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Michael Jackson Interview with VIBE Magazine

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March 2002 issue of Vibe Magazine


Full transcript of the interview

Regina Jones is the writer. She said she met Michael when she was 33 at the Diana Ross special. She wrote for "Soul"--and had kept in touch with the family as a regular guest until their magazine was canceled. Michael's Neverland Valley Ranch is 2,700 acres. Jones said she was greeted by some of the 70-odd memebers of Michael's 'exceedingly' friendly staff. They help the King of Pop maintain the complex and welcomes busloads of visitors each year, mostly kids with terminal illness. Michael is dressed in black slacks, white socks, black loafers (tehe) and a soft yellow shirt who greets Jones with a warm hello and a big hug. He politely excuses himself so he can talk to his son Prince, 5, and Paris, 3 who had just returned from a long walk; they were chattering excitedly about their day. While Michael went to spend time with his babies, Jones took a look around the ranch before it got dark out. She discovers the amusement park, playground, train station, arcade, zoo, pool, Jacu!
zzi, bumper-car tent, and various areas where animals roam free. The animals included: cheetah, a pony, a parrot, several deers, and a llama (where's the monkey?!?).
Michael is ready to talk 45 minutes later. Jones shows Michael old photos she took during her SOUL magazine times. He looks through them and laughs. He reminds her if she really remembers the interivew (Back then, he wouldn't talk to her directly. He made her talk to Janet who would repeat everything to Michael--then Michael would tell Janet what to tell Jones--this is because he refused to talk to any reporters at that time.) This is what he said about it, "I felt afraid. I felt that if my sister was there, the person would go easier on me." Often animated, Michael goes from a whisper to a raucous laughter in a split second. The only matter he refused to talk about is his plastic surgery. He quoted, "That's a stupid question, that's one reason that I didn't do interviews for years." Jones even asked about his financial health, and he brushed that subject off also by saying, "I'm taken care of fine." Of course he is, he owns half of Sony/ATV Publishing. Every time someone performs one of the songs from the 'ATV Book' he gets half the money. At 43, Michael is back with Invincible and it was number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. His Madison Square Garden was also CBS's highest-rated music special of all time. Jones adds that no matter what changed in Michael's life--he remains caring, inquisitive, and sensitive.

VIBE: How is it to be competing for sales with the likes of N'SYNC and Britney Spears, children who were basically born at the height of your fame?
MJ: It's a rarity. I had No. 1 records in '69 and '70, and still entered the charts in 2001 at No.1. I don't think any other artist has that range. It's a great honor. I'm happy, I don't know what else to say. I'm glad people accept what I do.

VIBE: What are your thoughts of the current R&B state?
MJ: I don't categorize music. Music is music. They changed the word R&B to rock 'n' roll. It's always been , from Fats Domino to Little Richard to Chuck Berry. How can we discriminate? It is what it is- great music, you know.

VIBE: Are you feeling hip hop?
MJ: I like a lot of it, A LOT of it. I like the music. I don't like the dancing that much. It looks like they're doing aerobics.

VIBE: How did you decide to feature Biggie Smalls on "Unbreakable," off Invincible?
MJ: It wasn't my idea, actually. It was Rodney Jerkin's, one of the writer/producers working on the album. It was my idea to put a rap on the song, and he said, "I know the perfect one--Biggie." He put it in, and it worked perfectly.

VIBE: Why did you choose Jay-Z for the remix of the first single, "YRMW"?
He's hip, the new thing, and he's with the kids today. They like his work. He's tapped into the nerve of popular culture. It just made good sense.

VIBE: What was it like for you to appear at the NY's Hot 97 Summer Jam concert as Jay-Z's guest?
MJ: I just showed up and gave him a hug. There was a tumultuous explosion of applause and stomping, a lovely, lovely welcome, and I was happy about that. It was a great feeling-the love, the LOVE.

VIBE: Does it bother you to see people emulate you, such as Usher, Sisqo, Ginuwine, and even Destiny's Child?
MJ: I don't mind it at all. These are artists who grew up with my music. When you grow up listening to somebody you admire, you tend to become them. You want to look like them, to dress like them. When I was little, I was James Brown, I was Sammy Davis Jr., so I understand it. It's a compliment.

VIBE: Did you know that you were creating timeless classics when you were recording THRILLER and OFF THE WALL?
MJ: Yes, not to be arrognant, but yes. Because I know great material when I hear it, and melodically and sonically and musically, it's so moving. They keep the promise.

VIBE: Do you feel there's greater acceptance of black artists these days?
MJ: I think people have always admired black music since the beginning of time, if you want to go back to Negro spirituals. Today, the market is just accepting the fact that's the sound. From Britney to N'Sync, they're all doing all the R&B thing. Even Barry Gibb of the BeeGees, he tells me (imitating a British accent), "Man, we do R&B." I say, Barry, I don't categorize it, but it's great music. I understand where he's coming from. I love great music-it has no color, it has no boundaries.

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VIBE: You seem to be enjoying life as a single parent.
MJ: I never had so much fun in all my life. That's the truth. Because I'm this big kid, and now I get to see the world through the eyes of really young ones. I learn more from them than they learn from me. I'm constantly trying new things and testing things on them to see what works and what doesn't. Children are always the best judges to monitor something. That's why Harry Potter is so successful--it's a family oriented movie. You can't go wrong there. We want a wide demographic, and that's why I try not to say things in my lyrics that offend parents. I don't want to be like that. We weren't raised to be like that. Mother and Joseph wouldn't say stuff like that.

VIBE: What do Prince and Paris listen to?
MJ: They listen to all of my music, and they love classical, which plays all around the ranch. They like any good dance music.

VIBE: How do you feel about your children becoming pop icons, based upon your experience?
MJ: I don't know how they would handle that. It would be tough. I really don't know. It's hard, most children of celebrities end up becoming self-destructive because they can't live up to the talent of the parent. People always say that Fred Astaire Jr., "Can you dance?" And he couldn't. He didn't have any rhythm, but his father was a genius dancer. It doesn't mean that it has to be passed on. I always tell my children, You don't have to sing, you don't have to dance. Be who you want to be, as long as you're not hurting anybody. That's the main thing.

VIBE: Which artists-the past and present- inspire you?
MJ: Stevie Wonder is a musical prophet. All of the early Motown. All the Beatles. I'm crazy about Sammy Davis Jr., and Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bill "Bonjanles" Robinson- the real entertainer, the real thing, not just gimmicks, showstoppers. When James Brown was the Famous Flames, it was unbelievable. There are so many wonderful singers-Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis. Real stylists. You hear one line, and you know who it is. Nat "King" Cole, great stuff. Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke-they are all ridiculous. (eh? Did Mike really say that?!?)

