Saturday, August 20, 2011

Love In The Jackson Camp : Why Michael Seemed Out Of It

Love in the Jackson family always seemed to be complicated. Everyone was with people they weren't married to. At least on the men's side of the family. Michael, looking from the outside, seemed to view this activity with complete disgust, and disappointment. From his own father, to his brothers, they, more than anyone else, gave Michael reason to distance himself from relationships. It is not because he was gay, or just didn't like women. But some of the women who were involved with the Jackson men, were not the type Michael himself would be involved with.
 First of all, Michael was religious. He really did believe in monogamy. So, extra martial relationships were tantamount to disobedience to God. But in 1984, things seem to come to a head.
 There is the Paula Abdul connection. Many people do not know that Abdul was having a serious affair with Jackie Jackson. The two met up when Jackie hired Paula to choreograph the Jacksons' "Torture" video. In fact, Paula would be instrumental in many of the videos put out by Janet for her "Control"  album.
 Michael was angered by Jackie's affair because he has strong feelings about infidelity. "Michael is disgusted when he sees anyone he knows who has a wife or fiancee' involved in any sort of philandering," said his former band director James McField. "All of that really upset Michael. I've heard him make comments to people. I once saw him go up to a guy who was looking at pictures in a dirty magazine and say 'I should tell your wife. ' To him, just looking is bad."
 Of all of the sister-in-laws, Michael was closest to Enid Jackson, Jackie's wife. Now, he would be losing her because of Abdul. Paula always said publicly that Jackie and her were just friends. But Enid said, "I found out for sure that they were having an affair when she called me at home and told me herself." There were many things that were going on that verified the affair, but it is safe to say that they were together, seriously.
 Michael Jackson lived in a world where most of the men he knew were philanderers. His mother had to deal with Joseph's relationships, among with the knowledge of a child born from one of the "other women." From a child, Michael had seen both Jackie and Jermaine use women as sex objects. Michael, was still a devout Jehovah's Witness, and saw the behavior by some of the men in his world totally wrong, and the results, devastating. So, at twenty-six, Michael was afraid of romance, and sexual love.
 Photographer Francesco Scavullo recalled Michael asking him, "What do you do about falling in love? Are you afraid they're just after you for what you can do for them?" Scavullo answered "Michael, you can't live your life that way. You have to take a chance."
 Michael said, "I'm scared because of what I've seen The men in my family don't know how to treat women. I don't want to be like my brothers."
 So much can be said about the various relationships with different members of the Jackson family, and the mental, emotional, and financial toll it took on all parties.But with Michael, the question was always, "What's his situation?"
 Comedians would make jokes, making Michael look like he was gay. If anything, the more people speculated, the more famous he became. But Michael, it seems, just added fuel to the fire, and left himself open to blatant lies about his sexuality. True, it's personal, but being evasive, proved to be one of his faults.
 Thank you J.Randy Taraborelli "Michael Jackson- The Magic and the Madness" pgs. 378-382

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Victory Tour Debacle

The story about the Victory Tour is so complicated, so many things and people involved, circumstances and situations, it's hard to put it all down. But it's enough to say that the experience was not a positive for Michael, his family, nor the fans.
One thing is for sure, Michael, after years of putting out the image of the happy and wholesome Jackson family, was now being manipulated by his family and other unsavory people. Though that was not her intention, Michael's mother, in convincing him to tour for the sake of his brothers, despite his feelings against it. Don King, for making the promotion and tour a side show experience. His brothers, who only wanted to make a quick dollar, and lots of it, with little care, or concern, for the details. Lawyers, representing all sides, making an easy buck.
What was the real deal about the ticket debacle? Joe Jackson, Don King, and Chuck Sullivan, who was the head of Stadium Management Corporation, and who's family owned Foxboro Stadium, came up with this "brilliant" idea. Tickets for the tour would be $30 each, but you had to buy lots of four tickets. When you ordered the tickets, names would be chosen at random by a computer drawing using coupons cut out of newspaper ads. People had to send a $120 postal money order, plus a $2 service charge for each ticket, and the coupon, in a "standard Number Ten envelope" to the ticket printed in the advertisement. WHEW! BUT, that didn't guarantee you would get the tickets. See why people were upset? While acts like the Rolling Stones' and Bruce Springsteen were selling $16 ticket, Michael felt that their should have been $20, but he was outvoted. The tickets were too high for white middle-class kids, let alone kids from the inner cities.
If you got the tickets, you didn't know which show you were going to, until two days before the concert, and that's if there was not a delay in the mail. If there was, you could get the tickets after the concert.
Michael was besides himself. "We got to get as much as possible for the tickets," one of the brothers said. "The sky's the limit."
"No, " Michael argued. "That's not the way to do it. There is going to be a backlash. The ticket shouldn't be more than twenty bucks each. And the mail order idea is terrible."
The media, rightfully had a field day, though they didn't know what was happening behind the scenes.
Frank Dileo told Michael about his brothers, "Their only concern is their present. To make as much as they can, while they can. You have a career that's going to be longer than this tour. They probably won't."
But it was a letter, published in the Dallas Morning News that really struck Michael hard. Eleven-year-old Ladonna Jones wrote that she had been saving her pennies to see Michael's show, but she couldn't afford the four tickets. "How could you, of all people, be so selfish?"
"That does it." Michael said. He called a meeting with Joe, Don King, and Chuck Sullivan. "Change the ticket policy. It's a rip-off. You know it. I know it. Now change it. Or I won't tour."
They made plans to change the system.
There later was a press conference which Michael announced that the ticket system was wrong and would be changed. He also was going to donate the money that he made from the tour to charity, and two thousand tickets in each city would be donated to disadvantaged youths.
Michael said, "We've worked a long time to make this show the best it can be. But we know a lot of kids are having trouble getting tickets. The other day I got a letter from a girl in Texas named Ladonna Jones. She'd been saving her money from odd jobs to buy a ticket, but with the current tour system, she'd have to buy four tickets and she could,'t afford that. So, I've asked our promoter to work out a new way of distributing tickets- a way that no longer requests a $120 money order. There has been a lot of talk about the promoter holding money for tickets that didn't sell. I've asked our promoter to end the mail-order ticket system as soon as possible so that no one will pay money unless they get a ticket." This was implemented by the tour's third stop in Jacksonville.
Why did he decide to donate all his money to charity?" one reporter asked Frank Dileo.
"Because he's a nice guy," Frank replied.
Thank you J. Randy Taraborrelli "Michael Jackson- The Magic and the Madness" pages 364-368.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My First Album

