More About Michael
"I suppose the thing most people don´t know, and what surprised me, was how "normal" Michael Jackson was in person. His public image is so strange I did not know what to expect but when I met with him we had a very typical and relaxed conversation. We had many common interests we talked about. Maybe I am just a freak also."
Mark Ryden, artist/creator of the Dangerous album cover
“It is often said that people did not understand Michael because he was too different, however, strange as it may seem, many did not understand him because he was too human. A billboard of emotions, big and elegant and at the same time a man with a crystal soul.”
"Michael was remarkably talented, driven, patient, kind, a perfectionist, trusting – and very funny. In a word – he was complicated. He was a terrible driver who loved to drive. He was painfully shy but loved to perform in front of enormous crowds. He tried to eat healthy but loved fries, popcorn and ice cream. He was often the first one in the studio and sometimes the last to leave. He would work for days on end without a break then disappear without warning to Tokyo or London for a few days. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t normal – but that’s what made him Michael."
Brad Sundberg, studio engineer - inthestudiowithmj.com/
"He was the coolest dude I´ve ever met for sure. I mean people, you know, they have a lot of opinions about him and like anything else, my opinions can only be based on my ecperience. But he was super fun to hang out with. I mean he was like a big kid, you know?
So yeah, the time that I got to spend with him was - it was like Disneyland all day long. He´d set up water balloon fights and pie fights in basketball courts. Just really fun stuff where he´d like invite all his friends over and there´d be two teams and everyone would dress in garbage bags and throw pies at each other. It was like super high-level fun and it was orchestrate fun and insanity."
"My favorite moment with him would have to be when we were hunting for Easter eggs. One of the memorable times was him taking me to spend the day with Elizabeth Taylor. She´s my idol and reminded me so much of my mother. As kids, we would make prank phone calls and do silly things. He taugh Kyle how to do the moonwalk when she was 4 years old. He was completely misunderstood. When he was at the Waldorf (hotel in NYC where the Hiltons lived), there were fans outside in the rain with photos and I told him about them. He had a big meeting to attend, but he signed pictures for them and even sent out an umbrella. That´s what he was like - so lovely."
Macaulay Culkin talks about his friend Michael Jackson in 2019 Interview:
"Beyond the genius of what he was, he was just a genuinely nice person. He got me hooked on movies that I would normally never watch. Fred Astaire movies. All the old classics. I would never, never watch those. I remember my fiancée and I telling him we were getting married, and him just being really excited and actually just offering up the ranch to have our wedding there, because privacy was going to be an issue. We wanted to get married in a church, so that´s what we wound up doing. But he made the offer. He was just genuinely nice person who was exceptionally bright, and driven and talented. You mixx those things together, man, you have Michael Jackson."
‘What I found was someone who was not even remotely threatening-or-intimidating. When I first met him, he was a very shy person, he had a beautiful smile and a very warm welcome — but he was a very shy person.
He made me feel right at home. He was a soft-spoken man, with a gentle smile, a big laugh. The pressure of the hand, very light, if I remember correctly. All of it has left me thinking that he was such a kind person. But again, when he began to work he was absolutely electric to watch."
Douglas Kirklan, photographer, who recorded the behind-the-scenes video of Michael Jackson's Thriller
“The best description of Michael is ‘warm.’ Warm-hearted dude…Michael means ‘a reflection of God.’”
“I am sensitive to other people’s feelings and emotions…and I am very thankful. I don’t know if I could have done what I have done without the help of other people on the way, really. Even those who don’t know how much they helped me, I thanked them later. Even those who do things from a distance and don’t know that it is affecting me from another place. Like writers and entertainers, people who died before I was just a toddler.”
“He is honesty personified, painfully honest and vulnerable to the point of pain. He is so giving of himself that at times he leaves very little to protect that beautiful core that is the essence of him. That is the thing that I love so much about him and that makes the world identify with him the way it does.”
"He is great. He is a very sensitive and terribly shy man. When he doesn't know people, he doesn't dare talk to them. He doesn't dare even look at them. So in the first instance we can believe that he is rude, While he is quite the opposite. At the beginning, I thought I was disturbing him and that my presence was too much. It's very embarrassing. And then, gradually, after he saw me a few times with Quincy, he started looking at me. Then he said "Hello". He got used to me. He needs to be comfortable. When this happens, he is extremely caring, though he is still worried whether everything goes well, if people are happy. This is the most considerate guy I have ever met. And what people don't know, is that he has a lot of humor. It was a wonderful experience working with him."
Christine Decroix, the singer who wrote lyrics to "Je ne veux pas la fin de nous" - the French version of "I Just Can´t Stop Loving You" and sang it with Michael
Michael had this habit - for lack of a better word - where his emotion would get the best of him and he would throw his head back and shriek or howl if he loved something. And it wasn't an act - it was him fully letting go of what he was feeling. Since I am a stoic Swede, this took me a while to understand. If you are not ready for a Michael Jackson shriek next to you, it will wake you up.