VIBE: How involved were you in selecting the artists to perform in your 30th Anniversary special?
MJ: I wasn't involved at all.

VIBE: How were you able to let go of something so big and so special?
MJ: Trust.

VIBE: What was your experience on September 11?
MJ: I was in New York (after performing at the Madison Square Garden on Sept. 7 and 10), and I got a call from friends in Saudi Arabia that America was being attacked. I turned on the news and saw the Twin Towers coming down, and I said, Oh my God. I screamed down the hotel hallway to all our people. Everybody get out, let's leave now! Marlon Brando was on one end, our security was on the other end. We were all up there, Elizabeth Taylor was at another hotel. We jumped in the car, but there were these girls who had been at the show the night before, and they were banging on the windows, running down the street screaming. Fans are so loyal. We hid in New Jersey. It was unbelievable-I was scared to death.

VIBE: On another tip altogether, what do you do for recreation?
MJ: I like water balloon fights. We have a water balloon fort here, and we have a red team and a blue team. We have slings and cannons, and you are drenched by the time the game is over. There's a timer, and whoever gets the most points is the winner. If I'm going to do some kind of sport, I have to laugh. I don't do anything like basketball or golf. Basketball is very competitive, and so is tennis; they make you angry. I'm not into that. It should be therapeutic. I also like amusement parks, hang with animals, things like that.

VIBE: Do you have a fantasy of something that you'd like to see in your lifetime?
MJ: I would love to see an international children's holiday to honor our children, because the family bond has been broken. There's a Mother's Day, and there's a Father's Day, but there's no children's day. It would mean a lot. It really would. World peace. I hope that our next generation will get to see a peaceful world, not the way things are going now.

VIBE: Has singing ever stopped being fun and become work?
MJ: It's always been fun. Unless I get physically sick, it's always fun. I still love it.

VIBE: Many of us see you as a historic figure, an innovator who has set a standard that still exists. Where does Michael Jackson go from here?
MJ: Thank you, thank you. I have a deep love for film and I want to pioneer and innovate in the medium of film-to write and direct and produce movies, to bring incredible entertainment.

VIBE: What kinds of movies? Are you looking for scripts?
MJ: Yes, but nothing has been finished yet.

VIBE: Are you ever lonely?
MJ: Of course. If I'm onstage, I'm fine there. But you can have a house full of people and still be lonely from within. I'm not complaining, because I think it's a good thing for my work.

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VIBE: Tell me about the inspiration for "Speechless". It's very loving.
MJ: You'll be surprised. I was with these kids in Germany and we had a big water balloon fight-I'm serious-and I was so happy after the fight that I ran upstairs in their house and wrote "Speechless." Fun inspires me. I hate to say that, because it's such a romantic song. But it was the fight that did it. I was happy, and I wrote it in its entirety right there. I felt it would be good enough for the album. Out of the bliss comes magic, wonderment, and creativity.

VIBE: Do you collect anything?
MJ: I like anything having to do with Shirley Temple, the little Rascals, and the Three Stooges. I love Curly. I love him so much that I did a book on him. I got a hold of his daughter and we wrote the book together.

VIBE: Is there anything that you would like to say to VIBE readers?
MJ: I love Quincy Jones. I really do. And also, I want to tell the readers not to judge a person by what they hear, or even what they read, unless they heard it from the person himself. There is so much tabloid sensationalism. Don't fall prey to it, it's ugly. I'd like to take all the tabloids and burn them. I want you to print that! Some of them try to disguise themselves, but they are still the tabloids.

VIBE: Finally, how do you channel your creativity?
MJ: I don't force it, I let nature take its course. I don't sit at the piano and think, I'm going to write the greatest song of all time. It doesn't happen. It had to be given to you. I believe it's already up there before you are born, and then it drops into your lap. It's the most spiritual thing in the world. When it comes, it comes with all the accompaniments, the strings, the bass, the drums, the lyrics, and you're just the medium through which it comes, the channel. Sometimes I feel guilty putting my names on songs-"written by MJ"-because it's as if the heavens have done it already. Like Michaelangelo would have this huge piece of marble from the quarries of Italy, and he'd say, "Inside is a sleeping form." He takes a hammer and chisel, and he's just freeing it. It's already there. It's already there.

Michael is wonderful, man! He is soo deep in his words.

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Source: http://kingofpopjackson.tripod.com/galjan29.htm
 
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MJ and Shirley Temple

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From his Oxford University speech in March 2002:

...When I recently met with
Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at
first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close
friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.



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One of four 16x20 Shirley Temple posters being brought in by Michael Jackson's personal staff to decorate his hospital suite at Beth Isreal Medical Center North Dec 7. He was hospitalized due to a viral infection and had been sick and rehearsing for a week before he collapsed with a dangerously low blood pressure and dehydration. UPI cc/Ezio Petersen


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June 22, 1940: Actress Shirley Temple appears at a two-hour nationwide radio benefit for the American Red Cross Mercy Fund. More than 50 celebrities, including Bing Crosby and Mickey Rooney, helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help war refugees in Europe.

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Michael had someone working for him, a guy who had to go the hotel he would be staying at and cover the walls with his favorite Shirley Temple posters so he'd feel more at home.

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Janet and Randy Jackson portrayed Shirley Temple and Bill Bojangles in the Jackson Variety Show.
 
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We hold on together - Finland Loves Michael Jackson

The song is "If we hold on together" by Diana Ross and the pictures are of the unforgettable, incomparable King of Pop, Michael Jackson who lives on in our hearts forever!
I love you Michael! :heart:


 

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In the heart of Michael... FOREVER!!!
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:give_heart:
 

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Say Say Say

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“Say Say Say” is a song by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. The track was written by the duo, and produced by George Martin for McCartney’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace (1983). The song was the pair’s second duet to be released, following “The Girl Is Mine” for Jackson’s Thriller (1982), however, it had been recorded one year before, at the same time as McCartney’s Tug of War (1982) album. The single became Jackson’s seventh top ten hit in a year upon its release in October 1983. “Say Say Say” was a number one hit in the US and peaked at number two in the UK. Number one in Canada, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden, the single also peaked within the top ten in Australia, Austria and New Zealand.

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Certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, the song was promoted with a music video directed by Bob Giraldi. The video, filmed in Santa Ynez Valley, California, featured cameo appearances by Linda McCartney, and La Toya Jackson. The short film centered around two con artists, “Mac and Jack”, and introduced dialogue and storylines to music videos.

