven theories. If you need metaphorical rays of sunshine, a bucket of love and a mountain of hope and faith, you can come here without worrying about opinions, statements, counter statements and all of those things that pain us so as none of it will bring our dearly beloved Michael back. But remember, friends and fans and lovers of Michael: He is with us in spirit, shining his bright Light and his pure Love over all of us and sending us his blessings. Don't despair, don't worry, don't give up, just sit down and enjoy this beautifully made video that friends of mine pointed out on Facebook. :heart:

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28-09-2011, 09:38 PM
Michael Jackson - The Spiritual Teacher


Michael Jackson's stage presence was undoubtedly incomparable. He performed with an energy and a divine ambiance that was clearly not of this world. No one else in our lifetime, will ever come close to the magnanimous and influential powerhouse that was...Michael Jackson. But I now ponder, were we just too enamored with the performer and his image, to realize the profoundness of the spiritual and life lessons he was teaching us all along - contained in the lyrics of his songs?

Michael Jackson's passion, purpose and message was for peace, harmony, and equality in the world. He longed for simple experiences that we, today, continue to take for granted. He wanted normality. He wanted to be accepted as he was. Most importantly, he wanted to experience a childhood. Was his behavior as a "childlike man" a bit strange for some? Yes....Maybe. However, if you have never experienced NOT having a childhood, you have no grounds for judgment. According to the Bible Scriptures - Luke 18: 16-17 states "I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

He said in an interview once, "If you really want to know about me, listen to the lyrics in my song - Have You Seen My Childhood." The Lyrics are as follow: "Have You Seen My Childhood? I'm searching for the world that I come from. Cause I've been looking around, in the lost and found of my heart. No one understands me, They view it as such strange eccentricities...Cause I keep kidding around. Like a child, but pardon me...People say I'm not okay, Cause I love such elementary things...It's been my fate to compensate, for the Childhood I've never known...Before you judge me, try hard to love me."

Michael Jackson suffered greatly internally. The only place he felt free was on stage. When he performed he was "being" and in alignment with his divine purpose. He knew he wasn't being judged by his fans...we loved and still love him. He utilized his God-given talents and abilities with every fiber and cell in his body. He poured his heart and soul into each performance, with fans at every corner and stretch of the world receiving him. Michael Jackson sincerely loved us. He suffered even more at the condemnation and crude perceptions of those who have no conscience. Those individuals who use such cowardly covers stating: "I'm Just A Reporter Reporting The News," or "I Just Want To Sell My Tabloids." These vicious people sought fame and fortune, out of their own envious ways, destroying those to whom the stories are written about. They are so blinded by having the "exclusive story" that they are not stopping to even think about the detrimental effects of their actions. Over the years, they devastatingly touched the soul of one of God's Angels. This, along with his personal issues, had kept Michael Jackson in constant emotional pain, mental pain and lifelong turmoil for most of his life.

Lyrics from his song "Tabloid Junkie" can best describe how he felt: "Speculate to break the one you hate. Circulate the lie you confiscate. Assassinate and mutilate. As the hounding media in hysteria, Who's the next for you to resurrect...It's slander. With the words you use. You're a parasite in black and white. Do anything for news. And you don't go and buy it. To read it sanctifies it."

Michael Jackson did not allow the public scrutiny to keep him from entertaining his fans. He remained persistent in his message and mission of bringing love unto the world, with such lyrics from his song "Another Part of Me" - "We're sending out, A major love, And this is our message to you. The planets are lining up, We're bringing brighter days. They're all in line, Waiting for you. Can't you see.....You're just Another Part of Me."

We are all a part of each other. When you tear one down, we all suffer. Including those who are responsible for the act itself; they just don't know it yet. When one is in turmoil, we all are. When one is crying out for help, we need to answer. Michael Jackson cried and cried and cried. Not with tears streaming down his face; but rather with all the ways he changed the look of his appearance. The way we truly feel on the inside, will definitely reflect those same feelings on the outside. I think that because his childhood was so tumultuous, he maybe set out to take away any signs of how he looked. As this would be a permanent constant reminder. The public also contributed with negative reports of his prominent "African American" features and so on and so forth. What he didn't understand, I believe, was that his fans never complained. We loved Michael Jackson just as he was. I think he expected that changing his appearance on the outside, would also create new emotional and mental feelings for him on the inside. If you haven't learned anything from the Spiritual Teachings of the Divine Spirit that was and is Michael Jackson.....let's remember this Scripture from Matthew 7:2 - "Others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged."

Michael Jackson has served his purpose, has carried out his mission, and has delivered his message. He has entered the gates of heaven where he's entertaining God and his fellow Angels. Now he can finally rest in the comfort and peace of his true father's arms, as he now knows and feels acceptance. He can now be that "child" without judgment. And most of all....he has heard those approving words from his true father in heaven...."My Child.....Yours Is Indeed A Job Well Done!"

In Conclusion.......Lyrics To Michael Jackson's Song: "Gone Too Soon."

Like A Comet, Blazing Cross The Evening Sky...Gone Too Soon.
Like A Rainbow, Fading In The Twinkling of an Eye......Gone Too Soon.
Shiny and Sparkly, and Splendidly Bright.
Here One Day.....Gone One Night.

Like A Castle, Built Upon A Sandy Beach......Gone Too Soon.
Like A Perfect Flower, That Is Beyond Your Reach...Gone Too Soon.

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day....Gone One Night.

Like A Sunset, Dying With The Rising of The Moon
Gone Too Soon.
Gone Too Soon.
(Source: Dr. Monica Burns-Capers, Ph.D )



29-09-2011, 09:29 PM
Michael Jackson is the most Astonishing Person I have ever met on the face of this planet


“Michael Jackson is the most astonishing person I have ever met on the face of this planet. I never expected to meet anybody like him; I never suspected there was anybody like him. He lived to give. He lived to give to his audience. He loved his audience.

One day I got a call at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, here in New York saying, “You gotta be out here - meaning L.A. - tonight at 11 o’clock. Michael is cancelling his tour and you’re the only one he’ll listen to.” Michael and I sat down in a trailer that night at 11 o’clock - a dark trailer outside in studio lot in L.A. where he and his brothers were rehearsing for their tour. It was like two prophets going up against each other. Michael said to me, “I will not go out on stage. I owe my audience. I owe them the most astonishing thing they have ever seen in their life. My brother Jackie is the best dancer I have ever seen. And my brother Jackie has just came down with a bone chip in his knee. If I can’t go out with the best dancer in the world, then I will not go out, because I will not cheat my audience.” And I felt as if Michael’s chest, the ribs had opened like gates, and I could see 10 000 kids inside of there. And Michael would not let anybody screw around with those kids. He owed them something tremendous. And I had to convince him on the reason, that cancelling his tour would screw those kids. Because they would cease to believe in him, his tour would be so badly… his tour had already been savaged by the press over and over again. His public would not believe in him anymore. And he could feel his audience in my chest. I never expected to meet a human being like that.

One day we were looking at pictures together for what was supposed to be his next album cover, and his knees buckled when he saw only one inch of a picture in a portfolio, and he made an orgasmic sound. And the further he unpeeled back the page, the more his knees buckled. I knew, I was standing next to him. I could feel his body language. And the more - the orgasmic sounds grew, because Michael was capable of seeing the infinity in the tiniest of things, and I never ever in my life expected to meet that quality of wonder and that kind of extreme generosity. He lived for other people. And when he couldn’t live for other people, he died a little. If there ever was a saint on the face of this planet, Michael was it.”

— Howard Bloom, MJ’s manager during the Victory tour



01-10-2011, 06:56 PM
Bob Marley Meets Michael Jackson in Jamaica in 1975

We recently did this story George Harrison Meets Bob Marley. We also recently found some photo's of Bob Marley meeting Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 at Marley's house in Jamaica in March of 1975. Check out Bob & MJ below.

Bob Marley Michael jackson The Jackson 5 Jamaica

Marley had booked The Jackson 5 to open for Bob Marley & The Wailers at National Heroes Stadium before the start of their Natty Dread Tour. The Jackson 5 visited Marley at his home at 56 Hope St. Kingston, Jamaica before the concert. Here's a photo of J5 Mother Katherine Jackson with Marley.

Bob Marley Michael Jackson 5 Katherine jackson

Here's Michael, Bunny Wailer & Jackie Jackson in this photo.
Note y MJJLaugh: looks more like Jermaine than Jackie to me!

I hope that this tree is still up in front of Bob's house.

R.I.P. Bob Marley & Michael Jackson



02-10-2011, 02:29 PM
A beautiful video of Michael spreading L.O.V.E, laughter and healing in a Netherland children hospital!



02-10-2011, 06:36 PM
Remembering Michael Jackson: The Story Behind His Magnum Opus


Before Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, before Avatar and Wall-E, before "going green" became a catchphrase, came Michael Jackson's "Earth Song," one of the most unusual, audacious protest songs in popular music history. A massive hit globally (reaching #1 in over fifteen countries), it wasn't even released as a single in the United States.

Yet nearly sixteen years later, its admirers continue to grow. The song's desperate plea on behalf of the planet and its inhabitants (particularly the most vulnerable) remains as relevant and important as ever.

"Earth Song" mattered deeply to Jackson, who rightfully considered it one of his greatest artistic achievements. He planned for it to be the climax of his ill-fated This Is It concert series in London. It was the last song he rehearsed before he died.

The following excerpt is from a 50-page piece entitled "Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus," which details the song's evolution from its inception in Vienna to Jackson's final live performance in Munich:

"Michael Jackson was alone in his hotel room, pacing.

He was in the midst of the second leg of his Bad World Tour, an exhausting, 123-concert spectacular that stretched over nearly two years. The tour would become the largest-grossing and most-attended concert series in history.

Just days earlier, Jackson had performed in Rome at Flaminio Stadium to an ecstatic sold-out crowd of over 30,000. In his downtime, he visited the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Cathedral at the Vatican with Quincy Jones and legendary composer, Leonard Bernstein. Later, they drove to Florence where Jackson stood beneath Michelangelo's masterful sculpture, David, gazing up in awe.

Now he was in Vienna, Austria, music capital of the Western world. It was here where Mozart's brilliant Symphony No. 25 and haunting Requiem were composed; where Beethoven studied under Haydn and played his first symphony. And it was here, at the Vienna Marriott, on June 1, 1988, that Michael Jackson's magnum opus, "Earth Song," was born.

The six-and-a-half-minute piece that materialized over the next seven years was unlike anything heard before in popular music. Social anthems and protest songs had long been part of the heritage of rock. But not like this. "Earth Song" was something more epic, dramatic, and primal. Its roots were deeper; its vision more panoramic. It was a lamentation torn from the pages of Job and Jeremiah, an apocalyptic prophecy that recalled the works of Blake, Yeats, and Eliot.

It conveyed musically what Picasso's masterful aesthetic protest, Guernica, conveyed in art. Inside its swirling scenes of destruction and suffering were voices -- crying, pleading, shouting to be heard ("What about us?").

"Earth Song" would become the most successful environmental anthem ever recorded, topping the charts in over fifteen countries and selling over five million copies. Yet critics never quite knew what to make of it. Its unusual fusion of opera, rock, gospel, and blues sounded like nothing on the radio. It defied almost every expectation of a traditional anthem. In place of nationalism, it envisioned a world without division or hierarchy. In place of religious dogma or humanism, it yearned for a broader vision of ecological balance and harmony. In place of simplistic propaganda for a cause, it was a genuine artistic expression. In place of a jingly chorus that could be plastered on a T-shirt or billboard, it offered a wordless, universal cry.

Jackson remembered the exact moment the melody came.

It was his second night in Vienna. Outside his hotel, beyond Ring Strasse Boulevard and the sprawling Stadtpark, he could see the majestically lit museums, cathedrals, and opera houses. It was a world of culture and privilege far removed from his boyhood home in Gary, Indiana. Jackson was staying in spacious conjoining suites lined with large windows and a breathtaking view. Yet for all the surrounding opulence, mentally and emotionally he was somewhere else.
It wasn't mere loneliness (though he definitely felt that). It was something deeper -- an overwhelming despair about the condition of the world.

Perhaps the most common trait associated with celebrity is narcissism. In 1988, Jackson certainly would have had reason to be self-absorbed. He was the most famous person on the planet. Everywhere he traveled, he created mass hysteria. The day after his sold-out concert at Prater Stadium in Vienna, an AP article ran, "130 Fans Faint at Jackson Concert." If the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, as John Lennon once claimed, Jackson had the entire Holy Trinity beat.

Michael Jackson performs in Vienna, Austria on June 2, 1988, one day after conceiving of "Earth Song."
Photo Credit: Zoran Veselinovic

While Jackson enjoyed the attention in certain ways, he also felt a profound responsibility to use his celebrity for more than fame and fortune (in 2000, The Guinness Book of World Records cited him as the most philanthropic pop star in history). "When you have seen the things I have seen and traveled all over the world, you would not be honest to yourself and the world to [look away]," Jackson explained.

At nearly every stop on his Bad World Tour, he would visit orphanages and hospitals. Just days earlier, while in Rome, he stopped by the Bambin Gesu Children's Hospital, handing out gifts, taking pictures, and signing autographs. Before leaving, he pledged a donation of over $100,000 dollars.

While performing or helping children, he felt strong and happy, but when he returned to his hotel room, a combination of anxiety, sadness, and desperation sometimes seized him.

Jackson had always been sensitive to suffering and injustice. But in recent years, his feeling of moral responsibility grew. The stereotype of his naiveté ignored his natural curiosity and sponge-like mind. While he wasn't a policy wonk (Jackson unquestionably preferred the realm of art to politics), he also wasn't oblivious to the world around him. He read widely, watched films, talked to experts, and studied issues passionately. He was deeply invested in trying to understand and change the world.

In 1988, he certainly had reason for concern. The news read like chapters from ancient scripture: there were heat waves and droughts, massive wildfires and earthquakes, genocide and famine. Violence escalated in the Holy Land as forests were ravaged in the Amazon and garbage, oil and sewage swept up on shores. In place of Time's Person of the Year, 1988's cover story was dedicated to the "endangered earth." It suddenly occurred to many that we were literally destroying our own home.

Most people read or watch the news casually, passively. They become numb to the horrifying images and stories projected on the screen. Yet such stories frequently moved Jackson to tears. He internalized them and felt physical pain. When people told him to simply enjoy his own good fortune, he got angry. He believed completely in John Donne's philosophy that "no man is an island." For Jackson, the idea extended to all life. The whole planet was connected and intrinsically valuable.

"[For the average person]," he explained, "he sees problems 'out there' to be solved... But I don't feel that way -- those problems aren't 'out there,' really. I feel them inside me. A child crying in Ethiopia, a seagull struggling pathetically in an oil spill... a teenage soldier trembling with terror when he hears the planes fly over: Aren't these happening in me when I see and hear about them?"

Once, during a dance rehearsal, he had to stop because an image of a dolphin trapped in a net made him so emotionally distraught. "From the way its body was tangled in the lines," he explained, "you could read so much agony. Its eyes were vacant, yet there was still that smile, the ones dolphins never lose... So there I was, in the middle of rehearsal, and I thought, 'They're killing a dance.'"

When Jackson performed, he could feel these turbulent emotions surging through him. With his dancing and singing, he tried to transfuse the suffering, give it expression, meaning, and strength. It was liberating. For a brief moment, he could take his audience to an alternative world of harmony and ecstasy. But inevitably, he was thrown back into the "real world" of fear and alienation.

So much of this pain and despair circulated inside Jackson as he stood in his hotel room, brooding.

Then suddenly it "dropped in [his] lap": Earth's song. A song from her perspective, her voice. A lamentation and a plea.

The chorus came to him first -- a wordless cry. He grabbed his tape player and pressed record. Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh.

The chords were simple, but powerful: A-flat minor to C-sharp triad; A-flat minor seventh to C-sharp triad; then modulating up, B-flat minor to E-flat triad. That's it! Jackson thought. He then worked out the introduction and some of the verses. He imagined its scope in his head. This, he determined, would be the greatest song he'd ever composed..."

Copyright © 2011 Joseph Vogel

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One of Michael Jackson's most memorable performances of "Earth Song" (Brunei, 1996).

The full version of "Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus" can be downloaded at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore (iTunes).

For more information, visit www.joevogel.net/earthsong.



03-10-2011, 06:50 PM
Michael Jackson: The Truth About his 'Final' Photoshoot


The image of Michael Jackson that graces the cover of Q magazine’s August 2009 issue, which coincidentally went to press shortly before Jackson’s tragic death, has been widely circulated as the last authorized photograph of the singer. While that remains likely to be true, photographer John Wright tells the Music Mix that the photo shoot in question actually took place several years ago, in approximately 2007. Guinness World Records hired Wright at the time to photograph Jackson at the company’s central London office, where the star was accepting an award for his history-making album sales. “I got a call, ‘Do you want to shoot Michael Jackson next week?’” Wright recalls. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I was extremely relaxed about it, because I was absolutely certain he would never show up. But about 2 p.m. in the afternoon, he walked in.”

Jackson was joined by “a fairly large entourage” including bodyguards, management, and a few lucky fans — but no makeup artist or stylist. “It was extremely underplayed,” says Wright. “The thing that excited me was it was an opportunity to do a really, really honest portrait of that face.” Jackson spent about an hour meeting and greeting Guinness officials before Wright got a three-minute window to shoot him. “What struck me was his shyness. He carried himself really quite humbly, I thought. I’ve shot a lot of celebrities, and was pleasantly taken with the fact that Michael Jackson went out of his way to introduce himself and shake hands with everybody on my crew, which was about four people on the day — even crossing the room to shake hands with one of my assistants, which was unnecessary, but he obviously felt compelled to out of a sense of grace and politeness.” Adds Wright, “I want to make it clear: He was attentive, he was focused, he was having fun. That wasn’t an ill man who was in the room with me.”

After photographing Jackson for about 90 seconds in total, Wright had three usable head shots, one of which he eventually sold to Q earlier this year when the magazine put together its August 2009 cover story on the King of Pop’s planned London comeback concerts. Now, as it becomes clear that the Guinness shoot may have been Jackson’s last, Wright says he’s been approached by a number of outlets looking to print the other two photos. While he provided one to a German tribute publication, he’s proceeding with caution. “It really depends on the context of what they’re doing. It will always be the picture that it is, and it’s looking like it could be the last official portrait that was shot of him. I’ve got no need to exploit the situation.” (When contacted by EW, Jackson’s reps were unable to confirm at this time whether this was his final photo shoot.)

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04-10-2011, 07:48 PM
Four Candles

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/robin_2711/222912247/" title="Peace, Faith, Love and Hope. poem please read by robin_2711 Johanna Mifsud photography, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/68/222912247_0af9571834.jpg" width="500" height="400" alt="Peace, Faith, Love and Hope. poem please read"></a>

The Four Candles burned slowly.
Their Ambiance was so soft you
could hear them speak...

The first candle said, "I Am Peace, but these days, nobody
wants to keep me lit." Then Peace's flame slowly
diminishes and goes out completely.

The second candle says, "I Am Faith, but these days, I am
no longer indispensable." Then Faith's flame slowly
diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly the third candle spoke, "I Am Love and I haven't the
strength to stay lit any longer."
"People put me aside and don't understand my
importance. They even forget to love those who are
nearest to them." And waiting no longer, Love goes out

Suddenly...A child enters the room and sees the three
candles no longer burning. The child begins to cry, "Why
are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the

Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to the little boy,
"Don't be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we
can re-light the other candles."

With Shining eyes the child took the Candle of Hope and
lit the other three candles.

Never let the Flame of Hope go out of your life.
With Hope, no matter how bad things look and
are...Peace, Faith and Love can Shine Brightly in our lives.

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05-10-2011, 08:39 PM
Love and Sacrifice

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s320x320/291996_242997912402390_100000765482913_585213_3355 333_n.jpg

Have you noticed lately how in all walks of life, all areas, the focus is shifting from FORM to ESSENCE. Many things are happening currently in our world, that ask us to rely less on our five primary senses and more on our heart, our inner knowledge and intuition. That is why people like Michael had such an important message for humanity, the message of love, light, and hope. This is a time to let go of the fears that grow like weeds in the gardens of our soul, and to water that tree, that lotus flower of our soul's garden, so love can really grow and reach out to all who are in such dire need of unconditional love

Undoubtedly you will have heard the complete recording of Michael's voice, on May 10th 2009, although slurred, he never once wavered from his life's mission, his Divine purpose, to help the children of the world, to Heal the World. While the recording itself is sad and heartbreaking, if you focus on the essence, the purpose, his ideal, it becomes nothing short of amazing how Michael could keep his true life's focus even under the most trying of circumstances. He is willing to sacrifice everything, feeling their pain, as a true empath and the world's greatest humanitarian, to make the commitment for his life's dream: The Michael Jackson Children's Hospital. He was willing to do whatever it took to make his dream happen. It is my deepest wish that his vision of a Michael Jackson's Childrens Hospital will become a reality in his honor. I also hope and pray that the media will shift their focus to the essence of Michael Jackson: his message of Love and to Heal the World!

~ MJJLaugh


Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them
~ Dalai Lama.

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed
~ Woodrow Wilson.

Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.
~ David Kenyon Webster.


My Angel From Above

Angel love Whenever I'm feeling lonely
Or maybe feeling blue
I think of all the things
All the little things you do.

Whenever I feel lousy
And seem to have a frown
I remember all the funny times
And you just turn it upside down.

Whenever I'm depressed
And need you by my side
I remember all the sweet things you say
To make the sadness go away.

When I need a shoulder to cry on
You are always there
Taking away all my fears and loneliness
when my life's a mess.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zKBbtj9rWrU/SkeUqZDhhjI/AAAAAAAACUc/yzlFExwuW_s/s400/Michael+Jackson+visits+cancer+victims+in+South+Kor ea.jpg




06-10-2011, 07:57 PM
Healing the World

All through his songs and performances Michael spoke of healing the world. The world is made up of all of us; me and you, and our beloved planet, nature, the trees, the birds and the animals, the skies. How can you help heal the world ? Maybe you say to yourself: I'm just one person and don't make much money, what could I possibly do to help heal the world ?

You don't have to be rich, famous or a singer to help heal the world. When we talk to each other, at school or work, at home, online, on the phone, we hear noises: sounds of young voices, and old voices, high-pitched voices and deep voices, music in the mix, cars, airplanes, sirens, the washing machine, a dog barking, and maybe arguments, laughter, crying, children playing, dogs barking. Thinks of all the noises you hear each day. But are you really listening ? Listening to the other, with a open heart and open mind, with compassion, unites us as people. Everyone needs to be heard, but who is listening ?

Do you want to be part of the cacaphony of noise, or do you want to be a note in the symphony of love ? Our great conductor of love's symphony was Michael, and if we do what we are supposed to do, at the precise moment we are meant to do it, the notes will blend together in heaven's wondrous melody, a healing sound for all of us and our planet.
All notes, great or small, play their own role in life's symphony, together creating a wondrous melody....
~ MJJLaugh


Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.

~ Alice Miller

You can practice deep listening in order to relieve the suffering in us, and in the other person. That kind of listening is described as compassionate listening. You listen only for the purpose of relieving suffering in the other person.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.

~ David Augsburger

When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely -- the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears -- when you give your whole attention to it.

- Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Source for the quotes:


07-10-2011, 09:00 PM
Santa Maria man shares story behind Michael Jackson’s “The Broken Heart Stone”






A twist of fate is the reason a Santa Maria man says he ended up with a unique piece of Michael Jackson memorabilia. It’s being called “The Broken Heart Stone” and there’s quite a story behind it. If you can believe this, it was actually lost for more than two decades before being found again.

The king of pop was at the top of his career with the Thriller album. In fact, Jackson won eight Grammys and his career seemed unstoppable. During that time, the pop star also created something special. Andrew Wilson, Jackson memorabilia owner, said, “I really believe it’s something the world should see.” It’s a 500 pound cement slab dated June 1984 and features a hand print, footprints and autograph of Jackson.

Wilson said, “I was at the right place, at the right time.” The former five time international Kung Fu champion and Santa Maria resident had formed a business relationship with Jackson. He said, “I was very supportive of him during the trial.” Wilson even wrote a letter of support for Jackson to a local newspaper. “I got word back from the people at Neverland that Michael had seen it and was very pleased about it,” said Wilson.

Wilson says that twist of fate came on the day Jackson died. He arrived in Las Vegas and ran into some of those same people. He said, “People at Neverland knew me and said oh my gosh, I think Michael would love for you to have this.” They put him in contact with the then-owner of the impression. Originally, it was made for the Walk of Fame project for the city of Las Vegas but that never materialized. So what’s shocking, the stone stayed hidden in the basement of the Riviera Hotel for more than two decades before being sold.

Wilson said, “You can actually look at his hand and you can actually see a heart print.” The left palm print features a heart shape design with a crack running through it, that’s how the name “The Broken Heart Stone” came about. “A broken heart represents not only Michael but the fans that loved him in his quick and immediate passing,” said Wilson. He goes on to say, “I think it’s kind of a statement to the world. Yeah, I died with a broken heart and I have fans who have a broken heart because of me.”



08-10-2011, 09:11 PM
Courage (Written by Michael Jackson)

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Its curious what takes courage and what doesnt. When I step out on stage in front of thousands of people, I dont feel that Im being brave. It can take much more courage to express true feelings to one person. When I think of courage, I think of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. He was always running away from danger. He often cried and shook with fear. But he was also sharing his real feelings with those he loved, even though he didnt always like those feelings

That takes real courage, the courage to be intimate. Expressing your feelings is not the same as falling apart in front of someone else — its being accepting and true to your heart, whatever it may say. When you have the courage to be intimate, you know who you are, and youre willing to let others see that. Its scary, because you feel so vulnerable, so open to rejection. But without self-acceptance, the other kind of courage, the kind heroes show in movies, seems hollow.
In spite of the risks, the courage to be honest and intimate opens the way to self-discovery. It offers what we all want, the promise of love

**DANCING THE DREAM by Michael Jackson**
(published 1992)

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09-10-2011, 07:17 PM
Michael and the Lionel Trains

This is an excerpt from Jermaine Jackson's book which I found on a website, thankfully, so I wouldn't have to type it over from the book. I can just imagine it all: a little black boy hoping with all his might to one day own a miniature Lionel train...


“Go faster! Go faster!” Michael shrieked, hitting an early high note. He was sitting in the front of a shopping cart— knees to chin—while Tito, Marlon and I were running and pushing it down 23rd Avenue, me with both hands on the handlebar, and my two brothers either side as the wheels wobbled and bounced off the road on a summer’s day. We built up speed and powered forward like a bobsled team. Except this, in our minds, was a train. We’d find two, sometimes three, shopping carts from the nearby Giants supermarket and couple them together. Giants was about three blocks away, located across the sports field at the back of our home, but its carts were often abandoned and strewn about the streets, so they were easy to commandeer. Michael was “the driver.”

He was crazy about Lionel toy trains—small but weighty model steam engines and locomotives, packaged in orange boxes. Whenever Mother took us shopping for clothes at the Salvation Army, he always darted upstairs to the toy section to see if anyone had donated a secondhand Lionel train set. So, in his imagination, our shopping carts became two or three railroad cars, and 23rd Avenue was the straight section of track. It was a train that went too fast to pick up other passengers, thundering along, as Michael provided the sound effects. We hit the brakes when 23rd Avenue ran into a dead end, about 50 yards from the back of our house.

If Michael wasn’t on the street playing trains, he was on the carpet in our shared bedroom with his prized Lionel engine. Our parents couldn’t afford to buy him a new one, or invest in an electric- train set, complete with full length track, station, and signal boxes. That is why the dream of owning a train set was in his head long before the dream of performing.

Speed. I’m convinced our excitement as kids was built on the thrill of speed. Whatever we did involved going faster, trying to outgun one another. Had our father known the extent of our thirst for speed, he would have banned it for sure: the potential for injury was always considered a grave risk to our career.

Once we grew bored of the shopping-cart trains, we built go-carts, constructed from boxes, stroller wheels and planks of wood from a nearby junkyard. Tito was the “engineer” of the brotherhood and he had the know-how in putting everything together. He was forever dismantling clocks and radios, and reassembling them on the kitchen table, or watching Joseph under the hood of his Buick parked at the side of the house, so he knew where our father’s tool box was. We hammered together three planks to form an I-shaped chassis and axle. We nailed the open cockpit—a square wooden box—on top, and took cord from a clothes line for our steering mechanism, looping it through the front wheels, held like reins. In truth, our turning circle was about as tight as an oil tanker’s, so we only ever traveled in straight lines.






10-10-2011, 09:11 PM
Kobe Bryant on how Michael Jackson Inspired him

Kobe Bryant, in his 15th NBA season, says his on-court mentality comes from advice offered by the King of Pop.
(Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS – Out of nowhere one afternoon, Michael Jackson made a call to the irrepressible and isolated Kobe Bryant(notes), and so much changed for him. From a distance, the King of Pop could sense so much of his own obsessive genius within the prodigy. Bryant was the 18-year-old wonder for the Los Angeles Lakers, and no one knew what to make of a restlessness borne of a desperate desire for greatness.

“He noticed I was getting a lot of [expletive] for being different,” Bryant said.

They would talk for hours and hours, visiting at Neverland Ranch, and Bryant has long been fortified by the lessons Jackson instilled about the burden of honoring true talent, about the ways to open your mind to be smarter, sharper and insatiable in the chase.

“It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports.

Bryant isn’t much for nostalgia and sentimentality, but it hung in the air as he cut into his steak over dinner recently in the fourth-floor restaurant at the Graves Hotel. Jackson is gone, but Bryant is going on 15 years with the Lakers.

“We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts,” Bryant said. “He would teach me what he did: How to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it. It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown.

“That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes.

“It’s from Michael Jackson.”

You can read the rest of the article about Kobe here (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Amq0mfMLeY9RFvABVy8V3qy8vLYF?slug=aw-kobebryantchat112310)








11-10-2011, 08:48 PM

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A beggar in the street I saw,
Who held a hand like withered claw,
As cold as clay;
But as I had no silver groat
To give, I buttoned up my coat
And turned away.

And then I watched a working wife
Who bore the bitter load of life
With lagging limb;
A penny from her purse she took,
And with sweet pity in her look
Gave it to him.

Anon I spied a shabby dame
Who fed six sparrows as they came
In famished flight;
She was so poor and frail and old,
Yet crumbs of her last crust she doled
With pure delight.

Then sudden in my heart was born
For my sleek self a savage scorn,--
Urge to atone;
So when a starving cur I saw
I bandaged up its bleeding paw
And bought a bone.

For God knows it is good to give;
We may not have so long to live,
So if we can,
Let's do each day a kindly deed,
And stretch a hand to those in need,
Bird, beast or man.



Create Date : Monday, January 13, 2003

12-10-2011, 06:15 PM
Vanessa Lee - Fook (the little girl in the picture) speaks about how she met MJ:

"I met the legendary Michael Jackson back in February, 1978 when I lived in Trinidad, West Indies. He came there with his brothers, The Jacksons, for a concert. It was a chance meeting that I will never forget that lasted for almost one whole week! When I talk about that time, it sounds so far fetched. If I didn't have the pictures and autographs to prove it, I wouldn't believe it either.
One of the pictures I will share is of Michael and I at Las Cuevas Beach in Trinidad. He was such a gentle, humble, and truly special person. Even back then I could tell he was a perfectionist, a musical genius who loved to entertain people.
Can you name one performer out there today who can truly entertain people the way Michael did and command an audience?"


Photographer Todd Gray spoke about this photo:

"Michael showed me his newly finished private theater, complete with plush red velvet seats. I thought his blue sweater would complement the deep red, and I asked him to take a seat and pretend as if he were watching a movie. “Which movie?” he asked. I said, “It doesn’t matter. Any movie will do.” But Michael insisted: “Todd, you’ve got to tell me which movie I’m supposed to be watching if you want a reaction from me.” O.K., what about a Charlie Chaplin comedy, I suggested. “Which one?” Michael asked. “He made so many, you know.” My mind went blank; luckely, my assistant shouted out, “Modern Times.” Michael responded, “O.K., which part?” Exasperated, I said, “Michael, it’s a comedy, just laugh!” It was getting late and we were all tired and a little punchy, but Michael was having fun with all of this. “Well,” he began, “if you want me to laugh, then you have to tell me a joke. But you said you wanted me to act like I’m watching a movie. Which is it you want?” Finally I gave up and made a ridiculous clown face, which made him laugh."

That was such a cute moment!!! Michael was so funny.. so special!!!




13-10-2011, 08:58 PM
Just Be

Thanks to my friends Heaven Leigh and Marjolein Lukas for allowing me to repost Heaven's poem and Marjolein's painting. Much love to both of you!
~ MJJLaugh


“You Are Not Alone”
Powerful message i keep hearing in my head, and feel in my heart…
This is the image that came along with that message. All i had to do was paint it on canvas. :-)
LOVE to you! ~ Marjolein

Just Be

I am here to comfort you
Here to set you free
Sadness need not torture you
Don’t be sad
Just be

I am free…
Two by two, me and you
We can be
I am strength
I am power
I can be your high tower
In the dark
Your sunflower
Set you free
Just Be
Hear me now
My eyes glisten with your tears
Please just listen
Through your fears
I will hold you
Don’t you see?
Just be

You are there
To do our work
Heal the hurt you see
Heal yourself by reaching out
Don’t be sad
Just be

I am strong…
Two by two, me and you
We belong

You are strength
You are power
For the world a high tower
In the dark
Their sunflower
Set them free
Just be
Hear me now
We can do this
You know how
Walk in my bliss
Through your fears
I will hold you
Don’t you see
Just be

In this light
We are free
I am NOW
Look at me

I am strength
I am power
Let me be your high tower
In the dark
Your sunflower
Set you free
Just be
Hear me now
My eyes glisten with your tears
Please just listen
Through your fears
I will hold you
Don’t you see
Just be

All Rights Reserved © Copyright 2011







14-10-2011, 06:49 PM
Videos featuring Michael

I hope you like these videos that I made about Michael:

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16-10-2011, 09:29 PM
Tulsa Cousin Of Jackson Mourns His Loss

Maurice Jackson is Michael Jackson's second cousin. Maurice's father was Michael's great uncle.

Posted: Jun 26, 2009 11:35 PM

Maurice Jackson is Michael Jackson's second cousin. Maurice's father was Michael's great uncle.

Jackson's music filled the airwaves around Tulsa as fans remembered the music maven. Jackson's music filled the airwaves around Tulsa as fans remembered the music maven.

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Michael Jackson has fans that span the entire world. The King of Pop also has family ties to Tulsa.

"I just felt he was a phenomenal singer. Yeah, very unusual. And, he had such a charisma, you know," said Maurice Jackson.

Maurice Jackson is Michael Jackson's second cousin. Maurice's father was Michael's great uncle.

"Singing like that just doesn't come along every day. There's just something special about him," said Maurice Jackson.

Maurice last saw the pop icon years ago when he was touring with the Jackson Five. But, he followed his cousin's career and counts himself as a fan.

"All of them are my favorite. Anything he sang. Billy Jean. All of them. They are all my favorites," said Maurice Jackson.

Another family member called Maurice Jackson to inform him of Michael's passing. He says he can't imagine the tremendous pressure the star was under.

"He was a perfectionist, you know. He had to have everything just perfect and I think that put him under a lot of stress," said Maurice Jackson.

As fans mourn the loss of the legend, his cousin hopes they will remember the musician in a positive light.

"I think you should remember the good things that he did in life. The songs that he did and how he tried to pull people together. Because I feel that Michael was a person that really loved the world," said Maurice Jackson. "And even in a lot of his music, he expresses that. And, I think that is a legacy that we can all look on with beautiful memories of him."

Jackson's music filled the airwaves around Tulsa as fans remembered the music maven. KJAMZ and other Tulsa radio stations on Friday played many of Jackson's hits.



17-10-2011, 08:49 PM
Michael's Words of Wisdom

Today I received the following story in my inbox. It reminded me of a quote or short story by Michael from Dancing the Divine.
When I came home I immediately leafed through Dancing the Divine and I smiled when I had found it. No explanations are necessary here, I think, as the words will speak to your heart and your inner child of wisdom:

One day the student asked the teacher: "Can you recommend me a book that describes the truth behind the mystery of life ?"
The teacher, who had a few books of his own in his bookcase, reached for a book that dealt with the secrets and miraculous powers of water and about the meaning of water for life on earth. He gave the book to his student and said: "Take it between both hands and wring it."
The student looked surprised, but did as he was told. He wrung and wrung, but the teacher said: "You need to wring harder."
The student tried his very best, but the teacher coaxed: "come on, try harder!"
This continued for a while. Finally the student gave up, not knowing the purpose behind it.
The teacher asked him: "And, were you able to wring any water from the book ?"
"No, of course not!"
"You see," the teacher said, "no water comes from a book about water, and a book about truth does not give you the truth."


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zKBbtj9rWrU/SkeUqZDhhjI/AAAAAAAACUc/yzlFExwuW_s/s400/Michael%2BJackson%2Bvisits%2Bcancer%2Bvictims%2Bin %2BSouth%2BKorea.jpg


And then I read these words by Michael:

Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone. This simple goodness shines straight from their hearts. This has so much to teach. If a child wants chocolate ice cream, he just asks for it. Adults get tangled up in complications over whether to eat the ice cream or not. A child simply enjoys.

What we need to learn from children isn't childish. Being with them connects us to the deep wisdom of life, which is everpresent and only asks to be lived. Now, when the world is so confused and its problems so complicated, I feel we need out children more than ever. Their natural wisdom points the way to solutions that lie, waiting to be recognized, within our own hearts.


Dancing the Dream

18-10-2011, 09:21 PM
Jonathan Moffett on Michael's Magic and Magnetism

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Jonathan, people speak of an energy around Michael; a light. Did you ever feel that?

Jonathan: All the time, every time I am around him. That’s why you know you are in the presence of greatness. That’s why you know you’re in the presence of somebody special. Just count the number of fans and people and the multitude that love him around the world. He’s one man loved by… CNN said that over one billion people mourned Michael from all the remote areas of the world, as well as all the known areas. What other human being can draw that much sympathy and that much hurt from their loss. Michael had something special, a radiance, and when you were in his presence the whole room changed.

People would say, “Michael’s coming,” and everybody got nervous. As soon as you had the vision of him, even just knowing he was coming, you felt something, like a tingle happening. Just to watch him walk through the door, it’s like all the molecules in the air stop and you can pinch them with your finger; pick them up. It’s like you could see the smallest speck; you could see the molecules in the air when Michael walked in the room. He changed them; the molecular structure of the air. And that’s the equation of what happens when Michael enters, and everybody in the room felt it and knew it. Then their attitudes and personalities would change. They would perk up their attention, but they would always say, “There’s something with him. When he came in I got nervous. I felt something!” And I would hear that over and over again and I would say, “I know, I know. I’ve been feeling it for thirty years.”

And he was just so pleasant; just something with his imagery. Everybody radiates from a different frequency, and Michael had the highest level of energy I think without being from another world. His gift and his humanity of spirit were just so powerful and great and deep. He was a different human being from most of us; from all of us. He did affect everybody that came around him, from leaders of the world to normal folk, from children to people, grandmothers. Every single person that’s been around him said they felt something, that I remember seeing or talking to.

And that’s why people cry. People absolutely cry. I would sit on stage and watch them pass bodies, like back in the medieval days when people died of the plague. You would see them lift bodies, arms dangling and legs, heads swinging, and there was like an ocean of people with their arms up passing bodies to the front, to the gate. There would be a line-up there of emergency vehicles… five, ten of them lined up. There were stretchers and triages back there. One by one, people were passing them forward; sometimes a multitude of bodies moving across the crowd being passed to the rescue people. They would give them smelling salts and try to revive them. Some people were just totally gone, unconscious, you know, like totally no life in them, and that’s just from being in that stadium with Michael. I just got to just sit back there and marvel at it. It was just the most powerful thing to see, and that’s just from that one man in the center of the stage. He made even men pass out; women and men. That’s a power and Michael knew it. He knew he was gifted with something special, a purpose; uniting the world and uniting people.

- Jonathan Moffett, drummer



19-10-2011, 08:34 PM

It’s curious what takes courage and what doesn’t.
When I step out on stage in front of thousands of people, I don’t feel that I’m being brave.
It takes much more courage to express true feelings to one person.
When I think of courage, I think of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
He was always running away from danger.
He often cried and shook with fear.
But he was also sharing his real feelings with those he loved, even though he didn’t always like those feelings.

That takes real courage, the courage to be intimate.
Expressing your feelings is not the same as falling apart in front of someone else,
it’s being accepting and true to your own heart, whatever it may say.
When you have the courage to be intimate, you know who you are, and you’re willing to let others see that.
It’s scary, because you feel so vulnerable, so open to rejection.
But without self-acceptance, the other kind of courage, the kind heroes show in movies, seems hollow.
In spite of the risks, the courage to be honest and intimate opens the way to self discovery.
It offers what we all want, the promise of love.

© 1992 Michael Joseph Jackson - Dancing The Dream

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Do you think it's coincidence when you happen to come across music that sounds like a precursor to Earth Song and has potential to become a concert opener, and it just happens to be called "Inspiration from the Sky". If Michael had known this music I feel that he would have loved it. The music inspired me to make the video you see above. For maxium enjoyment TURN UP THE VOLUME!!! I hope you like it!
~ MJJLaugh

20-10-2011, 08:20 PM
Michael loved Indian Food


Many years ago, Michael Jackson had collaborated with A R Rahman in a song called Ekam Satyam. The album was produced by Bharat Bala and his wife Kanika Myer.

Kanika goes back in time and recounts her memories of meeting with the pop icon:

Michael heard A R Rahman's Vande Mataram -- which we had produced -- and wanted to work with Rahman and us. He was good friends with S P Hinduja, Chairman of The Hinduja Group, and got in touch with us through him.

He wanted to dance on an Indian song. So we recorded the song Ekam Satyam and took it to to him. I met him for the first time in Paris. It was a great honour to meet and produce a song for him. He was very humble and creative.

When he heard the song, he was very thrilled. In fact, when he put on the headphones to listen to the song, he started tapping his feet and tapping his band on his thigh in rhythm with the beats. He was enjoying himself. It was nice to see the way he heard the song.

He wanted us to take this song to Munich where a fundraiser concert was organised for the Red Cross by Nelson Mandela in 1999. Michael Jackson asked us to bring Indian dancers for the concert. So we took Indian dancers, as well as Prabhu Deva and Shobhana.

Before the concert, we met again to get his costume measurements. We wanted him to wear Indian costumes and he readily agreed.

On the day of the concert, I wanted to take a video of him backstage. He was very cool and not nervous at all. He was very passionate about what he was doing. He loved music so much.

One interesting thing about Michael Jackson was that he was vegetarian, and loved Indian food. He took an Indian chef to Munich. He loved Indian culture, Indian food and the song and dance in our films.

I love his songs but my favourite is so You are not alone, They don't care about us, Heal the world, Childhood, Thriller and Man in the Mirror.

I miss him a lot. I cannot forget my first meeting with him till date.
Patcy N



22-10-2011, 07:39 PM

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ...'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral:
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Sound doesn't start until 1:07.

24-10-2011, 06:43 AM
Interesting thread...

24-10-2011, 08:06 PM

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When we have challenges
that seem to weigh us down

May Perseverance be our strength

When we have lost someone we love
and don’t think we can go on

May our sustenance be our Faith

When we have been hurt
by the words or actions of others

May Love be our weapon of choice

When we are worried about the future
and other worldly matters

May Hope be our vision’s voice

God has given us all that we need
to Persevere
to live our Faith
to Love
and to embrace Hope

May we always remember
to seek Divine guidance
and to use these gifts bestowed


~ C. Burgess © 2011



25-10-2011, 08:45 PM
Michael Jackson Received Vaishnava Books

by Ramabhadra das

Posted July 14, 2009


Satya dasi with Michael Jackson in 1999.

In 1999 Satya devi dasi, of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn, New York, twice catered prasadam for the late Michael Jackson at private dinners for two with a man we know in New York City.

When she offered the singer a copy of the Bhagavad-gita he said he already had the book. The host then asked if the book Jackson had was Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is; Jackson confirmed that it was. When presented with a first-edition Krishna Art book, he looked through the illustrations and said he liked the paintings. He took that Krishna Art book home.



He was one of the fortunate persons in this world to honor Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva's Maha-prasdam, enjoying Radha Govinda Temple's world famous Burfi and other Mangal-arati sweets. He got Satya's gourmet prasadam cooking for dinner on two consecutive evenings, discussing reincarnation and karma at the dinner table with the host.

Desserts: Burfi - made with condensed milk, sugar and one of these ingredients: pistachio, or cardemon, almonds, chocolate or other flavors

Satya reported that Jackson was very nice, soft-spoken and friendly. At that time he was staying in a luxury suite at the Waldorf Astoria with his daughter Paris Katherine and first son Prince Michael; his third child was not yet born. Jackson had been in New York to receive the Bollywood Outstanding Humanitarian Award.



26-10-2011, 07:33 PM


On Beauty
Kahlil Gibran
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say,
"We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
"We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves,
and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.



27-10-2011, 08:17 PM
Michael Jackson's type of girl

Black Stars, November 1976

“A young lady’s physical beauty can by no means outshine the inner beauty that radiates from her inner heart and spirit. The kindness of a girl is more important than anything, really, to be honest about it.”

Special Edition of Right On magazine, 50 Facts About Michael, 1984

28. A soft, sexy scent will make Michael turn his attention to you.
31. Balloons, balloons, and more balloons are what Michael would send you if you were his special girl.
37. He loves singing romantic songs more than any other kind.
38. Michael loves having long telephone conversations with special ladies.
39. Michael thinks Japan is a wonderful country to fall in love because of its beauty and romance.
41. Go on a roller coaster with Michael and you’ll his win his heart. The scarier the better.

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28-10-2011, 06:23 PM
I don't know if you guys are subscribed to The Annoying Orange on YouTube, I personally find it... well, annoying. But I think this one is actually worth watching. The song starts at around 1:15.

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By the way, if this is the wrong place for this video, I apologize. It's just nice to find a positive parody for once, and with the "Annoying Orange" being in the Top 10 most subscribed channel on YouTube, millions of people will be able to see something positive with Michael, even if it is a little cheesy. ^_^

28-10-2011, 09:07 PM
Celebrating Diwali ?

Normally I don't share my meditation experiences or dreams here in this thread, but this time I'll make an exception as this is a rather sweet story all in all. Just open your mind to the possibility... Yesterday evening I decided to meditate. When I meditate I do this with music from the soundtrack of the movie 'Finding Neverland'. Found out much later that that music was from that movie, and that fact alone made me smile then.
So anyway, as I was saying, I meditated yesterday evening. The kind of meditation where I visualize myself walking down these stone stairs in the woods, until I reach the bottom/have become relaxed. Then it is always a surprise what happens next. One thing is constant though: a small waterfall into a creek to my left. I need to hear and see water during my meditations, and there must be woods.
I met Michael and I asked him, having just learned about Deepavali or Diwali some days ago, if he celebrated Diwali in heaven.
( For more background information on Diwali, see here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali. His whole face lit up with a wide grin from ear to ear and he told me without words that he loved it as much as Christmas! Immediately after that I was shown the (outer) festivities: hundreds of hollowed out bulb-like, burning candles that floated on water between lotus flowers and rose petals. There were also fireworks. Not sure if the fireworks actually belong with Diwali, but he showed me fireworks. Then there was a water organ: fountains of water spewing high and low and wide and small, with colored lights weaving through them to his songs! That was the coolest part!

After this meditation experience I got curious so I checked youtube for 'water organ Michael Jackson' and eventually found the video posted below. What made it special was that the view count was my birthday written the European way. My birthday is on January 22, 1964 and the view count was 22164. ( Out of curiosity I looked up the likelihood or odds of this occurring: 5 numbers in the correct order, there is a chance of 1: ten billion of that happening)

The video is worth watching!!!
The video ends with Earth Song, my favorite song, so make sure you watch it until the end! :heart:
Earth song starts at 7:11. Other songs are Heal The World, You Are Not Alone, Man in The Mirror, to name a few.

Fountain Tribute for Michael Jackson from the crew of Waltzing Waters®.

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29-10-2011, 09:51 PM
Helena Kadlcikova - Paintings of Michael

left: Helena Kadlcikova and right is Michael in PJs and looking very sad

Today I can only give you links to other websites. Helena Kadlcikova is a Czech artist who stayed three months at Neverland and made numerous paintings of Michael. I stumbled upon her and her paintings as I was searching for the word "Unicorn" in relation to Michael, and learned that he had planned to participate in a movie called "The Last Unicorn, the endangered species" until project financing from another participant fell through.







To see more paintings click here :



And if you can read Czech, maybe you are willing to translate ( parts of) these articles:


30-10-2011, 09:27 PM
Michael in his own words - Artistic Inspiration

I have been wanting to create a post about form and essence, and another one about Ultimate Truth, but it either stayed very abstract or became mundane, and that is not worthy of a Michael Jackson related post. Then, this morning I read words that gave all these words meaning, direction and a purpose. The word that that is like the center of the wheel, is the word "Inspiration". Art is the form, the expression, and the inspiration is the essence. Talents are God-given and through Divine inspiration a work of art is born.

What does the word Inspiration mean ? It is derived from the latin word 'inspirare' or to breathe in. To me it is spirit that ascends and conveys a thought, idea or a musical riff to someone on the same frequency. If you are open and receiving, you can receive inspiration on any type of artistic endeavour, and expressing yourself artistically helps you to connect to your own Divinity. Michael says it beautifully in Dancing the Dream "For me the form God takes is not the most important thing. What's most important is the essence. My songs and dances are outlines for Him to come in and fill. I hold out the form, She puts in the sweetness."
~ MJJLaugh

http://mj.vivomi.com/resources/Michael%20Jackson%200022%20mj.vivomi.com%20fan%20s ite.jpg?timestamp=1264166715673

Excerpts from the book "MJ in his own words" by Catherine Dinine, 1993

- I wrote 'Will You Be There?' [Dangerous album] at my house, Neverland in California. I didn't think about it hard. I always feel that it's done from above. I feel fortunate for being that instrument through which music flows. I'm just the sourre through which it comes. I can't take credit for it because it's God's work. He's just using me as the messenger. I wake up from dreams, and go "Wow. put this down on paper." The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face... That's why I hate to take credit for the songs I've written. I feel that somewhere, someplace, it's been done and I'm just a courier bringing it out into the world.
- I really believe that God chooses people to do certain things, the way Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci or Mozart or Muhammed Ali or Martin Luther King is chosen,.. I haven't scratched the surface yet of what my real purpose is for being here. I'm committed to my art. I believe that all art has as its ultimate goal that union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine.

- That's what I'm here for really. It's like Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci. Today we can still see their work and be inspired by it. I'd like to just keep going and inspire people and try new things.

- I feel that this world we live in is really a big, huge, monumental symphonic orchestra. I believe that in its primordial form, all of creation is sound and that it's not just random

- When composing the song 'Heal The World' it was my dream to hear it performed the way they [a boys' choir] just performed it... It took everything to keep me from crying.

- I wanted to write a song, the type of song that I would buy if I wanted a rock song. That is how I approached it and I wanted the kids to enjoy it The next thing I can recall is the song being there. I think the gift is there naturally but the songs come through me. On 'Beat It', written & composed by MJ for 'Thriller' album

- Quincy [Jones] made me drive all the way to my house, and he forced me to get the engineer in to do this song... and I made him wait in the other room. I was really embarrassed. I was in there, Singing my heart out. So finally, I was done. He came in, and I played it. And when it was over, he just loved it! He hugged me and said "This is the song we've been looking for". On 'Beat It' which was first unveiled to Quincy

- I spend alot of time with my songs. I want to make them perfect, really good. Each time I write a song, I think to myself that this has to be a Top Ten record. I have more trouble with the lyrics than the music, so I write a lot with Jermaine. All you need for a hit record is the right kind of feeling. I wnte about all kinda things. I write about an old man, a tree, what's happening in the world, a deer. I love writing so much I'd eat it, really. I love it (on the Jacksons' 10th anniversary)

- I wrote 'Working day and night' which is autobiographical in a lot of ways. Though I did stretch a point to playing the part like I was married to this person and she's got me moving.

- My biggest fear is being misquoted. One word can be cut into a statement and change the complete meaning and colouring of what was meant

http://mj.vivomi.com/resources/0011%20Michael%20Jackson%20in%20his%20own%20words% 20from%20mj.vivomi.com%20fan%20site.jpg?timestamp= 1264166808331

I believe that all art has as its ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine.

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/208821_10150216687392033_200389707032_8376768_7379 53_a.jpg

I'm committed to my art. I believe that all art has as its ultimate goal the union between the material and the spiritual, the human and the divine. And I believe that that is the very reason for the existence of art and what I do. And I feel fortunate in being that instrument through which music flows .... Deep inside I feel that this world we live in is really a big, huge, monumental symphonic orchestra. I believe that in its primordial form all of creation is sound and that it's not just random sound, that its music. You've heard the expression, music of the spheres? Well, thats a very literal phrase. In the Gospels, we read, "And the Lord God made man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." That breath of life to me is the music of life and it permeates every fiber of creation.

In one of the pieces of the Dangerous album, I say: "Life songs of ages, throbbing in my blood, have danced the rhythm of the tide and flood." This is a very literal statement, because the same new miracle intervals and biological rhythms that sound out the architecture of my DNA also governs the movement of the stars. The same music governs the rhythm of the seasons, the pulse of our heartbeats, the migration of birds, the ebb and flow of ocean tides, the cycles of growth, evolution and dissolution. It's music, its rhythm. And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance. Its like, my purpose, its what I'm here for."

Ebony/Jet 2002 interview



Dancing the Dream


31-10-2011, 04:34 PM
Happy Halloween


“I missed out on Halloween for years and now I do it. It’s sweet to go door-to-door & people give you candy.” ~Michael Jackson

“I love to trick or treat… I love dressing up like some kind of monster… and knocking on doors. Nobody knows it’s me and I get candy.” ~MJ (2001)

“I always thought Halloween and ‘Thriller’ fit each other like a glove.” – Michael Jackson (October 31, 2008)

~ “The essence of Halloween is for children to witness the kindness of strangers.. It brings the world together.”- Michael Jackson

“I cry behind my mask.I really do when I go with them and people say,”Open your bag,” and I think,look what I have been missing.”- Michael Jackson

[Question: Do you take Prince & Paris trick-or-treating?] MJ: “Absolutely, we have a family that we go with in the area and we give them the candy. I want them [Prince&Paris] to see that people can be kind. We get it in a bag and then [whispering] I exchange their candy for candy eyeballs.”- Michael Jackson

“I love trick or treat. It’s one of my favorite ones.”- Michael Jackson

“I love dressing up like some kind of monster or something and knocking on the doors. Nobody knows it’s me, and I get candy.”- Michael Jackson

“It’s sweet to go door-to-door and people give you candy. We need more of that in the world. It brings the world together.”- Michael Jackson






Halloween Light Show 2010 HD - Thriller (Michael Jackson)

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01-11-2011, 10:26 PM
I Just Can't Stop Loving You - Sung in French By Michael

( This is an old interview, the original website does not state the date of the interview, so past tense and present tense are used intermittedly. I have translated the article for you in English. The original article is in French, please see the source below for the link ~ MJJLaugh).


I met Quincy in Los Angeles by friends of friends. We sympathized. I moved there to learn English. Quincy asked me to come to the recording sessions of Bad. When I heard "I just can not stop loving you" I told Michael that he should sing it in French because the language is harmoniously appropiate to this genre of romantic melodies. Quincy asked me to write the text. I did and Michael recorded it.

What is the title in French?
"I do not mean the end of us." It is intended for French-speaking countries. Michael has also recorded a beautiful version in Spanish with Ruben Blades for Hispanic countries. After that, I think Julio Iglesias will have problems.

How did it go?
I wrote a few sentences first. It was hard, I had never done that. For me it was the first time. My English teacher asked me to stop. "I try to teach English," I he said, "and you spend your time writing in French, that occupies the mind, you'll never speak well. " I listened to him and gave up. But after a while, Quincy encouraged me to continue. The text was pleasing to Michael, we began recording in July 1987. Then he had to go on the Bad tour again and we ended up recording early September. I intend to write other pieces for him. If I can! There is talk that he recorded an album with four songs in French for the French market.

Michael understands he French?
A little bit. He mainly has a very good ear. He repeats instantly without accent. The song is more poignant in French. It gives much more, perhaps because he must make an attentive effort.

What is the text in French?
It begins with "I close my eyes." Right away, when he said it, it was encompassing. The music is soft, his voice is very sexy. Then it's: "I feel feverish, without you I'm cold." I will not say any more. I've already said too much. I'll ask Quincy if you can print.

How is Michael?
He's great. He is a very sensitive boy and terribly shy. When he does not know you, he does not dare talk to you. He can not even look at you. So that we can believe in the first instance it is a muzzle. While the opposite is true. At first I thought I bothered him and that my presence was too much. It's very embarrassing. And then, gradually, after seeing me a few times with Quincy, he started looking at me. then he said hello. He got used to me. He needed to gain confidence. When this happened, he was extremely attentive, he remained concerned about whether all is well, if you are happy. He is the most considerate man I have ever met. And we do not know is that he has a lot of humor. it was a wonderful experience to work with him. It's really very strange what happened to me.

Christine Decroix was present at the first Michael concert in Tokyo in order to promote herself at the advice of Quincy Jones. In the late 70's she sang in a Belgian group "The Loveletter".


Je ne veux pas le fin de nous (I Just Can't Stop Loving You)

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Lyrics to 'Je Ne Veux Pas Le Fin De Nous'

Je ferme les yeux
Je me sens fiévreux
Sans toi j'ai froid
J'aimerais t'appeler
J'aimerais prononcer que toi, que toi
Ce que je ressens
Personne ne comprend
Je me sens si bien de t'aimer
Pour la première fois
Je sais que c'est toi
J'ai besoin de rêver
Je vais t'emmener

L'été finira
Près du feu de bois
On fera l'amour
Blottie contre toi
Je te dirai tout bas
Tu me rends folle
Ce que je ressens personne ne comprend
Je me sens si bien près de toi
J'en perd ma fierté
Je ne veux plus tricher
La vérité pour moi
C'est la vie avec toi

Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Et si ca stoppe
Je crois que je deviendrais fou
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous

Et danser tout l'hiver
Sans toi c'est un enfer
Ne t'en vas pas
Et pouvoir t'embrasser
J'en tremble rien d'y penser
Tout te donner
Les femmes d'avant toi
Ne comptent même pas
J'ai oublié tout ton passé
Le terre pous trembler
La guerre éclater
Je supporterai tout
Écoute-moi mon amour

Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Et si ca stoppe
Je crois que je deviendrais fou
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous

Notre amour brillera dans ce monde
Il m'a vraiment tout apporté
Donne-moi ton corps et ton âme
Pour te dire amour, toujours, je veux te garder

Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous
Et si ca stoppe
Je crois que je deviendrais fou
Je ne veux pas la fin de nous



02-11-2011, 09:49 PM
Justice Has Been Served
October 31, 2011

The defense has concluded its presentation of the facts in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray for the homicide of Michael Jackson. The jurors will soon be instructed to apply the elements of the crime of involuntary manslaughter to the facts in this case. A number of variables remain, for example:
•Will the jury instructions accurately reflect the California criminal code and interpretive case law?
•Will the jurors adopt the defense team’s narrowing of issues to whether or not Michael Jackson self-administered the anesthetic propofol?
•Will one or more of the fact finders aim to be the lone juror to deny a conviction with the hopes of getting paid TV interviews or lucrative book deals?

When a verdict is rendered, I will have watched this trial from start to finish. I have done so with an open mind.

The last time I called myself a fan of Michael Jackson was 1984, when I was in 4th grade. Between then and last month, I only peripherally observed Jackson while I was in line at the grocery store, in the same disengaged way I follow any other popular figure. I never even paid enough attention to form an opinion.

But I have an opinion now. Here are the conclusions about Michael Jackson that I have drawn as a result of this case:
•He surrounded himself with good people. With one prominent exception, the members of Michael Jackson’s professional and domestic staff who took part in this trial were genuine people who had a veritable commitment to Jackson’s personal well-being and professional success. Jackson’s fans include some extraordinarily faithful, compassionate, and intelligent individuals. “Intelligent” is an adjective I use with due caution and circumspection.
•He was a family man. Michael Jackson wanted his children to see him perform at his best. It was this motivation that drove the 50-year-old man to perform on the night before his death with the fitness and skill of a 25-year-old pop star.
•He had a kind heart. In his most uninhibited and vulnerable state of sedation, Michael Jackson described his deep-rooted desire to help children in need by establishing the Michael Jackson Children’s Hospital.
•He was vulnerable. ◦Michael Jackson lamented that he did not have a typical, carefree childhood. Jackson’s desire to help children feel the joy of youth that he missed out on made him exceptionally susceptible to misconstruals of his intentions. He protected himself with complex privacy and security measures.
◦Michael Jackson had severe and inadequately treated anxiety and insomnia, which led him to create for himself a rudimentary treatment plan that incorporated the use of a powerful anesthetic that mimicked the effects of sleep.

•He was exploited. Dr. Conrad Murray took advantage of Michael Jackson’s vulnerabilities. In exchange for the opportunity to introduce himself to women as Michael Jackson’s personal physician, and a fee of $150,000 per month, Murray threw caution to the wind and implemented Jackson’s self-designed treatment plan. Jackson died as a result.

While analyzing this trial, I have spoken with and debated a number of individuals, including some of the most visible reporters and high-profile attorneys working in criminal law. No one has summarized this case more simply and clearly than my mom – the only person I know who is more disengaged from pop culture than I:

It is not fair to blame Michael Jackson for his own death.

Do I believe a conviction is warranted based on the facts presented? Yes. What are the odds of a guilty verdict? I say 70 percent. No matter what the trial’s ultimate outcome may be, this case has helped me and others learn more about Michael Jackson, his strengths, and challenges, and I now hold an opinion of his life and legacy based on facts sworn to be the truth. In that regard, justice has been served.



04-11-2011, 11:59 AM
Keep the Faith

Even though the lyrics of the song 'Keep the Faith' are more about having confidence in one's abilities and talents, to reach for the sky and belieiving in yourself, today it seems an appropiate song as the entire MJ-fanmily holds its breath pending a verdict by the jurors in the Conrad Murray Manslaughter trial.

Let us all send L:heart:ve and Light and the power to discern between fact and fiction, truth and lies, to the jurors and the judge, so they can reach a verdict that is just and appropiate. Nothing will bring Michael back to his children and his family and to realize after all those testimonies that he could have been saved if only....well, it breaks my heart and I cried a river of tears, especially in the beginning of the trial.

I want to remember Michael and what he stood for: LOVE, pure and simple, so please be embraced and hugged and KEEP THE FAITH! Much love to all of you!
~ MJJLaugh

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05-11-2011, 10:44 PM

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/296817_2248129040482_1165881623_32046886_7580387_n .jpg

Thank you, beloved
for blazing your brilliance into my world
For showing me that real Love
is more than a dream
It wraps itself around and inside of my being
when you touch me
When your light descends
from the moon and the stars
To warm my heart,
caress my soul
And you whisper
a promise of your everlasting glow

You are now forever young, my love
You fly on the wings of pure white doves
Nothing escapes you
Everything seeks you
The earth and the heavens
Rejoice in you!

In the silence of midnight
I find you
In the quiet of my soul
you linger
Singing your song
your message reveals
Love… compassion… sanctuary… vision
A glorious future paved with gold
and the brilliant colors of your dreams
Your mission to behold!
All that was yours
is now mine, it seems

You are now forever young, my love
You fly on the wings of pure white doves
Nothing escapes you
Everything seeks you
The earth and the heavens
Rejoice in you!

2011 © by Charlene Burgess



06-11-2011, 07:27 PM
Michael Jackson and Me: Strangers in Moscow

Travel Stories: Jeffrey Tayler recalls a cold night in 1993 when he took a break from writing his first book to see a performance by the "King of Pop"

06.26.09 | 2:35 PM ET

Michael Jackson during a visit to Moscow’s Red Square. REUTERS

It was mid-September 1993. I had moved to Moscow a couple of months earlier, during the warm if somewhat gritty doldrums of summer. Now, as autumn set in, it was raining endlessly from low clouds, greasy blackish mud made sidewalks slippery, and streets at night, with few lit-up advertisements, were mostly dark. Moscow, in short, had a shabby, sooty, worn-out, still-Soviet look. I hadn’t yet gotten my Russian “sea legs.” Moscow was new and strange and even threatening to me. (It was strange and threatening for many Russians, too, of course, given the heightening political tension that would flare into armed revolt against President Yeltsin by the month’s end.) But when I found out Michael Jackson was scheduled to perform live at Luzhniki Stadium as part of his “Dangerous” world tour, I did what I’d never done before: I bought a ticket to his concert. It lifted my mood, and made bearable my days locked away writing my first book, Siberian Dawn, in my roach-riddled, noisy, one-room apartment in a crumbling cement-block Khrushchovka building.

This was before Michael’s sex scandals. His popularity then was far higher than it has been in recent years; he was the most famous American on the planet, one whose name aroused well-nigh universal admiration. He had been this famous for years, however. While I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Marrakech a couple of years before, Moroccans often asked me if, being American, I knew him. Russians weren’t so naïve, but it seemed everyone in Moscow back then had an opinion about Michael: Usually, they loved him. That such an American superstar was about to arrive in their capital meant something to them. Foreigners were still a novelty in Russia, times were hard and dark, and his promised appearance was shedding copious glittering light well in advance.

