Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Mr. Gordy, I Think You and I Need To Talk. Alone."

Michael was concerned about the business side of their relationship with Motown Records, particularly with Berry Gordy. None of the other brothers seem to have the backbone to confront Gordy with the plain truth about their value to the company. Michael called Gordy to have a meeting at Gordy's mansion on May 14,1975. "It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done," Michael would say later.

" We're all unhappy, Mr. Gordy. Do you really want is to leave Motown , or what?" Michael asked courageously. Berry's response was the kind of response many artists from Motown would have gotten from Gordy when confronted like this. "Someone as smart like you should know that without Motown, The Jackson 5 would still be in Gary, Indiana, today."

"That does not exactly answer my question, Mr. Gordy," Michael responded. Michael laid the facts on the table. Motown never let the brothers write or produced their own music, or have publishing rights. Their royalty rate was only 2.7 percent. If Gordy had only allowed them one song an album, it would restore their faith in the company. But this is something that Gordy heard before from other artists in the past. He mentioned Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross as examples of him working out some sort of agreement. "I don't want you fellows to leave Motown. How can you do that? After all we've done for you. If you feel you can get a better deal somewhere else, then you have to go somewhere else."

Michael recalls Berry asking him, "Let me ask you a question. What makes you think you can write and produce your own hit?"

"I just know it, " Michael answered. Berry replied, "I don't think that that is good enough."

"What made you think you could build Motown into a giant company?" Michael asked. After receiving no response, Michael said, "You just knew it, right?"

"He just nodded at me as if to say,' You're going places, kid, '" Michael would remember.

Thank you, J. Randy Taraborrelli "Michael Jackson - The Magic and the Madness" pages147-149.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"How Do You Mend A Broken Heart? Ask Michael.

There was a occasion when Michael seemed to be more mature than his brothers, and more kind and gentle than they were to the opposite sex. Jackie Jackson had an encounter with a eighteen -year -old in August of 1972. Apparently, the young girl caught Jackie's eyes during a performance in which she was sitting in the first row with her sister and boyfriend. Her sister pointed out during the concert that Jackie was staring at her. She dismissed her, but after the concert, she was approached by a representative of the Jacksons, saying that Jackie Jackson wanted to meet her. After upsetting her boyfriend and wondering how she was to return home, she was taken backstage, where she saw all of the brothers. She felt a tap on her shoulder, turned around, and and found it was Jackie. He gave her a slip of paper with an address on it and asked to meet him at the location in one hour.

While trying to figure out whether to meet him, she was then approached by Michael, who saw the piece of paper. He asked if Jermaine gave it to her, and she said, "No, Jackie." He then asked if he wanted to meet her and she said she wasn't sure if she should. "Don't, I don't think you should meet him." Michael continued to to convince her not to go. She did not heed the warning. Michael had expressed to her that his brothers did not treat girls very well and he couldn't understand why.

She met with Jackie at the location, and according to her, they had sex. He was very gentle and kind, being that it was her first time . He let her know that they would not see each other again, which made her feel confused and ashamed. A driver came to take her home after dropping off Michael and Marlon. When Michael saw her, he asked what she was doing there and was she with Jackie. "Yeah, I was," she answered. He wanted to know what they did and she said they were on a date. Michael then asked point blank, "Did you have sex with my brother?" She then began to cry, and Michael replied, "I'm sorry. Did he make you do it?" She answered that she wanted to, and Michael was astonished. He couldn't understand why she would do that.

As she was about to leave, Michael asked her not to do that again, and wondered if she was alright. She said she was, and drove off into the night with Michael, with tears in his eyes, waving goodbye.

Thank you, J.Randy Taraborrelli, "Michael Jackson-The Magic and the Madness" pages 101-105

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Lie, Or "Public Relations"?

When Joseph Jackson and his sons moved to Los Angeles, they were awestruck over the sunshine, fun, and most of all palm trees of the city.Plans were made by Berry Gordy to have Diana Ross host a"welcoming " party at her home. Diana showed the boys the telegram sent to people who were invited to attend. She handed it to Michael. It read..
"Please join me in welcoming a brilliant musical group, The Jackson Five, on Monday, August 11, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Daisy, North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. The Jackson Five, featuring sensational eight-year-old Michael Jackson, will perform live at the party. (signed) Diana Ross."
Michael said,"I think you made a real mistake. I'm not eight years old. I'm ten." Berry explained that they were not lying, but this was a matter of public relations. As far as the media was concerned, Diana Ross was the one who brought him and his brothers to Motown. Diana explained to him, "It's all for your image." Michael recalled, "I figured out at an early age that if someone said something about me that wasn't true, it was a lie. But if someone said something about my image that wasn't true, then it was okay. Because the it wasn't a lie, it was public relations."
In truth, Gladys Knight arranged for some Motown executives, not Gordy, to attend a show featuring The Jackson Five at The Regal in Chicago in 1968. Then later that year in July, Bobby Taylor had the Jackson Five open for his group and HE telephoned Ralph Seltzer, the head of Motown's creative department and legal division. He suggested that the boys audition for Motown.