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Exclusive Q&A

Q&A With Bill Whitfield And Javon Beard

MJJC EXCLUSIVE Q&A WITH BILL WHITFIELD AND JAVON BEARD, 

AUTHORS OF REMEMBER THE TIME: PROTECTING MICHAEL JACKSON IN HIS FINAL DAYS

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MJJC: What made you want to write a book?

Bill & Javon: We wrote Remember the Time because we had a story to tell about the Michael Jackson we knew. If you’re a Michael Jackson fan and supporter, you deserve to know him more on a personal side, not just who he was but what he endured as a man, and as a father. You deserve a true account from those that were there, not from those who can only repeat what they heard second hand. 

We wrestled a long time with whether or not was should write a book. Fundamentally, we agree with those who say Mr. Jackson deserves his privacy and deserves to rest in peace. But ultimately we came to the conclusion that his fans deserve to know and, hopefully, in some way it will bring closure to some and truth to others. We also felt an obligation to tell the world about our time with Mr. Jackson because there really is no one else to tell this part of the story. During the time Mr. Jackson spent in Las Vegas, between his return from Ireland and the start of “This Is It,” there simply weren’t a lot of people around. Very often the only people there were us, Mr. Jackson, and the three 

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Q&A with Brad Sundberg

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Brad Sundberg was technical director to Michael Jackson for nearly two decades. He recently announced a series of seminars to take place this June in New York called "In The Studio with Michael Jackson" ( thread here: http://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum/th...ichael-Jackson)

We reached out to Brad Sundberg to talk about Michael's music as well as talk about his ""In The Studio With Michael Jackson" seminars. You can read his answers below. Also check the end of Q&A for information about seminars and how to get tickets to them.

MJJC: What exactly is the job of a technical director and what did this position entail, as you worked in this role on some of the MJ albums?

Brad Sundberg: There is the short answer and the long answer. The short answer is “be ready for anything.” The long answer would go something like this: My responsibility was to have whatever recording studio we worked in, anywhere in the world, be up to Michael Jackson quality. I worked very closely with Bruce Swedien (not just on MJ albums, but also Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, among others), and his attention to detail is second-to-none. Every microphone, every patch-point, every machine and device in the studio had to tested and (if possible) calibrated to perfection. It was not uncommon for this process alone to take 1-2 weeks before the projecting would even start. The funny thing is that so few production teams do this, yet it is a vital part of the reason our projects sounded so good.

Additionally, I would be involved in day-to-day recording, setting up microphones, headphones, booking studios, keeping tapes organized, getting Michael’s hot water ready for his vocals, transcribing Michael’s lyrics for the liner notes, even making coffee! With various production teams working on the same project, it made for long yet very rewarding days. The hard work and dedication was also very rewarding in that I was privileged to see and be a part of so much musical history being created.

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Q&A with Ralphige about the prank call - Read Ralphige's Answers

After the recent news story that Michael Jackson Estate was going after Ralphige for the prank call he did to Michael, once again the contents of the prank call became the focus of the fans. In the light of the questions and anger, Ralphige volunteered to answer any questions - even hate - coming towards his way. As MJJC we decided to take this opportunity (not to promote or support Ralphige but) to get the answers that we always wanted to know. Below is the MJJC Exclusive Q&A with Ralphige. 

We want to thank everyone that asked the questions and Ralphige for the answers. 

1. How did you manage to get Michael’s number and get through to him?

Ralphige: I am able to dream up these numbers. I wake up in the middle of sleep with the celebrity and their phone number in my head. I sleep with a notebook next to me so I am able to immediately write down the phone number before I forget it.

As a matter of fact, TMZ published a story yesterday about how Dr Arnold Klein may have been the person who originally got Michael Jackson addicted to the medications. That story triggered Dr. Arnold Klein to show up in my dream yesterday. I woke up, went straight to my notebook and his phone number popped up in my head. As fans of Michael, I think you guys should have the phone number...... 310-xxx-xxxx

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Q&A with Siedah Garrett

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MJJC: Were you a Michael Jackson fan before you met him? How did your perception of him changed after you met him / worked with him / toured with him?

Siedah: I had been a Jackson 5 fan my entire life. In fact, during my childhood, Michael Jackson was my play husband. I began to love Michael when he became a solo artist, and I really fell in love with him when he decided to record my song. It was then that I realized that he was more socially conscious than anyone had given him credit for.

MJJC: What was your first impression of Michael?

Siedah: He was so cool, so unexpectedly approachable.

MJJC: Where did the idea of Man In The Mirror come from?

Siedah: Two years before I wrote the song, I was in a writing session with composer John Beasley. In the heat of our session, he decided to answer an incoming call, and responded as if he really wasn’t busy at all. I was seething. I then heard him say ”The man? What man? Oh, the man in the mirror.” That phrase stuck in my mind, and I wrote it down in my lyric book of random ideas. Two years later, as my new writing partner Glen Ballard was searching for sounds on his synthesizer, I came across the notation in my lyric book, and it just jumped off of the page.

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