Over time I started to love seeing him light up over a mix, or a new ride, or a piece of classical music. I remember clearly building him a giant sound system at the ranch - which filled an area about the size of a football field - and bringing him out to hear it. I chose DeBussy as my demo music, as I knew how much he loved that composer. As the music swelled he clenched his fists, closed his eyes and raised his face to the sky - and let out the loudest "HOOOOOO!!"
Brad Sundberg, In The Studio with MJ
"I thought he, first of all, was simply a splendid being. Extremely professional, a perfectionist. He continued to have passion after all those years, you know? He stayed to work day and night, he returned the next day, always day and night He hadn't lost this passion.
A great father. He was amazing with his children. I spent time with the kids. We were all in the studio. Zoe came and we went out together. He was a very good father. And he was funny. . "
Lenny Kravitz as guest of Piers Morgan on CNN
"I want people to know that he was a good person – a very good person," he said. "He was a very honest person. He was very likeable. I liked Michael just for the person he was. And you know, there will never be another Michael. He was so talented up until the day he died."
Russ Terrana, a Motown Records song engineer
"Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul."
Paul McCartney (2009)
McCartney family´s home movie (with Michael, flowers, and horses) from 1981,
Michael Jackson feat Paul McCartney - The Man (HQ):
“Greatest entertainer in the world and one of the smartest people and businessmen in the world.”
Berry Gordy on MJ
"He's very artistic and he's an enormous show biz buff. He can quote you lyrics from all kinds of musicals. Ask him the lyrics that Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire used in a certain picture and he can tell you. I find it hard to develop friendships in this business because people travel so much. But Michael is one of those people who stays in touch. You'll ask him about something, then forget you even asked him. But he'll call you back--even if it's three weeks later--with the answer. He'll have looked it up or found it out from someone else. He's a wonderful wonderful friend to have."
“Michael’s no fabrication. He’s totally genuine. And he’s funny, too. Michael is totally normal. We talk about food, women, music, the movies — ordinary things.”
David Williams, guitarist on M´J´s records since 1979, Telegraph Magazine 1992
"My relationship with Michael was kind and gentle. There was kindness and gentleness that I don´t usually see in performerts. I´ve done this for 40years and I´ve worked with a lot od so-called self-important people, and it seems that Micahel still remains the number one celebrity that I´ve ever worked with yet.
One of my fondest memories of him was on the set of Pepsi-Cola commercial when the brothers were downstairs in the dressing room, while I was talking to Jermaine and some of the brothers, we all heard a blood-curling scream and we thought, ´Oh my God, someone has gotten to Michael, or got at him.´ We all ran to where the cream was coming from. It was coming from the bathroom downstairs in the dressing room area... He had dropped his white glove into the toiler, and was screamin for someone to please get it out of there. We all looked at each other like, ´Who´s going to be the schmuck to go down and pick it up. I´ll never forget that moment, which shows you how even the biggest of superstars have to use the bathroom."
Michael Jackson didn't get out much and one day asked me if I could take him to a video store to buy some old movies! I took him to Cine File Video on Santa Monica blvd. He said he wanted to wear his Hulk mask because he was worried he would be recognized and cause a commotion in the store. I reassured him that the Hulk Mask was not going to be a good disguise as long as he was wearing his iconic black shoes with socks and pants that were 2 inches too short! We spent hours looking at videos that day and I remember him being very upset that they didn't have a Brett Ratner film section. He wanted to complain (I wouldn't let him) and he promised never to come back! He never did! He was such a loyal friend and I remember him saying "I'm going to buy this place and make a huge Brett Ratner films section" He had such a big heart and always knew how to make people especially his friends feel good. G-d Bless you Michael!
Michael Jackson frequented the Studio 54 nightclub in New York on several occasions, for example, at the celebration of the release of the Going Places album and at the end of the recordings of the movie The Wiz in 1978 when the girls paid homage with the fantasy of "scarecrow women" ", wearing golden clothes resembling straw and decorated with ropes and straw. On this second occasion, an old friend named Amina Warsuma attended the party. She prepared the reception with her group of dancers and the press attended, too. Amina Warsuma worked on the film The Wiz with Michael Jackson. She had been a fan since the first night that Michael and his brothers performed at the Apollo Theater, and she was present at subsequent performances, too. Amina went out with them through the back door of the theater and traveled together in her van. With Amina Amina recalls that Michael was a well-behaved and well-educated young man. He was 11 and Amina was 15. She and the Jackson 5 were playing '' burned '', volleyball and basketball in the schoolyard behind the Apollo Theater. Amina and her friends were always seen at all of their shows and backstage with Michael and the Jackson 5. But when Jackson 5 joined Motown, they were unable to return to the theater. Amina went to Europe and became a model, dancer and actress. Little did she know that 10 years later she was going to reunite with Michael Jackson in The Wiz. Amina also auditioned and was hired to play one of the scarecrow and girls for Michael Jackson's party that would promote their album Going Places, released by CBS.