The centralized heating still hadn’t come on in my building. On the evening of the concert, I recall feeling damp and cold as I put on my raincoat, grabbed my umbrella, and readied myself to leave. I wasn’t yet quite in the mood. In my journal for that day I later wrote: “Seraya zhizn’ [the gray life]. I walked out into the drizzle and looked at the soupy gray sky and shabby gray concrete buildings and huge mucky puddles ... Being alone in this miserable flat ... living poor ... struggling with my book, my last chance.” I took the metro to Luzhniki. The crowd in the cars was mostly young and excited, and every now and then, between the roar of the train in the tunnels, I’d hear “Dzhekson ... Dzhekson ... Michael Dzhekson!”

Seventy thousand fans didn’t fill the huge stadium; there were empty seats, probably owing to the high price of the tickets and the terrible weather. I recall standing some 30 yards from the stage. The rain barreled down and I could see people’s breaths puffing; we got soaked, umbrellas or no, raincoats or no. He was one hour late, then two hours. Periodically, images of his catlike eyes would glow into view on a huge video screen above the stage, and people would start screaming. I didn’t scream, but I was certainly excited. The images would then fade. In the intervals, people were largely silent, as if by speaking they might scare him away. Breath puffed into the rain, the sky darkened, and there was no future: only a trembling expectation.

After two and a half hours, a light gradually illumined the center-stage and revealed Michael standing there, already posed, hand on hat, knee cocked. His breath puffed white in the now-frigid rain. (“He’s breathing!” a girl shouted next to me.) The crowd roared, people began jumping up and down. He launched into “Jam.” My journal notes don’t record more than this, but I remember his performance as stunning. I had somehow expected him to disappoint, as though careful editing of video clips might have made him out to be a better dancer than he was.

Soon someone in the management apparently decided that the rain posed a threat to Michael. Mop-wielding little old ladies (of the type once so common in Moscow) in headscarves shuffled out onto the stage, as he sang and gyrated and pranced, and wiped away the excess water, so he wouldn’t slip. He danced among them, around them, and never missed a step, never appeared to even notice them. He was soon into “Billie Jean,” and, by the time of his first moonwalk, I didn’t notice the rain or the little old ladies.

At some point, he took a break and the stage went dark. It seemed we all held our breath. No one spoke, everyone just stared at the stage. A few minutes later, the stage lights came on and we heard his voice, rather tender and feminine: “It’s cold as ice out there!” He felt the cold as we did, but he was able to perform and dazzle us all. This seemed simply incredible. I was already sore and stiff from standing there, yet he could dance. I had never thought of music stars as suffering from the cold on stage. (This was, after all, my first concert of any kind.) He returned and sang for another hour.

His brief stay in Moscow apparently hit him hard, making him feel lonely. At least we can gather as much from his later, soul-wrenching slow song, Stranger in Moscow. It contains the lines, “I was wandering in the rain/Sunny days seem far away ... Kremlin shadows belittling me/Stalin’s tomb won’t let me be ... KGB was doggin’ me ... stranger in Moscow.” The KGB surely did not dog him in 1993, but his words well expressed how lonely I often felt during my first year in the Russian capital.

Michael united me with the Russian audience in a visceral way. Better said, there were no Americans, no Russians in that audience; we were all just admirers of Michael.

I have never been to a concert since then. His performance, and what it meant for those who witnessed it on that long-ago, rainy September day, set a standard too high to match. Rest in peace, Michael. The people of Moscow, and I, will never forget you.




Michael Jackson - The Moscow Case

The video has been taken down now (Nov 9) by the user, sorry!

This is a fascinating hour long documentary, with 'Beat It' on accordeon, about Michael's time in Moscow in 1993, and the obstacles that needed to be dealt with before the concert could take place on September 17, 1993, a very cold and rainy day.
Several Moscovians were interviewed who had something to do with getting Michael Jackson and the concert to Moscow, and there is also unique never-seen before footage of Michael in Moscow and in an orphanage. The people interviewed explain the workings of Moscow in 1993, when it was all so different, apparently, than current day Moscow/

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07-11-2011, 10:34 PM
Another Day in HIStory - November 7, 2011

On November 9, 1989 the Berlin wall came down and there is another day to add to our HIStory: November 7, 2011. The day that Conrad Murray was found GUILTY of involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson.
Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers!

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HIStory lyrics

He got kicked in the back
He say that he needed that
He hot willed in the face
Keep daring to motivate
He say one day you will see
His place in world history
He dares to be recognized
The fires deep in his eyes

How many victims must there be
Slaughtered in vain across the land
And how many struggles must there be
Before we choose to live the prophet's plan
Everybody sing...

Every day create your history
Every path you take you're leaving your legacy
Every soldier dies in his glory
Every legend tells of conquest and liberty

Don't let no one get you down
Keep movin' on higher ground
Keep flying until
You are the king of the hill
No force of nature can break
Your will to self motivate
She say this face that you see
Is destined for history

How many people have to cry
The song of pain and grief across the land
And how many children have to die
Before we stand to lend a healing hand
Everybody sing...

Every day create your history
Every path you take you're leaving your legacy
Every soldier dies in his glory
Every legend tells of conquest and liberty
Every day create your history
Every page you turn you're writing your legacy
Every hero dreams of chivalry
Every child should sing together in harmony

All nations sing
Let's harmonize all around the world

How many victims must there be
Slaughtered in vain across the land
And how many children must we see
Before we learn to live as brothers
And leave one family oh...

Every day create your history
Every path you take you're leaving your legacy
Every soldier dies in his glory
Every legend tells of conquest and liberty
Every day create your history
Every page you turn you're writing your legacy
Every hero dreams of chivalry
Every child should sing together in harmony

A soldier dies
A mother cries
The promised child shines in a baby's eyes
All nations sing
Let's harmonize all around the world

08-11-2011, 11:02 PM
Dangerous Tour Rehearsals

After the emotional roller coaster ride of the last weeks during the Conrad Murray Manslaughter trial, I was so pleased to come across these gems of videos of the Dangerous Tour Rehearsal. There are many more than the few I am posting here, so I will add some links, because if you're like me, you will want to see them all!! It's so nice and sweet to hear Michael give directions in his mild-mannered, loving way, yet at the same time he knows exactly what he wants and how to convey that to the others around him. It is a team effort with Michael leading the way. Ah, what do I know ? JUst watch and enjoy! :heart:

Michael Jackson - Beat It Dangerous Tour Rehearsals 1992 - Restored - Tape 2 - HD

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Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel Dangerous Tour Rehearsals 1992 - Restored - Tape 2 - HD

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Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror Dangerous Tour Rehearsals 1992 - Restored - Tape 2 - HD

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Michael Jackson - Heal The World Dangerous Tour Rehearsals 1992 - Restored - Tape 2 - HD

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Michael Jackson - Black Or White Dangerous Tour Rehearsals 1992 - Restored - Tape 2 - HD

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For more cool videos check out this users YouTube channel:


09-11-2011, 10:16 PM
Am I the Beast You Visualized?: The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson


Read the Joe Vogel's book, Man in the Music (click here for information and purchase) (http://voiceseducation.org/amazon_store/item/1402779380)

When you select any Amazon item to buy from the Voices Education Project web site, and then check out at Amazon.com, a portion of your purchase price will be paid to Voices to support our work.

Article by Joe Vogel, discussion questions and teacher notes by Barbara Kaufmann ( see original article for the discussion questions and teacher notes ~MJJLaugh)

We have heard the point made over and over these past few weeks: It is not Michael Jackson that is on trial; it is Dr. Conrad Murray. But, of course, we know the reality. This is the “Michael Jackson Death Trial.” He is, as he always was, the main event, the tantalizing spectacle. It is Michael Jackson who is under the microscope as we pry, one more time, through his home, his medical records, his body. And while the public at large is much more sympathetic now that Jackson has passed, he remains the subject of endless scrutiny and judgment.

Does any of it matter now that the man himself can’t feel the abuse? Should the average person even care whether a “celebrity” like Jackson is treated with callousness or disregard? Projects like Voices, whose “Words and Violence” series highlights the disturbing trajectory of our social discourse, says yes. Words matter. No matter the target. Words, as we have witnessed with the recent attention on youth bullying and suicides, can lead to devastatingly tragic ends.

They can also be used to inspire and heal.

Michael Jackson knew this. In 1988, he befriended AIDS victim Ryan White, a young boy forced out of his school in Kokomo, Indiana because of relentless verbal assaults and threats of violence. Jackson, White said, made him feel normal. “[Michael] didn't care what race you were, what color you were, what was your handicap, what was your disease," recalled Ryan White’s mother, Jeanne. “[He] just loved all children.”

Michael Jackson with Ryan White

White is one of thousands of “outsiders” to whom Jackson reached out, befriended and treated with kindness. He identified with them. He understood their pain and loneliness. He felt empathy for their struggle to live in a world that refused to accept them for who they were, whether because of illness, physical appearance, race, sexual orientation or some other reason.

Even as a young boy, Jackson possessed this sensitivity. Listen to the song, “Ben.” There is genuine pain and compassion in Jackson’s delivery (“They don’t see you as I do/ I wish they would try to”). The song can be seen as one of the first artistic statements Jackson made on behalf of the marginalized and misunderstood. Many more would follow.

Jackson’s outsider role may have begun in childhood (as there was never a time Jackson felt “normal” and never a time he was perceived as such). Yet the intensity and hostility caused by his difference grew over time. In his 1996 essay, “The Celebrity Freak: Michael Jackson’s Grotesque Glory,” David Yuan argued that Michael Jackson was the defining “freak” of our time. No other public figure in the world evoked the same level of ridicule, scrutiny and hyper-interrogation. As early as 1985, Jackson was being labeled “W*cko J*cko” by the tabloids, a term he despised. In the press, he was frequently described as “bizarre,” “weird,” and “eccentric.” Indeed, there was very little he said or did from the mid-1980s forward that wasn’t described in these terms by the media.

Jackson was mocked incessantly for his skin disorder, Vitiligo, which most people didn’t believe was real until it was confirmed definitively in his autopsy. He was mocked for his love of animals; for his love of children; for his love of the planet. He was mocked for his marriages, for his three kids, for his Neverland home. He was mocked for his sexuality, his voice, his childlike behavior. Even reviews of his music couldn’t resist filling up the majority of the space with pseudo-psychoanalysis and personal assaults. Can there be any doubt that this treatment by the media and culture at large was abusive?

Certainly the victim of these dehumanizing attacks felt that way. Listen to the lyrics of his songs. In “Tabloid Junkie” he describes the mass media as “parasites” sucking the life out of him, while drugging/distracting the general public with a steady dose of sensationalism. In “Stranger in Moscow” he is an artist in exile, used up and spit out by his native country. “I was wanderin’ in the rain,” he sings from the lonely role of vagabond, “Mask of life/ Feeling insane.”

In “Scream” he is so weary of being bullied, he pleads, “Oh brother, please have mercy ‘cause I just can’t take it.” The song, however, also serves as a vehicle of strength and resolve (“Kickin’ me down/ I got to get up”). Michael and sister Janet deliver a fierce counterblow to a system they rightfully see as corrupt and unjust. “You’re sellin’ out souls,” Janet sings in one verse, “but I care about mine.” It is a defiant song about standing up to cruelty, even when the pain and indignation is so deep it can only be expressed in a guttural scream.

In numerous songs, Jackson uses his music as a rallying call for others who have been mistreated. In “They Don’t Care About Us,” he witnesses for the disenfranchised and demeaned. “Tell me what has become of my rights,” he sings, “Am I invisible because you ignore me?” “Little Susie” draws attention to the plight of the neglected and abandoned, telling the story of a young girl whose gifts go unnoticed until she is found dead at the bottom of the stairs in her home (“Lift her with care,” Jackson sings, “Oh, the blood in her hair”); “Earth Song” offers an epic lamentation on behalf of the planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants (represented by the choir’s passionate shouts, “What about us!”). Through such songs (as well as through his life and persona), Jackson became a sort of global representative of the “Other.”

The mass media, however, never held much regard for Jackson’s other-ness, just as they held little regard for the “others” he spoke of in his songs. Rather, they found a narrative that was simple and profitable—Jackson as eccentric “freak”—and stuck with it for nearly three decades, gradually upping the stakes.

Perhaps Jackson’s most compelling response to the public perception of him that resulted comes in his trio of late Gothic songs: “Ghosts,” “Is It Scary,” and “Threatened.” It is here that Jackson holds a mirror up to the society that scorns him and asks it to look at its own grotesque reflection. “Is it scary for you!” he demands. The songs, and their accompanying visual representations, are not only keenly self-aware, they demonstrate a shrewd understanding of the toxic forces that surround and haunt him.

from the film, Ghosts

In the short film, Ghosts, the Mayor of Normal Valley (a conservative figure of authority inspired, in part, by Santa Barbara District Attorney, Tom Sneddon) taunts Jackson’s character: “Freaky boy! Freak! Circus freak.” Interestingly, it is Jackson himself (disguised as the Mayor) that delivers these words, and one can feel the way they have been internalized. They are slurs intended to mark, marginalize and humiliate (which was ultimately the purpose of the witch hunts of 1993 and 2005). For the Mayor, Jackson’s presence in the community is intolerable. It is not that Jackson has done any harm; it is simply that he is different and that difference is threatening.

In such artistic expressions, Jackson clearly recognizes what is being done to him. He is being defined by outside forces. He is a phantom they have constructed in their own minds. As he sings in “Is It Scary,” “If you wanna see/ Eccentric oddities I’ll be grotesque before your eyes.” He will be grotesque, in other words, because that is what the public “wants to see.” It is how they have been conditioned to see. Later in the song, he anticipates his audience’s reactions, asking: “Am I amusing you/ Or just confusing you/ Am I the beast you visualized?” Has he become something less than human? Why is this? Is it his physical appearance? His ambiguous identity? His unusual life story? There is no question Michael Jackson was different. The question is why this “difference” incited such fervent disparagement and abuse.

One of the remarkable qualities of Jackson’s life and work, however, is that he refuses to compromise his “difference.” He never becomes “normal,” as the term is represented by, say, the Mayor of Normal Valley. He doesn’t conform to expectations. Rather, he is true to himself and flaunts his unique, multi-faceted identity, to the frustration of those who would like him to fit in more predictable boxes. His differences, as Susan Fast notes, were “impenetrable, uncontainable, and they created enormous anxiety. Please be black, Michael, or white, or gay or straight, father or mother, father to children, not a child yourself, so we at least know how to direct our liberal (in)tolerance. And try not to confuse all the codes simultaneously.”

Even over two years after his tragic passing, it seems, many people don’t know what to make of Michael Jackson. He is reduced, therefore, to easy labels like “drug addict.” A picture of his lifeless body is callously plastered on news sites. It is cruel, abusive behavior masquerading as “normal.” Perhaps this is why Jackson chose the medium of the Gothic to fight back. It was a way to turn the tables, to symbolically represent the world as it often felt to him: monstrous and grotesque. His “horror stories” certainly weren’t intended merely to entertain.

“Freaks are called freaks,” observed author James Baldwin, “and are treated as they are treated – in the main, abominably – because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound terrors and desires.” Yet as much as Jackson became the symbolic magnet onto which many of these cultural anxieties were projected, he was also an actual person trying to live his life. Toward the end of “Is It Scary” he explains, “I’m just not what you seek of me,” before revealing to the compassionate listener: “But if you came to see/ The truth, the purity/ It’s here inside a lonely heart/ So let the performance start!”

Ironically, it is in the “performance” of his art that we find “the truth, the purity.” This is where he exorcizes his demons, where his anguish is transfused into creative energy. This is where the walls come down and the mask comes off. To the outside world, he may be a spectacle, a caricature, a freak; but here, finally, inside his music, he bares his soul. He is a human being.

The question is: What do we see?


“Ryan White’s Mother Remembers Michael Jackson.” CBS News. July 8, 2009.

James Baldwin, “Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood,” Playboy. January 1985.

Fast, Susan. “Difference That Exceeded Understanding: Remembering Michael Jackson. Popular Music and Society. Vol. 33, no. 2. May 2010.

Yuan, David. “The Celebrity Freak: Michael Jackson’s ‘Grotesque Glory,’ ” Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. Edited by Rosemarie Thomson (New York: New York University, 1998), 368–384.



10-11-2011, 09:56 PM
I can Only Write of Love

“I can only write of love “

I yearn sometimes to write of revolution
Riddled with themes of protest
Driven by the power of a clenched fist

Yet when paper is touched by pen
It will only write of love.

I long to create great epic tomes
Containing all the angst of human suffering
And our perilous condition

But when the words tumble for head to hand
I can only write of love

I try to compose biting editorials
Aimed at politicians, and, pundits
And talking heads

To find, alas, that each stroke of the keys
Will only impart words of love

Because now your love cloaks me like a second skin
And has infused me with love overflowing

Now anger is replace by prayers for the ignorant
And the pain of past encounters fades from memory
I am overtaken by your ways
And staggered by the weight and scope of this love in my heart

So now my dear I breathe love, and think love, and eternally give you love

There will never be another man who can match what you have done.

And the answer to every question is LOVE

Written by Keita Sa'ad




11-11-2011, 09:30 PM
Michael Jackson - If I Could Be Where You Are

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The song is 'If I Could Be Where You Are' by Enya. The images are meant to convey a message of eternal love, of longing, of being so close and yet so far away, 'a heartbeat from me'. I was compelled to add the picture of the eternal knot without really knowing or understanding why. Its meaning and symbolism is ancient and found in many cultures and religions. It is a powerful symbolism of not only spiritual wisdom and compassion but also of eternal love and friendship. so this video is a love-filled tribute to the spiritual wisdom and compassion of Michael Jackson. He lead love for all people guide the way throughout his life. I pray that the world will recognize this spiritual wisdom and loving compassion, but not just in admiration, especially in becoming that man or woman in the mirror. Much love to you all!

The Endless Knot


The endless knot or eternal knot (Sanskrit: Shrivatsa; Tibetan Dpal be'u) is a symbolic knot and one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. It is an important cultural marker in places significantly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Kalmykia, and Buryatia. It is also sometimes found in Chinese art and used in Chinese knots.

The endless knot has been described as "an ancient symbol representing the interweaving of the Spiritual path, the flowing of Time and Movement within That Which is Eternal. All existence, it says, is bound by time and change, yet ultimately rests serenely within the Divine and the Eternal." Various interpretations of the symbol are:

Eternal Love and Friendship
The Endless knot iconography symbolised Samsara i.e., the endless cycle of suffering or birth, death and rebirth within Tibetan Buddhism.
The inter-twining of wisdom and compassion.
Interplay and interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their union, and ultimately to harmony in the universe.
The mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs.
The union of wisdom and method.
The inseparability of emptiness (shunyata) and dependent origination, the underlying reality of existence.
Symbolic of knot symbolism in linking ancestors and omnipresence and the magical ritual and meta-process of binding[disambiguation needed ] (refer etymology of Tantra, Yoga and religion) (see Namkha.)
Since the knot has no beginning or end it also symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha.



13-11-2011, 09:58 PM
Interviews / Nati Canada (the artist who captured the soul of Michael Jackson)

( Used google translate to translate from Spanish into English and tried to improve the text some more. I hope it doesn't deviate too much from the original text and its meaning! ~MJJLaugh)

Nati Cañada, Aragonese painter and Michael Jackson pose on the day he was presented with the portrait.

The singer had signed a photo.

Signature of Michael thanking the artist for her work

The first time the Aragonese painter Nati Cañada saw Michael Jackson in person was on September 23, 1992 in Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium, but the two were separated by a huge stage and thousands of crazed fans.
Two years earlier, Michael Jackson had commissioned a portrait and she wanted to see how he moved and what message he conveyed on stage. Jackson was immersed in his Dangerous World Tour and the image conveyed to Canada was "an aggressive person and strong." Her opinion completely changed when she met him in Los Angeles the day he posed for her in 1993. Due to the star's busy schedule the meeting was delayed almost two years, but finally took place at the home of the man 'responsible' for this event, the plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin, a great friend of the singer and who Canada had painted several years ago. " Michael knew my job thanks to the doctor. I made ​​a portrait in white and when he saw it, he said 'that's what I was looking for, a table appeared all white', "says Glen, who can not help smiling at the comments that this statement might raise. The scheduled date the actor's representative, Evy Tabaschi, home of the surgeon responsible for retouching artists including Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren and, despite being a personal friend of the singer, never had anything to do with their plastic interventions. A brief perched Michael came on traveling at seven in the morning and at nine had to be in the studios for a recording. Two hours was the time available for this first and only meeting. He arrived wearing a hat and black-colored glasses and a clear raincoat. His curly hair was tied back in a ponytail, but then in the original box the artist appears with his ​​hair down. In just two hours, the author of 'Thriller' changed into different clothes and wore a white shirt and jeans, chatted with the painter, saw photographs of other photographed portraits. In the end, Canada was able to pull Nati entire photo reel "that will never see the light of day because I gave my word and it will remain forever hidden in my house." During the session, Jackson spoke a little about painting as he sat perched on a chair with his arms dangling. "We were alone just twenty minutes, and during that time he was very kind to me. I found him to be very polite, but he was not emanating joy, he was not happy," says Glen. In early 1996, Nati Cañada moved to Los Angeles to deliver the painting to the artist. A portrait in white color with the image of Jackson appears in a small box with a picture of singer hat and a spirit that she painted over the artist, in one end of the canvas 120 x 90 cm. Accompanied by his driver, Glen went to deliver the picture. "I had to go to a hotel and ask for Garry Horne, who was the person who received me and got me to a second elevator. All very mysterious. But when he came to the room and knocked on the door came out to meet with Michael himself his eldest son in his arms, and in the background another baby is heard crying, it must be your child. Again was very kind to me, said he loved the portrait and the idea of putting the spirit had seemed very successful " Glen says. Their fears that the painting was not to his liking disappeared at once, just as the doctor had warned Hoefflin and his medical team, who showed the finished work a day early to know their opinion. "You are great artist, you are great artist" (You're a great artist, you're a great artist). So Jackson took leave Canada after inviting her to spend a day at Neverland, this children's paradise where the singer became the boy who he could never be. Neverland, paradise time later, and the impossibility that the agenda of both coincide , Glen decided to accept the invitation and visit Neverland on September 28, 1996. Gofort Gayle Handles on this route by the 'Neverland'. "Park staff told me that Michael had ordered that everything was in place for when he arrived, the wells, the popcorn machine ... I also said it was open except for one person" qualifies. There, the painter toured the park on a special train and was able to see this world of magic and fantasy dear to Jackson, who used to share with children from schools and hospitals. "Disney was a kind of miniature, filled with candy and toys for children. A magical place, as reflected in the book in which guests left signatures, thanking Michael for his kindness," said Glen, who is writing a book memories of his meeting with Jackson and other influential people who has portrayed throughout his life. The pace of work of both artists prevented further meetings, but after the trial in which Jackson was acquitted of molesting a minor, the Aragonese painter sent a letter of support. Although the constant changes of direction of the artist caused the letter was returned. Last week, when Canada Nati learned of the death of the artist, came to her mind both times they met. "I was lucky enough to know the person and the character and I can say out loud that he always believed in and that rare person and distant from the people spoke kindly hand me four times, to sign an autograph and worrying about my work and my interests, "concludes the artist. Photos and text: http://www.heraldo.es/ Text: Ana Esteban



14-11-2011, 10:11 PM



Friday, August 20th 1982, 3:30 PM. Somewhere in San Fernando Valley. Bob Colacello arrives at the condominium that Michael Jackson and his family are temporarily renting while their house nearby is being redecorated. Michael, who everyone remembers as the boy lead singer of the Jackson Five, has built a solid solo career for himself—his last album, Off the Wall, has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Though he also still records with his brothers, now known as The Jacksons, Michael has branched out to work with such superstars as Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross and Steven Spielberg, all of whom are close friends. While waiting for a phone call from Andy Warhol in New York, BC and MJ began chatting about another close friend, Jane Fonda.

MICHAEL JACKSON: The night that Henry Fonda died, I went over there and I was with the family. They were talking and watching all the different news pieces. Although her father died, Jane was still able to show an interest in my career, asking me have I gotten the film yet, and I thought that was very sweet. I think that they had been expecting him to die for so long. Months and months and months ago she was talking as though it was going to be any day. It happened and there were tears sometimes and laughter sometimes and they ate a little.

BOB COLACELLO: So what are you doing? Have you gotten a movie to do?

JACKSON: Well, right now I'm just finishing up the album [Thriller —Ed.] and concentrating on that. I'm doing the other album as well, the E.T. album, at the same time. That album is a little new for me because I've never narrated a story.

COLACELLO: What is the E.T. album?

JACKSON: It's a storybook album, a double album and I'm narrating the whole story and singing the song which we have to come up with and write. We've been just meeting and talking about it with Steven [Spielberg] for I don't know how long—getting together and talking about making it the all-time storybook album.

COLACELLO: The album you're doing, you've written everything on it?

JACKSON: I've written four or five songs.

COLACELLO: Steve [Rubell] told me you're doing something with Paul McCartney?

JACKSON: Yes. Paul was just here and a song I wrote called "The Girl Is Mine," we sing together on my album. We're fighting over this girl in the song and it came out beautifully. For his album, we wrote and sang two songs together, his Tug ‘O War Part II. But for mine it's the song that I wrote. There's a rap at the end where we're fighting over her. It's funny.

COLACELLO: You're very open to working with other stars. Very often people aren't.

JACKSON: I'm not actually. Not at all.

COLACELLO: You worked with Diana Ross...

JACKSON: Only very special people. I mean, Diana's like a mother-lover-friend to me. She's wonderful. I just wrote, produced, and edited her next single, "Muscles."

COLACELLO: Did you write the lyrics, too?

JACKSON: Lyrics, music—I just finished that and it should be coming out at the end of the month.

COLACELLO: Where do you find the time to do all this writing?

JACKSON: On airplanes. I was coming back from England working on Paul McCartney's album, zooming along on the Concorde, and this song popped into my head. I said, "Hey, that's perfect for Diana!" I didn't have a tape recorder or anything so I had to suffer for like three hours. Soon as I got home I whipped that baby on tape.

COLACELLO: Do you care about politics at all?

JACKSON: I don't like talking about it.

COLACELLO: You don't get into that at all with Jane [Fonda]?

JACKSON: No, we do. She's wonderful. She teaches me all kinds of stuff. When I was on the Golden Pond set I stayed with Jane in the cabin and we were all alone on the water and we'd just talk, talk, talk about everything. It was the greatest education for me—she'd learn and I'd learn and we'd just play off of each other. We talked about all kinds of things, you name it: politics, philosophers, racism, Vietnam, acting, all kinds of things. It was magic.

COLACELLO: Where were you educated, because you were always on the road?

JACKSON: Private schools or tutors.

COLACELLO: You come from Gary, Indiana? What was it like growing up there?

JACKSON: Actually, I was so small I don't remember. When I was five I was touring, singing and dancing. Always gone, always out of school. I just remember little things like the corner store or certain people in the neighborhood. The high school behind us always had a big band with trumpets and trombones and drums coming down the street—I used to love that—like a parade. That's all I remember.

COLACELLO: Did you like performing as a child? Did you always love it?

JACKSON: Always did. I always enjoyed the feeling of being on stage—the magic that comes. When I hit the stage it's like all of a sudden a magic from somewhere just comes and the spirit just hits you and you just lose control of yourself. I came on stage at Quincy's [Jones] concert at the Rose Bowl and I did not want to go on stage. I was ducking and hiding and hoping he wouldn't see me hiding behind people when he called me on. Then I went up there and I just went crazy. I started climbing up the scaffold, the speakers, the light gear. The audience started getting into it and I started dancing and singing and that's what happens.

COLACELLO: How do you compare acting to performing on the stage?

JACKSON: I love both. Acting is the cream of the crop. I love performing. It's a phenomenal getaway. It you want to really let our everything you feel, that's the time to do it. With acting, it's like becoming another person. I think that's neat, especially when you totally forget. If you totally forget, which I love to do, that's when it's magic. I love to create magic—to put something together that's so unusual, so unexpected that it blows people's heads off. Something ahead of the times. Five steps ahead of what people are thinking. So people see it and say, "Whoa. I wasn't expecting that." I love surprising people with a present of a gift or a stage performance or anything. I love John Travolta, who came off that Kotter show. Nobody knew he could dance or do all of those things. He is like—boom. Before he knew it, he was the next big Brando or something.

COLACELLO: He hasn't done much lately.

JACKSON: I know. I think he's choosing scripts and stuff. It's always difficult for anyone trying to compete against their past achievements.

COLACELLO: Tell me, who do you think has made breakthrough in their work in any field?

JACKSON: I love Steven Spielberg so much. I just love James Brown. He's phenomenal. I've never seen a performer create electricity with an audience like James Brown. He's got everybody in his hands and whatever he wants to do with them, he does it. It's amazing. I've always thought he was underrated. I love Sammy Davis Jr., I love Fred Astaire. I love George Lucas. I'm crazy about Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.

COLACELLO: I saw a picture of you with Katharine Hepburn on the set of On Golden Pond.

JACKSON: I feel honored to know her because there are a lot of people she doesn't like—she'll tell you right away if she doesn't like you. When I first met her, I was a little shaky because you hear things about her—Jane filled me in. I was kind of scared. But right away she invited me to dinner that day. Ever since then we've been best friends. She came to our concert—the first concert she's ever been to—at the [Madison Square] Garden, and she just enjoyed herself. We call each other on the phone and she sends me letters. She's just wonderful. I went to her house in New York and se showed me her Spencer Tracy's favorite chair and his private things in his closet, his little knick-knacks. I think he's just magic.

COLACELLO: Are you a fan of old movies?

JACKSON: Oh, yes. There was a lot of great art, great acting, great directing, great stories. When it comes to stuff like Captains Courageous or Boys' Town, Father Flanagan, Woman of the Year—that stuff is unreal.

COLACELLO: Why don't you write a story of your own?

JACKSON: That's what we're working on right now. We're kind of fooling with it, Quincy and Steven and I—hopefully we'll be able to do something with it. Steven wants to do a musical.

COLACELLO: Would you like to do Broadway?

JACKSON: Not yet. I think it's good for sharpening your skills. It's the best for really reaching the zenith of your talent. You go so far and reach the peak of it and you say, "Maybe this is the best performance I can do." What's so sad about the whole thing is that you don't capture that moment. Look at how many great actors or entertainers have been lost to the world because they did a performance one night and that was it. With film, you capture that, it's shown all over the world and it's there forever. Spencer Tracy will always be young in Captain Courageous and I can learn and be stimulated by his performance. So much is lost in theater, so much. Or Vvudeville. Do you know what I could have learned by watching all those entertainers? It would be unreal.

COLACELLO: Most plays are videotaped now, but not every night.

JACKSON: That's the thing. The actor's tense, he's being taped and things are not falling naturally. That's what I hate about Boadway. I feel like I'm giving a whole lot for nothing. I like to capture things and hold them there and share them with the whole world.

COLACELLO: It seems that what really motivates you is your desire to entertain people, to please people. What about fame and money? Could you imagine not being famous or does being famous bother you?

JACKSON: It never has bothered me except sometimes when you want peace. Like you go to the theater and you say, "Nobody's bothering me tonight, I'm wearing my hat and glasses and I'm going to enjoy this film and that's all there is to it." You get there and everybody's watching and staring at you and at the climax of the film somebody taps you on the shoulder for an autograph. You just feel like you can't get away.

COLACELLO: Is that why you live out here in the Valley as opposed to Beverly Hills where all the other stars live?

JACKSON: Yes, but it's just as bad. Beverly Hills is worse because they go there looking for them.

COLACELLO: You're very close to your parents. Do they live out here in L.A.?

JACKSON: Yes. My mother's upstairs. My father's at the office.

COLACELLO: What's your typical day like?

JACKSON: Daydreaming most of the day. I get up early and get ready for whatever I've got to do, songwriting or whatever it is. Planning the future and stuff.

COLACELLO: Are you optimistic about the future?

JACKSON: Yes. I always like to plan ahead of time and follow up.

COLACELLO: Liza Minnelli's a friend of yours, isn't she?

JACKSON: How could I forget her? I'm crazy about Liza. Add her to the list of my favorite people. I just love her to death. We get on the phone and we just gossip, gossip, gossip. What I like about Liza is that when we get together it's all show talk. I show her my favorite steps and she shows me hers. She's a show-stopping performer, too. She has real charisma. In the future I'd like to record her. I think a person like her should be heard on the radio and accepted that whole thing. She's magic on stage.

COLACELLO: Do you care about fashion much?

JACKSON: No. I care about what I wear on stage. You know what I love, though? I don't care about everyday clothes. I love putting on an outfit or a costume and just looking at myself in the mirror. Baggy pants or some real funky shoes and a hat and just feeling the character of it. That's fun to me.

COLACELLO: You like to act a lot just in everyday life?

JACKSON: I love it so much. It's escape. It's fun. It's just neat to become another thing, another person. Especially when you really believe it and it's not like you're acting. I always hated the world "acting"—to say, "I'm an actor." It should be more like a believer.

COLACELLO: But isn't that a little frightening when you believe it totally?

JACKSON: No, that's what I love about it. I just like to really forget.

COLACELLO: Why do you want to forget so much? Do you think life is really hard?

JACKSON: No, maybe it's because I just like jumping in other people's lives and exploring. Like Charlie Chaplin. I just love him to death. The little tramp, the whole gear and everything, and his heart—everything he portrayed on the screen was a truism. It was his whole life. He was born in London, and his father died an alcoholic when he was six. His mother was in an insane asylum. He roamed the streets of England, begging, poor, hungry. All this reflects on the screen and that's what I like to do, to bring all of the truths out.

COLACELLO: Do you care about making money?

JACKSON: I care about being paid fairly for what I do. When I approach a project, I put my whole heart and soul into it. Because I really care about it, I put everything I've got into it and I want to be paid. That guy who works should eat. It's that simple.

COLACELLO: You follow your own business very closely then?

JACKSON: Oh, yes.

COLACELLO: How old are you?

JACKSON: Twenty-three.

COLACELLO: Do you sometimes feel as though you missed out on childhood because you've always been performing in the adult world?

JACKSON: Sometimes.

COLACELLO: But you like people older than yourself, experienced people.

JACKSON: I love experienced people. I love people who are phenomenally talented. I love people who've worked so hard and been so courageous and are the leaders in ther fields. For me to meet somebody like that and learn from them and share words with them—to me that's magic. To work together. I'm crazy about Steven Spielberg. Another inspiration for me, and I don't know where it came from, is children. If I'm down, I'll take a book with children's pictures and look at it and it will just lift me up. Being around children is magic.

COLACELLO: There is something positive and encouraging about them. You have a lot of animals, don't you?

JACKSON: I used to. Right now I only have two baby deer, one's a boy and one's a girl. They're so sweet. They're gorgeous.

COLACELLO: I'll never understand how people can shoot deer.

JACKSON: I hate it. I hate taxidermy shops and all that crap. I have a llama. I have a sheep—he looks just like a ram with the horns. Louie is from the circus. He's the llama. The ram is called Mr. Tibbs and the fawns are Prince and Princess.

COLACELLO: What are you going to do with them when they grow?

JACKSON: Let them go in the yard and stuff. We have just about two acres.

COLACELLO: What kind of car do you have?

JACKSON: A Rolls. A black one.

COLACELLO: Do you like driving it?

JACKSON: I never want to drive. My parents forced me to drive. Quincy doesn't drive. A lot of people I know don't drive.

COLACELLO: Andy [Warhol] doesn't drive.

JACKSON: That's smart. But it's good when you want a little independence to get away. But I don't go many places, I don't know many places. I just drive down the street.

COLACELLO: You don't go out much?

JACKSON: Only to go to the Golden Temple, a health food restaurant. I'm a vegetarian. Or I go to the arcade and play the game.

COLACELLO: Are you interested in art?

JACKSON: I love to draw—pencil, ink pen—I love art. When I go on tour and visit museums in Holland, Germany, or England—you know those huge paintings?—I'm just amazed. You don't think a painter could do something like that I can look at a piece of sculpture or a painting and totally lose myself in it. Standing there watching it and becoming part of the scene. It can draw tears, it can touch you so much. See, that's where I think the actor or performer should be—to touch that truth inside of a person. Touch that reality so much that they become a part of what you're going and you can take them anywhere you want to. You're happy, they're happy. Whatever the human emotion, they're right there with you. I love realism. I don't like plastics. Deep down inside we're all the same. We all have the same emotions and that's why a film like E.T. touches everybody. Who doesn't want to fly like Peter Pan? Who doesn't want to fly with some magic creature from outer space and be friends with him? Steven went straight to the heart. He knows—when in doubt, go for the heart.

COLACELLO: You're religious, aren't you?

JACKSON: Yes, I believe in the Bible and I believe in God who's name is Jehovah and that whole thing.

COLACELLO: Someone said that's why you don't shave.

JACKSON: Oh no! I don't grow anything to shave. That's got nothing to do with it.

COLACELLO: So you're just a basic Christian.

JACKSON: I believe in truth.

COLACELLO: Do you read the Bible?

JACKSON: Yes, a lot.

COLACELLO: Do you go to church?

JACKSON: We don't call it church. It's Kingdom Hall. It's Jehovah's Witnesses.

COLACELLO: Do you like the Rolling Stones? Do you know Mick at all?

JACKSON: I met him in a bathroom. He was in there with Keith—Keith Moon?

COLACELLO: Keith Richards.

JACKSON: Keith Richards. I came in there and said, "Oh, hi," and we just started talking. Then I just went back into my session. I don't really know him that well.

COLACELLO: Do you read a lot?

JACKSON: Yes. I love to read. I like philosophy and short stories. I like to keep up with the latest best-sellers. The Calendar in the Sunday L.A. Times is my favorite paper. It really lets you know what's going on everywhere. I have my favorite authors—it's not like I just read the best-sellers. I like to see what they are doing and keep with what people are interested in. There's a lot of physical stuff now.

COLACELLO: Do you exercise?

JACKSON: Every Sunday I dance for 30 minutes straight without stopping. I love to do that.

COLACELLO: Why Sunday?

JACKSON: That's just the day I pick. Like I fast every Sunday. I don't eat anything. Just juices.

COLACELLO: Why do you do that?

JACKSON: It flushes out the system, cleans out the colon. I think that's great. To really make it work you have to do it properly. That's the sewer valve of the system. You have to keep that clean like you clean the outside of your body. All these impurities come out of your system because you're not clean inside. It comes out in pimples or disease or through big pores. Toxins trying to get out of your system. People should keep themselves clean.

COLACELLO: You don't read page one of the newspaper.

JACKSON: No. I might look at it but I won't read it.

COLACELLO: Too depressing?

JACKSON: Yes. It's always the same old thing. I like to make people happy. That's what's great about show business. It's escapism. You pay your five bucks to get in and sit there and you're in another world. Forget about the problems in the world. It's wonderful. It's entertaining. It's magic.



15-11-2011, 11:03 PM
We Are The World

Tonight I was reflecting on the true meaning of Michael's words, their profound depth. Michael said once "We are all just souls having an human experience."
To me these words is the bridge with which differences are met halfway, and understood from a deeper level, spoken with a great love for mankind. Differences in cultures, beliefs, habits can be frightening to some, annoying to others. Diversity is a word that embraces our differences and builds a bridge of understanding, of a common ground in seeking a higher purpose as the world around us seems to be falling apart. "It doesn't matter if you're black or white."
This train of thoughts led me to explore another word that is used so often and so readily by many; Peace. What is the essence of peace ? Is it the absence of war ? Is live and let live ? Is peace something we have no control over because we cannot control countries and politics ? But what about inner tranquility ? Becoming so still you can hear a leaf drop to the ground and a snail crawl. To me inner peace, balance is the real starting point for a peaceful world. Harmony on the outside cannot exist without some harmony on the inside. "Make the world a better place and start with the man/woman in the mirror." I do not have all the answers and I'm no saint either, but these questions are important questions for us to ponder, don't you think ?
We Are The World is such an inspirational, hope-giving and uplifting song. May we all see this truth in our hearts and live by it, that is my prayer for the world today! Much love and blessings to you all! :heart:
~ MJJLaugh


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16-11-2011, 10:41 PM
After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer
The complexities and contradictions of creative people
Published on August 25, 2010 by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman in Beautiful Minds


"Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself, / (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" - Walt Whitman

In the CNN.com article "The confusing legacy of Michael Jackson", Todd Leopold discusses the perplexing combination of seemingly contradictory traits displayed by Michael Jackson. In explaining his many sides, Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborelli essentially throws his hands up in the air in exasperation as he tries to make sense of the apparent contradictions:

"I think that when you're talking about Michael Jackson and you try to analyze him, it's like analyzing electricity, you know? It exists, but you don't have a clue as to how it works".

Creativity researchers aren't so confused. They have long-ago accepted the fact that creative people are complex. Almost by definition, creativity is complex. Creative thinking is influenced by many traits, behaviors, and sociocultural factors that come together in one person. It would be surprising if all of these factors didn't sometimes, or even most of the time, appear to contradict one another.

As creativity researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi notes in his 1996 article for Psychology Today titled "The Creative Personality", creative people

"show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an "individual", each of them is a "multitude."

To me, some of the most fascinating contrasts are those found in creative performers- those who are constantly on stage and in the public eye. Out of Csikszentmihaly's list of 10 complex personality traits of creative people, which were based on interviews with a wide variety of creative people, I think these three are the most relevant to creative performers:

1. "Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they're also often quiet and at rest. They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm...This does not mean that creative people are hyperactive, always "on." In fact, they rest often and sleep a lot. The important thing is that they control their energy; it's not ruled by the calendar, the dock, an external schedule. When necessary, they can focus it like a laser beam; when not, creative types immediately recharge their batteries. They consider the rhythym of activity followed by ideleness or reflection very important for the success of their work."

2. "Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted. We're usually one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. In fact, in psychological research, extroversion and introversion are considered the most stable personality traits that differentiate people from each other and that can be reliability measured. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously."

3. "Creative people's openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment. Most would agree with Rabinow's words: 'Inventors have a low threshold of pain. Things bother them.' A badly designed machine causes pain to an inventive engineer, just as the creative writer is hurt when reading bad prose. Being alone at the forefront of a discipline also leaves you exposed and vulnerable."

These three seeming contradictions- energy/rest, extroversion/introversion, and openness/sensitivity- are not separate phenomena but are intimately related to one another and along with other traits form the core of the creative performer's personality.


This contrast between onstage boldness and personal shyness was certainly seen in Michael Jackson. Famed record producer Quincy Jones recounts that

"Michael was so shy, he'd sit down and sing behind the couch with his back to me while I sat with my hands over my eyes—and the lights off."

A little while ago Susan Biali wrote a fascinating blog post for Psychology Today titled "Was Michael Jackson a Highly Sensitive Person(HSP)"? Are You?", which really resonated with me. In her post, she notes the seeming discrepancy found in Jackson between his

"shy reclusive personality (documented since he was a young child), and his outrageously impressive and even flamboyant ability to perform on and dominate the world stage."

Biali links this disrepancy to Jackson being a highly sensitive person (HSP) (see here for more info and here to assess whether you are a HSP). According to HSP researcher Elaine Aron, HSP's make up 15-20% of the general population and tend to be more aware than others of subtleties, get more easily overwhelmed when things get too intense or there is too much sensory input, are easily affected by other's moods, and are deeply creative and moved by arts and music. In a very recent post called, "Why it's hard to be a highly sensitive (HSP) introvert", I felt Biali very accurately described the frequent frustration of being a HSP:

"I'm extremely sensitive to other people's moods; when someone is angry, judgmental or irritated, those emotions come through my skin and into my cells, making me even more uncomfortable. Worst of all, if I don't have my own space to retreat to and recharge, I'll eventually have a meltdown."

Some of the most creative people have very high levels of sensitivity. Like Bilali, they embrace who they are and find ways to accommodate their sensitivity. Take Yoshira Nakamatsu, perhaps one of the most creative (if not also a bit nutty) inventors of all time. He invented many 'calm rooms' around his house to minimize as much as possible any potential sensory input that might interfere with his creative process. My favorite calm room is his bathroom, where his toilet shuts out every noise and every magnetic and electronic field! According to Dr. Nakamatsu, "Such a calm room erases all noise from your brain, you can concentrate and think." It should be noted that Dr. Nakamatsu also has a "dynamic room" in his old house, where music, patterns and textures stimulate the brain. According to Nakamatsu, this room is conducive to inventing, allowing the creator to mix ideas in his or her head. The genius of Dr. Nakamatsu may come in large part, from his ability to flexibly switch between extreme quiet and extreme stimulation.


( There are two more pages at the orginal website, looking at heavy metal musicians and their personality on-stage and off-stage and the various types of musicians, playing different instruments. ~MJJLaugh)



17-11-2011, 10:24 PM
Michael Jackson - Legendary

I found these two very cool videos that I wanted to share with you here. We all know the famous "How to become a Legend" in 10 steps as narrated by Michael's sister Janet during the 35th Annual Grammy Awards. That was awesome too. But these are different videos.
I hadn't realized at all that Back to the Future Part II and Part III paid tribute to MIchael. ( If you're a certain age you'll go "Ahhh, yes, I remember that, those were some cool, kick-ass movies!" Makes me wonder two things though: Is that really Michael J. Fox doing the moonwalk and legkick and if so who taught him ?
~ MJJLaugh

Michael Jackson - Become Legendary

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Michael Jackson Tributes In Back To The Future 2 & 3

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19-11-2011, 09:28 PM
Michael Jackson - Romania Buchurest

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September 14, 1996 ~ Bucharest, Romania
Michael laying a tribute of flowers at Bucharest-University Plaza
to commemorate those who died in the Romanian Revolution in 1989. He was touring the city two days before performing his concert. ♥

It’s a sunny spring day… we are in the centre of Bucharest… University Plaza… a lot of students, antiquarian booksellers, flowers sellers at the corner, water fountain from University School of Architecture having on its ring a lot of lazy people…. Crowded place, a lot of cars, busy people, noisy people… two begging children with two small puppies in their lap… a couple of young lovers… hand in hand… kissing in the day light…

In the middle of crossroad, a small surrounded place…. A green place with some stone crosses… for remembering their sacrifice… supreme sacrifice from 1989… of some reckless young people who didn’t care looking death in the eye… for freedom!

How many of us still remember of them, how many still pray ? I don’t know….

But what I know for sure is that he was here…. With flowers and tears in his eyes… on 14th September 1996… Thank you Michael for passing by!"



20-11-2011, 09:25 PM
Michael Jackson - Innocence ( In His Own Words)

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Innocence ( from Dancing the Dream)

It's easy to mistake being innocent for being simpleminded or naive. We all want to seem sophisticated: we all want to seem street-smart. To be innocent is to be "out of it". Yet there is a deep truth in innocence. A baby looks into his mother's eyes, and all he sees is love. As innocence fades away, more complicated things take its place. We think we need to outwit others and scheme to get what we want. We begin to spend a lot of energy protecting ourselves. Then life turns into a struggle. People have no choice but to be street-smart. How else can they survive ?

When you get right down to it, survival means seeings things the way they really are and responding. It means being open. And that's what innocence is. It's simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view. If you are locked into a pattern of thinking and responding, your creativity gets blocked. You miss the freshness and magic of the moment. Learn to be innocent again, and that freshness never fades.

21-11-2011, 09:14 PM
Schism’s,Isms and Michael Jackson
Posted on November 18, 2011

Michael was a force to be reckoned with. He pushed the envelope, and walked fearlessly in places where many of us have been trained to be terrified. Michael upset the applecart. It would have been satisfactory if he had not destroyed what this society had worked so hard to accomplish. The strategy was for us to be divided, to hate each other for whatever ism was thrown at us. Race-ism, sex-ism, age-ism, rejection of the disabled-ism. We were supposed to live in a world of schisms, and then Michael Jackson entered our realm. Michael surpassed it all. Michael became someone to worry about because he would not stay in his place. More frightening, he taught the whole world we don’t have to stay in “our place”. While the authorities that be worked feverishly to separate us…Michael brought us all together. Listen to what Minister Farrakhan has to say about Michael. He is teaching Muslims and Christians here.


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Michael taught us to love, and he taught us to keep the faith.

If You Call Out Loud Will It Get Inside Through The Heart Of Your Surrender To Your Alibis And You Can Say The Words Like You Understand But The Power’s In Believing So Give Yourself A Chance ’Cause You Can Climb The Highest Mountain Swim The Deepest Sea, Hee All You Need Is The Will To Want It And Uhh, Little Self-Esteem So Keep The Faith (Keep The Faith vs 1/Michael Jackson)


Because of who Michael Jackson was and yet is…I have always believed that he belonged in a picture like this. These men are all Civil Rights Leaders. As I mused upon this thing, one of my friends posted this video to me. It was splendid timing indeed. It is such a powerful video that it went viral almost instantly. It is Michael, standing up against isms all over the world. Michael taught values, lead protests, and addressed every single ism that I can think of. Michael addressed isms globally. Michael gained political power across the world. He had spiritual power…he had financial power, and he had the love of the world. Michael had the power to wake people up, and he sang songs to empower us all. Michael was able to unite the world, and isms became fruitless. The problem was that isms are to divide and conquer, for the sake of becoming more powerful. Michael had so much power that bitter and insecure persons began to feel endangered. Ultimately, Michael became an ism to men of greed. Enter Michael Jackson-ism. The article segment listed below is interesting.

Michael Jackson, Glenn Beck, MLK, and the Worlds We Create

“Friday night, after another day of survey gathering and site visits, I headed over to the 9:30 club for DJ Dredd’s dance party to celebrate Michael Jackson’s birthday. As we swayed with the crowd rocking along to Michael’s (and Janet’s!) greatest hits, an observation kept pushing to the forefront of my mind, one I had wanted to write about last year when he passed. While much was written about the racial politics of Michael Jackson, particularly in reference to his skin color/plastic surgeries, there was little discussion of the most striking part of Michael’s racial politics: the worlds he created in his music videos. Most folks are familiar with two of his most political hits, “Black or White” and “Man in the Mirror.”

“But what always stood out to me was the populations of Michael’s created worlds – which were overwhelmingly multicultural, featuring a lot of different types of people all rolling with the King of Pop. Michael’s worlds were often overwhelmingly urban. Featuring streetscapes and subcultures, Michael’s videos illuminated – and humanized – different segments of American and global life, in the face of a pop culture environment that insisted those types of images remain marginalized. Even his journey back to ancient Egypt ( Remember the Time) became a quiet political statement.”


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This conversation is about discrimination and prejudice in our world. As are all things they are taught. A platform of principles has to be built, and slowly other attitudes, opinions and beliefs are added. People are not born with hate or prejudice in their hearts, they are learned values. However, simply because it is called a value does not mean it is ethical. It only means that one has learned to value a certain ideal. The terms discrimination and prejudice are appropriate, however in this writing we will refer to then as isms. I am aware that this can be a touchy topic for some. For that reason I am using some scenes from “To Kill a Mockingbird” , and other illustrative items that we all can relate to comfortably.

This is from the script of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, which starred Gregory Peck, one of Michael’s beloved friends. Michael was truly a mockingbird, and what happened to him was cruel and evil….it was a sin. I have always thought this scene was so descriptive of Michael Jackson.

Scene from To Kill A Mockingbird:

Scout: How old were you when you got your first gun, Atticus?

Atticus: Thirteen or fourteen. I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point at anything in the house… and that he’d rather I shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed… the temptation to go after birds would be too much… and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could hit ‘em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Scout: Why?

Atticus: Well, I reckon…because mockingbirds don’t do anything…but make music for us to enjoy. Don’t eat people’s gardens. Don’t nest in the corn cribs. They don’t do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.

Sadly, there are many people who are blessed with loving hearts that must live in a world of isms. Isms are the foundation for schisms, and provide the potential to divide and conquer. There are numerous isms, some that may surprise you. Whatsoever the ism may be, it is worked as a tactic for separation to accomplish a greater level of control. Those who are believed to belong in one group are not necessarily free to go outside that group. It is much like a street gang. Once you join their organization you are no longer free to leave. However, you join a group but you are born with you race, color or gender. Certain aspects of society have a strong influence on how we live, what we do, and with whom we choose to do it. Ism’s can confine victims and make their mere existence miserably and exceedingly arduous. Watch the following video from “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

This clip shows that Atticus has been born into a group, simply because he is a southern white man.

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This clip shows the result of him going against the group, something that is regarded as unacceptable. Atticus is now a traitor.

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So, it is all about division for power. If you came to the conclusion that Tom is innocent, you are right. I am sure that Michael loved this movie. He adored Gregory Peck, and all the things that are happening, are things he understands. Here we see the children making a change in what is about to happen. It is done through innocence and love. Michaels speech in the following video puts words to what we have seen in this clip from To “Kill a Mockingbird” It took children to save Atticus.

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“Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone. This simple goodness shines straight from their hearts and only asks to be lived.” Michael Jackson

Let’s look at some of the other ism’s that surround us, and see where Michael fits in. We have been looking at race-ism. One of the ism’s that haunted Michael was disabled-ism. Michael was diagnosed with lupus.

Cutaneous Lupus Erythematous:

Cutaneous refers to the skin, and this form of lupus is limited to the skin. Although there are many types of rashes and lesions (sores) caused by cutaneous lupus, the most common rash is raised, scaly and red, but not itchy. It is commonly known as a discoid rash, because the areas of rash are shaped like disks, or circles. Another common example of cutaneous lupus is a rash over the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose, known as the butterfly rash. Other rashes or sores may appear on the face, neck, or scalp (areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight or fluorescent light), or in the mouth, or nose, Hair loss and changes in the pigment, or color, of the skin are also symptoms of cutaneous lupus.

Approximately 10 percent of people who have cutaneous lupus will develop systemic lupus. However, it is likely that these people already had systemic lupus, with the skin rash as their main symptom. Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

In this picture we can see the beginning of a rash on Michael’s cheeks.


In 1993, Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, released a statement saying that Jackson had a skin disease called vitiligo. The condition causes a person to lose melanin, the pigment that determines the color of skin, hair and eyes, in patches or all over the body. Vitiligo affects 1 million to 2 million people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health, and no one knows what causes it.

~Michael Jackson had history of health problems~ June 25, 2009|By Elizabeth Landau CNN

In this picture you can see him actually losing his color. This photograph, nor the many others that show the effects of vitiligo were carefully concealed. The media wanted to destroy Michael. What better way to destroy a man with so great a love, than to profess that he hates himself? Michael was also subjected to our most popular ism. Which, is the ism of race.


The ism regarding Michael’s disability was not resolved until he died. Even Quincy Jones thought Michael wanted to be white. He never believed that Michael had vitiligo. Following is a segment of an interview he did.

“Quincy Jones got real gangsta when doing an interview about Michael Jackson saying “Michael wanted to be white”

Oh, we talked about it all the time. But he’d come up with, “Man, I promise you I have this disease,” and so forth, and “I have a blister on my lungs,” and all that kind of B.S. It’s hard, because Michael’s a Virgo, man—he’s very set in his ways. You can’t talk him out of it. Chemical peels and all that stuff…”He then continued on talking about the “King of Pop” saying that he wanted to be white.

“It’s ridiculous, man! Chemical peels and all of it. And I don’t understand it. But he obviously didn’t want to be Black.” When asked if that’s what he really thinks Michael’s problem was, he replied, “Well what do you think? You see his kids?” Following that he was then asked if he thought Michael was beautiful before the chemical peels to which he replied, “Man, he was the most gorgeous guy.”

Quincy, that’s the pot calling the kettle Black,. Aren’t all of your ex-wives and baby mamas white women? HipHopWired.Com http://bossip.com/127836/quincy-jones-michael-jackson-wanted-to-be-white-you-see-his-kids%E2%80%9D/

We know this was simply based in media lies. Quincy, whom he had known for so very long believed the tabloids instead of him. Michael found that he could cope with it by helping others who were also suffering from different illnesses. He was healed by healing others. This was not a secret to anyone. However, in a society of ism’s, it you are a force of love and unity … it is not likely that the powers that be would favor wellness for you. It is a matter of division for power. Whether that power is political , religious, physical, or personal does not matter. It is merely another ism, and the truth is nobody here is going to die of terminal uniqueness. Following is another clip from”To Kill a Mockingbird”. Atticus did not win the case, but what he says here rings loud, and is true… Nevertheless, isms of sex and race are over powering.

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Such isms still exist, albeit not at the level Atticus faces defending Tom. What can we do about it? We see what it is, we understand what it is, we forgive what it is…then like Michael, we love somebody. Even quiet wars are hard on ones heart. The jealousy and fear of another is a frightening thing. However, if we take a person and put them in a category it is a futile thing. If we attempt to elevate ourselves and look down on others, it can only harm us. There is strength in being humble. Quincy Jones was and is like anyone else. He too is subject to make mistakes, he too was raised in a world of isms. Despite all that Quincy said, no one will ever convince me that he didn’t have a great love for Michael. Surely, he cried like the rest of us. Minister Farrakhan said that Michael had the ability to take us to a greater state of awareness. Michael has done that. Look at all that we have done together! We did it in Michael’s name, we have grown from and for the love of Michael Jackson. Michael was and is a minister. He still calls us to a higher awareness. We see that ism’s are not real. Children, have not been subjected to the amount of “mind control” that adults have. Perhaps that is why Michael loved children so…they knew that we are all the same. Can you feel it?

All the colors of the world should be
Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly
Yes, it’s all right
Take my message to your brother
And tell him twice

Spread the word and try to teach the man
Who’s hating his brother
When hate won’t do, ooh
‘Cause we’re all the same, yes
The blood inside of me is inside of you

“Michael Jackson was a true humanitarian, an example to us all. He devoted much time and money to a wide range of charities. He loved children and took time out when touring secretly visiting sick children. He also has special rooms at his home Neverland for sick and terminally ill children to stay over. He was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records for breaking the world record for the “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star”. It states that Michael Jackson has supported 39 charity organizations either with monetary donations through sponsorships of their projects or by participating in their silent auction.” http://www.allmichaeljackson.com/charities.html

The speech that addressed Michael’s ability to overcome the many isms he was faced with was given by Rev. Al Sharpton at Michael’s memorial.

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Clearly, it does not matter what the ism is. It is not more powerful than love. We ought to create an ism just for us. That would be an ism of love. We shall call ourselves ” Love-ist’s”, Not race-ism…but love-ism. Not sex-ism…but love-ism. Not national-ism…but love-ism. Not class-ism, but love-ism. We can change the world, we can touch the sky. We who are Love-ists will be able to look at ism’s in a fresh new way. We will see them as Michael saw them. It is human nature.

I invite you to join me Monday evening, 6:30pm until 9:30pm Cantral Standard Time on A Place in Your Heart Radio. Okay… Gird yourself up! We are going to talk about all the ism’s that exist. There is Classicism, Sexism, Nationalism, Racism and probably much more. We have a new ism however. There is now Michael Jackson-ism.That is the root of why the documentary was expected to sell in the first place. So, gird yourself up and come out to talk about it. We are going beyond haters.

An Exercise in Sleaze Part 2: Schisms, Isms and Michael Joseph Jackson


Rev. Dr. Catherine M. Gross/ MJJJP

“Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.” ~ Michael J. Jackson



22-11-2011, 09:33 PM
Interview with the actress, who toured with him for a short Disneyland. "I had met him a month ago, told me that they had stolen a dream. He 'died of a broken heart"
by Silvia Bizio

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Anjelica Huston
LOS ANGELES - "Michael was like a shaman capable of penetrating into your dreams. A being unique. He 'died of a broken heart." So says Anjelica Huston, who in 1986 had worked with Michael Jackson in the 3D short film Captain EO , directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Disneyland and DisneyWorld. A film in which Huston played a witch against whom Jackson, hero of the title role, was fighting to save humanity. The actress, 58, daughter of legendary director John Huston, had just begun to recover from grief of the death, last December, of her husband, sculptor Robert Graham, when she learned of Jackson's death. "Another terrible grief" - she says, reached at her home in Venice - "I cherished a special affection for him."

How did Mrs. Huston view Michael Jackson at the time of the shooting of Captain EO ?
"I remember the first time I arrived on the set, at five in the morning, he was already rigged, beautiful, a little 'androgynous, vaguely alien. I was amazed."

Did you know him already?
"No, I had only seen him in newspapers or on TV. But in person he was different. In a positive sense I mean. The way he worked, his professionalism, perfectionism with which he studied and performed every song and choreography was admirable . I began to feel impatient after two hours of makeup, he did not blink. He took my hand and calmed me immediately. "

At that time Michael was a mega-superstar. One could notice?
"On the set he had a huge trailer and was followed by a lawyer, the managers and bodyguards. He had his personal chef, he was like a sheik. Every day we receive requests to star on the first day of shooting came to find Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and then almost all the biggest stars of those years. "

You became friends?
"Yes he was very sweet and shy. Invited me to lunch in his trailer, where he enjoyed watching cartoons on TV. In some ways he was, in fact, like a child, grew only in the physical sense, a real Peter Pan, introverted but also eccentric, electrifying, was wound up to a thousand before the public. "

He was good at acting?
"At first found it hard to express feelings such as anger, as if his DNA did not exist in that genre. He could instead express the pain and tenderness. I remember the morning when, after a week of camera turned on me, we had to shoot his scenes, and I was annoyed that I had claimed, although not "in camera", reciting my lines completely made up and dressed as a witch. Yet, when he climbed onto the platform and began to sing and dance , my heart started pounding, I was shivering. A spell, a force of nature. A performance of pure talent that I had never seen before. "

Have you seen him recently?
"After Captain Eo I have rarely met him... But, ironically, I saw him about a month ago, by chance, in the study of our dermatologist, Arnie Klein. We hugged and we were locked in a study rooms and chat for a couple of hours. We talked about how he had felt humiliated by the accusation of sexual harassment. And of sorrow for the loss of Neverland, where he had lived many years. "

What did he say?
"I remember his words: 'They ruined my dream. I had this dream, perhaps childish and foolish, a place designed to celebrate the innocence of that childhood that I never had, and they took it from me. I love children, I could never do them harm. I spent all my life loving them and trying to do good things for them. The libel of harming a child, breaks my heart. An unbearable pain, accusations are unjust and terrible ...'. As he said these things I began to cry. I held out my arms to embrace him in a hug. ... He was so skinny and frail "

He spoke of future projects?
"He told me he was preparing a concert series in London. He said 'I'm preparing for the best show, because otherwise I will have no more hope of coming back and being loved.' 'He was thin and pale, but with all the makeup he had, even to see a dermatologist, you could not tell what was underneath. One thing I can say, so much pain he felt in the past and a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for the future. "

What do you think really killed Michael Jackson?
"Michael had a broken heart. This is what killed him. Of course, with an autopsy will wonder how many things, drugs and so on. But the truth is that his heart was broken."

What is his legacy?
"Michael has changed the world. It changed everything in the lives of African Americans, proving that there is no barrier between white and black. He really was both white and black. There were others such as Elvis Presley, but never like Michael Jackson. He had something alien that no one else had, and no one else will ever have. "
( July 7, 2009 )



23-11-2011, 08:49 PM
Remembering Michael Jackson
Looking back on the life and the impact that MJ had on the world

Editor's Note: Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African-American Studies, wrote the main essay for a 3-CD box collection of Michael Jackson solo recordings released between 1971 and 1975. Hello World - The Complete Motown Solo Collection includes more than 70 songs and is available for purchase online. Here is an excerpt from Neal's essay.


Durham, NC - I'll start, not with that first solo release in October of 1971, but a few years earlier when Michael Jackson, a few weeks away from his 11th birthday, recorded his vocals for "Can You Remember." The song is easily forgotten, tucked away on the first Jackson Five album, the one that produced the hot single "I Want You Back."

Written by über producer Thom Bell and originally recorded by the Delfonics, "Can You Remember" is an obscurity even in the Philly Soul songbook. Much has been made about Michael's hard soul influences, from James Brown to Jackie Wilson. But apparently the kid also expressed some interest in the sweet music of Thom Bell and the sweeter vocals of William Hart, which partially explains why the Jackson Five recorded at least one Delfonics track on each on their first three albums, including "La-La-Means I Love You." Of course the group also looked towards the premier falsetto voice of Smokey Robinson and recorded a bunch of his tracks in those first few years, among them "Who's Lovin' You," the show-stopping B-side to "I Want You Back," and "Darling Dear," a personal favorite of mine.

But there was always something about those William Hart tracks, especially "Can You Remember." You can hear in young Michael's voice that earnestness that marked so many of those early recordings, but you also hear the nuances of a burgeoning archivist at work. So it was no surprise that when Michael was asked to step out on his own, he did so with the aplomb of a seasoned veteran, but with the heart of a child.


This aptly-titled collection using the two most dramatically rendered words in "Got To Be There," his solo debut ask us to remember a long forgotten time when a cherub-faced Michael Jackson was one of the most important figures in so many of our young lives.

Emerging at a historical moment when African-Americans in this country were achieving an unprecedented public presence in politics, business, education and the arts of which Motown was on the forefront Michael Jackson was, quite simply, the most famous African-American boy. Ever. For a community that often confronted a dearth of images of themselves in the public sphere, both positive and negative, the very sight of Michael Jackson on television was a powerful reflection of the social changes that were already in motion.

It would seem that much of young Mr. Jackson's appeal had little to do with the tenor of the times. There was a simple sweetness and innocence about him, even as the very Afros that he and his brothers grew were viewed with suspicion and apprehension in so many other social contexts.


It would be a lot to suggest that a young black boy from the city of Gary, Indiana deserves recognition for the easing of racial tensions in the early seventies, but when the young man galvanized an unprecedented audience of multi-cultural America a decade later, there is little question that for so many of us growing up on the Jackson Five, and not immediately privy to the bitter racial disputes of our parents and grandparents, Michael Jackson was a sign of possibilities.

As one those little black boys watching Michael strut his stuff, I had more immediate concerns. Like Ralph Carter, the boy actor who showed up weekly on television's Good Times as little Michael Evans, Michael Jackson provided clues as to how to imagine myself in the world. Far too few of us will admit it now, but for many of us Michael Jackson was the template for our burgeoning black boyhoods.


