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 Voices For Michael

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PostSubject: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 4:53 pm

posted by Nimue on Thursday, October 21st 2010

Oct 15, 2010
The American Public Must Demand Honest Journalism.--

by Forbes Everett Landis


What does our silence about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream say? Are we not forfeiting our children's future into the hands of bullies? Is it not time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture?



Last year, the news of pop-superstar Michael Jackson's premature death shocked the world. As I am a classical music fan, not a connoisseur of pop music or any of its stars, Jackson's death did not immediately evoke any particular emotion in me. I just let it go.

But as the days went by, and as I passively soaked in more and more news reports on Jackson's death,
began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. A man had passed away: What need was there for the media to so eagerly show humiliating images of how Jackson would have looked on his death-bed? I was prompted to look into the case more thoroughly.

After more than a year, although I am not now nor ever will be a Michael Jackson fan, and despite my sometimes skeptical view of the frenzied remarks often made by Jackson's hard-core followers, I feel the need to say this:

To keep the American dream alive for our children, we should stop abusing our talented and creative spirits out of jealousy and misunderstanding.

Jackson had to deal with the media condemning him as strange, weird, and even labeling him a freak, both figuratively and literally. My opinion about this is clear: Though at times, to subjective eyes, Jackson might have looked ‘different,' half of this eccentricity was due to the fact that he was born to be an artist inevitably different from others because of his imaginative and creative nature, and half because he was forced into being so unconventional by a degree of media pressure few, if any, have ever experienced. Being different from others does not equate being harmful to others. As long as one does not violate others' human rights, one has the right to be him or herself. In a society that prioritizes human rights and freedom, I find no justification for attacks on people who are perceived to be ‘different.' These kinds of attacks are especially sordid when they involve the spreading of knowingly false rumors for financial gain. After Jackson's acquittal on alleged child related charges in 2005, several journalists, such as Aphrodite Jones, came forward to confess that most of the media in attendance intentionally put objectivity aside in covering the Michael Jackson case by fragmenting the facts divulged in court, reporting only anti-Jackson information.

*The human race has quite often owed its scientific or artistic progress to the "weird" and the "eccentric." Let us consider, for example, Galileo Galilei, who was charged for openly discussing Copernican theory, a concept seen as sinful and roundly condemned at that time; later, of course, this theory went on to become the accepted standard of scientific understanding of the universe. We might also stop to consider how treasonable the very idea of democracy once was, how dangerous the aristocracy felt it to be; later, democracy became the world's prevailing political philosophy. We can also remember that the concept of equality between : women and men, different ethnicities, or diverse religions, was derided when it emerged. Also, had she not thought differently from others, might Mother Teresa not have been a stay-at-home mom instead of traveling to India and risking her life for humanity?

Keeping the history of these exceptional ideas and people in mind, I can almost guarantee that if one had killed all the "weirdoes" among our Australopithecine ancestors 3.5 million years ago, our species might not have made it to the 21st Century. We might very well have just remained a much more primitive species, one without the use of fire and the wheel, let alone an orchestra, democracy, or computers. Is it not, after all, diversity that allows for evolution?

In other words, "weirdness" is sometimes the inevitable result of an exceptional imaginative ability that sees no boundaries in search of all the creative possibilities. As long as such individuals do us no harm, we should let them be. It is our duty to be respectful of those who are different not only because every human being is entitled to freedom, but also because diversity is at the root of human survival.

To those who regard Jackson's soft voice altered skin tone or facial appearance as weird, I would simply say this: You are revealing your own nature, at best : narrow-minded or obtuse ; at worst - unkind and bigoted. Nobody's holy scripture deems it acceptable to criticize the physical appearance of people who have contributed so generously to the voiceless.

To those who think that the Jackson's spoken voice was peculiar, I would say that I see no significance in it. The spoken voice cannot be uncoupled from the singing voice that so many lauded. It might also be helpful for you to consider this information in order to broaden your understanding of the global context: there are countries where people respect those who speak softly, in a calm, non-aggressive manner. The American standard, where a loud voice seems necessary to assertiveness, is not the only standard in the world.

To those who criticize the 'King of Pop' for purchasing Neverland, I pose this question: Would you have survived without buying a Neverland-sized residential property if you were in reality never able to explore any place alone without being horded by an ensuing media and public frenzy whenever you stepped out of your front door? A huge residence with a vast garden might have been the only possible way for this worldwide megastar to relax and enjoy some fresh air without constant intrusion from the public. After all, Jackson earned his money though incredible hard work and a perfectionist work-ethic. In light of his Guinness record-making support of no less than 39 charities, it may very well be hypocritical to criticize his spending habits.

Having demonstrated that there is nothing inherently wrong with living unconventionally, the question now turns to whether or not Jackson ever harmed anyone with his behaviors. Here I will discuss the child related allegations leveled against him. ---

In discussing the two instances of allegations Jackson was faced with, I would like to focus my attention primarily on the 1993 case due to the fact that the more recent (2003-2005) accusations ended with Jackson receiving a full legal acquittal on all counts, the extremely low credibility of the accuser's mother playing a significant factor in this exoneration. In other words, Jackson was found not-guilty so I believe we must discount this case.

Considering that the laws of most U.S. states set down one's right to sue anyone without being counter-sued solely in retribution for one's lawsuit, this means that one can safely sue anyone they wants to sue. Thus, the extortion of popular and wealthy persons is an increasingly attractive ploy for those seeking a quick buck. Fast and easy money may once have come at a personal price, that being distrust from one's community. But, with cities growing ever larger and more impersonal, an individual's local reputation is of gradually thinning importance, resulting in more room for thievery. To some mischief minded, the risk of exposure as an extortionist might thus seem lower when compared to the potentially enormous financial benefits of a scam. As a result, a millionaire, especially one whose professional value is greatly magnified by popularity, is more vulnerable than ever. According to the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, in 1998, 71% of the abuse reports were revealed to be false or unfounded. The false accusation rate even rises to over 90% when a custody battle and money is involved (as was the case between the plaintiff's parents in the 1993 allegations against Jackson, who was a friend of the child's mother). In the 1993 case, the charges never went to trial but were settled out of court.

The record illustrates that the financially troubled accuser's father had previously approached Jackson's representatives with a monetary request well before he sued for the alleged molestation, demonstrating that he would have refrained from filing suit in exchange for money. Would any parent with real care for the well-being of his or her children make such a deal?

As evidence for my position, I present the recorded phone conversation in which the accuser's father is heard to say that everything [is] going "according to a certain plan," that he would win "big time" and that Jackson would be ruined forever. These words sounds far more like the words of a mercenary than those of a father concerned with justice for his son.

It should also be emphasized that Jackson was never indicted on the 1993 allegations, even after an intensive 13-month investigation including interviews with over 400 witnesses in and out of the country, extensive searches of his residential properties, and even a 25 minute full-body examination in which Jackson had every part of his body photographed, videotaped and examined. And in the six years before the statute of limitation had expired, no criminal charges were ever filed. After the District Attorney's office spent millions of tax payer dollars in hot pursuit of the singer, had they found any evidence of molestation, they would have been certain to indict Jackson. Civil settlement does not prevent criminal indictment. The 13-year-old boy at the center of the allegations refused to testify criminally and his father, the main individual behind the allegations, committed suicide within months of Jackson's death.

Having discussed the mischaracterization of what people might dismiss as "weird," and having made plain the falsity of the allegations made against Jackson, accusations that in my view look suspiciously extortionate, I would now like to consider the moral impact that Jackson might have had on our society.

Regarding integrity, Jackson's deeds and lifestyle, apart from the media's fabricated stories, remained consistently appropriate. In fact, his decency made him look almost old-fashioned, even when he was young, when compared with many entertainers' indulgences in sex, alcohol, and drugs. Interviews with Jackson indicated that he felt it highly inappropriate to remark publicly on his sexual life. This, as far as I am concerned, is an example of his dignity and modesty. However, this very reserve may ironically have fueled baseless speculation about Jackson's sexual orientation. I wish to ask : is publicly questioning a person's sexual life not way more inappropriate than that person's choice of silence out of a desire for privacy regarding the same? The fact that Jackson was not involved in a multitude of sex scandals with women, a fact which should normally invite respect, seems unfairly to have been justification for the media to pathologize Jackson. It is beyond ridiculous to construct the lack of lasciviousness and scandal as itself scandalous and suspect.

Many people have also remarked that Jackson did not curse at all, especially when he was younger. Only after suffering numerous hate campaigns founded on falsehoods did he insert a very small amount of profanity into his songs, in response to a world which had betrayed him so deeply. Even then, his use of profanity stayed away from vitriolic attacks , but came across more as an artistic expression of deep anguish.

Jackson also faced many accusations regarding his appearance. But, turning this around, what might this suggest about those themselves who so scrutinized the way he looked? What does it say about their own biases ? And about the people who claimed to know details about every surgical procedure Jackson allegedly had, calling him a freak without even having seen him actually ?

After the 2003 allegations, the media repeatedly and mockingly displayed pictures of Jackson in an emaciated state, not out of concern for his well-being, but seemingly simply in order to label him a freak. It may very well be argued that Jackson was indeed beginning to look fairly thin, but doesn't taking somebody's tired physical appearance as direct evidence of inner abnormality only reveal our own superficiality ? Maybe , just maybe anyone else would have looked equally fatigued had they suffered the anguish of having to relentlessly fight vicious and false allegations.

On the topic of morality : Which is more admirable, giving people hope by regularly visiting and donating to hospitals and orphanages, or telling scandalous stories based on speculation or lies? Which is more despicable, pursuing an exceptionally rigorous dedication to artistic perfection, or giving in to jealousy and greed to bring down an artist? The tabloid press, of course, uses this strategy on most celebrities and public figures. One might argue that Michael Jackson had learned to use the press as cynically as it used him, that he , especially in the early days, once believed that "all publicity is good, even bad publicity," because it keeps their names in people's minds. One might even go so far as to say that Jackson purposely flaunted his eccentricities to generate press. He did, after all, have a fine artistic sense of the dramatic, with drama selling newspapers. And Jackson always managed to keep his fame burning bright, even when he was not producing any new songs. As elaborated below, my issue, however, is not with Jackson's handling of the media. Rather it is about what the media's handling of Jackson says about societal norms and ethics.