''I love Studio 54 in New York, he is so theatrical and dramatic. People come there as characters and it's like going to a game. [...] Just '' travel '' with the lights and the music, and you're in another world. It is very escapist ... Escapism and wonder are the influence. It makes you feel good and allows you to do things. You just keep going, and you say, 'God, this is wonderful - I appreciate that." - MJ
"On February 23, 1988, I went to Kansas City for the opening night of Michael’s “Bad” tour. His manager Frank DiLeo arranged for me to visit Michael’s suite at the Westin Crowne Hotel after the show. Alone. There were no handlers present, no family members, no animal companions, no child companions, no bodyguards—unusual for a Jackson visitation. For Kansas City, his suite was lavish, the size of a small apartment. But as I entered, let in by a security guard who waited outside the door, Michael was nowhere to be seen. “Michael?” I called, as I walked around. After a few minutes, I heard giggling from behind a door. The twenty-nine year-old Michael Jackson was playing hide-and-seek. Finally, he appeared, wearing black trousers and a bright red shirt, his semi-straightened hair pulled back into a loose ponytail with a few strands falling over his face. He hugged me. He was taller than I’d remembered, taller than he appeared in photos. And while his giggling continued, I remember thinking at the time that his hug was a hug from a man—not a boy. There was nothing sexual about it, it was just strong. Then he pulled back, looked at me and said, in the lower and more “normal” of the two voices he could produce at will, “What’s that smell? What’s that perfume? I know that smell.” I laughed and said, “Oh Michael, you don’t know this perfume. It’s an old drag queen perfume from the 1950s.” At the words “drag queen” he started giggling and repeated it: “Drag queen . . .
hahahahahaha!!! No, I know it. It’s ‘Jungle Gardenia,’ right?” I was taken aback. How did he know that? I told him that the only people who ever recognized this perfume were Bryan Ferry and Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes. Well, I said, I guess you’re not as la-la as they say you are. The words “la-la” cracked him up and he repeated it . . . “La-la . . . hahahahaha!” A week later I sent a case of twenty-four bottles of “Jungle Gardenia” to his hotel suite at New York City’s Helmsley Palace. And on March 2nd, I stood backstage in the wings at the Grammy Awards live telecast in Radio City Music Hall, while Michael waited with a gospel group, about to perform “Man in the Mirror.” Looking at me he whispered, “Thanks for the smells. . . . I’m wearing it now.”
Journalist Lisa Robinson in her autobiography There Goes Gravity
Michael and Bret Ratner dancing in the car to R. Kelly´s Ignition:
"All those laughs we had together.... I remember chasing each other through the halls of hotels on tour. He was a fast runner... Or the food fights in our rooms. But mostly, I always remember his smile when we listened to a completed song. There was a lot of pride, love and respect in this regard. And the feeling was mutual. For nearly 20 years, I was fortunate enough to count Michael among my best friends. We were the same age, him and me. Needless to say I miss him terribly!"
Brad Buxer, keyboardist and former musical tour director
“He was so shy, he’d sit down and sing behind the couch with his back to me while I sat there with my hands over my eyes with the lights out. I think the thing for him was he was a complete triple treat. He could sing like nobody’s business, he could dance like nobody’s business with electric performances. So, every time he hit the stage, no matter what he was doing, no matter what type of song he was doing, all eyes were on him. I think Michael was a sheer natural, dropped on this earth by the Most High to show everyone how to do it… and, he did it. He was born with talent, you don’t learn it, no one teaches you how to be Michael Jackson in grade school. The true, true stars are people with unique and unbelievable talent like no one else. He didn’t sound like anyone else, he didn’t dance like anyone else, and he had that special something that only stars have. There are a lot of people who assume they’re stars… he was a real star. Around the world, this guy is held up in honor as the greatest entertainer. He transcended everything. He was that uber star, not just a regular star. I think now, people are trying to remember the joy that he brought into everyone’s lives, and also the sheer greatness of this talent, which is what you should be applauding at this time. This is one of those times in our lifetime that we saw a real beacon.”
Michael Jackson's Former Bodyguard: Scott Cummings:
"He was a complicated, kind and humble human being...just like you."
Karen Faye via Twitter
"Michael liked those that can respect him. (...) If you went up to him with a clear head and spoke to him, he'd speak back to you in his 'real' voice. If you were the fan that cried and couldn't speak, he'd play the kop (King of Pop) role. He's always been like that. He is very sweet and he was honest to a fault UNLESS he felt the truth would hurt you. He was (also) a very shrewd business man and if things didn't go correctly, he wouldn't hesitate to have someone fired."
“He has a split personality. He is very bright & very self-destructive. He has an extremely high IQ & a terrible temper. He is childish but domineering. He is rich & powerful, but also an insecure child. So he can be angelically sweet or cuttingly cold.”
