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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 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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