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As “Mac and Jack”, the duo play a pair of conmen selling a “miracle potion”. The salesman (McCartney) offers Jackson the potion, claiming it’s “guaranteed to give you the strength of a raging bull”. Jackson drinks the potion and challenges a large man, also in on the scam, to arm wrestle. Upon Jackson winning, the crowd surges forward, hoping to buy the magical potion. With the money earned from the scam, Mac and Jack donate it all to an orphanage. In their hotel, Jackson enters the bathroom while McCartney is shaving. McCartney playfully dabs shaving foam on Jackson’s cheek, despite the fact that Jackson does not need a shave. McCartney and Jackson then star as vaudeville performers singing and dancing at a bar.On stage, the duo appear in clown makeup at one point and quickly go through a number of costume changes. Jackson’s love interest, with whom he flirts, was played by his sister La Toya. The video ends with Paul, Linda and Michael driving off into the sunset. La Toya, handed a bunch of flowers by McCartney, is left at the roadside.

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Michael and Paul McCartney quickly became friends after Paul's collaboration on the 'Thriller' album, duetting with Michael on 'The Girl Is Mine'. Michael Jackson returned the favor by singing on Paul's 'Say Say Say' from his album 'Pipes of Peace'. The video for the single featured a lighter side to Michael Jackson, portraying a showman alongside Paul, miming and performing variety acts.'

'Say, Say, Say' was filmed at the Union Hotel and Victorian Mansion in Los Alamos, California, built in 1880. Los Alamos, near Santa Ynez would be where Michael Jackson would later purchase and rename as Neverland Valley Ranch in 1988.

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Jackson stayed at the home of McCartney and his wife Linda during the recording sessions, becoming friendly with both. One evening whilst at the dining table, McCartney brought out a booklet displaying all the songs he owned the publishing rights to.

This is the way to make big money, said Paul,

McCartney's words later influenced Jackson's purchase of the Northern Songs song catalogue in 1985.

Upon Jackson's death in June 2009, McCartney commented on his time working with the singer,

"I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."

Source: http://michaeljackson-videotribute.com/michael-jackson-music-videos/say-say-say/
 

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Say Say Say by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson




[Paul]
Say Say Say
What you want
But don't play games
With my affection
Take take take
What you need
But don't leave me
With no direction

[Michael]
All alone
I sit home by the phone
Waiting for you, baby (baby)
Through the years
How can you stand to hear
My pleading for you
You know I'm cryin
Oo oo oo oo oo

[Paul]
(Now) Go go go
Where you want
But don't leave me
Here forever
You you you stay away
So long girl, I
see you never

[Michael]
What can I do, girl
To get through to you
Cause I love you, baby (baby)
Standing here
Baptized in all my tears
Baby through the years
You know I'm cryin'
Oo oo oo oo oo

[Paul]
You never ever worry
And you never shed a tear
[Michael]
you're sayin that my
love ain't real

[Paul & Michael]
Just look at my
face these tears
ain't dryin'

[Paul]
You you you
Can never say
That I'm not the one
Who really loves you
I pray pray pray, everyday
That you see things
Girl like I do

[Michael]
What can I do, girl
To get through to you
Cause I love you (love you), baby (baby)
Standing here
Baptized in all my tears
Baby through the years
You know I'm crying
Oo oo oo oo oo
you you you
can never say
that I'm not the one
who really loves you
I pray pray pray
everyday that you see
things girl like I do
 

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A Conversation with David Nordahl: A Look at Michael as Artist, Subject, Intellectual, Daddy, Friend-and-Survivor

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The above may seem like a long subtitle. But what I learned from my time with David Nordahl is that his 20-year friendship with Michael Jackson encompassed all of the above. He was in a unique position to get to know Michael on several levels, as a subject of his own paintings, as an artist in his own right (though David explained why he did not believe Michael could have ever really made a go of it as an artist), and as a business partner and creative co-designer (including many of the rides at Neverland and future plans for Neverland). But he also got to spend a lot of quality personal time with Michael and his children. He was there during Michael’s first marriage to Lisa Marie, and witnessed the nature of their relationship first-hand. After twenty years, he probably knew Michael as well as anyone.

His portraits of Michael, usually depicting him in various romantic, Renaissance styled settings, are some of the most iconic and recognizable images to fans, but have also come with their share of controversy, beginning with Martin Bashir’s insistence on including as many shots as possible of the painting “Michael,” depicting a semi-nude image of Michael surrounded by cherubs. The unfortunate controversy surrounding much of David’s work for Michael was one of the things that would be addressed. But before that, where to begin?

Well, for starters, David and I have some common ground. Before he became Michael’s personally commissioned artist, Nordahl was primarily known as a painter of Apache scenes and villages. His paintings depicting authentic details of Apache dress, custom and culture had already won him a following-including Steven Spielberg, who had a Nordahl painting in his office depicting an Apache village under attack by US troops. In the painting, one soldier, apart from the others, attempts to shield two children with one arm, while with the other, he reaches out as to stop the attack.

This was the painting Michael saw, which prompted him to call David up for a meeting. Of course, I was already aware of that story going into the interview. But it made for a good springboard to start the conversation rolling.

I asked David where his interest in Native American culture sprang from, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that David, like myself, is part Native. (Most people do not believe it just to look at me, but I am over an eighth Cherokee, an active Echota Cherokee tribal member, and used to be a Jingle Dress dancer on the Southeastern powwow circuit, something I still do when I have the time). David’s Native ancestry comes from his father, who grew up on the Lakota (Sioux) reservation and fought fires with the Indian firefighters.

Nordahl was carving out something of a reputation for himself as an authentic painter of Native life when he got the call from Michael, who was so impressed by the painting in Spielberg’s office that he wanted to set up a meeting with the artist.

I asked, “ What do you think drew him to the painting? What qualities about this painting was he expressly impressed with?”

“He never told me,” David replied. “The painting depicted a cavalry killing women and children, so I think it was the empathy he was drawn to.”

“Was Michael himself very knowledgable of Native culture?” I wanted to know if that might not have been some of the appeal; after all, Michael himself had some Native ancestry-quite a bit, in fact; Choctaw on Joe’s side, Cherokee on Katherine’s side.

“No.” The answer came pretty emphatically. But then he also explained, “That is to say, what he knew about it was no more or less than what the average person knows. But he did have a very good overview knowledge of Native culture.”

“In other words, he would have at least had a good, general working knowledge of the belief systems and values of most tribes.”

“Oh, absolutely. Michael was aware of everything. He was a voracious reader.”

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Earth Song Depicts The Same Kind Of Cataclysmic Events And Purging As Predicted In The Native American Prophecies Of "The Earth Changes"

This led to a brief discussion of Earth Song. I said that much of the lyrics and imagery of Earth Song seemed based on the Native American concept of the “earth changes,” a prophecy held by most tribes in which the earth will cleanse and purge itself by a series of disastrous, cataclysmic events. Many tribes believe we are already in the time of the “changes.” In Lakota prophecy, it was predicted that the “Earth Changes” would be heralded by the birth of the white buffalo calf. (In 1992, a white buffalo calf was born, but subsequently died). Cherokees, too, have a version of the Earth Changes prophecy.