Critics have accused Jackson of not opposing false information adamantly enough. Pondering that charge, I suspect that having been abused by the media intrusiveness from his early days in the spotlight, Jackson might have come to feel vulnerable and victimized. Having been taught by his parent always to be nice to the media and to his fans, he might have felt he should not defend himself too vigorously for fear of losing his popularity. Furthermore, had Jackson taken the time to fight every rumor thrown his way, he would not have had time to be Michael Jackson, the artist as he did explain to a close friend. In the end ,we must ask ourselves, who is more faithful and true, a person who calls someone a freak without knowing him personally and without possessing any evidence of wrongdoing, or a person who shows patience and courage in the face of hostility and simply expresses who he really is by letting his work speak for itself?

Some might argue that the attacks Jackson had to suffer from the media and from consumers can be justified as a natural price to pay for the fame and fortune. No, I say. That is too high a price being charged from a human being. Those attacks had exceeded all justifiable limits, And I wish to note that he was not paid to endure pain, but for his relentless efforts and dedication to his craft.

We first explored "weirdness" as necessary and beneficial diversity, specifically addressing the fact that Jackson's physical appearance and spoken pitch seem irrelevant to his achievements. We then found that allegations of unethical behavior on Jackson's part were in truth baseless. Then we analyzed Jackson's non-aggressive stance during TV interviews, not as demonstration of guilt but as a sign of decorum. Lastly, we found that the cost of fame seems an insufficient justification for the extraordinary personal attacks Jackson went through.

We will now consider the implications of the behavior of the media and the public during the course of Michael Jackson's career. The American media have disgraced themselves by displaying to the world the schoolyard bullying of a talented and creative soul with great philanthropic achievements . Now consider how this public bullying of a legendary figure might present itself to a new generation of youth, how it might play out in their minds and affect their morale ... Might this type of public bullying not discourage the youngsters of today from pursuing their own creativity, their own inner diversity, for fear that they themselves might incur such abuse ?

The coverage of Michael Jackson's life poses among others, these questions to America: Does fulfilling the American Dream require that one subject oneself to unending media intrusion, to lies about oneself for the sake of selling newspapers, and where one unproven accusation is enough to be convicted in the court of national opinion ? Do you want your children to live in a world where pursuing the American Dream involves the risks of a nightmare of mistrust and abuse?

I refer again to the journalists who later admitted their purposely distorted biased reporting on the Michael Jackson child molestation cases. If we recall for a moment the enormous number of journalists who surrounded the Santa Barbara County courthouse, one can surmise that the handful of journalists who came clean about their deception make up only the tip of the iceberg.I suspect that there were hundreds more who remained silent and who knowingly bent the truth to sell papers.

I also suppose that there are thousands of people who, having received one-sided information, once believed Jackson to be a freakish criminal, but who, after his death and the revelation of new information, have come to see him just as one of us, a burdened human being and a caring parent, as well as a uniquely talented artist and a devoted philanthropist. Perhaps these now better-informed members of the public have come to doubt the veracity of the media itself, not just when it comes to Michael Jackson, but in general.

I speculate that there is a pervasive notion that it is safer to say nothing when it comes to Michael Jackson for fear of being promptly stigmatized. However, we need to address the implications of such silent behavior. What does our silence about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream say? If we play it safe, we are forfeiting our children's future into the hands of bullies. It is time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture. As Edmund Burke once penned, "all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."


http://education.ezinemark.com/does-american-dream-have-to-die-with-michael-jackson-16b169402f1.html



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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 4:54 pm

posted by The Fairy on Thursday, October 21st 2010

Very beautifully written indeed... Right to the core....

Yes we must fight for his name. We may do it writing a book, posting on websites, commenting on You Tube videos, signing petitions, posting on FB, writing an open letter to a newspaper or simply gently and with unconditional love tell the people we meet that they are wrong and encourage them to search for more info on Michael... as I say with my book: "If we can change the opinion of just one single soul and let her or him see the real Michael Jackson, we have accomplished it all, cause one person will speak to others..."

We love you Michael
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 4:58 pm

posted by Nimue on Wednesday, October 27th 2010

This is a old interview, but I couldn't find here. It shows clearly that Michael was not a drug addicted, his big heart and soul and also his "thief" funny mode. I love you Michael.


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:21 pm

posted by The Fairy on Wednesday, October 27th 2010

Two videos deleted/removed

Not sure if one of them is:


Azja Pryor talks about Michael Jackson being FALSELY ACCUSE


Azja Pryor Open letter to Gavin



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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:23 pm

posted by mjmtc on Wednesday, October 27th 2010

Original video deleted/removed
But it was about Whoopi interview


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:24 pm

posted by TigerlillyMj on Wednesday, October 27th 2010

Always like Whoopie, now I know why.
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:27 pm

posted by TigerlillyMj on Wednesday, October 27th 2010 @

Quote :
Quote from mjmtc on Wednesday, October 27th 2010


You know, I don't care what mistakes a person makes, just make it right...appologize...whatever it takes. Make a mistake, fine, we all do it, but make it right.





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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:32 pm

posted by mjmtc on Monday, November 8th 2010

On a lighter subject... Eddie Murphy talking about Michael not being that weird...


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:37 pm

posted by Nimue on Wednesday, November 10th 2010

Kelvin MacKenzie: Jackson was an abuser and his children should never have been born

It has been a while now since I blogged about Michael Jackson. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that in the wake of my last Huffington Post article I became the subject of some rather bizarre conspiracy theories. The second is that there hasn't been much to write about.

However, today I was informed of an incident which my conscience wouldn't allow me to ignore. Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun newspaper, appeared today on the British TV show 'This Morning' and claimed that Michael Jackson was a child molester and his children are better off now that he's dead.

He launched this vicious diatribe in the wake of a moving interview with Jackson's children, conducted by Oprah Winfrey, in which the three kids recounted what a wonderful father Jackson was and how much they missed him.


Here is a full transcript of the exchange:


Phillip Schofield (Host): Let’s finish on this one. Michael Jackson was the best dad, his daughter tells Oprah. Oprah Winfrey has done the first interview with Michael Jackson – his parents, his children; Paris and Prince Michael and Blanket, of course, since he passed away. Paris called her dad the best dad and revealed that he was a normal dad. She said that he made the best French toast in the world. We’ve got a clip from it, actually. Here you go.

[Clip of the children talking about their father]

Schofield: Interestingly, these things don’t happen without controversy. Here you go. Michael’s brother Randy has spoken out against the chat, saying ‘I know that he would not have wanted this. In fact, she’s the last person on earth he would want around his children.’ He said that because in 2005 while the jury was deliberating Michael’s molestation charges, Oprah did a whole show dedicated to him.

Lesley Joseph (Guest): But you do wonder why they went on, because I have a feeling that those kids – much as I don’t know anything about it – but they do seem terribly well adjusted. So I’m sure they would not have been got on there had they not wanted to do it and had they not… Especially the girl, and you just have the feeling that she said, ‘Listen, I want to go on and say how great my dad was. And then who’s to say they shouldn’t? They do seem incredibly well adjusted, maybe I’m wrong.

Kelvin MacKenzie (Guest): Well, she gave a good interview but of course she’s been brought up in the limelight. It was quite a nice thing for her to say, I must say, about her dead father. I have much more significant question about how and why some of those children were born and under what circumstances they were born – and whether he, in the end, would have turned out to be a great father. Certainly, there are aspects to him which I think your audience would raise their eyebrows.

Joseph: But that’s them, Kelvin, that’s not the children. The children are born [audio interference].

Holly Willoughby (Host): Because their identities were kept so secret I think we all had it in our minds that they were going to be a bit of a horror show but they seem, like you said, very well adjusted and normal kids just talking about their father.

[Cross talk]

Joseph: And they’re not to blame for what went on before or even for the fact that they were born. That’s him, not them.

MacKenzie: OK, well a rather different view to that is that the death of Michael Jackson may well have saved some children, possibly, who knows…

Schofield: Allegedly, though…

MacKenzie: Others…

Schofield: He wasn’t found guilty

MacKenzie: …from a lifetime of being mentally corrupted, shall we say.

Schofield: We don’t know that, though. We don’t know that…

MacKenzie: No, we don’t know that.

Schofield: …that is the case.

MacKenzie: He’s faced a number of charges, a number of allegations, and I in some ways feels that the children will have a better life for their father not being around, which is pretty unusual.

Schofield: Those are tough words and I think they would obviously disagree with you there.



MacKenzie's comments were morally and ethically reprehensible. He demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the justice system and also for the ethics of his profession. Jackson was acquitted of any wrongdoing and nobody has any right to insinuate that he was anything other than innocent.

That said, it's not unusual to witness misinformed nitwits talking rubbish about Jackson's court case - the vast majority of those who take to the airwaves to deliver their expert opinion on his trial have never read single day's worth of transcripts. More alarming than MacKenzie's ridiculous comments about Jackson's trial was the callousness he demonstrated in claiming that the children were better off now that their father was dead.

The comments had no basis in reality. After watching video footage of Jackson's children speaking about what a wonderful father he was and what a magnificent childhood he gave them, MacKenzie completely disregarded everything they'd said in order to offer a baseless opinion that they were actually severely at risk of abuse and mental corruption. Moreover, he in one breath showed apparent concern for their wellbeing and in another insinuated that they should never have been born in the first place. In other words, he's a hypocrite.

He's also a bigot. In the past he has claimed that he tailored his newspaper to those who hate 'wogs' and 'queers' (note to US fans: 'wog' is a derogatory phrase used to describe black people). MacKenzie has a long and provable bias against Jackson and, during his time as editor of the Sun, was responsible for countless inaccurate and heavily biased stories about the star. He was also helming the newspaper when it coined the term '***** *****' in the 1980s.

Given MacKenzie's long and demonstrable hatred of Michael Jackson, questions must be asked as to why exactly he was asked onto the show in the first place, unless producers were specifically angling for exactly the kind of cruel and heartless comments that he inevitably wound up making.

Moreover, the incident once again raises questions about the validity of television shows which invite non-experts to offer their opinions on people they've never met and stories that they don't understand. What purpose does this practice serve? These inane TV spots plagued Jackson during his 2005 trial. 'Expert panels' comprising collections of people who had been nowhere near the courtroom for the duration of Jackson's trial were routinely assembled on television shows to offer their brainless comments on a court case in which they couldn't even recite the charge sheet.