Someone who worked with him during production of Bad album (1987/8)
Michael wasn’t perfect. He had to overcome a very difficult childhood and a brutal adulthood. He had many scars that never healed. As fans we all know this. To believe he was “perfect” is completely unrealistic. https://t.co/IHqHgIf0n9— Karen Faye (@wingheart) November 19, 2018
When Akon met Michael Jackson...
"Michael Jackson was music incarnate. He was the most polite 'celebrity' with whom I have ever worked. He was loving, generous, and funny. I never heard him speak a demeaning or unkind word about anyone. Ever. I sat with him when he laughed like a child, and when he cried for being persecuted by the press for being 'unusual.'
Michael literally gave me a career. He believed in me when I was a novice. He gave me opportunity after opportunity to collaborate, making history again and again. Almost every major accomplishment I have made in the entertainment industry somehow tracks back to Michael and the connections made because of our work together. As a choreographer, he shared with me cherished advice that I have lived by: 'Never force your ideas on a song. Let the music tell you what it wants to be.' […]”
Vincent Paterson, choreographer
"Many singers today try to sound like Michael Jackson, but Michael was unique, he was number one in making everyone feel childlike, in making us feel the innocence and purity. He gives everybody supreme entertainment, and he gives everybody hope. To me, he's number one is making people feel happy."
My brother, Michael, was, is and always will be a genius. I love you, Mike. Janet
Janet Jackson, Michael´s sister
Michael Jackson's Private Tape Recordings: 2000 - 2001 (with Shmuley Boteach) - GMJHD In 2000 - 2001, Michael Jackson sat down with his spiritual guide Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most intimate and revealing conversations of his life. It was Michael Jackson's wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him. Michael Jackson spoke about his lack of ability to have a childhood, the abuse he had to bare from his father as well as his relationships and love stories with Lisa Marie Presley, Brooke Shields, Tatum O'Neal and even his encounter with Madonna. Michael Jackson also touched on topics about his life as one of the biggest celebrities in the world, his plan to help the children over the world, his fatherhood and opinion about Adolf Hitler. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach lost all contact with Michael Jackson in the following years. Michael Jackson distanced himself from the Rabbi due to the Rabbi's assumptions and negativity about various things in Michael Jackson's life. On September 25, 2009 Boteach published a book that was based on these tape recordings, but the book was a huge disapointment since Boteach's negative and ignorant commentary completely destroyed the whole purpose of the book: showcasing Michael Jackson's point of view. The tape recordings were revealed by the Rabbi on a few news broadcast networks such as CNN and Dateline NBC after the release of his book. The source for the tapes used in this video are these 2 network broadcasts. youtu.be/sYC87HPNWA0
“Michael was a man of many paradoxes, most of which we were able to represent in the clothes we designed: rigid military cuts that were also elastic and movable; rebellious regalia fit for army commanders worn over the heart of a gentle man; bedazzled embellishments adorning a man blessed with a quiet humility; one-of-a-kind handcrafted clothes worn with aged, scuffed Florsheim shoes. Michael was the epitome of an enigmatic superstar.”
Michael Bush, Michael´s stylist
Everyone knew my Uncle Michael as one of the greatest artists who ever lived, but he was simply "Uncle Mike" to me. We called him "Uncle Doo Doo", lovingly, because he loved playing and playing, all the time.
He phoned me and my brother in the middle of the night, we hadn't spoken to him in months and he was making a prank using a different voice. We thought it was so funny, until we found out it was him!
I remember all my friends thinking that I was cool because I was Michael Jackson's niece, but I thought my uncle was the coolest, because he always had time for me and always had a good heart.
He never said "no" to us children. We have a big family and whenever Michael was around, he would laugh, tickle and play with us. Yes, even when we were grown up and older.
I remember my seventh birthday, my uncle was on tour, and he handed over the keys to the Neverland ranch and we prepared my party there; and all my cousins had their birthday parties at Neverland. It was tradition!
Another memory, for me, is my uncle calling me "Applehead". He called everyone in our family Applehead, even my cousins Prince, Paris and Blanket. It was an affectionate term on his part.
I will miss him too much and will always have memories of happy moments, but in my heart, I can hear my uncle's laughter, his voice, and I still remember his hugs and kisses ... and my uncle will never leave. He's always with me! I love you!”
Stevanna Jackson, Michael´s niece, and daughter of Randy Jackson
"My Uncle was the most thoughtful person in my life and always managed to bring a little bit of magic into my childhood years.
Being Jehovah’s Witness, I never celebrated holidays. One Christmas, when I was 8 years old, my Uncle Michael made sure I came over the day after Christmas.
Walking into his house, he brought me over to the Christmas tree where I found 40 gifts with my name on them. I was filled with all the excitement a child could have seeing gift after gift with my name on it, but I asked him, “Why did you do this?” he said, “to make up for all the Christmases you’ve missed.” After this, I felt like Christmas became my holiday. He always managed to make my life a little happier, a little more exciting, and a little more special. You had a rare heart. Happy B-day, I miss you."