The soulful tilt of the applejack hat, the man-child sassiness, the natty mod-dress and, of course, the dance moves all became part of our boyhood repertoire. Indeed even my first stabs at romance included Michael as I often would send love notes to some lovely with lyrics to some of my favorites songs from Michael, especially stuff like "Girl Don't Take Your Love From Me" and "Got To Be There" from that first solo album. I know I wasn't the only one.

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24-11-2011, 09:01 PM
Grace, Gratitude and Gracious persons

Today is an important day in the United States. People have travelled many miles, enduring delays in flights, bad weather and other discomforts, to be together with their loved ones, so they can say grace before joining in a feast meal to celebrate Thanksgiving. Others do not have families or friends or the means to travel anywhere. They express gratitude at being offered a free meal, together with many others, in a warm place, offering temporary shelters. And then there are gracious persons. Who and what are gracious persons ? Read this blog I found on the web and tell me who it reminds you of:

What is a Gracious Person Like ?



Now I like this word.

Like you, however, I have been around some people for whom the word “gracious” doesn’t seem to fit.

It was a busy evening. This particular church was attempting to feed a lot of people. Volunteers had been working in the kitchen in their church building throughout the day to prepare for a big crowd that evening. Other volunteers had come the day before after purchasing food at the local Sam’s. Here were lots of people working together. Again, all were volunteers.

One couple came through the line. He complained because his portion was smaller than what he wanted. The person serving apologized and explained that they were trying to give small portions of this particular dish because they wanted to make sure that everyone got some before they ran out. The man was visibly displeased and muttered something about the volunteers needing to do a better job of planning. No thank you. No gratitude.

That is not graciousness.

On the other hand, I have known gracious people. For example, I witnessed one gracious man interact with people many times in social settings. He would never humiliate, embarrass, or in any way communicate displeasure over something like the above example. He spent his time thanking people and expressing gratitude to them for the work they had done. At such dinners, he often wandered through the kitchen complimenting people and thanking each person for their service.

Graciousness is reserved for people who recognize 
that they are privileged to receive what they have been given. Or as Fred Craddock once said, “The final act of grace is graciousness.”

So what is a gracious 

A gracious person is slow to take credit and quick to lavish praise.

A gracious person never seeks to embarrass another. Humiliating another is not in this person’s vocabulary. (Please don’t say something that humiliates another and then try to escape responsibility by saying, “I was only joking.”)

A gracious person is always thanking others. Do you go through an entire day without thanking another?

A gracious person doesn’t monopolize the conversation. Someone else has something to offer.

A gracious person doesn’t try to play one-upmanship. (“That’s nothing, you should have seen what I did!”)

A gracious person pays attention to people. Sometimes people come away from such conversations saying, “He made me feel like I was the most important person at that moment.”

A gracious person desires to say what is appropriate. (There is no redeeming value in emptying one’s mind of whatever fleeting thought has happened to land at the moment.)

A gracious person looks out for the comfort of others. 

A gracious person looks for the good. Maybe 
you are visiting a friend who lives in another place. Instead of 
pointing out the inadequacies of your friend’s community, you are 
constantly finding things that are good. “This cafe has outstanding
 peach pie! That was delicious.” “I just love the way you have planted
 your garden. It is beautiful!”

I believe that in so many of us, there is a genuine hunger 
to experience the beauty of graciousness. After all, this is nothing
 more than grace lived out. And — that grace originates in the heart of God.

A thank you note from Michael to his hosts at the Grouse Lodge in Ireland in 2006


In 1992 in a Disney store



25-11-2011, 09:55 PM
Michael Jackson - Please Remember Me

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One thing I have noticed while working on this video: it appears that when Michael wore red, he felt empowered, active, energized, compassionate, full of zest for life, happy, exuberant and outgoing. So, while the song and the lyrics may provoke feelings of nostalgia or even sadness, remember that Michael's life also had many happy and joyful moments. Immerse in the joy he spread around him, the healing, the caring and giving and spread the love!

sweet princess
26-11-2011, 12:19 AM


26-11-2011, 10:57 PM
2 KINGS.Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury.Interesting Comparisons Revealed.




Both Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson posed for photos wearing a crown and the traditional clothes associated with a King (see above).

Working Together.

Michael Jackson released a single called 'State Of Shock' (1984) which appeared on the Jacksons 'Victory' album (1984). Jackson first began working on this duet with Freddie Mercury but in the end Mick Jagger appeared on the final version. Jackson and Mercury also worked on two more songs 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' and 'Victory' but did not finish them.


Both performers have had a statue created in their likeness (see below). Michael Jackson used a statue of himself to advertise his 'History' album (1995) while Freddie Mercury has a statue of himself in Switzerland as a tribute to his life.




Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury admired each others work. At the start of Queen's 'Greatest Flix' VHS video (1981), it states that Freddie Mercury's favourite group was the Jacksons. Michael Jackson was the lead singer of this group while his brothers provided backing vocals and instrumental accompaniment. Jackson on the other hand went to see a Queen concert in LA, America.


Both performers have immense energy when on stage and use the best lights and props to give the best show possible.


Both Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson have worn a white vest at some point in their career (see below).




Freddie Mercury used an orchestra in the song 'Mr. Bad Guy' (1985) while Michael Jackson has orchestral sections in the songs 'Will You Be There' (1993) and 'Little Susie' (1995).


Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have been known to wear a ring on their right hand.

Dionne Warwick.

Jim Hutton's book 'Mercury and Me' (1994) states that Freddie once met Dionne Warwick (below) who had been one of his idols since childhood page 118. Dionne Warwick also sang with Michael Jackson on the charity single 'We Are The World' (1985).


The Press.

Both artists have sang songs which have described their distrust of the press. Michael Jackson sang the song 'Tabloid Junkie' (1995) while Freddie Mercury sang the song 'Scandal' (1989).


Both artists have took some form of drugs during their career. Michael Jackson became addicted to painkillers during a low point in his life while Freddie Mercury was known to take cocaine at his lavish private parties.


Michael Jackson rode a motorbike during the song 'Speed Demon' from his film 'Moonwalker' (1988), while Freddie Mercury sat on a motorbike during the Queen music video 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' (1979) (see below).




Both Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson have been associated with films. Freddie Mercury and Queen wrote and performed songs for 'Highlander' (1986) and 'Flash Gordon' (1980) which were their most famous soundtracks. Michael Jackson on the other hand, has acted, and also sang in his films 'Moonwalker' (1988) and 'Ghosts' (1997).


Both artists have African origins and so-called 'non-Western' backgrounds. Michael Jackson's ancestors came from Africa while Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar (Tanzania) in Africa.


Slash (below), the former guitarist from 'Guns n' Roses' often performed with Michael Jackson and also performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992).



Both artists have released songs as part of a group and as solo performers. Michael Jackson performed with the Jackson 5 while Freddie Mercury performed with Queen.


Both are known as perfectionists.


Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have worn shiny mirror sunglasses (see below).




Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have called themselves 'bad.' Michael Jackson called his album and single 'Bad' in 1987 and Freddie Mercury called his first solo album 'Mr. Bad Guy' in 1985.


Michael Jackson secretly recorded a celebrity gathering for his music video ‘Liberian Girl’ (1989) while Freddie Mercury recorded one of his parties secretly for his music video ‘Living On My Own’ (1985).


Both wear military style clothing such as military jackets and sometimes have a stripe running down their trousers (see below).



LA Gear Shoes.

According to the book 'The Ultimate Queen' (1998) page 187, the Queen song 'We Will Rock You' (1977) was used by LA Gear Shoes in a US advert. Michael Jackson also advertised this company in the late 1980's.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Michael Jackson has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in America and so has Freddie Mercury as a member of Queen.

Elizabeth Taylor.

Elizabeth Taylor (below) was one of Michael Jackson's closest friends, she also appeared at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992.



Both artists have been charitable and have both helped raise money to feed those suffering in the Ethiopian famine in the 1980's. To assist this cause, Michael Jackson helped organize the song 'We Are The World' (1985) which he also added his vocals to along with other artists, while Freddie Mercury appeared at Live Aid in 1985.

Music Videos As An Art Form.

Both performers have pioneered the use of the music video as an art form. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (1975) by Queen uses special effects like a film and as a result some consider it to be the first music video. 'Thriller' (1983) by Michael Jackson took music videos a step further and incorporated his music with a fourteen minute horror film.

Long Hair.

Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have had long hair at some time during their careers (see below).



Christmas Songs.

Both stars have made songs for the Christmas market. Freddie Mercury/Queen released their own Christmas song 'Thank God It's Christmas' (1984) while the Jackson 5 released the 'Jackson 5 Christmas Album' (1970) full of traditional Christmas songs.

Christmas Number One.

Along with Queen, Freddie Mercury had a Christmas number one with the single 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (1975), Michael Jackson also hit the number one spot at Christmas with the single 'Earth Song' (1995).

Madame Tussaud's.

Both performers have been immortalized in wax by Madame Tussaud's, the British wax work model creators (see below).



Both performers have worn policeman's hats while performing in concert. Michael Jackson wore one of these hats while performing with the Jacksons at the Rainbow Theatre, London, UK 1978. Freddie Mercury also wore a policeman's hat while performing with Queen at Wembley Stadium, London, UK 1986.

'Another One Bites The Dust.'

In the VHS video 'Queen Magic Years - Volume Two' (1987), Roger Taylor from the band said Michael Jackson recommended that they release this single.


Michael Jackson often used magic to disappear during his concerts while Freddie Mercury appeared to have magical powers when he made chairs float in the air during his music video 'A Kind Of Magic' (1986).

>>>Listen to ‘There Must Be More To Life Than This’ by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson, this song is accompanied by a slideshow video, click on the picture below to watch it now:

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Michael and Freddie together.



Michael holds up a magazine featuring Queen on the cover.


>>>Listen to ‘State Of Shock’ by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson, this song is accompanied by a slideshow video, click on the picture below to watch it now:

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OEBo0Hf3LqE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Both have been hugely successful and have undertaken world tours filling stadiums around the world which have made millions of pounds/dollars. They have also been the first Western artists to appear in parts of Central Europe.

Brit Awards.

In 1992 Queen received a Brit Award for the Best Single of 1991, 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives.' In 1996 Michael Jackson also received 'The Artist Of A Generation Award'. Funnily enough it was presented to him by Bob Geldof who also organized the Live Aid (1985) concert which Queen appeared in.

Jimi Hendrix.

Both performers have stated Jimi Hendrix (below) as one of their idols.


Walk Of Fame.

Both Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson have a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.


Both Michael and Freddie have used children to imitate themselves in their music videos (see below). The music videos are Michael Jackson's 'Baby Bad' from the 'Moonwalker' film (1988) and Queen's 'The Miracle' (1989) video.




Both artists have had an androgynous image which means their appearance has blurred the conventional/traditional barriers surrounding gender, race and age in society.


Both performers have worn leather while performing (see below). Michael Jackson wore leather for the filming of his 'Bad' (1987) music video while Freddie Mercury wore leather offstage and also onstage especially in the late 1970's.




Both artists have had the emblem of the torch at their concerts. An Olympic style torch was seen in the Jacksons 'Victory Tour' (1984) and was also seen during Queen's 'Magic Tour' (1986).


Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have appeared with stubble at some period in their careers (see below).



Guinness Book Of World Records.

Both have appeared in the Guinness Book Of World Records, Freddie Mercury/Queen for the single 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (1975) and Michael Jackson for his album 'Thriller' (1982).

Lisa Marie.

In the early Eighties, Queen hired Elvis Presley's last private jet named 'Lisa Marie'. Freddie Mercury was also given a scarf by Lisa Marie (below) which belonged to her father Elvis. Later Michael Jackson married and soon divorced the daughter of Elvis.



While performing both artists have decorated one of their hands, Michael Jackson has worn one glove while Freddie Mercury has decorated one hand with nail varnish.

Jennifer Holliday.

Freddie Mercury went to see Jennifer Holliday (below) perform live and met her, while Michael Jackson lent his vocals to her song 'You're The One' (1985).


Body Language.

Freddie Mercury sang a song called 'Body Language' on the Queen album 'Hot Space' (1982) while Michael Jackson sang a song called 'Body Language (Do The Love Dance)' on the Jackson 5 album 'Moving Violation' (1975).

Elton John.

Elton John (below) was a friend of Freddie Mercury and sang at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Michael Jackson was also a friend of Elton John's and Michael dedicated the song 'Blood On The Dance Floor' (1997) to him.


Banned Music Videos.

Queen's music video 'Body Language' (1982) was banned by MTV for being too raunchy. Michael Jackson's 'Black or White' (1991) video was also very controversial as towards the end it featured vandalism and sexual gestures, this part was later edited out. Furthermore Michael Jackson's 'In The Closet' (1992) video was banned in South Africa.


Both performers have been represented by a logo (see below). Michael Jackson has used the initials 'MJ' to represent himself while Freddie Mercury along with Queen used their star signs to represent their identities.




Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury prefer not to wear a watch.

Star Signs - Part 1.

Both Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury are the same star sign; Virgo.

Star Signs - Part 2.

Freddie Mercury was born in 1946 while Michael Jackson was born in 1958. According to the Chinese horoscope, people born in these years are born in the year of the dog.


Trip Khalaf.

The sound engineer Trip Khalaf (below) worked with Queen on their 'Magic Tour' in 1986, he also worked with Michael Jackson during his 'Dangerous Tour' in 1992/3.



In Michael Jackson's 'Moonwalker' (1988) film, animation was used to bring to life clay models, in the Queen video 'A Kind Of Magic' (1986) animation was also used to move cartoon dancers.


Both performers have been known to wear fedora style hats (see below).




A very rare record features Michael Jackson singing the song ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’ (1987) in Spanish. Freddie Mercury also partly sang in Spanish in the Queen song ‘Las Palabras De Amor’ (1982).

David Bowie.

Along with Queen, Freddie Mercury recorded the song 'Under Pressure' (1981) with David Bowie (below), while Michael Jackson's music video 'Remember The Time' (1992) featured David Bowie's wife Iman.



Both stars died at quite a young age. Freddie Mercury died at 45 in 1991 and Michael Jackson died at 50 in 2009. These two stars will never grow old so some people would say they have a sense of immortality.

Final Albums.

The last albums released by both performers began with the letter 'I'. The last album officially released in Freddie Mercury's lifetime was the Queen album 'Innuendo' while Michael Jackson's was 'Invincible'.

From left to right: Michael, Freddie and John Deacon of Queen.

Michael and Freddie, a photo created by myself.



http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/9982/1resized.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/266/1resized.jpg/)

sweet princess
26-11-2011, 11:54 PM
I love Freddie even more now. :D

27-11-2011, 09:13 PM
Stories from David Gest’s autobio “Simply the Gest”


On Michael’s own money, he and I flew to Nashville and rented a car. He drove. I soon set about driving him mad, just totally bonkers.

In Nashville we were booked into a really nice hotel, Spence Manor. We pulled up alongside an intercom system you had to get past to get to go through the main gates. Michael didn’t know Nasville, so I sensed an opportunity to have some fun.

I told him that because we were in the self styled “Music City” we had to abide by one of the local traditions.

“Michael, you have to sing into the intercom,” I said.

“Sing what?”

“You have to sing ‘It’s Music City and I am here. I’m Mike McDonald so let’s raise a cheer.’ Otherwise they won’t let you in. You have to do it,” I told him.

He gave me a puzzled look but went along with it. The guy on the end of the intercom came on and said in his southern accent, “How can I help you?”

Michael began to sing and the voice on the intercom replied, “Sorry, we don’t let weirdos in here.”

They wouldn’t open the gates. I was laughing so hard I was on the floor. Michael didn’t quite get it for a moment but as soon as he did he nearly peed his pants too. He couldn’t believe he had been such an idiot as to do that.


Michael and I used to have so much fun playing jokes on each other. My favourite prank was to put on another voice and pretend to be someone else – I loved to do voices. In the early days of working together, Michael went to stay at a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. He loved to eat. He had just arrived and I knew the first thing he would do was order food from room service. So I beat him to the punch. As soon as he got to his room, I rang him up, putting on a woman’s voice, and said, “Honey, do you want to order room service?”

“Oh yes, baby, I’ll have a hamburger,” he said. He always called people sweetheart or baby.

“Ok, darling,” I replied.

“I would like some mustard and ketchup.”

“Baby, we have no mustard and ketchup.”

“None?” he asked.

“None. We just ran out and our shipment is two days late,” I replied.

“Ok, I will have some relish.”

“Honey, we’re all out of relish. We just got rid of the last of it.”

“Ok, I’ll have mayonaise.”

“No mayonaise.”

“Cheese and lettuce?”

“No cheese or lettuce.”


“No fries.”

“Well, just put some butter and tomato in the bun.”

“Honey, we have no buns, just toast.”

By this point he had enough, so he just started screaming, “You have no mustard, you have no ketchup, you have no fries, you have no buns. What kind of restaurant is this?”

I started cracking up. It was then that I realized I had him. I did exactly the same thing to him 25 years later. We weren’t working together then but I knew where he was staying.



Michael used to love calling people up. He would do it when he came over to my house. He would just pick up the phone, dial a random number and start horsing around.

The person at the other end would pick up the phone and Michael would say, “Who’s this?”

They would reply something like, “It’s Lenore.”

He would go, “Oh, Lenore, listen, we’re going to have to get a divorce. I can’t carry on like this.”

“She would go, “No, no, you have the wrong…”

Michael would interrupt and say, “No, Lenore, don’t even try that on me. I’ve just had it with you. We’ll divide the property evenly and everything but it’s got to be this way.”

Then he would hang up, leaving the person on the other end of the line wondering what the hell had just happened.


Michael was staying at my place on Dohney and was happy to come along. He really respected Burt (Bacharach) but wondered, as we all did, what made him tick.

Burt had ordered a bottle of expensive French red wine, which he, Carole (Bayer Sager) and I were drinking. Michael never drank but that night he got interested in wine. Unbelievably; he didn’t even know what wine was.

‘What’s it made of?’ he asked me.

‘Grapes’, I said.

‘I like grapes,’ Michael said. ‘I think I’ll try some.’

So we poured Michael a glass and he drank it. He obviously liked it because he drank another one. We were drinking a 1982 Pomerol that tasted like candy, so he was bound to like it.

By this time, we all had a glass or two and the bottle was finished. So Burt ordered a second bottle. This time, Michael drank virtually the whole bottle. He had really aquired a taste for wine, fine wine at that, and was guzzling the stuff down.

So we ordered a third bottle and Michael drank most of that as well. That’s when I knew we were going to have a problem that night.

The evening came to an end and I drove Michael back to my place. He was, understandbly, happy. In fact, he was flying high, very high. In the car he was talking and laughing. He was singing ‘I Want To Be Where You Are’ and ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’.

Then he started singing more of his hit songs like ‘Ben’. He was giggling away all the time.

‘You’re going to be in trouble,’ he said. ‘I’m going to tell Joesph what you did.’

I wasn’t taking the bait. ‘I didn’t do it, you did,’ I said.

It took us a few minutes to get back to my place. The minute I parked the car and opened the door for him, Michael leaned out and threw up all over the place. He spent the rest of the night hanging over the toilet. He was as sick as a dog. I was up all night with him.

He kept saying, ‘I’m going to tell Joe you corrupted me,’ I was kinda worried he would but he never did.

It was his first taste of wine, something he would come to love a little too much in later years. I always felt bad about that night but it sure was funny!



We would go to Disneyland. We both loved rollercoasters. Sometimes we would go on them twenty times in a row.

Often, Michael would wear disguises. Once, he was a sheikh and I was his translator. We would go into a place called Carnation Restaurant in Disneyland where they served great tuna salad and sandwiches. Michael was eating organic food only, although, at that time, he had a rather strange idea of what organic was. We would go to KFC, Michael reckoned if you took off the skin it became organic.

Anyhow, at Carnation on this particular day, there were two elderly women and a gentleman in their eighties from Croydon. We started talking in our mock Arabic to each other.

When the two ladies looked over, I turned to one of them and explained, “The Sheikh Majolini wanted me to tell you that you are a beautiful woman and so is your friend,” I said.

These two ladies probably hadn’t been paid a compliment like that in the last couple of decades so they started smiling. We then got talking. They asked what the Sheikh was doing here and I said he had just got divorced from his 97th wife and was now on his 154th child.

“He has 154 children?” they asked, looking shocked.

“That he knows of,” I said. “He has had 97 wives…” and I started naming them, “Jada, Jami, Shakira, Vera…” with Michael saying them in mock Arabic.

There was nothing malacious in it. In fact, Michael picked up their bill. He was like that, always pulling practical jokes on people.

Sometimes though, the joke would be on us. The funniest thing that ever happened to us was when we went for pancakes one night. It was after 1am and our regular haunt, Dupars, was closed, so we went to another pancake house that we knew on Ventura Boulevard. There was only one couple in there; normally it held 150 people.

The waitress who served us was in her late sixties or early seventies. This was around 1979, when Off The Wall came out. Michael was the no. 1 artist in the world. She didn’t recognize him at all.

We got to the table and she come over and asked us what we wanted to order. I put on a Saudi accent and went “Yamaka fallesh.”

Michael started laughing. The waitress slapped him across the face with the back of her hand. She said, “This is not funny. Your friend is from a foreign country and you have respect for people from foreign countries.”

Michael got nervous. He wasn’t used to being treated like that in public. He slid further inside the booth so he couldn’t get slapped again.

I asked, “What is pancake? Explain please.”

The waitress started miming a pressing motion. She said, “It’s like a cake that you press down.”

Michael started to laugh again and she started to put her hand up again, so he slid further away.

She then said, “Ok, I’m going to take you back to the kitchen.” She and the cook showed us how to make pancakes. I ordered some.

When the pancakes came to our table, I took the syrup bottle and emptied the whole bottle all over the pancakes. She immediately slapped me across the face. It hurt.

“Not funny,” she said. Michael was laughing again.

She brought me a new batch and I ate them. When we left, Michael left her a $200 tip.

We were in the car park, heading back to Michael’s Rolls Royce, when the waitress came running after us.

“I’m not taking this. You boys are probably working your way through college and you need the money,” she said, not even noticing the car he was driving.

Michael insisted but she said, “No, I’m not taking it.” We couldn’t believe it.


We’d get in the car and sing songs together. He used to tell me I was the worst singer he’d ever heard! He always made me laugh. Michael had a great sense of humour which most people never saw. We loved to go antiquing for furniture and paintings as well as memorabilia. Our favourite thing to do was walk into a store and go, “Do you have any John Le****ah paintings?”

The antique dealer would respond, “We’ve just sold the last one for $100,000.” I’d say to Michael, “Oh no, he’s just sold the last John Le****ah painting.” We would plead for him to get another in and he’d respond, “They are just too hard to find.” We’d walk out and go, “We’ll never buy from that dealer because there’s no such painter!” Michael would be laughing so hard. He had a laugh that was like a cackle: Hhk hhk hhk hhk hhk.

We’d do very normal things. We’d go out for pancakes and French toast and I’d drive his Rolls-Royce. When we stopped for gas, I’d ask him to fill the tank. He’d say, “I’m the star here. I can’t believe you’re making me put gas in the car.” And I’d tell him, “When we’re together, there’s only one star.” That was the reason our friendship was so good. I never treated him like he was a big deal.

(at the 7th Annual American Cinema Awards where Michael was honoured, 1990)

When Michael Jackson came on stage to take his final bow at the end of the evening with Celia (Lipton Ferris – she was the executive producer of the show), she got even more excited. At one point, she wrapped herself around Michael shouting, ‘He’s the greatest, he’s the greatest!’ Finally the musical conductor danced with Celia and Michael could free himself. It was very funny. Even Michael enjoyed it.


I remember we once went to Disneyland. He was in disguise and we watched Captain EO, a Disney 3D movie which he starred in.

When we came out I said, ‘You were brilliant’ and he went, ‘Oh thanks, have you only just realised?’. Then when we got home I made him Moonwalk in my kitchen — then I tried it and fell flat on my face!?

The Michael Jackson I will remember was smart, articulate and made me laugh. His death was a huge shock but it brought back so many happy memories.

28-11-2011, 10:36 PM
Love of Michael Jackson's music led to Aussie marriage

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Loretta Bolton dances with Michael Jackson at the SCG.

SHE was the girl in the white pants and shirt picked from the audience to dance with Michael Jackson.

He was the porter who carried Michael Jackson's bags to his hotel room at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, Australia. When asked, the now-married couple say they met "through a mutual friend".

Little did Loretta Tolnay, then single and 23, know that her future husband, Eduardo Bolton, was sitting in the audience at the SCG in 1996 watching her dance with Michael Jackson.

But Mr Bolton knew exactly who she was when she visited the Sheraton a year later, asking to have a "sneak peek" at the presidential suite where Jackson married nurse Debbie Rowe.

"He said to me 'your that girl in the white who got up on stage and danced with Michael Jackson'," Mrs Bolton recalled yesterday. They married six years later and danced the bridal waltz to Jackson's ballad I Can't Help It. When their son Miguel was born they didn't name him Michael only because he would have had the name of another famous singer - Michael Bolton.



29-11-2011, 09:13 PM
Introduction to today's post:

As you all know today was the day of the sentencing of Conrad Murray. What judge Pastor said was so to the point, it hit home so hard that I felt it in my whole being. He was saying what I had been thinking. It made me cry. I thought of Michael and his life that was cut short, unless this was somehow all part of a larger plan that is impossible for us human beings to understand in this moment in time. Michael was all about loving one another and forgiving, he spoke about these things often enough and professed them too. So I wanted to do a post on forgiveness. If you want to hear Michael speak about forgiveness you can listen to his Oxford Speech (again). For now I wanted to bring a smile on your face, first and foremost. Dry your tears, let go of your fears and enjoy the little story below.
~ MJJLaugh

Why Michael has 'bed hair'

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per UK Loves MJ

Who is in the pic: And why Michael has 'bed hair'
Marlo Henderson who played guitar on Michael's Off the Wall and History Albums. [Also worked on some J5 albums]

Marlo needed a photo for his resume so he called the studio for permission, then he went to the studio where they were mixing Thriller.He found Michael asleep, as he had been up all night. He shook him and woke Michael up to ask him for the pics. Michael was gracious but said "What!!" He did not want to wake up! However he came out front and took the photo and then went back to sleep. Of the pic Marlo said Michael is looking at me as if to say 'I can not believe this guy actually woke me up to take a picture" but posed for the pic along with his 'bed hair'. Marlo recalls Michael was really 'nice about it'.
Marlo, who lived near Michael, met Michael in 1971 and then again at a local car wash that Michael used to go to every week in Encino and they would meet every Thursday at 2pm for 5 months and chat for hours in a local donut shop whilst the cars were cleaned. Marlo remembers Michael as unpretentious, serious, wanting to break barriers, curious and a prankster. He cherishes the picture as it is so raw.



01-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Michael Jackson - Challenging Beauty

One of my friends made this video and I think that it is exquisite, heartfelt, sincere, and very lovingly made. If only Michael knew how beautiful he truly was. The beauty of the soul shines through and that was clearly the case with our beloved Michael! Everyone knew that and saw that but him, in some ways, and that's a shame. I just hope that he knew how loved he really was by all of us, be it black or white, on stage or off, shy or exuberant, serious or while joking around and pranking people.

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02-12-2011, 11:14 PM
Note to David Nordahl for a commissioned painting

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This enchanting and whimsical painting, Study for Field of Dreams" is called a 'Study, because it was never truly completed. As David Nordhal told it, "The idea began in May, 1989, and Michael and I continued to work on developing this painting until I finished a study version of it in April, 1993. If we would have gone on and completed this work, it would have been 12 feet high and 38 feet long. I did hundreds and hundreds of drawings for this painting. Some of the children are Michael as a young boy, Janet Jackson, a cousin of Michael’s, Ryan White, Macaulay Culkin, and some of our friends’ children.” To compete the full scale work, Nordhal needed additional artists, but he was unable to secure commitments from qualified painters for the time required.

David Nordahl began sketches for this work, Michael sent him this note: "David, if our kids don't have the truth in heart of expression, then we're dead. It'll be as fake as manufactured flowers with no fragrance ~ not studio shots but kids in real life candid situations We MUST capture the true life spirit of the wonders of childhood. If our picture has a full spectrum of human emotions; belief, truth, heart ~ then the entire world will be touched from generation to generation ~ immortality. Conquer the world ~ Love, MJ” ~ Nordhal says he received many such “stream-of-consciousness” missives from Michael, saying, “Michael always thought big, and he was so eager to be a force for good.”



03-12-2011, 08:28 PM
Music of the Spheres


“Music is a very important and powerful substance, and all the planets in the universe make music. It’s called music of the spheres. They all make a different note; they make harmony. So there’s harmony even in the universe as we speak.”
~ Michael Jackson

This quote by Michael got me curious about the 'music of the spheres'. What was really meant by it ? Does the music of the spheres exist or is it more an euphemism for something else, like a manner of speaking ? When I speak for myself, music has a powerful influence on me; it can make me happy, or sad, melancholic, and sometimes music expresses that which cannot be put into words, but can only be felt by the heart and recognized by the soul. Philosophers have said that everything is energy, a vibration of some frequency, but until its heard, it becomes sound, otherwise it remains energy. I am not so sure whether I agree with this as it sort of stems from the theory that only that which is perceived by our senses is real, and everything else is a dream, illusion or a vibration. Vibrations can be lowly or very high in frequency, just like there are high notes and low notes in music, extended notes and brief notes. Notes placed together form a chord, harmonic or disharmonic and ultimately a symphony or a song is born. We are all notes in the symphony of life, just like the stars or planets carry their own tunes. Just listen to Kepler's Music of the Spheres:

Merucry : http://www.viotti.com/mercury-short.mp3

Venus : http://www.viotti.com/venus-short.mp3

Earth : http://www.viotti.com/earth-short.mp3

Mars : http://www.viotti.com/mars-short.mp3

Jupiter : http://www.viotti.com/jupiter-short.mp3

Saturn : http://www.viotti.com/saturn-short.mp3

Where are You? What are you hearing?

Imagine that you are sitting on the sun. Planets do not orbit you circularly; they do so elliptically. Moreover, as planets approach you, their velocities increase. These observations made by Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) are pivotal to our present-day understanding of the solar system. Kepler dreamed that the planets' movements were of a divine order and that they collectively formed the music of the spheres. He wrote, "the movements of the heavens are nothing except a certain everlasting polyphony." As you listen from the sun, focus on the warbling pitch of the planets--the higher the pitch is, the faster the planet is moving.

“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”
~ Michael Jackson

“With my music, with what I do, I would like to bring a light into the world.”
~ Michael Jackson


The Music of the Spheres incorporates the metaphysical principle that mathematical relationships express qualities or ‘tones' of energy which manifest in numbers, visual angles, shapes and sounds – all connected within a pattern of proportion. Pythagoras first identified that the pitch of a musical note is in proportion to the length of the string that produces it, and that intervals between harmonious sound frequencies form simple numerical ratios. In a theory known as the Harmony of the Spheres, Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon and planets all emit their own unique hum (orbital resonance) based on their orbital revolution,and that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds which are physically imperceptible to the human ear.Subsequently, Plato described astronomy and music as "twinned" studies of sensual recognition: astronomy for the eyes, music for the ears, and both requiring knowledge of numerical proportions.

Later philosophers retained the close association between astronomy, optics, music and astrology, including Ptolemy, who wrote influential texts on all these topics. Alkindi, in the 9th century, developed Ptolemy's ideas in De Aspectibus which explores many points of relevance to astrology and the use of planetary aspects.

In the 17th century, Johannes Kepler, also influenced by arguments in Ptolemy’s Optics and Harmonica,compiled his Harmonices Mundi ('Harmony of the World'), which presented his own analysis of optical perceptions, geometrical shapes, musical consonances and planetary harmonies. According to Kepler, the connection between geometry (and sacred geometry), cosmology, astrology, harmonics, and music is through musica universalis.Kepler regarded this text as the most important work of his career, and the fifth part, concerning the role of planetary harmony in creation, the crown of it.His premise was that, as an integral part of Universal Law, mathematical harmony is the key that binds all parts together: one theoretical proposition from his work introduced the minor planetary aspects and harmonics into astrology; another introduced Kepler’s third law of planetary motion into astronomy.

I feel that this world we live in is really a big, huge, monumental symphonic orchestra. I believe that in its primordial form, all of creation is sound and that it's not just random sound, that it's music. You've heard the expression "the music of the spheres"? Well, that's a very literal phrase.
~ Michael Jackson (1992) Ebony Interview, May 1992


I wake up from dreams and go, 'Wow, put this down on paper.' The whole thing is strange. You hear the words, everything is right there in front of your face. And you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry, I just didn't write this. It's there already.' That's why I hate to take credit for the songs I've written. I feel that somewhere, someplace, it's been done and I'm just a courier bringing it into the world. I really believe that. I love what I do. I'm happy at what I do. It's escapism.
~ Michael Jackson (1983)


The following website is very interesting with information on octaves, unity and duality. Click . The article is called "The Metaphysics of Music and Harmony" and subjects covered are:
- Octaves in Light, Sound and Time
- Numerology, Cosmic Significance of Numbers
- Unity, Duality, Trinity and other Sacred Numbers
- Polarity of Matter and Spirit
- Man's Place in the Universe and Next Step Forward
- Harmonic Theory in Color, Music, Astrology and Life



http://www.viotti.com/kepler.html (here http://www.cosmicharmony.com/Ha/HAmain.htm[/url)




05-12-2011, 08:36 PM
Yes, I LOVE Michael Jackson!

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Your eyes are a window to my soul, and your smile a million candles to light my way home.You are my heart. Thank you to whoever made the fabulous and heartfelt artwork in the first frame, I hope you don't mind that I used it in my video.
~ MJJLaugh

06-12-2011, 08:41 PM
Jewel encrusted belt - Designed for the Soul Train Music Awards in 1993

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Jackson helped design this Egyptian-motif, jewel-encrusted belt for the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards. “It’s his style,” Brando says. “He wore it only that one night. It’s quite heavy.” Jackson twisted his ankle in rehearsals and wound up performing Remember the Time from a wheelchair.

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The inscription notes the makers of the belt Jackson wore to the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards.

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08-12-2011, 08:55 PM
Michael Jackson Graffitti Around the World

Michael was and still is loved around the world by his millions of fans. We are have our own special way of paying tribute to that special man who always told us he loved us more and who still inspires us to this very day. Some of us take our art on the street! I will include the city, country and artist's name if mentioned.Watch in awe:

In Montreal, Canada by the artist Omen.

Krakowie, Poland

Not sure where this one is from, but it is excellent!


Made by the artist CavaLera

Since I was a little child, I remember to listen to MJ with my dad on his car.
Since I was a little kid, I remember my Daddy teaching me how to perform a perfect MOONWALK.
I can remember of us playin "Moonwalker" game on Mega Drive.
MJ is more than an artist and influence to me. MJ started on me a passion for Music, for Perfectness and Hard Work.

But, more than that, MJ represents for me my friendship between me and my dear old Dad. I'll never forget all the time that I used to spent watching and listening togheter (only us two, becuz my mom and sis never really liked him), of how we used to dance "Moonwalks" around the house.
I'll never forget the day of his Death. I was driving home after work, and than my daddy called on my cellphone and said me:

"Son, Micheal Jackson is dead"
"No dear, I'm not kidding. I wish I was. But I'm not. Mj is dead"

Sundelly I stoped my car. Absorbed the idea. And, inch by inch, the sadness became to dominates me.

I didnt wanted to watch anything after his death on TV. I didn't want to see all the Media talking about him, how great he were, how amazing he's moves were. The SAME ****ING MEDIA who crucified him years ago. The SAME ****ING MEDIA that spent lots of years talking bullshits about his appereance, his personal life. All this historys that most people know better than his songs.

But MY Mj isn't dead. His alive on his unforgetable perfomances, in his songs, and even more, on my mind.
Keep his memory alive. Not the man who was dying little by little year after year. But that one who IS THE KING OF THE POP, WHO SOLD 50.000.000 OF THE SAME ALBUM. THAT'S MICHAEL JACKSON.

:bulletblue:3 MJ Srprayed Stencils over a White Latex Base, painted with Paint Rollers.
:bulletblue:Letters made with my Pre-made Stencil Alphabet.
:bulletred: 3,2 m X 3,4m
:bulletred: 10'4" X 11'1"
:bulletyellow: 4 Days cutting the Stencils, another 2 to paint.




Ceaver, Oakland, California

In England


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZeBkxueP34s/TfF7jBPUQkI/AAAAAAAAHxk/rJd9GL3t3yI/s1600/Graffiti+art+preserves+Michael+Jackson+legacy+in+G ary%252C+Indiana_01.jpg
In Gary, Indiana

There's still so much more fabulous graffitti of Michael out there, I will create another post with new ones in a couple of days. When I look at them I can sense the love and admiration with which they were made. Thank you artists-with-no-name-who-brighten-up-my-day!

09-12-2011, 10:06 PM
The Occupy Movement

Do you ever wonder 'What would Michael have thought of this or that ?' In this case I am referring to the Occupy movement. Isn't it interesting, that in this day and age, all facades are taken away, one by one, and the truth is revealed ? Some truths are ugly, while others shine and radiate in their purity and sincerity. I call it the 'Law of form and essence'. I feel that we are shifting from admiring and focusing on form, we look beyond the superficiality of it all to the essence.

Form is the body, the essence is soul and spirit,
form is a house, essence is a home,
form is a 9-5 job, essence is a hobby or passion,
form is power, essence is fear
form is being rich, essence is security and protection
form is a music sheet, essence is the melody,
form is knowing, essence is understanding
form is a marriage or relationship, essence is love.

I made a video about the injustices that occur everywhere in our world today. It's not about putting one country down in favor of another, or really even about choosing sides, it's about connecting to one another. The second video makes some great statements about that. The third video is a speech in the movie 'The Great Dictator' by Charlie Chaplin, that is remarkably mindful of the Occupy movement of today.

So, what do you think Michael would have thought of the Occupy Movement ?

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"Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%." ~ Charles Eisenstein

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There are links to many translations underneath this video on YouTube.

10-12-2011, 10:12 PM
Dangerous Album custom made for Michael

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To commemorate the Dangerous Tour, Michael Jackson had this album compiled of photos depicting “crowd reaction, him onstage, all his fans,” Miko Brando says. “It was for his personal library. Signs from fans cheering him on; kids, adults, families enjoying the show, stuff he couldn’t see onstage that he wanted to remember later on.”

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A peek inside the custom fan album that Jackson assembled during the Dangerous Tour. He also amassed mountains of fan letters, some of which will be on view at Michael Jackson Fan Fest in Las Vegas. “He saved all of it,” Brando says. “He looked at most of his fan mail. He’d write back to a lot of them. We have boxes in storage of letters, cutouts, paintings, drawings, photos.”



11-12-2011, 09:34 PM
Michael Jackson - The Hidden Messages the Media Doesn't Show

The video you are about to watch is a compilation of Michael's messages of love, caring for our children, the planet. To see it all put together so expertly and with such dedication, I have to be honest here, it had me crying. I cried because Michael is so genuine, so sincere in his wish to help heal the planet, to show the way in loving unconditionally. And I cried when I heard the part about the Michael Jackson Childrens Hospital of which the first one was to come in New Jersey, with these hospitals all over the world evetually. He stated that was his dream, not a ruse to sell more albums or to promote a concert tour. I couldn't help but think back to the first days of the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial where Michael was taped talking about that dream so close to his heart, a Michael Jackson Childrens Hospital. He stayed focused on his dreams and goals and helped countless people, sick children, bereaved and the poor.
In that sense he is such an inspiration. Because of Michael I started to volunteer for two health organizations, donating money to charity, to the Nature Conservancy. Even with limited means, there is so much we can do: smile at that lonely person, listen to a friend unburdening their problems, visiting a neighbor who lost her husband, we can make a difference, every day, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

I hope that many media people get to see this video, so they will get to understand the real Michael. And I hope and pray a Michael Jackson Childrens Hospital will be built one glorious day in the future!

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15-12-2011, 09:43 PM
Michael Jackson - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

One of Michael's favorite books was 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', written by Richard Bach in 1972. Later on a movie was made featuring real gulls and with the music of Neil Diamond. But did you know that Don Bluth and Michael worked together on an animated version of this story ? Unfortunately that project fell through.
I can recommend this book, and the movie, to anyone. It's so much more than a story of self-perfection. To me, it's a universal story of a longing of the soul to be free from boundaries, symbolically expressed in Jonathan attempting to fly higher than any seagull has ever flown before. He flies higher but also dangerously low, as fast as he can and as effortlessly as possible. But, by doing so, and not abiding the laws of the Flock and the Elder, Jonathan is an outcast and expelled from the flock. A perfect metaphor for our society where we stimulate people to become the best in their field but at the same time we tend to judge harshly those who do not fit the 'box'. Whose life does that remind you of ?

If you are unfamilair with the story, you can read the plot here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull)


In a special commemorative edition of TIME on Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant thinks back on his relationship with the "King of Pop":

"One of the things he always told me was, don't be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be 'normal.' And he was saying, It's O.K. to be that driven; it's O.K. to be obsessed with what you want to do. That's perfectly fine. Don't be afraid to not deviate from that. One of the books that he gave me that helped him communicate with me was "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," which was about that.

Beyond the genius of what he was, he was just a genuinely, genuinely nice person. He got me hooked on movies that I would normally never watch. Fred Astaire movies. All the old classics. I would never, never watch those. I remember my fiancée and I telling him we were getting married, and him just being really excited and actually just offering up the ranch to have our wedding there, because privacy was going to be an issue. We wanted to get married in a church, so that's what we wound up doing. But he made the offer. He was just a genuinely nice person who was exceptionally bright, exceptionally bright, and driven and talented. You mix those things together, man, you have Michael Jackson."


Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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17-12-2011, 08:50 PM
Lights will guide you home, Michael

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This video is made in the thought of Michael who deeply fought for love, peace and respect. It was hard for me to make this video, and I do think that it touches something inside, as I hope you think too.
Since I think the song really fits on Michael and his life, I include the lyrics here:

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you



19-12-2011, 10:20 PM
My Friend Michael Jackson by Joanelle Romero

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(In Photos: Joanelle Romero, Sage and Michael)

On June 25th 2009, I was packing and moving out of a house we had lived in for 6 years and an acquaintance phoned me and said Michael Jackson is dead, turn on the TV.I dropped the phone, turned on the television and there it all was, I fainted, no one was home with me. I woke and cried and cried and I am still crying. My heart is so broken; you see Michael was a friend and he believed in me. I’ve known Michael since I was 10 years old, we went to school together at Gardner Street school off of Sunset Blvd, we were in the 6th grade together. I was always invited to go to his house to play, he would swing me in this big tree swing and we would speak of our dreams. Michael asked me to go steady on the steps of Gardener Street school. Two weeks before school ended my mother sent me to live with my dad in NM. I never got to say goodbye to Michael.

One week before Michael left this earth, my son and I were shopping at Nordstrom’s, and we run into Jermaine. I asked him to please tell Michael I needed to see him, that I needed to visit, that it was important and I gave him my new numbers. God works in mysterious ways.

In 1991, I launched my production company, it was 2 weeks old when I received a call from Michaels casting office, asking if I had any American Indian dancers because everyone he had been interviewing wasn’t right. I told them “I have the best dancers in town” I really had no one, however I went to many Pow wows and gathered 30 dancers, one of them being my precious daughter Sage. She was 5 then. Michaels casting office had no idea that Michael and I knew each other. To make a long story short. Director John Landis, cast 5 dancers, my daughter – who was the jingle dress dancer, and four other dancers from the native community here in Los Angeles that I brought in that day.




Michael shot 7 hours of photos of Sage while shooting his video and used her image for his painted angels in his Neverland ranch. We had so much fun while filming. Michael, Sage and I watched “Willie Wonka” 3 times while everybody had to wait on set. Michael took Sage and Nancy Reagan to lunch, he had asked if I wanted to go however I declined for obvious reasons. Many stories to remember …..

We had shot the segment of the native dancers in the studio, then Michael read one of my music video scripts and one week later we were on location re-shooting the native segment out-side. Due to Michael’s insight, he added my production company and shared the press in Entertainment Weekly.

Michael became the leading force in making my company known to the world. It is now an award-winning production company in producing American Indian documentaries and independent films. The 1991 “Black or White” music video and song made history. I was able to negotiate for the American Indian dancers to be paid over and above any dancers on any music video ever, due to the fact they were traditionally dressed (the wardrobe did not come from western costume). To date, they are the highest paid dancers in the music video industry. Also, this segment was the first clip of American Indian dancers in a music video without being a Native American music group/artist.

On our opening night of our 2009 Red Nation Film Festival – A Night of Tribute Awards, we honored Michael Jackson for his “Black or White” Music Video – In Loving Memory of Michael Jackson. I have many personal stories about Michael and that I will keep in my heart forever. I am not going to spend my life being a color, I am a Human Being
– God Bless You MJ
Together we can Heal the world make it a better place.
…..We Love You Michael ……..




20-12-2011, 10:33 PM
Touched by an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Maya Angelou




21-12-2011, 10:20 PM
Michael Jackson - Halo

'Halo' to me is Michael's song. For him, about him, honoring him. Since I love to make videos, I wanted to make a video with Beyonce's great song 'Halo'. Halo is a song that gets under your skin and really move me to tears, I love that song!
I hope you like the video! :heart:

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23-12-2011, 10:21 PM
Remembering and honouring Vaclav Havel - Czech president


Václav Havel (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvaːt͡slaf ˈɦavɛl] ( listen)) (5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician.

A Nobel Peace Prize nominee,he was the ninth and last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote over 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally.

Havel was a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, that proposed the establishment of the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.He also received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the freedom medal of the Four Freedoms Award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award and several other distinctions.

Havel was voted 4th in Prospect magazine's 2005 global poll of the world's top 100 intellectuals.

At the time of his death he was Chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. Equally, he was the founder of VIZE97 foundation, and the Forum 2000 annual global conference.

Beginning in the 1960s, his work focussed on the politics of Czechoslovakia. After the Prague Spring, he became increasingly active. In 1977, he co-authored the Human Rights charter called Charter 77, which brought him international recognition as the leader of the opposition in Czechoslovakia. Consequently, this led to his persecution by the communist regime, and his repeated imprisonment.

The 1989 Velvet Revolution launched Havel into the presidency. In this role, he led Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic in its transition to multiparty democracy. His thirteen years in office saw radical change in his nation, including its split with Slovakia, which Havel opposed, its accession into NATO and the start of the negotiations for membership in the European Union, which was attained in 2004.

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Michael invited Vaclav Havel to the openingsconcert of the HIStory tour in 1996.

Some of Vaclav Havel's quotes that show that he was an extraordinary man:

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.

Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.

Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.

If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed.




25-12-2011, 05:12 AM
Christwas Love

I think Michael would have smiled and been touched by the following story, I know was! I hope you will be touched by it as well, as it shows the true spirit of Christmas. Elizabeth Taylor said it too"Christmas is Love, and Love is Michael, so I simply cannot imagine Michael without Christmas".
Blessings to all of you, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Froliche Weihnachten, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Joyeux Noel! :heart:
~ MJJLaugh


"My son, Nicholas, was in Kindergarten. It was an exciting season for a six-year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the performance. But, unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me that I could attend the dress rehearsal the morning of the performance. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas was happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a seat in the school auditorium and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As we waited,
the students were accompanied by their teachers and they sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to the platform to perform their song.

Because our public school system had long stopped referring to the holilday as 'Christmas'...I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by it's bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage - -held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas", a child would hold up the letter 'C'. Then "H is for Happy", and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her...a small quiet girl in the front row holding the letter "M"...but it was upside-down. She seemed totally unaware that her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although the teachers tried to shush the children, the giggling continued until the last letter was raised, and then...we all saw it together! A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason why we celebrated the holiday in the first place. Why that, even in the chaos, there was indeed a purpose for all the festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"


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Maria MJ
26-12-2011, 11:46 AM
Thank you Elmira for all the hard work and the wonderful updates. This thread is truly a trust fund in Michael's memory and a testimonial that positive stories about him are endless..
Happy holidays and a prosperous and fulfilling new year.
Much love,

26-12-2011, 10:25 PM
Michael’s Miracle


Friday, June 24th 2011
Michael’s Miracle

Judith Woolworth Donahue and her daughter Kiazmhir bought a bag of clothing for a dime at Vina Moses, Corvallis, Oregon, and found inside a multi coloured jacket that had “M. Jackson 5” inside the collar. Kiazmhir knew at once that the jacket was “really special”. They took it to the Treasure Hunters Roadshow which was appearing in Crescent City at that time, and was told by one of the representatives that with authentication papers the jacket could be worth millions.

This family has had money worries for years so they hope that this discovery may help them financially. Ms. Woolworth Donahue is the great-granddaughter of F.W. Woolworth, who founded the five-and-dime store chain. Kiazmhir Donahue said she doesn’t know exactly how it happened, but her mother grew up wealthy, but “never got a dime of her inheritance.”

A press release from TransMedia Group, a South Florida-based public relations firm retained by Woolworth Donahue, states the jacket has been authenticated by Billy Wilson, president of Motown Alumni Association. According to the press release, the jacket was likely worn by Jackson very early in his career with the Jackson 5 during an appearance on the Wayne Newton Show of the late ’60s or early ’70s. Back then, Michael’s mother Katherine and sister Rebbie were making the costumes for the pop group, the press release states. “When examining other Jackson costumes of the early years the seams, and clothing tag are virtually exactly the same,” Wilson says in the press release. “The hand-written signature on the garment is virtually the same as the signatures on earlier Jackson 5 garments.”

The red and black jacket Michael Jackson wore in the ‘Thriller’ video, which is autographed, is expected to fetch about $200,000 at the Music Icons auction on June 25th and 26th in Beverly Hills.

Kiazmhir Donahue doesn’t know exactly what her mother wants to do with the multi-colored jacket found in a thrift store. Woolworth Donahue recently obtained Hollywood agent Joel Gotler, who has brought stories such as ‘L.A. Confidential’ and ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ to the big screen.

“She’s as happy as she can be,” Donahue said.

Source: triplicate.com & MJWN



27-12-2011, 10:01 PM
Promoter, Hilton Workers Remember Jackson's Visit


HONOLULU -- Michael Jackson's Hawaii concert in 1997 was one of the biggest shows ever performed in the islands.

Concert Promoter Tom Moffatt said bringing Jackson to Hawaii was the biggest job he ever handled.
"Just the fact that he sold out two Aloha Stadium concerts, nobody's ever done that," Moffatt said.
More than 60,000 people packed into Aloha Stadium those two nights with long lines of fans standing in the rain to see what Moffatt called one of the best shows ever staged in the islands.


Wherever Jackson went while in the islands he created frenzy, including at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, where he stayed for four nights.
Lani Bjork is the head of hotel security and had convinced Jackson's security director to forgo the barricades the star normally requested.
"It was really the first time he'd come into a hotel at the front of the house and not in the bowels of the tower, and his security director was pretty impressed that he was so happy," Bjork said.
"He said to me, 'Are you Lani? I said, 'I am.' He said, 'I am so thrilled. I want to come back to Hawaii. The way you brought me into your hotel was just exciting,'" Bjork said.
Lora Gallagher recalled trying to keep the crowds controlled while being star-struck.


"We were asked to be human fences and kept people back and it was crazy. It was fun, but it was crazy," Gallagher said.
Jackson spent most of his time in his hotel suite on the 14th floor. Fans camped out underneath his room day and night.
"He came out on the lanai and waved," Bjork said. "You could hear that wave of 'Michael! Michael!' throughout the evening."


Moffatt compared Jackson's death to the death of Elvis and said the music world has lost an icon.
"I think because of his ex-father-in-law known as the King of Rock and Roll Elvis, Michael wanted to be the King of Pop, and he certainly was," Moffatt said.

Moffatt said he had just been talking with Jackson's concert promoter in London about possibly bringing him back to Hawaii for a performance, especially if he was going to be touring through Asia. Jackson had made it clear through several people years ago that he loved Hawaii and wanted to come back, Moffatt said.




28-12-2011, 10:44 PM


In the middle of a forest
There's a clearing by a stream
Where a mother holds her newborn
And the child begins to dream

And he dreams of hopes unspoken
When the tears of man will cease
And his mother holds him closer
For he is the Prince of Peace

And the moon is looking downward
Casting shadows through the trees
And the stars are shining brighter
As they whisper what they see

How the emperor and the pauper
With the lion and the lamb
Kneel down before the infant
For his peace they understand

Let the bells ring out the news
Let it echo across the land
That a king is born this day
And his kingdom is at hand

Let the world rejoice together
As it looks upon the stars
Knowing every man's our brother
And that every child is ours

Yes, he dreams of hopes unspoken
When the tears of man will cease
To the emperor and the pauper
He IS the Prince of Peace!

~ adapted from lyrics on
Trans-Siberian Orchestra's album:
"Christmas Eve and Other Stories"


Light looked down and saw darkness.
"I will go there," said Light.

Peace looked down and saw war.
"I will go there," said Peace.

Love looked down and saw hatred.
"I will go there," said Love.

So the Lord of Light,
the Prince of Peace,
the King of Love
came down and lived among us.

~ "Cloth for the Cradle," Iona Community


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30-12-2011, 10:30 PM
Michaeling: as a Verb


Michael: Mich·el·ing (Related forms) Michael-ism, Michael-ness, Michael-ed;
noun, adjective, verb
1. to go from one Michael place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip; journey: to travel for pleasure to follow in the steps of Michael Jackson.
2. the act of a Michael journey.
3. to journey, to traverse distance places, to proceed, to go from place to place as a Michael Jackson fan in pursuit of, seeking all things MJ.
4. to associate, consort with other Michael Jackson fans who pursue all things Michael Jackson.
5. to travel, journey, or pass through or over, as a country or road, town or city where Michael lived, visited, traveled, performed or shopped.
6. journeys; wanderings; pursing all things Michael Jackson
7. to express ones Michaelness.
8. to focus on, watch, listen to, to attend, to buy, dance to, sing, embrace all things Michael Jackson.
9. to spend endless internet and video hours in pursuit of all things Michael Jackson; to blog, to post, to text, to You Tube, to instant message, to email, to tweet all things MJ.


We had never personally met. Like millions have done around the globe since Michael Jackson’s death we became friends on Face Book via the LOVE we hold dear for Michael Jackson. I had wondered what I was getting myself into as you never really know someone just from posts and messages on Face Book. I have learned you can have a great back and forth posting relationship with someone and then you meet them and they are not at all what you perceived them to be. You just never really know someone from Face Book communication. The old fashion face to face communication of expression is lost in the technological world of text messages, email, Face Book and the internet. It’s so easy to type (((HUGS))) and another thing to embrace someone in person. To look them in the eye and say, “Hello” or “How are you?” let alone “I LOVE you.” A term which is the mainstay of all Michael Jackson fan pages. So I was a bit nervous; however I had prayed for months about our encounter and vacation time together and had a sense of peace and anticipation. I also knew God was in charge and I was on yet another Michael journey. I was excited for what was in store and how the next 10 days would unfold.

I arrived early at LAX airport as I didn’t want her to land in a strange place alone without someone to welcome her. We had exchanged pictures of each other to know who to look for but pictures don’t always do justice to the real essence and appearance of a person’s spirit. They can look so different in person. Then there she was, you couldn’t miss her even though she was just a “little bit” as my dad used to call me when I was small. I am not a tall person but Susan was a bit shorter than myself and very thin and trim. Yes small in stature but there was no mistaking that great big MJ LOVE. MJ shirt, jacket, loafers and a big smile. I called her name as a question “Susan?” with instant recognition as we made eye contact. Gathering her up, off we went wheeling her suitcases to my car as we embarked on the beginning of a new Michael adventure. It seemed from that moment on for 10 full days our Michaeling only stopped long enough to garner a few hours sleep before moving on. It was a wonderful whirlwind of activity, restful sharing, constant MJ music, laughter, commiserating over the sadness of broken hearts over the loss of Michael Jackson and a full years worth of Michaeling crammed into 10 days.

At times there was silence as we digested a day and felt our own feelings over a subject or adventure. What is it that makes a friendship? The ability to be who you are and feel what you feel and not have to constantly tell someone what that is... a knowing... a communication without words. This is what we had. Although there were ALOT of words too. Many, many as we stayed up late into the wee hours of the morning, night after night talking and watching MJ videos, never able to get enough of Michael Jackson and not wanting to waste a single moment of her time in California.

I had planned a massive Michaeling tour session fitting in as many of the So. Calif. Michael spots as possible. Neither of us had any idea what was truly in store. This was a trip of a lifetime for Susan. Each day ended up evolving as the agenda was loose with only 3 major days with scheduled plans; Disneyland, Neverland and Shambala. It was all a first for Susan and although I had been to many of these spots before I was just as excited as she was and felt anxious to share them. We simply had no idea how much fun we would have sharing our common interest and endless stories and research about Michael.

We laughed so hard when I was searching at one point for Michael’s tattoo salon, Anastasia’s, off Wilshire in Beverly Hills. When we finally found it I realized I had been there before as it was only doors away from Juliene’s auction house. I circled the area searching for the salon and played good tour guide pointing out Juliene’s where Michael’s clothes and the Thriller jacket were recently auctioned and kept pointing it out each time we passed missing Anastasia's completely each time announcing instead, “Well there’s Juliene’s!” Susan laughed heartily as she said “I saw Juliene’s so many times as we passed by that I thought there were several Juliene’s.” Good thing she wasn't paying this tour guide. It was hilarious.


Then there was the time we searched all afternoon and into the evening for Ed Hardy only to learn after visiting three different Ed Hardy stores, and to make it more confusing two of them are on Melrose, the Ed Hardy store we actually had in mind, the one that Michael visited with Christian Audigier, is now the Ed Hardy Outlet. I didn’t realize so much Ed Hardy history existed until I talked to the many Ed Hardy sales people in each store as Susan shopped or we asked for directions to different stores. After searching for hours and shopping at each store we arrived at the outlet with only minutes to spare before closing but Susan immediately spotted the items she wanted to purchase and snagged her booty. As the store closed for the night I promised I’d bring her back... if I could ever find it again.



So the first day in Los Angeles I decided I better take Susan to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, and one of Michael’s favorite places on earth. I thought it best we go while we were both fresh and had plenty of energy. Disneyland was amazing as always and everywhere we looked we were reminded of Michael, from the train station to Mickey Mouse. I snuck her in the back entrance to see Michael’s huge Capt. EO portrait and then of course went straight to the theater to see the Capt. himself on the big screen. The whole day was filled with Disney magic. I think we sat through Capt. EO 5 times ending the night front and center at the Castle to view the most amazing fireworks and then one last visit to say good bye to the Capt. Oh that gorgeous smile. Michael no don’t wave good bye... PLEASE come back don’t leave...



The remainder of the agenda except for the Neverland and Shambala journeys were very loose and whatever we found and experienced just flowed. I took her to the MJ Hollywood Star where she met Jovan the impersonator from Haiti. It was good reconnecting with him and to see he is doing well and still very inspired by Michael Jackson. Very close to MJ's Hollywood Star we took a look at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood display where MJ’s fedora is behind glass with a sign stating that MJ traded his fedora for a box of McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys along with an MJ signed Dangerous album on display. It always makes me smile to think about Michael giving away his fedora for MickeyD toys.

At Gardner St. School she saw the wonderful results of the fans from all over the world speaking up for JUSTICE for Michael as his name gleamed bright on the Michael Jackson Auditorium. The principle of Gardner St. is a fan of Michael's and has instituted many art and music classes which honor Michael and teach the children about his genius and beauty.






We visited Michael twice at Holly Terrace, Forest Lawn and also the main mausoleum where the majestic white angel stands above the space where Elizabeth Taylor now rests and is not far from Michael. While there we also viewed the beautiful Michelangelo show room and Last Supper stained glass window display. The gorgeous water lilies I had been waiting to capture in photos were in full bloom and contented Wild Geese were gathered at the front gate fountain. We visited the Forest Lawn Florist and Susan chose special flowers for Michael which included a sunflower and butterflies and decided to have them delivered inside to Michael. We went up to the Holly Terrace patio so we could personally watch them go inside. The second visit I brought Michael a Charlie Brown sunflower from my garden, one of the last of about 30 that bloomed throughout the summer, and left it outside with many other beautiful flowers the fans have brought or had delivered from other florists shops. There are always flowers inside and outside on the patio for Michael.



She was happy to see the Thriller House in person where Michael filmed his most famous short film of all time. This old house has been restored leaving portions just as they were for the filming of Thriller. It sits in the most amazingly beautiful, refurbished neighborhood of Victorian homes in Los Angeles and not coincidentally on Carroll St. That eery coincidence is never lost on me.


The Palace Theater where Thriller was also filmed isn't what it used to be but we made sure to stop momentarily to see it. One day I hope to go inside. The same ticket booth that was used in the scene of Michael and Ola Ray while filming Thriller still sits inside behind closed gates. The lights still look the same. It would be so wonderful to see this great theater restored to it's former glory one day.



We made sure to stop by the court house where we had made arrangements to meet Larry Nimmer on the first day of jury selection. It was awesome to be able to take her to the court house to speak her feelings for JUSTICE for Michael Jackson. She displayed her shirt which clearly displayed Conrad Murray as Dr. Death. I carried the same t-shirt to the court house for her throughout the trial.





Off The Wall antique store in Hollywood on Melrose is always fun to visit. I was not surprised to learn from the owner that one of the pieces from the 1900's medical school set that Michael had purchased but never took delivery on before he passed away was now gone. I was happy to hear that the leg in the set was sold to an MJ fan. The two heads still remain and are as intriguing as ever. The antique Disney figurines that Michael loved so much are still in the corner display and on the day we visited there were also wonderful antique toys in the front window which so reminded me of Neverland. Seemed everywhere we looked there were Michael reminders.





The Autry Museum was also fun to see and we learned this exhibit of Michael’s clothes will not be open much longer. We also were shown a very cool tribute, guitar belt buckle which is a replica of the one which Michael wore and is on display in the exhibit that Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins designed.


The Grammy Museum now has a new permanent Michael Jackson display which is not to distant from the Graff Lab Mural so we made sure to swing by the Graff Lab after visiting the Grammy so Susan could see that incredible TII Michael mural.

The Super Bowl MJ Mural off Hollywood Blvd is always so much fun to share with fans. I just love that mural and it always brings a smile to their faces along with many ooohs and ahhhs from those I take to view it. Susan loved this mural as well.



Once we finally found them the Ed Hardy and Moist stores were interesting as well as Anastasian’s and Julien’s. The woman who waited on Michael was there and we were told that a video plays on a occasion of Michael's visit to Moist. The day we visited it was not playing; however across the street was definately a reminder of Michael. A full size Peter Pan statue.


Carollwood was last on the list but we ended up seeing it the day we were searching for Ed Hardy. This place is always difficult to visit. To me it will always be a crime scene... then maybe not just for me because not long after Michael’s death it was included on the Hollywood Star Tours Crime Scene Map. Every time I visit this place the incredible, unnecessary loss of Michael Jackson is felt. This day the tour buses were coming by on a regular basis, as usual, much to the chagrin of the home owners who happen to be Christian Audigier and his wife. Who at times post guards to keep tourists away. This day it was guard free but we kept our distance to respect their property.


In my search of Engine House 71 which I know is just around the corner from Carollwood, not that I like to go there but in an attempt to be a good tour guide I thought I’d point it out to Susan. Following my inner directional instincts we ended up going the wrong way. It was only a short distance and I realized with no surprise we were headed instead for San Fernando Valley where Michael lived at Hayvenhurst so instead of a U turn we rolled on up and over the hill into the San Fernando Valley and ultimately were dumped out on to Ventura Blvd. Thus we decided to go to Hayvenhurst for a visit instead. We stopped to buy a lovely orchid for Mrs. Jackson although she and the children are not living at Hayvenhurst, it was the gesture of love that mattered. We walked down to the compound rang the bell and the guard kindly thanked us for the gift through the intercom and assured us he would come out to retrieve it. We left the orchid on the brick planter and stepped across the street to wait, he came out shortly and we started a conversation with him. He was so polite and friendly and as we talked we looked down the drive way and there was Kenya! Beautiful Kenya... Michael’s family dog, a beautiful golden retriever, the children’s dog. She was wagging her tail and so happy and content, very well behaved. We talked for sometime to the kind gentleman and again as always with every time I have ever visited Hayvenhurst and spoken to the guards I was once again assured simply by this man’s gentle, kind spirit that Prince, Paris and Blanket and now also Kenya are being very well cared for.

On another day when I was showing a friend, Sara, from Colorado around L.A and we were in search yet again for the Ed Hardy Outlet and I instead did in fact find Engine House 71. I dunno... it makes no sense.... but there on the right was Engine House 71. Baffling. Seems sometimes Michael leads me where he wants me to go.

This next part of our Michaeling adventure was not the best time; however with all things the Lord can turn the seemingly bad completely around. One of the highlights of the week was our trip to Neverland. I was very excited for Susan as this would be her first ever trip to the gates of Michael’s Neverland. Yes Neverland is in the country far away from everything. That is why Michael loved it. There are far reaching rolling hills with animals and wild life, ranches with cows and horses and if you are afraid of such things this may not be the place for you. For me a trip to Neverland is also a time to stay late and take in Michael’s moon and millions of twinkling stars that Michael gazed and wished upon when he lived at Neverland. Why else go? Bring a jacket if you don’t want to be chilly in the summer night. Yes it is dark for the only lights are the lamps at the drive way and the stars and the moon above. The crickets chirp, the bull frogs ribbet and if a coyote’s howl frightens you to death this may not be the place for you. For me I LOVE it. I am comforted by the distant coyote’s howl, it energizes me. For me a walk in the dark on Mnt. Figureroa Rd. while looking up at the stars and moon is like a spiritual journey. Also I must share with you if you are afraid of dirt and don’t like plants then Woeste nursery in Los Olivos down the road from Neverland is also not the place for you because after all it is a nursery, a plant nursery and there WILL be plants and dirt there everywhere. For me it is like fantasy wonderland.