MacKenzie's outburst was unaccaptable. Although entirely devoid of any moral, ethical or factual basis, the comments about the trial were unsurprising. It's all been said before and - though I'm sure it'll pain MacKenzie to hear it - far more shockingly. But to announce on television that three orphaned children are better off now their father is dead and proclaim that they should never have been born in the first place - that is beyond vile.

Fans wishing to complain directly to the television show can do so by emailing viewerservices@itv.com

For fans wishing to take their complaints a little further, MacKenzie's comments also breached numerous segments of the OFCOM Broadcast Code. OFCOM is the UK's regulatory body for television and radio programming.

Section 2.2 of the code demands that, "Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience." MacKenzie's comments were clearly misleading. He ignored the facts and evidence presented at Jackson's trial and dismissed the verdict. He also ignored the children's firsthand accounts of their lives with Jackson in order to portray them instead as having been 'corrupted' and say that they were potential victims of 'abuse'.

Section 2.3 of the code demands that, "Broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context." MacKenzie's comments were patently not justified by the context. In a discussion about an interview between Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jackson's children, MacKenzie irrelevantly raised the subject of Jackson's trial and proceeded to dismiss the verdict, insinuating that Jackson was a child molester.

Section 7.1 of the code demands that, "Broadcasters must avoid unjust or unfair treatment of individuals or organisations in programmes." This section of the code is constantly flouted when dealing with Michael Jackson. Examples of programmes which were biased, inaccurate and borderline illegal include Martin Bashir's 'Living With Michael Jackson' and Jacques Peretti's 'What Really Happened'. OFCOM never implements this section of the code. Does calling somebody a child abuser when they've been acquitted in a court of law constitute treating somebody unjustly or unfairly? You'd be hard pressed to find anybody to argue that it didn't, but watch OFCOM try anyway.

Section 7.9 of the code demands that, "Before broadcasting a factual programme, including programmes examining past events, broadcasters should take reasonable care to satisfy themselves that material facts have not been presented, disregarded or omitted in a way that is unfair to an individual or organisation." Material facts were clearly omitted and disregarded during Kelvin MacKenzie's unprovoked diatribe against Jackson. He ignored the facts, evidence and verdict in Jackson's trial and accused the star of being a child molester. MacKenzie also ignored the children's comments about their upbringing and proceeded to portray it as the exact opposite of what they claimed.

Section 7.11 of the code demands that, "If a programme alleges wrongdoing or incompetence or makes other significant allegations, those concerned should normally be given an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond." Clearly, Jackson could not respond to Kelvin Mackenzie's inaccurate allegations, but no representative of Jackson's family or estate was invited to appear on the show or to offer a rebuttal in the aftermath.

Fans wishing to complain to OFCOM can do so at this link:

https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/specific-programme-epg

However, they will be required to supply a UK address and telephone number.

http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/2010/11/kelvin-mckenzie-jackson-was-abuser-and.html
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:38 pm

posted by The Fairy on Wednesday, November 10th 2010

Well said. I love it when people get this accurate and down to the law to get back at these jerks cause that is the only language they understand.

Btw there are two words censored from this text

Quote :
."He was also helming the newspaper when it coined the term '***** *****' in the 1980s"
I have recently asked the Flying Fairies to edit out certain words from the text and the nickname given to Michael by the tabloids and seem to be still going on is such an example. I will not accept it on my website.

Love you all

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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:40 pm

posted by The Fairy on Friday, November 12th 2010

I always watch this vid getting very emotional... He cant say what he wants to say and he has to sit there and listen to their BS. It makes me wanna reach out and pick them up, fairyslap them and teach them a thing or two about Michael. Then Michael takes over and although he is under so much stress and pressure in this trial, he is still able to talk about love for children.

Love you Michael... and all my respect

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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:47 pm

posted by The Fairy on Sunday, November 14th 2010

Michael Jackson's Nephew Threatens to Sue UK Television Station

Posted on 13. november 2010 (EST)

By Charles Thomson

November 13, 2010, (Sawf News) - Michael Jackson's nephew has threatened UK television company ITV with legal action.

Taj Jackson, son of the Thriller singer's older brother Tito, made the threat on his Twitter page after former Sun newspaper editor Kelvin MacKenzie made disparaging comments about Michael Jackson and his children.

Appearing on Tuesday's episode of UK breakfast show 'This Morning', MacKenzie said that he had a "substantial question as to how and why some of [Jackson's] children were born" and added, "the death of Michael Jackson may well have saved some children… from a lifetime of being mentally corrupted."

He further commented, "He's faced a number of charges, a number of allegations, and I in some ways feel that the children will have a better life for their father not being around."

The comments sparked anger amongst Jackson's fans and prompted many to send complaints to ITV and British television regulator OFCOM.

ITV removed the clip from its website on Thursday but has thus far refused to give fans the on-air apology they are demanding. Fans were dealt a further blow on the same day when OFCOM announced that it would not take action over complaints made about MacKenzie's comments.

Taking to his twitter page after OFCOM's announcement, Taj Jackson joined fans in demanding an on-air apology.

After urging his 20,000 followers to complain to ITV he issued the television station with an ultimatum.

He wrote, "If we don't get an on air apology from ITV soon, my next step is legal. The time for bad mouthing & spreading lies about my uncle are OVER."

Jackson's comments prompted fans to bombard the TV station with angry telephone calls and emails the following day. ITV staff told one caller that bosses were 'looking into' the complaints.


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:47 pm

posted by Nimue on Sunday, November 14th 2010

I really like Charles Thomsom and the way he talks about Michael, and I try to spread his articles around. I sent him an e-mail one time asking permission to spread his articles throught the media at my country but I didn't get any reply..

But I have to make a comment here; I loves Michael's pic in this article.. "a photo is worth of 1000 words"

I am posting the link to his blog again.. it seems the link posted before is not woking properly:

http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:48 pm

posted by The Fairy on Sunday, November 14th 2010

The Fairy has a confession to make... The pic wasnt part of the article.. I found it searching something else, but I have no doubt what is on Michaels mind as he does his pose... you can get away with a lot during a performance.. and I thought it would fit in here...
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:50 pm

posted by Nimue on Sunday, November 14th 2010

Charles Thomson interview to a radio station:



http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 5:56 pm

posted by Nimue on Friday, December 31st 2010

I won't post the article because the author asks not to without permission. This link was provide by Maria at the FB. Here are some of the topics:

Who was Michael Jackson?

If you saw This is It you were already asking questions.

The Fascination with Michael Jackson:

The Quiet Humanitarian

The Mask and the Man Behind it:

The Umbrella

The Surgeries and the Famous Face

Fans

The truth will not be handcuffed forever

When you are ready to know the real Michael Jackson… we are willing to introduce him to you.


http://mjmessage.wordpress.com/

The video is in Youtube so I will post it:

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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:01 pm

posted by Nimue on Thursday, January 20th 2011

I cannot post here because the blog does not allow me to copy, it is a long article but an interessing reading:

http://www.mj-777.com/?p=7101
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:03 pm

posted by Nimue on Friday, January 21st 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011 - By Charles Thomsom

In November 2003, Ken Yesh was one of a few fortunate auditionees selected to appear in what would become Michael Jackson's last ever music video, 'One More Chance'. The video, designed to launch Jackson's colossal, multi-platform comeback, shot for one day in Las Vegas before Jackson's Neverland Ranch was raided, the video was abandoned and the comeback fell at the first hurdle.

In October 2010, while researching for an in-depth article about the making of Jackson's little-known final music video, I managed to track down and interview Ken Yesh as well as several other extras who took part in the production. During my interview with Ken we discussed the aftermath of the Neverland Raid, which ultimately didn't fit into my final article. However, Ken told me one piece of information which I thought was so important that I needed to put it into the public domain somehow.

Ken told me that in the weeks after the videoshoot he picked up a newspaper and was 'disturbed' to find a completely inaccurate report about the video shoot, quoting 'sources' claiming that Jackson had been swarmed by young boys on the set when in fact Yesh had been present all day and had not seen anybody under the age of 18.

In this exclusive excerpt from my interview with Ken Yesh, he talks about his shock at reading the false report.



http://charlesthomsonjournalist.blogspot.com/2011/01/jackson-music-video-extra-tabloid-lies.html
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:08 pm

posted by Nimue on Saturday, January 22nd 2011

Charles is not trying to do it for Michael's fans but for all who don't know the real story and how the media was mean to Michael with their lies:

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3



Part 4



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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:31 pm

posted by mjmtc on Wednesday, March 9th 2011

Michael Jackson Fans Want Anti-Defamation Law For Deceased
Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 4:40pm PST by Billy Johnson, Jr. in Hip-Hop Media Training

A group of Michael Jackson fans have created the California Anti-Defamation Law petition in hopes of getting a law passed that would make it illegal to slander the dead.

Mary Brookins, 57, and half-a-dozen other Jackson supporters who met in an online Jackson fan group, is upset by the negative coverage the "Thriller" singer has received since his passing.
The group is angered by articles that referrer to Jackson as "***** *****," suggest he was the victim of a self-inflicted drug overdose, or is guilty of child molestation charges for which he was tried and found not guilty in 2005.

"To us it's got out of hand," said Brookins, who lives in Lake Jackson, Texas. "It's bad enough how he was treated when he was living, but he was here to speak up for himself."

An early version of the petition launched in September 2010 received more than 2,000 signatures, including those from Jackson collaborators, producer Teddy Riley and guitarist Jennifer Batten, who has toured with the King Of Pop.

The group recently moved the petition to Change.com.

The group is hoping to gain the interest of a senator or assembly member who would author the proposed bill. One of the group members met with former Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau and received feedback on the petition's language.

One of their main obstacles is opposing the California Constitution's freedom of speech declaration. Section 2 of the Declaration Of Rights states, "Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press."

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the President, wrote about the need for protection from defamation for the dead when coverage of Jackson's death was criticized by New York Republican Congressman Peter King. King allegedly referred to Jackson as a pedophile and child molester unworthy of such exposure.

Dean notes that numerous family members and business associates of the deceased who have been defamed have not been able to get the law changed despite their losses. "Judges are typically sympathetic in these cases, but they cannot get around the longstanding common law rule prohibiting such lawsuits, so they often recommend that legislative remedies be developed to address situations where real harm has occurred," he said.