Austin Brown, Michael´s nephew
"In some ways Michael reminds me of the walking wounded. He's an extremely fragile person. I think that just getting on with life, making contact with people, is hard enough, much less to be worried about whither goest the world.
"I remember driving with him one day, and I said, ‘God, Michael, I wish I could find a movie I could produce for you.' And suddenly I knew. I said, ‘I know what you've got to do. It's "Peter Pan.'”
"Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, ‘Why did you say that?' with this ferocity. I said, ‘I realize you're Peter Pan.' And he started to cry and said, ‘You know, all over the walls of my room are pictures of Peter Pan. I've read everything that Barrie wrote. I totally identify with Peter Pan, the lost boy of Never-Neverland.' "Oh, I can see him leading lost children into a world of fantasy and magic. From Gary, straight on to Barrie!”
Jane Fonda (1984)
"How old you would you be if you didn't even know how old you are?"
"Quincy calls me a nickname, “Smelly.” Smelly came from —and [Steven] Spielberg calls me that, too. Back then, especially back then — I say a few swear words now — but especially then, you couldn´t get me to swear. So I would say, ´That´s a “smelly” song.´ That would mean, ´It´s so great´ that you´re engrossed in it. So he would call me ´Smelly.'"
Michael Jackson (2007 interview)
“I’ve had every entertainer working for me more or less. I knew Pavarotti, I knew all of the great entertainers. I think the greatest entertainer that I have ever seen was Michael Jackson. There’s never been anyone like him.”
“Michael always talked about being simple and effective and to be complex in your transitions knowing where to pull focus when you choreograph.”
“Every time we had creative discussions with Michael, he approached it like a kid in a candy store.”
Rich and Tone Talauega, choreographers for “You Rock My World”, on working with Michael
"Michael was the most inspiring, heartfelt individual I've worked with. He brought light into this dark world with his love and magical creativity. Michael, I just can't stop loving you. You've changed my life forever."
"But it's not just Micheal who's nice and down to earth. The entire family is also. You being a winner of his fan club in the 80's, I won the chance to meet him at his home in Encino Califonia when he still lived with his mother. It was the best thing that ever happened to me! The magic that was in that house was electric! and running into Jacksons while touring the home was more then I could handle. When it was time to leave I just broke down like a baby. You never want to leave. Never!"
Lordcron on YouTube
"Let me start by saying that without the inspiration you have given me in my life I would never have become the human being and artist I am today. I remember dancing in my room to "Beat It" with the door closed while wearing my sequined glove. This memory will stay with me for as long as I live. It was your energy, artistry, compassion and commitment that drove me to go after my dreams. You were boundless and proved that anyone from any walk could achieve their what they desire through self belief and dedication. My fondest childhood memory was working with you in 1991 on the MTV 10th anniversary special. You were so kind and personable with me. I will cherish that experience forever!
Thank you so much, Michael, for being my idol and blessing the world with more than anyone could imagine. You are a legend and an angel. I know you will continue to watch over us all and inspire from above."
The story of the one and only time Will Smith met Michael Jackson :-D :
"I was modest. I am modest. And I will always be modest. Because modesty is very important. Without it you are nothing."
"He is very modest, shy and pure man. When you see him on stage, hitting the moves and doing his thing, you think 'wow!' That's all very spectacular. But face to face he's a sweet and soft man. Very easy to talk to, down to earth but also a very, very shy person.
I learned a lot from him. About dancing, about life experiences....everything. My goal is to go try to inspire other people like Michael did with me. He is very humoristic. He loves to laugh and he enjoys life."
One of Michael's dancers, Timor Steffins
Interview with Susan Yu, MJ´s lawyer:
“Michael Jackson was clearly a man ahead of his time, and perhaps, out of sync with it through no fault of his own. His wisdom often fell upon deaf ears because he offered large thoughts to small minds.”
Michael Jackson´s daughter Paris
"First of all, he was a very kind soul. A humble guy. Very Jesus in spirit who was caring, loving. A true person....he was just a very humble guy. For all his success, he was very, very kind.
Steve Manning, Tito Jackson's manager speaking with Larry King
"An angelic, child-like human being would never inflict pain & suffering on another soul, let alone a child."
m talking about M. Jackson
"Always too fair, never ruthless enough."
Jermaine Jackson about his brother Michael
Darryl Phinnessee Interview at Michael Jackson Tribute:
Cory Rooney, who worked with MJ at Sony/Epic: "...There’s other times where I sit there in the studio and say I cannot believe that I’m working with this person and this is what it is. And they all have the nerve to have attitudes.
Then you work with a guy like Michael Jackson who when he was late, he was supposed to be in the studio at twelve and he showed up about quarter to one. He felt so terrible for being late he apologized the whole session. The next day he sent a big giant basket because we’re talking about movies and how much I love movies. So he sent me this giant basket....Oh my goodness, it probably had 100 DVDs. It had popcorn, candy, all kinds of books and movie trivia, all kinds of stuff. Again the card said, ‘I’m very sorry for not respecting your time."....I would say Mike, what time do you want to start tomorrow? He said, ‘Cory, you’re the boss. You tell me what time. If you want me here seven in the morning, I will be here at seven in the morning.’ He said, ‘You are the boss. Whatever you tell me.’