“Every tribe has their own version of the prophecy,” David said.

“Was Michael aware of the prophecy?”

“Yes, he was.” He also agreed when I said that it seemed at least a seed for Earth Song’s stage concept (with the tanks, soldiers, and desperate villagers, and Michael as the Christ-like peace figure between them) may have been planted by that painting.

But really, overall, it was not any particular interest in Native culture that drew Michael to David’s work. Michael was looking at a much bigger, and broader, picture.

He asked me, “Why do you only paint Native Americans?” He thought that David should go for bigger subject matter; something with a broader scope. Or perhaps, this was his way of saying, “Don’t limit yourself to one culture, or one narrow niche. The world is a much bigger place than that.” His goal, from the begining, was to push David towards a more global view.

The story of how Michael and David met is an interesting, and funny, one. Michael wasn’t above making up a white lie to get what he wanted. “He told me he wanted to take art lessons,” David said. David was put in touch with Michael’s peeps, who arranged the meeting. This was in 1988, during the Bad tour, and David was given a list of tour stops to choose from. “I chose Denver, because it was the closest.” So as the date for the Denver show drew near, David meticulously packed all of his supplies, with the understanding that he was going to be giving art lessons.

Their intial conversation, according to David, had gone something like this:

Michael: Do you give painting lessons?

David: No, I don’t.

But Michael, turning on his best charm, managed to convince David that he sincerely wanted to learn. Finally, David relented and agreed to a meeting.

But it was obvious from the get-go that lessons were the furthest thing from Michael’s mind.

A limo picked David up and whisked him to their meeting. He had packed all of his art supplies, still under the illusion that he was going to be giving lessons. He said the security guards came down with Michael and hung around for the first few minutes, until Michael told them it was okay; they could leave. There was also a young lady whom Michael was sending out to buy the conchos that he liked to wear on his belt (remember, we’re talking Bad era!).

“Make sure you get your 20% off,” he told her, referring, evidently, to a 20% discount she was supposed to get on the conchos.

During that first meeting, they talked a lot about art and many other things. But there was no indication that Michael was seriously interested in any lessons.

So why go to all the elaborate ruse of pretending he wanted art lessons?

“He just wanted to meet me,” David laughed. “He wanted to set up a meeting, to see if we would hit if off.”

But I knew that Michael did have an interest in art, as evidenced by his own sketches and self-portraits. I had also read that, at some point, David did give Michael lessons-or tried to. The sessions usually ended up in frustration.

The problem? Michael’s own sense of perfectionism, the quality that made him a genius with his music and dance, may have been the very thing that hampered him most when it came to drawing and painting.

“He got frustrated too easily,” David said. “He wanted it to be right on the first try.” Ultimately, Michael could not deal with the frustration when what he envisioned in his mind’s eye did not come out as he wanted on the canvas.

But what did David make of Michael’s raw talent, based on the sketches and other things he has done?

“Do you think he could have been a great artist if he had applied himself? He did seem to have the talent.”

“I told him once, he had the ability to be a great artist. But it would take years to develop. I told him he could be agreat artist if he would be willing to give up his music career, and just devote time to his art and nothing else.”

“Well, I think we both know that wasn’t going to happen,” I laughed. Michael may have enjoyed dabbling in art, but I think it’s safe to say that music career wasn’t about to take a backseat.

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Michael Did This Sketch Of Chaplin When He Was Only 9 Years Old. He Had Ability, But Lacked Patience. "He Got Frustrated Too Easily"-David Nordahl

But what if he had lived? I could certainly see him, perhaps, in his golden years, with the madness and glory of his stage years behind him, quietly but passionately pursuing that path. I asked what he knew of the rumor that Michael had been planning to go back to school to study art, supposedly at Paris’s prompting. “He never told me that,” said David, indicating the story was news to him.

Nevertheless, Michael’s interest in art ran deep. “Diana Ross was the one who got him interested in art. She took him to museums.”

Going to art galleries would also become a favorite pasttime for Michael and David, though wih Michael, going anywhere in public was always a challenge-usually, one that ended in chaos. As we’ve heard so many times, it almost always involved a lot of cooperation from the owners; their willingness to close things down to the public, and so forth. Once, they were visiting an art gallery that, in order to access, meant walking past a glass partition where a beauty shop was located. Some of the ladies recognized Michael.

“He used to say he could fool everyone with his disguises, except for the women. The women would recognize his walk; they had it all down.”

Before long, the entire window was lined with women in their smocks; their hair in curlers and pins; faces pressed to the glass, trying desperately to get a glimpse!

I wanted to ask about the concepts of the paintings he did for Michael, but that turned out to be a much more complex subject than one answer could give. I would get much more insight into that process during his Q&A, when he presented an entire slide show of some of his most well known paintings and sketches of Michael (and some not so well-known) and gave the story behind each painting, from inception to finished product. But as far as the concepts for each painting, it was usually a collaborative effort. “Michael did some, and we did some together. He had these wonderful ideas.”

Another topic that we addressed, but which David also delved into in more depth during his Q&A, was the controversial aspect of many of the paintings. “This is a difficult subject to bring up,” I said, “because I personally think all of the paintings are beautiful. But I don’t have to tell you, that there are some people who have called works like Field Of Dreams and Michael as ‘pedo art.’” After the allegations, of course, the media was looking for anything and everything that would serve as “proof” that Michael was a pedophile. The fact that so many of the paintings featured children, usually with Michael as an almost Christ-like figure among them, caused many of Nordahl’s works to fall under scrutiny.

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Martin Bashir Had A Field Day With The Painting "Michael." But David Nordhal Had A Few Choice Words For Bashir-Or More, Aptly, One Word

“Martin Bashir, as you know, made a point of cutting away to the ‘Michael’ painting every chance he got-”

“A__hole! Pardon my language.”

I assured him no apologoes were necessary.

“Martin Bashir is an a_hole.”

“I tried to tell Michael not to do that show. But he was convinced Martin Bashir would do for him what he did for Princess Diana.”

This led to a brief discussion about Bashir allegedly falsifying Diana’s brother’s bank statements, in order to blackmail her into the interview. “Have you heard about that?”

“No, I have not. But it doesn’t surprise me.”

As I said, this subject would come up again during the Q&A. But once you know the actual stories behind the paintings, you realize how ridiculous those accusations are. For example, when it came to Field Of Dreams, Michael simply wainted a painting that would depict all the children of all nationalities all over the world. These were themes in keeping with his vision for the Heal The World Foundation (which David also painted the logo for, of the shattered earth with a band-aid strip across it). In Field Of Dreams, the idea was to depict all races and all nationalities of children, doing what children do-even, yes, being naughty, but in the innocent ways of childhood. For example, the little boy seen peeking beneath the little girl’s dress was Michael’s idea. “He said, ‘Kids do stuff like that.’”