But Brookins said she and the members of her group are not discouraged. "I am not willing to let it go because of [Jackson]," she said. "This law is not just about Michael Jackson but defaming the character of any deceased person. I think they have a right to have their legacy protected."
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:35 pm

posted by mjmtc on Tuesday, March 8th 2011

Beautiful interview about Michael

Dr. Wayne Dyer did an interview about his good friend Michael Jackson recently

TRANSCRIPT:
Interviewer: So we’ve had quite the week, Dr. Dyer, and you know that this is going to be our last show for a couple of weeks because you’re going to be on the cruise, so I want to give people a chance to talk to you and get in touch with you. What an amazing week that we’ve went through, so many ups and downs, people feeling very emotional about Michael Jackson, and you were telling me before the show that you had actually spent some time with him, and you wanted to relay your experience…..

Dr. Dyer: Yes, I wanted to speak just a little bit about Michael, just a few minutes, I heard Deepak, and Deepak and I have been talking every day for the last week or so about some health concerns that I have, he was saying on CNN that Michael was probably the most spiritual man he’d ever met. And I can attest to that as well.

He called me up one day back in 1991 after I’d written a book on “Real Magic” and asked me if I would like to come out and bring my family which is , you know, is a whole planeload. So all eight of my children went with me and my wife and we spent five days out there at Neverland with him, just talking to him. I went up the mountain out there and just the two of us talked and his question to me was, “Is there such a thing as real magic?” and “What is it?” and “How do I get it?” and “I want to know about it”. And he so was so filled with excitement about this.

What concerns me when I see particularly a lot of the messages that are coming to me on the Internet about people making accusations about this man… and that troubles me a great deal because this was the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful human being and I trusted my children with him obviously.

When he was out there in the Santa Barbara county at Neverland the prosecutor there had a real, real desire to do something, you know, to go after him. I think they have the statistics that they have 76 police cars in that county and they sent 74 of them out to his ranch to go through and look for evidence to support the accusations that had been made by a woman who had made a career out of going after celebrities and trying to make money. In the same county there are many of the priests that had been not only accused but had admitted to sexually molesting boys but they didn’t send any cars out for them.

And then all of the evidence that they acquired was presented to a jury of not of his peers but of the people who were not even that friendly toward him and they voted 12 to nothing to acquit him of every single charge.

So I know for absolute certain that this is a man who could never have done anything that would be harmful to anyone. He was very much a child himself. He was as kind and decent and spiritual a human being as I ever had the pleasure of spending any time with. I dedicated one of my books to him.

When you look at his enormous talent and the commitment that he had to ending the world hunger, for example, – he personally was responsible for cutting the number of people starving to death on this planet IN HALF back in the 1980s and the 1990s with “We are the World”. And he took no money for it at all.

When I spent the time out there at the ranch the whole thing was organized around children who were handicapped in one way – the theatre they had out there, the entire amusement part – all of it was set up so that children who were hospitalized and in beds and sick and on crutches and so on, could come there and experience the joy of what it meant to be a child.

This was a beautiful, beautiful human being – someone who would go down in history as one of the greatest entertainers EVER, but more than the great entertainer this was a great man who lived a very tortured life, particularly in the last several years of his life. I think being accused of those kinds of things when he and his heart were so pure……..

Interviewer: It must have taken a huge toll?

Dr. Dyer: I think it took a huge toll, a huge toll! I was telling my children last night, “Anybody can make an accusation such as that”. They could have made an accusation with my wife when I split up. And I’ve heard of people………..I’ve just talked to a friend of mine who is in practice as a physician and he had an affair and his wife got angry at him, and she went out and made accusation about him and their children in that light, none of it was ever true and it was all dropped, but ultimately it ended in his suicide.

So these kinds of accusations, these kind of things that people say – be very careful about that and knowing in your hearts, if you trust me, that my time with him and those five days with him back in 1991 solidified for me that this was a transcendent being who had not only enormous talent but a heart as big as the sky.
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:41 pm

posted by The Fairy on Thursday, March 10th 2011

It’s a long interview buit definitely worth the read. I recommend this interview to all MJ fans. I took the parts about Michael from the interview.

Interview with Jonathan Moffett - Longtime Drummer of Michael Jackson




He has toured, performed and recorded with some of the best artists of our age. He is an accomplished musician, songwriter and producer with a career spanning 32 years. His unique and powerful drum technique has earned him respect and acclaim worldwide, but at heart he is humble, caring and spiritual, with a warm and funny sense of humor. He is Jonathan Moffett, and I had the pleasure in talking to him recently in an exclusive in-depth interview about his career, and his professional and personal relationship with Michael Jackson.

Transcribed by Valmai Owens

Valmai: Jonathan, I’d like to ask you a few questions about Michael now. You worked with him for many years after he became a solo artist. What was it like to tour with him? Are there any experiences you are able to share perhaps, that were funny or poignant or that stand out above all the rest?

Jonathan: I have to say that working with Michael was amazing, absolutely amazing! That’s no overuse of the term and the word because he was such a genius; beyond the word genius a lot of times. Michael was a true genius. His gifts and his talents, his dancing and singing just denoted that he was a genius, you know? Everybody all over the world was in love with him. His sound and his moves, his image, his nature, I mean, he was just truly, truly gifted and blessed.

Working with him, and watching and learning from him, from a genius, lifts your abilities up, your vision, your view, your capabilities and possibilities. It was brilliant for me having the opportunity to work with Michael. I learned a tremendous amount from him; working with him on how to do things the right way, on perfection, on the meticulous, on dynamic’s and on being bigger than life. That was one term he always loved to use, “It’s gotta be bigger than life, and to make such an impression on people they will never forget it for the rest of their lives.” So working with Michael was just phenomenal.

To watch him dance at each concert was like me looking for a new planet; a new galaxy and discovering it because every time you think you know all of his moves, as I mentioned earlier, he does something that just dazzles you. And I’m back there; I’m supposed to be working, but I’m back there screaming and shouting, “Go Michael!” I’m like the fan on the other side of stage, but it was so amazing when he did something so totally, totally stunning. Every night I looked forward to that.

And his voice was just so remarkable and emotional and passionate, way beyond most people. There are very few singers who have such great passion and emotion, Stevie being one of them, but there’s a very, very limited amount of artists that can evoke such emotion. That, coupled with the dance, coupled with the imagery and his vision that he brings into concert, it’s just unparalleled. And the greatest of technology in his shows, his vision and creativity as you see in This Is It, how to put together a show and how to make things beyond belief so to speak, Michael had that. I learned a great deal from him and working with him was one of the greatest treasures. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and career to work with the absolute best in the world. It was just amazing. I learned a lot in putting together a show and performances and theatrics and stuff.

But, one of the special moments can be found on one DVD. I think it’s on You Tube. We were in Germany filming for a live broadcast, and during the middle of the show he’s talking a little bit in the middle of the stage between songs. This little bug comes on stage, a love bug or some kind beetle bug. It’s on the floor and he sees it. He gets so concerned about this little bug and says, “Wait, wait, wait, there’s a bug on stage.” And people started laughing. He said, “Security, Security…Come get the bug.”

So people started cracking up and laughing, but he wouldn’t let the show go on because he was afraid he was going to step on the bug. And people started clapping because he had that kind of concern. Something as simple as that, as caring and emotional as that was a great moment, and a glimpse into his life as to whom he was. He stops a big production, a big machine of a production to protect this little bug so it didn’t get hurt with the dancers all over the stage. So that was a very special moment I think; something as simple as that, but very dynamic that he would have that much concern for the smallest life was very special. That’s one thing that stood out in mind as part of the show. His performance speaks for itself, but outside the performance, it shows the human being that he was.

Valmai: Yes, and I’ve seen that video; I’ve seen it on You Tube.

Jonathan: Yeah, it was a magic moment.

Valmai: Oh, yes, very. Jonathan do you feel that Michael helped you to become a better musician?

Jonathan: Of course, yes, absolutely! Working with and observing from behind, I had the best seat in the house. Observing from behind the greatness and magnitude of the performance, and watching how he delivers dynamics and excitement in his performance, you learn a lot in the process of putting a show together. Like on This Is It, everybody could see how he puts it together, and I’ve been in behind the scenes watching that for thirty years and learning from him. So now I have great confidence when I do my shows.

I’m doing tribute shows for Michael now and people really enjoy it. They feel like it’s a “Michael” show. It’s a one man show; just me, slides and his voice and music from his tour and songs. A lot of comments were that they felt like it was a “Michael show.” I didn’t have all the big production. It’s just my giant, giant drum set, and I perform just like we were on tour, as if it was a concert with Michael. That and learning how to put together the right slide at the right time, right moments, and from working with Michael, made that show work. If I had the budget that Michael had, I feel that I could carry on the legacy and the tradition and the class that Michael foresaw because I learned a lot from him; watching how he does it and being around him.

Valmai: Michael was a master at synchronizing his dancers and musicians so that they flowed together in a seamless and perfect harmony. Can you give us a glimpse into his creative genius? Is there a story that you could tell us that we don’t already know?

Jonathan: Well, that question is a testimony and demonstration to how much he knows his music. To direct everybody, to know when something is missing, one single note in a chord, he knows it. He points it out, “Something’s wrong with that chord. What’s wrong with that chord? There’s a note missing.” Then he will actually hum the note; sing it out aloud, “daaaaaaaaa”…“Where’s that note? That note’s supposed to be there.” I’ve seen him time and time and time again do that. The same thing with the guitar parts. He’ll describe it; he knows that, he knows everything.

When we didn’t have percussions, we’d have the percussion parts in the computer that we would play to, and if a certain rhythm or pattern, (we had so many rhythms and patterns overlapping each other) if a certain element wasn’t there, he felt it. He feels everything, and his emotions tell him there’s something missing. He’ll think about this and he knows exactly what part is not there, what rhythm is not happening that doesn’t make the machine run smoothly. It’s like an engine. If one of the valves is out it stutters, it splutters you know, and he can feel that it’s not running smoothly. Michael knows all his music like that, and when all the valves are timed and running right and firing properly, Michael knows when it’s right because he feels it emotionally. He has the knowledge of how the music was put together. So I think that’s remarkable and it really answers that question. His band is so tight because he knows when something is missing.

