This is Part 1 of 3 of Dr Steve Shafer's answers to MJJCommunity questions. In this first instalment, Dr Shafer will be answering questions about Michael Jackson, himself (Dr Shafer) and Conrad Murray trial in general.
MJJC is happy to bring you the second Joe Vogel Q&A about his books and Michael's music. This Q&A is planned around the e-book release of "Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson" as well as Joe Vogel's new book "Featuring Michael Jackson.
MJJC: What peculiarity of Michael Jackson that initially attracted and motivated you to delve into the study of his music? In other words, why did you decided to analyze specifically Michael's work rather than any other artist's work? I guess there are many reasons why you appreciate him, many of them you probably discovered during your work, but I'd like to know exactly what was, so to speak, the trigger
Joe Vogel: Michael Jackson was just so different. I’m fascinated by artists that defy conventions and categories, artists that can take us places we’ve never been before, that challenge us. Michael, of course, paid a terrible price for being bold and different. When I started my book in 2005, the vitriol, hate and deceit being directed at him were awful. If anyone takes a look at media archives from that time, the level of callousness and cruelty is appalling. And I remember watching it unfold and being really angry. At first, I envisioned writing a sort of alternative biography, something more humane and nuanced and objective than what existed at the time, but as the project developed I really felt strongly about letting Michael’s creative work be the focal point and revealing the man through the music.
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