But after the allegations, the media had a field day. Nordahl says he was constantly bombarded by tabloid and media requests, some even offering up to as much as “$25,000″ to “dish dirt” on Michael. True or not, it didn’t matter. “They would want to know who the kids in the paintings were, what their names were,” he said. “Well, we couldn’t give them any names, because none of the kids really existed. They were all made up.”

Well, with a few exceptions. In Field Of Dreams, Nordahl actually used a photo of his wife as a small child as the model for the little girl you see to the right of Michael, visible just beneath his arm. Elsewhere in the painting, for those of you who are familiar with it, you may recall that there is a little African-American girl eating a vanilla ice cream cone. Well, look close. That, too, is David’s wife…but no, she didn’t change race or colors! David simply made the change for her. “I decided to use my wife here, as well,” he said, showing us the little black girl slurping the cone. “The only difference was, I just made her black instead of white.”

That wasn’t the only surprise. Most of Nordahl’s paintings (usually at Michael’s insistence) are filled with such little surprises and secrets. For instance, while showing us several of the paintings during his Q&A slide show, he would tell us to look closely to see if we could pick out Elizabeth Taylor, or Fred Astaire, or Macauley Culkin, or any number of other hidden friends and celebrities. You would be surprised at some of the places they pop up in David’s paintings, if you look closely and know what to look for! Michael, he said, loved the idea of having “hidden surprises” in the paintings, and would often make a game of it with the kids who came to Neverland, asking if they could find this or that hidden thing or person in the paintings.

“Sometimes Michael would tell me where he wanted the hidden surprises to go,” David said. “But then sometimes we would hide them so well, that even we would forget where we had hidden them.”

I also asked him about Camelot, the painting he did for Michael and Lisa. I was aware that working on the piece had given him a rare opportunity to glimpse what their actual relationship was like. “Oh yeah. I spent two weeks with them.”

“So what were they like together?”

“Absolutely fabulous. Just a lovely couple.”

“So based on your observations, you do think they were really in love?”

“Not a doubt. They were beautiful together. It broke my heart when they divorced.”

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Michael And Lisa. David Remembers Them As "A Lovely Couple, Very Much In Love. It Broke My Heart When They Divorced."-David Nordahl

His description is an interesting contrast from those who have called the marriage a sham. But it’s been corroboarated by most of Michael’s friends who were around the couple. At any rate, two weeks under the same roof with them would have been more than ample time to witness if anything seemed “off” or phony about the relationship. David not only loved Michael and Lisa individually, he loved them together, as a couple. But Lisa, he said, “came into the marriage with her own children” and I got the feeling that perhaps, as has been so often stated, this was the biggest reason for their eventual breakup. She didn’t want to have more.

In the meantime, Camelot was left unfinished. “Michael wasn’t happy with the castle. He wanted it to be more fanciful.”

Before Nordahl could deliver on making the castle “more fanciful,” the fairy tale was over. “It just made me so sad that they broke up.”

As Michael’s privately commissioned artist, Nordahl also worked closely with Michael on many of his envisioned projects, from Heal The World, to what would have been Michael’s movie production company (Lost Boys Productions) to future plans for Neverland. Neverland was always a work-in-progress, and as Nordahl showed us his slides, among them were the sketched plans for what eventually would have been a Neverland water park. It was sad to realize that there was still so much unrealized vision to Neverland; still so many more things Michael wanted to do. Judging from the sketches, the water park would have been a beautiful, spectacular vista of waterfalls, wave pools and other aquatic delights!

“He never stopped trying to make it into a better place for the sick children who came there,” David said, noting that his plans even included Jumbotrons that would show cartoons non-stop, all through the night, for the sick children who couldn’t sleep. “Michael understood that for a sick child, it’s not easy to sleep at night. He wanted them to have cartoons playing so that when they woke up in pain, and couldn’t sleep, they would have something to watch. He was always thinking of those kids, and how to make things better for them.”

Nothing was done cheaply at Neverland. Even the horses on the carousel were designed to be a unique experience for every child or person who rode them. “Each horse had its own poem inscripted on it.”

During the slide show, as I mentioned, David took us on a virtual guide through many of his portraits and best known works, giving us the stories behind most of them. Just a few of the most interesting facts:

The original Triptyche painting had an 8″ center and was over 12 feet wide.

Michael did not actually pose for most of the paintings. Instead, David usually painted from a photograph. But it was sometimes hard to get good photographs because “Michael didn’t take good photos when he wasn’t being Michael.” In other words, when he wasn’t being “on” as Michael Jackson. Sometimes just getting a good photo to work from could be challenging.


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The Charcoal Sketches Were Always Darker On Top, Lighter On The Bottom. "He Wouldn't Stand Still, So His Feet Were A Blur. The Lighter Color Represented This."

But Michael did pose for some of the charcoal sketches, such as this well known Nordahl sketch of him from his Panther Dance routine. Then, it was a challenge getting him to stand still. “You’ll notice the sketches are darker at the top, and lighter at the bottom.” He said this was largely the result of him trying to keep up with Michael’s moving feet, which would always become a blur.

While working on the “Michael” painting, Nordahl had to photograph the painting at various stages of completion. He kept Michael’s face blocked out of the portrait so that when the film went to the drug store to be developed, no one would know who the subject of the painting was. (We saw the “face blotted out” version of the painting during the slide show).

Lost Boys Production was the production company that Evan Chandler hoped to get in on. David told the audience that Evan tried to extort the money from Michael once he found out he would not be a part of Lost Boys Production.

David’s stories, overall, depicted a friend who was very loyal; very sweet, humble and considerate, but who could also be very demanding. For example, Michael loved the painting “Michael” so much that he had it shipped all over the world. Anywhere that he was going to be for an extended time. Just before 9/11, the painting was shipped from Paris, France and was damaged in the process. Apparently, careless handling had resulted in the painting being scraped. The damage was most noticeable on Michael’s face.

Michael was very upset, and wanted the painting repaired-as in, immediatly.

Except it was right after 9/11, and getting a flight out to LA wasn’t exactly that easily done. “I sat for hours, in a deserted airport.”

But eventually, he made it to LA and the damage to the painting was retouched.

Michael’s perfectionist ways sometimes caused other problems, as well. He described an incident that occurred once, after a recording session, when Michael had been joined by Slash and some other rockers. “These were all guys that were used to just going in the recording studio and laying a track down in one take or two.” Michael was genuinely hurt and puzzled that these guys would be ticked off after being asked to make take after take. “All these people are mad at me,” he said.