We do all the homework and learn it; we’re supposed to learn it and come to rehearsal. That’s what we are getting paid for, and I make sure, that’s why Michael likes me there because he knows I do that with no excuses. He just trusts me totally because I have the same mentality. It’s got to be perfect, it’s got to be right, it’s got to be what the artist wants because that’s what I am getting paid to do. He never checked me once to make it right for him so he can get his best show. I gotta get my best show just so he can get his best show. He’s counting on me, and the whole show is counting on me. How can I let them down? I can’t. That’s my mentality, there’s no way.

So he trusts that everybody will be that way, and that’s why he hires you; the people that are capable of delivering that. If you’re with him on stage or in rehearsals, it’s because he trusts that you’re on the same level for focus and concentration and desire to be your best. Now sometimes some people fall short, you know, get a little lazy or don’t learn anything right or don’t perform it right, that’s when, like in the movie, he got on the keyboard player. He was the Music Director and Michael had to kind of teach him again. So sometimes that happens unfortunately, but for the most part we all get there and we do what we’re supposed to do. Michael refines it. He’s the chef so he’s putting more seasoning in here and there, “Change this and change that. Play that with maybe a little more attitude right here.” He refines it and mixes all the ingredients together. It’s a recipe, and he makes sure it’s a good dish to serve to the public so that they enjoy the meal of music.

Valmai: But I think that was part of his genius. With Michael, he just seemed to know everything about every element of the music. And like you said, he felt it inside. I think that’s what set him apart from a lot of other artists.

Jonathan: Everything is emotion; everything is emotion and feelings. You know, to see things with emotions is just like having a different vision; an emotional vision. I’m that way so that’s why I understand him. I’m exactly that way. I can work with him with ease and it’s easy for me. He and I are cut from the same cloth. He knew it and I know it, so you know, I just thought there was a magic between us. It was something that he felt that’s why he wanted me there. I feel fortunate and blessed to have been able to function on that level and to please somebody like him. I’m all about wanting to please the person and make them want me back, and that second gig and the call backs are more important than the first one. The first one you’re trying to prove to yourself. The second one is proving that you did prove yourself and they want you. So they mean more than the first time you work with somebody.

Valmai: And you were very, very blessed. You really were.

Jonathan: I know, I know. I don’t take it for granted. I will always cherish it and I’m very grateful.




Valmai: Jonathan, people speak of an energy around Michael; a light. Did you ever feel that?

Jonathan: All the time, every time I am around him. That’s why you know you are in the presence of greatness. That’s why you know you’re in the presence of somebody special. Just count the number of fans and people and the multitude that love him around the world. He’s one man loved by… CNN said that over one billion people mourned Michael from all the remote areas of the world, as well as all the known areas. What other human being can draw that much sympathy and that much hurt from their loss. Michael had something special, a radiance, and when you were in his presence the whole room changed.

People would say, “Michael’s coming,” and everybody got nervous. As soon as you had the vision of him, even just knowing he was coming, you felt something, like a tingle happening. Just to watch him walk through the door, it’s like all the molecules in the air stop and you can pinch them with your finger; pick them up. It’s like you could see the smallest speck; you could see the molecules in the air when Michael walked in the room. He changed them; the molecular structure of the air. And that’s the equation of what happens when Michael enters, and everybody in the room felt it and knew it. Then their attitudes and personalities would change. They would perk up their attention, but they would always say, “There’s something with him. When he came in I got nervous. I felt something!” And I would hear that over and over again and I would say, “I know, I know. I’ve been feeling it for thirty years.”

And he was just so pleasant; just something with his imagery. Everybody radiates from a different frequency, and Michael had the highest level of energy I think without being from another world. His gift and his humanity of spirit were just so powerful and great and deep. He was a different human being from most of us; from all of us. He did affect everybody that came around him, from leaders of the world to normal folk, from children to people, grandmothers. Every single person that’s been around him said they felt something, that I remember seeing or talking to.

And that’s why people cry. People absolutely cry. I would sit on stage and watch them pass bodies, like back in the medieval days when people died of the plague. You would see them lift bodies, arms dangling and legs, heads swinging, and there was like an ocean of people with their arms up passing bodies to the front, to the gate. There would be a line-up there of emergency vehicles… five, ten of them lined up. There were stretchers and triages back there. One by one, people were passing them forward; sometimes a multitude of bodies moving across the crowd being passed to the rescue people. They would give them smelling salts and try to revive them. Some people were just totally gone, unconscious, you know, like totally no life in them, and that’s just from being in that stadium with Michael. I just got to just sit back there and marvel at it. It was just the most powerful thing to see, and that’s just from that one man in the center of the stage. He made even men pass out; women and men. That’s a power and Michael knew it. He knew he was gifted with something special, a purpose; uniting the world and uniting people.

Valmai: In the movie This Is It, you talk of Michael being a gift of God, sent to teach us to love; how to love and how to be. What did you learn from him that you remember every day now?

Jonathan: That every body’s a human being. Beyond the classification and categories, we are a human race. Michael treated everyone the same no matter what race, religion, and creed. You would see him all over the world on television; with all nations, all people, friends, foe’s, enemies alike, he was always the same. He didn’t stop his love of people or children especially. He would go to one of our worst enemies, the Nation, and he would love the children there and visit them at the hospitals.

And these are some of the kids that might grow up and decide to attack America, or whoever. Michael didn’t see that. He saw the child, the human being, the blessing of life from God. He would give them the gift of money and might even buy a kidney for the same people out of his hard earned money, and he wouldn’t think anything at all about it.

Whatever it cost; buying machinery for the hospitals all over the world, people have benefited from Michael’s gift of life, from the machines that keep these people alive at the hospitals. The kidney for a child, the transplants that Michael paid for out of his own pocket and asking for nothing, most people didn’t know about it until after he passed away or how much he really did. He asked for no publicity. He wasn’t in the newspaper. A foreign newspaper the next day didn’t credit him. That was one of his criteria; nobody knew. He didn’t want it to get publicity because he did it out of his heart.

People say Michael was broke and he was in debt for 300-400 million, but now it’s come out that Michael was one of the greatest, if not the greatest philanthropist that ever lived, and he had given away over 300 something million dollars of his own money he worked for. If he had that 300 something million dollars, I guess he wouldn’t be broke would he? No, I doubt it.

Valmai: No, he wouldn’t.

Jonathan: It’s the same amount as what they say he was in debt for. Out of his kindness and generosity and love for people that he didn’t even know and that didn’t really know him, he gave away to help, and then of course he had money problems?

I’m that way; I was raised that way too. I see the transparency; people might as well have skin I can see through because I see the heart, the spirit. That’s another way Michael and I were related also. We recognize the same things in each other. We both love children.

They’re the closest we will ever get to God, especially in a newborn infant. That’s the closest we will get to seeing God and being with God. So Michael was the same way; we related to each other in that way. We knew without even speaking of it. We knew we had like minds that recognized one another without even saying the words.

One of the things I learned is that I’m doing the right thing. I’m living the right way by being open-spirited. Michael proved that it does work, that it can work and it can make a difference. It can bring a multitude of people together because he did it. He proved it unselfishly. So I learned it’s possible because Michael proved it.

Valmai: Do you think Michael used his music as a way to get his message out there?

Jonathan: Of course. It’s evident in his music and songs; a lot of his songs. I mean, he made some shake your booty music too, but a lot of his important music is his message music, and people appreciated it in such a way they didn’t feel like they were being preached too. They wanted to hear it; the music about concern, about love and togetherness. A lot of times people shun away from that music because we feel like we’re being preached too, like we’re at church. We don’t want to hear that. Michael had such a way and such a nature that people wanted to hear it and loved hearing it. It didn’t sound like a sermon or preaching. They were curious and they wanted to become that; they wanted to see that vision he put forth.

He was a prophet in a way you know, in his music; a modern day prophet. Like I said, he was sent by God to enlighten, much like the prophets of old times. A lot of people don’t recognize it because he’s different in that he’s an entertainer, and he was sent in that form of being an entertainer, so a lot of people overlooked the prophecy he was teaching. His teachings of love and concern; you can hear about his concern with “Earth Song,” and other songs he preached concern for the planet and people, for humanity, for one another. I think he’s a wonderful human being. I think he’s a lesson for everybody to learn and model after in that light; the light of concern and caring for one another. Sure would be a better world if everybody did.

Valmai: I know, it would, wouldn’t it? That’s why I think it’s so important to continue the legacy that he left for us.

Jonathan: Exactly! I agree.

Valmai: What do you want a generation 100 years from now to know about Michael?
Jonathan: That he was a man of power; of positive power that brought people together in the time that he lived. He brought people from all walks of life, all Nationalities and like I said, friends and foes alike. He was healing in the spirit because he healed a lot of people with his music and with his spirit. Being in his presence when he visited the hospitals, the children would be miraculously healed, I was told. Michael should be remembered for being one of the most positive human and unselfish human beings that ever lived. He just happened to be a singer and dancer too.

Valmai: So Jonathan, what are your plans for the future? Do have any tours coming up? Are you working on anything at present? Any albums?

Jonathan: Yeah, I’m working with the group Cameo, the funk band. Cameo has been around since 1977-’78. I’ve been with them since ’82 off and on. They let me go for someone like Madonna or Michael; they let me go do that. They say they don’t want to stop me from making that big money, but my chair is always there. “When you come back let us know.

When you come back you’ll be right back in.” So, since Michael passed I’ve been back with them. I left them to do This Is It with Michael, and then afterwards I needed a little time off you know, because it was too much; I couldn’t work right away. So, when I was ready I called them up and they took me right back in. I’ve been back with them since November of 2009, and still working with them.

I’ve been working with Jermaine Jackson; he wanted to do a tribute show to Michael. I work on my own one-man tribute show, like I mentioned, and I work with promoters now who try to book me around the country and hopefully around the world you know, to continue the legacy and the music. I’m Michael’s drummer so I want to continue playing with Michael, the music, the tracks and talking about him, and let people know the magic he and I had together; the caring he had and to keep sharing his music. It’s not like having him there, but with the images and playing to his voice, playing to his tracks, it’s almost like that. It’s the next best thing, you know, not like playing with a cover band or a look-a-like, I would never do that, and I wouldn’t want to do that. This is like playing with Michael; his image is there, his voice is there and all the fans say they felt Michael in the room. This is as close as I can get to that now, and I love doing it because I always loved playing his songs, his music, and hearing his voice and playing with him. So I’m doing that as well as Cameo.