If I'm correct, it was an L.P. (long-playing album, for you youngsters). "Got To Be There, " by Michael Jackson. I remember getting my allowance, and walking to (now I'm really showing my age) J.M.Fields, and buying it. OMG!! He was so gorgeous on the cover. Oh, and the album was excellent !!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just Who Is Frank Dileo?

Michael, after having to deal with Don King,needed a manager to look after his interest and money. Motown had released an album called Farewell My Summer Love 1984, though the songs were a collection recorded more than ten years prior. The album sales were only 106,583 copies, far from the 33 million copies of Thriller, which was released just before Summer. Michael felt that Berry Gordy was trying to cash in on his fame, and he didn't like it. "It's not fair," he said. '"I need someone to stop things like that from happening."
Michael met with a number of managers, including Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, in hopes to find the right person. He was very careful about his choice, consulting with many in the industry about certain people. He would talk with his brothers, record executives, about who they may have heard about. Even Diana Ross, who had her own firm, offered to manage him.
Who Michael eventually ended up with, surprised many. Michael met with Frank Dileo, in August 1983, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, discussing Thriller. Michael asked Dileo, then Epic's head of promotion, if he would be interested in managing him. Dileo couldn't understand why Michael would want him for the position, but Michael felt the way Dileo networked himself through the industry could be a benefit. Michael felt Dileo was largely responsible for Thriller's success, and he was a great record promoter.
Frank "Tookie" Dileo, was at the time thirty-six. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he was always a fighter. He had political aspirations, and dreamed of being mayor of Pittsburgh. He father, died during surgery, and didn't have health insurance, so Frank ended up working as a waiter at an Italian restaurant to help his family make ends meet. He started working in the record industry as a promoter in the Midwest. In the early seventies, he landed a job with RCA Records in New York, and at twenty-one, became their national director of promotions. He turned RCA's promotions department into the industry's finest. He distanced himself from the record industry in 1977, and for a couple of years found himself in and out of trouble, financially, and personally. He returned to the industry, and in 1979, became Epic's vice president of promotions. He was a take charge man at Epic. He was largely responsible for the success of such acts as Meat Loaf, Culture Cub, Cyndi Lauper, and REO Speedwagon, who gave him a eight-thousand dollar Rolex watch.
Dileo was invited to watch Michael record Thriller. He and Michael got along quite well. Like the old saying, opposites attract. Michael was shy and retiring, Frank was loud and boisterous; Michael like health food, Frank liked hoagies and Budweisers; Michael never smoked, and Frank was never without his cigars; Michael weighed about 120 pounds, and Frank weigh about twice that amount.
Michael liked the way Frank set goals and accomplished them. For example, Frank felt that Michael and the Pope should meet. Four months later, Michael and Pope John Paul II were staring at each other, face to face, at the Vatican. "I'd like to be like Frank,' Michael said. "He gets the job done."
When Michael met with Dileo, to ask him to manage him, it was to be understood that he would manage Michael exclusively, no one else.
"The decision to manage Michael Jackson was not an easy one to make," he said. "I had to answer three questions: One, did I have the energy to step out and handle someone like Michael? Two, did I have the fortitude to take the abuse I'd have to take from people who can't get to him? And three, did I want to be the bad guy?
Dileo answered yes to all three questions. "This is certainly the biggest venture I'll ever do in my life. That much I know for sure."
Thank you, J. Randy Taraborrelli. "Michael Jackson - The Magic and the Madness," pages 351-353.

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Childhood Idols -Hmmm...Who Do You Think?

Who do you think? What is there to NOT admire about Michael Jackson? From the moment I first saw him, I wouldn't say it was idolization, but true love. He was my first TRUE love. But I must say the thing that blows me away about him most is his faith in God. It must have been strong to get through the torture of his life.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Sad Day in Pop Culture History- The Death of Michael Jackson

Anyone that knows me, knows my answer to the question.

Michael Jackson's death was not only surprising and shocking, but also eye-opening. I still speak of him in the present tense. He is not dead in my heart and mind, because he left such a legacy of work and images, that he will always be alive for me.

As a generation before with Elvis Presley, and John Lennon, this one was probably more profound, because Michael bridged people of different races, ages, and cultures. He is truly THE most famous person in the world.

With his death, I feel, has come an understanding of the man, and the world now is appreciating him for what he is...The greatest enterainer. Many may argue with that statement, but the amount of people that agree, outweigh them.

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