Now after a long day, it was turning dark and we were very SLOWLY heading back from Solvang to the gates of Neverland before the next leg of our journey into Santa Barbara. I was pondering the absurdity of the day, and how it had been a very long time since I had felt hostage to fear, as we were driving back on Mnt. Figueroa Rd. when suddenly there was a baby calf in the road. We swerved almost hitting it then just kept going. I was shocked and sat up in my seat turning to look back, openly asking “How do you think it got loose? Maybe we need to go back.” My question was stonewalled with absolute refusal to stop the car in the dark on a country road. The driver not giving a hoot about the calf or the fact that any other cars might possibly hit it, or that someone could be hurt. Susan was beside herself with concern about the little calf. It looked so frightened. We pleaded to turn around to help the calf but there was no reasoning with her. We went on to the gates of Neverland but all joy was gone, only disappointment and shock in it’s place. Only Susan and myself emerged from the car for any length of time to take in the gates and the night sky. It was barely dark and the stars were not fully visible but soon I was the only one taking in the view. She wanted to leave for the night. I sat on the stone wall at the gates and looked up at the stars wondering what parallel universe I had stepped into this day. Susan who is a huge animal lover could not get the worry over the baby calf out of her mind. We were all so miserable at this point that we loaded into the car to drive on down to Santa Barbara. On the way again we saw the baby calf... or as our fearful driver put it “It’s just a cow. It’s fine.” All I could see was a dead cow, or dead calf, if someone didn’t intervene in some way so we again begged for her to stop. Finally she begrudgingly stopped and Susan and myself piled out of the car. I immediately found a phone number on a near by fence and began calling the number hoping to arouse someone to gather up their livestock. Susan on the other hand went directly to the baby calf and began shusshing it gently along the road disappearing into the dark up over the bend. The driver of our car began to scream out the door “Get In the car!!! NOW!!” while gunning the engine and pretending to leave. I was shocked to say the least and by that time was also on the phone with another friend we were planning on meeting up with. Our plan had been to meet around midnight. Those plans now scratched as well. Something else to remember when Michaeling is that very few nights end early as there is no time in Michael land. In any event by this time all I could say to my friend on the phone was “Oh the joys of MJ fan drama. I have Susan saving a cow and another screaming at the top of her lungs demanding we get in the car.” I wondered for the life of me why she ever wanted to join in our adventure, was it just to play the part of the squasher of dreams? So with the screamer in the car vocalizing her total disregard for the calf and her passengers and the local phone call made to the neighbors I walked up the road to collect Susan and tell her we needed to get in the car or be left behind as our driver gunned her engine and threatened to leave us there on the road in the dark. She reluctantly acquiesced as her mission was incomplete. It was a VERY long, SLOW, uncomfortable ride home. I was enormously relieved to finally see my house, walk through the door and close it behind me on this day. One more time realizing you never really know someone until jealousy and fear looms it’s ugly head in your life. Thank God for positive choices in life and the freedom to close doors.

So very happy to be home, I literally closed the door behind me, turned looked at Susan and in one accord we simultaneously gasped, “OH MY GOD!” Then the relaxed laughter and easy flow immediately returned. It was like night and day. We stayed up that night unable to sleep watching MJ videos and talking about the day and Michael; however neither of us could shake the memory of that poor frightened little calf. The last we knew the calf had run along the road and the last sound Susan heard in the mirky blackness of the night was the clinking of chicken wire and much skidding and scuffling. We had no way of knowing if the calf was ok or if it was entangled in a ditch snagged in chicken wire. I looked at her and said... “SO why not go back in the morning? Let’s go back to NEVERLAND! There is no way you are going back to the UK with just ‘that’ Neverland experience under you belt!”



So we drove back to Neverland the next morning. This trip was the opposite of the previous day. The sky was blue and bright, the drive moved along at quick clip, MJ serenaded us the whole way and soon we arrived at Mnt. Figueroa Rd. to check on the wayward calf. It seemed to be a week full of animals of all sort. As we traversed the road in search of the calf we saw Muscles in the road and swerved to miss him. In this case we were not about to save the snake as he was on his way to where ever he needed to be with his belly full of what looked to be a small mouse or some other meal. Then happily we spotted the calf. He was back behind the chicken wire fence where Susan had shooed him and now standing under a tree with his mum and dad and also two friendly donkeys. Clearly we could see where he had gotten out. We attempted to cinch up the chicken wire to no avail so decided to seek out the owners of the ranch. Susan being from England approaches easily and bound out of the car to knock on doors. I on the other hand being from L.A was a bit apprehensive and in the end regretted letting her go door knocking alone while I sat as the get away driver. We were directed to a ranch who as it turned out was Michael’s immediate neighbor and the very home of the Milk Money Cows Michael leased his land to for grazing money. Susan climbed the porch stairs and knocked, sitting just inside beyond the screen door at a desk a gruff voice responded “Yes. What can I do for you?” Susan looked into a face of a David Nordahl looking mountain man with a scruffy long beard and wild lumber jack way about him and explained about the calf escaping the night before and he said he would send someone down to mend the fence. Our job done on behalf of the calf we felt relieved the little guy would now be safe and moved on not much farther up the road to the gates of Neverland. We parked under the giant old oak that stands sentry at the gates, it’s bark riddled with wood pecker holes. A blue jay perched up in the branches of the old Oak lit down to the split rail fence to say hello. A lizard skittered out and posed for a picture. We seemed to draw animals at every turn this trip. It may have been Susan’s Dr. Doo Little personality. My cats simply loved her as well.






This return trip to Neverland Valley as it turned out was a perfect blessing because Young’s Art Gallery was open this day and we were able to spend time visiting with Ralph. It was fun to watch and listen as he entertained Susan with stories about Michael’s love of art and his visits to the shop. Then we moved on to Woeste nursery once again and spotted some wonderful new items on display that had just been delivered that morning. It was an amazing ‘Do Over’ at every turn. Moving on into Solvang we ran into a wonderful lady who knew Michael and whose children had been to Neverland many times. She shared heartwarming stories about Michael’s visits to Solvang stores and other local areas. The love in her heart and deep admiration of Michael was so evident. We clearly connected and again it was so comforting to know Michael was loved and appreciated by his neighbors. Along this part of the journey in Solvang we also saw a beautiful momma deer and her twin fawns. They were swift but I managed to capture one in a picture.

After feeling fully saturated with all things Michael in Solvang and with it now truly dark enough out to see the stars crystal clear we returned to the gates of Neverland for a real visit where we listened to the same night sounds that Michael listened to and looked up into the night sky at the same stars and moon Michael gazed at. We were taking our time at the gates when suddenly there was much activity inside the gates, security walkie talkies were buzzing. Perimeter and building checks were being done. Security was on high alert this night. We stayed for a while at the gate and under the Oak and then returned to our car where we sat facing the property wondering what was going on. Then we noticed a long line of headlights. A long caravan of cars lined up with their head lights beaming out toward the gates seemingly waiting to leave Neverland. Still curious we got out of the car and approached the gates as all the cars began to leave. In the second car was Tom Barrack. He was very friendly, smiling and waving hello to us as he slowly drove by. After the excitement died down and all cars drove away, we stayed for a while longer, listening to the Neverland night sounds then made our way back home. The drive home that night was filled with Michael’s music and lots of free flowing conversation. Much to think about with the goings on at Neverland this night.



For the last day of Susan’s visit we had made reservations months in advance to visit Shambala where Michael’s big cats Thriller and Sabu now reside. They will have a home here for the rest of their lives. I had met spunky Tippi Hedren at Juliene’s when the Thriller jacket was up for auction and had been really looking forward to this visit. There were many people visiting Shambala this day. There were three groups each assigned a tour guide with a megaphone. It’s a long day visit and you are invited to bring a picnic lunch to eat at tables set up by the man-made lake at the end of the tour. All food is gathered and kept back at the picnic ground before embarking on the tour through the facility. Each group has a tour guide, two to three docents and another staff member following along to keep visitors safe and to make sure they don’t wander away from main trail or reach over near cages which is totally understandable. These are wild animals not trained house pets. They can be very dangerous and I suppose sometime the humans do stupid things as well like trying to feed or pet them.

Thriller and Sabu are in a cage at the edge of the compound up against a hill, we were pleased to learn were at the beginning of our particular part of the walking tour. Sadly our tour guide knew nothing about Thriller and Sabu and seemed to believe the hype of the media about Michael. He clearly didn't want to talk about or answer questions about Michael's big cats. He completely skipped over MJ’s cats and moved on to the other part of the tour. I controlled myself to a degree but finally had to speak out about how disappointing our tour was since we paid the $50 a person to see and learn about Michael Jackson’s cats. I had made it clear we were MJ fans coming to Shambala specifically to see Thriller and Sabu. It was confusing to me especially since Shambala’s promotional campaign for 2011 was using Michael Jackson’s cats to promote and bring in donations, yet our particular guide knew 'nothing' about these beautiful animals, seemed to not want to talk about the cats and quickly moved on to other cats where he then spent long amounts of time talking about each animal. Anyone who knows me knows this just wasn’t going to fly with me. Not to detract or negate from how beautiful the other cats are it seemed extremely insensitive, ignorant and prejudicial toward MJ to me. As the tour moved on away from MJ’s cats I became more and more frustrated and disappointed, moving toward the back of the group I quietly voiced my complaints to the docents to no avail. My words however did not completely fall on all deaf ears, they were heard by a facility staff member standing at the back of our group. This man was so kind, as I stood next to him he quietly offered information about Michael’s big cats and confided to me that he fed Thriller and Sabu every morning and threw the ball for them to play.

Finally someone who knew about MJ’s cats! He shared that Thriller was very aggressive with the food and was the ruler of the roost so to speak. Sabu the male cat was more laid back and would allow Thriller, the female cat, to eat the food first every time, then he would eat his food when she was done. I smiled and couldn't help but think, “What a gentleman.” He pointed out that they had a portion of the lake in their cage and would play and lay in the water. There was also a giant ball and other toys for them to play with. Sabu was laying on top of what looked like a giant dog house type shed which had a hard plastic green awning type roof over it. Thriller was laying inside the shed. He said those were their normal places they lay at rest. That Thriller was always inside the little shed and Sabu on top, they had claimed their own spots and they most always laid in the same place. I asked about water for them to drink and he pointed out the large water bin that looked like a metal trash can hanging on the fence. He explained that they were nocturnal and slept most of the day and became much more active at night and feeding time.

There is a replica of an African Safari tent with a wooden floor which is set up and furnished for over night stays for guests. It sits just adjacent to Thriller and Sabu’s cage and those who stay over night are entertained by their growls and the sounds of their night time antics as they prowl in their cage as well as all the other cats in the compound. Night time becomes very active at Shambala. I was surprised when after going through the rest of the tour we arrived at the gift store and were then taken back by our tour guide to Thriller and Sabu’s cage. It was then that he began to show just how unknowledgeable he was about Michael Jackson and his animals, much of what he began to tell us was media lies. Such as Michael abandoned all of his animals and fled the country. Susan and I quickly put him right about that and ended up sharing the truth with him about Michael on many things. In response he said he had no idea. I was shocked that he was allowed to share such things on this tour. They are all volunteers but to allow someone to talk in a negative way about Michael especially when they were using Thriller and Sabu as their promotional income for the year of 2011 was just terrible to me. After eating our lunch I approached other staff members and met a wonderful, kind lady who also takes care of Michael’s cats regularly. She was adamant that Michael NEVER abandoned his cats or any of his animals. There was a veterinarian in charge at Neverland and it was the same vet who brought Michael's cats to Shambala. She also shared how the video of Thriller doing the moon walk happened accidentally one morning while she was present as none of the cats are trained or perform in any way. She just happened to have a camera in her pocket that day and captured Thriller moving backward as if Moonwalking. At Shambala these big cats are allowed to live out their lives with no human pressure to be anything other than the natural wild cats that they are. Sadly these magnificent animals should be free in the wild but for these animals who were originally pets or zoo animals, such as Michael’s cats, this is a wonderful place for them to live comfortable safe lives. After lunch Tippi Hedren also gave a speech and signed books and met with visitors.

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For Susan’s last night in Los Angeles we watched more MJ videos and shared until late. We continued easily talking the next morning on the way to the airport. I have driven to LAX more times than I can count but of course on this day I was talking and of course found myself completely lost. What better way to end this 10 day Michaeling tour? We laughed as I pulled into a strip mall, got out of the car and asked for directions. It wasn’t long before we found our destination, Virgin Airlines at LAX. It was sad saying good bye to Susan our hearts and lives now bonded. A lovely lady who will always be welcome in my home, in my MJ room.

A late Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year to everyone...
and of course shamone! Happy Michaeling!



31-12-2011, 02:41 PM
2012 - A Happy New Year to my blessed MJ family


Okay, first of all, the earth will not be destroyed on December 21, 2012. We will be entering a new phase as humanity and this asks of us to prepare by leaving all fears behind, focusing on that which helps you and everyone around you forward. All spiritual work done on yourself, you also do for humanity at the same time. Help each other by helping yourself. Bring love into the world, unconditionally, on the highest level imaginable. The thoughts you have before sleep, also determine your astral travels in part.

So, less fear, as we are always helped and guided even through the hardest times. No, we are helped especially during the hardest times even though it may be hard to feel. Less fear and more love. I have been shown this year that love has its own spiritual evolvement into something so pure, it exceeds anything personal, goes beyond desire and fear of loss. There is the love between partners, the love parents have for their children, the love children feel for their parents, a friendship-love or agape-love, love between master and guru and then there's Divine Love that encompasses everything and everyone, loving ALL of you, the good, the bad and the ugly, as it sees the soul learning and growing in the human form, with all its pitfalls. Before love can grow in you, it is just as important to learn that fine balance between loving others and loving yourself, your Higher Self, the soul that is struggling.

In order to prepare Earth and its inhabitants for the new energies, the higher vibrations, also known as the Schumann resonance which is increasing in vibration and decreasing in Erath's magnetism, we are taken beyond form, more towards the essence. You can already see this happening in the world now on several levels: politically, economically, socially, physically. The previously invisible is becoming more and more visible to more people. This can lead to confusion, delusions and increased mental diseases, or it can show the true face of everyone. No hiding anymore, no lying, who you really are is becoming more transparent.

Sometimes the cleansing will need to take place in the form of storms, hurricanes, gale-force winds, floods, earthquakes and volcanic activity.

All thoughts and feelings that were ever thought or uttered leave their imprint on the world around us, picking up strength from similar thought patterns thought by matters. Many of these thoughts are not very high in their moral standard, think of thoughts of greed, lust, anger, jealousy, hatred, egoistical thoughts, perverse thoughts, murderous thoughts of revenge or vengeance. These kind of impurities cause great pain to the Earth and all the planes she is composed of. It's like a zit or a tumor. It must break open or be cut out before the patient can heal.

So yes, there will be natural disasters, most probably increasing in frequency and strength. But do not let that deter you from reaching for the stars, the sun and the moon.

We were created as beings of love, through an act of love, so there is really only one cure: forgiveness, and love.

If the world is as a storm, we need to become calm and tranquil to get to the center of the storm, the eye and heart of the storm where it is perfectly still and Divine Love can be experienced all the time in pure joy and bliss.

Becoming still, calming our minds and thoughts, and putting a guard next to our mental faculty where thoughts come into being, will greatly help us all get through 2012.

May love, healing and insight be your guides!
~ Much love from MJJLaugh

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03-01-2012, 06:03 PM
Singer Samantha Mumba shares her experience of meeting Michael Jackson in Dubai


2006 - Singer Samantha Mumba shares her experience of meeting Michael Jackson in Dubai:

"Meeting Michael was like the closest thing I will ever get to meeting a saint. He had this amazing aura to him. He was very spiritual and magical, even mythical. I was just in awe of him. The guy doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He was so kind and had this incredible way with him.

"I didn't know what to expect to be honest because you read and hear so much about him. When I walked into the room he was the most humble, warm, friendly person you could ever wish to meet. He also had a hilarious sense of humour. He kept cracking these jokes that had me in fits of laughter. It was weird because I was thinking, 'I'm standing in a room having a hoot with Michael Jackson. Nobody is ever going to believe this'.

"Everyone in the music business knows he has made history. But I can still see him making another great album. I would love to see him perform. He's a perfectionist so that's why it takes him so long to release material. But I'd definitely be going along to see him in concert if he did a gig in Ireland."

(Redistributable with credit to http://MJJR.net/ - The Michael Jackson Repository)



04-01-2012, 09:34 PM
Angels of Light

One of my favorite parts in 'Dancing the Dream' is 'Angels of Light' and today I was lucky enough to stumble upon this video that was made today. I love it!

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Do you know the poem by Rabindranath Tagore called 'Child Angel' ?

Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my
child, unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.
They are cruel in their greed and their envy, their words are like
hidden knives thirsting for blood.
Go and stand amidst their scowling hearts, my child, and let
your gentle eyes fall upon them like the forgiving peace of the
evening over the strife of the day.
Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the meaning
of all things; let them love you and thus love each other.
Come and take your seat in the bosom of the limitless, my
child. At sunrise open and raise your heart like a blossoming
flower, and at sunset bend your head and in silence complete the
worship of the day.

(Rabindranath Tagore)

Source of the poem:


05-01-2012, 09:06 PM
Kim Wilde was an opening act for Michael during the Bad tour

From left to right, Michael Jackson, Kim Wilde, Pete Townshend and Paul McCartney at the British Record Industry Awards (BRIT awards) in London, 16th February 1983. Wilde had won Best British Female Solo Artist and Townshend won the Life Achievement Award. McCartney had won three awards, the Sony award for Technical Excellence, Best British Male Solo Artist and Outstanding Contribution to Music (this last on behalf of the Beatles). (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)



Bette Midler, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Kim Wilde and Cher - 1987

Kim Wilde on tour with Michael Jackson!

Published in: Bravo (Germany), May 26, 1988

On of the most exciting days in Kim's life was May 23, because then she was on stage in Rome as the support act of Michael Jackson for the very first time. She will also do this in Germany a couple of times. Why her? Has Michael fallen in love with her?
"It may have been more a deal between our managers", says Kim. "They knew that I am very wellknown in Europe."
Kim has always been a fan of Michael Jackson, has met the shy superstar once before during an awards ceremony in London and has said "Hi" during this occasion.
Kim's first reaction on the news: "I have called my friends and said: 'Don't worry about tickets for Michael Jackson, girls! It's been taken care of."
Kim has taken some friends along to escort her during her tour. Smitty takes care of catering, and the sale of t-shirts is also done by her family. "Michael will wonder about that", laughs Kim.
Kim has prepared well for her tour. As fitness exercise she swims every morning, most of the time she has spent with her band rehearsing.
The band consists of Steve Byrd on guitar, Mark Hayward Chaplin on bass, drummer Jeff Dougmore, Keyboard-player Jeff Hammer and backing vocalists Angie and Zeetya.
Privately Kim has had enough of London and wants to move to her farm 40 kilometers north of London.
"I am not afraid to live alone", says Kim. "The neighbours, all farmers and teachers, know me very well already. I feel very well there."


Kim Wilde met Michael Jackson: 'Those nonsense stories should be over'

Published in: Hitkrant (Netherlands), October 15, 1988

Although Kim Wilde toured with Michael Jackson for months she just met him twice. 'We didn't have any deep and meaningful conversations or anything, but he is very sweet. I don't want to hear any bad things about him anymore!'

It's too weird that there were even rumours that we were having an affair. Yes, we respect eachother but that's as far as it goes. I've only talked to him twice!

What were those talks about, then?
He told me that he felt I was doing great, and that he was looking forward to the successful tour. And he asked whether I was still enjoying it. And I was!

What impression did you get of him?
He's very normal, very smart, very sweet and very sympathetic. And what's the most important thing: he's got a very sweet smile. You can tell a lot of things from the way someone smiles.

And what did you think of his show?
It's great to watch the show from beside the stage! When you look from the audience everything seems to go automatically, but from the side you can see how much work is in it. And it's hard to tell how he does his tricks. I knew that he would go into a tent and then appear on the other side of the stage, but I looked very close and still couldn't tell how he did it.

Isn't it a bit of ungrateful work, doing a support act? The audiences come for the headline act, after all.
Yes, that's true. And you're playing when there's still daylight, and then people can only see a few small figures on stage. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It's the only tour that Michael has done in his life, and it most likely will stay that way. It's a historic fact, and hundreds of thousands have come to see it. Taylor (Dayne, who did the support for another part of the tour, ed.) and I were there as well. They can't ever take that away from me. But it's time I will be the headline act myself soon!

Interview with Kim Wilde about touring with Michael Jackson (BAD Tour)

BBC Radio interview dated March 4, 2008

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06-01-2012, 10:06 PM
Some Rare Videos to Enjoy

Yesterday I happened to find these precious gems, with images and scenes I had never seen before. I was so grateful to have found these! Thank you Michael for leading me to them. I hope you like them too, and if you're down, these will surely lift you up!

♥Michael Jackson in Museum♥ beautiful and rare♥

This was filmed during the Bad Tour in 1988, judging from the footage I would say part of it is in Italy, Rome and Florence.
He saw Leonardo da Vinci's Michelangelo with his own eyes. Well, I knew that because he told us so, but to see the footage of that event is something else!

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Michael Jackson (RARE)

Okay, I can tell this was filmed in a Spanish speaking country, in a store that sold CDs. Now, tell me honestly, would you dare dance for the King of Pop if he came to your store ? See, how it cracks Michael up, he likes it and at the same time he's embarassed by it, being naturally shy himself when not performing. Aaah, this just made me smile!

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Michael JACKSON Play Keybord VERY RARE Bad era

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Rare - Michael Jackson - Very Funny Moment!!

Michael gets punked, sort of, by the famous Harlem Globetrotters. Look how he bobs his head to the music!

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08-01-2012, 09:45 PM
Choreographer recalls Jackson's critical role in his career
by Sherri Kimmel
July 19, 2009

Vincent Patterson ’72 (right) recommends some moves to Michael Jackson for the “Smooth Criminal” video. Photo courtesy of Vincent Patterson.

Though many music fans around the world were shocked and saddened by the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, one Dickinson alum had a deep connection with the pop star that went beyond fan status.

Starting with his role as a dancer in “Beat It” in 1982, director and choreographer Vincent Paterson ’72 had a long-term artistic relationship with Jackson.

“I’ve worked with everyone from Bette Davis and Glenn Close to the Beatles, except for John Lennon, Madonna and Bjork, and out of everyone I’ve worked with, no one was as polite or as much of a gentleman, as sweet and nonjudgmental, as Michael Jackson,” Paterson said in a phone interview from Montreal, where he is preparing his latest production, Viva Elvis, for Cirque du Soleil.

Though he says he was inspired to consider a theatre career by the late Dickinson professor and Mermaid Players director David Brubaker, “Michael is the one who gave me my career,” Paterson said. “He believed in me and only knew me as a dancer.”

Paterson described the moment Jackson gave him his first big break. “One day I was sitting home and got a telephone call. ‘Hi, is Vincent there? It’s Michael.’ ” Paterson related in a breathy imitation of Jackson’s voice.

During that late 1980s call, Jackson invited him to choreograph and direct the music video of “Smooth Criminal.”

“He’s always been for me someone to whom I have been eternally grateful,” says Paterson. “He believed in me and pulled me out of obscurity.

“Michael taught me so much about listening to music,” Paterson adds. “One of the core processes instilled by Michael was, ‘Don’t try to impose your idea on the music. Listen. It will tell you what it wants to be.’ I still work this way 25 years later. Every time I get new music or a script, his words come to mind. He’s always there.”

After “Smooth Criminal,” Paterson went on to direct and choreograph Jackson’s Bad World Tour, as well as Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour and to work in feature films, theater, Broadway, opera, TV and commercials.

Paterson last worked with Jackson about 10 years ago, when he choreographed and directed “Blood on the Dance Floor.” A year ago, after Paterson choreographed the 25th anniversary production of “Thriller,” Jackson called to thank him. (Paterson was a dancer and assistant choreographer for the 1983 original.) He last saw Jackson four years ago when the singer/dancer asked to meet regarding a project. Due to other commitments, Paterson had to decline the offer.

To Paterson, Jackson was “music incarnate” and an artist with incredible focus. “I gave him a series of movements in ‘Smooth Criminal’, and he would stand in front of a mirror for three or four hours repeating those same three or four dance steps. Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson are the people we as Americans can hold up as dancing luminaries, historically. Michael brought integrity, intelligence and artistry to the pop commercial world and gave it a new validity. Everything aligned.”

Vincent Paterson's experience with Michael Jackson

Please ignore the 'J****' comments by the British reporter. Sometimes you get the feeling that British media had no idea that this phrase hurt Michael very much

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Vincent Patterson

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Arts: "Thriller" at the 2008 Tribeca Film Fest

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09-01-2012, 09:47 PM
Blood is on the Dance Floor - Alternate Version and Remix

"Blood on the Dance Floor" is a song by Michael Jackson. The song was released as the first single from the remix album, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. Jackson and Teddy Riley created the track in time for the 1991 release of Dangerous. However, it did not appear on that record and was minimally altered before commercial release in 1997. The song is about a predatory woman by the name of Susie, who seduces Jackson before plotting to stab him with a knife. The composition explores a variety of genres ranging from rock to funk and Hi-NRG.


Patterson recorded an unreleased, alternate version of the music video, shot with an 8 mm camera. Writer David Noh, described it as, "grainy, overexposed, and sexy as shit". According to Patterson, "Michael loved it, but Sony hated it and refused to release it".

Michael Jackson - Blood on the Dance Floor (alt version and remix)

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11-01-2012, 08:59 PM
Michael Jackson - Mystic Garden

Do you know that feeling of a love so overwhelming that you feel your heart will break out of your chest, and you just want the world to see, feel and understand what it is that pulsates this radiant love through your veins. But sometimes the words simply fail, because the feeling of love is so great, that art must take over the role of the voice and the brain and the thoughts forming.
Let the music speak and let the images speak for themselves.
It is another ode of eternal love to Michael and funnily enough many people responded "I can see Michael's love shining throughout the video". The song expresses how I feel....
(Music is called 'Mystic Garden, from the CD 'Falling Through Time' by Asher Quinn)
I hope you like it!
~ MJJLaugh

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Link to the video on YouTube:

12-01-2012, 09:36 PM
A Mother's Love

You were there....
When God filled Michael’s little body, as he kicked in your womb, did you feel him dancing?
You saw his first beautiful, radiant smile and heard his first sweet angelic laugh.
Your ears heard the first time his sweet crescendo rose, filling the house.
You witnessed his first dance steps as he grooved to the sound of the washing machine.
Did you marvel to see his first audience clap for him at the laundry mat as he danced and sang?
You woke him for late night TV shows and sat with him watching his idol James Brown.
You were with him and your hearts broke together as you both sat watching and crying for the dying children in Africa on TV, you were the one he turned to and promised
“I will do something about that someday.”
Oh how he DID!

You carried his life within your heart and upon your shoulders as you walked along side him through joyful times and oh so very difficult times.
You were his beacon in the night, his comfort, his shelter, his lifter of spirits, his rock.

A Mother’s love...
He loved you beyond measure...no others could come close to his esteem for you.
No other could ever hold a candle to the bright, shining love he carried in his heart for you.
He emulated your love for him as he reached out to heal the world with empathy and compassion.
God filled him with a tender, sensitive, sweet, caring, giving spirit.
God instilled the most intelligent, creative, genius and musicality.
Of all the women in the universe God chose you to teach him how to share it with the world.
Oh how you DID!

A Mother’s heart ...
The world has lost the kindest, most loving man that has ever walked this planet as he emulated Jesus. I wish I could say we valued him as you did while he was here.
I am so sorry for all he endured by those who could never understand what a precious gem he was. Only a mother knows a son’s pain. I am so sorry for all you have endured.
No one will ever know what you feel. No words can describe a mother’s loss.
The world is left darker, more silent, and less joyful as his perfect pitch now entertains the heavens.
A love angel... yes, he truly was... but you have always known that.

You loved and shared him... he loved and changed the world...
He will forever be the fabric of love that governs my life... given by the Lord to bless.
I thank you Katherine, for sharing your beautiful, God gifted, seventh child, Michael.
Michael Joseph Jackson in life and in death has changed my life, and is still changing the world.
His love...the love you nurtured in him... lives on.

You are prayed for ...
I just simply can’t imagine the loss and emptiness you must feel.
We, his fans, all mourn; but you... you truly knew him with a mother’s heart.
The missing him, the loss, the grief must be unfathomable.
I pray for you, your whole family and especially Michael’s children.
I pray for peace, comfort and sweet memories to fill the void, to fill your days, nights and dreams.
I pray his smell lingers and a sense of closeness be there for you,
and chimes of his sweet laughter fill your ears on the difficult days as waves
of grief and acceptance ebb and flow.
God bless you always. You are a wonderful woman, mother and grandmother,
for as Michael said “My mother is perfection”.

God Bless You and Yours Always,
Betty Byrnes
(California, USA)




13-01-2012, 10:21 PM
Michael's Library - Part 1

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The Library of Neverland

Bob Sanger, one of Michael's Lawyers in 2005

:And the third thing was that Michael was extremely well-read."

I didn’t know that.

No. Few people did. In trial – and I knew Michael, but I got to know him a lot better at the trial. The judge was doing jury selection, and it was time for break. Judge Melville said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to know that jury service is very, very important.’ He’s trying to convince people not to have stupid excuses to get out of jury service. All judges do this. He says, ‘The jury system is a very time-honored system. It’s been around for 200 years. We’re going to take a break and come back in 15 minutes.

We stand up and the judge leaves, and Michael turns to me and says, “Bob, the jury system is much older than 200 years, isn’t it?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, it goes back to the Greeks.’ He says, ‘Oh yeah, Socrates had a jury trial, didn’t he?’ I said, ‘Yeah, well, you know how it turned out for him.’ Michael says, ‘Yeah, he had to drink the hemlock.’ That’s just one little tidbit. We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues. But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature.

That’s fascinating.

He loved to read. He had over 10,000 books at his house. And I know that because – and I hate to keep referring to the case, because I don’t want the case – the case should not define him. But one of the things that we learned – the DA went through his entire library and found, for instance, a German art book from 1930-something. And it turned out that the guy who was the artist behind the book had been prosecuted by the Nazis. Nobody knew that, but then the cops get up there and say, ‘We found this book with pictures of nude people in it.’ But it was art, with a lot of text. It was art. And they found some other things, a briefcase that didn’t belong to him that had some Playboys in it or something. But they went through the guy’s entire house, 10,000 books. And it caused us to do the same thing, and look at it.

And there were places that he liked to sit, and you could see the books with his bookmarks in it, with notes and everything in it where he liked to sit and read. And I can tell you from talking to him that he had a very – especially for someone who was self-taught, as it were, and had his own reading list – he was very well-read. And I don’t want to say that I’m well-read, but I’ve certainly read a lot, let’s put it that way, and I enjoy philosophy and history and everything myself, and it was very nice to talk to him, because he was very intellectual, and he liked to talk about those things. But he didn’t flaunt it, and it was very seldom that he would initiate the conversation like that, but if you got into a conversation like that with him, he was there.

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One of Michael’s all time favorite books.

Kobe Bryant, Remembering Michael, Time Special 2009

One of the things he always told me was, Don’t be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be “normal.” And he was saying, It’s O.K. to be that driven; it’s O.K. to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to not deviate from that. One of the books that he gave me that helped him communicate with me was Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which was about that.

Cousin Anthony Jackson on twitter, August 29th 2010:

#messagetomj I remember when you read Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach all the way through in one sitting at Disney World. Thank you for always being there for me and for teaching me to believe in dreams! We miss you..Happy birthday!

Frank Cascio, “My Friend Michael”:

One of the books Michael told me to read on the trip was Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Jonathan, out of all the seagulls saw that here was more to life than just being a seagull – more than what was right in front of him. Michael wanted to live that way – to fly beyond all expectations, to live an extraordinary life. He instilled that ambition in me, often asking me, “Do you want to be Jonathan, or one of the other birds?”

Wikipedia summary:

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.” Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.

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To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator’s father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explains the novel’s impact by writing, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

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Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon description:

Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honour to the author. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway’s career, which was foundering under the weight of such post-war stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that “no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards”). A half century later, it’s still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway’s favourite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author’s later work:

“The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.”

Hemingway’s style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:

Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.

If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph–just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator:

“The old man was dreaming about the lions.”

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Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon Description:

Rip van Winkle is an amiable man whose home and farm suffer from his lazy neglect; a familiar figure about the village, he is loved by all except his wife. One autumn day he escapes her nagging to wander up into the mountains, and there after drinking some liquor offered to him by a band of very strange folk, he settles down under a shady tree and falls asleep. He wakes up twenty years later and returns to his village to find that not only is his wife dead but war and revolution have changed many things. He, on the other hand, although older is not appreciably wiser and soon slips back into his idle habits. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tells of conscientious schoolmaster Ichabod Crane. Orderly and strict in school, out of school his life is disorderly and his head full of fearful fantasies. He is in love with the beautiful Katrina but has a rival for her hand, a dashing young hero who, together with his prankster friends, plays on Ichabod’s superstitions, notably with the story of a headless horseman who haunts the region. Tragedy strikes when their hapless victim encounters just such an apparition when returning home one dark and especially dismal night…Three equally compelling stories, “The Spectre Bridegroom”, “The Pride of the Village” and “Mountjoy”, complete this collection of classic tales from the inspired pen of Washington Irving, one of America’s greatest writers.



15-01-2012, 08:02 PM
Michael's Library - Part II

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Fans who visited the Los Olivos area relaying stories from the people who worked there about Michael visiting:

We quickly narrowed in on the antique store where I had previously met Dorothy, the owner of the Mole Hole who had met Michael several times.

Dorothy had also shared that Michael would take day trips out to Solvang, walk the streets, poke around and shop. He especially loved the book store, ‘Grand Tales’, which is no longer there but was on the corner next to the Mole Hole when Michael lived at Neverland. One day he was on just such a visit and entered the book store looking for his favorite book, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ by Kenneth Grahame. She knew already from previous conversations with Michael this was his favorite book and made sure to keep them on hand. He would enter, she would greet him and then immediately smile and point him right toward the book. She said he liked to just stand in the store and read the books but also bought many. Dorothy was eager to share with me that Michael was a valued member of the community and gave generously to the local Rotary and also donated many items for auction to raise money for the town. You can always tell a true fan of Michael’s by the look on their face when they talk about him, and in Dorothy I saw that look of deep love and admiration on her face as she happily and freely talked about Michael Jackson. She shared that Michael was always polite, kind and generous. She jumped at the chance to share about one time in particular that clearly showed Michael’s sweet and considerate character. He clearly was just out shopping, looking for some quiet time and dropped into the bookstore. She had just pointed him toward his favorite book when suddenly patrons and tourists in town began to realize it was Michael Jackson. Soon he was surrounded by a crowd. Dorothy discreetly approached him and quietly offered to shut down the store so he could shop freely in peace. His response was an emphatic, “No, No this is your business!”, then stood there for hours, all afternoon, signing autographs and giving hugs. He never left once to take a break, get a drink or go to the bathroom. He just gave LOVE all day long. Yes, this was the kind heart of Michael Jackson.

Wikipedia description:

The Reluctant Dragon is an 1898 children’s story by Kenneth Grahame, which served as the key element to the 1941 feature film with the same name from Walt Disney Productions.

The story takes place in the Berkshire Downs in Oxfordshire (where the author lived and where, according to legend, St George did fight a dragon).

In Grahame’s story, a young boy discovers an erudite, poetry-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. The two become friends, but soon afterwards the dragon is discovered by the townsfolk, who send for St George to rid them of it. The boy introduces St George to the dragon, and the two decide that it would be better for them not to fight. Eventually, they decide to stage a fake joust between the two combatants. St George harmlessly spears the dragon, and the townsfolk rejoice (though not all of them, as some had placed bets on the dragon winning). St George then reveals that the dragon is reformed
in character, and assures the townsfolk that he is not dangerous. The dragon is then accepted by the people.

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Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon Description:

A magical book that has become an enduring children’s classic, The Red Balloon is the story of a young boy and his best friend–a bright red balloon. Chock-full of photographs of the boy, the balloon and the captivating city of Paris.

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

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Hollywood Reporter:

The Hollywood Reporter reports that three months before Jackson’s June 25th death, the singer had signed on to put up $8 million and co-direct an indie film about foster kids to be titled They Cage the Animals at Night that was based on a book by Jennings Michael Burch. Writer/director Bryan Michael Stoller tells the Reporter Jackson felt close to the story because his own childhood was tumultuous: “Michael told me often he felt like he grew up as an orphan, like a foster kid, because he never was in one home. To him every hotel was like a different foster home. He said he used to sit in the window and see kids playing outside and cry because he couldn’t be part of that.”

Though Jackson insiders deny the singer had an official agreement to work on the film, Stoller says Jackson brought author Burch to Neverland for an interview, which Stoller filmed and is looking to release now. The writer/director adds he and Jackson watched many movies together at Neverland, and To Kill a Mockingbird was the star’s favorite.

Barnes and Noble Description:

One rainy day in Brooklyn, Jennings Michael Burch’s mother, too sick to care for him, left him at an orphanage, saying only, “I’ll be right back.” She never returned. Shuttled through a series of bleak foster homes and institutions, he never remained in any of them long enough to make a friend. Instead, Jennings clung to a tattered stuffed animal, his sole source of warmth in a frightening world. This is the poignant story of his lost childhood. But it is also the triumphant tale of a little boy who finally gained the courage to reach out for love-and found it waiting for him.

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Michael famously named the tree in Neverland that he would write songs in “The Giving Tree,” a reference to this book:

“I called it my giving tree because it inspires me. I love climbing trees in general but this tree I loved the most because I climb up high and look down at its branches and I just love it… So many ideas. I’ve written so many songs from this tree. I wrote “Heal the World” in this tree, “Will you be there”, “Black or White”, “Childhood”. I love climbing trees. I think water balloon fights and climbing trees.. those are two of my favorites.” – Michael Jackson

Amazon description:

To say that this particular apple tree is a “giving tree” is an understatement. In Shel Silverstein’s popular tale of few words and simple line drawings, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a rambunctious little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but with time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet his needs. When he asks for money, she suggests that he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, she offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. She suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does it. At this point in the story, the double-page spread shows a pathetic solitary stump, poignantly cut down to the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said “M.E. + T.” “And then the tree was happy… but not really.” When there’s nothing left of her, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services, and he sits on it. “And the tree was happy.” While the message of this book is unclear (Take and take and take? Give and give and give? Complete self-sacrifice is good? Complete self-sacrifice is infinitely sad?), Silverstein has perhaps deliberately left the book open to interpretation. (All ages)



16-01-2012, 04:25 PM
Michael's Library - Part 1

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The Library of Neverland

Bob Sanger, one of Michael's Lawyers in 2005

Michael's Library - Part II


It was really interesting to read. I will definitely read these books. Thanks

16-01-2012, 10:10 PM
Michael's Library - Part III

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Amazon Description:

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement is well documented in prose, but for sheer emotional power, nothing can compare to the pictures from this era. It’s a challenge for a writer’s words to match the force of Bob Adelman’s photographs in this book, but novelist and essayist Charles Johnson rises to the task in his treatment of King’s life and death, as well as the heroic struggle of African Americans in the United States. Johnson, the author of Middle Passage (which won the 1990 National Book Award), offers an exceptional counterpoint to the stirring images with the depth and weight of his essays and captions. “How soon we forget that King was not only a civil rights activist,” Johnson writes, “but also this country’s preeminent moral philosopher, a spiritual aspirant, a father and a husband, and that these diverse roles–these multiple dimensions of his too brief life–were the foundations for his singular ‘dream’ that inspired millions worldwide.”

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Amazon description:

Novelists Simone Schwarz-Bart (Between Two Worlds; The Bridge of Beyond) and Andr‚ Schwarz-Bart (The Last of the Just) present volume one of a four-part work that will be published over the next three years entitled In Praise of Black Women: Ancient African Queens, translated from the French by Rose-Myriam R‚jouis and Val Vinokurov and featuring a foreword by Howard Dodson, director of New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A blend of oral tradition, historical accounts and 600 vivid illustrations creatively arranged and bordered by informative sidebars, this enchanting work transports the reader back in time and gives a voice to the little-known black women of the past, like Yennenga, Mother of the Mossi People. Subsequent volumes will cover slavery in the Americas and the Caribbean, modern African women and modern women of the diaspora.

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Amazon description:

Ordinary black women, more than any other group in America, have been left out of history. As Darlene Clark Hine points out in her introduction to this powerful and affecting book, “disseminating a visual history is more important with Black women, perhaps, than with any other single segment of the American population. We know all too well what this society believes black women look like. The stereotypes abound, from the Mammy to the maid, from the tragic mulatto to the dark temptress. America’s perceptions of Black women are colored by a host of derogatory images and assumptions that proliferated in the aftermath of slavery and, with some permutations, exist even today. We have witnessed the distortion of the image of black women in movies and on television. We have seen black women’s faces and bodies shamed and exploited. What we have not seen is the simple truth of their lives. This book will help to eradicate, or at least to dislodge, the many negative and dehumanizing stereotypes and caricatures of Black women that inhabit our consciousness.

What do black women look like? What do they look like at work or with their families? What faces do they choose to present to the world, and what faces has the world forced them to acquire? We can look in vain to most pictorial histories of America and even of African America for images of Black women. With noteworthy exceptions, even scholarly studies in Black women’s history tend to include few, if any, photographic images. Of the images that previously have been presented in print, the majority have been of famous Black women.

The Face of Our Past brings the ordinary Black woman to center stage, showing how she lives, loves her family, works to survive, fights for her people, and expresses her individuality. In addition to 302 cartefully chosen images, Kathleen Thompson and Hilary Mac Austin provide quotations from letters, diaries, journals, and other sources.

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Friend Steve Manning:

He loved “Before the Mayflower”, by Lerone Bennet Jr. His parents always instilled Black history in him.

Amazon description:

“…one of the top 10 influential black books…Highly recommended.” — Black History 365, Volume Two Issue Two, Autumn 2008. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Traces black history from its origins in western Africa, through the transatlantic journey and slavery, the Reconstruction period, the Jim Crow era, and the civil rights movement, to life in the 1990s.

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Amazon Description:

Photographer Eli Reed documents the black experience in America, from tender moments between parents and children and the deceptive innocence of rural life, to the tensions of the urban drug scene. His work seeks to show the truth, in images of black America pictured with anger and compassion.

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Amazon Description:

A landmark compendium of African American achievement over the past 100 years, this text explores the lives and work of 150 men and women who have profoundly influenced our culture. Through their inspirational stories, Smith presents a compelling means for African American individuals to further explore their rich heritage and for all Americans to reflect upon a century of accomplishment. 150 photos.



17-01-2012, 01:45 AM
As always, great work, MJJ Laugh.

I will try to get my hands on some of these books.

17-01-2012, 10:16 PM
Michael's Library - Part IV

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From Rose Fine Michael Jackson 79 Tour

Amazon description:

All Tulo had wanted was some light and warmth to sustain him and his tiny sister through the terrible storm. But the star which he caught in the folds of his red kite promised far from more than that. Here is the shining, joyful message meant not only for the boy but for all those who dream of changing their lives for the better.

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Michael Jackson 1996 Massachusets

Leaders Of Men: Types and Principals Of Success as illustrated in The Lives and Careers of Famous Americans of the present day. By: Henry Woldmar Ruoff

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Review on ProfitAdvisors:

Your Creative Power is a classic exploration of the subject of creativity and generating ideas. It was originally released in 1948. The book is in the public domain. When you read the techniques and examples in the book, it is striking how they continue to be useful and relevant today. You could simply drop in the names of today’s businesses and tell very similar stories.

Alex Osborn became the executive vice president of BBDO, an advertising agency in 1939. In 1959, he founded the Creative Education Foundation, which was sustained by the royalties from his books. He also co-founded the Creative Education Foundation’s Creative Problem Solving Institute, the world’s longest-running international creativity conference.

According to Osborn, there are two types of thinking: judicial thinking and creative thinking. Judicial or logical thinking is a screening process, passing judgment on whether ideas are good or not. This type of thinking dominates the executive suites of most companies. Creative thinking is a free flow. It’s best used to generate ideas with no screening until after as many ideas as possible are generated.

An essential piece of the idea generation process is writing them down as you or a group thinks of them. Sometimes you can list hundreds of ideas, and finally the best one comes out.

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Not sure if Michael had a copy of this for himself. Michael’s gift to one of the make up artists on the set of The Wiz. This was in a Juliens sale. Inscribed:
Julien’s auction notes:

Michael Jackson inscribed copy of “A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford published in October 1977, given to make-up artist and horror-film aficionado Michael Thomas.

Inscription reads, “To Mike, I think the greatest preasent [sic] in the world is a book that is fitting to the desire. So freak yourself out! Love Michael Jackson 77 Wiz.”

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Taj this book is valuable, I was only 3 years old when it came out. Cherish it always. Love, uncle Doo Doo MJ

Source(except for the last one):


19-01-2012, 08:00 AM

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In This As Follows:

October 18, 1969 ABC-TV's The Hollywood Palace Special
January 31 1970 American Bandstand
1972 interviewed by Robert Bernathy on CBS network
1977 Australian Molly Meldrum Interview
1979 Soul Train Interview
1979 Soulbeat Interview
1981 Diane Ross Television Special
1983 Entertainment Tonight Interviews
1983 on the set of Beat It Tom Joyner's Interview
1983 on the set of Beat it Entertainment Tonight Interview
1983 another rare interview
1984 Unauthorized Interview
1985 Telethon Perth Australia
February 2, 1986 CBS 60 minutes does a program on Quincy Jones in which Michael Jackson does a 5 minute interview talking about Quincy.
1987 Ebony/Jet Interview
1988 Australian Molly Meldrum Interview
1993 Oprah Interview
1995 Diane Sawyer Interview
1996 Australian Molly Meldrum Interview
1996 Vh1 Interview
1997 Barbra Walters Interview
1998 Interview
1999 MTV Interview
2001 Carson Daily Interview
2001 Entertainment Tonight ET Interview
2005 Fox News Interview
2006 Entertainment Tonight ET Interview

19-01-2012, 09:16 PM
Michael's Library - Part V

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Amazon Overview:
The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English in 1923 by the Lebanese-American artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran. In the book, the prophet Almustafa who has lived in the foreign city of Orphalese for 12 years is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses many issues of life and the human condition. The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.
A brilliant man's philosophy on love, marriage, joy and sorrow, time, friendship and much more.

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Published 1983

When thoughts of love take up residence in your heart, they bring wonderful feelings of happiness, hope, and tenderness. They transform the world around you into a place where dreams really do come true; they bring a special beauty to each season of your life. Yet as powerful as these thoughts are, they aren’t always easy to express.

THOUGHTS OF LOVE is for anyone who has ever been at a loss for words to describe the overwhelming emotions created by love. The poems and writings collected here portray and celebrate love in all its many facets. This book is a beautiful gift to give, receive, and share between two hearts that know all the happiness a loving relationship can bring.

“Love is an understanding that is so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, accepting the other person just the way they are, and not trying to change them to be something else. Love is the source of unity.” – Susan Polis Schutz.

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Poet Rabindranath Tagore

Deepak Chopra, Huffington Post, June 26th 2009

That person, whom I considered (at the risk of ridicule) very pure, still survived — he was reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore when we talked the last time, two weeks ago

Wikipedia Description:

Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric persona, floccose locks, and empyreal garb garnered him a prophet-like aura in the West. His “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Benga.

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Printed on his souvenir letter set of Neverland.

The Children’s Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

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The Tyger" is a poem by the English poet William Blake. It was published as part of his collection Songs of Experience in 1794 (see 1794 in poetry). It is one of Blake's best-known and most analyzed poems. The Cambridge Companion to William Blake (2003) calls it "the most anthologized poem in English."

Most modern anthologies have kept Blake's choice of the archaic spelling "tyger". It was a common spelling of the word at the time but was already "slightly archaic" when he wrote the poem; he spelled it as "tiger" elsewhere, and many of his poetic effects "depended on subtle differences of punctuation and of spelling." Thus, his choice of "tyger" has usually been interpreted as being for effect, perhaps to render an "exotic or alien quality of the beast", or because it's not really about a "tiger" at all, but a metaphor.

"The Tyger" is the sister poem to "The Lamb" (from "Songs of Innocence"), a reflection of similar ideas from a different perspective, but it focuses more on goodness than evil. The poem also presents a duality between aesthetic beauty and primal ferocity. The speaker wonders whether the hand that created "The Lamb" also created "The Tyger”.

The poem, together with other William Blake poetry, has been set to music by the group Tangerine Dream, and can be found on their album "Tyger" from 1987 (re-released 1992).

Printed in the “Thriller 25″ book.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry

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From The album History Notes this art done for the song Little Susie Art by Helnwein.

The song was inspired by this poem by Thomas Hood

The Bridge Of Sighs

One more Unfortunate,
Weary of breath,
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her,
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve’s family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
O, it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God’s providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life’s history,
Glad to death’s mystery,
Swift to be hurl’d—
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly—
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro’ muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix’d on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr’d by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.—
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!



19-01-2012, 11:06 PM
Filipino traffic cop brings a little Michael Jackson to his job: http://youtu.be/44oEpvch4AQ

20-01-2012, 08:43 PM
Michael's Library - Part VI

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Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Amazon Description:

Originally published in six volumes, Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln was called “the greatest historical biography of our generation.” Sandburg distilled this work into one volume that became the definitive life of Lincoln. Index; photographs.
About the Author
CARL SANDBURG (1878-1967) was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, first in 1940 for his biography of Abraham Lincoln and again in 1951 for Complete Poems. Before becoming known as a poet, he worked as a milkman, an ice harvester, a dishwasher, a salesman, a fireman, and a journalist. Among his classics are the Rootabaga Stories, which he wrote for his young daughters at the beginning of his long and distinguished literary career.

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Barnes and Nobles description:

Originally published in 1852, this book is a faithful textual reproduction of the spiritual book of days carried by President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln is famous to us for phrases and attitudes ringing with biblical references. He had internalized the music and the morality of the Bible–quite possibly by means of a book he signed and carried in his pocket called The Believer’s Daily Treasure. Reprinted in its entirety, this book provides proof of Lincoln’s deeply religious character.

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Amazon Description:

One of the foremost entertainers of the twentieth century—singer, actor, choreographer, and, of course, the most dazzling “hoofer” in the history of motion pictures—Fred Astaire was the epitome of charm, grace, and suave sophistication, with a style all his own and a complete disregard for the laws of gravity. Steps in Time is Astaire’s story in his own words, a memoir as beguiling, exuberant, and enthralling as the great artist himself, the man ballet legends George Balanchine and Rudolf Nureyev cited as, hands down, the century’s greatest dancer.

From his debut in vaudeville at age six through his remarkable career as the star of many of the most popular Hollywood musicals ever captured on celluloid, Steps in Time celebrates the golden age of entertainment and its royalty, as seen through the eyes of the era’s affable and adored prince. Illustrated with more than forty rare photographs from the author’s personal collection, here is Astaire in all his debonair glory—his life, his times, his movies, and, above all, his magical screen appearances and enduring friendship with the most beloved of all his dancing partners, Ginger Rogers.


Amazon Description:

This is the Rolling Stones’ official story of life on the road, their home away from home for over thirty years, created with the exclusive cooperation of the band, their management, and a select few of their closest colleagues. The Rolling Stones–Mick, Keith, Charlie, Ron, Bill–tell their story in an incredibly candid first-person account which is complemented by hundreds of rare photographs. For this major project, the Stones looked to Dora Loewenstein, the daughter of their business manager, Prince Rupert Loewenstein. Having virtually grown up with them, she enjoys their confidence and support and has been entrusted to present their touring history, from its beginning in 1962/63 at small, local gigs, to their infamous world tours, culminating with their 1997/98 Bridges to Babylon tour. In a vivid text, based on extensive interviews conducted by Jools Holland, the Stones reminisce and comment on their experiences, the music, and the relationships which give the band its unique and enduring personality. The Stones’ sidemen, such as sax player Bobby Keys, and long-term associates also add their stories to the mix. The dazzling array of photographs are drawn from the Stones’ own archives and from untapped collections throughout the world. The Rolling Stones: A Life on the Road is the story, quite simply, of the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world doing what they do best.

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Amazon Description:

The first compilation of Bruce Lee photographs published in association with the Bruce Lee estate. This book reveals the full range of Lee’s talents. It includes rare photos spanning from his early stage career in Hong Kong to his worldwide success as an actor and martial arts phenomenon. Selected with the assistance of Lee’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee expert John Little presents a photographic record, accompanied by descriptive commentary, of all facets of this fascinating man, from the start of his career to his untimely death a quarter century ago. Included are photos from Bruce’s personal family photos, from his childhood years, through the early years in Hollywood, to the peak of his career as an international star.

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Elia Kazan Wikipedia description:

Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, including Marlon Brando and James Dean. Most noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He became “one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century”, after directing a continual string of successful films, including, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), and East of Eden (1955). During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes. Among the other new actors he introduced to movie audiences were Warren Beatty, Carroll Baker, Julie Harris, Andy Griffith, Lee Remick, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Balsam, Fred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle. He also elicited some of the best performances in the careers of actors like Natalie Wood and James Dunn. Producer George Stevens, Jr., concludes that Kazan’s films and new actors have “changed American moviemaking.

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Amazon Description:

Songs My Mother Taught Me has much to offer. First, it’s beautifully illustrated, beginning before the text with 24 pages of photographs covering Brando’s early life, continuing with a number of well-placed photos documenting various film shoots, and concluding with 32 pages of photographs near the end. Brando’s account of his early years rings true as he records the frailties of his alcoholic parents. His anecdotes about work and play are entertaining and memorable, and he addresses the many social causes he has championed. It’s an interesting, albeit incomplete, work: according to coauthor Lindsey, Brando promised to “hide nothing . . . except his marriages and his children.” (So many marriages, so many children.) Readers of Manso can’t come here to find Brando’s side of his marital troubles or the perplexing murder of his daughter’s husband at the hands of his son. But they will find insight into the life of a man who was definitely a contender.

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Amazon Description:

Things We Said Today features rare interviews with The Beatles that open an extraordinary window into the issues that mattered most: war, sex, religion, and their relationships with each other. The book also includes interviews with Beatles insiders, including John Lennon’s family and Yoko Ono, as well as fascinating press releases and newspaper articles that chronicle their evolution into musical giants. Candid, provocative, illuminating, this is a welcome reissue of a ‘must-read’ book for Beatles fans.



22-01-2012, 12:19 AM
Michael's Library - Part VII

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Books On Chaplin and other celebrities. These were listed in a Juliens sale.

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Photographic Collection of one of The greatest Comic Geniuses ever.

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Amazon Description:

Born into a theatrical family, Chaplin’s father died of drink while his mother, unable to bear the poverty, suffered from bouts of insanity, Chaplin embarked on a film-making career which won him immeasurable success, as well as intense controversy. His extraordinary autobiography was first published in 1964 and was written almost entirely without reference to documentation – simply as an astonishing feat of memory by a 75 year old man. It is an incomparably vivid reconstruction of a poor London childhood, the music hall and then his prodigious life in the movies.

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These are among the many rare first-edition and out-of-print Disney books Jackson collected and stored in his library. “He had thousands of Disney books that he had bought, that people had given him, that Disney had given him,” Miko Brando says. “He studied and read them. He knew a lot about Disney, one of his biggest heroes.” Michael didn’t limit himself to books. “He collected everything Walt Disney from A to Z. When we’d go to Disneyland, he’d buy a lot of souvenirs. Anything Disney, he had it.”

The Art Of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse To The Magic Kingdoms
Walt Disney’s Treasury of Children’s Classics
Mickey Mouse by Pierre Lambert
The Quotable Walt Disney
Discover Walt: The Magical Life of Walt Disney
Disney’s World: A Biography, by Leonard Moslev
Walt Disney: An American Original
Walt Disney: Famous Quotes
Of Mice And Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, by Leonard Maltin
The Updated Official Encyclopedia: Disney A to Z

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The Complete Works of O. Henry

Listed as one of Michael’s favorite books presented to the Young Adult Services of the Chicago Public Library in 1979, source: “Michael Jackson, The Early Years”

Description on Wikipedia:

O. Henry’s stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an “O. Henry ending.” He was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. Both authors wrote twist endings, but O. Henry stories were much more playful. His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry’s stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses.

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Owner of Bookstore “Dutton’s Books in Brentwood,”

“He loved the poetry section,” Dave Dutton said as Dirk chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite. “I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.”

Wikipedia summary on Emerson’s work:

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson’s “nature” was more philosophical than naturalistic; “Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.”

While his writing style can be seen as somewhat impenetrable, and was thought so even in his own time, Emerson’s essays remain among the linchpins of American thinking, and Emerson’s work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was “the infinitude of the private man.”

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Suzi Nash, 1976:

In later years, on her way to visit Jackson during one of his Philadelphia concert gigs, Suzi grabbed an old book from her parents’ shelf without noticing the title. She just wanted to give Jackson a gift and she remembered his fondness for antique tomes. As fate would have it, it was “As a Man Thinketh,” a 1902 volume by James Allen.

“He looked at me and almost kind of jumped back. He said, ‘What made you give me this? What made you pick this one?,’” said Suzi.

He told her it was his “favorite book in the world.” The title is based on Chapter 23, Verse 7 of the Bible’s Book of Proverbs: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”

Amazon description:

A long-standing classic in the field of self-help, this book is a must read for anyone interested in bettering themselves. The human mind is more powerful than most people know and this book provides readers with a major key in teaching us how to use it properly. Thoughts are what truly control your life, and this book can well be considered a kind of “owner’s manual” for the mind. The teachings are simple but powerful. Chapters include Thought and Character, Effect of Thought on Circumstances, Effect of Thought on Health and the Body, Thought and Purpose, The Thought-Factor in Achievement, Visions and Ideals, and Serenity.

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Frank Cascio, “My Friend Michael”:

The first book Michael had me read was The Power of Positive Thinking. I saw how the ideas in hat book connected to some of the things that Michael had been talking about. I was intrigued, and just like that the barrier between me and reading was broken.

Amazon description:

The phenomenal and inspiring bestseller by the father of positive thinking. THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING is a practical, direct-action application of spiritual techniques to overcome defeat and win confidence, success and joy. Norman Vincent Peale, the father of positive thinking and one of the most widely read inspirational writers of all time, shares his famous formula of faith and optimism which millions of people have taken as their own simple and effective philosophy of living. His gentle guidance helps to eliminate defeatist attitudes, to know the power you possess and to make the best of your life.



22-01-2012, 09:41 PM


Hart wrote the book, music and lyrics for “Sisterella,” which was executive produced and presented by Michael Jackson and Jerry Greenberg, and produced by Robert DeNiro, Tribecca Films and Miramax. With Jackson’s support, “Sisterella” went on to do great things. While in Los Angeles, “Sisterella” received rave reviews and won 16 NAACP Theater Award nominations and eight NAACP Theater Awards including best Play and Best Director. In Europe, “Sisterella” was voted show of the decade.

Hart reflects, “Michael was my business partner, who became a dear friend. I am the only composer on earth that Michael Jackson ever attached his name to a project that was not of his creation.” Hart acknowledges Jackson’s mentoring on the show from new techniques in the studio for the cast album to his influence on the costumes and dance.


Sisterella made it’s debut in Los Angeles at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse, in 1996, opening to rave reviews, multiple awards and accolades, breaking and holding the 85 year box office record as being the most successful show in the history of the Pasadena Playhouse. Two Multi-million dollar limited run tours were licensed in Germany/Europe and Australia. In it’s European Tour Sisterella was voted “Show of the Decade” by European Theater fans.


Ella's father dies while she is away at school, and Dahlia, his new wife, is elated to have at last got the money she wants.

When Ella returns she discovers that she has been moved to the attic and must live as a servant.
It turns out, however, that at the last minute her father changed his will, leaving the money to Ella.

But in her role as Ella's guardian, Dahlia proves that But in her role as Ella's guardian, Dahlia proves that "her daughter" is insane and has her committed to an asylum.

A Prince Jean-Luc who has just come into his own in his far away country gives a ball. A Prince Jean-Luc who has just come into his own in his far away country gives a ball.

Ella escapes and attends. The Prince loves her even when he hears her story, though his parents object to the relationship.

Ella is detained, awaits trial with her defense attorney Ambassador Indursky. Ella is detained, awaits trial with her defense attorney Ambassador Indursky.

At the trial Ella is found to be sane and comes into her own.

Finale Music.

You can see clips here (http://www.transformus.biz/sisterella.html) when you scroll down.

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Larry Hart regarding Michael Jackson

It is with deepest sadness that I have lost my friend, Michael Jackson. Michael was a business partner, who became a dear friend. I am the only composer on earth that Michael Jackson ever attached his name to a project that was not of his creation. Michael was the Executive Producer (along with Jerry Greenberg), Presenter and Investor with his record company MJJ Music of my stage musical "Sisterella". With his support, Sisterella went on to do great things. While in Los Angeles, Sisterella received rave reviews,12 N.A.A.C.P. Theater Award nominations and 8 N.A.A.C.P. Theater Awards including Best Play and Best Director. In Europe, Sisterella was voted show of the decade.Michael Jackson changed my life with his belief in me, his support, and his extraordinary talent. I learned many new techniques in the studio while recording the cast album for Sisterella from Michael, and my days working on the album at Sony Music and at MJJ will always be cherished. Michael influenced so much of Sisterella, from the music, to the costumes to the award winning choreography by Raymond G. del Barrio. Sisterella was, in many ways homage to Michael. It was an extraordinary time in my life, made possible by an extraordinary man.

To celebrate the success of Sisterella, when it opened in Los Angeles, Michael hosted a celebration at Neverland, and invited my family and the whole cast for a day like no other.That visit became the first of many.On closing day at Pasadena Playhouse, Michael came to see the show and see us off before we left to go on tour in Europe. For the European tour, Michael again was the Presenter and Executive Producer of Sisterella.To this day,I attribute the success of Sisterella to Michael, his friendship and support.The last time I heard from Michael was last October. He left a voicemail message for me, to sing Happy Birthday to me. I hadn't heard from him in a while, and that message is more poignant today, as it was surprising and touching then. I will miss my friend Michael.You changed my life and I will always love you.

Larry Hart





23-01-2012, 10:14 PM
Bruce Swedien: Recording Michael Jackson

Legendary engineer on Thriller
Published in SOS November 2009

Bruce Swedien has been the engineer of choice for Michael Jackson and his producer Quincy Jones, among many others. In a rare interview, he lays bare the techniques behind some of the superstar’s biggest hits.

Mike Senior

Bruce Swedien at the Harrison console in Westlake Studios, in a photo taken during the mixing of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Bruce Swedien considers himself a lucky man. As the man at the desk for Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which has defended its best-selling album status in the Guinness Book Of World Records for more than 25 years, there’s no denying that he found himself in the right place at the right time, and there can have been few doors closed to him since, given a CV point like that! But if you look beyond the glare of Thriller’s nine-digit sales figures, it’s clear that there’s a whole lot more to Swedien’s story than good fortune: although the first of his five Grammy awards came with Thriller, his records with Quincy Jones and George Benson had already garnered three nominations for Best Engineered Recording before that.
The only child of classically trained musicians, he not only received a solid musical education, but also unquestioning support when their 10th birthday gift to him, a disc-recording machine, revealed the strength of his true vocation. By the age of 14 he was spending his holidays recording all comers, and even set up his own radio station to broadcast the results to the neighbourhood! At 19 he’d already worked for Tommy Dorsey and was setting up his own commercial studio in an old cinema in his home town of Minneapolis. By 1957, the 21-year-old was recording the Chicago Symphony Orchestra professionally for RCA Victor, before moving on to Universal Studios the following year, joining Bill Putnam in his pioneering experiments with early stereo and multitrack techniques.
“Bill Putnam was the most gracious guy in life, and he took me under his wing,” Swedien recalls. “Universal was a fabulous studio. Studio A was a huge room designed by Bill, and was just gorgeous. The room itself was a musical instrument, it was so great, and I later did many, many big recordings there. Bill had me follow him around for quite a while before I really got started, but being with him was... whoa, what an experience! In particular, I remember him saying ‘Don’t just sit down here in the control room. Go see what it sounds like in the studio and listen to the music.’ And I still love doing that.”

So Musical It Hurts

A typical Bruce Swedien drum-miking setup, used here to record Omar Hakim for Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me... Then. Swedien is a recent convert to Royer ribbon mics, used here as overheads. Tom mics are Neumann U87s, and you can just see the little wood/mu-metal baffle Swedien uses to reduce hi-hat spill on the snare close mic.

A couple of years after Bruce Swedien joined Universal Studios, Bill Putnam headed out to California to build his studios there. His place as the young engineer’s musical mentor, however, was quickly filled by up-and-coming composer, arranger, and producer Quincy Jones. “Do you know how fortunate I am to have worked with Quincy?” asks Bruce Swedien. “Quincy is so musical it hurts, and his knowledge is so complete. He studied orchestration in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, who also taught people like Ravel, and Quincy was a star pupil.
“Let me give you an example. Quincy and I first worked together with Michael Jackson on the movie The Wiz. We were living together at a hotel in Manhattan, and we would go to Studio A at A&R Studios. We had a big session at noon on Monday to record some of the music with a big 70- or 80-piece orchestra, and we had to leave for the studio at 10am. The night before, Quincy and I had guests at our hotel for dinner, and Quincy still hadn’t even started on the orchestration for the opening titles. I was getting a little nervous, but he said not to worry about it. At about four that morning, I woke up and noticed under my door that all the lights in the apartment were blazing. There’s Quincy at the dining-room table with a billion sheets of manuscript paper, and he was writing orchestrations. I said ‘Quincy, we’ve got to leave soon!’, but he just said ‘Don’t worry about it’ so I went back to bed.
“At about nine o’clock I got up again, and Quincy said to me ‘I’m all set’. There wasn’t even a piano or a guitar in the apartment; just Quincy and his manuscript paper! Off we go to the studio, and Quincy hands over his score to the copyists. He didn’t even want to conduct — he’d hired a conductor because he wanted to be in the control room with me. The conductor gave the down beat, the orchestra played the entire overture, and there was not a single note out of place. It still gives me the chills to think about it!”

