Michael And Photography


"(...) We jump into the limo and proceed through extra heavily congested New York City weekday afternoon traffic. I ask Michael can I get him anything - food, drinks, etc..Michael could have asked for and/or demanded anything - and he didn't even request a cup of water. So it's just Michael and I in the limo, and you want to know what w...e talked about. Well, the answer is everything and nothing. It was one of the easiest flowing conversations that I have ever had in my entire life. It is easier to say what we didn't talk about. We didn't talk about music, the music business, his album, politics, or sports, etc.. We did talk about life and specifically his observations of various aspects of life.

Some people, including Michael himself, have called him shy. I would call him observant. When you're observing and listening and taking things in, you are not talking as much - so people think that you're shy - when actually you are observing, learning, and selecting the optimum time to speak. Michael's conversation was not about stating his philosophies but more about stating observations and how these observations could make one think and/or feel. I would say that Michael Jackson had a unique one-of-a-kind intellectual curiosity - he was curious about everything.

About an hour later we picked up the professional photographer who was coming with us to radio. The photographer gets in the front seat of the limo says hello and then starts to assemble his camera. Once his camera is assembled he points it at me and Michael in the back seat of the limo. I instruct him not to shoot us so Michael can relax. Looking back, that would be a cool photo to have now but I was looking out for Michael's well-being. Michael sees the camera and starts this deep photography discussion. I was in the discussion for about a minute then it got so deep that I just dropped out and that's when the photographer looked at me and I looked at him with the looks saying check this out - Michael Jackson is knee deep in photography discourse. I asked Michael if he was a photographer and he said "No, I just like photography!!!".

My guess is that wherever Michael was living at any given time he was privately photographing nature and things in his house because one couldn't know what he knew from just listening to photographers. But some people just know things, and this is MJ we are talking about - so who knows!!!

So Michael continues engaging in this very deep photography conversation with the photographer where he mentions something that the photographer said he needed to look into further. This went on for about 5 minutes, and the only thing that stopped that topic was that the photographer said something that Michael didn't know and Michael got quiet."

Ray Newton, CBS Records and drummer on Off the Wall.