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Exclusive Q&A

Q&A with Joe Vogel Episode 1

At MJJC we are happy to bring you this exclusive Q&A with Joseph Vogel, the author of "Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson " and "Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus".Here are Joe's answers to your questions. We - as MJJC- would like to thank Joe for his time and willingness to answer our questions. Also, we'd like to remind you that Joe Vogel's book "Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson " will be released November 1. Do not forget to pre-order it. Also do not forget to buy and read "Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus" if you haven't already done so.

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Question 1: It's distressing to hear the analysis of how "Earth Song" was never released in the United States. Could you expand on the cultural reasons for this?
Joe Vogel: Well, there have been various explanations, including that the album was underperforming in the U.S. But I personally find that hard to believe when the previous two singles were Top 5 hits. In fact, "You Are Not Alone" was the first single in the history of the Billboard chart to debut at #1. "Earth Song" was next in line and went #1 all over the world, but it wasn't released in the U.S. Hit singles increase album sales, so there are really only two explanations: 1) it was blocked in some way, or 2) it wasn't seen as viable in the U.S. because of its content. The people I spoke with mentioned both of these as possibilities. Either way is disturbing.
 

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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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