But David also carries many other memories of his longtime friend. He remembers Michael’s completely zany, off the wall sense of humor. He told a story about one time when he was trying to get through to Michael on the phone. I don’t recall now what the purpose of this meeting was, but as he told it, it was very urgent that he get through to Michael. However, he had the misfortune to get “this woman with this very grating, annoying Brooklyn accent” who refused to let him through. This went on indefinitely. Finally, he met up with Michael and started to tell him the story. “I would have gotten here sooner, but I was held up by this awful, annoying woman who talked like this (mocking her nasally, irritating voice, which I could imagine sounding just like Fran Drescher from The Nanny). Michael started to giggle, as the truth slowly dawned on David that he’d been “had.” “Michael, was that you?”

“What do you think?” Michael said, talking in “her” voice.

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"Prince, The Boy King." Michael Had Plans To Do Similar Portraits For Paris And Blanket, But Did Not Live To Have Them Done. If You Look Closely, You Can See Michael's Image In The Gold Edging On The Chair.

He also has wonderful memories of Michael’s relationship with his children, which he witnessed firsthand. One of the portraits he did for Michael was a portrait of Prince, “The Boy King,” which depicted Prince as a toddler, asleep on his throne.

But why had no portraits been done of Paris or Blanket?

“We were going to do portraits of them,” David said, “but Michael wanted to wait until they were a little older.” Sadly, of course, Michael died before those planned portraits ever reached fruition.

During the Q&A, David repeated the very funny story I had read before, about how he and Michael and the kids “snuck in” to see The Day After Tomorrow at a shopping mall theatre in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a typical, crowded shopping mall and the small theatre was packed. Yet, miraculously, they pulled it off. “I took the kids to get popcorn. Michael waited until the lights went down, and slipped in through a side door. He was wearing these red, silk lounging pants, like pajamas,” he laughed, noting it’s still hard to believe how he escaped notice, especially in that get-up.

He was also there when Michael came to him, all excited because Blanket had spoken his very first sentence. Michael, gushing like the proud dad he was, said, “Blanket just said his first sentence!”

“What did he say?”

He said, “Where is Dave?”

Their 20-year friendship included many adventures. During extensive road trips, Michael would carry a bucket for roadside relief emergencies. He was Michael Jackson, after all, so stopping at roadside gas stations to use the mens’ room was usually not an option. I can only imagine that it’s kind of hard to continue to see someone as a world famous superstar and icon, when you’ve seen them peeing in a bucket by the side of the road. That kind of has a way of putting things in perspective, for sure.

He also remembers his friend Michael Jackson as someone who “never complained,” despite the cruel hand he had been dealt with his skin disease, vitiligo. We talked about that somewhat because I was curious after having read Nordahl’s USA Today interview where he mentioned that Michael’s vitiligo was already in a very advanced state when he first met him-in 1988!

At that time, in 1988, he described Michael as someone whose face was already splotched like a cow, and that the effects of the disease were plainly visible on his body. I was very interested to know more about this, because to the world, Michael Jackson in 1988 still looked relatively “normal.” Yes, we could tell he was getting lighter. But it was not yet blatantly obvious that something drastic was going on.

“So you’re saying, as early as 1988, he was already splotched over a large percentage of his body, including his face?”

“Oh yes. Yes. When I met him, it was already all the way down the right side of his neck. And on his right hand, as far as I could see, going all the way up his arm.” But he did note it was hard to know how much further the disease had progressed up his arm, “since he always wore those long-sleeved, corduroy shirts.” Those, of course, were the well known (mostly red; occasionally blue) long-sleeved shirts that he began wearing in the late 80′s and early 90′s. The shirts came in handy for concealing his condition.

“Of course, as he developed more blotches, he had to go with lighter and lighter makeup to cover it.”

We discussed how vitiligo completely robs the skin of pigment. I mentioned how even Oprah Winfrey had said that looking at Michael’s skin was “like looking at someone who was transluscent; you could see all the way through to the blue veins.”

He said that Oprah’s assessment was true. That’s what it was like.

It was never a case of Michael wanting to be white. “White people have pigment,” he said, which is something I have also said on many occasions when I still run across those who think Michael bleached his skin. “Look at your skin, and look at mine. But now…look at that piece of paper there.” He pointed to the sheet of typing paper I was jotting my notes on. “That sheet of paper right there…imagine someone whose skin is as white as that paper.”

“Michael always considered himself very ugly,” he said.

I said I found it so hard to believe why. “He was beautiful,” I said.

“But he never saw it that way. He thought he was extremely ugly. He was always wanting to look like what he called “normal people.”

You would think that a disease like vitiligo would have completely crushed such a fragile self-esteem. But it didn’t.

“I never once heard him complain. He never said, ‘Why me?’

The impression left by our conversation was of a man who quietly carried the cross he had been dealt in life, and who did so with dignity, grace and fortitude. He did not complain, and did not wallow in self-pity. He continued to work, to create, to enjoy life, and to strive for his vision of making the world a better place. Perhaps, I finally came away with a better understanding of why Michael never elected to become a spokesperson for the disease. Michael had a much bigger plan, and much bigger vision, for what he hoped to accomplish with his life and with the platform he had been given.

Vitiligo was just an annoying gnat that he was determined wasn’t going to slow him down, or stop him. That is why I added in the subtitle of this article, “survivor.” Because David’s words painted a picture of just that.

For twenty years, David saw his friend fight the ravages of this disease, along with all of the misunderstanding and ridicule that came with it. “He always knew who he was, he knew he was black.”

Apparently, it was the rest of the world that needed reminding of that fact. Not Michael.


Source: http://allforloveblog.com/?cat=9
 

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Michael Jackson - Infinity

This video gives a good idea of many of David Nordahl's paintings. His paintings were also used in the book "Dancing the Dream".



 

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"Moon River" as told by La Toya Jackson

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1970's - Some of my most cherished memories of home center on my mother and the many good times we shared.

One day I teasingly told my brothers, “You guys go to Europe all the time, but I’m going to be the first person to take mother there. It was going to be a special trip, just the two of us together."

Before we left, Michael handed me an envelope. “Here,” he said, smiling. “Give this to Mother when the plane is up in the air, okay?”

What is it? I wondered. Once airborne, I took the envelope from my bag and handed it to her. “Mother, this is for you, from Mike.”

“For me?” she asked, surprised. No matter how many gifts her children lavish on her, for Mother each is like the first one.

Inside were $10,000 in cash and a piece of paper on which Michael had written the lyrics to one of her favorite songs...