Chris Yandek (Interviewer): What I find interesting about those comments is the way the mainstream media projects it is that he wanted to always do things his way.
Cory Rooney: “Not at all, not at all. That’s what I said. It’s like if the world would just stop and just really pay attention.”
"Michael had the wisdom of an old man and the enthusiasm of a child. He was a good-looking, but very shy, young man who hid his remarkable intelligence behind his soft voice and smiles. But don’t let the appearance fool you, there was, behind it, an artist who was a perfectionist to the extreme and consumed by the ambition of becoming the greatest showman in the world."
“Michael was just great. He was just like a little kid. He was a down-to-earth person.”
Leon Jones, artist, who worked for MJ
“Michael sometimes called me at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning: "Kerry, what are you doing? Are you standing? '' ..." Yes, I'm standing”, and he knew I wasn't ... And he started to laugh.
So, once when we were at Neverland, he called me. It was early in the morning and he said, "I need you to come and find me, but I'm not at home”.
And I said, "Okay, but where are you?" I had created a map of Neverland and basically divided that map into sections, and I would know where it was. Because he got up at 2 or 3 am and went out to drive one of his cars through Neverland. He didn't do that with a van or a 4WD, he took his Bentley and drove through those canyons, like… are you kidding me?
Then, one night he called me because he got bogged down! I finally found him, he had his Bentley stuck in the mud and he couldn't even open the door… It was 4 am and you managed to bog down your Bentley?… It was really funny”.
Kerry Anderson, former Michael Jackson´s bodyguard in an interview with King Jordan Radio in August 2015
Earvin Magic Johnson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and discussed his friendship that he shared with not only Michael Jackson, but the Jackson family, as well. Johnson said that he has some of the most memorable times with the Jacksons.
Jimmy Kimmel mentions that he watched him speak at Michael Jackson’s memorial, and said he didn’t know that the two were friends. Johnson then reveals: “I had some of the most unbelievable fun with Michael and the Jackson brothers. I used to hang out at the house. I went on tour with the Jacksons – a couple of times. It was really cool, Jimmy, because they would send out limos – and there would be thousands and thousands of girls in front of the hotel, so they would send out the limos and everyone would think the Jackson’s were inside. Then we would come to the hotel about an hour later in these white vans, and everyone would be gone, chasing the limos down the street. ” Johnson continues, “When we would get back from the concerts, we would have pillow fights and water balloon fights – because they would block off the whole floor for the Jacksons, and we would have some of our most unbelievable fun.” Kimmel then asks how old Johnson was when all of this was happening. Johnson reveals: “It was during the Victory tour. You have to remember that Michael and I are 50. Do you remember that I was in the Remember the Time video? And I’ll tell you – people don’t know this, but Michael Jackson loved fireworks. We used to throw firecrackers and cherry bombs at his house. We would do this all day for at least 4 or 5 hours straight.” He adds, “Like I said, I had so much fun with him. Everyone thinks he was this crazy guy, but Michael was smart, and he was a lot of fun.”
Johnson went on to say that Michael, “was a genius at that music.” He told Kimmel, “I would go to the rehearsals or soundchecks and he know where everybody was supposed to be, when they were supposed to come in.
Naomi Campbell on the Set of MJ's Video:
"Michael had some $900 remote-controlled motorcycles delivered to the studio one day. He asked me to come out to the parking lot to try them out, and when we were messing around with them, he drove his motorcycle out of the lot and into the alley, when a car came by and ran it over! He thought that was really funny. I couldn't believe that he could laugh so much at losing a thousand-dollar toy."
Sam L Parity
Michael Jackson plays some Galaxy Force at Sega's Japanese in December 1988:
While most of the time a chef was cooking Michael's food, he once asked sound engineer Rob Disner to take him around the corner to McDonalds.
“When I asked him what exactly he wanted to take, he admitted that he had no idea what exactly they were serving and that he had just heard that the food was good there. He ended up ordering a copy of everything on the menu. He bit into each of them then told me what he liked and didn't like. If I remember correctly, he liked their fish sandwich ”.
Rob Disner worked on Michael Jackson’s "Dangerous" album
Michael pictured with Bill Wolfer:
"Once, when we were recording the demos for Thriller in Encino, we took a break. Michael had this big ornate bird cage in the studio with a big cockatoo in it. He grabbed some bird seed, and went outside on the front steps, where I had gone to have a cigarette. He raised his hand to the sky with the bird seed in his open palm, and stood there like a statue. I thought he had lost his mind, what’s he doing? After just a few minutes, this enormous wild blue jay came swooping out of a tree on the other side of the yard, landed on his hand, and ate the seed. He really was like a Disney character in some ways."