By the time of his first encounter with Michael Jackson, Swedien had already racked up recordings with Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington at Universal, before going freelance in 1967 and adding further artists such as Jackie Wilson, Buddy Miles, Tyrone Davis and the Chi-Lites to his resumé. So when the opportunity of working with Quincy Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton on Jackson’s coming-of-age album Off The Wall came up, there’s no question that Bruce Swedien was already established and successful in his own right. Lucky? Don’t you believe it!

The Thrill Of Acusonic

Bruce Swedien’s custom-made kick-drum cover.

By the time the Thriller sessions started in April 1982, Jackson’s fifth solo record, Off The Wall, had already done brisk business, becoming the first solo record to spawn four US top-10 singles and earning the singer his first Grammies for more than a decade. So how on earth did the same production team come up with a successor that managed to outperform Off The Wall’s estimated 20 million sales by a factor of five? One slice of hindsight on the subject from Quincy Jones has always particularly intrigued me: “We had to leave space for God to walk through the room.” I ask Bruce Swedien to elucidate what this meant in practice.
“He wanted to leave an opportunity for the unexpected to happen,” he explains. “For instance, I was allowed the freedom to make microphone choices, and nobody ever said a word. I just did it. For example, I used a Shure SM7 on most of Michael’s lead vocals — ‘Billie Jean’, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ — and boy, did that raise some eyebrows! But I love that mic, and I have six of them. Michael, Quincy, and Rod were also smart enough to leave me alone while I was mixing, and that meant I did my best work. They’d leave the room and I’d get it all shaped up and ready, and then they’d come back and we’d listen and make slight adjustments, but I don’t remember being too far out.”

Sharp-eyed fans scrutinising Thriller’s liner notes quickly spotted the rubric “Recorded and mixed by Bruce Swedien using the Acusonic Recording Process,” and there has been continued speculation that some mysterious studio gizmo had given Jackson’s record the edge, despite the engineer formally putting the subject to bed in a lecture in 1984. The Acusonic Recording Process (and the synonymous Quantum Range Recording Process) was not some kind of processing innovation, but rather a name for the manner in which Swedien synchronised multiple 24-track tape machines to access a practically limitless track count.

One of the original track sheets from the Thriller albums.

Here, as elsewhere, every source is recorded in stereo.
However, despite the busting of the ‘black box’ myth, there are indeed fundamental ways in which the Acusonic approach affected the sound of Thriller, and indeed its predecessor. In the first instance, it allowed Swedien to circumvent one of the deleterious side-effects of tape-based multitracking: that repeated playback of the tape during the overdubbing and production process would progressively dull the transients of previous recorded tracks. “If you go back to the recordings I made with Michael, my big worry was that if those tapes got played repeatedly, the transient response would be minimised. I heard many recordings of the day that were very obviously done that way, and there were no transients left on those tapes. So what I would do would be to record the rhythm section on a 24-track tape, then take that tape and put it away and wouldn’t play it again until the final mix. And — holy cow — what a difference that made! It was just incredible.”

By using a SMPTE timecode track on each tape and then sync’ing the master rhythm-section tape to new reels, any number of ‘work tapes’ could be generated for the purposes of overdubbing, each furnished with a handful of submixed cue tracks from the master reel. “At the end of the tracking sessions, I could premix each of those tapes down to only a pair of tracks during the final mix, and that would give me a huge number of tracks to use. So, for example, all the background vocals on ‘Rock With You’ were recorded on a separate 24-track, and then I premixed them for the final mix.”

Another shot from the Thriller mixing session, showing Swedien at work with producer/arranger Quincy Jones (right) and Swedien’s assistant Ed Cherney (left), who has since become an extremely successful producer in his own right.

While transient definition is clearly a hallmark of these records, Acusonic’s practically limitless track count was also crucial, because it allowed Swedien the freedom to indulge his passion for stereo recording, an enthusiasm reaching back to his days with Bill Putnam in Chicago. What this meant was that a large proportion of the overdubs on Michael Jackson’s albums were actually recorded in stereo, thereby improving the sense of width, realism, and emotional immediacy. As he comments in his new book, In The Studio With Michael Jackson: “These true stereo images add much to the depth and clarity of the final production. I have a feeling that this one facet of my production technique contributes more to the overall sonic character of my work than any other single factor.”

Swedien continues to record the majority of things in stereo to this day, and when it comes down to preferred stereo techniques, he’s forthright in his opinions: “I am a firm believer in Blumlein pair. It can do a lot to enhance the width of the sound, even if the stuff gets played back on small stereo speakers. I’m also not crazy about Mid/Side; it’s a technique that is almost useless for recording like I do, so I’ll always go for spaced or Blumlein pairs. I’ll use cardioid or omni mics for the Blumlein pairs — omnis work great — but bi-directional mics make it a little difficult. Stereo mics are vastly overrated. You can do a lot more with a pair of microphones. I haven’t heard any really good stereo microphones. I’m still waiting for the first one of those.”

Working The Room

Hal Leonard recently published Bruce Swedien’s In The Studio With Michael Jackson, which complements his earlier Make Mine Music. Both provide a great deal of further background about his upbringing, influences and working methods.

The more you speak to Bruce Swedien, the more it becomes apparent that, like many of the most celebrated engineers who cut their teeth in the ’50s and ’60s, he focuses a great deal of effort while recording on tailoring the sound he’s getting in the room. In particular, though, he makes a point of pursuing a unique sonic personality for each record he works on. Take, for example, this situation he recalls from his early career at Universal, recording the Count Basie Band and singer Joe Williams for the album Just The Blues — a bit of recording bravado that almost cost him his job! “I remember one song [‘Night Time Is The Right Time’] that had a gorgeous trombone solo, and I thought to myself ‘Wouldn’t it be great to give that trombone solo a unique sonic image?’ So I told the soloist that, when it was time for him to solo, he should get up and tiptoe over into the corner of the studio, and play his solo into the corner, away from all the mics. He did that, and everybody went bananas! I’m still so proud of that recording. It’s very unusual and it really works. That’s what I call sonic personality.”

[b]This kind of studio experimentation is all over the Michael Jackson records, and has frequently been mistaken for post-production electronics. The special effect on the ‘Don’t think twice!’ interjection in verse two of ‘Billie Jean’, for instance, was created by singing through a five-foot long cardboard tube. The drums on the same track are no machine, as is often assumed, but a single live drum take recorded with extreme separation: the hat was isolated from the snare using a purpose-built foot-square wood and mu-metal panel, and the kick was recorded using another piece of bespoke baffling. “It was the first time I took the kick drum apart,” remembers Swedien. “I took the front head off, put a special cinderblock in it for weight, and then had this cover made out of furniture blanket with a zippered hole for the mic to go through.”

The ‘Billie Jean’ drum sound, like that on many of Swedien’s records, also relied on a purpose-built drum riser the engineer originally had constructed for recording the previous album’s ‘Rock With You’: a braced, eight-foot-square wooden platform raised 10 inches off the ground. “The reason I wanted the drums to be up off the floor,” he wrote in his autobiography, Make Mine Music, “is to keep the low-frequency drum sounds (such as the bass drum and tom-toms) from coupling with the surface of the floor and entering the sound pickup area of the microphones on the other instruments in the session. This secondary pickup of the low-frequency end of the drum kit can travel through walls! By putting the drum setup on my drum platform, those low sounds never had the chance of connecting with the floor and creating off-mic, obscure, second-hand pickup.”


‘Rock With You’ is also an excellent showcase for another of Swedien’s creative live-room production techniques. Each of the backing-vocal lines was first double-tracked with a close mic, then Jackson moved a couple of steps back from the mic for another pass, while Swedien increased the preamp gain to match his level with the previous takes. Finally, an even more distant pass was captured using a Blumlein stereo pair, again matched for level. The result: an increased density of early reflections, which creates a natural depth and width to the soundfield.

Early reflections were also an important part of the lead vocal sound on Jackson’s later records from Bad onwards, where the singer was set up on Swedien’s aforementioned drum riser to amplify the sound of his dancing, and then surrounded by Tube Traps (the common studio nickname for ASC’s tubular Studio Traps). Not only did this approach create a dense and controllable pattern of early reflections to support the singing and dancing sounds, but it also kept the sound at the mic much more consistent as Jackson moved while dancing. “The Tube Trap, to me, is one of the greatest things since sliced bread,” he enthuses. “Michael loved my Tube Traps — he was fascinated with them. We would try all sorts of different setups with the Tube Traps to get a soundfield that was really interesting. They save a lot of time.”

Transients & Compression

While the Acusonic Recording Process clearly played an important role in delivering Thriller’s unique wide-screen, percussive sound, it’s clear from speaking to Bruce Swedien that there’s more to the recipe than fresh tape. Credit must also go to his own personal collection of classic mics, which he ferries around to all his recording sessions. (See the ‘Bruce Swedien’s Microphones’ box for more details.) “All of my mics I bought new, and all of the really important ones are sequential serial numbers. No-one else has ever used them, so they’re all in really good condition. That’s part of the secret.”

Given Swedien’s repeated emphasis on maximising pickup of transients through mic selection and careful use of the recording medium, it makes sense that he has trenchant views on the use of compression. “I’m not a big fan of compression or limiting at all — I can’t emphasise that enough. On many of the recordings that you hear today, all the excitement and all the colour is gone because they’re so over-compressed. I never did that. I would never have a compressor or limiter on the [master] bus, for instance. I want all that transient information there. And no compression or limiting on any drums or percussion. That’s one of the biggest mistakes that I hear, I think, in modern pop recording. The stuff is so compressed they’ve limited the living doo-doo out of the sound.”


That’s not to say that he leaves the dynamics of the performance completely untouched, but is much more inclined to achieve the required dynamic control through to-tape fader rides while overdubbing and automation while mixing. “I’m a nutcase about details in the mix, so I’ll use automation to a degree, but only very subtle compression. I have a pair of the new variety of [Universal Audio] LA2As that I just love, so I will use those, but it’ll only just be tickling the meter, at the most one or two decibels. I don’t like what happens to the sound when you compress any further, and that’s very important to me.”

The Colour Of Magic

Talk of compression turns our conversation towards the mixdown process, and here Swedien is quick to point out that, as a colour-sound synaesthete, he works in a world where there is a direct connection between sounds and colours. Although this mode of perception is rare, he’s by no means the only musician who has been touched by it. Classical luminaries such as Liszt, Sibelius, Rimsky-Korsakov, Messiaen and Ligeti have all correlated colours with keys, chords and timbres; and, beyond that field, musicians such as Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Joel, Eddie Van Halen, Tori Amos and Aphex Twin have all shown evidence of synaesthesia, as have well-known producers such as Geoff Emerick, Pharrell Williams, Rollo Armstrong... and Quincy Jones!

“I have synaesthesia, and Quincy does too,” confirms Swedien. “The low frequencies are represented by dark colours like black and purple, while high frequencies are bright colours such as silver and gold. When I listen to a mix I want to see all those colours. I mix in the control room with very low light level, because I think that the human being is primarily a visual animal, but the way the music hits us is purely an aural experience, so I try to minimise the visual aspect of what is affecting me while I mix, by keeping the control room rather dark. And, of course, I’ll close my eyes for some of the time.”

When it comes to specific mixing techniques, Swedien proves tricky to pin down, but not on account of any defensiveness on his part — it’s just that he feels that he doesn’t actually rationalise the process, and relies as much as possible on intuition. “You can’t pre-think choices like those. That’s a mistake that I see often, and I’m devastated by what I hear in the mixes of some modern recordings, because it’s obvious that people are thinking about the technical aspect of it and not the music. You’ve got to make that separation early in your career: the technical part of it is meaningless. For example, I usually start with the rhythm section, but it kind of depends on the music. There are no specific rules that you can apply. If you do you’re going to be asking for trouble, because some music is different.”

However, he does make clear in his autobiography that he regularly refers back to his earliest rough balances while mixing, in order to remind himself of his initial gut reactions while mixing, gut reactions which he has learned through long experience to trust. “The clarity of the lyric and the passion of the music are what’s most important to me, and it’s really easy to put those values out of sight and just mix until they’re not there any more. For example, I did 91 mixes of ‘Billie Jean’, and finally Quincy said ‘Let’s go back and listen to mix number two.’ And we did, and it blew us all away! I had overmixed that song right into the pooper, so the mix that went onto the record was mix number two.”

Looking at Bruce Swedien’s monitoring setup at his own West Viking Studio in Florida, I immediately spotted some familiar little cubic speakers sitting atop the meterbridge: a pair of Auratone 5Cs. Does he recommend them? He almost jumps out of his chair: “I love Auratones! You know what Quincy calls them? The Truth Speakers. There’s no hype with an Auratone, and it’s sad that you can’t buy them any more. I knew the guy who made them out in San Diego, but he died a couple of years ago. If you see any Auratones on eBay, buy them! I have about three or four sets of them. Probably 80 percent of the mix is done on the Auratones, and then I’ll have a final listen or two on the big speakers — I have Westlake speakers which I absolutely love, with special custom-built power amps. I don’t listen very loud on the Auratones; the SPL is maybe 85dB for the bulk of the mixing work. If I were to allow conversation to go on in the control room while I was mixing, it would be easy to do, but I hate distractions when I’m mixing, which is another reason why I usually ask everybody to leave.” Many engineers use a single Auratone in mono, but Swedien has no truck with that: “I hate mono, and I’m not a big fan of surround either. I love stereo. If you’ve got your shit together, and you know what you’re doing, you can do as much with two-channel stereo as most mixers can do with surround.”

A prominent pair of illuminated VU meters also dominates the meterbridge. “I love VU meters. Mine were found for me by Allen Sides at Ocean Way Studios, and they’re gorgeous meters. They will register some sounds, for example low frequencies, which may not be audible on the Auratones, so I do rely on them heavily. I am quite fussy about mix levels and bus levels. If you’re trying to make your mixes as clear and clean as possible, you kind of have to keep it at zero or less on the bus, because those meters are designed to resemble our human hearing, and the peaks, although they may not look like much, may be tremendous. If you’re not careful, they can make mixes that sound rather ugly.”

The engineer’s ‘less is more’ approach to EQ is already well documented: “The trick is to use as little EQ as possible to achieve the desired result,” he writes in his autobiography. However, he has also been a long-time advocate of the EQ in the Harrison mixing consoles, and has owned a 3232C desk himself since using the 4032 at Westlake Studios for Thriller. ‘Spectacular’ and ‘dynamite’ are epithets that come up in our conversation, not just in relation to the main swept bands, but even to the high-pass filter: “It isn’t ‘just a filter’. It’s so dramatic — if you put it at 40Hz, that’s exactly what you get. And if you use the high-pass filter wide open, it is wide open. And the important thing is that the audio the filters lets through is absolutely untouched.”

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

Credits on Michael Jackson’s string of hit solo albums would be ample excuse for any engineer to rest on their laurels, but that’s clearly not Bruce Swedien’s style. He continues to produce records for such renowned artists as Santana and Jennifer Lopez, as well as dedicating himself to nurturing new generations of engineering talent via courses and seminars. Who knows? You might bump into him yourself one of these days. If you’re lucky.

The Inspirational Michael Jackson

While researching for this interview, I happened on the following comment from Bruce Swedien regarding recording Michael Jackson’s vocals: “Damn near any chimpanzee could record Michael. I mean he is such a pro, it is unbelievable!” I asked him to elaborate. “Michael was not an ordinary vocalist or an ordinary singer,” he explains. “If any young people in the music industry take the decision to use Michael as an inspiration, that’s about the smartest thing that they could possibly do. In the studio you hardly knew he was there -— he was extremely quiet and polite and kind -— but he really cared about the quality of what we were doing. Not only the technical quality, but the musicality, and his pitch, and the lyrics, the arrangements, and so on. For example, I don’t think I ever saw Michael with the lyrics in front of him. He’d always been up the night before memorising the lyrics and he sang the songs from memory. And every day that we recorded vocals his vocal coach was there, and he warmed up for an hour beforehand. That made a big difference.”



24-01-2012, 09:38 PM
How Michael Jackson saved my life…
Published January 5, 2010 | By jodycakes

Oh…and also got me kicked out of Health Ed class in High School…but you’ll have to read on to see how.

Just a little antecdote for Wednesday morning.

I absolutely have adored Michael Jackson since I can remember…seriously. My folks took a girlfriend of mine & I to Jacksonville (how fitting, eh), Florida for a “business trip”…and surprised us that night at dinner with tickets to the Jackson’s Victory Tour in July 1984, just days before my 13th birthday. Heidi and I screamed at the top of our lungs, probably to the shreiking heights of Twilight Mania…no lie. My father enjoyed it just as much as we did…and for years, attempted (embarrasing the crap out of me) the Moonwalk.

I remember seeing Thriller for the first time and thinking that had to be one of the coolest videos ever done…well, besides Duran Duran’s Rio.

There were SO many jams through the years that I cried, sang, danced, skated, kissed, drove to…MJ was always prevelant during my formative years in the ’80′s. For sure.

Fast forward to Heritage High School…1st floor, Mr. Griebel’s Health Ed class, fall of 1988. Sitting bored, staring longingly at one of the varsity outside linebackers…hearing the “wah, wah, wah…” of Mr. Griebel discussing CPR.
Since I had been riding horses competitively for several years by this point, and we were always put through training classes on injuries, etc. I was completely unaware that we would actually be called up in front of the class to administer CPR to the dummy on the table.

Daydreaming about Mr. Football player…I hear my name a few times, bringing things back into focus. Being a bit shy and leader among nerds, I was MORTIFIED that I was being asked to do the steps. Do you remember how it goes?

Call out the name of the victim trying to get a response (in this case, we were using a naked dummy named Resusci®-Anne) – Call for 911
Tilt the head back to open the Airway – feel for breath, look to see if chest is rising
Breathe for the victim (pinch nose, place mouth firmly over mouth of victim and blow)
Find area below sternum, and take both hands to pump (or aid circulation) to the chest area
Check airway again – if not breathing, repeat steps until help arrives

Okay, so this may not be exactly how they do it these days…but this is from memory.

So…in all of my embarrasment, I slinked up to the front of the room, looked around at my peers – who sat as interested in this as Spicolli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I cleared my throat nervously, wondering if I would possibly DIE RIGHT THERE

I decided to not only ask if the dummy was okay, I decided it would be better to SING to her in the vein of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal – “Annie, Annie are you okay, are you okay Annie…you’ve been struck by…you’ve been hit by a smoooooooooooooooth criminal…”

The class roared with laughter and I was immediately sent out of the room.

I think of this moment from time to time, especially when the original song comes on…not the Alien Ant Farm remake.




25-01-2012, 09:51 PM
How He Changed the World
Written by Emmanuel Uffot
Sunday, 05 July 2009


Michael Jackson had the power to change the world and did so for the less privileged

It is common knowledge worldwide that the late music Icon, Michael Jackson, was famous, successful and wealthy during the peak of his musical career. Many also knew that he lived a weird and reclusive life that was immersed in controversies. But not many, including most of his ardent fans worldwide, knew that within the heart of the legendary pop star was a milk of human kindness which propelled him to give back to the society through works of charity targeted at children, the poor, deprived and the needy.

A record of Michael Jackson’s charitable works hitherto unknown to many are eye catching. Apart from the celebrated We are the world hit, he wrote in 1984 with the support of Lionel Richie whose live concert tagged "USA Aid for Africa", raised more than $100 million which was later donated as relief aid to Ethiopian famine victims and other needy African countries. Michael Jackson's contributions to charity began in January 1979 when he donated books to the Chicago Public Library’s Young Adult Section to promote reading culture.


In 1981, Jackson, moved by the spate of kidnappings and murdering of children in Atlanta, Georgia, donated $100,000 to the Atlanta Children’s Foundation. The money was raised from his concert in that state.

In 1984, the pop star focused his charitable works on hospitals and medical institutions. Perhaps this was prompted by the burns he had sustained on his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. After his treatment at Brotman Medical Centre in California, he donated a hyperbaric chamber used for the treatment of burns to the hospital. His philanthropic gesture also saw him committing $1.5 million towards equipping the Burn Centre named after him. The sum was an out of court settlement he got from Pepsi for the burns he sustained during the shooting of their commercials. He was also credited to having single-handedly equipped the 19-bed unit at the Mount Sinai, New York Medical centre which serves as research centre for leukemia and cancer diseases.


His charitable works did not escape the notice and commendation of the United States government. In May 1984, Michael Jackson donated his song Beat It for use as a theme song for the national advertising campaign initiated by the government against drinking and smoking. For this gesture, the then President Ronald Reagan honoured him with a Special Achievement Award.


Two months after the honour, he again donated all the proceeds of his performance tour to charity. Michael was quoted as saying that his action was based on an earlier decision he took to donate all the money he made from his Victory tour concerts to charity.

He also exhibited his philanthropic gesture in September 1987 during his performance tour of Japan by donating $20,000 to the family of a young Japanese boy, Yoshiyaki, who was kidnapped and killed. He nonetheless dedicated his tour of the country to the deceased boy. Beyond that, he was so overwhelmed with emotions over the incident that he said: “I am very sorry and deeply saddened to hear about Yoshiyaki, I hope such a brutal and heartbreaking thing never happens again. I would like to dedicate my Japanese tour to Yoshiyaki,” Michael said.


Although vilified by many Africans who interpreted his several plastic surgeries on his face as evidence of his contempt for blacks, Michael, according to recent findings, identified with black struggle and was reputed to have assisted efforts of agencies to fight prejudices against black artistes.

Even though many people had scorned his reclusive nature, some of his charitable works prop up Michael Jackson as an altruistic fellow. Often times he had to deny himself by disposing his personal effects to recoup money for the sustenance of his charitable works. One instance was when he donated his personal effects like sunglasses, T-shirts and windbreaker to the UNESCO for auction so that the proceeds could be used for the education of children in developing countries.


Jackson loved children and this, no doubt, influenced his charitable works which over 60 percent was targeted at helping needy children. When stuffed animals modelled after his zoo were released to the market for sale in October 1986, he requested that one dollar be deducted from each purchase and donated to a children’s charity. Similarly in November 1987, he donated 10,000 pounds to the Children in Need Appeal Fund in Britain. While touring Australia, he visited the children hospital to identify with the sick. Again when one of his hit songs Man in the Mirror, entered the chart in February 1988, the proceeds from sales of the record on his instructions went to the Camp Ronald McDonald, an abode for children suffering from cancer.


The United Negro College Fund, a charitable organisation, got $600,000 from Michael during one of his performance tours of America with his hit song, Bad. It is on record that as at April 1988, more than 97 youths had benefited from Jackson’s monetary assistance to the charitable home through his Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The Great Ormond Street Children Hospital in Britain and Bambini-Gesu Children Hospital in Rome also benefited from the pop star’s generosity in the 80s. Prince Charles Trust Fund and the Wishing Well Fund established to help finance the construction of a new building for London’s Hospital for sick children were other beneficiaries of his many charitable works.

Just as his popularity in the music industry soared in the 90s, so were his philanthropic gestures and charitable works. In February 1992, he undertook an 11-day tour of Africa visiting hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches and institutions for mentally handicapped children. Apart from donations to hospitals and foundations in several European countries, he set up the ‘Heal the world’ foundation and organised lots of concerts to raise funds for the foundation. His Heal the World foundation received patronage from several organisations and public spirited individuals and Jackson used the funds to promote his charitable works.


In 1996, he performed a concert in Tunisia and donated the proceeds to The National Security Fund,’ a charity dedicated to fighting poverty. In Bombay, India, the $6 million proceeds from his concert in the town was donated to Shiv Udyog Sena to help create jobs for 270,000 young people in the state of Maharashara.

He then took his charitable work to Bangkok, Thailand, where he visited an orphanage and donated $100,000. He gave out other gifts to the children at both the orphanage and a school for the blind. The gesture moved the spokesman for the orphanage to comment that the children don’t know him as a pop star; to them he was just a “nice man who came to offer help.”





Jackson was reportedly involved in a number of charitable events in June 1999. He joined Luciano Pavarotti, a non-governmental organisation, for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy, which was held to raise a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo as well as the children in Guatemala. He also organised a number of Michael Jackson and Friends benefit concerts in Korea and Germany which raked a total of $3.3 million for Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, the International Federation of Red Cross and UNESCO.

In 2001, Jackson’s foundation, in collaboration with the L’Chaim Society launched Heal the Kids, an initiative to co-ordinate international action to help parents rededicate their lives to their children by providing them the love and attention they needed and deserved.

It is on record that from 1979 to 2003 Michael Jackson donated and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charity organisations around the world. In September 2005, he initiated plans to record another all star charity single From the bottom of my heart like We are the world is for the benefit of victims of Katrina. The plan never succeeded because of his waning health and resources.

His admirers described him as a true humanitarian who devoted much of his time and money to wide range of charities.

Onyeka Onwenu, a Nigerian songstress, said Jackson influenced the industry through his charitable works. She said Jackson won many awards for his charity works and also did a lot for children. “He did influence the music industry with his charitable works. He did a lot for children around the world. He was not an artiste that made money and kept for himself,’ Onyeka said, stressing that Michael Jackson would be remembered for his charitable works considering the fact that he gave up himself, money, time and talent to a worthy calling.

Dionne Warwick, one of the artistes who performed the We are the world song with Michael Jackson and 30 others, described him as ‘one of the sweetest, kindest and gentlest men,” she had ever met.

Indeed, his numerous charitable works which were unknown to many of his fans won him many awards. He was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of Records for breaking the world record for the ‘Most Charities supported by a pop star.’ An Australian fan in his tribute stated, “He has used his money to help people around the world.”

For many fans and followers of his musical exploits, they are consoled by the fact that the late 50-year-old legend of pop music had the power to change the world and he did change the world.

27-01-2012, 09:37 PM
Artistry - Paintings of Michael Jackson

If you are an artist, hone your skills, perfect your craft. That way you can give joy and delight to others. It never ceases to amaze me, the artistry that is expressed by some people. It is a form of love, capturing an essence that is seen, heard, felt or inspired by another greater artist.
I was blessed today to stumble upon these magnificent paintings of Michael on various websites.
Look and enjoy!







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29-01-2012, 03:49 PM
A Michaelicious Day in Amsterdam
by MJJLaugh

The caption below the picture states:
"In 1977, Dutch 'star' photographer Claude Vanheye photographed Michael Jackson in his Amsterdam Hazenstraat studio. After a four hour photo session, Claude gave Michael a personal tour of his neighborhood, de Jordaan. That's where they photographed each other in the street.

On January 28 Marjolein and Door and I went to Amsterdam, for my birthday, to have a fun-filled Michael-inspired day. It was what I call a 'Michaelicious' day!! At 2 o'clock we started our day by drinking something in the Noord-Hollands Koffiehuis ( North Holland's Coffee House, mind you, this is not a coffeeshop where you can buy everything except coffee!). Door and Marjolein had ordered the awesome green t-shirt with the text 'Keep Michaeling' from Amy Grace's webshop. http://www.acosmicconnection.com/shop/I love it! But that wasn't all! I was really spoiled by them! Marjolein had had three calendars made with her 'Spread-the-Love' cards, and now I am the proud owner of one of them. But the best present was the painting!! Marjolein painted this for me based on a meditation experience, my very first meditation ever,. It's full of symbolism and I love symbolism!

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There are only three of these calendars in the world and I received one of them as a birthday gift!! It's all for L.O.V.E. LOVE

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Marjolein painted this for me for my birthday. It is full of symbolism and means a lot to me!I love this painting, thank you Marjolein, dear friend!

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Keep Michaeling! Door and Marjolein ordered this awesome t-shirt for me in Amy Grace's webshop! Thank you ladies, I love you!!!!

The idea was to visit the street where Michael, only 19 years old, had his picture taken in 1977. This was at the corner of the Lauriersgracht, Hazenstraat. After that we would go on a canal cruise of one hour. I had wanted to this on a very exclusive salonboat, The Tourist http://www.de-tourist.nl/indexE.htm, but she was in the docks, being made even more pretty, so we had a regular canal cruise. We ended the day by eating in an Italian restaurant.

We started walking from the North Holland's Coffee House to the 'Jordaan'. It is the oldest area of Amsterdam with very stately mansions, that were built in the 1600's, where rich merchants and brewers lived at the time. The facades of these impressive houses are full of interesting details. We passed interesting artsy shops with paintings, scupltures, antiques, luxurious shops for clothing and shoes, many restaurants and bars and the occassional coffeeshop with that horrible stench of weed. It was cold but sunny, so that was an advantage in taking all these pictures.

If you own a car in Amsterdam you need to be fearless when parking your car next to the water's edge. It does happen that someone drives into a canal accidentally. People who live in Amsterdam do everything by bicycle, on foot, or via the subway. It's only when one needs to get outside the city that it becomes handy to have a car.

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Multatuli was a famous writer. His real name is Eduard Douwes Dekker. Eduard Douwes Dekker (2 March 1820 – 19 February 1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli (from Latin multa tuli, "I have carried much"), was a Dutch writer famous for his satirical novel, Max Havelaar (1860), which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia).
( source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multatuli)

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Marjolein is preparing to take the picture of the Multatuli statue

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I love stores like these! Normally 10 horses couldn't have kept me from entering this store but we were ladies with a mission, not to be distracted!

When we got closer to our destination, we had to check the map a few times. Without even telling people where we were headed to, we received directions from helpful and friendly people.

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Hey!!!! What's that ? The picture sold by the store called ''t Curiosa winketlje'. ( Bric-a-Brac shop). I went inside to buy the picture and that is how I found out that Michael visited this same shop in 1997, during the HIStory tour. he stayed inside for 45 minutes, just browsing and bought some prayer cards.

At one point I exclaimed 'Hey girls, look what this shop sells!! It was the very picture of Michael standing at the corner of the Lauriersgracht/Hazenstraat.' I took the photo inside to buy it. Unable to contain my enthusiasm I told the ladies behind the counter that we were on a pilgrimage to the spot where Michael stood in 1977. One of them then divulged to me that Michael had actually visited this very store, under the previous owner, it was also called then 't Curiosa winkeltje ( Bric-a-Brac shop). This was in 1997, when he performed in Amsterdam as part of the HIStory tour.He spent 45 minutes inside the store and bought prayer cards. Thanks to the picture of Michael on sale outside the shop, we received the extra tidbits of information. I also bought a funny Charlie Chaplin card with moving parts. In the first picture you see Charlie Chaplin leaning with his walking stick on a banana peel, and when you pull the little tab at the bottom you see Chaplin falling on his bottom. ROFL!

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Walking through Amsterdam on our way to the spot where Michael stood in 1977 I never expected to see his picture just outside the very store he visited for 45 minutes in 1996 during his HIStory tour! As if he beckoned me inside, blabbermouthing about our special Michael-day, I got to hear this story of his visit then. He bought prayer cards.

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Bought this card. Watch where Chaplin places his walking stick (heehee)

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See ? ROFL, isn't that funny ? Had to have this card. Bought this card also in 't Curiosa winkeltje (Bric-a-Bric shop)

Finally, we made it to the spot where Michael stood 36 years ago. We took pictures of each other in the same spot, looking in the same direction. Next to that spot on the corner was a bookstore called 'The English Bookstore'. I went inside to look around. When I took the stairs down to the children's books section ( I love children's books and buy some occassionally), I saw a book that is part of Michael's Library of favorite books: The Giving Tree. I had ordered that one as well as 'The Reluctant Dragon'. I quickly took out my mobile and took a picture! A stern-looking lady walked over to me and asked if I had taken a picture. I felt like a child getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar. I admitted that I had taken a picture of a special book, "my first and my last picture in this shop." She said that no pictures were allowed to be taken, so I apologized again. I asked her if they happened to sell 'Defending a King' by Dr. Karen Moriarity. They didn't have it yet but she took my details and will get back to me on the book.

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I entered 'The English Bookstore' while Marjolein and Door were busy taking pictures and the first thing I see when I go down the stairs to the children's books section is the book 'The Giving Tree', one of Michael's favorite books and a book I had recently bought along with 'The Reluctant Dragon'. Just HAD to take a picture, for which I was immediately scolded!

Because you don't want to go hungry on a day like this I had brought some Michael goodies: donuts and peanut M&M's, and when we turned hungry we enjoyed these sweet goods. Door indulged on salted peanuts and shared them with us.

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The last canal cruise was at 5 o'clock and it was already 4 o' clock, so we needed to walk back to the Damrak, near Amsterdam Central Station to catch the Gray Line canal cruise. We arrived just in time! Within minutes they left the dock.I took many pictures. The advantage of doing a canal cruise in the winter is that the trees don't have any leaves yet so your view is unobscured.

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What a gorgeous sight to behold! It almost looks like one of those old paintings....(without the car, that is, heehee)

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Seeing Amsterdam from the water is another experience. I saw the city I have visited so often, in a different light and heard many interesting new facts about its churches, the history and the canals. Amsterdam is, for example 1,5 meters below sea level. This equals 4,5 feet. Schiphol airport is 5 meters ( 15 feet!) below sea level.

After the cruise, and many peanuts and M&Ms ( nothing makes you hungry like a canal cruise!) we went to a spiritual bookstore 'Himilaya'. There is a restaurant there too but they closed both at 6, so we had 15 minutes to browse around. Marjolein saw a book there called "The Messenger in the Mirror" with butterflies on it. Both Door and Marjolein bought chimes there. There were four chimes, each one represented one of the elements: earth, fire, air and water, each with their own unique sound.

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Bought this card at the spiritual bookshop 'Himalaya'. Marjolein saw a book there called 'Messenger in the Mirror' with butterflies on it, I saw lots of Krishna cards and books and a picture of Kirshna with someone at his side ( Lakshmi ?) which I used in a Michael collage. Too much coincidence for one day! This card reminds me a little of the Neverland emblem in a way

We found an Italian restaurant and one of the girls who waited on us was a dancer so we wanted to know what she thought of Michael as a dancer. She said that he was very important for dance, being an innovator and setting new standards and trends for dancers worldwide.

After the dinner we walked back to the train station and each of us went home, having had a wonderful day, sharing stories and anecdotes that related to Michael in some way or another. Thank you Michael for being there with us, and for my friends that I wouldn't have known without you. You are our glue, our inspiration, our King of Pop! We will always love you!

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[i]And when I got home another pleasant surprise awaited me: my ordered books had finally arrived. (patience gurl!)[/img]

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I cannot wait to read both of these books. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my heroes!

30-01-2012, 09:03 PM
Michael Jackson is Gone but his Legacy of Environmental Concern Remains

When I saw the video with the voice of David Attenborough, the animals, the earth, the ecological system and its precarious balance made me think of Michael Jackson's Earth Song, the butterflies in the This Is It version of Earth Song and I knew I wanted to share this video here with you, to promote awareness of our precious planet and the problems she encounters, largely due to the actions of us, humans....What are you, I, we willing to sacrifice, to change to help heal our planet ?
~ MJJLaugh

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As the music industry and fans across the world mourn the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, they reflect on the legacy he leaves behind, which is not just one of unprecedented chart success, but also of environmental concern.
Michael Jackson

A fact often overlooked is that despite the many legendary hits Jackson achieved in the UK, many of which would define his image in the popular imagination, it was Earth Song - a tune lamenting the destruction of the world's endangered rainforests and natural habitats - that earned the star his biggest ever selling single in Britain.

The track spent six weeks at the top of the charts in 1995, securing the coveted Christmas number one spot and selling more than a million copies. Despite not being released in the US, Earth Song went on to reach top five status in almost every other country in Europe.

Shot in multiple locations including the Amazon rainforest, the music video features Jackson walking through a deserted drought-ridden landscape, invoking a post-apocalyptic vision of what the earth could look like if deforestation and climate change are not challenged.

The song raised awareness of ecological issues and made climate change a more pressing concern among some sections of the younger generation, who perhaps saw environmentalism as more credible given Jackson's high profile as a musical and cultural icon.

Earth Song did not come without criticism however, with some pointing out that the expensive video and Jackson's lavish lifestyle had their own environmental cost.

Despite the charges of his detractors, Jackson maintained that his music was a platform for him to promote ecological awareness, telling Ebony magazine in a 1997 interview that he was "very concerned" about the "international global warming phenomenon".

Jackson also spoke about the inspiration for writing the song and his aim to give environmental issues more press coverage and "let people hear the voice of the planet".

"I remember writing Earth Song when I was in Austria in a hotel and I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the planet earth," he said.

"For me, this is earth's song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement...and with the ecological unbalance going on and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain and she has wounds."

Along with other popular socially-conscious songs such as We are the World and Man in the Mirror, Earth Song helped to cement Jackson's place as a humanitarian and earned him recognition from a number of environmental organisations.

The singer was honoured with a Genesis Award in 1996 for using the song to help raise awareness of animal issues and he earned an accolade from the African Ambassadors' Spouses Association for his humaniatrian work in 2004.

Spiritual leader and friend Deepak Chopra revealed last week that even in the days leading up to his death, environmental issues were not far from Jackson's mind. Chopra, who knew the singer for 20 years, said he had been working on a new song about climate change.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Chopra said he received a message from the star saying he needed help with lyrics for the new environmental song which had already been recorded as a demo.

With lyrics that highlighted the damage caused to the environment, some see Jackson's music - particularly Earth Song - as a call to arms, an anthem encouraging people to take part in rainforest conservation and fight global warming.

This is perhaps the lasting legacy that the singer will leave behind among those within the environmental community and beyond.

Written by Aaron Akinyemi

© Copyright



01-02-2012, 08:53 PM
Michael Jackson and the Ronald McDonald House in Amsterdam

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On October 3, 1996, during his tour stop, Michael visited two hospitals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AMC - the Academic Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald House which is part of the VU hospital.

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02-02-2012, 09:42 PM
Buz Kohan - A poem for Michael



BUZ KOHAN *, a friend of Michael Jackson, a producer, writer and composer, born in New York in 1933. Among the many TV programs and special he lent his hand to are “Going back to Indiana”, “Jacksons Family Honor,” “One Night Only” (Michael Jackson cancelled performance in 1995, New York), “Motown 25” “You Were There” Sammy Davis Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration, 1990, “Gone too Soon”, The 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala, 1993 …

This poem I wrote for Michael back in 2004 when he was going through a very difficult time. I sent it and a day or two later, a messenger knocked on my door to give me a big bag of gifts. I was about to sign the shipping when he said there was more. He returned with a large metal object that appeared to be chirping. I thought, how nice, He sent one of those mechanical birds, but when I uncapped the cloth that covered it, I realized that they were not mechanical birds, but two beautiful white doves or pigeons, and were very much alive.

Together with the birds came a lovely and heartfelt note thanking me for the poem that I wrote to Michael and telling me that he had been touched by it. Also included with the note, was a book on exotic birds and bird seed for a year.

I took the box with the birds into the yard and called them “Billie Jean” and “Bad.”

One night, an animal that roamed the house , attacked Bad, and I thought, being so close soon, surely, Billie Jean, would die of a a broken heart. As a tribute to his indomitable spirit, Billie Jean chirping continues five years later. Keep on singing, sweet bird.

Sadly, Michael never had the opportunity to sit with me to put music to the poem, and I have just kept it in my files so far, I hope you can send an inspirational message to the world … something that Michael has always tried to do with his music, charity, and his life. Michael, my friend, gone too soon, but his light will never fade.

Rest easy, dear soul. “Buzzie Wuzzie” (This is how Michael always called me)

The Poem


Big storm coming danger increasing wind blowing from everywhere The air filled with flying objects There is no consolation to hide No Fury continues Shaking, breaking, Taking Charge, Taking Control swirling, whirling around me Trying to destroy my soul. ‘s all so pointless I am helpless Caught in the frenzy whipped and shaken pushed and shoved and beaten Shattered When all is chaos all is lost. Cruelty pervasive resistance fades I am alone, the wind blows and knocks wind, you win, I surrender now I disgraced I face defeat. Then, out in the distance comes a tiny beam of light more radiant Growing Growing brighter Shining through the night without end. In a tiny ray of sun comes a shining light Amber reaching all long look at her. Growing up and growing with the sunlight They voices talking loudly harder Talking to my pain and my distress Letting healing started now. Let the truth Emerge before us all lies Let Drowned in shame Let the storm finally disperse to clean air and clear my name. You, my friends, you you hold me when I am attacked are defending Restauráis my faith and my courage When the mirror is broken I envolvéis With your passion when you guide my steps I am unsure For your love I am embraced by the sunlight again I feel safe. For your faith, this promise I will fail you not cheer, I swear No disaster can destroy long as you know How much you worry me. As you know That your love is there.

( text was edited for legibility)

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03-02-2012, 10:00 PM
Spike Lee Remembers Michael Jackson
By Tim Morrison Monday, June 29, 2009

Director Spike Lee

In 1996, Spike Lee — director of films from Do the Right Thing to Malcolm X to the recent documentary Kobe Doin' Work — traveled to Brazil with Michael Jackson to produce the music video for his controversial song "They Don't Care About Us." He talked to TIME about his experiences, Michael Jackson's legacy and having the Gloved One as a houseguest. (See TIME's list of the top 10 Michael Jackson songs.)

What's your favorite Michael Jackson song?
I was born in 1957; he was born in 1958. And so I grew up, literally, with Michael Jackson. We both reached adolescence at the same time. And I had a big Afro like he did, and I hoped that the girls would like me the way they liked Michael — but that wasn't happening. And you know, I loved him as a solo artist, but I have a special place in my heart for the stuff he did with the Jackson 5: "I'll Be There."

Do you remember the first time you heard it?
No. My memory's shot. I'm in Cannes, France, for a conference; I left dinner last night, got home, I turned on CNN and there it was — him being rushed to the hospital. I didn't go to bed the whole night. I just kept watching CNN. So it's a big, big, big, big loss for the world. And I'd like to make this comment: I've seen too many people talking about Michael like they knew exactly what he did. Let's celebrate his genius, his musicality, his gift, his talent, and leave the other stuff at least till he gets buried. Let's celebrate his life now. That's the way I feel.

I can hear Michael Jackson in the background right now.
Yeah, my friend is driving me to Monaco for dinner, and I went out to this store and bought Michael Jackson's greatest hits. So, as we got in the car I said, "This is our driving music!" Going from Cannes to Monaco, listening to the greatest hits of Michael.

What was he like when you worked with him on the video for "They Don't Care About Us?"
Michael was great. He had a sense of humor. He worked hard. People talk about how hard Kobe Bryant works; he didn't work harder than Michael Jackson. This is what I've come to learn. You know, I did a documentary on Kobe, I know him; Michael Jordan, I worked with him a little; Michael Jackson — when you love what you do that much, it's not work. So you can go longer and harder and faster and quicker because it's not a burden. You love what you're doing.


And did you talk to him on the set? Was he accessible?
Oh yeah! Michael was a citizen of the world. I said, "Mike, let's go to Brazil to do this." And he said, "Let's go, Spike!" And it's great when you work with people who say stuff like that — it's not a matter of budget. He wanted to do it? We were going!

Had you met him previous to that?
Yeah, I met him at dinners and stuff like that, but that was the most intimate time I had been with him. Can I tell you a quick story? Michael Jackson called me up and said, "Spike, I want meet you, I'm coming to New York." I said, "Well where you want to meet?" He says, "I want to come to your house." I live in Brooklyn! He wants to come to my house! So, Michael Jackson came to my house in Brooklyn, New York — this was when I was living in Fort Greene. And he said, I want you to direct a video for me. My new album's coming out, pick a song. So we listened to all the songs and I picked "Stranger in Moscow." And he said, I don't want you to do that one. And I said, "Michael, just tell me which one you want me to do! Why ask me to pick one?" And he laughed and he said he wanted me to do "They Don't Care About Us." That's how it happened.

How did he like Brooklyn?
Well, I dunno if he'd ever been there before. We spent like two or three hours just talking. I mean, we're the same age. I'm less than a year older than him. To be honest, I dominated the conversation, because I was trying to really tell him how much impact he had on my life. And I could just not believe that Michael Jackson was sitting in my living room in Brooklyn, New York. It was amazing.


I just want to get back quickly to "I'll Be There." What sort of associations did you have with that song? What did it mean to you?
I just remember being young, loving that song, starting to get interested in girls; it was just that period of time. And here's the thing that I remember: growing up, as far as girls, everybody didn't like Michael. They liked Tito, they liked Jackie, they liked Jermaine — it was like the Beatles, the girls had their favorites. It was not always Michael, Michael, Michael.

Was he always your favorite Jackson?
Oh yeah. But I wasn't a girl though.



05-02-2012, 02:40 PM
Music Room at Gardner Elementary School

Friends of mine from Facebook undertook an LA pilgrimage and among others, two of them visited the Gardner Street Elementary School. Read their story and see the unique, new pictures! I will be sharing other parts of their journey with you here, as Siren kindly gave me permission to use her photos.
~ MJJLaugh

By Siren Lovesmj:

The next mornng, Brenda and I made our first stop of the day at Gardner Street Elementary School. Brenda donated 20 hard cover Ever After books to the school program, and I donated my art proceeds to the new music room dedicated in Michael's name. We met with one of the teachers there who knew Michael. She was so so lovely. She gave us a tour of the music room (which was also Michael's classroom when He went to school there). The equipment is wonderful, and they have plans to dedicate an area at the back of the room to displaying some things for Michael, including 2 prints donated by Nate Giorgio (beautiful!) and the chalkboard that Michael siigned when He visited for the Auditorium dedication.
When you enter the main doors of Gardner School, there are 3 framed pictures containing artwork done by students. They are really beautiful. This is one of them:

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Another of the framed works done by the students of Gardner School.

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Another of the framed works done by the students of Gardner School.

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Another of the framed works done by the students of Gardner School.

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The chalkboard signed by Michael during the Auditorium dedication.

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Speading the Love Marjolein's way - at Gardner Street Elementary School in the main office.
( The six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship)

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Mural outside Gardner Street Elementary School.

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In addition I want to take this opportunity to share a recent blogpost from united4mjlegacy:

Monday, January 23, 2012
The Legend Continues...


Last Christmas Eve, we shared with you, the wonderful news that Gardner Elementary School officials were hard at work setting up the new music room in memory of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Well, today, the LA Times is reporting that the project is nearing completion and the "Michael Jackson Music Education Lab" will have an open house, next Monday.

The Hollywood elementary school that saw Michael Jackson through sixth grade will host an open house for its Michael Jackson Music Education Lab on Monday morning. It's the second building the campus has dedicated to the singer; silver letters in front of the school auditorium already read "The Michael Jackson Auditorium."
Gardner Street Elementary School plans to showcase the lab and new music curriculum during a small reception at 11:00 a.m.

Source: KPCC

The launch of the newly named lab will also feature the new MusIQ program, incorporating Adventus Software for the students of Gardner Street Elementary. The enhanced program will teach students fundamentals of music education, such as elements focusing on composition, arrangement and the ability to read music.

"This is only the second school in California to have this program; it's the first one in the LA Unified District," said Lesley Holmes, the founder and chairwoman for the Friends of Gardnerville, the non-profit organization that supports the elementary school and children by creating funding opportunities for educational programs.

The lab will have pictures of Jackson and a signed chalkboard.
"This was a room that Michael Jackson used when he attended the school in the sixth grade. His presence was made in musical contributions," said Holmes.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

We want to thank all the fans who answered our call and donated to the school. Also, many thanks to the New York fans who brought it to our attention.

The lab was built with donations from various sponsors and The Friends of Gardnerville hope to fully fund the program on their own next year, said Holmes.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

And last but not least, a HUGE thank you to the Gardner School officials and the The Friends of Gardnerville organization for their hard word.

If you wish to personally send a thank you note to the Gardner School officials or The Friends of Gardnerville for

honouring Michael, you can find their contact information on the school page: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Gardner_EL/Site/Welcome.html

or The Friends of Gardnerville blog: http://www.friendsofgardnerville.blogspot.com/

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06-02-2012, 10:00 AM


06-02-2012, 06:30 PM
L.A. Pilgrimage - A Trip to Solvang

The friends from Facebook who undertook a Michaeling journey also visited Solvang. See the pictures below...Pictures and comments used at the courtesy of Jan Carlson.
~ MJJLaugh

Solvang California, home to Danish lifestyle near Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch
California's "Little Denmark" or Solvang is east of U.S. Highway 101 near State Highway 154. Danish immigrants established the town more than 50 years ago in 1911 and chose to adorn the village and homes with architecture reminiscent of their native land. Dedicated to the teachings of crafts and values of their ancestors, Danish is still spoken amongst locals.

This picturesque city is set amidst gently sloped hills and mountains, a 30 minute drive from the Pacific Ocean in nearby Lompoc. Tourism is very popular here with bus loads of travelers stopping in the city for overnight stay. Ranches and farming are also part of the Solvang landscape, as well as wine, gaming, ranching and retirement living in this scenic region of the Central Coast California.

If you plan to go there sometime, and you wonder what else there is to do than to shop for antiques like Michael, look to this website (http://www.santaynezvalleyfavorites.com/) for ideas!
~ MJJLaugh

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The antique shop sign

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Music Box in a beautiful Antiques Shop in Solvang. I am told it was one of Michael's favorite haunts.


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The insides of the disc player previous

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The crown on the front glass of the music player. The nice gentleman (named Michael, of course) played this music box for us.

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Violana Virtuosa. I am told Michael had one that was similar to this one. The price tage is $65,000 USD. Woohoo! I bought two ... not really just kidding.

Solvang - why I love her! Tour of Solvang, California, USA

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07-02-2012, 09:40 PM
L.A. Pilgrimage - (The Road To)Neverland

When I see the scenery of the vicinity of Neverland, it's easy to see how Michael loved living there for the many years he spent there. It's funny to read in an eBook 'Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson' about Michael warning guests not drive with speed as cows like to lie on the road, and they take their own sweet time in moving away.

Being one with nature, for Michael at Neverland, also meant having to replace the flower beds all the time, because the wild pigs come down the canyon and as Michael put it "I haven't found a flower yet that they do not like!" The guest: "You know Michael, any one of these guys walking around here would probably be happy to take those pigs home for dinner. Or you could actually trap them and have them moved to a neighboring ranch in the back country where they wouldn't bother you." Michael's reply was typically Michael, the lover of nature and animals: "No, I wouldn't do that, I moved into their home, you know"

So, for those of you who, like me, haven't been to Neverland (yet), thanks to my Facebook friends who did make this trip, here are the pictures that show the splendor of the nature of Neverland:

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Michael's Road

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Standing at the entry at Neverland gates

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Finally at Neverland!
Neverland is a 2 and a half hour drive from LA... but time flies when you are talking about Michael the whole way. Ahhhh..... heaven xxx

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Golden hills above Neverland

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Inside the gates of Neverland with security guard shack.

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Two trees inside Neverland

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view outside Neverland

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The split-rail fence at Neverland at sundown

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sundown at Neverland

( PS. If you don't have a Kindle or other ebook reader yet, you can simply download a free program found on the web called 'Kindle for PC' and with this you can read any purchased eBook. It's what I did. ~ MJJLaugh)


Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson - http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Neverland-Michael-Jackson-ebook/dp/B0062PE724/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328650485&sr=8-1-spell


08-02-2012, 10:42 PM
L.A. Pilgrimage - Forest Lawn and Holly Terrace

It is so good to see the exquisitely made cards and letters for Michael, one more astounding than the other, all professing of an everlasting love beyond space and time, and being inspired by Michael to become a better person. Not to mention all the gifts, the flowers and other tokens of fond remembrance of a uniquely talented man, father, brother, son, artist, humanitarian, whose life and death impacted millions around the world to this day. He will live on forever, as he wished, because he too, like Michelangelo, bound his soul to his work and gave his heart to the world. "We Had Him" as Maya Angelou expressed so soulfully in her poem, at Michael's memorial.

Yet I will not post them here, the photos of the letters and the cards, as they are between Michael and the person who made it so artfully and thought carefully about the right words that would express the depth of his or her love and gratitude. This needs to be respected and remain within the privacy of the friends it is shared with originally.

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Michael's Ascension window at Holly Terrace

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Andrew Wilson lying on the flagstones at Holly Terrace to take the following picture. It was easier for him to get down there ... and back up ... than it was for me ... LOL!

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The photo Andrew took lying on the ground.

Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the Creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The Creator and the creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing — until there is only ... the dance.
~ Michael Jackson

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Flowers at Holly Terrace

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Japanese Kimono hand beaded by its wearer. Lord this thing was beautiful!

If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
~ Michael Jackson (Dancing the Dream, 1992. Also used on his funeral invitation)

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Six white roses that I purchased at the flower shop for our second visit to Forrest Lawn. Loved the butterfly so I stuck it in there, too. I just put them down ... please notice the shadow here folks ... this is another one of those little miracles I mentioned.

Photos and accompanying texts are courtesy of Siren Lovesmj and Jan Carlson.

10-02-2012, 04:19 PM
L.A. Pilgrimage - Hollywood Walk of Fame, Graumann Chinese Theater and the Hard Rock Cafe

Photos and text courtesy of Siren Lovesmj and Jan Carlson.

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After a very late night and an early morning... we were all off to Hollywood Blvd to spend the day at Michael's star. It is another magical place infused with Michael's energy. When you go there you never want to leave. It's just beside the Chinese Theatre, and the traffic and people are crazy... but Michael's star has this bubble of beautiful energy that surrounds it and you feel transported. We lit candles and took flowers and cards for Michael and sat there the entire day, meeting people and answering questions and just spreading the Love! Never wanted it to end.

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After Michael's star, we stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. The waiter there was fantastic. He took us on a bit of a tour and showed us all the Michael things they had on display, including this fedora and a photo taken at his star on June 25th 2009.

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Photos of Michael the day his star was added to the Walk of Fame on display at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood Blvd.

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Jennifer Batten's Bad tour jacket on display at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood Blvd.

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After our day at the star, it was off to the Staples Center for the Immortal show. It was fantastic. There was even a flash mob out front just before the show started. So much fun! I noticed they had made some minor changes to the show since I saw it in Canada. I thought it was even better actually. Hope you all get a chance to see it. It was really amazing to be able to see it in the Staples Center. We wanted so much to touch the stage...

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A small pink heart stone left for Michael on a ledge by the doors of Holly Terrace. Remember this stone... it shows up again later... ♥

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The next day, Brenda, Jan, Char and myself all set out for Neverland again. We decided to take a quick detour past Michael's star on the way, and much to our suprise - they were placing Michael's stone infront of the Chinese theatre. Perfect timing by the master himself... and dfinitely Divine intervention!

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The Broken Heart Stone was donated by Andrew (whom we met the night before at dinner with Betty Byrnes) and it was placed alongside the one made by Michael's children.

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The Broken Heart Stone. Andrew Wilson said that he found a small heart-shaped jewel-encrusted fob at Holly Terrace that said "Love" on one side and "A gift from above" on the other and laid it directly beneath the stone before it was set into the concrete. How beautiful and appropriate.

11-02-2012, 04:03 PM
L.A. Pilgrimage - Spreading the Love

There are many fans of Michael who possess talents, such as the ability to paint or draw. Many of these fans are inspired to draw Mchael's face or a pose of Michael performing, throughout the years. Combine such a drawing or painting with one of his extraordinary quotes, and by leaving cards with their art, Michael's message of Love is spread around the world.
Two of my friends, each with their own unique style, make such cards: Marjolein, please see her website http://www.lukas-art.com/
Siren sells her art, but 100% of the proceeds go to one of Michael's favorite charities.25% of her commissioned work also goes to charities. Here's the link to her art:

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Spreading his message...
One of the many art/quote cards that we left around the city for others to discover our Angel's Love ♥

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Spreading His message
It was so much fun finding places to leave my art/quote cards. Brenda and I got quite creative. LOL

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Some huge cardboard standups of Michael in a store on Hollywod Blvd. I fell in total LOVE with the third one. O. M. G.

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After the ceremony at the Chinese Theatre, Brenda and I stopped for lunch on Hollywood Blvd. The food in LA is amazing and the portion sizes are insane! You could feed a family of four with one persons meal. Brenda's personal size pizza took up almost the whole table.
Couldnt resist spreading His message while we were there.
The waiter did a double-take when he tried to show us the dessert menu. lol

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Spreading the Love - Marjolein's way!... on a park bench overlooking the beautiful bay.

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Spreading the Love Marjolein's way... at Neverland!

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12-02-2012, 11:03 AM
Whitney Houston - Another one of Michael's Friends is Gone Too Soon



Image Credit: Retna Ltd.

Celebrities are turning to Twitter tonight to express their remorse and shock over the passing of Whitney Houston, who died at the age of 48.

Sharon Osbourne: Clive Davis Grammy party..not going. Mark Burnett party..not going. Can’t celebrate tonight when one of the greatest voices ever is dead.

Chaka Khan: I’m speechless…I’m in shock right now. Just pray for her and the family.

Ricky Martin: RIP Whitney Houston. Sending my love and deepest condolences to her family and friends. Fly Whitney Fly

Mariah Carey: She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.

Bette Midler: Please, please someone tell me it’s not true…

Rihanna: No words, just tears.

Wyclef Jean: This is the saddest thing I’ve ever had to write in my life, R I P to one of the greatest humans that I have ever known Whitney Houston

Queen Latifah: Oh Dear Lord! Huritng so Bad!!! MY Sister Whitney!!!!!!! Newark please Pray!!! World Please Pray!

Paula Abdul: I am devastated. I am absolutely devastated at the news about Whitney Houston. Such a tragic, tragic loss.

Christina Aguilera: We have lost another legend.

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Nick Cannon: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.. RIP to Whitney Houston a true queen.

Tony Bennett: It’s a tragedy. Whitney Houston was the greatest singer I’ve ever heard and she will be truly missed.

Forest Whitaker: May gods breath surround you, Whitney. And may you be held in the arms of the angels. Please, pray to comfort all those who hold her dear

will.i.am: I’m so sad…whitney houston was so kind, sweet, wonderful, amazing, talented, and a true gift to the world

Marlee Matlin: So sad. I recall seeing Whitney chat with Michael Jackson at Sammy Davis Jr.’s house for his 60th anniversary party. All talented, all gone.

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Sherri Shephard: Goodnight Everybody. I’m going to tuck my son into bed and sing “Yes Jesus Loves Me”… I’m no Whitney Houston, but love is on my mind.
Ellen DeGeneres: Very sad news about Whitney. My heart and prayers go out to her daughter and family.

Jessica Simpson: I found my voice singing Whitney Houston’s music. Today I lost my idol.

Simon Cowell: I am so sad to hear about Whitney. We have lost one of the greatest singers of all time.

Bret Michaels: My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Whitney Houston. A legend with the voice of an angel, she will be missed.

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Adam Shankman: I choreographed I’m your baby tonight miss you angel

Kelly Osbourne: Not going to any pre grammy parties as i dont feel it is appropriate!

David Boreanaz: R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Sing among the Angels forever and ever.

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Whitney Houston Gives Michael Jackson Award ( 1989)

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ThzvhG696hE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

RIP Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson

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13-02-2012, 10:24 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art - Part I

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Text on the card reads: I'm speechless. Your gifts were soooo Thoughful. I loved the pictures of the children, they are Truly wonderful little Beings. I love you So Much For your loyalty and love. Thanx, Love, Michael Jackson

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Text on the paper: I love you more than words can say. Thank you for your Loyalty. Love, Michael Jackson

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Text on the photo: To Travis. Remember the sky is the limit, climb every mountain, Pioneer, inovate(sp). Believe in your Ideals because you are Godsent. Thanx Love Michael Jackson

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Text on paper: Greg thanks for a Magic Moment in my life,I hope it was the same for you, please come to visit me at Neverland. Let's hope this is the beginning of a long friendship and never lose your Boyish Spirit it's imortal(sp). Love always, M. Jackson
A note written to Greg Hildebrandt who spent time with Michael giving him drawing lessons and doing art work for him.

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Text: Let's Heal the World Together This is my dream. Love Michael Jackson

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Text: To each and everyone of you, I'm so proud to be back in Hamburg. You make me so Happy, I love you Michael Jackson



14-02-2012, 10:35 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art - Part II

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Text: Our eyes are the windows to the world

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Party Girl

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The Power of Thought



15-02-2012, 10:34 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art - Part III

As you can see from these sketches Michael also loved to draw caricatures of people. Unfortunately it is unclear if he depicted someone he knew or just a face that stood out in a crowd. Imagine being Michael and seeing the world and people from his perspective. People yelling and screaming his name, fainting, very shy, the adoration. What is clear is that Michael was very versatile and multi-talented. Uniquely so!!
I used to love to draw too, drawings hung on all my walls, until I grew older and decided that I didn't have any talent at drawing whatsoever. Yeah, copying other drawings slightly bigger or smaller but that is not the real thing is it ? Nowadays I only paint walls and furniture, but I love that, gets me into the "flow".

I was happy for Michael that he had an escape during his trials and tribulations, by going incognito to a hangar somewhere where he could paint and draw to forget the harsh, cold world outside that hangar. A safe haven with an artist friend to paint and create magic on paper!! Enjoy Michael's artwork!
~ MJJLaugh

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16-02-2012, 08:53 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art - Part III





Michael felt a kinship to Charlie Chaplin, because Charlie Chaplin too first performed at the tender age of 6, like Michael did, so Charlie Chaplin didn't have much of a childhood either.
When the Jackson 5 visited London in 1979 the photographer Tony Prime showed them the street in South London where Charlie Chaplin lived. He took photo's of Michael there, dressed up as Charlie Chaplin.

Here are some of the pictures Michael made of Charlie Chaplin:

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Michael did this Chaplin charcoal when he was just 9 years old.

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Chaplin done in 1991 by MJ

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Another Chaplin drawing

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One of his favorite art subjects Chaplin

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Chaplin done in mirror image

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A Chaplin done at a young age

Michael Jackson & Charlie Chaplin Messages Of A Better World

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18-02-2012, 07:37 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art - Part IV

If you say 'pillow-talk' to any Michael Jackson, he or she will smile and nod in understanding. Michael had a very special bond with all of his fans. While on tour he expressed his love for all the fans by writing on the hotel pillow and showing it to the fans chanting below, or it would be thrown down to the fans.
Of course, he did so much more than writing message of love on pillow-cases. Michael would also have his security guards bring blankets to the fans who camped outside to catch a glimpse of him. And he would order food, pizzas by the dozen, for the fans who withstood the cold and yelled to Michael how much they loved him, and he loved us more! :heart:
I know that one of these images wasn't written on a pillowcase, but it is too good to miss out on.
~ MJJLaugh

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I love you all so so much. I'm very lonely without you, you are my life always, please love me always "Burn" all tabloids. Love, Michael Jackson

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Love you so much, please love me too, Love Michael Jackson

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India, all my life I have longed to see your face. I met you and your people and fell in love, with you. Now my heart is filled with sorrow and despair for I have to leave you, but I promise I shall return to love you and caress you again. Your kindness has overwhelmed me, your spiritual awareness has moved me, and your children have truly touched my heart. They are the face of God. I truly love and adore you India. Forever, continue to love, heal and educate the children, the future shines on them. You are my special love, India. Forever, may God always bless you.

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I must sleep now, I truly love you all forever I promise. Love Michael Jackson

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I love Paris. I'm going to sleep Goodnight Love Michael Jackson

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You Make me sooo Happy I can feel your energy through the walls. The sky is the limit Higher contiousness always working hard, as always, music film, performance I Love you"

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Lets burn all tabloids mountains of them worldwide MJ

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I want to heal the world, Help our children and they hate me for it. they want to destroy anyone right----- I adore all of you, Love, Michael Jackson

19-02-2012, 08:29 PM
MJ's Autographs and Art

All over the walls of my room are pictures of Peter Pan. I've read everything that Barrie wrote. I totally identify with Peter Pan, the lost boy from Never Neverland.
_ Michael Jackson

“The Wizard Of Oz" has secrets that are just too much. Or "Peter Pan" – the whole 'lost boys' thing is just incredible. They’re not childlike at all, they’re really, really deep; you can rule your life by them. Or say 'child-like', because children are the most brilliant people of all, that’s why they relate to those stories so well. Fairy-tales are wonderful.”
― Michael Jackson

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“In their innocence, very young children know themselves to be light and love. If we will allow them, they can teach us to see ourselves the same way. ”
― Michael Jackson

“They say that parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another.”
― Michael Jackson

“And that's what innocence is. It's simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view. If you are locked into a pattern of thinking and responding, your creativity gets blocked. You miss the freshness and magic of the moment. Learn to be innocent again, and that freshness never fades.”
― Michael Jackson

“Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone.”
― Michael Jackson

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I have learned that it is what you put in your mind mentally, what you think and do, that makes your person. And you can put any mental object in this mind and it will bring it into reality. So this means, we can program ourselves to be the people we want to be, whatever the subject matter is, live in it by a mental physical program, a system of learning and doing. Studying all the greats in that field and becoming greater. My program will consist of,

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Michael had a fascination with the number 7. He even had it on some of his clothing.
• Michael Jackson signed his will on 7/7/02.
• Michael Jackson's memorial was on 7/7/09 ... exactly 7 years after the will was signed.
• Michael Jackson's two biggest hits -- "Black & White" and "Billie Jean" — were each #1 for 7 weeks.
• Michael Jackson's three biggest albums — "Thriller," "Bad" and "Dangerous" — each produced 7 top 40 hits.
• Michael Jackson was the 7th of 9 children.
• Michael Jackson was born in 1958 ... 19 + 58 = 77.
• Michael Jackson died on the 25th ... 2 + 5 = 7.
• Michael Jackson has 7 letters in his first and last name.
Michaels 2005 Trial ended after 7 days of Jury deliberation.