“Moon River.-- “Two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see”

Tears welled in our eyes. By the time we got to Michael’s inscription, “Please enjoy yourself. Don’t hesitate to do anything. Just go for it. It’s your life, Enjoy it. Love, Michael,”

We were crying like a couple of idiots. All the passengers stared at us, and the flight attendants kept asking if there was something they could do.

-La Toya Jackson


Source: http://twitpic.com/2pn0xa
 
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Analyzing Michael Jackson: the Genius Behind the Music


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Was Michael Jackson a genius?

No doubt about it, according to experts who convened over the weekend at the Harold Washington Library Center to explore the topic.

For more than three uninterrupted hours, the Jackson aficionados played audio tracks, showed video, traded anecdotes and otherwise analyzed one of the most prolific careers in American music – albeit one cut short by the singer-songwriter's tragic death last year, at age 50.

With a throng of Jackson admirers queuing up an hour in advance on Friday night, the connoisseurs were preaching to the choir – and they did not shy away from the "g" word.

"He IS a genius," proclaimed reissues producer Harry Weinger, refusing to revert to past tense.

By way of proof, Weinger played tracks from early Jackson recordings – many still unreleased – drawing from Weinger's work on forthcoming Motown and Jackson 5 catalog reissues. In one excerpt after another, listeners heard Jackson as a child, singing with remarkable prodigiousness.

The most shattering cut was an a cappella version of "Never Can Say Goodbye," a pre-teen Jackson phrasing like a master. Without the benefits of instrumental or rhythmic support, Jackson easily keeps time, but he also finds ways to stretch it. He unerringly holds his pitch, until he decides to bend it, for expressive purposes.

The yearning intensity of Jackson's tone, the disarming "oohs" and "aahs" he improvises at key moments in the song, the silvery clarity of his high-pitched voice simply defy rational explanation. No one under 12 can sing with such craft, ardor and musical wisdom without the benefit of extraordinary gifts.

Jackson's talents, of course, eventually made him an object of adoration around the globe, the crushing attention perhaps explaining some idiosyncracies of his personality.

"The guy was painfully shy," said keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, who recorded and toured prolifically with Jackson.

"You may wonder, 'How could he be so shy?'" asked Phillinganes, pointing to a performer who appeared fearless on stage.

"If you were chased (by fans), and you had to run for your life, if that's what you experience from 11, you would be a little different, too."

The real Michael Jackson, explained Phillinganes, was the man who stood before the microphone – particularly in the recording studio – and let all that glorious music flow out of him, without qualm or inhibition.

When Jackson was recording "She's Out of My Life," with Phillinganes on keyboard, they kept reworking and refining the performance, the pianist remembered.

"And at the end of every take, he'd cry," said Phillinganes. "And it was real."

All the panelists in the symposium, which was organized by the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago, concurred that Jackson was thoroughly "hands-on" in recording sessions.

Though he didn't play instruments – with the exception of a rare turn on drums – he routinely "would sing percussion parts and bass lines" and other musical details, recalled singer Siedah Garrett, who wrote "Man in the Mirror" with Jackson and duetted with him on the single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You."

Yet for all Jackson's involvement with musical and production aspects of his recordings, he often would playfully wreak havoc in the midst of sessions.

"Michael would make it his business to make other artists mess up," recalled Garrett, with a laugh. "He would sing his part. Then when I would sing my part, he would throw peanuts or something at me.

"And Q (producer Quincy Jones) would say (to Garrett), 'You're wasting studio time!' "

The cumulative effect of all these insider recollections and newly unearthed recordings proved quite moving, especially to those in the audience who already revered Jackson.

"You gave me the soundtrack to my life," one observer told those on the stage, a lineup that included Jackson drummer Ricky Lawson and former record executive Ed Eckstein.

Toward the end of the evening, 79-year-old Oscar Walden Jr., a Chicago TV and radio producer, got up from his seat in the crowd and, leaning on his cane, prepared to read a poem he had written for Jackson.

"I love Michael," he told the crowd, which fell to a hush.

"He was a genius."


Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/enter...azz-michael-jackson-20100927,0,2495985.column
 

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What is a Genius ?

Michael, you have inspired me too. To become a better person, to truly feel in my heart and my soul what Love is all about.Tthank you for all that you have given us!
You are a genius of music and dance, but also a genius of love and light!

 

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[YOUTUBE]00ILWPPSzYQ[YOUTUBE]

Michael rehearsing for Dangerous World Tour 1992 remastered.
Now that you have this one video you can go find all the other gorgeous videos from this you tube uploader! :)
Trust me, you will love them and wont get anything done as so many amazing vids to watch!
Hope I've posted it ok!

Try this link! Maybe one day I'll manage to post actual you tube vids!!! D'oh. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00ILWPPSzYQ


And this one of TWUMMF.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbxDoeL83OA&feature=related

See how Michael is giving instruction with his hand gestures, at 1.05- 1.11 in this vid similarly to how he did in TII?
When he said, ''Dont change so soon though''! awww
 
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Billie_Jean09

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What is a Genius ?

Michael, you have inspired me too. To become a better person, to truly feel in my heart and my soul what Love is all about.Tthank you for all that you have given us!
You are a genius of music and dance, but also a genius of love and light!

Thank you MJJ Laugh for posting this incredible video
I have so many emotions whilst watching it.
Sadness, love and immense pride that we had him.
God rest your pure sweet soul, amazing Michael Jackson:wub::angel::wub:
 

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Michael Jackson's Mysterious Project

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(In Photos: Photograph of Katherine and Joseph and their children)

In 1983, Michael offered to pay for the renovation of the family's Encino Mansion. New Designs are mostly Michael's idea. Katherine Jackson shares Michael's mysterious project for his family:

There was one decorating project of Michael's that he was determined to keep a secret.

"Don't go up in the attic," he kept warning me. The "attic" was the name we'd given to the two small rooms above the garage. Those were the rooms he was working on.

"Well, I won't," I assured him. Even if I had wanted to nose around, which I did, I couldn't. Michael kept the door locked.

Michael let it be known that he was preparing a gift for the family in those rooms.

One day, finally, Michael said, "I want the whole family over. We're going to have a party. I want to show you what I've done to the attic."

Michael didn't have to twist anyone's arm to get them to show up. By then Joe and the other children were just as curious as I was about Michael's mysterious project.

Michael worked up to the last second on the attic.

Even when we were all gathered in the dining room on the appointed day, snacking on appetizers that his chef Rane, had prepared us, Michael was still running around with his workers, trying to put the finishing touches on his special project. Something must have gone wrong because at one point I saw him in tears.

Whatever the problem was, Michael apparently solved it. Finally, he appeared in the dining room looking much happier. Asking for everyone's attention-- Michael always such a showman-- he announced. "I've got a surprise for you." With that, he silently led us outside and to the door leading up to the attic. Up the stairs we went, single file.