There’s something huge on the horizon I can’t talk about right now, but it’s forth-coming. I just can’t talk about it right now. It’s gonna be unbelievable and I’ve been talking with some people about it. So that’s happening. I’ve got my own music; I have a lot of music much like Michael’s. Like I said, we are very like-spirited, like-minded. I have message music and I’m working on an album, somewhat like Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On; a message album that’s very commercial, but still songs based on the topic of life and humanity, much like Michael’s songs of that nature. It’s in the works now, and I have songs fully or partially written, and I have lots of other music. I have two hundred songs in the works at one stage or another, so I’m trying to get my music finished and ready for release this or next year.

…..

Valmai: The book sounds incredible. You will have to let me know when it’s published because I really want to own a copy of it. Jonathan, I am so grateful you did this interview; I’m so excited about it and it’s been wonderful talking to you. You have given me such an insight into Michael just hearing you talk; it’s just been wonderful, it really has, and I want to thank you very much.

Jonathan: You’re so welcome, so welcome. It’s great talking about things. I want the world to remember him.


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:42 pm

posted by Nimue on Friday, March 11th 2011

Thanks Fairy, very good interview indeed. He kind of make me confused sometimes changing from the past tense to present tense. This kind of wakes up the hoaxer on me.

Interesting the way he talks about the energy around Michael, he has very good points to be discussed.
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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:49 pm

posted by The Fairy on Friday, March 11th 2011

 
  'Thriller' Portraitist Dick Zimmerman: 'Michael Jackson Had Tears In His Eyes'



Dick Zimmerman became world-renowned for introducing a style of celebrity portrait photography that looked like a painting. (You remember all those TV Guide covers from the '70s and '80s, right?) Over the years, he's shot some of the biggest names in Hollywood, ranging from Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to John Travolta and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Over a 13-year period, Zimmerman also had three sessions with Michael Jackson, the most famous being in 1982, when Zimmerman shot the cover for the record-breaking 'Thriller' album. Zimmerman, who these days offers oil-painting portraits on commission worldwide, tells us about creating that iconic MJ portrait, as well as spending Christmas with Tom Cruise, and living for a week with Salvador Dalí.

Tell me about the day you photographed Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' cover.
On the day of the shoot, he came alone. No entourage. We had two racks of wardrobe, handpicked by one of the best stylists in LA. Michael didn't really care for anything on it. He said, "I'd like to be wearing something like what you have on." I was wearing my white suit that day. I said, "Well, we're about the same height." So Michael is actually wearing my white suit on the cover.

What happened to the suit?
I auctioned it off at Sotheby's years ago. I was concerned with the safety of my wife and myself because, at the time, we had a very big house and I went out of town a lot. I didn't know if word would get around that I had the suit, and I didn't want to take a chance. I decided to just get rid of it.

How much did it sell for?
I believe I got $27,000 for it, and I'm guessing that was 10 years ago. Today, I could probably get a million bucks for it.

Tell me about shooting the exclusive wedding portrait of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley.
We did the shoot at the Trump Tower in Donald Trump's suite. They actually closed down 5th Avenue in front of the building because they didn't have enough room on the sidewalk for the photographers. The whole street was filled with photographers.

How did you get past the throng of photographers?
They had to sneak me in through the service elevator. After we did it, I was worried about my life. These photographs were worth a lot of money. We closed down a whole photo lab so we could produce the images in secrecy.

After shooting the couple's wedding portraits, you went back up to Trump's suite. What happened then?
Around midnight the maid let me into Michael and Lisa Marie's suite and told me that Michael would be down in a few minutes. Thirty minutes go by and no sign of Michael. I'm walking around the suite -- it was kind of dark in there -- and I see this fellow across the room wearing a mustache and beard. I figured he was a security guard. I walked over to him asked if he had any idea when Michael was going to be here. I looked at him and all of a sudden I realized it was Michael. We both laughed as he pulled off his disguise. He had been waiting there the whole time, just watching me, waiting for me to notice him.

What happened after that?
He opened up a bottle of wine and sat down and looked over the photographs. We talked and talked until about 3 o'clock in the morning. He told me about all his frustrations. He had just done an interview with Diane Sawyer where he took her on a tour of his Neverland Ranch. He said he was as honest with her as anybody could possibly be, and the next day the press jumped on him. He had tears in his eyes. He said, "I don't know what to do anymore."

Do you feel he was misunderstood?
He was very misunderstood. They talk about him being a pedophile. I can tell you that didn't happen. He was very childlike. I thought he was like a gentle butterfly. All he talked about was future generations of children, the environment, air quality. His problem was that he had too many bodyguards around him. Too many people pushing him in all different directions, and with ulterior motives.


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PostSubject: Re: Voices For Michael   17th October 2013, 6:59 pm

posted by Nimue on Monday, March 14th 2011

Mengesha “Mystro” Francis is a wonderfully gifted and classically trained pianist. After attending UCLA and West LA College, he became a music teacher with The Heavenly Vision Christian Academy. He has worked with seasoned Rap and R&B recording artists, and performed at many important events including Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary. He is very talented, warm and friendly, and a devoted and loving fan of Michael

I had the pleasure to talk with Mengesha in an interview about his career, his early friendship with Michael as a teenager, and his beautiful tribute video to Michael titled, Michael Jacksonology: Piano Tribute.

Transcribed by Valmai Owens

Valmai: Your name is very beautiful and it’s very unusual. Can you tell what the name means and what its origins are?

Mengesha: Mengesha is Swahili for “A Place to be King.” By biological father was from Ethiopia so I’m named after him. I got teased a lot as a kid, but I appreciate the name so much more now because it’s powerful and it’s Swahili.

Valmai: Well, it’s very beautiful.

Mengesha: Thank you so much.

Valmai: And the name “Mystro?” How did that come about?

Mengesha: I went to a school in South Central Los Angeles called Washington Preparatory High School. The school was bad before I had gotten there, right around the early eighties. The school was horrible; there were guns, you know? The same thing that’s going on now with kids bringing guns to school; not as bad as it is now, but back then it’s kind how gang violence started and all of that. Well anyway, we had a Principal called George McKenna, and in later years Denzil Washington played him in a movie, but he cleaned up the school. He came in there and did it from a different perspective than Joe Clark, who was in the movie Lean On Me. It was right around the same time. McKenna started a Theater Arts program and made us learn singing, dancing and acting. So we became like an African American version of The School of the Arts. So everybody got into the Drill Team, the Theater Arts class, singing and dancing.

I went to school with a whole bunch of people who became celebrities. Gary Gray, who directed The Negotiator and also Be Cool, was in class with me. Then there was Fatima Robinson, who choreographed Michael’s video Remember the Time. She was in school with me. Wendy Raquel Robinson, who is now in the TV show The Game, and was also in the Steve Harvey Show, she was in class with me. And they all became successful.

There was this one guy named “Battlecat.” He was a Rap producer right around the same time as Snoop Dogg. Anyway, long story short, I started playing the piano with him, and because of my classical background he started calling me “Mystro.” And so ever since then everyone in the industry, and because my name is a little bit tricky, they go, “Oh that’s “Mystro.” And that’s where the name came from.

Valmai: You are classically trained, and I must say gifted a pianist. When did you start learning the piano?

Mengesha: I started at five, in 1975. I was watching The Jackson Five cartoon; my mother used to sit me down every Saturday morning to watch cartoons. Now mind you, I didn’t even know The Jackson Five were real people. I thought they were cartoon characters. I had no idea that they were a real group, you know, performing. That was my first introduction to The Jackson Five, watching them on TV, so I knew that they could play instruments.

My mother knew that I had a natural gift for the piano because she bought a little tiny organ, and if I heard a commercial on TV, for some reason I could play it. If it was a McDonald’s commercial or a Pepsi Cola commercial, I could pick the notes out and play them, so she knew then that I had a natural gift for the piano. And watching those cartoons I thought, wow! I’ve never seen characters that can play instruments and look like me, being African American. It surprised me.

So I wanted to take music lessons, and a person came to my Elementary school looking for kids; special kids that could understand music and notes, and get them started so when they got older they could get a scholarship and go to College. So I auditioned for the part and I won it. I learned Classical piano, and I learned how to play Jazz, Gospel; I ended up playing for some of my mother’s church organizations. So I really got a Gospel background when I was thirteen or fourteen because she had me in the choir, those sorts of things. Then I became a school teacher, and then Hollywood. There was just a lot, but I was five when I started playing piano. I turn 40 in June, so I’ve been playing now thirty-something years.

Valmai: That’s a long time. Mengesha, you are classically trained, but of all the genres of music, what one would you say has inspired or influenced you the most?

Mengesha: I would say Classical. My teacher told me when I was a kid, that if I could learn the technique of playing Classical music on the piano, I would be at the heart of Jazz and everything else. So I would have to say Classical.

I use a lot of Classical chord changes within my music, so if I’m playing a piece that’s not Classical; for example if I’m playing a Pop song like I did with the Michael Jackson piece, I’ll throw in some Classical chords to mix in with what I do.

Valmai: Do you find Classical music is harder to learn?

Mengesha: Yes because the whole technique of playing Classical music on the piano is a whole different technique to Jazz. It’s the arpeggio’s; cross your hand over this way, and it’s not just playing the notes correctly, you have to have to have the formation correct in your head in order to play it correctly, you know. My teachers would get on me because I slouched too much. They would say, “You can play Pop that way, but when you’re playing Classical Mr. Francis, you have to sit correctly at the piano.” So there’s a lot involved, yes.

Valmai: You compose your own music and some of your compositions have been recorded, is that correct?

Mengesha: Yes, yes, most definitely. I’ve worked with MCA Records. I worked with an R&B group called Jodeci. We created some stuff for their new album. They came around the same time as Boyz to Men, in the early nineties, so I’ve worked with them. I’ve worked with a few Rap artists that were on Virgin Records, and then of course I have my own company.

Valmai: You said you have worked with some seasoned R&B and Rap artists. What was that experience like for you?

Mengesha: Well, it was challenging. I think what they most impressed with, with me; most of the artists I’ve ever worked with Rap or R&B, they like the fact that I can play Classical music and incorporate it into a Hip-Hop beat. That’s what got me in the door, because they had never heard a pianist being able to play Classical music in time and sync with a Hip-Hop track. That was just like two things that don’t go together, but I was able to merge them together and they were always impressed with me for doing that.