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And then someone made this work of art:
(If you know who made it, could you please let me know ? )

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Done by Michael as a young boy. He was concerned about the state of humanity even then.
What song does this drawing remind you of ? And the pose ? This has 'Earth Song' written all over it! 'Earth Song' and the images for the short film and live performance gestated all those years!




20-02-2012, 12:07 AM
:girl_love: This is my new favorite thread. It just reinforces why I'm completely in love with him.

20-02-2012, 10:36 PM
Michael Jackson - Song of the Blue Lotus

Looking back on Michael's life, with the hardships, torments (by the media and very greedy families), but also the immense success, the limelight, the love he spoke of, the love he felt, the compassion that drove him to aid sick and dying children, underprivileged children, all of that makes it not so very odd that one of my Facebook friends laid a link between Michael and a lotus flower. After all, a lotus starts with its roots deeply anchored in mud, but strives upwards, through murky and cold waters, guided by Love and Light, into warmer and clearer waters until her head is above the water, and she can unfold her petals to shine like she was meant to shine. Michael rose from humble beginnings into superstardom but despite the 'murky waters' that surrounded him, he stood firm and tall and pure, not to be distracted from his highest goal, which was much more about being Jesus-like, helping others and making a change, than it was about selling records. He used his fame for the benefit of mankind, to show us the way to pure love, believing in yourself, never giving up and spreading joy and happiness around him.

So, when I read the words of my friend, which are not meant to be shared here, I felt an instant recognition and a deep connection in the linking of Michael to a lotus flower and more specifically what it represents in a spiritual manner. Within an hour I had made the following video, I think I never made a video that fast and found the perfect song so quickly. Some of the lyrics are movingly applicable to Michael:

"Love has many tongues, she speaks through songs and flowers,
there are portals all around, in the sky and underground" and also:

"A cosmic essence so refined, a distllation of the heart Divine
This flower speaks of higher things, this flower loves you when she sings"

Michael Jackson - Song of the Bue Lotus

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/P8yabOKoYsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

You can link to the video on Youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8yabOKoYsU

(The music is by Asher Quinn, you can check out his website, read lyrics, listen to complete songs here (http://asherquinn.co.uk/). Put the sound on for the samples!)

The lotus flower, a type of water lily, is held sacred among many of the world's religions and cultures. With its roots in the mud, the lotus rises through the murky water to blossom clean and bright, symbolizing to the Buddhist purity, resurrection and the enlightened being who emerges undefiled from the chaos and illusion of the world. The eight-petalled lotus that is used in Buddhist mandalas symbolizes cosmic harmony, and the thousand-petalled lotus represents spiritual illumination.

The Hindus of India noted that the ungerminated seeds of the lotus contain perfectly formed leaves, a blueprint for the future plant. Thus to the Hindu, the lotus represents divine ideation passing from abstract into concrete form.

The lotus is featured prominently in Egyptian art and architecture, especially in connection with Egypt's temples. In Egyptian mythology, the lotus was associated with the sun, because it blooms by day and closes by night. The lotus also symbolized rebirth, since one Egyptian creation myth tells of the newborn sun god rising out of a floating lotus. The blue lotus was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who valued it not only for its rich perfume but also for its narcotic ability to produce heightened awareness and tranquillity.

To Native Americans, who found all parts of the American lotus edible, the flower symbolized the sun's power to transform energy into food. The seeds were once an especially important part of the Native American diet; in fact, the genus name Nelumbo means "sacred bean."

The lotus is also highly esteemed by Taoists. Among the Eight Immortals of Taoism is Ho Hsien Ku, her symbol the open lotus blossom, signifying openness and wisdom. A feature of the lotus plant that has found its way into Chinese poetry is its stalk, which is easy to bend but difficult to break because of its many strong fibres. Poets liken this quality to the bonds between lovers or family members. The lotus flower is a favorite of Taoist artists, who paint it to remind us of the miracle of beauty, light and life, and to communicate an understanding of the Tao and of our place in the world.

21-02-2012, 09:32 PM
James DeBarge - How Michael Jackson Saved My Life


James DeBarge, the drug addicted ex-husband of Janet Jackson, appeared on ‘Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers’ alongside two of his troubled siblings, Bunny and Randy, seeking some life changing therapy to help deal with their drug addiction and family issues.

James recounts how he was once suicidal and reveals that Janet’s big brother Michael Jackson talked him down from a roof…


I was going to jump and everyone was losing it… He [Michael] was the only one not freaking out!

He seemed to be familiar with my pain… He knew I needed someone to talk to, so he was that ear. We just talked all night and I forgot that I was even on the roof and that I was going to jump.”


The musical family is no stranger to problems. El DeBarge (the most successful of the group) just recently returned to the music scene after abruptly leaving his comeback tour to check into rehab.



22-02-2012, 09:58 PM
Was Michael Jackson Black Enough?
Posted by Willa and Joie

"I don't hire color, I hire compentence."
~ Michael Jackson


Willa: This week Joie and I wanted to dance with one of those elephants in the room and address the recurring criticism that Michael Jackson wasn’t “Black enough.” We’re not talking about skin color. We’re talking about the criticism that began way back in the 1970s and 80s, when critics would look at his penny loafers and his public persona and say he wasn’t doing enough to embrace his Black heritage.

Joie: OK, this is a hard one for me. Not because I don’t know where I stand on this issue but, because this question makes me a little angry for a couple of reasons. One of them is that it’s a question that has been leveled at me on more than one occasion. I had a very middle-class upbringing and the schools I went to in the 1970s and ’80s were a pretty good mix of Black and White. But because I chose not to strictly hang out with only the other Black kids and instead had many friends who were White, suddenly I was trying to be a White girl. And this criticism came not just from other Black kids, but from one of my own siblings as well. Never mind the fact that I had more in common with the kids I chose to hang out with than I did the kids who looked like me. That, apparently wasn’t the point. But here’s the thing… I’m still not really sure what the point is and I don’t believe anyone else knows either.

My nephew, whom I adore, recently graduated from Morehouse College. It’s an all Black, all male campus (its female counterpart, Spelman, is just across the road). I asked him what he thought of this “Black enough” question and I have to admit I was a little saddened by his response. Saddened because he said that even on an all Black campus, there were guys who had to endure this same criticism – either because of the way they dressed (like fitted clothes instead of baggy or relaxed hair instead of natural) or who they dated (White girlfriends instead of Black). Well, by that standard, there are any number of Black people out there – both male and female (myself included) who are just not Black enough anymore! Why, oh why didn’t someone tell me that by relaxing my hair and entering into an interracial marriage that I was selling out my race! Oh the shame!! Guess it’s a good thing I’m a firm believer that we all come from the same race – the Human one!


Willa: Joie, that sentence, “I’m still not really sure what the point is and I don’t believe anyone else knows either,” really caught my attention. Because what exactly is the underlying issue here? I do understand the fear that a group’s cultural heritage will be lost. I really do get that. My grandfather’s grandmother was Potawatomi, but except for a few quilt squares they made together when he was a child and an old sepia-toned photograph, I have no access to my great-great-grandmother or to that culture. That’s all completely lost to me. If I’m filling out a form and have to check a box to identify myself, I check White. Even if I’m allowed to check more than one box, I still only check White. Genetically I’m a little bit Potawatomi, but culturally I’m not, and it would feel presumptuous to me to claim a connection to a heritage I know nothing about. I really regret that that heritage has been lost to me, but at this point it has.

At the same time, I find it very troubling when commentators, especially White commentators, criticize Michael Jackson or President Obama or any Black public figure for allegedly not embracing a more-traditional Black identity. For one thing, it assumes there’s only one definition of Black and that everyone who is Black should conform to it. I know if I were shopping at the grocery store in jeans and a t-shirt and a man came up to me and told me I needed to embrace my femininity, I’d be pretty taken aback by it – and a little offended, frankly. What right does he have to impose his ideas about what’s feminine onto me? I get to decide for myself what’s feminine and what isn’t, or whether or not I even want to be feminine, whatever that means, and I think most people would agree with me.


Yet somehow it’s OK for White commentators to impose their definition of what’s Black onto Michael Jackson. And generally when they say that, it doesn’t feel like it’s expressing concern for Black culture. It feels like a put-down, of a really manipulative and insidious kind.

Joie: That’s because it is a put-down. But here’s what really bothers me about this issue, Willa, and it’s something that you just touched on. And I would like for all of those doing the criticizing to really pay attention and understand this: what is a “traditional Black identity?” Because the truth is that whatever your response is to that question will undoubtedly be a stereotype. There is NO SUCH THING as a “traditional Black identity.” There are as many different “kinds” of Black people as there are shades of Black. We come from all walks of life, from all social and economic backgrounds – contrary to what the media would have you believe! And why is it that if I’m listening to Rap music and talking in slang, that’s OK but, if I’m listening to Heavy Metal and speaking articulately, then I have lost touch with my heritage? In my nephew’s words…. why are we allowing pop culture to be the measuring stick by which we decide who’s “Black enough?” In order to really be Black you have to wear certain clothes and listen to/sing certain music and date certain people and speak a certain way? That’s just plain silly. And that line of thinking that insists all Black people must conform to a certain stereotype is, in a way, its own weird form of internal, self-imposed racism. I don’t understand that thinking at all. I mean, if all Black people went through life taking this view to heart, how much beauty and wonder would the world be deprived of because of it? Would there even be a Michael Jackson for us to discuss then?


So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, YES! Michael Jackson was plenty Black enough. And so are Darius Rucker and Charlie Pride, for that matter! Whoever said that music has to be color-coded? Who said that our Black public figures had to fit into some imaginary stereotypical pigeon hole in order to be seen as valid? Why can’t we simply take pride in the fact that Michael Jackson – a proud Black man – became the greatest, most celebrated entertainer of all time, beloved by millions the world over? Why can’t we take pride in the knowledge that Michael Jackson – a proud Black man – became the most influential musical innovator in the world; he never followed the trends, he set them! Why can’t we just celebrate the fact that Michael Jackson – a proud Black man – is responsible for the biggest-selling album in history? [b]He will forever be known as the one and only King of Pop. A Black man did that! A proud, beautiful, strong, hard-working Black man did all that and so much more! Why can’t we just celebrate him instead of accusing him of not being “Black enough?”

I guess the real reason this question upsets me is because I find it extremely insulting that it is never asked of anyone else. No one ever asks is Jackie Chan Chinese enough or is Robin Thicke White enough? I mean really, let’s just look at that for a minute. Robin Thicke is a very talented singer with a really wonderful voice. But he sings R&B and he kind of talks Black and he is married to a beautiful Black woman so, I don’t know…. I think maybe he’s sold out his White heritage. Is anybody worried about that?


Willa: That’s a really interesting point, and one I’d never thought about before. I’ve never once in my life questioned if I was White enough, and I’ve never felt I had to rein myself in or second guess myself or limit myself in any way to conform with my racial identification. I can wear my hair straight or permed or even in dreadlocks, I can have French toast for breakfast and sushi for lunch and fish tacos for supper, I can fall under the spell of a book by Toni Morrison or Leslie Marmon Silko or Maxine Hong Kingston, and it’s simply not an issue. Because I’m White and belong to the “dominant” culture, I can explore other cultures as much as I want and it doesn’t threaten my identity in any way. And no one ever questions that. I could be accused of appropriating someone else’s culture, which is a whole other issue. But I’ve never had to deal with the kinds of external criticisms or internal self-doubts you’re talking about.


Maybe that’s what Michael Jackson was referring to in the rap section of “Black or White” when he wrote, “I’m not going to spend my life being a color.” I believe Michael Jackson resisted anything that led us to limit ourselves, including our age, gender, nationality, sexuality, or racial identification. As you said, he “was plenty Black enough” – he was a direct heir of James Brown and Jackie Wilson and Sammy Davis, Jr., and was very proud of that – but he reserved the right to define for himself what it means to be Black.


Ideally, everyone should have that right of self-definition, of defining for ourselves who we are and who we want to be. Artists tend to experiment with that right of self-definition more than most people – and no one pushed that right of self-definition further than Michael Jackson did. He absolutely refused to be boxed in by other people’s expectations of him. If he wanted to wear red lipstick, he did. However, that resistance to cultural expectations has a long history as well. Josephine Baker and James Baldwin severely challenged the cultural roles laid out for them, but that doesn’t in any way suggest that they didn’t respect their Black heritage. Instead, they were extending it, and creating a new chapter in the history of Black culture. And as you described so well, Michael Jackson boldly created a whole new chapter all his own.

I think Michael Jackson was a transformative cultural figure who profoundly influenced how we as a people perceive and experience the differences that segment and divide us – differences of race, gender, age, religion, nationality, sexuality – and I believe he was the most important artist of our time. Not the most important Black artist. The most important artist, period. No artist since Warhol has challenged and changed us the way Michael Jackson did. And ironically, he accomplished that, in part, by defying the very constraints he’s accused of transgressing.

Joie: Wow. I love the way you put that: “…by defying the very constraints he’s accused of transgressing.” You’re so right. And I really believe it was his goal to unite the world – all races, all colors, all nationalities – through his gift of music. He once told reporter Sylvia Chase:

“When they’re all holding hands, and everybody’s rockin’ and all colors of people are there, all races… it’s the most wonderful thing. Politicians can’t even do that!”

The awe in his voice as he said those words to her is so real and so reverent, you just know that he truly is moved by the sight of it. You can feel it in his voice and I believe that he really felt what he sang in “Black or White”: “If you’re thinkin’ of being my brother / it don’t matter if you’re Black or White.” I believe those lyrics really spoke to him and were important to him. I think on the surface, it was seen by most people as a sweet,”can’t-we-all-just-get-along,” yeah unity type of song but, really it was a very serious message that he was trying to get across to us all. It really doesn’t matter if you’re Black or White, and all of the judging and the labeling is only serving to keep us all down. Is someone Black enough? White enough? Chinese enough? Puerto Rican enough? That’s not even a valid question. Certainly not one that anybody – of any race – should ever be asking of anyone else because only the individual can answer that question. Only I have the right to ask if I’m Black enough just like only you, Willa, have the right to ask if you’re White enough. And only Michael Jackson had the right to question whether or not he was Black enough. And I think he answered that question for us over and over again both in his art and in the causes he chose to support, like the United Negro College Fund and the Equality For Blacks in the Music World conference.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3T1msn8_OenXQwCZXf1wfO8fXWDO9J JhKPxVNwjk01_SsVibotbrS6FnUog



23-02-2012, 12:58 PM
''A summary of the words spoken by eminent professors,thinkers, social critics and historians Dr. Michael Eric Dyson & Dr. Cornel West asessing the legacy, the cultural impact , social and musical influence, and the capacity of an icon to break all barriers possible.
A must listen.! This is so eloquent, sober, accurate, interesting, passionate, respectful, vivid, emotional, heartfelt..best I've heard lately.''


MJ TinkerBell
23-02-2012, 08:29 PM

''A summary of the words spoken by eminent professors,thinkers, social critics and historians Dr. Michael Eric Dyson & Dr. Cornel West asessing the legacy, the cultural impact , social and musical influence, and the capacity of an icon to break all barriers possible.
A must listen.! This is so eloquent, sober, accurate, interesting, passionate, respectful, vivid, emotional, heartfelt..best I've heard lately.''


24-02-2012, 09:31 PM
The song 'HIStory'

HIStory is a great song because it is an anthem as well as a history overview of important steps forward, for humanity and for Blacks. Plus the song is about leaving your own mark of destiny, about inspiring and motivating others, about ending violence and the struggles and an appeal to follow the right path:

"How many victims must there be
Slaughtered in vain across the land
And how many struggles must there be
Before we choose to live the prophet's plan"

"Don't let no one get you down
Keep movin' on higher ground
Keep flying until
You are the king of the hill
No force of nature can break
Your will to self motivate
She say this face that you see
Is destined for history"

It was also a call for peace and harmony around the world:

"All nations sing
Let's harmonize all around the world"


This was visually shown on stage by many nation's flags that were carried together on stage. The song is an appeal not to let division rule the world, but to let love and 'the prophet's plan' join the world, to harmonize around the world.

"HIStory" was originally written and composed by Michael Jackson, James Harris III and Terry Lewis in 1995. It was the thirteenth track on the studio album HIStory, but was not released as a single. The song sampled multiple musical compositions and historical audio quotes, all of which were dispersed throughout the track. Early in the track, one even included quotes from an interview with a young Michael Jackson from 1970. Musical compositions sampled include "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" and "Pictures at an Exhibition". Audio quotes sampled were the "Charles Lindbergh Report" by Lowell Thomas, a report on Hank Aaron, "Robert Kennedy Eulogy" by Edward Kennedy, "Farewell to Baseball" by Lou Gehrig, "Greetings to the Children of England" by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, a quote from Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream". ( Source: Wikipedia)

And, did you know that a sample of a classical masterpiece was used in the song 'HIStory'

Listen to 'The Great Gate of Kiev' by Mussorgsky:

sample appears at 0:00

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Here's the complete speech 'I have a dream' by Martin Luther King, it is really worth listening to!


sample appears at 1:07 and 12:27


( If you have difficulty understanding English, you can read or google/translate the text here (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm)

And there's of course the words spoken by Neil Armstrong, who walked on the moon (1969), but Michael is the Moonwalker!

sample appears at 0:05

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Malcolm X - By any means necessary (1964)''

Sample appears at 4:30

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And a sample was taken from the 'Robert Kennedy Eulogy' by Edward Kennedy:







26-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Dedication to Benjamin "Benny" Hermansen on the Invincible Album

Now you may scratch behind your ears and think to yourself how on earth a dedication on a pop-album to a young Ghanese murdered boy can be positive and thus befitting to this thread ? Remember my friends that bad things do happen all around us, every day. It is what we do with those bad things that can make the difference! Do we harden ourselves to protect against the pain of suffering and risk becoming indifferent ? Do we march in protest or in silent candle vigil for those slain in brutal racist attack ? Do we despair and bow our heads in defeat, with heavy hearts, unable to comprehend these senseless acts of violence and rage ? Or do we stand still for a moment, in silent prayer for victim and perpetrator to see what life is really all about ? It is not the color of our skin, the money in our pockets or the beauty of our faces, the size of our cars and houses, but the size of the human heart to care deeply about the condition of the planet and humanity, to do what is within our power: if you are teacher you can educate the young! If you are a speaker you can let your voice be heard for the voiceless, if you are a composer you can write the music that speaks of freedom and equality, if you are a philosopher you can create an allegory that leads from form, the outside with all the diffences, to the essence, the inside with the surprising amount of commonalities, if you are a parent be the person you want your children to become.
Do not ever think that you are small or insignificant and therefore cannot make a difference. We all speak the language of love, and we all can make a difference, each in his or her own way. Michael chose to dedicate his album 'Invincible' to "Benny" Hermansen.
~ MJJLaugh


Pop singer Michael Jackson dedicated his 2001 album Invincible to Benjamin Hermansen (and also to his own parents and grandmother). The reason for this has partly to do with the fact that the Holmlia boy Omer Bhatti and Jackson were close friends, and Bhatti was at the same time a good friend of Benjamin Hermansen. On the album cover, next to the image of a rose, it reads:[3][4]

Michael Jackson gives "special thanks": «This album is dedicated to Benjamin ‘Benny’ Hermansen. May we continue to remember not to judge man by the color of his skin, but the content of his Character. Benjamin … we love you … may you rest in peace.»

Benjamin Hermansen (May 29, 1985 – January 26, 2001) was a Norwegian-Ghanaian boy whose father was born in Ghana, his mother was Norwegian. He was stabbed to death at Holmlia in Oslo, Norway, just before midnight on January 26, 2001 by people from the Neo-Nazi group BootBoys. Joe Erling Jahr and Ole Nicolai Kvisler were convicted of the murder and sentenced to 18 and 17 years in prison respectively. A third defendant, Veronica Andreassen, was convicted on a lesser charge of abetting bodily harm causing death and sentenced to three years in prison.

Since the murder was motivated by racism, it mobilised large parts of the Norwegian population. Throughout the entire country, marches were organised to protest against the murder, with nearly 40,000 people participating in Oslo.

Hermansen was buried on February 6, 2001. "Song to Benjamin", written by several of his friends for the service, was presented at his funeral.The song was later recorded in studio by artists including Noora Noor and Briskeby.

Benjamin Hermansen

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27-02-2012, 10:09 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. - Someone Michael Admired

If you are a regular visitor and reader of this thread, you will remember the posts some time ago about Michael's favorite books in his extensive library. Some of these books I knew well myself, others I ordered later and started to read them myself.

In this post I want to share with you some writings and parts of speeches by Martin Luther King's hand. I am inspired by his words and maybe you will be too!
~ MJJLaugh

A sketch of Martin Luther King by Michael Jackson

The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

"The Length of Life, as we shall use it, is not its duration, not its longivity. It is rather the push of a life forward to its personal ends and ambitions. It si the inward concern for one's personal welfare. The Breath of Life is the outward concern for the welfare of others. The Height of Life is the upward reach toward God. These are the three dimensions of life, and, without the due development of all, no life becomes complete. Life at its best is a great triangle. At one angle stands the individual person, at the other angle stands other persons, and at the tip top stands God. Unless these three are concatenated, working harmoniously together in a single life, that life is incomplete."
- From sermon delivered at Dexter, January 24, 1954.

Looking Beyond Your Circumstances

"The Negro who experiences bitter and agonizing circumstances as a result of some ungodly white person is tempted to look upon all white persons as evil, if he fails to look beyond his circumstances. But the minute he looks beyond his circumstances and sees the whole of the situation, he discovers that some of the most implacable and vehement advocates of racial equality are consecrated white persons. We must never forget that such a noble organization as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was organized by whites, and even to this day gains a great deal of support from Nothern and Southern white persons."
- Sermon delivered at Dexter, 1955

Nonviolent Resistance

"Nonviolent resistance had emerged as the technique of the movement, while love stood as the regulating ideal. In other words, Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method."
- page 67 of the book

"...We argued this point at some length with the groups of African students who were studying in India. They felt that nonviolent resistance could only work in a situation where the resisters has a potential ally in the conscience of the opponent. We soon discovered that they, like many others, tended to confuse passive resistance with nonresistance. This is completely wrong. True nonviolent resistance is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love, in the faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflicter of it, since the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe, while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart."
- page 130 of the book

The Purpose of Education

"To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction."
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

"The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society."
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education

Martin Luther King and Michael Jackson- Greatest demonstration for freedom

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Book called "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr" see also http://www.amazon.com/Autobiography-Martin-Luther-King-Jr/dp/B0029LHX26/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330380438&sr=8-1

28-02-2012, 06:46 PM
You Can Help To Save This Boy's Life



We all know that Michael helped children in whatever way he could: through donations to the UNCF he enabled talented and intelligent young people to get a college education. He made sure, searching the entire world for a liver, that helped then 5 year old Hungarian Bela Farkas to continue living. He visited countless children in hospitals and orphanages, bringing gifts with him, blankets, medical supplies and so on to regions where (civil) war had raged, famine had plagued the young and innocent. There is a Jewish proverb that says: If you save one man, you save the entire world. I am pretty sure the same will apply to children who are our future!


Today, while at work, I listened for the first time to the Immortal CD via headphones. At that very moment I found a website with a n article that I want to share here. I believe that Michael's spirit led me to this website, in a time when my posts deal with race and/or racism and how Michael dealt with all that he encountered. It is no coincidence then that this little boy has extra difficulty in finding the right donor, because he is biracial; half caucasian and half chinese. He can be half of any two races, we need to be 100% love and help this little boy to keep on living! :heart:
~ MJJLaugh

PS. Please copy and paste and share the story and link on your social media, to garner attention for this! Thank you so much! It's all for L.O.V.E.


Four Year Old Boy Needs Marrow Match. Be The One To Save A Life

San Francisco, CA – Kyle Crawford, 4, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, on December 7, 2011. He is in urgent need of a marrow transplant, this is his only hope for long term survival. Kyle is Chinese and Caucasian and lives in San Mateo.

It’s difficult to watch a loved one with a long-term illness linger, when with more resources their pain might be eliminated and they might have a new lease on life. Those who are not Caucasians are more likely to die of leukemia or of other blood cancers. This is because there is a shortage of multi-ethnic donors on the national Be the Match® registry.

What’s the solution? Encouraging more people of multi-ethnic heritage to join the Be The Match® registry and potentially save a life. Each of us can “Be The One to Save a Life!” For Kyle, as no family members are a match, it is likely that someone of Asian or bi-racial heritage will be a marrow/stem cell match for him. A marrow transplant can extend and/or save Kyle’s life. Aplastic anemia is a disease of the bone marrow that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells and platelets. Aplastic anemia leaves you feeling fatigued and at higher risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

“We need everyone of Asian, multi-ethnic and ethnic minority ancestry to step forward and join the marrow registry,” says Carol Gillespie, executive director of the Asian American Donor Program (http://www.aadp.org). “There is a shortage of non-Caucasians on the Be The Match® national registry. This means that patients have to wait longer than is ideal to find a match.” AADP staff continues to provide education about the need and how relatively easy it is to register and to donate if needed. If you are found to be a match, the donation procedure will either be marrow collection or Peripheral Blood Stem Cell collection (PBSC). In Kyle’s case, marrow donation will probably be requested.

How You Can Help

• Go to one of the upcoming drives and do a cheek swab to join the “Be the Match” national registry. To find a registration drive, visit http://www.aadp.org, go to the “Register” tab and scroll down to “Where to Register.” If there are no drives in your area, request a home test kit. You can do this by going to the “Register” tab and scrolling to “Request a Home Kit”. A kit will be mailed to you the next day.

• Contact friends and family and encourage them to go to a registration drive near them or request a home kit.

• Set up a drive in your area by calling AADP at 1-800-593-6667

• Volunteer to help at registration drives or in the AADP office.

More about Kyle Crawford

Kyle’s favorite things in the whole world are fish and sharks and whales. One day he would like to swim next to a great white shark. His favorite game is Angry Birds, and he is really good at it. He loves super heroes, too. And, he loves his baby sister, who is only eleven months old. His parents always tell him that his birthday is a really lucky day because he was born on 7/7/07.

Shortage of Multi-Ethnic Donors—What’s the solution?
The Be The Match® registry recruits hundreds of thousands of donors each year through an extensive network of more than 100 local and regional recruitment organizations. All of these organizations recruit for the national Be The Match® registry and each person only needs to join once.

A marrow/stem cell transplant may be the only chance for patients with leukemia or other blood cancers to survive. Those who are not Caucasians are more likely to die of these illnesses. This is because there is a shortage of multi-ethnic donors on the Be The Match Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP). Only 30% of the time can a searching patient find a match from one of his or her siblings.

Finding a Needle in a Hay Stack

“Finding a marrow/stem cell match can be like finding a needle in a haystack,” says Carol Gillespie, AADP executive director. “Patients need a marrow/stem cell transplant as soon as possible. Saving lives is what we’re about. People of all ethnicities are encouraged to join the Be The Match registry. You could potentially match anyone in the world, this is truly a global effort.”

When a donor that is a close enough match cannot be found, a patient’s health can decline. That waiting period can make things harder, because a weakened immune system is more likely to reject a transplant once a donor is found.

Marrow/stem cell matches are very different than blood type matches. Just as we inherit our eyes, hair and skin color, we inherit our marrow and stem cell tissue type.

“Those whose marrow/stem cells are not a match for a patient in need now may be a match for someone else down the road,” Gillespie says. “Registering to be a marrow/stem cell donor is simple.”

Donors must be in good general health and between the ages of 18 and 60. A tissue sample from the inside of your cheek is collected on Q-Tip like swabs for HLA testing. Each participant is asked to give their consent to have their tissue type listed on the Be The Match Registry, which searches for patients in need.

About AADP

AADP, a 22-year-old community non-profit organization, serves multi-ethnic communities. They conduct community education, outreach and donor registration drives in the Asian, Pacific Islander, Multi-racial communities, and the entire ethnic minority community. AADP staff conducts public education and hosts drives for ethnic communities at fairs, festivals, faith-based organizations, work places, colleges and more. AADP is in full gear scheduling drives to increase the numbers of ethnic minorities and multi-racial individuals on the national Be the Match® registry.

AADP conducts about 360 marrow/stem cell drives yearly, where individuals of all ethnicities are registered. AADP works to increase the availability of potential stem cell donors for patients with life threatening diseases curable with a marrow/stem cell transplant. AADP was the first recruitment group in the country to conduct community focused marrow/stem cell drives. It is affiliated with Be The Match®, NMDP. For more information about AADP and upcoming marrow drives, call 1-800-593-6667 or visit www.aadp.org/

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29-02-2012, 08:38 PM
The Story Behind the Photo - Mikhail Baryshnikov

by UK loves MJ on Facebook

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Michael with Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Tribute: Mikhail Baryshnikov [Russian Ballet Dancer]
[Michael] got to know him through Elizabeth Taylor, who would "drag him to see me dance," Baryshnikov said, when he was at American Ballet Theatre and later when performing in the White Oak Dance Project, his modern-dance company. They would talk about ballet -- Jackson had a lot of questions, he recalled, "like a 12-year-old" -- and he would a...sk about working with choreographers.
He told Baryshnikov that choreographers would suggest ideas to him, but that he created his own dances.

What Baryshnikov remembers most about Jackson, he said, was "not even his turns or his grabbing his crotch. Just his simple, bouncy walk across the stage, that was what was most beautiful and arresting, swinging his hips, kicking his heel forward. That's to me what he is: that superior confidence in his body as a dancer. You wanted to say, 'Wow, this guy, what a cat; he can really move in his own way.'

"I don't know who you could really put next to him," said ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov,
"To imitate somebody like Michael Jackson is impossible. Why bother? You just relax and admire."

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Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Mikhail Baryshnikov

January 12 2012 at 11:22pm.
Matt Coker remembers Michael attending Mikhail's show in 1993.

Edited from article..Pic not related to story
As Michael Jackson's death was confirmed, my thoughts turned to the one and only time I ever saw the "King of Pop," right here in Orange County. He wasn't on stage solo or with the Jacksons (Five or otherwise), nor was he attending ...the opening of Captain EO at Disneyland. He was just out for a night of ballet in Costa Mesa.

Actually, his entrance into the Performing Arts Center's Segerstrom Hall threatened to overshadow legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov's first appearance on an Orange County stage on Aug. 5, 1993. All the blue, dyed-black and assorted other hairs turned their heads to face Jackson, in his usual royal coat with shoulder epaulets, as he slowly moved to a seat near the orchestra, just to the left of the middle of the stage. He had a blonde on one side and a middle-aged man on the other. It was later revealed they were his dermatologist and nurse--and years later the same nurse would bear one of his children.
The commotion lasted for a few minutes before the lights dimmed and the performance began. Baryshnikov, the former Kirov Ballet principal dancer and ex-artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, owned the crowd's attention thereafter.
The audience ate it up. So did Jackson, or at least he appeared to be enjoying it from what I and everyone else could make out in the dark. He stood with the rest of us for the standing O. Then he was gone. I believe he returned to OCPAC again with Elizabeth Taylor for a function that raised money to battle AIDS/HIV, or at least that's my memory.

Matt Coker http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/a-clockwork-orange/post-8/



02-03-2012, 08:34 PM
The Story Behind the Photo - George Atwell and Michael

By UK Loves MJ

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Michael and George Atwell staff producer at Bee Jay Recording studios in Orlando when Michael called for help to record some demo's. George tells us of the fans bribing the bodyguards, I asked him why he didn’t learn to read music and he replied: God had given him this gift and he was afraid that learning too much about the intellectual side of music would mess it up. and the little Thriller tiger biting the heck out of him [Michael].

[Edited from article] George says that Jackson impressed him with his professionalism, his ability to perform musically with precision, his kindness and his childlike enthusiasm. If there was a dark, odd side, to his personality, Atwell says, Jackson never displayed it. Atwell did some of the work on the jackson tracks (which have never been released to his knowledge) at jackson's private suite at Disney's Royal Plaza.

After “Thriller” was released and had become so hugely popular, Michael Jackson came to Orlando on vacation and through mutual musician friends in LA and Orlando, he asked us to help him do 4 demos of songs that were in his head. I was staff producer at Bee Jay Recording studios in
Orlando at the time, and we gathered up keyboards, Linn Drum machine, guitar, and bass and the 4 of us met him at the Royal Plaza hotel (on the 13thfloor).

He was extremely nice, polite, and concerned that we were OK…..not too tired, do you want any food, etc. He was endorsing Pepsi at the time and the first thing we saw in the sink were 3 large Pepsi bottles…..a true endorsee! Since Michael didn’t read music, he took each of us one by one, into a work/music room and went over each part until he got what he wanted to hear. He would sing the part and we’d play it back and then modify it, change voicings, chord structures, etc. until he’d say: “yes, that’s it! Incidentally there was a guard seated outside his room and while we were working into the wee hours, we could hear the elevator ring all night as fans tried to come up and get a glimpse of Michael. They would try to bribe the guard with anything (use your imagination!) to let them in, but he, of course wouldn’t.

In this way we worked out the tunes at the hotel; then took everything to the recording studio, where we laid down all the tracks and he would then sing over them. The thing I remember most about those sessions, was the fact that vocally, he never missed! The only time they had to roll the tape back was if the engineer was late on a punch in or something technical went wrong.

He sang the lead vocals and all 3 background vocal parts, stacking them 3 times each and never missed. He didn’t go to the piano and work out the vocal backgrounds (as is usually done), but simply pulled the parts out of the air! The incredible “feel” and sense of rhythm of his “finger snaps” while he was doing the “guide tracks” for us to work from is forever indelible in my brain. There was a very precise “groove spot’ in relation to the beat that only he seemed to know how to find. At the studio we all sat in the TV lounge and watched the premier of “Thriller” on MTV. He was just like a little kid….couldn’t believe this video was playing on MTV, couldn’t believe “Thriller” the album, was #1 on the charts….and this after his many #1 hits in his career up until that time (he was 24).

I asked him why he didn’t learn to read music and he replied: God had given him this gift and he was afraid that learning too much about the intellectual side of music would mess it up.” He had a traveling companion, an elderly gentleman that he said had been with him for 16 years, and loved to tease him and play jokes on him if he fell asleep, etc. He received daily edits of the Thriller video from LA and we watched them together. The first time, he had us all gather around the TV, got popcorn, and snacks, drinks, etc. ready and when he played the tape he found to his horror that a house guest had taped the 11:00 news over the video! He was so embarrassed and kept saying how sorry he was, and he couldn’t see how this could happen, etc., so he invited all back to see it the next night. He thought the world of John Landis and Quincy Jones, though he did say he and Quincy got into it because Quincy didn’t want “Billie Jean” on the album…didn’t think the tune was strong enough or something. Well, we all know who prevailed on that issue!

We have very fond memories of that time when Michael was unaffected by riches and fame, was a truly caring and wonderful person to be around. My son, Michael (who played and programmed the Linn Drum machine) was 14 at the time and this was his very first paying recording session……..what a way to start your resume! We have great pictures with him and of course an autographed copy of “Thriller.” He pointed out to us the tendons bulging in his arm from having to hold the baby tiger so tight because it was biting the heck out of him!

Good-bye Michael……..you will be missed, but for those who had the privilege of working and knowing you, your “presence” will never be forgotten.
~George Atwell

Edited from article at http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_music_blog/2009/06/george-atwell-recorded-with-michael-jackson-in-orlando.html
[Posted Jan 16 2012]



03-03-2012, 09:18 PM
The Story Behind the Photo - Michael Meets Peppi & Kokki

By UK Loves MJ

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HOLLAND: Michael meets Dutch comedy duo Kokki and Peppi and the identity of the young boy is not known until Michael's Memorial is shown in 2009.

Michael met Kokki and Peppi, who was a fan of their slapstick comedy, backstage after the duo had been interviewed by TV presenter Sonja Barend in Feb 1979 . The Jackson 5 had performed at the opening of the De Mirandabad, a new Wave Pool ,and a young... boy in a cowboy hat can be seen in a photo front of stage.

This photo lay in Tony Mazel's [Jackson photographers] archives for many years and when several years later was found, an advert was place in the Dutch TV guide asking for information on the young boy in the cowboy hat. No one came forward.

In June 2009 during the broadcast of the funeral of Michael the photo was shown and the presenter Joost Karhof asked more than two million Dutch viewers if they knew who the boy was....... Hans van Weelden immediately recognized his then five year old son Francois van Weelden. They met in June 1977. Michael had left his passport in their souvenir shop (Monza)on the Prinsengracht, Amsterdam. When Michael and the Jacksons later picked the passport up Van Weeldon offered them a ride on a canal boat. To thank them the family was invited to the Jackson 5 concert in Carré where they again met backstage and accompanied them on other visits. They later visited Michael in Los Angeles and stayed in contact several times.


Francois now lives in Ohio. On a showcase in his house is another picture of Michael in a boat with Francois on his knee.
[The full story with pictures later printed in a Dutch Review I have been unable to find.]

Edited and translated from http://www.parool.nl/parool/nl/23/MUZIEK/article/detail/253867/2009/07/16/Een-wonderlijke-foto-met-Michael-Jackson.dhtml[url] and [url]http://www.revu.nl/2009/07/15/revu-vindt-jongetje-op-foto-mj-en-peppi-kokki/
Posted 30.1.2012
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03-03-2012, 10:19 PM
Pictures from that same visit. All taken 2 february 1979. Michael was 20 years old.


Pictures of the opening of the 'Mirandabad' in Amsterdam, live in the Dutch 'Sonja Barend show':


04-03-2012, 08:42 PM
The Story behind the Picture - MJ's Greatest Bites

By UK Loves MJ

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'MJ Bites' and a story from Akasha and Mani who worked with Michael for 14 yrs also during the Victory, Bad and History Tours remember Michael's favorite dishes. See also next photo.

This Friday, June 29 marks the one-year anniversary of pop star Michael Jackson’s death. To celebrate his life, Akasha Richmond and Mani Niall, the founder of Mani’s Bakery and executive chef of Just Desserts in San Francisco, will be ...serving up MJ’s favorite dishes at Akasha in Culver City.
How would they know what the man liked to eat? Both served as his personal chefs for his Victory, Bad and History world tours. MJ first came across the chefs when they worked at Golden Temple, a once popular vegetarian restaurant, in L.A. back during the Thriller days and liked what they were doing so much that he hired them.
“Cooking for Michael was one of the greatest times of my life,” says Akasha, “and since Mani and I wanted to be together on the anniversary of his passing, we felt there was no better way to remember him than to cook up some of his favorite dishes.”
Even though MJ was known for being a fan of comfort food and KFC he was also a healthy eater, staying away from red meat and preferring organic vegetables and Mexican food, and that’s reflected in the menu.
In addition to featuring his favorite bites from 5:30pm to close, in addition to the usual Akasha menu, the restaurant will play Michael Jackson’s greatest hits all night long.
• Golden Temple Wild Mushroom and Tofu Salad ($12) with Napa cabbage, carrots, snow peas, toasted cashews, ginger-miso dressing
• Spicy Cajun Shrimp ($12) with skillet cornbread toast
• New Mexican Red Chile and Cheese Enchiladas ($18) with rice, black beans and guacamole
• Sweet Potato Pie with pecan “ookie” crust ($8)
• Banana Cream Pie ($8)

Akasha Restaurant, Bar & Bakery
9543 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232
(310) 845-1700

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Michael's chef Mani Niall and Akasha at the Michael celebration evening at Akasha's. Mani talks of cooking and going to the studio with food for Michael. This looked like a great evening. See them cooking Michael's favorite New Mexican Red Chiile and Cheese Enchilados. Candles for Michael, loads of photos of Michael, some with Mani, also Mani at 4:00 tells how Michael 'pays back' some CBS representatives with Muscles and ends up howling.

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Photo: Michael's Dining room at Neverland

Cooking for Michael: Chef Akasha who worked for Michael and honoured Michael by cooking his favourite dishes at Akasha's Restaurant [see previous post] tells her fondest memory: See also previous photo.
AKASHA: "When your 23 yrs old and working in a restaurant and MJ asks you to cook you say yeah! I was Michael's chef for 14 yrs on and off I did all the tours with him. MJ is one of the greatest people I have ever known, ...so much fun so charismatic going all over the world with him that was a great experience"
“My fondest memory would be living in NYC with him (1995) while he made the HIStory album, especially the night he played the piano for me and sang while I cooked him dinner. I met Michael for the first time at the Golden Temple when I was the chef there. We were both shy. He came in everyday. What I'll miss most is the laugh, the love and fun that I have never seen since.”

Michael Jackson discovered Akasha and Mani at the Golden Temple restaurant in Los Angeles while recording Thriller and became a daily customer. Michael hired Mani as his first private chef for the Victory Tour and Akasha followed suit, after asking Akasha to do catering Parties and dinners, touring the world on the Bad and History Tours and working for Michael from coast to coast. Cooking and traveling for the King of Pop shaped and inspired both Mani’s and Akasha’s culinary palette. "
MANI: “I can truly say that working with Akasha was the first inspirational experience I had in the kitchen-and then Michael? He believed in me, treated me with respect and was really a fun person. When I went to work for him I was a cook and by the time I finished I was a chef.”

Edited from sources incl: http://mylastbite.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/mjs-greatest-bites/



05-03-2012, 10:01 PM
The Story Behind the Picture - Singing with Santa in the Studio

By UK Loves MJ

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Caryn Elefante who sang on Michael's single Childhood remembers Michael, a studio in July decorated like Christmas, a gift and Michael telling them is was " A pleasure to meet us?? "

From the time I was five years old I have been singing in studios all over NYC for commercials, demos and even music albums. One day, my mother got a call from our contractor booking us for a recording at the Hit Factory. We weren’t allowed to know for whom we were singing and we were only allowed one parent per child. Our interest was peaked. We spent the next few days trying to figure out who this mystery recording could be for. We decided to bring three CD covers with us- Frank Sinatra (he was still alive at the time), Madonna and Michael Jackson.

We went to the studio and some guy told us we were going to be singing one word… “Childhood”. He sang it for us once or twice then began recording. All we heard in the cans (headphones) were tracks with no lead vocal. We still couldn’t figure out what or whom this was for. After singing the one word a few times, I saw a man behind the glass in the recording studio step forward out of the darkness with a black hat, a red shirt and a black curl in front of his face. On the talkback we heard, “Can you sing it a little more like this… Childhood” As soon as I heard the voice I grabbed my sister’s hand and spoke without moving my lips “It’s MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!”

I cooly sang “Childhood” about a dozen more times and the engineer thanked us and said we were done. We went back to the green room where our parents were waiting and I grabbed the Bad album cover from my mom and brought it to Michael’s assistant. I asked her if she could please bring it to Michael and have him sign it. The other kids who sang with us began ripping little pieces of paper for him to sign. They were no where near as prepared as my family!!

The assistant said “Let me see what I can do”, and she disappeared for about five minutes. She came back and said, “Can I have all of the kids follow me?” We followed her to a door in the Hit Factory that had a star on it and said “Jackson”. We went into the room and there he was, greeting us at the door with a hand shake and a smile and telling us that it was a pleasure to meet us. Can you imagine? A pleasure to meet us?? His room was filled with some pretty strange things: life-size cut-outs of the Power Rangers, a train set, and a giant globe that rotated. He had pictures of children that he had helped attached to the country they were from.

Michael had many questions for us like if any of us went to camp for the summer. He said that he always asked his parents if he could go to summer camp because it looked like so much fun and of course they told him no!! This was right around the time when the media was questioning whether or not he had married Lisa Marie Presley. I noticed a ring on his hand and I said, “so does that ring mean you are married to Lisa Marie?” He nodded his head yes and said “shhhhhh”. We chatted for a while, he signed our album cover and we went home having what I thought was the greatest day of my life.

A week or two later my mother got another call from our contractor. This time she said Michael wanted to have us back to the studio to record a Christmas song. It was July but when we got to the studio, it was decorated for the holidays. There was snow all over the ground, a tree, Santa who gave us all presents (we each got a Gameboy… tells you how long ago this was!!) and reindeer. Michael came walking right into the studio this time and didn’t hide behind the glass. I guess he felt more comfortable with us this time. He taught us the song himself and stayed with us in the sound booth as we were singing it. After we recorded the song he invited our parents into the studio and had the whole thing catered. We sat around the piano as he played the piano and we all sang Christmas songs. It’s just like Christmas Eve at the Elefante’s (my in-laws)!!!
So on June 25th, when the whole world was in shock of Michael Jackson’s death, these were the memories that all came flooding back for me.


~ I am not sure what the Christmas song was! One of Michael's Engineers Rob Hoffman says "We recorded a Christmas song during the summer of '94 that needed a children's choir. Michael insisted that the entire studio be decorated with xmas lights, tree, fake snow and a sled for their recording. And he bought presents for everyone.

Posted 18.1.2012



06-03-2012, 10:21 PM
The Story Behind the Picture - Travelling with Mr. Jackson

By UK Loves MJ

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Aileen Medz (former private tutor of Michael's children) seen in the pic behind Michael, on her experiences of being with Michael throughout her stay with him.

In November 2006, we flew to England for the World Music Awards .
We checked in a luxury 5-star hotel in London. Since it was a huge event people knew that Mr. Jackson will be in town. To my surprise, they arrived... at the hotel before we did. Fans stayed outside the hotel screaming, singing and yelling “ We love you Michael.” They sang and danced to his songs. It was like watching a production number for free.And they did successfully caught his attention. In fact , not only his but the entire staff and guests at the hotel as well.

Needless to say Mr. Jackson loved his supporters so much. He appreciated all the love and devotion . He knew his fans would always be there for him in good and in bad times. Each night Mr. Jackson asked our security people to hand food and drinks to his loving fans that stayed outside 24/7. I’m not exaggerating. They stayed there day and night.

The fans went wild when he waved and opened his hotel room window.When I witnessed how the fans screamed at the top of their lungs and how they chased our vehicle every time we left , I realized how privileged I was to be with him most of the time and be able to talk to him casually.

Honestly, there were times in the past when I would forget that my boss was the most famous human being in the world, the one and only Mr. Michael Jackson. Please don’t get me wrong. It was because I saw him every single day. I saw him when he was just wearing his pajamas, sometimes in his Donald Duck shirt and bumped into him at the pantry every now and then.

When school was over for the day he would at times call me on my cell phone and ask about school stuff or something else. There were times when I missed his calls and he would leave a voice message: “Hi Ms. Aileen, this is Mr. Jackson. Please call me as soon as you can. Thank you.”

Moreover, he NEVER acted like a “superstar” around us even though he really was a true "SUPERSTAR" in the real sense of the word because of the obvious reasons we are all aware about.

He was naturally kind and a delight to be with. One of the most humble men that I have the pleasure to meet in this lifetime. Albeit the rubbish rumors written on the tabloids, no one and nothing could ever take away my admiration for the one and only King of Pop.

Credit for Link to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Jackson-Filipino-Fans-Club-Worldwide/241995572492058



08-03-2012, 09:44 PM
The Story Behind the Picture - Hot Air Balloon Flight

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Michael ready for a Hot Air Balloon Flight.
'Michael Jackson never toured in Central Florida as a solo artist. But Central Florida did get one look at Thriller-era Jackson.
Jackson took a trip to Orlando in October of 1984, and decided he wanted to tour the area in a hot-air balloon. So he hired a crew of local balloon pilots, including Clearwater artist and balloonist Roger Bansemer, to take him up in the air.
"It all had to be very hush-hush," Bansemer recalled Friday from his studio in North Carolina. "We were sworn to secrecy that we wouldn‚t tell anybody we were going to Orlando to fly Michael Jackson. I don‚t think any of us did. In fact, we were very hesitant to even take pictures.
"You could tell he had no privacy in his life. If he got out, somebody‚ would see him, and before you know it, there'd be a crowd there. That was the sense I got."
But it wasn't just Jackson. The singer also brought Emmanuel "Webster" Lewis, not to mention his entourage, including a manager, cook and bodyguard. In all, some seven balloons were part of the caravan.
At one point, they flew above water park Wet 'n' Wild, and Bansemer pointed it out to Jackson's manager. He replied that Jackson had rented the entire park the night before, just so he could have some fun in private.
Jackson and Lewis were riding in a balloon adjacent to Bansemer and the manager, but the Jackson's voice was clear as a bell.

"We were flying fairly low," Bansemer said, "and we flew over what looked like an elementary school with children playing in the playground, and he started to sing to them, and of course they had no idea who that was. Who would think, Hey thats Michael Jackson? We were high enough that he wasn't highly recognizable."

Nice video from Joe Kittinger Michael's hot air Balloon pilot. Click on the link below. I tried to embed the video but it doesn't work for some reason, but it's a nice watch!



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1962 Col Joe Kittinger was the first man in space and he wasn't there long. He jumped out of a high altitude balloon at 102,800 ft to become the first human to break the speed of sound without a vehicle. In 1984 he became the first person to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon. But a chapter left out of his legendary ballooning career as he was sworn to secrecy was for several years he was Michael Jackson's private hot air balloon pilot.



09-03-2012, 07:46 PM
The Story Behind the Picture - Miss Rose Fine

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Miss Rose Fine (tutor) "It was Rose who instilled in me a love of books ,and literature that sustains me today. I read everything I could get my hands on. New cities meant new places to shop. We loved to shop, especially in bookstores and department stores," "She [Miss Rose Fine] taught me the wonderful world of books and reading and I wouldn't be the same person if it wasn't for her." ~ Michael Jackson

Miss Rose Fine who was Michael and his brothers tutor when they were young and on tour. Some of Michaels thoughts on Rose in 2002.
Edited: … Rose Fine, who was my beloved childhood tutor and who traveled with me and my brothers when we were all in the Jackson Five. MJ: After the show I would run into [Rose Fine’s] room. We’d read and have warm milk and I needed that so b......adly. She would always say to me, “The door’s open”, and she would leave her door open.
Q: Rose Fine, although she wasn’t your biological mother, was able to show you a lot of motherly affection?
MJ: And boy did I need it. I was never with my mother when I was little, very seldom, and I had a wonderful mother. I see her as an angel, and I was always gone, always on tour, doing back-to-back concerts, all over America, overseas, clubs, just always gone. [Rose Fine] was with us all the way from the very first professional tour of the Jackson 5 until I was eighteen.
MJ: Rose died this year, Janet and myself, we paid for her nurse and her hospital care, or if her television broke down or the electricity, or there was anything wrong with the house, we would cover the bills. Now her husband is sick, so I am taking care of him, and because we felt she is our mother and you take care of your mother… She was more than a tutor and I was so angry at myself that when she died I was far, far away. I couldn’t get there.

. Michael also tells that when they were touring on the planes, the authorities would ask Rose who she was as she was the only white lady travelling with them and Rose would say she was 'their mum'.

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09-03-2012, 10:32 PM
Sharing from my Heart

The real connection between people takes place from heart to heart. Even though I posted something for today in the series "The Story Behind the Picture", I also felt the need to share these musings with you and the video I made today.:

I wanted to find the words that would explain to 'an outsider' the inspiration that Michael is to me. One word comes to mind first of all: recognition. In him I recognized myself and also who I wanted to become, the better me as it were. The pain of losing him was also the greatest gift because my heart opened like a rosebud, my tears providing the nourishment for my soul and the soil fertilizer for that rosebud-essence of pure and unconditional love. But there is more: there is joy as well, unbounded joy that is expressed metaphorically in rainbows, a garden with scented flowers glistening with dew like thousands of tiny diamonds, the sound of children playing and laughing, music that makes the angels dance and fairies sing, and so much more. My heart just runs over with gratitude of finding Michael, loving him, seeing him for who he really is, and letting myself be inspired by him in countless ways. Michael, I love you forever and I am so thankful for all your blessings, for paving a spiritual way, opening my eyes to what is really important, touching my heart and soul, thank you, a very big thank you! :heart:

Michael Jackson - Seasons in the Sun

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09-03-2012, 11:23 PM
Beautifully expressed in your words as well as in your video.
Thank you so much for this. :give_rose:

11-03-2012, 08:31 PM
Stop Kony 2012

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”
~ Michael Jackson

“Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons.”
~ Michael Jackson

“We have to heal our wounded world. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.”
~ Michael Jackson

"Look beyond yourself"
~ Michael Jackson

“But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to.”
~ Michael Jackson

“Heal the World,
make it a better place,
for you and for me
and the entire human race,
there are people dying,
if you care enough for the living,
make a better place for you and for me....”
~ Michael Jackson

All of these quotes by Michael, are purposely combined here together today, for a single purpose that is so very important.
If you are lucky, you are a parent with children. Children that bring you endless joy and sometimes keep you awake at night from worry about their safety or maybe their health. But as a parent, you will do anything to keep your (young) children safe from harm. And normally, in a civilized world, be it east or west, north or south, you can keep your little angels from harm mostly.

Imagine, for a moment, a world where this is practically impossible. Where children are abducted, and forced to do horrible things to each other and to kill their own parents, or they are made to watch the killing of their brothers and sisters. Imagine other unspeakable acts that I don't even want to describe here, happening to your children by one dangerous man, who does this, thus far unpunished, to thousands, possibly millions of children. As you are reading this, this is a reality for the children of Uganda.

Jospeh Kony is the man who has committed countless unspeakable crimes against humanity. Did you know that he is the number one most wanted person on the international crime court list ? The International Crime Court is located in The Hague, the Netherlands. Being number one on that list means being more wanted than Gadaffi ( now captured and killed).

You may say to yourself: but isn't this is Positive Websites thread about Michael Jackson ?? HOw is all this positive ? My dear friends and readers, you are right: it isn't positive at all, HOWEVER, if Michael were alive he would support the action being taken against anyone who hurts children in so many awful and unspeakable ways. It is the positive action, from your heart, that is asked for here. That and sharing the video with your friends on social media, to alert the world to this criminal.

PLease take the time to watch this video, it is 30 minutes, but we must do something to save these children....
I will do what the moviemaker asks us to do. Will you help him in his mission ? United, we stand strong, with one goal, one mind, one heart. Together, united, we can make a difference!

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/37119711?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=d13030" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/37119711">KONY 2012</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/invisible">INVISIBLE CHILDREN</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>



12-03-2012, 08:39 PM




12-03-2012, 09:45 PM

From the most serious world problems to a little more mundane, that's good for balance! It's not my birthday anytime soon but I already know what I want!!! And I can't choose either so I'll tell my friends and family now, so they may start saving up money for my cardboard life size figures of Michael. One for each room, so I can chat to him all day long, and he'll be the perfect man because he's not gonna talk back! And we all know, who is silent, agrees!
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is eager for these cardboard figures! Aren't they great ?

Actually, I remember posting a picture a while back, beginning of February, of the friends who did a Michaeling-tour throughout California and Gary, Indiana. There was a picture of a CD and DVD shop that these cardboard cutout figures on their wall. I just happened to stumble upon this cool website where you can order them for your party or other occassion.

Michael Jackson Cardboard Cutout Life Size Standup, Size 40" x 70" Tall. ( 70 inches = 1.78 m)

Michael Jackson Ripped Jeans Cardboard Cutout Life Size Standup 26"X73" tall. ( 73 inches = 1.85 m)

Michael Jackson - Bad Cardboard Cutout Life Size Standup, 22" X 73" Tall. (73 inches = 1.85 m)

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Gates Life-Size Cardboard Standup Size : 71" x 74" Tall Neverland Valley Ranch (formerly the Sycamore Valley Ranch) is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, most famous for being a former home of American entertainer Michael Jackson, during 1988-2005. It is named after Neverland, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, who never grows up. The ranch is located about five miles (8 km) north of unincorporated Los Olivos, and about eight miles (13 km) north of the town of Santa Ynez. The property covers an area of over 2,800 acres (11 km2).

Michael Jackson on a Red Car Cardboard Cutout Life Size 39"X75" tall. (75 inches = 1.88 m)

Michael Jackson film cell showing some his most memorable moments on stage and in public.

11" x 13" Film Cell Clips Limited Edition 1000 Framed

The film strip portrayed in the image above is only an example of the film cells you may receive. Please note, the cells may vary from piece to piece.

This item contains clips of film, an image portraying the movie(s), artist(s) or character(s) and a stunning descriptive plaque. These elements have been double mounted and placed within a beautiful black wood frame. Each item comes with a certificate stating its authenticity.

Michael Jackson film cell showing some his most memorable moments on stage and in public.

20.25 x 11 Filmcell Clips Limited Edition 1000 Framed

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), known as the "King of Pop", was an American musician and one of the most commercially successful and influential entertainers of all time. His unique contributions to music and dance, along with a highly publicized personal life, made him a prominent figure in popular culture for four decades. He started a solo career in 1971, having made his debut in 1964 as a member of The Jackson 5. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with four others—Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995)—among the best selling. He popularized several intricate dance moves, such as the robot and the moonwalk. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form, with videos for his songs "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. His work broke down cultural, racial and generation barriers, while influencing scores of music artists.



13-03-2012, 10:15 PM
Lottie Rose - Michael's Hairdressers Daughter


Lottie Rose Michael’s haidresser’s daughter from 1981 to 1994,she is to the right of the photograph, the daughter is one of the girls and the others are relatives of Lottie’s

Lottie Rose: He would allow me to bring my daughter with me. She would stay the nights and slept in Michael’s bed. I would be working on him. At Neverland, because the drive was so long, I would stay and we would have our own little room.

Her daughter: I met MJ when I was 11 years old… Just so happens, I was at my mom’s hair salon on a Saturday when she received a phone call from Bill Bray, MJ’s right hand man at the time. He told my mom that MJ liked her work (she did the hair for the soft sheen print advertisements) they called soft sheen and they referred them to her.

My mom thought it was a joke until the limousine pulled up in front of the salon. She told me about MJ at the very last minute… I couldn’t believe it and went crazy while Bill was pulling the limousine around to the back of the salon. Let me tell you… it was the best night ever for an 11 year old.

Really nice guy, very friendly and the best part was that I practically had MJ’s attention all to myself.

He was not shy at all. In fact, I was very shy and afraid to meet him at first because he was MJ. However, he was very friendly and helped me to warm up to him.

MJ and I talked mostly about me and my friends, what we did for fun, where we liked to go, what it was like to go to the mall, favorite stores, amusement parks, favorite rides, going to the beach, movies and more… He would also call me at home from time to time to chat on the phone.

Michael loved to play practical jokes. He would tell my mom that Muscles or Bubbles was around, and then would rub her leg to make her think it was one of the animals. She would hop around and scream sometimes… was really, really funny!



14-03-2012, 08:57 PM
Rob Hoffman on working with MJ in the 90's

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n The Photo Rob Hoffman back row middle:

I was fortunate enough to work with MJ early in my career. He was an incredible artist. Talented beyond your wildest dreams. Extremely generous, and a hard worker. I actually went from a staff assistant at the Hit Factory in NYC to freelance engineer under Swedien and MJ. They were due to start in Los Angeles when the Northridge earthquake hit so they moved to New York. One room was all Bruce, the second room was the writing room. I started assisting Bruce's writing partner Rene Moore. I would track stuff with Rene, and Bruce would come in and tell me what I did wrong, sit in for a few hours and set us straight. After a couple months MJ arrived and the entire tour rig was moved in along with Brad Buxer, Andrew Scheps, and Eddie Delena. I continued to assist them until the whole crew moved to L.A., they decided to take me with them. I would assist Bruce during the day, and help out every where else at night - assisting, engineering, programming, and on one song playing guitar. We had two rooms at Record One, and two rooms at Larrabee where I met John. At one point in NYC we had just about every room at the Hit Factory. The crew was great, and I learned so much from all of them. I learned to engineer from Bruce Swedien, John, and Eddie, and got to sit in with producers like MJ, Jam And Lewis, Babyface, David Foster, Teddy Riley, and Dallas Austin.

I was actually asked to leave the project early on because there were too many people around and MJ didn't know me. Luckily, I was rehired about 10 days later. At the wrap party MJ apologized profusely, and expressed his gratitude. Truly the most sincere man you will ever meet.

Some random memories:

One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. "here's the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here's the second chord first note, second note, third note", etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57.

He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.

At one point Michael was angry at one of the producers on the project because he was treating everyone terribly. Rather than create a scene or fire the guy, Michael called him to his office/lounge and one of the security guys threw a pie in his face. No further action was needed . . . . .

During the recording of "Smile" on HIStory, Bruce thought it would be great if Michael would sing live with the orchestra. But of course, we didn't tell the players that. We set him up in a vocal booth off to the side. They rehearsed a bit without vocals in, then during the first take Michael sang, just about knocked them out of their chairs.

His beatboxing was without parallel, and his time was ridiculous.

His sense of harmony was incredible. Never a bad note, no tuning, even his breathing was perfectly in time.

Once, while we were taking a break, I think we were actually watching the OJ chase on TV, there was a news program talking about him being in Europe with some little boy. I was sitting next to the guy while the news is making this crap up. He just looked at me and said this is what I have to deal with.

I spent close to 3 years working with him, and not once did I question his morals, or ever believe any of the allegations. I wasn't even a fan then. I saw him interact with his brothers kids, other people's children, and at one point my own girlfriend's kids. I got to spend a day at Neverland with them. A completely incredible human being, always looking for a way to make all children's lives better. Every weekend at Neverland was donated to a different children's group - children with AIDS, children cancer, etc., and most of the time he wasn't there.

He was simply living the childhood he never had. In many ways he never grew up.

I was assisting Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis while they recorded the background vocals for "Scream" with MJ and Janet. The two of them singing together was amazing. Super tight, no bad notes. One part after another. When they took a break they sang the showtunes they used to sing as kids. Again, perfect harmony. Mj refused to sing the "stop f*ckin' with me part" because he would NOT curse.

I was the tape op for the recording of the background vocals on "Stranger in Moscow". Scared the hell out me. Michael was dropping in and out on syllables, rearranging the notes and timing as he put it down. No Pro Tools at the time, just 2" tape, and my punches.

I erased a live keyboard overdub that he played one night. He came in the next morning, replaced it, and never uttered another word about it.

I was there when Lisa Marie was around. They acted like two kids in love. Held hands all the time, and she hung out at the studio for quite a while. I never questioned their love for each other.

We recorded a Christmas song during the summer of '94 that needed a children's choir. Michael insisted that the entire studio be decorated with xmas lights, tree, fake snow and a sled for their recording. And he bought presents for everyone.

The last weekend of recording on HIStory he came to me and Eddie Delena, and said "I'm sorry, but I don't think any of us are going to sleep this weekend. There's a lot to get done, and we have to go to Bernie on Monday morning". He stayed at the studio the entire time, singing, and mixing. I got to spend a couple quiet moments with him during that time. We talked about John Lennon one night as he was gearing up to sing the last vocal of the record - the huge ad libs at the end of "earth song". I told him the story of John singing "twist and shout" while being sick, and though most people think he was screaming for effect, it was actually his voice giving out. He loved it, and then went in to sing his heart out. . . .

Later that night, while mixing, everyone left the room so MJ could turn it up. This was a common occurrence during the mixes, and I was left in the room with ear plugs, and hands over my ears, in case he needed something. This particular night, all the lights were out and we noticed some blue flashes intermittently lighting up the room during playback. After a few moments we could see that one of the speakers (custom quad augspuergers) was shooting blue flames. Mj liked this and proceeded to push all the faders up . . . .

MJ liked hot water while he was singing. I mean really hot !!!!! It got to the point that I would melt plastic spoons to test it.

Bruce and I were talking about walking to the studio everyday in NYC, and what routes we took. Michael looked at us and said we were so lucky to be able to do that. He couldn't walk down the street without being harassed. It was a sad moment for all of us.

The studio crew got free tickets to the Janet show so we all went right from work one night. About halfway through the show we see this dude with a long beard, dressed in robes dancing in the aisle behind. I mean really dancing . . . it was Mj in disguise. Kind of like the costume Chevy Chase wears in Fletch while roller skating.

He got one of the first playstations from sony in his lounge . . . we snuck in late at night to play the games that hadn't been released yet.

A couple people on the session hadn't seen Jurassic Park while it was out, so MJ arranged a private screening for us at Sony.

He was a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral . . . .

I was lucky enough over the course of 3 years to have access to the multitrack masters for tour prep, videos, and archive purposes. To be able to pull these tracks apart was a huge lesson in production, and songwriting. A chance to look into the minds of geniuses.

Of all the records I've worked on, MJJ was the only company to give platinum award records.

One day we just all sat in the studio listening to his catalog with him for inspiration. He loved the process, he loved the work.
Rob Hoffman



15-03-2012, 08:47 PM
Michael Jackson - Carole Bayer Sager

10/06/1999 Quote from Carole Bayer Sager

In a recent interview with an American journalist, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager talked about her work with the King of Pop:

"I am keeping myself quite busy working with Carole King on her new album and with Michael on a few new songs. Musicians with their amount of genius push me harder in my craft. Michael is aware of the pressure to have a hit, and he wants this album to be spectacular and full of twists you wouldn't expect from him... Michael is a sweet genuine professional who I have worked with twice before. He sang on one of my albums ("Just Friends") and I helped him with Off The Wall ("It's The Falling In Love").
We wrote a song together with David Foster about the millenium. It will be a celebration of the changing times, a song for the future, which I suspect will be bright."

The song 'You Are My Life' on the Invincible album has Carole Bayer Sager as one of the cowriters.