I don't know who was the last in line, but he or she must have been dying in anticipation. Everyone who reached the top of the stairs let out a WHOOP OR A CRY.

What Michael had one was transform the two rooms into a photographic version of "This is your Life." starring The Jackson Family.

"To take a picture," read the message on the plaque that Michael had placed on the wall, "is to capture a moment, to stop time. To preserve the way we were, the way we are. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. So with these photographs I will recreate some wonderful, magical moments in our lives..."

Michael had gotten the photos from my personal collection. One day when I wasn't around, he stole into my room, opened the suitcase in which I stored them, and helped himself. The blowups of the shots filled every available inch of wall space.

"We were all very amazed, very touched. Michael was watching our reactions; it was obviously so important to him that we liked what he'd done. - Rebbie

source: Katherine Jackson's "My Family"


Source: http://twitpic.com/2o2dqi
 

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<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oyPfBMTjtKg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oyPfBMTjtKg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
 

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From Hitsville to Neverland: A Michael Jackson landmarks journey

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Gary,Indiana

The Jackson family's former home at 2300 Jackson Street is a popular destination for fans seeking a glimpse into Michael's earliest days, but the city of Gary has more to offer. Several of the schools and nightclubs where the young Jacksons first performed as amateurs are still in use, and The King of Pop Hometown Tour offers Jackson trivia and anecdotes to curious visitors. The Jackson family is cooperating with the city on plans to convert the house into the Michael Jackson Museum, followed by construction of a Michael Jackson Performing Arts Center.


(Katherine Jackson and Rebbie Jackson return to Gary in 1987, James Mitchell/Ebony Collection via AP Images)


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Motown,Detroit,Michigan

Founded in 1985 by Berry Gordy's sister Esther, the Motown Historical Museum (aka 'Hitsville USA') is steeped in the history of Motown's early years in Detroit, offering a chance to literally stand in the shadow of great artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and of course, the Jackson 5. Three decades of original stage costumes and rarely-seen photos of Motown artists are all on display, including Michael Jackson's legendary Motown 25 ensemble. The museum is celebrating Michael's life with a dedicated Jackson 5 exhibit that will be open through October.


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Chicago,Illinois


Leaving Indiana for the larger stages of the so-called "Chitlin' Circuit", Michael and his brothers opened for famous acts of the time, including Jackie Wilson, The Temptations, and The O'Jays. The famed Regal and Avalon Theaters were top venues in Chicago's predominantly African-American South Side, and featured beautiful artwork and architecture from the 1920s. The old Regal was demolished in 1973, but the Avalon was reborn in 1987 as the New Regal Theater, and still showcases plays and concerts by black artists.


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Harlem,New York

The pinnacle of success as musical newcomers came at the legendary stage of the Apollo Theater, where the Jacksons won the prestigious Amateur Night at the Apollo in 1967. The Apollo inducted Michael into its Walk of Fame this year, accompanying a new Smithsonian exhibit and short film on its storied past. Visitors can also view the 'Grieving Wall' adorned with messages from the thousands of fans who flocked to the theater's doorstep in the wake of Michael's death.


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The Wiz

Motown's film adaptation of the funk-inspired reimagining of The Wizard of Oz was Michael's first movie appearance as an adult, and his talent shone in his role as the Scarecrow. Touring the locations of The Wiz is an interesting trip through the city's landmarks, and gives fans of this cult favorite a new appreciation for the inspired production designs. Coney Island and the World's Fair Pavilion are notable icons, but Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, where many interior scenes were shot, offers a hip café complete with rarely-seen behind-the-scenes photos.


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Thriller,London, UK

Thriller was groundbreaking for Michael's career, and for the entire music industry. Its complex group choreography and cinematic staging set the template for all serious music videos since 1983. But for fans who aren't content with the on-screen version, London's Lyric Theatre offers Thriller - LIVE, a multimedia extravaganza featuring a talented cast of musicians and dancers gyrating through Jackson's hits.


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Bad Brooklyn,NY

Bad continued Michael's collaboration with Quincy Jones, and expanded his reach and repertoire into the harder sounds of rock and rap. The video is often shortened for broadcast, but its story of a bright, college-bound boy who tragically strives to prove his loyalty to his old street friends still resonates today. Interviews at the time offer a glimpse into Michael's creative process, but for a more tangible connection, visitors to Brooklyn can explore Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station. Dancing is optional.


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Africa

Even before We Are the World, Michael was fascinated by Africa. The influence of its people and culture saturated his work from his early choreography based on gazelles and cheetahs to his Egypt-inspired Remember the Time video. Michael's 'Inside Africa' diplomatic tour in 1992 took him to the capitals of Egypt, Tanzania, Senegal, Gabon, and Ivory Coast - where he was crowned king by the people of Sanwi, an enclosed kingdom near Abidjan. An informal ambassador between African-Americans and Africans, despite constant media sniping, Michael found a rare sense of peace and belonging in the ultimate motherland that left him with a deep spiritual connection to everyone he encountered.


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Neverland, Santa Barbara, CA


Of all Michael's residences around the world, none is more iconic than the Neverland Valley Ranch, a combination sanctuary and playground, wrapped in rumors and recriminations. While the ranch served as a home for Michael's biological and extended family for only 7 years, the constant stream of hangers-on, paparazzi, and individuals of questionable intent raised a lingering pallor over the palatial grounds. With new glimpses beyond the gates, fans are lobbying the Jackson family to reclaim Neverland in their name, creating a living museum for future generations, much like Graceland in Memphis.


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Asia

In 30 years of touring, no continent has more thoroughly embraced Michael as a pop icon than Asia. As a man, he is revered as a living incarnation of the American dream, and as a musician he is adored for his perfect unification of showmanship and talent. In the Philippines, his music is used in viral videos of dance rehabilitation therapy for prisoners, while Chinese fans mourn his passing as one of their own, although Michael only briefly set foot in the country. Recent speculation that Michael was adopting Islam before his death has caused some fans to embrace him even more tightly as a symbol of political self-discovery and free thought.


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Disneyland worldwide

Michael's boundless creativity was perhaps best matched by the 'imagineers' of Disney, who collaborated with the star on the ambitious project, Captain EO. A high-concept combination of movie, music video, space adventure, and amusement park ride, the much-hyped unveiling of Captain EO presaged Michael's later forays into worldwide media manipulation. In celebration of their work together, and in response to fans across the world, Disney is reinstating Captain EO at its parks, Disneyland, Cal., Walt Disney World, Fla., Disneyland Paris, France, and Tokyo Disneyland, in Japan.


Source: http://www.thegrio.com/travel-and-l...rland-a-michael-jackson-landmarks-journey.php
 
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