And I would always play Michael Jackson. I worked with Jodeci who were huge fans of Michael. As a matter-of-fact, ironically, the day that I was working with them on a track, we were in the studio and I was playing on the piano, and I kept hearing this beat right next to us; POW, POW, POW, just hitting on the side of the wall. And Dalvin who is the lead singer of the group and also one of the producers, he said, “Oh, that’s Michael Jackson next door.” I said, “WHAT!” And Dalvin said, “He’s working on this new album. I think it’s called Invincible something.” So I go, “Michael Jackson’s next door?” “Well,” he said, “You can’t go in there.” And I thought, oh, I can’t?

So I just go walk up the stairs, and mind you there are two security guards standing there outside the door, and everybody in the studio is a celebrity. Christina Aguilera had just finished working on Genie in the Bottle, Jennifer Lopez had left only five minutes before, and then we were working on the Jodeci album. So Michael was next door, and his music was so loud it was ricocheting inside of our studio where we were, you know.

So, I didn’t get to see him, but it was so cool to know that he was right next door to me working on Invincible. And I was trying to hear it, but the guy wouldn’t let me get close to the door. I said, “I just want to know one thing. Is Michael Jackson inside there?” And he said, “Yes, he’s working on his music. You can’t come in.” So I thought that’s okay, I’m working next door and put I can my ear to the wall.

Valmai: That would have been so hard; being so close yet so far.

Mengesha: Exactly!

Valmai: Mengesha, you founded your company School Time Hip-Hop Productions right around 2009. Can you tell us something about that?

Mengesha: Well, that time was hard for me. With that, those are my original compositions. I understand Hip-Hop; I like Hip-Hop, and so I mixed Hip-Hop and education together. Sort of like Schoolhouse Rock. I’m also a big fan of Schoolhouse Rock from the seventies TV show. I grew up on that, so I wanted to incorporate that style with Hip-Hop and have it still be educational for kids.

When Michael passed I had to put it on the back-burner, and only because I just needed time to breathe. I was so excited about putting this out for kids. I was definitely in talks with getting this to Michael Jackson for him to give me the thumbs-up, not necessarily an endorsement, I just wanted him to see this, you know. It’s for kids, it’s educational and when he passed, it was so difficult for me to continue at that point. I had lost people in my personal family too, so I was really not in a good place, but now I’m a lot stronger.

I have been talking to the School Districts to get this out. I’m back trying to make this happen and I’m sure it’s going to take off. I’m really excited about it, and we’ve been getting wonderful revues in just our demo alone. So, I’m still going to push forward with that.

Valmai: I think it’s a wonderful idea.

Mengesha: I really wanted Michael to hear it and see it. As I was recording it, all I could think was that Michael was going to love this. It’s Hip-Hop, it’s kids, it’s clean, it’s Rap and it’s still danceable for the kids, and it’s not too commercial. I wanted it to be Jay Z meets Disney, you know? I knew Michael would have loved it.




Valmai: Oh, I think it would be something he would definitely approve of. You performed for Michael at his 30th Anniversary, in 2001. What was that experience like for you?

Mengesha: The 30th Anniversary was the last time I saw Michael in person. That really was an incredible night. I had a chance to play and what I did in the video, Michael Jacksonology: Piano Tribute, is the same thing I did in front of Michael at the anniversary; right there with James Ingram standing over me, and quite a few people were impressed with my playing. I was able to play his songs as a medley, and he kept looking at me and giving me the thumbs-up. That was the last time I would see Michael so at least I had a chance to play for him. I can take that and just run with that, you know?

Valmai: At that performance you also got a chance to meet and speak with him on-on-one didn’t you?

Mengesha: Well, yes. I had been friends with some of the family members, and in 2009, after Michael’s passing, I had lunch with Jermaine Jr. and also Berry Gordy’s grandson. We were talking about some things; we were talking about Hip-Hop, we were talking about my piano performance that I was getting ready to do, the Michael Jacksonology: Piano Tribute, so I do have their backing and they know I’m doing this. I just want to keep his music alive, that’s the main thing, and in a different way from most people wanting to impersonate Michael, and that’s still wonderful too, but I really want to showcase something different. Nobody really listens to his songwriting capability, you know, the “Earth Song!”

I had a contest on my website for all those who are fans of Michael Jackson and of my website. I told them to pick a song for me to play. The song that gets the most hits; the song you think is the best I will perform it. It was a toss-up between “Earth Song” and “Speechless.” But “Earth Song” won out. So that’s why I performed “Earth Song” last on the video. It’s a very, very difficult song to play. Out of everything I played in that video, “Earth Song” was the toughest because it’s simple, but it’s a detailed song; everything has got to be right in place.

Valmai: And Michael was a perfectionist too, so he would want it played exactly the way he wrote it.

Mengesha: Exactly. I want to share a story with you on how I first met Michael Jackson, and this is something so profound to me.

I told you the last time I saw Michael, but the very first time I saw him I was about thirteen. And I hate to tell the truth, but…well I’ll say it like this, I left school early; I ditched. I left school early and went to Hollywood. They have these guys on street corners who sell these maps to the Star’s homes. So I bought one because I was determined to find out where Michael lived. I was such a fan, and I had to know. I looked on the map and I saw 4641 Hayvenhurst Drive, so I asked the bus driver how to get to Hayvenhurst. He said, “Hayvenhurst is way out in Encino, that’s a two hour ride.” So I said okay, I guess I ought to do it.

So I get on the bus; it’s a two hour ride all the way to Encino. I go down the street and see this large gate. Finally I found 4641, and I thought this is it? I was expecting Neverland stuff. But it’s a nice big house and I’m sitting there doing my homework thinking, I don’t see Michael Jackson and it’s been thirty minutes…finally the gate opens. A black Mercedes Benz drives out the gate and the window rolls down, and it’s Michael. I’m by myself; this is a regular day and he looks at me and says, “Hey, why aren’t you in school?” And I thought oh no, that’s the worst thing he could say to me. I mean this is like ten o’clock in the morning on a school day, and I’m a 13 year-old.

Anyway, I said, “Well, I wanted to meet you. That’s why I’m here.” And he said, “Well don’t ditch. Don’t ditch school; that’s not a good thing, but I got something for you. If you stay in school and do your work, and do all good things; if you meet me this Saturday at Balboa Park, I’m going to give you an autograph. I’m not going to give it you now. I’m going to give it to you Saturday, so meet me there. My brothers will be there because we play baseball every Saturday.” So I said, “Where is Balboa Park?” And he said, “Its right around the corner.”

So Saturday came along. I got up early, and went all the way back down and found Balboa Park. Sure enough, the Jackson’s were warming up. I saw Jackie, Tito; all of them were there, and the 3T’s were little babies and Marlon Jr was a little baby. I saw this guy on the other side; on the opposite team’s side with a hat and sunglasses waving at me. It was Michael. He was in disguise with a moustache and a hat on. So I walked up to him and he said, “Don’t tell anybody I’m here. My brothers are going to give you the jacket from the Victory Tour, and we’re going to give you the program.” So I asked for an extra one for my mother, and he said, “Okay, we’ll give you two.”

Finally, after the game was over, Jackie and Marlon came up to me and gave me the Victory Tour book. They signed it and Michael signed it too, and then I got the Victory jacket.




That was the first time I met Michael Jackson, and when I went back to school nobody believed me! I’m saying I met Michael Jackson and mind you, this is 1984-’85; this is the height of his career. I told my teacher and he said no way! I told him I was serious, that Michael lived in Hayvenhurst, I went to a baseball game, and they were like, “Yeah right!” So eventually I started taking pictures at some of the baseball games.



The night of the 30th Anniversary, I wondered in my mind if Michael knew I was the same little kid that was in front of his house doing his homework, who is now a professional musician. And I didn’t have a chance to tell him that. There was so much going on that night; he was very busy and his table was full, so I didn’t get a chance to have a one-on-one with him.

Valmai: That story is amazing.

Mengesha: Yes, it’s part of me forever.

Valmai: What was your impression of Michael?

Mengesha: He was very out-spoken; he was very stern because I was a 13 year-old sitting outside his house instead of being in school, so he wasn’t soft-spoken to me. He was very direct, and more concerned about me being outside of his house instead of in school. He was like a concerned parent.

I’ve seen him on other occasions too, but one-on-one, I don’t think Michael was as shy; I think he was more business savvy than people see. His public persona is; of course he’s a nice guy and he’s very soft-spoken and wonderful, but I believe when it comes to something serious, Michael Jackson had no problem telling you exactly what he meant. Now, he was nice enough to invite me to his baseball game, but he didn’t have to do that. He could have called the police and said this kid is in front of my house; he needs to go to school. But he told me I could come to his house and he would give me an autograph, just not on school days, and I will never forget that. He could have done a whole bunch of things, I mean that’s trespassing, well not necessarily trespassing, but loitering.




He gave me an opportunity to go to those baseball games, and I used to go every weekend after that. I became very comfortable and I remember seeing Paula Abdul there; Janet Jackson was there all the time. She was no big deal then; I mean she used to just walk out the house. This was in the ‘80’s before she became a star. It was so much fun during the ‘80’s, to be that kind of a fan where we could literally go to Michael’s house and just interact with his world.

I remember one Saturday; normally when Michael comes in, he calls on his car phone from down the street and tells the guards to open the gate. This is like 5 minutes before he actually pulls in. This particular day, the gate was moving but it wouldn’t open. And all the fans that were standing there, we knew that Michael was on his way.

So Michael pulled in and the gate wouldn’t open, so all the fans are screaming and wanting autographs. Michael gets out of the car and says, “Don’t do this at home,” and walks around the side of the gate and hopped the fence. Everybody cracked up. It was so hilarious because we expected him to wait in the car. Finally, the security guard pulled the gate open and drove the car in. That was just a moment that I would see from just hanging around the house.




I remember when he did Captain EO. I was there that day he went to Disney. He was in the car with Bill Bray. Bill Bray was driving, and Michael waved and said stop the car. So, I was there with a friend and we got up and walked to the car. Michael said, “I’m doing a movie. You got to check it out. It’s called Captain EO. It’s for Disney. Just remember I told you its Captain EO.” And sure enough, I finally saw Captain EO, which is one of my favorites. The day that it opened up, I think was 16 or 17, my school’s Drill Team was opening the Premiere day. So we got to see it ahead of everybody. I got to see it before the public got to see it. I mean out of all the high schools in Los Angeles, my school was picked to perform at the opening, and I was there.