The outtake tracks that Carole Bayer Sager co-wrote with Michael from the album Invincible are:

I Have This Dream (1999) (Michael Jackson, Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster)
Stop The War (1999) (Michael Jackson, Carole Bayer Sager)

Michael Jackson feat Carole Bayer Sager - Just Friends

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Statement From Carole Bayer Sager On Michael Jackson's Passing:
"I am shocked, saddened and still in disbelief over the death of Michael Jackson, said Oscar-winning songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. "He was one of, if not THE greatest entertainer of all time, and was without question the ‘King of Pop.' He was also my friend. He recorded a song of mine on his 1979 ‘Off The Wall' album and in 1981 we sang a duet together. We spent a considerable amount of time together in 2001 at my home music studio and I saw him in a totally different light - as a nurturing and caring father. I was so honored that he dedicated that album to me.

My heart and prayers are with his family, his three children, my friend Elizabeth Taylor, and all us who are mourning the premature loss of his very precious life."





17-03-2012, 08:27 PM
Michael Jackson - History Tour Rehearsals

Isn't it a thrill when you discover a video on YouTube of Michael that you haven't seen before ? I love it when that happens and it makes me wonder how much stuff is out there, maybe not even published on the web yet, of Michael footage ? I can never get enough of any of it. It is interesting to see the transformation that takes place between Michael the man, and Michael the artist. It reminds me of his words "The stage is a place where I feel safe. It's the world off stage that is unfamiliair and foreign to me."
Some small part in one of the videos is clearly from a Dangerous rehearsal or performance, but nevertheless tremendously enjoyable to watch of course!
~ MJJLaugh

Michael Jackson - HIStory World Tour Rehearsal Footage [Unknow Locality And Date

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Michael Jackson - From Rehearsal To Performance: Billie Jean, Human Nature

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Michael Jackson - History Tour Rehearsals in Bucharest 1996

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18-03-2012, 10:00 PM
Sound Engineer - Memories of recording "Much Too Soon"

Michael in 1981, when he wrote wistful ballads like 'Much Too Soon'

It was recorded very early on during the HIStory sessions. I believe at the time we only had the very beginnings of Stranger in Moscow, maybe the first part of the groove on They Don't Care . . . . MJ as working at Sony studios with Brad Buxer most of the time, and the rest of us were over at the Hit Factory doing odd bits of work, and mixing. Michael came in one day and said he had an idea and needed a guitar player. So they called in a local session guy, Jeff Mirinov.

He sat with MJ in the iso-booth and Michael patiently sang every note of every chord, and the melody. He had the whole thing in his head. Once Jeff had it down, Michael came into the control room and sang live while Jeff did some takes. He used an SM-57 into Bruce's Neve 1084's into an 1176, silver face, set at 20:1 just to tame the peaks. The three of us sat at the console, and I believe we did about 5 or 6 takes. All of them amazing. We recorded to 2" 24 track analog of course (Studer), 3M 996 with dolby SR. It would have been transferred to Sony 3348 for archiving, and possible overdubs. But the song was shelved and never brought up again. I was pretty shocked, one of my favorite MJ songs of all time.

Pretty magical at the time, my first vocal session with MJ, Bruce driving the ship, and Michael nailing every take perfectly sitting next to me. Tough to beat that !



Co-written with longtime collaborator John McClain, “Much Too Soon” finds Jackson’s falsetto at its most tender, with a harmonica solo and strings adding a tone of regret. Jackson sings of the hurt of rejection (”And would you like to go with me/ And she answered no to me/ Well guess I learned my lesson much too soon”), but at bottom this one is about the sorrow over what might’ve been. Which is why it’s a perfect song to end the upcoming Jackson collection, Michael.

We can understand why this one didn’t make the cut for Thriller — but it is fascinating to know that, at the time he was recording the majestic dance-pop of his best-known album, he still had an interest in wistful ballads.

Jackson certainly recorded more provocative tear-jerkers than this. But it is high time for the Jackson camp to release forgotten songs like “Much Too Soon”. We just wish it had happened under different circumstances.

Much too soon - Michael Jackson - with lyrics

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20-03-2012, 10:25 PM
John Isaac With MJ - Be My Eyes and Show Me Everything I Cannot See

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Who is in the pic with Michael: Photographer John Isaac. A wonderful interview with John on working and spending time with Michael. Going to Neverland to photo Michael and Prince. On Michael's fans and a surprise Michael had for fans at the concert in Milan. John could not watch TII concert but sees Michael on a clear starry night.

[Tran...slated and slight edits to make sense of translation]
Q : The first time you saw Michael:
One day I received a phone call. The voice said: "You are John Isaac?" I said, "Yes" and asked who he was. The voice said: "Michael." I said "Michael," The voice said: "Michael Jackson . " I said, "Who" and hung up. A few seconds later the phone rang again, and Bob Jones was wondering why I had hung up the phone to Michael Jackson! I replied: "It was he really?" and handed the phone to Michael. He said he was a fan of my photographs. He bought a poster I created for UNICEF,on which appeared many children because he loved the pictures and wanted to meet me. He asked if I could go to Neverland and sign the poster. I said I could sign one and send it to New York, but he insisted that I go to Los Angeles. Three days later, they came to the Big Apple to film "They Don't Care About Us" (prison version) and he invited me and my wife Jeannette to go see the movie. So we went and we met. The next day he asked me to spend the afternoon with him at his hotel in Manhattan and looked at my photographic work.

Q: What is the best advice he gave you?
He once told me that I had a knack for photography and should continue to use it to help children around the world and to help the same cause. He knew how much I care about children. I took him to Brazil when they were finishing the video "They Don't Care About Us", and he said something I'll never forget ". John, be my eyes and show me everything that I cannot see." I was so excited that I made photos of children in the slums of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, while they were filming. I travelled in his private plane to Brazil, it was my first trip with him. Michael always supported me, he was aware of my provenance. One day he said we both came round to different places and that is why we both love children. (John Isaac was born in India and spent 20 years working as a photographer of the United Nations, covering countries such as Vietnam, Rwanda, Sarajevo ...).

Q: You've been to Neverland to take family photos of the first son of Prince Michael and Debbie Rowe. Please tell us more about this experience.
Debbie was not in Neverland it was just Prince and Michael and I took pictures of father and son. I took the pictures with Debbie at a hotel in Los Angeles. I've been twice to Neverland. I drove an electric cart around the farm, saw movies in the theater, climbed on the train. I felt like a kid when I was there! One afternoon we saw a movie together. I was in the suite of Liz Taylor. Michael was very philosophical, often talked about philosophy and life. He asked me to tell him things about the children I had photographed around the world. When I worked for the United Nations, many stories of pain and suffering of all kinds of children. He was always very compassionate towards the less fortunate children.

Q: What is your favorite memory during HIStory World Tour?
At the beginning of the tour in Prague, I think he wanted me to photograph on the stage while he was singing "Heal the World." I was scared up there in the spotlight with so many fans in front of me, my knees were shaking . Also I enjoyed meeting fans around the world while traveling with him. I must say that I met many fine young people. Michael would not have been who he was, if not all the wonderful fans who adored him so much. Being next to the King of Pop to visit hospitals and orphanages was something especially appreciated.

Q: How many photography sessions did you do with Michael Jackson?
I'm not sure how many there were, I know there were many. Some special calendars for Sony and other announcements. He also wanted to take pictures with children before each concert.
I also remember you told us that Michael had a surprise for fans at the concert in Milan on June 18, 1997: The photo of the hands of Michael and Prince on the screens of the stage.

Q: Michael decided to do this? What did he say?
He said it was one of the most special photos he had taken of him and Prince. I captured his hand taking the hand of Prince and he told me that he liked it so much he wanted to show the fans in Milan . It is one of my favorite too. Michael does not even appear, only his hand protecting Prince.

Q: What picture of Michael do you feel most proud of?
There are many photos that I like, but one I took during a rehearsal in Los Angeles which was published in a special Laurent Hopman - Captain EO Productions (program memory HIStory World Tour - Limited Edition). Michael is at center stage and all the dancers around with different poses, rehearsing. looks like a painting. Michael really liked this photo also. All dressed in casual clothes . I have no copy of this negative image because I gave all to Michael.

Q: Why does it sometimes take three cameras at the same time, Michael wanted some special pictures? It also seemed that he took more photos of fans than him ...
I remember that he wanted every moment of his life to be saved Sometimes he wanted a black and white and the other two cameras were color photos. Today, with digital technology, you can convert the color black and white with no problem, but with the old negative it was more complicated. also had three different types of lenses, so I could shoot quickly without having to change them. After a first selection on my part, Michael chose his favorite, he had good taste to select the photos! And Michael was delighted to see the photos of his fans. They were very important to him.

Q: How did you hear of his sudden death, what was your reaction?
I saw it on TV. I was very, very sad. I felt so sorry for starting so early. However, I know you're up there shining like a star. Every time I see a clear sky at night I see Michael.

Q: Have you seen the movie Michael Jackson This Is It? can you comment on that?
My wife bought me the DVD. I've only seen parts of it and I grieved so Michael's death that I could not keep watching. Maybe one day I will see it to the end

Q: What are your plans for the future John Isaac?
I am finishing a documentary about myself as a photographer in Japan I've been documenting on the survivors of the recent tsunami.While I was in Japan I met some of Michael's fans who were very friendly. In addition, Kodak House is preparing a permanent collection of my photographs in their museum. Unfortunately, I have no footage of what I took of Michael on tour or with Michael's baby. I gave them all to his managers.

Edited and Translated from
John's life story and his wonderful photography http://askthephotographer.com/2008/12/31/photographer-profile-john-isaac/



21-03-2012, 09:50 PM
Michael Jackson with the Ramirez Family


In photos: Tamil Ramirez (left), with brother Billy and sister Lana (right) and King of Pop Michael Jackson, who signed this photo. “All the allegations against him distressed me. When you met Michael, he was just a nice bloke.” Mr Ramirez met Jackson while following his Bad tour in Australia. Mr Ramirez, 32, who works at a Darwin pharmacy, said that he lost contact with Jackson a few years ago. “I used to write to him but I haven’t for a while.” Jackson invited Mr Ramirez and his two sisters, Tamil and Lana, to his hotel room after reading how they had spent every cent they had to follow his concert circuit around Australia. They then visited him at Hayvenhurst and stayed with him for a while, the whole family.



22-03-2012, 08:30 PM
1000 Days of Missing Michael

March 21, 2012 was the thousanth day of missing Michael. So much to say on that subject but sometimes a song and a video can express it so much better than I can.

Michael Jackson 我們永遠愛你(I will always love you)1000 days of missing Michael Jackson

- music doesn't start until 0:18

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A group on Facebook called '1000 Days of Missing Michael' arranged for 1000 roses to be delivered to him:

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Inside Holly Terrace

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People from 42 countries combined their efforts to make this a possiblity.

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At Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale

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Inside Holly Terrace (Michael's place)

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Bringing the roses to Michael

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23-03-2012, 10:56 PM
Michael Jackson - Love's Gift

I think you know by now that I love to make youtube videos of Michael. They are simple one with just images as I still need to find out how to edit DVDs to cut snippets to use in my own videos. I thought of an appropiate title for the video: 'An Angel Among Us' ? Then I thought that the first few words of Rabindranath's quote would be very fitting. I hope you like it!
It is made from the heart, where love resides.
~ MJJLaugh

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The poem by Rabindranath Tagore and a quote by him inspired me to make this video, as well as the music 'Becoming one of "the people" from the soundtrack for the movie 'Avatar.

"Love's gift cannot be given, it waits to be accepted" - Rabindranath Tagore

Lover's Gifts: A Message Came

A message came from my youth of vanished days, saying, " I wait for
you among the quivering of unborn May, where smiles ripen for tears
and hours ache with songs unsung."
It says, "Come to me across the worn-out track of age, through
the gates of death. For dreams fade, hopes fail, the fathered
fruits of the year decay, but I am the eternal truth, and you shall
meet me again and again in your voyage of life from shore to
~Rabindranath Tagore

24-03-2012, 10:12 PM
I love it. It’s beautiful. Full of grace. The pictures you’ve chosen correspond to the music so well. Your work really is a heartfelt expression of love.

Thank you. :heart:

25-03-2012, 08:26 PM
Michael Jackson - "I Am Peter Pan In My Heart


“The Wizard Of Oz" has secrets that are just too much. Or "Peter Pan" – the whole 'lost boys' thing is just incredible. They’re not childlike at all, they’re really, really deep; you can rule your life by them. Or say 'child-like', because children are the most brilliant people of all, that’s why they relate to those stories so well. Fairy-tales are wonderful.”
― Michael Jackson

All children, except one, grow up.
Peter Pan
Opening words

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
Peter Pan
Spoken by Peter Pan

Every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.
Peter Pan
Spoken by Peter Pan

"Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories."
Peter Pan

I'll teach you to jump on the wind's back, and away we go.
Peter Pan
Spoken by Peter Pan

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
Peter Pan

"Do you believe in fairies? … If you believe," he [Peter] shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."
Peter Pan

"Pan, who and what art thou?" he [Hook] cried huskily.
"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."
Peter Pan

When a new baby laughs for the first time a new fairy is born, and as there are always new babies there are always new fairies.
Peter Pan
Spoken by Wendy

So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land.
Peter Pan

You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you, Peter Pan. That's where I'll be waiting.
Peter Pan
Spoken by Tinkerbell.

"Second to the right, and straight on till morning."
That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland
Peter Pan

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Artwork of Peter Pan at Neverland

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Peter Pan picture at Neverland

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A picture of Michael as Peter Pan on a electrical cart at Neverland

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A fan made gift to Michael a wall hanging depicting his favourite characters.

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Michael's copy of Peter Pan

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Prince of Fantasy. Each character is wearing a White Glove. Presented to Michael from the Walt Disney Studio.

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Peter Pan chair inscribed "From the Family of Love"

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26-03-2012, 09:01 PM
Michael Jackson - Hardrock Cafe in Budapest

Hard Rock Cafe Budapest Now Open in Vörösmarty Square

Budapest, Hungary, December 14, 2011 – They have wowed crowds in London, shocked the masses in Paris and entertained fans in New York – now Hard Rock Cafe makes its debut in Hungary! Hard Rock International today announced the opening of its first cafe location in the heart of Hungary’s capital and bustling metropolis. Hard Rock Cafe Budapest is located at the corner of Vörösmarty Square and Váci Street. Located in the epicenter of the city’s most famous shopping and business district, the new Hard Rock Cafe Budapest is poised to become a must-see for both visitors and locals. The Budapest cafe is owned and operated by Bigosz Kft.

The four-level, 1097-square-meter cafe includes seating for 220, a vibrant bar, a live music area and Rock Shop. Memorabilia from Hard Rock’s iconic collection adorns the walls of Hard Rock Cafe Budapest, including items from legendary musicians from around the world, as well as today’s top contemporary artists. Key memorabilia items featured include: handwritten letters penned by Madonna, Michael Jackson’s platinum award for his Thriller album, an autographed grey suit jacket worn by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, as well as clothing from Christina Aguilera and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and a concert poster The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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Picture of young Michael 1976 with a funny hat :-)
This elaborate top hat with a green plastic flower sewn into the side was worn by Michael in 1976. The photo is by Weldon McDouglas, a friend of Michael's.

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Michaels hat with the flower at Hardrock Cafe Budapest

The letter accompanying the platinum record for Thriller 25

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27-03-2012, 08:09 PM
Michael Jackson - Siedah Garrett's Blonde Wig to Make Michael Laugh

Blonde Wig?
Saturday, March 24th 2012


Siedah Garrett recalls a memory of Michael from when she gets a little bored and wants to do something different…to make Michael laugh and she certainly does just that. Siedah says; “During one show on our ‘Dangerous’ tour, I decided to surprise Michael by appearing on stage wearing a blonde wig to sing our duet ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.’ Check out Michael’s reaction.”

If you look at the video you will see the footage where Michael is trying hard to contain himself.

Exclusive : Michael Jackson - I Just Can't Stop Loving You Buenos Aires 1993

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28-03-2012, 08:48 PM
Michael Jackson - Some Rare Videos

Maybe you have seen these videos before, maybe you haven't. The reason I wanted to share these precious gems that I found today, is that they move me: seeing Michael happy and smiling when all the children come on stage to dance, when he visits an orphanage for the handicapped in Moscow just one day after the show.

Michael Jackson Rare.check out the moonwalk! Bad tour footage dancing with children

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Michael jackson in moscow's orphanage in 1993

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30-03-2012, 09:44 PM
Q&A: Bob Giraldi on directing "Beat It"
Director says Michael Jackson promoted peace and reconciliation through dance in music video



In 1983, Michael Jackson scored two simultaneous Top 5 hits with the songs "Billie Jean" and "Beat It", both taken from his hugely successful Thriller album. The music videos for both songs are now legendary and helped break down musical and racial barriers on then-nascent MTV.

At the time, executives at Jackson's label, CBS Records, famously accused the channel's programmers of excluding black artists and R&B music - an accusation MTV continues to deny. Regardless, "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" received heavy airplay and set a standard for production values and choreography in music videos that lasted until the music industry meltdown 20 years later.

In "Beat It", the 25-year-old pop star was cast as a peacemaker who uses dance to quell a knife fight between a two warring gangs. The video, which featured a cast of real-life gang members and choreography by Michael Peters, was directed by Bob Giraldi, who would go on to direct Jackson in two Pepsi commercials for BBDO, New York.

Giraldi recently spoke to Boards about working with Crips, Bloods and choreographers to make "Beat It".

How did you end up directing the video for "Beat It"?
As I was told, there was a certain spot that I directed in my early years as a commercial director for WLS-TV in Chicago, about two elderly blind people - a married couple - that didn't run from a neighborhood that all the other white folks fled from. It had become a very inner city, tough neighborhood and they chose to stay and throw a block party for all the young kids in the neighborhood. It was a commercial that Michael was really taken with - it was an emotional commercial, it was based on truth and he liked it a lot. So he wanted to meet and we met.

I wanted "Billie Jean" and he had just finished shooting "Billie Jean", but he said he had this track called "Beat It" and maybe I'd like to come up with an idea for that. In those days, you didn't compete [for videos]. There were no three bids - there wasn't a whole lot of politics. Record labels didn't have commissioners, it was a different business. It wasn't a business yet.

What did you base the concept on?
One of the things that is totally mistaken that I've read many times is that most people think "Beat It" was inspired by West Side Story and that's absolutely not true at all.

I grew up in Paterson, New Jersey - always an edgy town but full of people really trying to be so much tougher than they really are. It seemed to me this song of peace, this song of reconciliation that Michael had written was perfect for a quasi kind of rumble. I've read where, the two lead dancers - Michael Peters and Vince Paterson - when they had their wrists tied and held the switchblades, that came from West Side Story. That's not true at all. That came from a story I heard when I worked in a factory one summer. A real tough kid from Jersey told me that he'd witnessed two guys who had their wrists tied and they held switchblades, and only one came out - and not too well. It was based on that little fable.

Michael liked my idea and decided he was going to include the Crips and Bloods, which I thought was insane. If you see the video, you'll see guys that look like the real deal because they are the real deal.

How did you cast the real gang members?
It was Michael. He went out and he got 'em through, I guess, the LAPD's gang squad and he convinced them that, with enough police presence, this would be a smart and charitable thing to do; get them there to like each other and hang with each other for two days doing the video. I didn't like the idea because it was hard enough to direct actors and dancers, let alone hoods.

So he tried to use the video to foster peace between them?
Michael was always about peace. He was always about some sort of peace offering. That was his idea and the cops did go along with it and as history has it, we were almost shut down the first night because, as you know, film sets get to be very boring after the first hour.

I guess the Crips and Bloods started to get on each other's nerves - they are mortal enemies - and we had a few incidents and two cops came to me and said they wanted to close it down. I somehow convinced the cop squad guy to just let me [shoot the] dance. I was gonna hold the dance for the second night of shooting. I said, 'The only thing I can think that'll save this is to let me just blast the music. I have a feeling it'll calm everything down. Can't get any worse, just give me a chance.' And the cop was cool, he looked at me and said, 'OK, not much more.' I couldn't go much more because it was volatile - no question about it - and scary. So we were in that warehouse, change of plans we're going to do the dance, get Michael out of the camper, here we go.

What happened next?
The gang members couldn't dance so they formed the ring and watched. And the [dancers] all started to dance with Michael Peters and Vince Paterson. When Michael Jackson comes down and does what he does, I remember looking at the faces of all the Crips and Bloods lined up and their expressions as they listened to that music and watched those kids dance. Those kids were basically, most of them were gay... and when they started to dance, the Crips and the Bloods had that look like, 'You know what? With all our wars and vendettas and stuff, that's cool right there. That's something we'll never be able to do.' And that's what made that evening work.

Did Michael Jackson choreograph the video himself?
That is the one time that I can honestly say Michael Jackson did not choreograph. 'Beat It' was choreographed by Michael Peters - God rest his soul - a great, great choreographer who is no longer alive. He was an incredible street dancer, he choreographed that and Michael Jackson danced it and danced it beautifully. I think from that point on Michael Jackson probably was involved in the choreography in every single thing he did. 'Beat It' was a little bit more belonging to Michael Peters than people want to give credit for.

In those days MTV had an unspoken policy of not playing videos by black artists. What impact did "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" have when they came out?
It was taking video to another level with dance and choreography and the fact that Epic, CBS could put down on the desk that these two were the largest selling records in the world. It was hard for Les Garland and Pittman to hold on to that original idea, which was [playing] new wave bands for white teens in the suburbs. Michael was given credit, and rightly so, for being the first really, truly crossover artist of our generation and the man who forced MTV by his genius to rethink it's platform.

[b]What impact has "Beat It" and working with Michael Jackson had on your career?
I met a man who I have total respect for. One of the most interesting things he ever said to me, I'll never forget, we were arguing, he said to me in that very high-pitched voice of his, 'You use the F-word to much'. That always stuck with me. I thought that was smart to say at a time like that.


Michael Jackson - Beat It Interview 1983 Making Of

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31-03-2012, 08:23 PM
Michael Attends the Inauguration of South Korea's President Kim Dae Jung on February 25, 1998

1998 - Michael attends the investiture ceremony of then South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung, one of the century’s astute fighters for democracy and 2000 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

He stays in Seoul, South Korea from February 20 to February 27. Kevin Sullivan, reporter of Washington Post, who met with the artist at the event, answers that the latter’s purpose for his being present at the event was because “[Jackson] praised Kim Dae-jung's commitment to children, and he said he was considering a concert to benefit starving children in North Korea and around the world. (Jackson did headline two huge concerts in June 1999, one in Seoul and one in Munich, that raised several million dollars for children's charities.)” A day after the artist’s sudden demise, former South Korean president, Kim Dae-jung, who, less than two months later will also pass on due to a multiple organ dysfunction, says “the world has lost a hero… and Korea also lost a beloved friend, who showed continued interest and supported unification of Korean peninsula. Korean people are sad.”


In this file photo taken on Nov. 21, 1997, Kim Dae-jung, then South Korean presidential candidate of the National Congress for New Politics, performs calligraphy as U.S. pop star Michael Jackson looks on beside him as he visits Kim's office in Seoul. Former President Kim Dae-jung, who survived assassination attempts during his years as a dissident and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his reconciliation efforts with communist North Korea, died Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. He was 85.

November 21, 1997, Seoul, Kim Dae-jung to Michael - Jackson presented his own calligraphy.

Michael Jackson hugging Kim Dae Jung

Michael Jackson in South Korea 1998

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01-04-2012, 07:44 PM
Sam Bono on Working Together With Michael Jackson

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BAD: A great story on a young actors time with Michael on the Bad Video. A day with Michael, discussing the weather and Thriller, on humming songs and driving the train! “Michael is driving the train”. An older lady yelled out “Oh My God”

The music industry has many amazing success stories, but few artists reach the status of superstar and an even smaller number are able to maintain a level of h...ysteria in their audience. To capture an audience and hold their interest over a period of years is no small task. With that kind of talent, to excite constantly, with an unyielding fervour, may very well be the lot of Michael Jackson. The Jackson magic has touched a lot of people. When it was time to do the video for his new record, some very lucky young actors, one in particular, was touched by Michael’s magic. “I am not going to lie. It was the most exciting time in my life. Here I was, Sam Bono, working with Michael Jackson. It was really a dream come true”. Sam told us in an exclusive interview.

New York actor / model Sam Bono grew up listening to the music of the Jacksons. Sam confessed that he had often dreamed of sharing the stage with his favourite group and to have a small part in the Jackson video was a perfect Christmas gift. “It was hard to believe" - he said, sharing his initial reaction . “I got a call from my casting agent. He asked me if I would be available for the next two weeks. Being the unemployed actor that I am most of the time, naturally I sad “yes”. He then told me “Michael Jackson is in town doing a video, would you be available to work on it? “.I jokingly said “Let me check my calendar” Then I screamed “Yes!”
Next Sam told about the audition. “I went in to read for the casting person. He liked me and asked me to return the next day. That’s when I read for Martin Scorsese. He liked me. In a few days I got a call saying that I had this small part “I flipped”. The video for the song ‘Bad’ is loosely based on a true story from the pages of a newspaper. Michael plays a youngster named Darryl. He is an inner city kid that attends a mostly white prep school. They shot these scenes at the Master’s School in Dobbs Ferry. New York. Bono has vivid memories of his days of shooting his scenes. “I woke up, looked in the mirror and said “Bono and Jackson. Well this is the day. I was so Excited”.

Sam said that he ran to meet the bus that took him to the the set. He said that he just stared out of the window all the way to the school. He was wondering what the day was going to be like. He said that when they finally arrived there were enough trucks, cameras and crew for a major motion picture. Sam and a number of other actors were taken into a classroom where they awaited Jackson’s arrival. Bono recalls “We waited about an hour then Michael’s limo arrived. I saw him get out with the mask on. But that was the only time that he wore it, and I think that was only because of the photographers that were there. He walked into the classroom with his security guard and two local policemen. There was total silence in the room. You could have heard a pin drop. Michael didn’t say much he just looked around then took a seat. Sam said that Michael appeared to be very shy and avoided eye contact with anyone other than his staff. Sam said that Michael was nice and friendly, but quiet.

The producer Quincy Jones, had rented a commuter train to shoot some of the scenes in. That is where Sam says that he got to know the real Michael “In the classroom Michael would do his scenes then go back into his trailer. However, when we were doing the train scenes, there was no trailer for him to get into. And none of his scurity or other staff could be around, which is what I liked. They were not allowed in the car, because we were filming and they would have been seen on film. “That is when I really got to know him” Sam offered. “It was just us, the camera and the director. That is when he opened up. He let loose. We talked about everything from the weather to his Thriller video. He was like a regular guy and he was very professional”. Sam said that after seeing Michael smothered by his staff, it was good to see Michael left alone and allowed to be himself. Mike told Sam that he really got a charge out of doing the Thriller video. It seems that the monsters gave him a real thrill.

Bono said that he and Michael talked about girls and family. Sam got a surprise reaction to the Mary Wilson Book. He recalls. “Being that we were on the train for 5 hours and we spent a lot of time waiting. I pulled a book out of my bag. It was the new Mary Wilson Book ‘Dreamgirl’. I asked Michael if he would write something in the book for me. When I handed the book to him he looked almost shocked. Michael said “Are you reading this book?”. I said “Yes have you read it?”. He said “I won’t read this book..Mary is so jealous of Diana. You should have seen her at the Motown 25th special.. He just went on and on recounting, as if I was there” Sam recalls. So I jokingly said to him that I knew just what he was talking about, I spoke to Diana last night. She said to tell him Hi.. and we both laughed about that”.
Sam said that Michael spoke with pride about the new album. Sam said that there is no doubt in his mind that Michael is a genius. He said that Michael spent most of his free time composing songs in his head. Bono remembered, “Between takes, you would bear this incredible singing and humming Michael would be running these tunes off the top of his head. They were good enough to be pressed into records. Everything that comes out of that kid’s mouth is golden”.

The cast and crew rode the commuter train for five hours, back and forth shooting over and over. When the director finally said that it was a wrap, the train started back toward the school. Michael spotted the conducter, Sam continued. “Michael asked him “Could you show me how the train works?” The conducter was more than thrilled to take him by the hand and walk him up to the front of the car. He took Michael into the cabin and showed him all the controls. Michael seemed fascinated. The guy let Michael take control of the train. We started going slow, then we jerked. I yelled out to the others “Michael is driving the train”. An older lady yelled out “Oh My God” but everyone else was amused. I told Michael “Go for it, Mike, give it some more power”. The conductor showed Michael the horn and he just laid on it”.

The word had gotten out that Michael Jackson was around and fans were all over the train station. As Michael pulled the train into the station he could see all the fans with his pictures, posters, buttons and albums. You can’t imagine the amazement in one boy’s eyes as he jumped up and down screaming “Mummy, Mummy look, Michael Jackson is driving the train!.
Michael had made that day unforgettable for a number of people. That included Sam. With his many print modelling jobs and walk ons with All My Children, Sam is far from a newcomer in the business. Nevertheless this was a special day for Sam. Michael has a way of touching people’s lives in a wonderful way and they don’t forget him easily. With a producer like Quincy Jones and a director like Martin Scorsese and one of the largest budgets ever ‘Bad’ was destined to be awesome. But only one element could make the project magical, and that’s ..Michael Jackson!

The World's Baddest Video by Curtis Marlow ~ typed complete from Magazine article by UK loves MJ.

03-04-2012, 09:04 PM
Michael Jackson - Love is Like a Wet Bar of Soap and other Love Quotes

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Many years ago I had a special dream. The dream reminds me somewhat of Michael's thoughts on Love in Dancing the Divine.
It was a star filled night and I was walking along the beach, admiring the moon and the stars and the gentle lapping of the waves on the beach. It was peaceful and quiet and I was the only one on the beach. Suddenly, a white unicorn emanating a fierce bright light, rose up from the waters of the sea. It was a beautiful sight with a very special meaning. From out of nowhere fishermen appeared who hastily jumped into their boats. They sailed, large nets aboard, towards the lighting unicorn. The moment they came close enough to throw their nets over the unicorn, the unicorn simply disappeared from sight.
Love is like a unicorn, it emanates a light that warms the heart and strenghtens the soul. But the moment you try to capture love and hold on tight, it slips away. That is the irony of life, valid for all sorts of love: love and freedom go hand in hand. To let the other free requires faith in the strength of the love. And that reminds me of a favorite quote of mine which hung on my bedroom wall on a horses poster "If you love something, set it free, if it comes back to you, it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was." I recognized the deep truth hidden in these words from a very early age onwards and decided to live by them, no matter the circumstances.
~ MJJLaugh


Love is a funny thing to describe. It´s so easy to feel and yet so slippery to talk about. It´s like a bar of soap in the bathtub-you have it in your hand until you hold on too tight.
Some people spend their lives looking for love outside themselves.
They think they have to grasp it in order to have it. But love slips away like that wet bar of soap.
Holding on to love is not wrong, but you need to learn to hold it lightly, caressingly. Let it fly when it wants. When it´s allowed to be free, love is what makes life alive, joyful, and new. It´s the juice and energy that motivates my music, my dancing, everything.
As long as love is in my heart, it´s everywhere.
~ Michael Jackson (Dancing the Divine, 1992)


You never know how long you have with someone, so don’t forget to say I love you while you can.”- Michael Jackson

“I say, ‘You should blanket me’ or ‘you should blanket her’, meaning like a blanket is a blessing. It’s a way of showing love and caring.”- Michael Jackson

“Love is the human family’s most precious legacy. Its richest bequest. Its golden inheritance.”- Michael Jackson

“The courage to be honest and intimate opens the way to self-discovery. It offers what we all want, the promise of love.”- Michael Jackson

“For me, Love is something very pure.”- Michael Jackson

“Of course, I believe in love. Its beautiful when it’s right. My love life is like my music.”- Michael Jackson

“Its all for Love.. L.O.V.E.”- Michael Jackson

“I’m a gentleman, call me old fashioned if you want.”- Michael Jackson

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Source for the love quotes:


04-04-2012, 08:33 PM
Michael Jackson - Shopping at Vilda de Porro's Antique Shop in Palm Beach

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Robert and Shirley Wyner with Michael shopping at Vilda de Porro's Antique shop in Palm Beach.

[Edited from article] As with many celebrities, Jackson frequented Palm Beach and even considered making it his home. Jackson was a guest at Mar-a-Lago many times, according to Donald Trump, who maintained a friendship with the legendary superstar for years. "I've known Michael for ...a long time," Trump said Thursday evening. "He was an amazing artist. He was an amazing guy."He was a truly amazing entertainer," Trump added. "He was a huge person, an iconic figure."

One of Jackson's first visits to the South Ocean Boulevard estate was in the 1990s when he holed up for a week in the tower suite with Lisa Marie Presley, whom he would later marry. "It was a great moment in Palm Beach. It was a wild moment," Trump said. "That was the beginning of their romance."

During that visit, Jackson bought some items at Vilda de Porro's Worth Avenue antique shop. The shopping trip was quiet and private, but de Porro made sure to have her photo taken with the pop star in her store, and described him in glowing terms. He was escorted to the shop by Robert and Shirley Wyner.

Writing from Paris Friday, Robert Wyner said they went to extra lengths to keep Jackson out of sight. "Vilda closed the shop to the public and we brought him in the back door," Wyner said.

Robert Wyner, chairman of Barclays Group International, and Shirley Wyner, owner of Barclays International Realty, showed Jackson the sprawling, wild Phipps estate property. That was in the days before it was developed into the manicured property it is today. "... we thought he could be better served in Orlando so [Realtor] Gregory Weadock and I took him there," Robert Wyner wrote.

Trump said he called Jackson regularly to see how he was doing. "He was very fragile the last five years." In 2002 and 2003, Jackson became quite public in his visits to Palm Beach as he again eyed island real estate.

He toured the $45 million Marden estate in December 2002, but reportedly found the 17,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion too small for his taste and needs. In February 2003, he signed autographs on Worth Avenue and popped into Sprinkles on Royal Poinciana Way for fat-free vanilla yogurt. In April that year he was back on Worth Avenue, visiting several shops and galleries.

Edited from http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/comm/content/news/2009/06/25/webjackson.html 2009. Posted 12.1.2012



06-04-2012, 08:51 PM
Michael Jackson - Before He Was King


Product Description Photographer Todd Gray worked with Michael Jackson for several years before Jackson requested that he become his personal photographer, a relationship that would encompass the singer’s performances with the Jacksons through the release of his smash solo albums Off the Wall and Thriller. This collection of unseen, intimate, and joyful pictures of Michael taken over a span of 10 years reveal him at home, with his family and fans, in career-making live performances, and the on the “Beat It” video shoot. A young black man not much older than Jackson at the time they met, Gray brings unique insights to his time with the singer, contributing stories and context to the images, presenting a rare, intimate portrait of Jackson at a creative peak as he grew from a brilliantly talented young man into a pop icon.




“I’m with Michael!”

“In January 1980, I received a call saying that Michael Jackson had specifically requested me to photograph him at Disneyland, where he was taping a television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom. When Michael was not on the set performing, he took every opportunity to explore the park. The moment the director would release him from the set in order to prepare the next shot, Michael would grab my arm and say, “Come on, let’s hit some rides.” Off we went, the two of us accompanied by a Disney security person, who ushered us through secret passageways, making certain we never waited in line. Michael, who was 21 at the time, loved Disneyland, and while sitting next to him on the rides—the Matterhorn, the Pirates of the Caribbean—I joined right in with his screams and laughter. We really had fun.


Not long after this job, I got another call from the Jacksons’ manager, Ron Weisner, asking me to shoot Michael at a charity event. He said that Michael had instructed him to hire only me when he needed a photographer. Then Ron asked me, “What’s up with you and Michael?” I answered, “We just get along, I guess.” (I had first met Michael in 1974 while photographing the Jackson 5 for Soul Newspaper.) I asked Ron if Michael had given him any indication as to why he wanted only me to photograph him. He said Michael told him, “I like Todd because he doesn’t talk much.” And that’s how it began. I was Michael’s photographer and friend for the next four years. It was the ride of my life.


From early on, I saw how dedicated Michael was to work. He worked nearly all the time and rarely seemed to relax. A great deal of time was spent in the recording studio—the Jacksons’ intense focus on creating a flawless product helped make them the success that they became, and Michael was clearly the most focused, hardest-working member of the group. While in the mixing booth, making technical adjustments and working the board with the engineers, he would whisper instructions to his brothers about a vocal arrangement, whispering not because the instructions were secret, but because he was shy and didn’t like to yell out his ideas. In the spring of 1981, Michael and his brothers began rehearsals for the Triumph Tour, which would travel to 35 cities in North America. When Michael found time to relax, he loved to leaf through photographic books. He especially loved books about 1930s Hollywood glamour, richly illustrated children’s books, and coffee-table books on photography. Michael would usually hole up in the rear of the bus, while the others spent their time together in front. I also preferred the quiet at the back, and I would sit down with him while he was engrossed in reading.

My photographs of Michael, from 1974 to 1984, show him as the engaging, charming, youthful person he was before the insatiable demands of his extraordinary celebrity bore so heavily on him. As I reflect, I realize now that this was the time before he was King.”

-Todd Gray “Michael Jackson: Before He Was King”




07-04-2012, 09:44 PM
Michael Jackson Grants Young David Sonnet His Wish


1992 - Michael Jackson grants the wish of young David Sonnet, whom he meets via the Make A Wish Foundation(which was sponsored by Sony), the boy being one of only four kids invited from the foundation to his hero Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

Sonnet suffered a brain aneurysm at the tender age of 8, leaving him only able to function through a communication device, it helping him convey his thoughts through a specialized computer. Young David had received a ‘Beat It’ jacket from a local charity in a West Palm Beach, Florida, which he wore for his special encounter. Jackson notices it and says “I see you have my jacket on’. Among the activities David did together with his mother at Neverland, he held Bubbles, Jackson’s monkey, rode the Octopus, the merry-go-round and other activities suchlike. Because Sonnet was unable to talk or walk, the two shared an “I Love You” in sign language. A visibly emotional Jackson receives a stuffed lion and a picture of himself from the youngster and tells the boy he would keep his photo in his room. Before this encounter, David Sonnet had written to Jackson on various occasions as a show of support, and the entertainer would write back and include photos and other personal mementos.


This hat featured in the auction from West Palm Beach was gifted from Jackson to Sonnet. The offered wool hat was gifted to Sonnet from Jackson in the late '90s. "MICHAEL JACKSON" is screened in gold letters on the inside leather headband. A size "Large" label is secured on the headband as well. Jackson signed the inside in paint pen and inscribed "To David Sonnet All My Love" and "1998". While Sonnet sent a thank you card to the singer, inclusing a wedding card when he married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994. Both times Jackson responded with a signed letter and salutation.


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According to Debbie Sonnet, David’s mother, Jackson’s music did help him recover of a coma his recovery room was decorated with numerous Jackson photos and his music was played at all times. Sonnet passed away on July 26, 2004.

Michael Jackson's "Beat It" Video Worn Signed Jacket

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08-04-2012, 08:00 PM
Michael Jackson Receives the Caring for Kids Award or Kids' Choice Award in 1994


Superstar Michael Jackson honored with award from children

Superstar Michael Jackson recently made an appearance in New York to accept an award honoring his devotion and commitment to helping children enhance their lives.

Approximately 100,000 children voted Jackson the world's best role model. He accepted the "Caring for Kids Award" during a ceremony at New York's City Center Theatre.

Hundreds of children chanted "Michael! Michael!" as Jackson, flanked by 30 youngsters, received the award. "I am deeply honored," the King of Pop told the crowd as he blew kisses and giggled. When someone from the audience shouted: "We love you Michael!" Jackson replied, "I love you too. I love you all."

The "Caring for Kids Award" acknowledges a celebrity who has devoted time to work with young people to enhance their lives. Over 75 percent of the children polled for the award voted for Jackson.



'94 April Michael Receives Kids choice Award in NYC

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10-04-2012, 09:25 PM
Michael's Left Hand Painted

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Between 1991 and 1993 L.A.'s muralist Kent Twitchell made a 100' tall mural of Michael Jackson's left hand - was originally slated to be shown on the side of the Barker Bros. Building (now the El Capitan Theatre) on Hollywood Boulevard. ON april 2 to 24, 2009, the Jackson hand mural was presented at LOOK Gallery, at Broadway (Los Angeles, CA).



11-04-2012, 09:09 PM
Teaching Michael Jackson in the College Classroom


I couldn’t let the 20th anniversary of the premier of the Black or White video pass by without paying tribute to it. At the same time, I realized that a discussion of this groundbreaking video can be closely tied in with another subject I have been wanting to write about-teaching Michael Jackson in the freshman college classroom.

Most Kids Today Are Aware That Michael Jackson Was Someone Very Big And Famous, But Their Knowledge Usually Begins And Ends With Billie, Jean, Beat It, and Thriller

I have been teaching English classes at a local community college for several years. A few semesters ago I began incorporating Michael’s Black or White video into the curriculum of my English 102 classes, usually as part of our unit on theme and symbolism. In the beginning, I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t sure how a discussion of Michael Jackson or his work would be received by a group of mostly 18-to-22-year-olds, mixed in with the occasional middle-aged homemaker who has returned to school after a 20-year hiatus of raising a family. I know how most of those 18-to-22-year old kids view Michael Jackson. They’ve all heard of him, of course, and may even be familiar with some of the songs. If pressed, they could probably tell you he was that guy who did Thriller and was famous for doing the moonwalk. They no doubt will know something about the controversies of Michael’s last years; they may be aware that he was the butt of nose jokes and-sadly-pedophile jokes. They realize that he is someone considered great; a legand and icon to their parents’ generation. If they’ve thought much about him at all, they think of him as one of the great old school artists-someone they know is supposed to be revered, but in the same way they regard Shakespeare. In other words, as someone they know is “supposed” to be great art, but who remains for them an enigma enshrouded by mostly ignorance and fear-the fear of the unknown. For just as with Shakespeare, whom students will avoid out of fear and intimidation until a good teacher is able to help tear down that wall, I realize every year that the reason most young people remain ignorant of the art and influence of Michael Jackson is simply that they have never had any kind of exposure to Michael Jackson as a serious subject of study.

Of course, that is starting to change as many universities are beginning to include Michael Jackson studies as a part of their offered academic curriculums. We are at the stage now where there is just enough distance to finally begin acknowledging and assessing Michael Jackson’s importance, not just as a pop icon, but as a serious artist worthy of academic study; as one who is worthy of inclusion in the academic canon. Last year, a very succesful symposium in Chicago was dedicated to the topic of Michael Jackson as a subject of academic study. New books such as Joe Vogel’s Man In The Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson are helping to shed new insight on the serious study of Michael Jackson’s music and art. It also means that as a culture we are finally somewhat getting away from the idea of Michael Jackson as simply a great entertainer, and accepting that, like the Beatles and Bob Dylan (artists who have been subjects for academic study for many years) ), he is among that elite handful of artists whose work has helped define and reshape our culture.

Books Such As Joe Vogel's New Book "Man In The Music: The Creative Life And Work of Michael Jackson" Are Indicative Of A Growing Interest In The Serious Academic Study Of Michael Jackson's Music And Cultural Legacy

One night, earlier this year, I was in the middle of teaching my class when I heard a familiar falsetto-”shoop!”-coming from the music class across the hall. I realized I was hearing Speed Demon. I had no idea what the music class was covering that night, or how Speed Demon fit into the picture, but I smiled a little inside knowing that Michael’s music was being taught and appreciated. At the same time, it’s a bit ironic to think that the pop Top 40 of our day is now music worthy of serious academic study. Michael Jackson is being taught right alongside Beethoven and Mozart, but somehow that does not feel strange at all.

However, it’s one thing to teach Michael Jackson in a music class. But an English class? Well, that may not be as far fetched as it sounds. I have been using music as part of my class curriculum for several years. I have found that using music-especially pop music- helps students to comprehend difficult and sometimes dense concepts such as theme and symbolism. And because a song is more compact and immediate than, say, a short story or even a poem, it can be a great way to introduce young students to these concepts.

The first time I actually introduced Michael Jackson into the classroom was as part of a discussion of theme. I played Sign O’ The Times by Prince, which is a great song to use for a discussion of theme and also to discuss artistic motifs’ (themes that may reoccur repeatedly throughout an artist’s body of work). Playing that song usually leads to a discussion of how Prince incorporates apocalyptic themes and imagery into his work. Next, I played Michael’s Stranger In Moscow (which is not only a great song, but also exposes them to something by Michael Jackson other than just Beat It, Billie Jean, or Thriller, which for 99% of them is all they’ve ever heard). The playing of Stranger In Moscow always elicits some great classroom discussions. Among the themes we usually discuss is that of alienation; particularly, in Michael’s case, the alienation of the artist. But we also discuss how the song can be applied to anyone who feels isolated and alone, or as if no one in the world cares. Which, quite frankly, is a theme we can all relate to at some time or other, especially teens. Of course, turnabout is fair play, so the way I usually encourage my students to get involved and listen is to tell them, “Okay, if you guys will be patient and listen to my old school 80′s music, I’ll let you bring to class and discuss something you like.” What this accomplishes is that it opens the door to dialogue; my students feel that I am interested in what is relevant to them, so in return, they are more open and receptive to listening to…well, as I jokingly say, my “old” music. Except that an interesting thing usually happens once the dialogue has been opened; we usually find that we learn a lot from each other. And for most of my students-for whom Tupac Shakur is old school- it is often a revelation for them to realize that Michael Jackson is still just as relevant as Chris Brown or Lady Gaga; perhaps even moreso. They learn, in essence, why his music has stood the test of time (in much the same way that Shakespeare still endures, while literary fads may come and go).

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But it was not until a few semesters ago that I finally decided to go completely out on a limb, and to set aside an entire class night to discuss and analyze the Black or White video. I made the decision after realizing that it is not only a terrific video for discussing symbolism, what with the Black Panther segment, but also a very fascinating case study in what can happen when symbolism is misinterpreted-or, perhaps, coded in such a way that it is only intended for certain viewers to “get.”

I knew this would be taking a risk. Although I had in the past devoted a few minutes of class time to discussing theme in Stranger In Moscow, I had never before seriously considered the idea of devoting an entire class night to a serious academic discussion of Michael Jackson. I didn’t know how well this would go over; I didn’t know how students would react. After all, like it or not, Michael Jackson remains a very controversial and polarizing figure, one that people either love and revere, or passionately despise (even if, albeit, for all the wrong reasons, but that is a debate for elsewhere). Simply put, I didn’t know what can of worms I might be opening. Nervously; hesitantly, I set aside an evening on my syllabus calendar (which every student receives a copy of on the first night of each semester) and wrote: “Discuss Symbolism In Michael Jackson’s Black or White video.” It was slipped in as casually as any other discussion of any other important literary work or author on the syllabus, and that was exactly how I approached it. This would be an evening dedicated to a very important artistic work by an important American, 20th century artist-no different than any other evening spent discussing Robert Frost’s “Birches” or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited. I also gave them an added incentive to take it seriously..by letting them know it would be on their exam!

I am proud to say I have now been regularly teaching the Black or White video as a routine part of my English 102 curriculum for several semesters now, and so far it has been mostly a resounding success. So now I thought I might share a little of what that experience has been like over the past several semesters, and perhaps in so doing, hopefully inspire more teachers to bring Michael Jackson into the classroom.

For me, it’s been a revelation, and not without a few surprises-mostly positive ones.

It's Hard To Fathom That Most Kids Today Have No Idea What A Huge Deal A New Michael Jackson Video Was In 1991

Each class night that I teach Black or White begins, of course, with watching the full length, eleven minute video. Before showing the video, I usually give a brief talk to give them a sense of context, reminding them that this was 1991, and at the time, Michael Jackson was the biggest pop star in the world. By this time, every new video from him was an event; a spectacle. It’s important to give them this sense of context; after all, most of these kids weren’t even born in 1991; at most, they were just babies. Like I said before, most of them do have some idea that Michael Jackson was a huge star, but for most of them, coming of age in the era of Youtube and post-music MTV, it’s hard to even fathom a time when one pop star could command a worldwide television audience of over 500 million viewers with just a single video.

But the real clincher is when I tell them that the video had no sooner been broadcast, then it was almost immediatly panned, condemned, and ultimately banned from MTV. Of course, that gets their attention because they immediatly want to know: What was so bad about it that it was banned? That is when I say, “Just watch…and then we’ll talk about it.”

So for about six minutes, the class sits through what must seem to them a relatively catchy, cute and funny, if albeit harmless enough, peon to racial harmony. “It don’t matter if you’re black or white…” Looking out, I can see many of them bopping along; most of them recognize the song, even if it’s just a distant, childhood memory. At some point, they had all probably heard it, maybe even sang along to it as kids, but then had stored it away in the deepest recesses of their collective, subconscious memories-probably along with Barney the Dinosaur and Ren and Stimpy!

The Michael Jackson Of Black Or White Is A Michael Jackson Most Kids My Students' Age Haven't Known...I Can Always Hear The Audible Gasps When He First Appears In The Video (Especially From The Girls!)

And then, usually, there is an almost audible gasp when they see their first glimpse of the 1991 Michael Jackson, dancing among the aborigines in his skinny black pants and flowing white shirt, rocking the long hair; his lean dancer’s body lithe as a cat and ready to spring! For many of them, this is a Michael Jackson they have not experienced. They may be familiar with the iconic image of Michael Jackson from his Thriller days; or even moreso, the Michael Jackson of later years who had become the butt of media jokes. My students, after all, are a generation who have come of age with the “***** *****” image perpetuated by the tabloids. Those images of Michael Jackson coming and going from court in 2005 have unfortunately become the only image that most younger kids even know.

But suddenly, they are seeing Michael in his youthful prime, and in that moment, there is a palpable connection made. I can always feel it in the room. Michael is young and beautiful, larger than life on the big projection screen; even a bit dangerous. In that moment, he comes alive again; he becomes relevant again.

However, it is those final, infamous six minutes or so-the Black Panther Dance-in which my students literally become spellbound. But who can blame them? As someone was quoted in “The Making of Black or White,” even if you didn’t like it, could totally care less, you couldn’t pull your eyes away from it. It is in those moments that I see the true magic of Michael Jackson at work. Even the good ol’ macho redneck boys-the ones who could really care less about Michael Jackson-are nevertheless enamored to his every move; no one can tear their eyes away. The Panther Dance sequence is brilliant in its unexpectedness; its juxtapositions of the erotic and the profane; the sexual and the violent.

Most don’t “get it” but they certainly can’t turn away!

When the video is over, it is always the most stunned sort of uncomfortable silence that falls over the classroom. And breaking that silence is always the most awkward moment of the entire lesson. I can feel it in the air; can read it in all their faces. They have gone from enjoying what at first seemed a very fun and catchy video to a stunned ”What the bloody hell was that?” In some ways, not so very different from the exact, same way that audiences reacted in 1991.

The Panther Dance...Love It Or Hate It, You Can't Look Away

What can one possibly do in that situation? Where to begin after that, as far as facilitating class discussion? Well, where I begin is with the obvious…and usually, a sense of humor helps. I will say, “I know you’re all thinking, ‘what the bloody heck was that?’ and then I’ll say, “Well, you know what? The first time I ever saw this video, I thought the same thing…and so did a lot of people!”

This is the point where I go into the uproar and controversy caused by the video. As a follow up, I always play portions of “The Making Of Black Or White” which does an excellent job of depicting just how big this thing blew up. I also usually get a few laughs when I mention one of my own fondest memories of that following Monday morning when EVERYBODY was talking about this video. On one radio talk show, an elderly woman called in. They asked her what she thought of the Michael Jackson video. In a quivering voice that could have been anyone’s grandmother, the old woman paused for a minute and then said, “Well, I just think that boy needs to get married, real bad.”

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At this point, we discuss the reactions to the video and the resulatnt condemnation. Was all the uproar and controversy warranted? Students will usually be divided; some saying yes; others no. But most still do not at this point get the truly relevant symbolism, so that is usually where I direct them next.

As a companion piece to the video, I always read with my students Barbara Kaufmann’s excellent essay on this video, ”Black and White and Proud.” It is not only by far one of the most insightful pieces I’ve read on the symbolism and historical context of this video, but also, for my own classroom purposes, an excellent model for my students in what good literary criticsm should be. Writing literary criticism (especially coming up with an arguable, persuasive thesis) is a concept that many students struggle with. In using Kaufmann’s essay, it is also a good opportunity for me to teach students how a well written piece of literary criticism does far more than just “explain” the work-when done right, it can open the doors to understanding; can help shed light on the work in ways we may not have previously thought, and can even completely change or alter one’s perception of a work.


Much of the focus of Kaufmann’s article is about the video’s coded symbolism;the Black Panther symbol’s powerful (if implicit) message, and the historical role of Michael Jackson as a civil rights activist-in ways that many may not have considered before. I know that for my students, especially, the idea of Michael Jackson as a civil rights activist is something of a revelation, and one that I think encourages many of them to view him in a whole different light. Part of class discussion, of course, is encouraging them to agree or disgaree with the points of Kaufmann’s article ( I encourage them that disgareeing is okay, as long as they can back their disagreement with valid and logical points). However, to provide further context for the article, I usually follow up, when time permits, by also showing the clips of Michael’s 2002 speech against Sony, and the 2001 speech in New York with Rev. Al Sharpton. In both clips, students get to see Michael in action as an activist standing up for the rights of black artists. Seeing him in this context helps add validity to both the message of Black or White and Kaufmann’s essay. I tell them the story I was told when I visited Gary, Indiana last year and learned that as recently as the 1960′s, when Michael was a child, “colored people” were not allowed past the downtown railroad tracks after 6pm (which presented a problem for Michael and his brothers, since they were usually playing at downtown clubs long past the 6pm curfew!). I tell them about the racially motivated beating that Michael took right here in our own home state, Alabama-as late as 1983! I tell them, these are not the things you will read in any book; these are not the things the media will report. But yes, Michael Jackson knew racism, and yes, he was angry, and yes, he was an activist in ways many will never know or realize.

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But this brings up another interesting dilemma when teaching Michael Jackson in the classroom. How does one manage to take this very complex man-whose life has been the subject of tabloid fodder and misunderstanding for over thirty years-and condense the essence of him down to an hour-long class? Every time I prepare for this class, I find myself asking that question. I am thinking, if I have but one hour to maybe change some kid’s mind about Michael Jackson, or to impart a kernel of truth that might somehow make a dent in all of the lies and misinformation the media has programmed into these kids’ brains-what should I say?

Well, just as with teaching any writer or poet I love, I have to realize that I can’t cover everything. What I have to do is to keep the discussion focused and relevant to the topic at hand. However, it’s virtually impossible to talk about Michael Jackson to a classroom of teens and young adults without at least touching on some of the familiar controversies of his life. At various times, discussions of everything from his vitiligo, to his surgeries, to the molestation allegations have come up-and, of course, I have to be prepared to deal with those topics. For the most part, I don’t dwell on the allegations, simply because if I allowed myself to really get carried away on that topic, I could easily spend the entire hour discussing that and nothing else! But if students do ask questions, I answer them honestly and forthrightly, giving them the facts that I have researched. Once, I had an especially inquisitive student who couldn’t help asking: If Michael Jackson really felt so strongly that it did not matter if you’re black or white, why did he bleach his skin to be white?” That question really took me aback. This student was not being a smart aleck; he genuinely believed that Michael Jackson bleached his skin. He was all of eighteen years old, and had never heard any different. All he knew was what the media had told him. So that opened the door for us, as a class, to have a very good discussion about the disease vitiligo. Predictably, most of my students were stunned. They couldn’t understand why the media would withhold such information.

On the flipside, however, I am also very proud to say that most of my students are incredibly smart and savvy. They know how the media operates. What I am always most delighted to learn is that many of them, in fact, have a very genuine and avid curiosity about the man Michael Jackson. They seem for the most part to enjoy this opportunity to get to know a little bit about a man they rightfully feel the media did not allow them to get to know. When we talk about the media injustice to Michael Jackson, I’m very surprised to learn that most of my students “get” that. But perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, they are a generation that has been in a more privileged position than any other to witness just how quickly the media can tear someone down. They have come of age in a generation where our government and media have lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in order to justify a war we should never have been in; they are, for sure, a more cynical and world-weary generation than we were.

I can’t say with 100% certainty what my students take away from these discussions. If they hate Michael Jackson, of course, they probably aren’t going to tell me-I’m the teacher, after all! But judging from the cumulative responses so far, I know for certain that most of them come away from that one hour with a better understanding of Michael Jackson, both the man AND the artist-than they’ve ever had before. When it comes time for the exam question on Black or White, I am always both amazed and touched at the depth with which my brightest students are able to analyze how and why the “coded symbolism” of The Black Panther works, whether to enhance, expand upon, or deflect from the video’s message of racial equality. Ultimately, what I hope they take from it is that Michael’s message of racial equality is an ideal-a beautiful one, at that. But before that ideal can be achieved-before it is even possible-we first have to purge a lot of the ugliness. The ideal cannot be achieved as long as racial injustice still exists. The Black Panther Dance, with all of its violence and pent-up rage, is the catharsis that has to happen before true healing and equality can be achieved.


Yes, an hour is a very short time in which to make a difference. But I don’t regret undertaking this challenge. For one hour every semester, I get an opportunity to introduce my students to a man, an artist, a humanitarian, and an amazing civil rights activist they never knew. I give then an opportunity to meet Michael Jackson, the human being.

As for Michael Jackson, The Caricature, he will still be out there, long after my students have moved on from English 102. But somehow, I doubt The Caricature will ever hold quite the same appeal for them.

Truth has a funny way of doing that.



13-04-2012, 08:21 PM
Messages Of Love

Monday, April 2nd 2012
Messages Of Love

Paula Katsikas, an Australian Michael fan, spent last Friday in Adelaide, Australia, spreading Michael’s Messages of love. See Paula’s story below.


My story begins with a dear friend called Marjolein Lukas, who is spreading Michael’s message of Love all around the world through her beautiful and heartfelt cards, each one containing a written quotation from Michael.

Today, (Friday, March 23rd) I am going to help spread Michael’s love in my hometown, Adelaide, Australia, and what better place to start my little adventure than at the Adelaide Oval. Not because I am a keen cricket or sports fan by any means, but because of the memory that it holds for me. It was here that I was a witness to Michael’s phenomenal and spell bounding concert in 1996.


As I stand here placing a card on the grounds, I can almost hear the roar of the crowd and the thunder of Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett on the drums as Michael mesmerises us with his breathtaking performance of ‘Billie Jean.’ I recall a time and place in my life that I hold very dear and one of my most unforgettable experiences.

I knew that this had to be the first stop for me. This is where Michael made ‘HIStory’.

Next it’s off to the South Australian Museum. Walking through the different sections, past the bones of giant long gone prehistoric creatures that once ruled the Earth, I get a little emotional. I think of Michael, a giant himself on this Earth who was without a doubt the ruler of the Music World. Never long- gone though, as he will always remain close to those that loved him and way ahead of this planet to ever be considered prehistoric.


I leave cards all over the museum, in every different section. The place is crowded with people and there are cameras everywhere, so if you happen to see a headline on the News, ‘Strange lady leaves Michael Jackson cards all over our State Museum,’ you will know that it was me. I receive a couple of funny looks, but when I see that first child pick up my card and hear him shout to his mother “Look mum, it’s Michael Jackson!”, I know that my work here is nearly done.




One last destination on the agenda in the museum, and that is the Egyptian section with all the ancient artifacts. Here, next to a preserved Mummy I leave my last message of love for the next person to discover. At this moment I remember Michael’s brilliant song and dance interpretation of a Love in Egypt and it is here that I ‘Remember the Time.’
My journey continues with a quick stop to our Library. So many books stored under one big roof, shelves and shelves of them, just waiting to be read by anyone that has a thirst for knowledge. I picture Michael in his Neverland Library, turning the pages from one book to another, always wanting to enhance his mind. I always remember him saying that he read as many books as he could get his hands on.



There’s an array of subjects to choose from, but I find myself in the Children’s section pulling out a book appropriately titled ‘ABC.’ It is next to this book for obvious reasons to anyone that knows Michael’s music, that I leave his next message of love. I sit in a nearby chair for a moment and think about Michael, the little boy who had to grow up way before his time and of how he then longed for the ‘Childhood’ he never had.


The Art Gallery next door is the next stop on the list. There are no portraits or paintings of Michael here by his beloved artists, only a sense of the love and admiration that he had for Art. As I search the gallery for a painting with some sort of connection to him, I am slightly disappointed until I reach the back section in a separate room. In this room I come across two paintings, one of the King of Kings portrayed at his crucifix, and another of someone obviously of regal decent leaning against his kingly throne. This is the perfect place for me to rest my next cards in remembrance of a King in the Entertainment Industry. A king that to this day still remains ‘Invincible’ and has had records set that remain ‘Unbreakable.’ His message of love is left to be read by the next Art admirer that walks past.


My fifth stop for the day is the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. As I sit in the main foyer, I try to imagine how many hospitals just like this one that Michael would have visited during his lifetime. I visualise in my mind the many sad faces of sick children that he would have transformed into smiles when they would have seen him walking towards their bed with presents in hand.


Placing my card with another of Michael’s messages of love on the nearby table, I think about this extraordinary man’s beautiful heart and all the love that he had for these children. He spent most of his adult life helping them by giving up so much of his time and money in an attempt to make them feel better and many times in saving their lives.
Michael’s dream was to ‘Heal the World’ and all the children in it. He certainly played an enormous part in trying to make that dream come to life.

The day would not be complete without a visit to nature, and so I find myself wandering in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. A tranquil and peaceful place where beautiful trees and flowers surround the area, and dirt trails lead me to the calming sound of water.

While I leave my cards in special parts of the gardens, some in the branches of the trees that I walk past, amongst the rose bushes, on one or two benches, and even at the entrance of our Bicentennial Conservatory, I think back to the love that Michael had for the planet and every living matter in it and I reflect on his words from the ‘Earth Song.’
I hope that the next person that picks up my card with Michael’s message of love will also remember his haunting speech from ‘This Is It,’ and of how he told us that if we wanted to heal the sick planet that it was up to us.



What more appropriate place to end my short journey and leave my last message of love from Michael, than in a home that symbolizes a Higher Power, for that is where Michael now resides, safe and protected and at peace in God’s arms. When asked about his special talents and gifts, he always stated that he couldn’t take credit for them himself as they came from above.


I thank Michael for the faith that he has given me and for making me believe that real live Angels do exist. He didn’t have to have white feathered wings or perform miracles. His beautiful, caring and never ending heart earned him that title.

I guess ‘Heaven Couldn’t Wait’ to take its Angel home again.

It has been a long day as I have travelled from one location to the other each one connecting me to Michael in one way or another. I have left reminders of Michael’s love in so many different places, from a concert oval to a museum, to a library, art gallery, botanical garden, hospital and even a house of God. They are all places that are frequently visited by many people and where my cards are bound to be seen.

Today, has brought back many memories of the man who I class as one of the greatest humanitarians that ever lived, and if my messages of love from Michael have been picked up and have made even that one person, read them, smile, take note, or simply mention his name, then the mission I set out with this morning has been accomplished. For I can say to that one person that I helped you to ‘One Day In Your Life’ remember Michael and the love that he stood for.

(If you want to spread the love too, or take a closer look at Marjolein's amazing cards, you can look here http://www.lukas-art.com/

Source: Paula Katsikas & MJWN


15-04-2012, 08:53 PM
Inspirational Thoughts: Letter to Michael Jackson
By ripplemaker


Dear Michael Jackson,

I never thought I would come to this point of writing you a letter. I know you because you are famous. Who wouldn’t know the King of Pop, Michael Jackson? I know some of your music and your songs. But I don’t really know you, do I? I would still consider you to be a stranger in many sense of the word.

And yet here I am prodded to write you a letter. I honestly felt strange the first time this thought came into my mind and I brushed it aside as quickly as it came in. But today the prodding has come back more intensely this time. There have been many moments in my life when I followed my instincts and before I change my mind, I find myself writing my thoughts and reflections. So here I am.


Last June 25, 2009, Cebu Philippines, I still remember giving an orientation to the parents in our preschool. After that, I had to rush to a very important gathering. It was my dad’s birthday. I don’t get to celebrate my dad’s birthday a lot because I’ve been away from home since I was around eight years old. So a celebration like this particular birthday was important to me. And I was running late. But it didn’t matter that I was late, I was just happy to be there at the end of my day, grateful to have had the chance to celebrate his birthday with my brothers and their wives and some of our relatives.

The following day he was on his way back home to my mom. And that’s when the news of your death came. It’s still June 25 on your side of the world. This struck me…the cycle of life – one moment celebrating a birthday and the next, hearing the news of your passing away. Life has many of those moments. How many times have we grieved while others are celebrating the birth of a newborn son or daughter? Is it unfair? Is life cruel? As tough as it may seem, esp. to those who are left behind, it made me realize that we constantly face the truth of the cycle of life -- birth and death.




The past weeks have been filled with news about you and your kids and everything in between. I’ve observed how people have reacted. There were those who grieved and mourned for you just as there were those who scorned and mocked you. People talked about you a lot! Many stories about you came up and varying opinions are brought forth here and there.

As I listened to these stories and watched the memorial in honor of you, I couldn’t help but reflect some more.


Each of us has a gift to share to the world

Whether it is Michael Jackson, the King of Pop singing and dancing or making music; or a mother cradling a baby in her arms; or a teacher passionately teaching her students, we all have a different gift to share to the world. This gift shared with love and passion can ignite many people to find the light within them and share that gift too. You are one of those who have inspired many. Your passion clearly shone through and your gift of music has wrought changes in people’s lives.

Some years ago, during our culminating program the preschool kids sang “Heal the World” for our grand finale. You should have seen our kids! I was proud of each one of them. I still remember being on that stage with our teachers and the kids singing their hearts out, “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race. There are people dying, if we care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me.” As we all sang those words, I was teary-eyed. It resonated within me the desire to make the world a better place from where I was and it affected me deeply.