Bill Wolfer, Keyboardist on Thriller album
"To me there were two Michaels. He was this very fierce, immensely creative, single-focused performer.
That is the Michael on stage or in the studio. That persona was distinctly different than the one that was off microphone. When he didn't have a mike in his hand or there wasn't a camera rolling, he was very quiet, very demure and really like a fun-loving man-child. But then when you entered a conversation about business, he was almost like the performer
again. That's when a little bit of that Joe Jackson came out because he was a very, very savvy businessman. Some might have
been surprised in negotiating with him or his surrogates because he ran a very tight ship when it came to negotiating deals. Then as soon as the business talk was over, he'd be back to his very sincere, playful childlike demeanor."
Todd Gray, Photographer
"I met him once. He was in New York at the Sony studios shooting a video, and I was there with one of my groups. And I was requested — Michael wanted to meet me. I went in the back, and he was sitting between two women and he shook my hand, and it was cool. Somebody like Michael Jackson — you don't even think they know you exist. You know, you're a rapper. And the fact that he was like, "Ice-T is here. I would like to meet Ice-T." And I shook his hand and it was a oncert. That's about the best compliment you can give.
At the end of the day, his legacy to me is, he was original. That's one thing about Michael Jackson — you can't say any of his stuff was taken from anybody else. It was 100% original. All the new people who are going to mimic him — the little 'N Sync kid [Justin Timberlake] — they know they doing the Michael Jackson."
Ice T, rapper and actor (https://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1907409_1907413_1907564,00.html #ixzz27EYGIWLV)
"This was taken at a park in Beverly Hills around 1973. Michael was doing a karate move. I was way down the lane with a tripod and a 180mm lens so I could blow the background out. It's all open shading and pretty light. This photograph didn't wind up getting used for anything."
Jim Britt, photographer
"She was generous; nurturing and kind; he was an iron-fisted disciplinarian who brooked no nonsense. They worked hard and made sure there was always food on the table. 'Mother was a great provider,' Michael recalls. 'The lessons she taught us were invaluable. Kindness, love, and consideration for other people head her list.' He says his father 'has always been something of a mystery to me and he knows it.'
Michael is a composite of both parents: sensitive, gentle and pious like his mother and determined and stubborn like his dad. 'He definitely has his father's perseverance,' says publicist Steve Manning."
Text from 1989 Michael Jackson biography by Todd Gold, Journalist
"The press depicts him as a weirdo. They couldn't be more wrong, he's a paradox. A brilliant businessman - and a beautiful pure soul, instinctive and unscathed. A dreamer who makes things happen."
“I started working with Michael when he was eleven years old and I was a producer and writer at Motown Records. When I saw Michael he was always a happy kid. When we were in the studio recording he would always like to play pranks. He had a great sense of humor. I wore a baseball jacket he would put it on and it was too big for him. I wore three rings on each hand and he would pick a ring he wanted to wear and I would give it to him and he would wear it that day. We made recording fun. He was also an excellent artist and since I like to sketch pictures and cartoon characters we would exchange them. Sometimes he would sketch me and made my nose too long.
The amazing thing about his talent in those days was that he would learn a song by hearing it three or four times and he would know the song and record it perfectly. One example of his great natural singing ability was when we recorded the standard classic “All the Things You Are” by Rogers and Hammerstein, which is difficult to sing in the first place with so many chord changes and vocal range; he would hear it and run through it a couple of times and sing it perfectly. I was a little disappointed years later when he became the great star that he was and never sang with the dynamics that he did as a child.
He was always childlike as we all know. For a boy whose life became so lonely. He was by himself so much, not doing the things that normal children do at his age. His imagination became his retreat. One other thing, he used to call me up and if one of my sons answered, he would say it is Michael. If I answered the phone, he would use a fake voice and say he was Dr. Johnson or Mr. Smith. I knew who he was and we would laugh and talk.”
"He was Star Wars and E.T. crazy."
"With all due respect for Terrence Malick - he is one of my favorite directors - he is quiet and very shy. As was Michael. So, when they met at Fox Studio, I stayed with the two and I tried to get them to talk to each other, they were both shy and I was like, 'Hey, how's the Dodgers doing?'
The most memorable part of that afternoon was when Prince, at the age of two, sneezed. Michael turned to Prince and said to him, with fatherly delicacy: 'we cover our nose when we sneeze'.
Unforgettable moments with one of the biggest stars in the world".
Robert Kraft, president of Fox Music, remembers Michael's meeting with director Terrence Malick in 1998
"The first thing I noticed was his eyes. The most striking eyes I've ever seen on a man. Wide incision and dark brown color, almost hypnotic that held your attention. Not looking at this man was impossible. Later I was trying to remember if he wore eyeliner that day - his eyes were so beautiful and bright but in later encounters, alone, without witnesses, when it wasn't necessary to be a star, those eyes were still amazing, caught you and dragged you into your world. We smiled at each other over the table and quietly said Hello. I found it interesting that he didn't get up to shake my hand, as did Steven and Jeffrey. At first, I thought Michael felt like he didn't need to get up. He was famous and famous people are used to a privileged position. But later, after spending time with him, I realized that that day he didn't get up for another reason he was very shy."