So many symbolic things are wrapped in my entire life from 5 years-old, all the way to being a 40 year-old man, which is centered around Michael. He has been a part of life since childhood; since before I knew music and when he passed, I had people who I hadn’t spoke to since Elementary School call my mother to pay their condolences to me. I had a teacher who remembered me trying to learn “Billie Jean” on the piano, and who found my mother’s number and called to say how sorry they felt for Mengesha because they remembered that when I was 14, all I talked about was Michael Jackson.

So, he has been like a family member more than a Pop superstar. I even got into fights at school over him. I have been expelled from school from having a fight over Michael Jackson because people were saying mean things about him. I used wear Michael’s clothes, like the “Beat It” jacket and glitter socks, and I would get in fights because people would say he was weird. They would take me in the office, and tell me I could no longer wear Michael Jackson paraphernalia anymore because it was causing too much trouble. So Michael was like a family member, like an Uncle, and I was more than just a fan.

Valmai: What do you see as Michael’s greatest legacy and how does that inspire you as a musician and a person every day?

Mengesha: Just being innovated I think. He was not afraid to step out of the box as an entertainer and a musician, and he was a perfectionist. When it’s 100% right, it’s still not right for him. Michael was a Virgo and they are very cerebral; very mental.

The worst thing about perfection, and I understand it because of him, is that you are looking for perfection when there is none; when you don’t need it. Sometimes you overly try to perfect something when you should just leave it the way it is. For example, I don’t believe Michael would have wanted us to see This Is It, but there was perfection even in that. We got to see him make mistakes, we got to see him correct people; all of these things Michael would never have wanted us to see. Why? Because he is a perfectionist!

So perfection is the thing I see with Michael Jackson. Every little thing has to be where it needs to be. I mean, Michael reminds me of a Broadway musical. Everybody moves as one, everything is in line. All the musicians play a certain way, all of the dancer’s dance a certain way, the lighting has to be correct, the staging, the effects; everything has to be on cue. And that’s what Michael is to me; the epitome of a perfectionist. We don’t get to see that often; once in a lifetime.

Michael was a gift; he was not a mistake but a gift, for everybody. There are people that don’t really like him; it took for his death for them to understand how great he was as a musician and entertainer. Michael stood above all other music. I mean, you get 8 Grammy’s for one album, that’s unheard of. He’s in the Guinness Book of Records as being the greatest entertainer that ever lived! He raised the bar so high that we’ll never see that again in our lifetime. We’ll see great entertainers mind you, but not like Michael Jackson.

Valmai: I think quite a few people agree with you on that one.

Mengesha: Right, right. It’s a sad thing, but a good thing. It’s a good thing that he left a legacy so high; he’s like the eighth wonder of the world.

What I try to do in my piano performance is push the limit of a piano player doing Michael Jackson’s music. I’ve seen a lot of people play online that play wonderfully, and they’ve done wonderful tributes to Michael, but I just kept hearing him in my mind saying, play harder, give me more, play the arpeggio all the way up there, sit straighter…all these things were going through my mind as I was playing my piano tribute to him.

This is going to sound weird, but I remember playing “Earth Song” and I could have sworn I felt cold wind across my fingers. I don’t know where it came from, but I could feel a wind across my hands. I didn’t stop playing; I acted like I didn’t know, and I asked the engineer after the first cut if he had the air-conditioner on, and he said no.

Valmai: Do you believe that was Michael?

Mengesha: Yes, yes! I know what I felt. As soon as I started playing the first chord, it was as if someone was blowing down on my fingers because it tickled a little bit. It startled me, but I kept playing. I think it’s a good thing I felt Michael’s presence while I was playing because in my mind I was playing to him.

Valmai: A lot of people have had that experience; a spiritual connection with Michael.

Mengesha: Yes, I think his spirit is around all of us; those who are really his fans, in his corner and have been influenced by him. If he could come back he would be overwhelmed with all the tributes that have happened since his passing. He would be ecstatic about this, I really believe that.




Let me tell you another story. The night of the This Is It premiere, it was one of the windiest days that California has had in a long time. It was whirling back and forth, and as my friends and I are getting to the red carpet we see a whirlwind, like a tiny tornado that went all the way to the end of the red carpet. We looked at each other like we had literally seen a ghost. I mean this tiny tornado, maybe five feet tall, was just spinning and spinning all the way down the red carpet, and when it got to the end it just vanished.

Valmai: So, what are the odds, even though you can say it was so windy that it caused this tiny tornado, that it would form right there on the red carpet, travelling its length and then just disappear?

Mengesha: I know, I mean we stopped; we saw it. As a matter of fact, there was somebody else who was a Star right in front of us, and we all just stopped at looked at it. Everybody just looked at each other; we didn’t say anything, but it was like, what was that?

So his spirit is around us, and that’s a good thing. I believe Michael was sent here to Earth to entertain us, to bring us all together and bring awareness to healing the world, and to dazzle us with his dance moves; just to inspire everybody to be a better person. Like I said, I believe every fifty years God sends down an angel and I believe Michael was that. People all over the world loved Michael, and then of course the world tried so hard; the negative people tried so hard to tear him down.

I believe Michael was a loan from God; he didn’t give him to us, he loaned him to us, and when the loan was up it was time to take him back. I believe God said to Michael you don’t have to do This Is It, you’ve done enough already; your legacy is done. With This Is It, they just need to see the rehearsal. I mean God could have allowed him to live another day or week or two, to release one of the performances, and then that would have been the movie. But we have the making of it, and what is more better? That to me it is very powerful because we are seeing him natural.

All the years we have seen Michael, we didn’t know what it was like to be in the studio with him, now we know what it was like. When I watched that movie, I saw a whole different side to Michael I’ve never seen before.

Valmai: How do feel about becoming a VIP dot in Michael’s portrait on the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait?

Mengesha: Oh, very honored. When I first heard about the portrait, I immediately signed in to become a dot; the first day, so to be a VIP means a lot to me. To be amongst the ranks of all the people who were part of Michael’s life; the musician’s, the singers, the artists, being a part of that is just the greatest honor. I appreciate the fact that you guys selected me.

Valmai: Well, you deserve to be. Can you tell us what you are working on at present or what you’re future plans are?

Mengesha: Yes, I’m working with The Jackson Family Foundation. Some subsidiaries associated with the Foundation want me to play Michael Jacksonology: Piano Tribute live. They are working on preparing me to perform this piano piece in front of the family, so that is what I am sort of focused on now. I’m also preparing to make a CD of the Tribute, so I have a lot of labels that are looking at me at this point.

This is an extension of Michael’s work, and this is why it’s so important to me. I mean I’m a fan, but I’m a musician as well, so I incorporated both because I really wanted to put my foot in with this. It’s Michael Jackson and it’s like giving a tribute to my favorite Uncle.

Originally in 2009, when Michael passed away, somewhere in my mind I thought I could do it two weeks or two months later, and that didn’t work. When I tried to do the performance I couldn’t play two notes of a song, and I thought, ‘Okay, well, you’re gonna have to wait.’ That’s when I created those Roller Coasters because I thought I gotta do something creative. I didn’t just want to mourn his death and not do something creative. I don’t think Michael would have wanted that. At the same I’m thinking it’s very sad, but Michael also wouldn’t want everyone to not move forward in their lives and so I thought, no, I gotta do something.

Valmai: Yes, I think everyone felt the same way. It was like everybody’s world came to a standstill for a long time.

Mengesha: Oh yeah. I very seldom talk about that day. I’m still in shock. Its two years later and it feels like yesterday to me. I mourned the whole year, really, to be honest with you. Then I lost my Aunt too, a month before Michael, and my Uncle died in the earlier part of that year, which was devastating to me in itself.

Valmai: Yes, that’s a lot to handle at one time.

Mengesha: And I felt so sorry for Michael’s family and everything; I can only imagine. It was very tough.

The world Premiere of This Is It was tough to watch too, to be honest with you. I could barely sit in the seat and watch the whole thing for the first time. That’s why I did the video because I wanted to; I teach kids the piano all the time, I’m a music teacher as well, and I wanted them to understand his music. They know he can sing and dance, but I wanted them to understand some of the technique he uses, the melody lines, the bass lines in “Billie Jean.” Just his creative side. And that’s one of the main reasons I really wanted to do the video, to kind of educate the newer generation about Michael Jackson because our generation, well, we watched him as a kid, but there are ten and nine year-olds who really got more into Michael after his passing. One of my students told me, “Wow, now I see where Usher gets it.” I said, yeah, and Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown and even some of the Hip Hop artists have been influenced by Michael Jackson.

The Roller Coasters were first. That’s what got a lot people’s attention at the beginning. But that was an accident. Like I said, the original thing I was going to do in 2009 is the video that’s out now. It was too painful though, and I knew it wasn’t going to work.

So, I have a game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. This day I happened to be playing the game and I accidently pushed my MP3 player, and it starts playing Michael’s music. And I thought, ha, I could build Neverland with this game, and put Michael’s music to it and make a whole Roller Coaster theme to Michael Jackson. So, I stayed up until 5am just creating this amusement park with Michael’s music and pictures, and got it out there.


Michael Jackson's River of Dreams / Memories from Michael Jacksonology: Tribute on Vimeo.

I met with Jermaine Jr. right after This Is It, and he said it was brilliant; that he wanted to show Michael’s kids and the whole family. He called me back and said they loved it, and asked if I could do another one, so I started creating a whole series of them. The last one I did was the hardest one. I used the “This Is It” song and I did a log ride where you are riding the log through his career. That was kind of tough for people to watch.

But the only reason I did that, again, is because I couldn’t perform. When I had done enough of those, I was strong enough to do the piano tribute again. That’s when I shot the video; I was ready to do it.

So this is what is coming up for me; getting this out to the fans, especially the kids. I want the new generation to be able to appreciate his music and love his videos, and know that he was a great artist.

Valmai: I think it’s great that you are continuing Michael’s legacy this way. I think it’s wonderful and the piano tribute is just beautiful.

Mengesha: Thank you so much!

Please enjoy Mengesha’s beautiful piano tribute to Michael in its entirety.



Michael Jacksonology: Piano Tribute Concert By: Mengesha Mystro Francis from Michael Jacksonology: Tribute on Vimeo.
Tribute Earth Song


http://mjtpmagazine.presspublisher.us/issue/beyond-the-dream/article/interview-with-mengesha-mystro-francis
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