I believe that if for one moment in time, you have been touched by an inspiration, moved beyond words to do something great or to love more, encouraged and uplifted out of despair, and being awakened to see who you truly are, that person have just shared with you a gift. This I tell you Michael Jackson, you have given to many that gift.
The people closest to us are the ones who truly know who we are and love us anyway

This reflection came to me when I heard the varying voices of people commenting who you are in their eyes. And it dawned on me that it’s the people closest to us who truly know us. When I wrote about my dear friend Dayzeebee in my hub “Driving Miss Daisy Crazy,” I felt the same thing. Most people label her as someone who is intimidating and strict trainer/director, but in our friendship I know her as someone who has a very tender and loving heart, playful and laughs at my silliness and has dreams like everyone else.

I’ve heard several people share their stories about the wonderful moments they have had with you. And I may not know you but these stories again resonate within me. Why? For me stories that show the goodness of each person are something to celebrate. Stories that came from your family and friends to those who work for you and with you and these stories show that you are such a caring and sweet person. Now Michael, there are also stories about you that were not so nice and when I listened to those, I frowned and asked, “Could that be true?” And that is why the statement came again with such force, “The people closest to you are the ones who truly know you.”

I have to laugh though when people commented that Paris and Prince and Blanket and the many speculations about them maybe even not being your children. Personally I was thinking, “What difference would it make?” You were their daddy and that’s it. Is it not the same as those who have decided to adopt a child? Does the nationality matter or where they originated from?

When the curtains are closed and the lights are out, it is exactly the very people closest to us who really knows us deep down and we rejoice when we discover that they love us anyway – imperfections and all. As I am writing this, I am very much aware of the wonderful combination of complexities that reside in each one of us – the faults and the weaknesses we all have along with the glorious and beautiful spirit as well.


We are all connected to each other

When I was little girl, I would ask God why did people fight and hate each other? I was always asking God “Why?” like “Why are material things more important than relationships?” or “Why do we have different color and race and religion?” There were so many things I wanted to understand but couldn’t. And through the years, some of the questions have been answered as new ones emerged. But one thing I discovered was that we are all connected to each other. No matter what kind of house or mansion or a palace we lived in, or what work we do, we have within us the similarities as well as the differences.

How many of us have experienced fear, worry, anxiety, doubts, facing lonely nights, the yearning to feel needed and loved, the desire to find our life’s purpose, the joy found in warm and caring relationships, the longing to be happy? The list goes on and on. I believe that in one way or the other, we all experience many similarities in feelings and emotions even if the circumstances may be different.

It is true! We all go through the pain and sorrow as well as the joy and hope found in life.

If we are able to recognize how connected we all are, we would stop judging one another and instead show compassion and mercy and empathy and extend a hand whenever it is needed.


What matters most is how much we have loved

Many people were touched when Paris spoke up about missing you and you being the best daddy in the world. That moment made you “human” in the eyes of the people. You were not just this public famous figure or the King of Pop…you were daddy. I got teary eyed actually because I could feel the raw emotion coming from her as she spoke those words. That spoke a lot about your relationship with your children.


The last reflection came to me that at the end of the day, what really matters after all is the knowing how much we have loved and experienced that love in return. No amount of money or fame can ever replace love. I truly hope Michael that you have experienced that beautiful love from the people closest to you. Even if you or your life was not perfect in the eyes of the world, I hope the love you’ve had gave you enough solace, comfort and joy.

I would like now to speak to the little boy within you, the little Michael Jackson


Little Michael Jackson, I just want to let you know how proud I am of you for sharing your gift of music to the world. It is a beautiful and magnificent gift. You were in your element when you expressed yourself through singing and dancing and creating. And guess what? Even if you are no longer here, your music lives on. It’s okay. There is nothing to fear now. Go into the light. There you are free to dance, to sing, to remove your masks and just be yourself. Nothing there can harm you. Feel the love that surrounds you. Breathe deeply the warmth and care that you yearn for. All is well. Go into the light. God awaits you. You are loved.
Love and Light,
Michelle Simtoco

July 11, 2009


Go Into the Light
A Word to the Reader
After i finished this letter, I felt it was more of a prayer for him more than anything else. I thought it was enough and decided not to publish it. Later, I realized that it was for all of us too who may have forgotten one way or the other how special we all are. That we all needed to be accepted and loved for who we are.

That night, I chanced upon a thread on Hubpages forum where AEvans wrote about her husband being a close friend of the Jackson's family. I wrote to her and told her that I felt impelled to share the letter with her. I got an email from a few days later saying they had forwarded this to the Jackson's family. I was very much surprised and blessed by it.

Today, July 23, 2009, I have felt the prodding again to share this letter here. So here I am sharing my reflections and thoughts. My heart feels lighter now. I do not judge you Michael Jackson and I pray I will not judge any other person in this world. We all make choices and we live by these choices. May we all continue to learn from each other on how to live a more loving and abundant life. Thank you Michael Jackson. Go into the light and may God's peace be with you.

17-04-2012, 06:00 PM
How Michael Jackson's Heal The World could really help heal the world


"Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race"

So much research has looked at the effects of violent music lyrics and video-games on people's aggressiveness, but what about the effects of media with a positive message? Can songs like Michael Jackson's Heal the World and Bob Sinclair's Love Generation change people's behaviour for the better? Tobias Greitemeyer says this side of the media-behaviour equation has been neglected before now, but in a series of five studies conducted in Germany and the UK he's shown that 'pro-social' music reduces people's aggression. What's more, he's demonstrated that it appears to do so through its effect on mood and emotion rather than via changes to thoughts and cognition.

Greitemeyer's general approach was to have half his participants listen to a few pro-social songs, the others listen to neutral songs, and then all of them complete various questionnaires or tasks, depending on the specific experiment.

Further examples of pro-social songs used in the experiments include Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's We Are The World (among the biggest selling singles of all time) and U2's Vertigo. Among the neutral songs used were Michael Jackson's On The Line and Bob Sinclair's Rock This Party. Greitemeyer deliberately chose some pro-social and neutral songs by the same artists so as to control for the effects of the actual singer and general style.

Participants who listened to pro-social songs subsequently showed reduced aggressive cognitions - for example they were less likely to complete ambiguous word stems (e.g. 'schla_' in German) with violent endings (e.g. 'schlagen', to hit), choosing instead more peaceful endings (e.g. 'schlafen' to sleep). They also exhibited reduced aggressive mood, being less likely to say they felt angry or irritated.

Most importantly, participants who listened to Heal the World and other pro-social songs were less likely than participants who listened to neutral music to actually be aggressive. This was tested indirectly by having participants evaluate a job candidate. Apparently this is a common measure in the aggression field, with harsh judgements being taken as a sign of indirect aggression. Aggressive behaviour was tested directly in another experiment by giving participants the chance to choose how much chilli sauce another student would have to eat, having heard that he or she hated chilli. This student had earlier given the participants an unfair essay evaluation so there was a temptation to be aggressive.

In the final experiment, when Greitemeyer looked to see whether it was cognitions or mood that mediated the effect of pro-social songs on aggressive behaviour, he found it was mood or 'affect' that was key. Intriguingly, this is the opposite to what's been found for video-games, in which case it's changes to cognitions, not affect, that mediates the influence, for better or worse, of violent or pro-social games on subsequent aggression.

'Music exposure is omnipresent in our daily life,' Greitemeyer concluded. 'Thus, the present findings are not only of theoretical significance, but have important practical implications as well, in suggesting that depending on the context of the song lyrics music exposure may reduce aggressive encounters.'

ResearchBlogging.orgGreitemeyer, T. (2011). Exposure to music with prosocial lyrics reduces aggression: First evidence and test of the underlying mechanism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47 (1), 28-36 DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2010.08.005



19-04-2012, 09:12 PM
MJ and Dick Clark

Quotes by Dick Clark:

* Music is the soundtrack of your life.

*I'm very comfortable with kids, because I learned something very young — that all people, whether they're very old or very young, talk at the same level. You don't emulate them. You don't imitate them. But if you're talking to a fifteen-year-old, talk to them as if they're thirty. It works.


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http://www.allforloveblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/292549_3020104497844_1119602221_32204320_205897618 4_n.jpg


In this Jan. 24, 1993 file photo, singer Michael Jackson and American Music Awards executive producer Dick Clark go over the script during rehearsals for The American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Clark, the television host who helped bring rock `n' roll into the mainstream on "American Bandstand," died Wednesday, April 18, 2012 of a heart attack. He was 82. (AP Photo/file)

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Dick Clark was one of the world’s greatest showman and one of pop music’s most influential ambassadors. He made music history many times over. Bandstand brought black entertainers and their music into living rooms across America for the first time, and in Atlanta in 1958, he put on one of the first racially integrated pop music concerts, while the National Guard looked on. Michael and Dick had a very special relationship, and we think of him fondly and with gratitude.

John Branca, John McClain, Co-Executors, The Estate of Michael Jackson




20-04-2012, 09:34 PM
I met Michael Jackson at Asturian Airport in 1992


When I met Michael Jackson in 1992 during his Dangerous World Tour, I was only a child of 2 years old, so I didn't know how important were the person I was meeting. I gave him a red flower and we kissed and embrace each other, he was smiling and laughing. Years later I became a proud fan of Michael Jackson.



22-04-2012, 06:21 PM
Meeting Jocy and her twins Prety & Morly

Me, Jocy and twins Prety and Morly (25/09/11)

I finally met in person with Jocy Ma and her lovely twin daughters Prety and Morly last September in London. They are the Ma family that had a long term friendship with Michael. Surreal as it may seem, one day, because of my blog I was to meet the Ma family that knew Michael so well.

It was a magical day, a rare opportunity to meet them all and a real treat to hear about Michael in their own words. With Jocy's blessing I thought I should share it with you. I never thought I would feature in my own blog!

Remembering their friend Michael

Michael with 4 year old twins Prety and Morly

Last Summer Jocy contacted me after she came across my blog covering their story with Michael. She was appreciative that I had translated their story, she also expressed her wish to use my blog content on her FB sites, and wanted to meet up in London where I live, as they were soon to visit the city.

Later I learnt that the twins were pursuing their education in this country. Just a couple of days before Jocy was due to fly back from London, she called me. They had been sightseeing around London and happened to be staying not far from me. Despite the short notice, I invited them round my house, and I later joined them to see "Thriller Live" show in the West End!

Me and Jocy at the Thriller Live theatre in London

Jocy's warm and lively personality made a big impression and the twins Prety and Morley were quiet and friendly. It was hard to know where to start when it came to their famous friend Michael Jackson, the world biggest music icon of recent time. It was their first time in London the city that they were planning to come and pay him a surprise visit in July 09...

She recalled a happier time when Michael was last on tour (History World Tour), they were very fortunate to be invited to follow him for at least 30 concerts around the world, and were very privileged to see him perform as VIP guests. She remembered a funny moment of how her 4 year old twins asked the King of Pop: "Can you dance ?" A very surprised Michael responded that it was the first time in his life that anyone asked him that question... (below video at 2.05) This sweet and innocent quote later even became the twins' security password! Michael can be heard asking the twins the same question on stage during Heal the World song live in Durban, South Africa, the final stop in his last tour. Michael even took a moment to have a picture taken with the twins on stage. The twins had many great memories, they recalled the shooting of the Esonic DiscBaby commercial in 1997, and spending Christmas at the Neverland ranch in 1999. The lucky twins certainly had Michael Jackson as part of their childhood magical memories!

http://i566.photobucket.com/albums/ss105/jpsleeman/273059_110387999057398_100002585963245_84118_46321 47_o.jpg
A rare photo of Michael and Jocy during the History tour

Jocy revealed that they were also invited to attend the 30th anniversary concert in New York in 2001, and Michael was planning to take them up to visit the Twin Towers. But in the end they had to cancel the trip to the U.S due to some private matter back home. They later watched in horror of the terrible 9/11 event unfolding on TV! Similarly, according to Michael's brother Jermaine that Michael was supposed to be at the World Trade Center for a meeting that morning, luckily he slept in. After, the family visits to the U.S became less and less frequent because the twins had started to attend school. They still remained in contact with occasional visit to the Neverland.

In return for Michael's kindness the Ma family sent him rare hand crafted artefacts and art as gifts (she said it was sad to see those gifts appeared in Julian's auction after Michael's passing). Michael would even take Jocy's advice of general Feng Shui principles for his Neverland home. (For example he had his favourite antique weaponry moved out of his bedroom, as it isn't considered auspicious in Chinese Feng Shui)

Michael was a very good father to his three children who Jocy had met. Michael was a kind, amiable person who was also very spiritual and often spoke about God. (She is also a devoted Christian) Despite the occasional language barrier they were able to connect, Michael once said that Jocy reminded him of his mother Katherine who he adored. After Michael passed away, she still often has dreams about him, sometimes even feels his presence.... she firmly believes that he's in a better place.

Jocy remembered one of her last conversations with Michael was how much he would love to visit the Great Wall of China with his kids in the future, and he wanted Jocy to join them as tour guide. This sadly become another of Michael's unfulfilled wishes.

When it came to the end of our time together, I suggested that she visit the Michael Jackson's wax figure in Madam Tussauds while in London. "Why would I want to see his wax figure when I've seen the real Michael Jackson!" replied Jocy, then it occurred to me that Michael was real to them and a friend who had left them lots of amazing memories to cherish forever.

Thanks again Jocy for sharing your memories of Michael, and your kind gift of the MJ money bank, which is currently resumed production with a new model in gold, to continue his love and legacy by encouraging people to save money to help the disadvantaged children.

The new version of MJ money bank with a 3 D photo of Michael and the twins

Below video is the highlight version, featuring Michael Jackson with twins during History tour in Taiwan and South Africa.

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23-04-2012, 07:02 AM
As requested: IAMA person who visited Neverland Ranch as a child; AMA. (self.IAmA)

submitted 4 hours ago by neverlandthrowaway

The original request: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/smo6c/ama_request_someone_who_has_been_to_michael/

Answers to the five questions:

How did the opportunity to meet M.J. come about?

When I was thirteen, my stepdad's co-worker (at the Ultramar refinery in Wilmington, CA - though they may have been Diamond Shamrock back then, I can't remember when they changed names - and they ended up being Valero before he retired)/friend had a tragedy occur in his family. His young, mentally ill wife decided it'd be a great idea to toss her two young children off the side of a bridge, into the Los Angeles River, and then jump in herself. The youngest of the two boys, Craig, sadly didn't survive. Mikey did survive, as did his mother.

The story got a lot of media attention in Los Angeles and Michael Jackson requested to attend the funeral, was welcomed, and did attend. I attended, as well, since my stepdad was close to the kids' dad. Michael Jackson stood near my stepdad and I during the graveside service. I remember him being very thin and shorter than I had expected. He also smelled good, more manly that I'd expect. His voice was deeper and more "normal" than it was during interviews/public events.

Links to info about the murder/attempted murder + info Michael attending the funeral & helping the family: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-02-22/news/mn-34675_1_long-beach-bridge

Several months later, he invited Michael Sr. (the kids' dad/my stepdad's friend & co-worker) and his family & friends to visit Neverland Ranch. My stepdad asked if I wanted to go and said I could bring a friend or two. I asked my best friend if she wanted to go with me and bring her younger sister (who was a year younger than us). Their parents said it'd be okay. (Her sister ended up not going, as she got sick the day before we went.) A couple weeks later, just before Thanksgiving, we went!

How long and how well did you know Michael?

Didn't. Met briefly, as stated above.

Did he ever act inappropriately towards you?

Nope, nor did he act inappropriately toward any of the kids who repeatedly went back to the ranch. He was also very kind, from what I heard, and never acted oddly.

How did your parents feel about you hanging out with/meeting M.J?

They thought it was a great opportunity and my stepdad actually accompanied me. Michael Jackson was not at the ranch while we visited, but it was during the time when he was married to Lisa Marie Presley. I remember a grey cat that was following me around and one of the staff members told me it was her cat. That was neat.

What did you do while there?

When we got there, the adults all had to sign consent forms and NDA paperwork. We had to check in all cameras (cell phones weren't prevalent in 1995) and recording devices. No pictures or recordings were to be taken on the grounds. So, unfortunately, I can't provide you with ~awesome photographic proof~ or anything. Sorry.

We were all loaded on a tram and taken along a winding tree-lined road to the main house.

First, we took a mini-tour of the house (holy memorabilia and art collection, Batman!), rode the train around the grounds (we didn't get to go through "the zoo" area, but we did get to see an elephant getting a bath and see a staff member feed a giraffe from the train), spent time in the arcade before lunch (BBQ picnic out on the main lawn behind the house).

After lunch we watched Ace Ventura 2 in the private movie theater (there was a private room with a bed and a couch that had a window into the theater, so a few of us older kids hung out in there, got bored and ended up wandering out to the rides), then we all rode the rides a lot (spent a lot of time on the bumper cars) before we got to raid the candy "store" and "bakery" building, where I got a bunch of suckers and cookies that were branded with the Neverland Ranch logo (see pictures).

We were all taken in groups on tours of the house, while dinner was prepared. IT WAS AWESOME. I don't think I've ever seen so many video game cartridges in one area, outside of a game store. Like, seriously, an ENTIRE WALL FILLED. The entire group then had dinner in a formal dining area. I don't remember what we had, though. Spaghetti or something like that.

After dinner, all the kids were given gifts. Younger kids were each given the new-at-the-time color-shell Gameboy and a few games, older kids were each given a top-of-the-line Sony Discman and a bunch of Michael Jackson CDs. My friend very humbly asked for a Gameboy for her little sister and they were happy to give her one and two games, which was very nice of the staff to oblige.

We then took the tram back to the parking area and drove home. Many people were invited back multiple times after that, but I never went again, due to always being busy with school or extracurricular activities. It was fun, though, and I have fond memories of the day.

Semi-proof... want to see what uneaten sixteen year old food looks like?!
All of it: http://imgur.com/UNGkP
Cookies: http://imgur.com/hTbni & http://imgur.com/WxsgF
Sucker: http://imgur.com/s9Hux

Thanks for sharing that. I think it made the place feel a lot easier to relate to from a kid's perspective.


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 10 points 3 hours ago

No problem. I wish I'd gone back at least once more, but I'm glad the one time I did was at the perfect age to be able to enjoy every aspect of the experience, appreciate the uniqueness of it, and still remember most of the details into adulthood.

[–]mopspops 6 points 4 hours ago

Was the ranch actually Peter Pan themed - as in, pirates, mermaids, etc?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 14 points 3 hours ago

Nope. There wasn't an overall theme, per se, but it was very obviously a place created by someone who didn't want to grow up and wanted to continue indulging in all the best parts of childhood.

There was even this really cool giant trampoline that was level with the ground, nearish to the building which housed the arcade. You could walk across the grass and suddenly... BOING. My friend and I were on that for a good twenty minutes. It reminded me of all the dreams you have as a kid of being able to just jump into the air and fly. You almost could, with that thing.

[–]skyhighfall 4 points 2 hours ago*

Here's some youtube news footage about Michael attending the funeral.

That's really nice that he kept in touch with the people involved. I remember hearing he would call Ryan White's mother up on Mother's Day after he passed, because he knew Ryan couldn't.

I hope the kid is doing okay now.


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 6 points 2 hours ago

The fact that he set up the scholarship for Mikey was awesome. Mikey's dad died unexpectedly a few years later of a heart attack and Michael stepped in to foot the costs of the funeral (or so I was told). I do believe he was a genuinely caring person and really did want to make sure kids never wanted for anything.


[–]mattrubik 6 points 1 hour ago

It's a shame that it probably won't be these sort of things that he'll be remembered for.


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 7 points 1 hour ago

I agree. He did so many wonderful things for kids and humans in general, yet so many people focus on unproven (and disproven) rumors of things that may or may not have taken place.

I feel bad for Michael Jackson, he seems pretty misunderstood and he did a lot of nice things for the world on top of entertaining people.


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 5 points 27 minutes ago

People, by nature, are afraid of what they don't understand or what is different from them. He didn't have a normal childhood and definitely wasn't an average man. To have remained kind to people, when it wasn't required and even after the ugliness of the initial child molestation accusations, blows me away. There are so many people out there who have money and fame, but do nothing for other people or do so on a small scale. Michael changed so many lives (for the better), mine included. My occupation (I'd say what, but it may give away my identity to people who know me on Reddit) is directly related to a video of his, which inspired me as a kid.

[–]hrtaus 4 points 3 hours ago

How were the staff? Did they seem happy to be there? Were they fun people or were they burnt out and unsocial?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 5 points 3 hours ago

They all seemed very genuinely glad to be there and were hospitable. They wanted us to have a good time and encouraged us to ask questions and make requests, if we had them. Even the security personnel seemed to want to be there and were more like members of our group, joking around with kids, rather than guards.

It sounds he didn't offer for you guys to stay over. Why were some kids able to stay overnight and some weren't? Do you know how often he let kids stay over?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 3 points 59 minutes ago

Not that particular visit, but some kids did get to later. I can't answer as to why some were and weren't or how often. But I think the situations where he had personal relationships with their families and he felt a kinship with, those were the ones who were invited to be more part of his life than just the ones who were asked to visit and hang out.


[–]sorry4partying 2 points 45 minutes ago

that makes sense. Did you know if he had a special room for the kids to sleep, like a bunk room or something? Or did he just have lots of spare bedrooms?

Also, what kind of rides did he have? Was it just the carousel and a train track thing?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 2 points 38 minutes ago

To the best of my recollection there were bumper cars, a Zipper ride, a ferris wheel, swings (the huge ride with swings that went in a circle), and two trains (steam train and a smaller one).

There were lots of bedrooms and various lodging places around the ranch. There were even two bedrooms attached to the theater (one of which is mentioned in my post). There were bunk beds in at least one of the rooms I saw on the tour before dinner.

[–]ikindalike 3 points 1 hour ago

Did he ever sing to you guys?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 2 points 1 hour ago

He didn't at the funeral and wasn't at home when I was there, but in subsequent visits, he did sing songs with some of the kids who were there. One of the reasons I kick myself for not going back!


[–]ikindalike 3 points 1 hour ago

That's so amazing. I wish I could have sang with him.

Another question, from what I can gather, he seems like a person with a great sense of humor, is this true? :) Thank you so much for this AMA!


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 3 points 57 minutes ago

From what everyone said about the later visits, he did have a good sense of humor and loved to tell jokes. He also engaged in a lot of playful teasing and liked to make people laugh. Very much a kid at heart.
What was your reaction when you heard about his child molestation case? Do still believe he did that?


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 11 points 1 hour ago

I never believed it happened. The original allegations were still kind of newish back when I visited and it was impossible for me to believe back then, given the level of kindness my family's friends were shown in their time of tragedy and the hospitality we were all shown when visiting. Someone who goes out of their way to help people in that manner wouldn't do something to harm a child.

When the second allegation came out, about ten years later, I was angry. People are money-hungry and don't care who they hurt to get ahead in life. It's really sad that a decent human who was so giving of himself would be dragged through the mud like that.

[–]sorry4partying 1 point 58 minutes ago

Were you scared of him at all? I don't believe the molestation accusations either, but just the way he looked and talked would have creeped me out if I met him when I was a 13 year-old kid.


[–]neverlandthrowaway[S] 3 points 46 minutes ago

Nothing about him scared me. He wasn't that much taller than me and while the plastic surgery results were a little surprising to see up close, he had an aura of calm and he was smiling & gracious when introduced to people. Nothing threatening at all.

You can still ask him any questions about it here:


24-04-2012, 07:56 PM
Bill Cosby's memories of his daughter's obsession with MJ

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Known as "America's Favorite Dad," no one can put life into perspective quite like Cosby. Yet even with an Emmy and Grammy Award winning superstar as a father, the Cosby Clan was just as susceptible to the "Michael Mania" that captivated many households across the country, if not around the world, for nearly 40 years. In a Tribune exclusive, Cosby recalled an amusing chat that he had with his 33-year-old daughter's closest friend, who shared the juicy details of how Jackson, at the height of "Michael Mania," nearly broke up the tight friendship between the two little girls. It's interesting to note that Cosby would not name the child in question saying, "That child will come after me with a cleaver!"

Telling the tale in a style that is unmistakable, Cosby said, "[The friend - also unidentified] said, 'Your daughter and I, when we were 7-years-old, used to fight over who was going to marry Michael Jackson. Mr. Cosby, sometimes we would be in your house, and we would start screaming and yelling at each other. You would come to the room, and you would look at us and say, 'This is beginning to sound potentially violent!' We would both shut up, and then we wouldn't talk to each other.

After a while, we would start back talking to each other, but we were arguing that Michael Jackson would not like her, and she said that Michael wouldn't like me, and we literally, at times, were trying to make each other cry!'"

The rivalry eventually turned into an "all-out war," with each of the girls trying to outdo the other with her collection of MJ posters, photos and stickers. Apparently Cosby's wife, Camille, became fed up with her youngest daughter's obsession with MJ wall art, saying on one occasion, "No! I want to see some wallpaper! I paid for wallpaper! You've got this man on the ceiling, you've got him on furniture - on the floor!"

Clearly amused and surprised by the cut-throat competition between two 7-year-old girls, over a Jheri-curled pop singer that didn't know that either of them existed, Cosby took delight in raising the subject with his daughter during his 72nd birthday celebration (July 12). In a surprising development, the anonymous daughter, now a married mother of two, conceded defeat in the hard-fought MJ memorabilia melee.

"My daughter said, '[Her friend] won, because her parents bought her that red jacket!'" Cosby said. "And Camille said, 'I was not going to have that jacket on you, because you would have slept in it, it would have become stinky, you would have showered in it. You would have never taken it off! And I was so sick of this Jheri Curl! Jheri Curl everywhere!'

"She went crazy with those stickers, and got mad at her mother because she wouldn't buy the red jacket! My wife just looked at her and said, 'Nobody stopped you from getting a job.' [My daughter] said, 'Mom, I was 7-years old.' My wife said, 'If you wanted it bad enough, and if you were thinking about marriage, you certainly should have had a job!'" When given one last chance to identify his child, Cosby responded, "No! I want to be able to sleep while my daughter is moving around this house!"

By gleefully recounting memories that had his family dissolving into laughter over dinner at a joyous family celebration, Cosby, in his own inimitable way, paid tribute to "The King of Pop" and his uncanny ability to span and indeed unite generations.

"We all, whether we were too old to get up and 'Beat It,' or too old to care that 'the child is not my son' or whatever, we were in some way tied to Michael Jackson, " said Cosby. "And as a parent, you went into your wallet - you went into your checkbook for this whining child who either wanted to be Michael or be married to him."

Obviously still tickled by Sticker-gate and the shame of his little girl enduring her childhood without the coveted red "pleather" jacket, Cosby hearkened back to a remark that he made when Jackson was at the height of his popularity, saying, "Mr. Jackson needs to take out an ad thanking every parent who has a job, and every parent who takes their money to buy whatever their child wants that Michael Jackson is selling - Jheri Curl, gloves, white socks, red jackets, pictures, stickers - you name it. Even those shoes - she had a pair of them. And cut off the pants, where they were 12 feet above the ankle. God bless you, Michael Jackson! "- Comedian Bill Cosby



25-04-2012, 08:52 PM
Michael Jackson - No Words Needed

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26-04-2012, 08:56 PM
Michael Jackson - He's a Dancing Machine


Joie: Willa, last week we talked about the Ghosts short film and that got me thinking about the dance sequence in that video. You know, for so many years, Michael’s name has been synonymous with dance, and he has long been recognized as one of the greatest dancers of our time. I believe we would have to search long and hard to find someone – anyone – who would take issue with that statement. Even people who don’t consider themselves to be fans seem to have no trouble admitting that. In fact, he was the first figure from the world of rock and roll to be inducted into the prestigious National Dance Hall of Fame in 2010.

Willa: Really? How do you know all this, Joie? You’re just amazing. But no, I didn’t know about that. That is impressive.

Joie: Yeah, it is really impressive. Especially since the honor is usually reserved for classically trained dancers from the world of ballet and modern dance. The list of inductees includes names like George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Bronislava Nijinska as well as Fred Astaire and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

I think one of the reasons so many people acknowledge his dance talent is because he always used his short films to showcase that amazing ability, and I really love the big dance sequence in the Ghosts short film. Even though it’s the storyline and the dialogue that really drive this video, the dance sequence, to me, is really just as important. From the very beginning where he introduces the invading villagers to his “family” of ghosts, to the very menacing charge against the Mayor, to the almost angelic conclusion where the ghosts float from the ceiling in reverence. I think it’s one of the most complex dance sequences we’ve ever seen in a Michael Jackson video and I love how he used the background music to sort of shift the mood of the dance throughout – from lighthearted circus-feel entertainment, to very threatening, to almost ethereal. It’s just so much fun to sit and watch; I love to pop in this video and really immerse myself in it.


Willa: Oh, I agree! The dance sequences are fascinating and you’re right – they really propel us through a wide range of emotions. I wish I knew more about dance so I could be more aware of what’s happening and have a better understanding of what he’s doing and why. He had three choreographers, including Travis Payne, working with him and the other dancers on this movie, but the credits say, “All Dance Sequences Conceived and Staged by Michael Jackson.” And you can definitely feel his guiding vision in these dance sequences – they embody through physical movement some of the central themes of the film. And that first dance, with all those ghosts and ghouls dancing behind him, feels so different from any other dance sequence he ever did.

You know, he really liked to develop each dance so that it precisely fit what he was trying to convey in that particular piece. In a 1999 MTV interview, he described how he and Michael Peters choreographed the big dance sequence with the zombies in Thriller:

“It was a delicate thing to work on,” he says, because zombies move in such a stiff, unnatural way – they clomp around on their undead legs and can scarcely walk. As he says, “I remember my original approach was, How do you make zombies and monsters dance without it being comical?” He approached that problem by imaginatively putting himself in the body of a zombie and working through it that way. As he says, “I got in the room with Michael Peters, and he and I together kind of imagined how these zombies should move.”

And they solved the problem brilliantly. When you watch the big dance sequence in Thriller, it feels so right you don’t even think about how difficult it must have been to choreograph a dance for undead legs. He and the other zombies really move, so it’s fun to watch, but there are some distinctive gestures that vividly convey the idea that these are rigid, corpse-like bodies.

Joie: And, you know, it’s not something that most people would think about. But asking the question, “how do you make zombies dance without it being comical,” is really what made him such a brilliant talent – that attention to detail is incredible. He approached everything he did with that same obsessive attention to detail. It’s really astounding to think about! I just love when he says that he would even go so far as to show up for rehearsals with Michael Peters wearing monster makeup in order to get into character, to make it easier to envision just how these undead creatures would move and dance. That dedication to detail is key.


Willa: I agree. I think it’s subtle details like that, along with the ability to imaginatively put yourself in the emotional and physical space of your character, that sets apart great dancers, great actors, great artists. I remember reading an article one time about Baryshnikov when he was very young. He was dancing the role of a toy, I think it was, who comes to life, but he was acting listless on stage. His instructor stopped the music and asked if there was something wrong, and he said no, he just hadn’t come to life yet. I love that! He was dragging around on stage because he was completely immersed in that role and imagining what it would be like to inhabit a wooden mechanical body and not yet have a living body. How would your arms and legs move if they weren’t alive yet?

Michael Jackson had that same imaginative capacity to genuinely inhabit a character and move in a way that suggested he really was a zombie or a gangster or a mayor forced to dance against his will. He describes dancing as the Mayor in “The Making of Ghosts,” about 6½ minutes in:

Joie: You know what I love about that clip, Willa, is the fact that, even though he is being interviewed about his new video, he stays completely in character because of all the makeup and conducts the interview as the Mayor – with the voice, the attitude and everything! So funny.

Willa: I love that too! And then he starts to jerk and move, and it really feels like something inside him is yanking his muscles and compelling him to dance. And then he really gets into it and starts to groove, but there’s still that resistance the Mayor has to the dance. It’s just amazing to hear him talk through what’s happening as he does it, and so fun to watch him pull it off.

I see something similar but a little more complicated happening in the big dance sequence in Ghosts. He’s creating a dance that’s appropriate for these characters – for ghosts and ghouls – but he’s also creating a dance that carries out an important thematic function by evoking the grotesque. He suggests the grotesque in many different ways throughout Ghosts: in the contortions of his face when he first confronts the villagers, in the laughing fool with his jingling three-pointed hat, in the irreverent ghouls who challenge the Mayor, in the upside-down dancing on the ceiling. And he also evokes it through the dance steps themselves. There’s lots of splayed legs, and these skittery spider-like jumps and sidewinder movements that we’ve never seen him do before.

Joie: You’re right, there are lots of really different, menacing, even almost sinister moves in this one. In Thriller, even though they were portraying dancing undead zombies, the feel of the dance was still sort of lighthearted, soft-horror. But in Ghosts, the entire dance sequence feels much darker and more frightening because of the unique choreography.

Willa: I hadn’t thought about that, but it is kind of unsettling, isn’t it, just because it is so different from any dance I can think of. I don’t remember ever seeing a dancer move their body in quite that way before. And you know, while you see people from around the world doing so many distinctive Michael Jackson dance moves, you don’t see them doing those splayed-leg movements from Ghosts. I’ve never seen those moves outside this film, and maybe that’s also because they are so unnervingly different.

There is so much going on in this film, and in the dance sequences, and there are some subtle gestures that really jump out at me in interesting ways. For example, he begins the first dance sequence by calling up all these ghouls to dance with him and then wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. He uses that same gesture in Bad after calling up the imaginary gang members/artists to back him up in the big dance sequence there. And the Macaulay Culkin character does the same thing in the intro to Black or White, just before blasting the electric guitar so loud he sends his father flying back to Africa and the origins of music and dance.

That small gesture seems to carry the same meaning in all three cases. In all three, a rather powerless solitary figure is confronted with the threat of violence, and in all three he stands up to that threat and counters it with art: with music and dance. It’s almost like Michael Jackson is creating his own vocabulary of gesture, so when we see him wipe his mouth with the back of his hand in Ghosts, we feel the echoes of those prior films and kind of know what’s coming.

Joie: “His own vocabulary of gesture.” I like that!

Willa: You know what I mean, right? It’s just so fascinating to me what he’s doing – how he uses subtle gestures like that to signify a very specific concept, but in an unspoken way. He does something similar to begin the skeleton dance. As we were talking about last week, the villagers have very conflicted feelings about the Maestro – they aren’t sure if they can trust him or not – so he reflects that back at them by making himself unfamiliar, a skeleton, but then dances in a very fun, familiar way that draws them to him.


Interestingly, he begins the skeleton dance by jerking up his right shoulder – and that is exactly how he began the zombie dance in Thriller. And he’s dealing with a similar situation in both films. In Thriller, he’s addressing people’s very conflicted feelings about him as our first black teen idol. The United States was and is a racist country with oppressive taboos against inter-racial relationships – especially in the early 1980s when Thriller was made – and suddenly millions of teenage girls of all races were fainting at his concerts and affirming that he was sexually desirable. So he was really challenging those taboos, and a lot of people felt very unsettled about that. He responded to those conflicted emotions just as he does in Ghosts: he makes himself unfamiliar – a zombie – so he reflects those emotions back at us, but then dances in a way that’s unmistakably Michael Jackson and draws us in to him.

Joie: Ok, you have officially blown me away here! I never made that connection between the skeleton dance in Ghosts and the zombie dance in Thriller before. But you are right; he does begin both dances the exact same way, in order to remind us that he is still the same person. Wow!

Willa: Isn’t it fascinating? He just knocks me out, over and over again – he’s just breathtakingly brilliant. Every time I experience his work, I feel awed by it all over again.

Joie: Willa, that is a statement that I think so many of us can agree with. It never fails to astound me that, no matter how many times I listen to his music or watch one of his short films or watch a concert performance, I always discover something new that I had never heard or experienced before. It’s just amazing to me.

Willa: Oh, I know! And it’s so interesting to me how he conveyed meaning through so many different avenues simultaneously. For example, he conveys so much through that gesture of jerking up his right shoulder or wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, and importantly, those gestures are nonverbal. I wonder if that’s one reason his work was so popular around the world – because even if you didn’t speak English and couldn’t understand the lyrics, you could still understand the central ideas because he was able to convey meaning in so many other ways.

And he didn’t just use gesture to convey concepts and emotions. He used them to convey personality details as well that brought his characters vividly to life. In a wonderful comment Nina posted a couple weeks ago, she describes how he was able to “sketch a character” through a few subtle gestures:

As some of the most skilled artist/draftspeople could sketch a character in an attitude or pose with just a few simple lines – so that we become privy to an essence the figure’s demeanor and personality – Michael could perform such a character “sketch” through movement alone. It’s gestural economy at its finest … you can recognize the “character” at once.

Nina goes on to say,

he can strike the attitude of a louche sort of fellow who runs a comb through his hair in “Billie Jean,” a gangster in “Smooth Criminal,” and a different [gangster] in “You Rock My World,” and so on. Each of these characters is composed of a few basic elements that are familiar throughout his repertoire. But these elements are rearranged and sequenced in a different way for each “number,” with variations throughout. It’s no wonder that, as a mime, he’d been going to perform with Marcel Marceau. And in film study, we’d consider Michael’s distinctive style that runs throughout his body of work the mark of an “auteur.”

Nina’s descriptions of his “gestural economy” are so interesting, and I absolutely agree about his ability to “sketch a character … with just a few simple lines,” so the “essence” of that character comes to life for us. So in Ghosts, for example, he isn’t just performing the dance of a generic Mayor forced to move against his will. He’s performing as a Mayor with a distinctive personality and specific desires and biases and beliefs, including a desperate need to be in control at all times. And those individualizing characteristics are conveyed to us through simple gestures, such as that abrupt gesture with his hands when his body begins to move. He’s losing control of his legs and then his hips as his body begins to dance, but he’s trying to reassure the villagers that he’s still in control – of the situation, of the Maestro, of them, of his own body.

Joie: Willa, I love the comment you used from Nina. I agree with what she says about the “elements being rearranged and sequenced in a different way for each number.” This is really true and we can see this in various performances throughout his career. One of my absolute favorites is the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards performance. His entire opening number is incredible. He performs a medley of “Don’t Stop,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Scream,” “Beat It,” “Black or White,” and “Billie Jean,” with a little help from his friend, Slash.


But it’s the full-length rendition of “Dangerous” that really makes this performance something special. He’s not even singing live here but, you quickly forgive and forget about it because the dance is so spectacular! Even now, nearly 20 years later, I can’t watch it without getting goosebumps. The way he moves is just so totally beyond anyone else; it’s like he’s made of rubber. His body bends and twists and moves in ways that regular people’s just don’t. There have been, and I’m sure there will continue to be, many imitators but, the simple fact is that nobody else moves like that! Slash once made this observation:

”The thing about Michael is he’s hands down one of the most professional, most talented performers I have ever worked with. All the brouhaha aside, when it comes down to it, you can have 60 choreographed dancers up there and you know which one Michael is.”

I just love this quote because Slash is absolutely right; you can always pick Michael out when he’s on stage with other singers and dancers. He just moves differently than anyone else. And I especially love that this quote came from Slash – someone you wouldn’t normally think would pay attention to the dancing, you know?

Willa: And what he says is absolutely true. When Michael Jackson is dancing with a group, you simply can’t take your eyes off him. Even in the group dance in The Way You Make Me Feel when all you can see are silhouettes of the dancers, you know which one is him and you can’t help watching him.

http://www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/29+August+1958+Michael+Jackson+Turns+50+tcHCvG546a xl.jpg

And of course, he also received praise from professionals who do pay close attention to dancing – people like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Debbie Allen, and Michael Flatley, as Jacksonaktak noted in a comment a couple months ago. I love this quote she cited from Baryshnikov, saying,

What Baryshnikov remembers most about Jackson, he said, was “… his simple, bouncy walk across the stage, that was what was most beautiful and arresting, swinging his hips, kicking his heel forward. That’s to me what he is: that superior confidence in his body as a dancer. You wanted to say, ‘Wow, this guy, what a cat; he can really move in his own way.’”

As soon as I read this, I could picture that “simple, bouncy walk” so well. I love that walk, and it’s so distinctively Michael Jackson. We see snippets of it throughout the MTV medley you love so much, Joie. He also performs it as the skeleton in Ghosts, and even as a skeleton, it is so distinctively him. It’s just so joyful and carefree, and as Baryshnikov says, it reflects “that superior confidence in his body as a dancer.”

Joie: Yeah, that is a great quote from Baryshnikov and, you’re right. He did receive a lot of praise from many in the dance community. From the highly acclaimed and regarded all the way to the neophyte just trying to catch a break – like all those young dancers at the beginning of the This Is It film. You know, during an interview on The Making of Thriller, Michael Peters talks about how Michael had never taken a formal dance lesson in his life and yet, there he was in the dance rehearsals with all of these classically trained dancers who had been studying dance for years, and he was not simply holding his own with them, but he was actually out-dancing them. “It’s just something you’re born with,” Peters said. “It’s just in him.”



27-04-2012, 09:44 PM
[b]Michael asks Bjork a question[b]

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In 2003, Björk did an In Camera interview at showstudio. One of the questions came from the King of pop himself who phoned in to speak to Bjork!

Michael Jackson, Santa Barbara, California :
I have always loved and admired your creativity. Nature's struggle to survive alongside mankind has been an inspiration for me: given the natural beauty of your Icelandic homeland, how does nature inspire your work?

Björk :
I hope this doesn't sound too naff, but being alone in nature, especially after walking for hours, just puts you in your place and you realise how small you are and how plenty of everything is all around you. Then you just let go and surrender, become part of it. I'm so chuffed you asked me a question! I have to say you're the best, keep fighting and it angers me how cruel everybody is to you. It's like in the US right now, it's illegal to be an eccentric. Maybe people would have been more understanding if you were a contemporary of Ludwig II of Bavaria, who comissioned Wagner and lived with the swans. I listen to Butterflies off your last album all the time. You are a true artist! Thanks for fighting and believing in magic even though the rest of the world have forgotten about it.

At he 2000 Golden Globe awards, Björk wore a dress with Michael Jackson's face - all in sequins! Why did she wear such a thing? "Because he's the king!"



29-04-2012, 08:52 PM
Fan who met Michael in 1996 tells her story

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The girl is Marielle Tourelle: TVN24 reached out to Marielle, who as a young girl greeted the singer at the Warsaw airport. “When I was with him I felt that this is my friend. He was a normal person with a beautiful soul.”

“Everyone waited for his arrival, among the people was such positive energy, great enthusiasm and a great adrenaline. All were excited, smiling. Older women are crying, kids going wild – they behaved very differently than usual,” says Marielle. Jackson landed in Poland 20 September 1996 and gave a concert at the Warsaw Bemowo that 120,000 people watched.

At this concert, Marielle, daughter of the Polish-French marriage, appeared on the scene. The girl accompanied the singer throughout the whole visit in Poland.

Their friendship didn’t stop there, Mirella was also at his concert in Paris. “I danced with him at a concert in front of 100 thousand people. Always a group of children entered the stage for the song “Heal the World”. Because he believed that children can improve the world. Well, the rest of the kids went, but I took the whole song. Then I felt a part of this mission. It’s one of my most beautiful memories.”

As a child, Marielle met with the singer several times. “It’s always been a great experience. Thanks to him my childhood was very colorful, he inspired me to look at the world differently. Always treated me like an adult, not talking in childish language, and always made sure I felt very important,” she says.

Marielle and her family lived in the same hotel with Jackson in the Paris suburb of Paris and Disneyland. According to her, despite the huge popularity of Jackson, he did not look down on people. “He was a normal man with a great sense of humor. He had a very soft voice – it was amazing that he was a delicate person, compared with what was on the scene. Very well guarded, to have time only for themselves, to be able to recover,” she recalls.

Marielle knew it from the private side. “When I was with him I felt that this is my friend. Once, I wanted to go with him to the museum. I suggested it to him, and he answered me: “how much I would give to be able to do it, but it’s impossible. I’d have to go with lots of bodyguards “- she adds.

According to her, Jackson was not only a “great hero”, but “person with a very beautiful soul.” “He wanted to inspire people, help them, happy. He looked at everything artistically and idealistic. They said it was naive, but I think he really believed that if you want you can change the world. He wrote all the lyrics to those songs and they show how he was. He was singing “Heal the World”, “No matter whether you’re white or black”.

Marielle does not believe in rumors about the singer, and believes the media destroyed Jackson. “He was not a pedophile. It’s a silly rumor. He did not change his color, just had a skin disease. I hope now everyone understands that these things were not true,” she concludes.

Marielle today lives in London, studying at the London School of Economics.



30-04-2012, 08:46 PM
Michael Jackson - Rainbow Race

I hope you don't mind me posting my latest video here, but I'd like to share it with you!

When I saw that square in Oslo, Norway, with people from all walks of life singing this song, it moved me to tears and gave me goosebumps. I knew I wanted to make a video on this theme. The way I see it is that we all represent different colors of the rainbow and God is our prism, each one us just reflects the light differently, but ultimately we all stem from the same source. Children in their purity know this within their heart, and they can still see with the eyes of the heart.

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02-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Speak For Me


Speak for me in love
These are the only words I use
Speak for me in deeds
Love in action changes lives
See into the world
Into intentions deep within
Wisdom from the heart
Written on the souls of men

When remuneration comes
Spread it far, to heal your world
Diamonds of the spirit
Clear and everlasting view

Speak for me in art
Tell my story with your hands
Speak for me in dance
Eternal movement of the soul
See into the heart
Go beyond the fame or face
Images of life
Death dares never to erase

When impersonation comes
Know the genuine in heart
Lenses of the spirit
See the ever steady truth

Listen to Magic
These are the thoughts to heal your fear
Listen to my joy
Fill your voice with healing words
Speak into the world
Tell of all who shall be free
Most of all I ask you
Let your actions speak for me


All Rights Reserved Copyright © Heaven Leigh 2012



03-05-2012, 05:22 PM
True Story: My Surprise Secret Private Meeting with Michael Jackson!


It was a Thrilling Year 1983, late November, Thriller had hit the scene and slammed to #1 for over a year and Michael was on top of the world! I was singing in my band, "Double Vision" working the Florida local club scene. Being a Disney girl from way back, born and raised in Florida and worked at Disney World Magic Kingdom in the mid-1970's, I was extremely comfortable performing for the Florida crowd!

As many people had been, I too was a huge fan of Michael Jackson! I had been a fan since he (and I) were little children back in the days of the Jackson five. I had Jackson 5 & Michael Jackson Posters plastered all over my bedroom walls by the time I was in (I think) about 2nd grade! I watched their TV show, along with millions of others across the US and the world! We all watched Michael grow and develop, and become the powerful King of Pop! When he went solo, was about the time I was 19 and got into my first traveling band. I was very fortunate to be able to sing some of Michaels songs and learn more about his solo career, during my early band days. My thoughts and attitude about Michael had change from School Girl crush, to legitimate colleague in the industry (on a smaller scale than him, but none the less), I was in the same industry and had hopes to cross paths with him someday!!

So back to 1983, when I had the surprise and best day of my life! Michael Jackson was always in Love with Disney World (as am I) and when the Royal Plaza Hotel in Lake Buena Vista Florida opened, Michael had a suite designed in the penthouse where he displayed all of his Grammy's and Awards and costumes, etc... in the suite. Now this suite is not just for Michael, other people could pay (a very large nightly cost) to stay in the Michael Jackson Suite at the Royal Plaza. The deal Michael made with Disney was that he would store his awards there in the suite if he could come and stay anytime he wanted. Of course Disney agreed!

The Royal Plaza had a small nightclub called "The Giraffe", I believe the Giraffe is still there only now-a-days it's a cafe. Well, the Giraffe brought in Local bands to play 5 sets a night 6 nights a week and it was a real hotspot for the local Kissimmee crowd back then. My Top-40 band was fortunate enough to have a local agent who booked The Giraffe and so he booked us in there late November 1983. We had a 2 week engagement. At that time I was not aware of the plans for the Michael Jackson suite to open at the end of that year, and had no idea that Michael himself would be there.

My band and I spent hours each day in the Lounge rehearsing new songs, and of course Michael had so many chart toppers at that time, that many of the songs on our set list were Michael's songs! My birthday just so happened to be occurring during our gig at The Giraffe and so my band guys had some fun plans and presents for my birthday. I was turning "22" and my birthday falls on the 11/22, and the year was 83 (in numerology equals 11), so it was a very magical birthday. And I was performing at Disney's Royal Plaza hotel in the Giraffe so it was all very magical! I had no idea just how magical it would all turn out! I'm so thankful for the meeting and feel very fortunate and honored that the universe allowed Michael and I to meet!

We arrived at "The Giraffe" early, as usual, to get setup and warmed up before the 9:00pm 1st set. It was a Tuesday night, so the club was not too busy (yet). My band had some fun presents for me, and started the alcohol flowing as well, to kick off my Birthday celebration. Now, I don't drink at all these days (I actually developed a toxic allergy to alcohol in 1988), but back then touring with bands, gigging nightclubs, and partying until dawn, I drank my share of cocktails and shooters.

I had been of legal age for only a couple of years, and in bands for only a couple of years, so this entire scene was so new and fresh to me, I was naive and very easily influenced.... The 1st set began and my band had bought me this incredible percussion tree filled with cowbells, chimes, clackers, and a new tambourine, so I was in my glory!! The first set went great and the crowd was starting to fill up the place. We ended the set and went off stage for a 15 minute break. Of course many of my family and friends had come in to celebrate with me so the party had started!

We downed a shot and got back on stage. This was my favorite set because I got to sing "Wanna be Starting Somethin' Michael's hit song on the Thriller album! Yes, this was the days when vinyl records and cassette tapes were still being used, CD's did not come out for another few years. So, we broke into the song "Starting Something" and the crowd packed the dance floor! We jammed it long and hard and I really sang my heart out that night. I must have because on the next break, a waiter from the El Sid restaurant next door came through the backstage section to the side of the backstage area and gave me a message...

It was from Michael!!!! He had this little piece of paper (like the back of an order ticket) and Michael had written "I love how you sang my song, "Wanna be starting somethin'"!! MJ". The waiter told me it was a huge secret that Michael was there so not to announce it or tell anyone (except maybe my band if they could keep it secret). Of course I told my band, and my Mom (who was there), but no one else. I was ecstatic!! I was on cloud nine, Michael Jackson had just told me he loved the way I sang his song!!! Nothing else mattered, I was living a dream!!

I asked the waiter about Michael being next door and he said that Michael was staying in his New Suite there at the hotel and he had slipped down a back elevator at 10:00pm when the restaurant closed. He told me that they had prepared Michael a very special vegetarian meal, and that Michael was ready to leave, but stayed a bit longer when he heard me singing his song! Then he left after writing this little message and asking the waiter to deliver it to me. I was just, well you can imagine, there are no words to describe how I felt!!....


So, of course, it's my birthday, I had a few drinks in me, and I had just received a message from my Idol, and the next set is starting! I sang like I'd never sang before, the entire set, my feet were off the ground and I was floating on cloud nine! The next break (3rd), this tall handsome young man (maybe 25 to 30's) was in the club near the end of the bar closest to the stage. He was very tall (I'm petite 5 foot tall, so everyone's tall to me), he was taller than most, his head stuck out above the crowd it seemed. He had blonde hair if I remember correctly, and he came up to me on the next break and introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Angus, can I buy you a birthday drink?" he said. "Well, sure!", I said "Thanks!".

He bought me an exotic shot I had never heard of before, and then another. Before I knew it, this guy had tossed 3 shots down my belly and I was getting very drunk! I had 2 more sets to do, and wow, I was having too much fun! I got back on stage after the fifteen minute, drunk break, and sang and danced like I'd never, again! I was just in the zone, and of course everyone in the crowd always requested Michael Jackson songs, so I sang more of his songs throughout the night!

When you sing a 45 minute set, you use a lot of energy and sweat a lot due to the hot lights on the stage. So, it usually would help me to sober up a bit. The bad thing is, everyone by that time was sending shots up to the stage during our set, as well as Angus sending his exotic shots up, so I did not get the chance to work off any of the alcohol, and I was lit! The last break before the final set, was more drinking and a potty break, then right back on stage for the final set! And oh the drinks were rolling, people always buy tons of drinks before last call, and tonight was even worse.

Angus, the mysterious guy who was buying me more drinks than my little body could handle, seemed innocent and just wanting to party and get to know me. I was used to this, being the lead singer in the band, people (especially men) always wanted to get to know me and buy me drinks. I never even considered, all night long, that he was in Michael's entourage.

So the night was finally over, and OMG, I am too drunk! I had fun and the night was incredibly magical, but now it was over. Angus, came up to me and asked me what I was doing after work. Well, of course I got asked that a lot too by wanting men. So, I told him, "Well, after wearing high heels all night, I'm going to go and put my feet in the Jacuzzi after I say good night to everyone and change my clothes.". He asked me if he could hang out and talk with me while I did that, and to be nice I said ok, but only for a short while. If I only knew what was to come next!!!

Oh God, why wasn't I smarter then, why did I drink so much, UGH! It was my birthday, and well, I was partying! But, what happened in the end, it was all planned and I did not know it at all. So, I got finished saying goodnight to all my friends and family, the band was finishing up with their friends and packing gear up, etc... So I went to the ladies room to change into my jeans so I could go out to the pool area where there were several hot tubs that I would soak my aching feet in after work, before heading back to the band house that my band and I were put up in by the Royal Plaza.

As I came out of the ladies room, there was Angus waiting for me. By this time it is about 3:00am in the morning and I'm seeing double vision (the name of my band but no pun intended and it was not the band I was seeing). I bopped out and saw Angus and said "Come on, let's go!!" and he followed me out the side door to the pool area. If you knew me, you'd know that I talk a lot (I'm a vocalist, what can I say). So I'm babbling to Angus, and he says, "Hey, wait, before you go to the hot tub, come over here, there's someone over here who wants to meet you!". And once again, I'm so naive, it did not dawn on me that I was getting ready to meet Michael Jackson. I thought maybe one of Angus' friends was over there or something, and so we veered over to the last hot tub at the end of the row of hot tubs, back in a private alcove in the back corner of the pool area.

As I turned the corner into the alcove, keep in mind I'm still very drunk and happy from the great night, I see Michael Jackson in the hot tub. In the Hot Tub, with only shorts on!! I had this instant incredible rush of excitement come over me and without thinking and before I knew it, I was in the hot tub with Michael (in my jeans and all)!! Oh, I am still to this day, so embarrassed and upset at myself about this!! If Angus had not bought me all those drinks, and had I been smart enough not to drink them all, I would have never done that!! I scared Michael!!! And the instant I was in the water, I sobered up a bit and said emphatically to Michael "I am sooo sorry!, It's my birthday and everyone bought me too many drinks, I'm so sorry please don't let me scare you!" and I got out of the water. Again I said" Oh Michael, I'm so sorry to scare you!! I didn't mean to, I Love You!" and he said "I Love you more!"

I must have looked like a drowned rat! Michael, was so quiet and shy, he looked like a young boy of about 13 years old, even though he was 25 at this time. His long ringlet curls were dangling in the water, and he had no makeup on, and he was, well the way he looked on the Thriller album, very very handsome! In my opinion, he was the most handsome, talented man on the planet and I had just made a big fool of myself! I was so sorry, and he said "It's ok, I understand, it's your Birthday" "Happy Birthday, Linda" very quietly. He spoke in almost a whisper, it was so faint. He was there with two bodyguard guys and he motioned to one to come over to him. He said very quietly, "Please have some dry clothes sent down for her from my suite."

Angus was still there, standing off to the side, not saying a word. He knew all night that Michael wanted to meet me and had planned to, but never told me. Instead of telling me, he kept it a surprise and he got me so drunk, now it seems on purpose, that he was intentionally sabotaging me so I would not impress Michael. Michael was so amazingly sweet and kind, he did not actually seem to be offended by my actions. He was just apprehensive because he did not know what to expect from me once I was in the water with him.

So, Michael says "Wait, I'll have some dry clothes for you in a minute". As if I was going to leave! I never wanted to be apart from him, I just wanted to stay near him. His presence was so powerful and radiating. Like a warm summer breeze in a field of wild flowers! I then said, "Oh gosh thank you, that's ok, please don't go to any trouble." He said, "It's no trouble, I don't want you to catch a cold.". What a thoughtful guy, this megastar who doesn't know me other than I jumped in a hot tub with him (fully clothed) and he was worried that I'd catch cold!

One other thing about me, I am not an autograph hound. I feel like stars like Michael are so hammered for their autograph all the time, that I don't want to bother about an autograph. But because, I knew my Mother was a big MJ fan as well, I decided to ask Michael for his autograph for my Mother. Of course, out at a hot tub, no one had any paper, but I had a dollar bill and a pen in my purse, so I gave it to him and he signed the dollar bill for my Mom. She was ecstatic the next day when I gave it to her!!

The guy with the dry clothes got there and handed them to me. A Mickey Mouse Towel, a pair of grey Mickey Mouse sweat pants and Mickey Mouse sweat shirt. I didn't leave to go and put them on, I just stayed wet and wrapped the sweat shirt around my shoulders. I didn't want to part from Michael Jackson any sooner than I had to. Oddly enough, nobody in the area had a camera! This must have been one of the only times in Michael's life that there were no camera's around and he probably loved it, but what I would have done for a camera. I remember saying at one point, "Oh, I wish I had my camera!!".

As you realize, this occurred 26 years ago, and as I indicated, I was very drunk. It's not strange, but it is strange, that I cannot remember another thing. Not just about this night, but about the entire rest of the week. I don't remember going home that night, I don't know how I got home. I don't remember performing the rest of the gig at the Giraffe. My mind is so blank, I don't remember much at all from the time while I was still with Michael, until about a week later, when I start remembering my life again.

It's as if my memory has been removed, what happened next is a complete mystery to me. It's as if time stopped or changed or didn't exist. You would think, how could anyone forget part of what occurred during their meeting with Michael Jackson. And I wonder the same thing. How could I possibly not know what happened?

I know that my Mom was excited with her Dollar bill signed by Michael Jackson. I gave it to her, but I honestly don't remember giving it to her. Not only that, but I never really talked about it much to anyone. I don't even remember telling my band that I met him and got in the hot tub with him. I'm sure I did, but I don't remember doing it. And also, it has taken me 26 years to reflect on this amazing meeting with Michael. I was on the road for about 15 years, and never even thought about my meeting with him much!! Why not? I can't explain it, it doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Now, after all this time, the day he died has brought the memory of the meeting to the surface and I can't stop thinking about it because the way I got to meet him and because of the memory loss I am still experiencing. I have done some research and found that I am not the only girl who Michael tried to be friends with, that his entourage sabotaged one way or another. I guess everyone around him did everything they could to keep him single. It was probably what they thought was best for PR and his career. But he was very lonely and wanted friends, I feel so sorry for him that they kept him so alone. And he probably never even realized how many times his people around him pushed girls, friends of all kinds, away from getting too close to Michael...


More to come...

Jan. 2010 UPDATE: The death of Michael Jackson has been so hard for me to think about or talk about! When Michael Jackson passed over to the afterlife, heaven, it affected us all in different ways!! We are all sad, that's one thing we all have in common. But for some of us, there's a much more life enriching experience going on. Michael is inspiring us, even after his human life has ended!!

I am an entertainer singer/songwriter. I have worked with bands and shows since I was a teenager and have always loved all of Michael's music and been very inspired by it. This time, I am more inspired by Michael than just his music. I have been writing songs like a crazy person, over 100 songs in less than a month and I am exuberated!! I have written some that are fantastic, I hope everyone else will feel the same way!!

Everyday, I hear more songs in my head and have tons of little papers with lyrics on them springing up all over my house!!! I have never written like this before, AND I'm not a fluent musician on any one instrument but am writing ALL of the music as well as the lyrics!! WOW, I feel like I'm being touched by an angel, an angel named Michael Jackson!!

Is anyone else out there feeling like Michael is reaching out to you from beyond? I can't express how enriched and happy I feel, all the time! I was extremely sad and cried a lot when he first passed, but the songs started flowing in me right away and the tears and sadness had to go!!

About 1 month before he passed away, Michael came to me in a dream and asked me to play with him. He was in a long dark wide wooden hallway, I guess in Neverland. As I walked down the long dark hallway, he kept saying won't you play with me Linda, and I kept saying yes oh yes Michael, I'd love to play with you what do you want to play? He said "anything you want, let's just play together! Do you like it here?". As I got closer, he seemed, I hate to say it, but scary to me. He was sitting on the floor with his hat on and his face turned downward. I Love him, so I'm not sure why I got scared but I told him "But you're scaring me Michael" and he put his head down and said I know, I'm sorry. I was sad in the dream and scared for some reason and he said, it's because I'm trapped and it scares me too. I love it here, but I love it there too! Then He said "Don't be scared, we can always play here and never get hurt!" And always go back. I didn't know what he meant and I started to cry... I'm trying to remember what happened next I just can't remember (maybe I will soon), but finally I woke up I guess. The next time I heard about him 1 month later he had died (and I'm crying now as I write this).

I'm glad Michael is no longer trapped (in whatever it is he meant, maybe his drug addiction or his fame also trapped him), but I miss him terribly and wish he was still here with us to sing and dance (even if only for his children). But since he's in heaven now, he may be able to do more than he could ever do on Earth, even though he did so much to inspire us and make us question life and the way we live it. He loved all of us and our glorious Earth full of Animals!! Let's make him proud and take care of the animals, the planet and ourselves!

I would love to hear comments from others. Please share your stories and thoughts with me on my youtube channel http://Youtube.com/user/LindaRobertsMusic .

May 2011 UPDATE:
It's been almost 2 years since Michael's passing. This is my first music video "Top Secret"! Michael is guiding me from the other side, I feel. This is one of over 100 songs I wrote the month after Michael passed away... He actually came to me in a dream 1 month before he passed away, and now I realize what he wanted to play, "Let's play make some music together"! That was what he loved to do and play!! I have written so many songs since he passed away and am on the verge of neglecting my work (that pays the bills) for the songs. I am so inspired and want to share this music with the world! I am still remembering sketches of the dream and have been so touched!!
I'll be releasing more of them as soon as I can afford to finish recording and making videos for them all. I have this first song on iTunes now, "Top Secret by Linda Roberts". If you like the song, please buy it (only $1) and become a part of my global recording company to help me finish my first album inspired and guided by Michael jackson!!

New music video Featured today on youtube:

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04-05-2012, 01:43 PM
My Top 10 Favorite Michael Jackson Memories (by Tootsie Bellittera)


Welcome to a post by our guest blogger for today, Tootsie Bellittera. She wrote this funny, touching post on Facebook to honor MJ. It captures that Michael Jackson fever essence so many of us grew up with. Thought you might like to read. She has kindly let us reprint it.– Valerie

My Top 10 Favorite Michael Jackson Memories

by Tootsie Bellittera

10. Thriller was the second record I ever owned (after Kenny Rogers) and the Jacksons Victory was the first cassette. My older brother also had a copy of Thriller, and he refused to share, so I got my own, and my Mom wrote “Tootsie” across the top in red pen so we’d know whose was whose. I still have it.

9. I used to try to bend and tighten my wrist so that the veins would pop out like his did on the inside fold-out of the Thriller album.

8. I kept a Michael Jackson Scrapbook with clippings from his travails with Bubbles, Brooke Shields, and Emmanuel Lewis.

7. Admit it, you remember where you were when his hair caught on fire.

6. Practicing the Moonwalk with tube socks on the dining room floor after my Mom waxed it.

5. Recording HBO’s “Making of We are the World” on Beta and watching it over and over again, totally thrilled to find there was a version that included the call and response “We Are the World, Sha-Na! We are the children, Sha-na-lin-ge!”

4. Getting that oh-so-important phone call from a neighborhood kid stating simply “Thriller’s on!” and then running to turn on MTV.

3. Forming the “29 Club” with my friend Laura to commemorate our birthdays – mine is July 29, Michael’s August 29, and Laura’s September 29.

2. 1984, MTV’s first ever Video Music Awards. They had a Viewer’s Choice category where you could call in and vote, and I took it upon myself to make sure that Michael Jackson won for Thriller. Every day after school I would call the number over and over again, on a rotary phone no less, so it was a serious effort! To entertain myself while I was dialing I would create all these scenarios in my head like I was just shot and I would drag myself to the phone to make my last phone call. To vote for Thriller. Yeah, dramatic. Anyway, apparently it was a toll number, which I didn’t realize. One day I came home and my Dad asked me if I had made any phone calls to an 800 number… then he showed me the phone bill!!! It was several pages long, all the same number!! I have to ask him if he remembers how much it came to. I think I am the reason they now say, “Kids, get your parents’ permission before dialing.” But when the VMA’s came, he won, and I felt personally responsible. And thank god too, because he didn’t even win Video of the Year if you can believe it, The Cars did!!!!!!

1. Going to see the Jacksons Victory tour at Rich Stadium in Buffalo, 1984 (I was 11). My Mom came home one day and said “Guess what I bought?” and I exclaimed, “a Cabbage Patch!” But no, she told me she had bought Michael Jackson tickets (at the House of Guitars). Went with my parents, a couple that was friends with them, and their daughter. They drove us to Buffalo and we tailgated after the concert because the traffic was so bad getting out. We had floor (field) seats, I still can’t believe my Mom scored those tickets. They actually had chairs on the ground but everyone just rushed forward. The opening act was a juggler!! He was totally booed off the stage. There were all these MJ look alikes at the concert and they were signing autographs! I got one guy’s autograph and he signed it… Michael Jackson! It was the first time I saw/smelled pot – the people directly in front of us were passing joints. I was not yet in 6th grade. When Michael came out everyone went absolutely nuts – girls were pulling their hair out and fainting.

RIP MJ. Thanks for the thrills!



06-05-2012, 07:31 PM
Michael Jackson - Rare and Sweet

Unfortunately these videos cannot be embedded, but I assure you they are good MJ-medicine. For me, they were just what I needed, lighthearted and genuinely funny moments from various periods in Michael's life. :heart:



07-05-2012, 08:59 PM
Remembering our favorite moments from the King of Pop



It was 1978, I was 10 years old and I w