Darlene Craviotto, screenwriter
Spontaneous FB conversation between two Michael´s former employees from Neverland, Rob Swinson and Ray Robledo (Oct 12, 2020). Both are authors of beautiful books about Michael and Neverland:
Michael Jackson Private Home Movies
"I've known Michael since I was born and he supported me about my singing and has helped my family very very much. He was probably the nicest and most giving person I've ever known. There will never be another Michael Jackson. Ever. I was so fortunate to actually know him. He is one of the biggest inspirations of music."
Sky Ferreira, singer and model
"I don't put awards in my house…They're in storage. I don't like to be puffed up with pride."
”I was a strict vegetarian for much of my life, until my doctor told me to include some fish & chicken in my diet for extra energy. Now I love Sushi.”
Michael Jackson in 80´s
“‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was the most ambitious song I had composed. I think I worked on a number of levels: You could dance to it, sing along with it, get scared by it, and just listen. I had to tack on a slow piano and cello coda that ended on a positive note to reassure the listener; there's no point in trying to scare someone if there isn't something to bring the person back safe and sound from whe...re you've taken them. "Heartbreak Hotel" had revenge in it and I am fascinated by the concept of revenge. It's something I can't understand. The idea of making someone "pay" for something they've done to you or that you imagine they've done to you is totally alien to me. The setup showed my own fears and for the first time being helped quell them. There were so many sharks in this business looking for blood in the water. If this song, and later "Billie Jean," seemed to cast women in an unfavorable light, it was not meant to be taken as a personal statement. Needless to say, I love the interaction between the sexes; it is a natural part of life and I love women. I just think that when sex is used as a form of blackmail or power, it's a repugnant use of one of God's gifts.”
Michael Jackson in his autobiography Moonwalk, 1988
Robert Hilburn remembers Michael Jackson:
Michael came over to a party one day wearing his little Kangol hat and parked his new Rolls about three blocks down the street from my place. Him being from Gary, Indiana, and me being from Chicago, I knew what was on his mind when he went out my exit gate at 2 am and picked up a brick from the edge of my bushes. I said, Smelly, this ain’t Gary or Chicago. This is the safest street in LA.” That is so country, I’d tell him kiddingly, and he’d tee-hee (p. 242).]
Michael Jackson´s bodyguards (in his last years)
Debra Willis talks about her friendship with Michael Jackson
Photographer Dick Zimmerman Talks About Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Together
Pharrell Williams about meeting Michael
"I´ve always been a fan since I was a kid when it came to Mike. As I started to become more cuccessful in the business and started to meeting all of these artists, the fan thing for me kind of got fazed out. You meet everyone and you start to realize that they are normal. But the day I actually met him, in my mind I was like, ´Oh my goodness, I´m gong to meet Mike!!!´ He´s like a myth. You don´t believe that he´s real. You don´t even believe that you are having a conversation with him. I thought I was going to be a big groupie when I met him, honestly. But he was just the coolest guy.
You see how the media portrays him and then you see him behind closed doors and he´s completely different person. I always wanted people to see the great man that he was.
I really want people to remeber Mike as the entertainer, the creator. He was really the totem pole of what success was in the industra. When it comes to breaking records and selling records and creating concepts and ideas and high-performance concerts and shows, he set the standard for it. Not only that but he was an incredible father, a great daf. He treated his kids like kings and gueens. He was a philanthropist, gave millions and millions of dollars to charity, always wanted to find new ways to change the world. He was really funny, like just an ordinary, all out great guy. I wish the world could have seen him outside of the entertainment, just seen Mike in person."
"When he died, I had known him for 31 years. I have 125 Grammy´s in my studio and taught over 300 celebrities for over half a century but Michael was the most amazing man. He was such a magnificient, innocent, but very missunderstand man. His message was that we are all one family. I really want people to understand who he was and how marvellous he was - not just as a performer but as a human being. Some people don´t choose to believe that. But the thing is: I was there!"
Seth Riggs, vocal coach
"I care about him. It´s so sad he is not here anymore. I am such a huge fan. I love him so much... like I knew him but I didn´t. And he was such a huge inspiration to me, my whole life. And I really feel the world killed him. Because I believe so strongly he died from a broken heart. All the accusations, and you know he was so famous he coudn´t go anywhere. A broken heart, because I belive so much he just loved to perform for people and make them happy."
Karen Faye, Dennis Tompkins, Michael Bush on ABC 20/20 Friday June 25th 2010 - Makeup & Hair Artist, Karen Faye and Costumers, Dennis Tompkins & Michael Bush are sharing with the world, for the very first time, some of their most cherished memories of their almost three decades with Michael Jackson: