The Other Side of Michael Jackson -by Noppie

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Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 7.37.55 AMOriginal post by Noppie

In October 1994 I organised a special tour to Memphis for Dutch Elvis Fans to attend the Elvis Aaron Tribute Concert in the Pyramid. We were aware of the fact that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley would be present.

Through my contacts at Graceland, I informed if there would be a possibility to meet the couple. But, they told me that that would be impossible. No person could meet the famous couple. We met in Memphis all kind of other famous artists and stars. On October 8th, we attended the concert in the Pyramid and, indeed, Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley were introduced by John Stamos to the audience. They were there with Priscilla Presley and Janet Jackson. The audience went mad and this was a special moment. This tribute concert was one of a kind and very special. We met in our hotel, the former Ramada Inn down at Union Avenue, a mother who was there with two children. One of the children was suffering cancer and the child would be treated at the St. Judes Hospital in Memphis. It was very hard to see that young girl, knowing that her life would end soon.

Later, during our stay in Memphis, we visited a record-store in Memphis. Suddenly we were surprised and astonished. Who walked in that store? Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley with a couple of body-guards! Of course my group went crazy, but I told them to keep quiet. I walked to one of the bodyguards and told him that I was a travel-agent and had 14 Dutch Elvis Fans with me and asked if it would be possible to take a picture from Michael and Lisa Marie. The body-guard went to Michael. Talked with him shortly, returned to me and asked; “where you from?” I responded “Holland, the Netherlands”. Again, the bodyguard went to Michael and spoke shortly with him, returned to me and said; “No problem to take a picture, but let them first alone and do their shopping.”

After a while, the bodyguard came up to me and told me that we could take some pictures. We took our cameras and position to take some pictures. Michael and Lisa Marie stood posing for us. Suddenly, the bodyguard came up to me and said; “What are you doing?” I was surprised and answered; “You told us, it was alright to take some pictures?”. The man answered; “Yes, but you can also say hello and talk with them.” So, the strange thing happened. We met Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. We talked with them for more than 20 minutes, could take pictures and let them sign cd’s. I spoke with Michael and I told him that I attended two of his concerts in ‘De Kuip’ in Rotterdam in 1988. He answered; “Oh, yes Amsterdam”. But later he himself corrected it in said; “No, no it was Rotterdam.” Also he was amazed that I knew that his tricks came from Siegfried and Roy. It was all amazing. He was shy, but relaxed. We could take pictures and also to the other people from my group, he was friendly.

With Lisa Marie I spoke about the fact that I organised tours fro Dutch Elvis fans to Memphis and that I met her mother, Priscilla, a couple of times and the first one, was in Amsterdam. Other people were not allowed to come nearby and were surprised why we could talk with Michael and Lisa Marie. After more than 20 minutes we said goodbye and the couple left the store and left us behind. We went immediately to a photo shop and let our special photos printed. This was amazing. In Holland the news spread and we reached the media. The next day, I went by at Graceland. Bridget, receptionist at the office at that time, welcomed me and I showed her the pictures. She almost fell of her chair. “Wow!” And she screamed and yelled. I gave her one of the pictures. Later, I learned, that she placed the picture on her office-desk and that Priscilla Presley noticed this and also wanted a copy of that picture.

Our meeting with Michael and Lisa Marie was special. We were the only people, who were allowed to meet and talk with them. But, I already mentioned the woman who was in the hotel with her little girl! The last evening in Memphis, my best friend, Gerwin, came in the room late in the evening. I was already asleep and wondered what he was doing with that woman. He woke me up and I saw that the woman was crying. Gerwin told me that I must do something and arrange some things. First I didn’t understand what he was talking about. Then came the story. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley visited the St. Judes Hospital in Memphis and had also little gifts for the children. They also gave the little daughter of the woman we had met in our hotel a Barbie. But, this doll was stolen and although the girl was only 3 or 4 years, she knew that this was something special and she cried, cried and cried. Giving her just another doll would be no option.

My friend knew I had my contacts at Graceland and wanted me to do something for this little girl. At that moment I could do nothing and early that next morning we flew back to Amsterdam. We gave that mother a couple of the pictures of our meeting with Michael and Lisa Marie and I told her, that I would try to do anything to take care of this matter. Back in Holland, I immediately send a fax to Patsy Andersen, at that moment PR Manager of Graceland, and explained the story. She told me, she would try to contact Michael Jackson as soon possible. Every day, my friend Gerwin, asked me if I already had heard something. I told him that it would be probably easier to get in touch with the President of the USA, than with Michael Jackson. On Christmas Eve, 1994, my telephone rang. It was Bridget from Graceland. For me it was not uncommon that I was called by Graceland and I thought that they wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas. I spoke shortly with Bridget and she connected me with Patsy. Patsy told me that she had good news and bad news. The good news was that Michael finally responded and had sent a box with gifts for that little girl. Patsy immediately went to the hospital. When she came to the St. Judes Hospital she learned that the little girl passed away, the day before! Patsy traced through the hospital the address from the mother. Patsy informed Michael Jackson. As I learned later, Michael received this shocking news and sent another package with gifts to the mother and the other child and personally called.* He apologized and spoke a long time with that woman. This is a very rare, but real, story about the other side of Michael Jackson and I wish I could get in contact again with that woman.

Source: –http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-414018?ref=feeds%2Flatest

*sentence edited by MJJJP

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Endgame, Finally – Mike Taibbi (NBC News correspondent 2005)

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Endgame, Finally

By Mike Taibbi Correspondent

NBC News
updated 5/31/2005 2:08:46 PM ET
COMMENTARY
SANTA MARIA, Calif. — A silver-haired attorney stood and said “The defense rests,” not calling any of the rebuttal witnesses he’d been expected to call, and the vast machine of the Jackson trial press corps poured out of the courtroom to report the news. After 13 weeks, 60 days of testimony, 140 witnesses and more than a dozen years of allegations, rumors, intermittent tabloid frenzy and Ahab-like persistence from a local District Attorney, the question of whether an entertainer of world-class stature is also a pedophile is about to be answered by a jury.

With no final defense rebuttal, the last piece of evidence presented by the prosecution to the 20 local citizens in the jury box (12 primary jurors plus eight alternates) was an hour-long videotape of the understandably sympathetic first police interview with Jackson’s young accuser. Mumbling and with seeming reluctance, the boy related the sordid details of his alleged molestation by the faded popstar over a few nights in the winter of 2003.

“Once you share this you’ll feel better,” prodded Sgt. Steve Robel. The boy, a cancer survivor, fidgeted in his chair, eyes downcast. Robel asked what sports he liked, he said “football and baseball.”

“I wanted to be a pro ballplayer,” the veteran cop said. “I was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies, they came to talk to me and my parents. But certain things got in the way… it’s called politics.”

Taped allegations
Soon enough the boy told his story. That Jackson trolled internet porn sites with him on the night they first met at Neverland. That he gave him wine, vodka, scotch and rum. That he talked often about sex, shared his collection of pornographic magazines and, “…maybe five times or so,” reached over as the two shared Jackson’s bed, after both had been drinking, and fondled him.

The jurors had heard those specific allegations before when the boy had testified earlier in the trial. I watched the boy on the tape: Were his hesitations and lack of eye contact evidence of the established difficulty male victims of male pedophiles have in first disclosing their molestation? Or was it a performance by a skilled and experienced liar as defense witnesses made him out to be? I looked at the jury box a couple of times: They were watching and listening, but gave no obvious hint of what they were thinking.

“You’ve been through hell,” Sgt. Robel was saying near the end of the interview. “What he has done to you, he is the bad person, not you. You, your mom, your sister, your brother… you’re the good people. You guys are doing the right thing, you’re helping a lot of people.”

Robel asked the boy if he’d “be open to making a phone call to Michael”– a pretext call in hopes that the popstar would make a damaging admission.
The boy shook his head. It was going to be his word… and that of his mother, sister and brother…against Jackson’s. Period. Four months later, with virtually no further substantive investigation beyond the interviews with the accuser and his family, one of the most famous people on the planet would be arrested. The tape ended.

The courtroom lights came back on. The silver-haired lawyer, Jackson’s lead attorney Tom Mesereau, stood up, said his three words, and sat down. A defense source had told me Mesereau had studied the tape and “wasn’t worried about it,” convinced, the source said, that the jury already had an indelible picture of the boy and his family as grifters out to skin any available mark, especially celebrities, with the boy’s sickness as their currency of persuasion.

I ambled deliberately out of court while other reporters raced past me to spread the news worldwide. Jury instructions and final arguments after the holiday weekend, and then those citizens in the box will do their thing. And then, thankfully for me, home.

I have never liked this story and would never have chosen this assignment. Of course there are others among the thousands of stories I’ve reported in nearly four decades at this craft that also would not have been my choice, and an assignment, in my business, is an assignment; but few have left me feeling dispirited and soiled at the end of a day’s work, as this one has. There are others in this press corps who feel the same way, and many of my colleagues and friends and intimates back home have declined to follow this story at all.

It feels voyeuristic, and for a dozen years it has been voyeuristic. There are “journalists” who’ve maintained careers by chasing down and breathlessly reporting every Jackson rumor peddled by real or would-be “witnesses” to the singer’s every move. Many of those rumors, enhanced by each sale and re-sale to the tabloids (print and broadcast), became embedded in the public consciousness because, in the past decade and a half, mainstream journalism itself and its relationship to “tabloid” stories have changed.

‘Buying’ witnesses
I think it began on the day in 1990 when the mainstream press covering the William Kennedy Smith rape trial in Palm Beach (I was there) was restrained outside the courthouse police lines as the key witness in that case was escorted into court on the arm of a “reporter” for one of the newly-popular tabloid TV shows… because that show had “bought” that witness and locked her up exclusively.

And because mainstream news organizations do not “buy” witnesses, the only way to compete on stories the tabloids increasingly “owned” was to legitimize the tabloids themselves. Thus, in the OJ Simpson case, the vaunted New York Times held its nose and started quoting the National Enquirer, because the tabloid (through whatever means) was often out front on that story. And CBS News, on its “Evening News,” used tape and information attributed to the television show “Hard Copy” in its reporting on the 1993 Jackson scandal.

The 9/11 effect
In the meantime, over the years, the preferences of news consumers seemed also to be changing. Or maybe they were being changed. I think—and, let me stress, this is just my opinion—that 9/11 contributed to that change in a fundamental way: The event itself was so incomprehensibly awful that news consumers (consciously or unconsciously) suddenly wanted something different from the news organizations on which they’d depended for years. Less bad news, fewer investigative reporting efforts that required hard work on the part of viewers and readers. Keep it simple, make it pleasant or safely entertaining, make it diverting. The great newsmagazines on the major networks fought shrinking audience shares by changing their fare. Reality television arrived… and exploded as the genre of audience choice. In the cable universe the trial of a fertilizer salesman accused of killing his wife and unborn child became the lead story for a year… audiences wanted that story, the ratings instructed. There was live coverage of Joey Buttafuoco’s sentencing on the same day the realignment of NATO earned a 30-second reader on one network newscast.

And, since November of 2003, the question of whether Michael Jackson fondled a young boy from a family of graspers who may also be con artists has been the epicenter of a worldwide reporting effort by scores of news organizations.

I’m a reporter assigned to this story, so I’m here. Soon, though not soon enough, I’ll be home because one story– Jackson’s guilt or innocence as determined by this apparently hard-working jury—will be over.

But the other story and the bigger one in my mind– how and why we all got here in the first place– is yet to be told.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8015799/site/todayshow/ns/today-entertainment/#.UXw8daKcf5t

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The Music Industry, Sony, MJ Estate and Sony/ATV catalog (2)

All you need to read regarding MJEstate & Sony’s deal of Sony/ATV Catalog

Nonlocal Universe

By The Last Tear (Lou)

In mid-March several newspapers wrote that Sony would buy Jackson’s share in Sony/ATV catalog. The Estate of Michael Jackson sent a statement and confirmed the information. The Japanese company will pay 750 million dollars to the Estate.

As soon as the announcement was made, we heard and read all kinds of reactions; some congratulate the Estate and some harshly criticized the Estate’s administrators. We at Nonlocal blog prefer to wait and study the matter before expressing any opinion.

Like the first part of this blog, I have gathered several articles and share them here with the readers. I have selected relevant paragraphs (in my eyes, of course) in some articles. They are in bold green! We will do a sort of recap based on the information given in these articles. As soon as new information will come up, our recap could change. Again, based on…

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Michael Jackson Exeter Speech-2002

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In 2002, Michael Jackson was made an honorary director of the soccer club, Exeter by the then board. He was given the opportunity to speak to the almost filled to capacity 10,000 seat Exeter audience. The event was means to raise cash for the club and two charites aimed at combatting AIDS and Malaria. Exeter co-chairman John Russell said at the time:

“All clubs are finding it difficult, we have to develop new areas of making money to help keep the football going.”

“We are putting Exeter City on the map with this event as Michael Jackson is an attraction worldwide.”

Michael was accompanied on stage by magician David Blaine and Uri Geller. Patti

Transcript of Michael Jackson’s speech which begin at 2:12 on video.

“Hello everybody. Hello to you wonderful people of Exeter. To the great supporters of the Exeter City Football Club. Welcome to all the great fans that have come from here and far. To all you children.

I’m very happy, very happy to be here with you today. Today, today we come here to support children. We come here to support children with AIDS. To help, to help beyond these of those affected by HIV and AIDS.

“We more help them to build a good future. All of us working together for them. A future without prejudice. For these children and their families.

“We are here to support and help the people of Africa to find a solution in the fight against the swear of HIV AIDS … and malaria … through education and awareness, we aim at conviction but we help with cure.

“We are here to support you, the supporters and players of this great football club.

“Sadly, sadly, we live in a state of fear. Everyday we hear of war on the news, on the radio and television and the newspapers, always of war. We hear of nations hurting each other, of neighbours hurting each other, of families hurting each other and the children killing each other. We must learn to live and love each other before it’s too late. We have to stop! We have to stop the prejudice, we have to stop the hating, we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbours.

“I would like all of you now to take the hand of the person to the left and to the right. Go ahead! Right now! I mean it! Don’t be shy! Do it! It starts now! To the person next to you. To the left and the right. I mean it. Right now! Go ahead! Don’t be shy. Do it! Do it! Now, tell the person … tell the person next to you that you care for them. Tell them that you care for them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you love them. This is what makes the difference.

“Together … together we can make a change of the world. Together we can help to stop racism. Together we can help to stop prejudice. We can help the world live without fear. It’s our only hope, without hope we are lost.

“England is gonna win? I believe you, I believe you. You know … I know nothing about sports but I believe you. Hmmm, thank you all, thank you Exeter. I’m very proud and happy to be here. Thank you Exeter Football Club. Thanks to all the wonderful fans… I see Israel, I see Spain, I see countries all over the world. I love you!

“Thank you to all my team. And a special thanks to David Blaine …the world’s greatest. To Patti Boulaye and to the great Uri Geller and Matt Fides …the man. We thank them and all the other performers. Please join me in giving them a great cheer.”

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“And, most importantly … (balloons released) – That’s beautiful. That’s a sign of hope. That’s for all the children of the world. I love you. And thank you for everything. All my love and God Bless!!”

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Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off The Wall- review

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“Michael may be the purest talent I’ve ever seen. He’s incapable of a false moment.”
– Director Sidney Lumet, on Michael Jackson in “The Wiz.”

Michael Jackson, along with his almost otherworldly talent, was always one of the most emotional performers. In the pantheon with James Brown, Judy Garland, Jackie Wilson, and a handful of other electric live performers, Jackson’s onstage persona and performing ability was akin to the Big Bang, there was no end to the expansion. People responded to him personally, and, because he started out so young, a generation grew up with him, identified with him, watched in awe at his transformations. Spike Lee’s documentary “Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off the Wall,” premiering on February 5th on Showtime, is as emotional as its subject matter. Kobe Bryant, interviewed in the documentary, says at one point, “It’s easy for people to get sidetracked. They talk about his complexion. They don’t focus on what this man was, and how he was that.” What with the tabloid frenzy of Michael Jackson’s life, not to mention his early death, Lee’s documentary is a welcome corrective as well as an almost aggressive act of redress and celebration. It does not get “sidetracked.” It’s about Michael Jackson’s work, and how he worked. Maybe most pleasingly, it’s a track-by-track history lesson of Jackson’s 1979 album “Off the Wall,” an album that still gets so much radio play today that if you didn’t know better you might think it was released last weekend.

The plot points of Jackson’s early life (the rise of the Jackson 5 on Motown, their jump to Epic, Michael emerging as the solo star, culminating in Off the Wall) may be well-known to those who grew up in that era but Lee presents it in a way that passes the information on to a new generation. When there is an artist as big as Michael Jackson was, as important, as … improbable, really (and it’s more improbable the more you learn), it’s essential that an understanding of the achievement of that art is passed on (especially to kids who may only know him as the weird man in sunglasses on the cover of every tabloid). A film like Lee’s says: “See what he did? See how much space he created for others? For you? Honor that.”

To read the rest of this great review of Spike Lee’s tribute documentary to Michael Jackson please click link below to be redirected to RogerEbert.com

READ FULL REVIEW

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Dear Hollywood: Michael Jackson Was Black (and Proud)

Michael Jackson: Say it out loud – He was black and PROUD

A. K. Staggers

As submitted to the Huffington Post Blog

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The casting of a white man as Michael Jackson in a TV series set in 2001 is more than unnerving. It is actually a complete contradiction of who MJ was in 2001 and throughout his life. The year 2001 was a year, that if you look and listen to Jackson himself, he was nothing but a black man ringing the alarm about racism in the music industry. The industry was shaken by his outing of racist practices pertaining to black artists and, in a way, retaliated with MJ once again being portrayed as a druggie whose accusations were the rantings indicative of an addict and by 2003, an accused child molester. The latter, if you research the charges, the district attorney’s office, the witnesses and the testimony of others, was nothing more than an aberration of his character and a clear attempt to…

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Was Michael Jackson a Modern Day Prophet?

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Writer Chaz Harris posted the following article in his blog, Over The Rainbow:

Was Michael Jackson a Modern-Day Prophet?

I find myself troubled as I sit here thinking about how it is one year today since Michael Jackson’s untimely, tragic and unexpected death. Last year, when the London concerts were announced, I made sure my brother was on the phone the day tickets went on sale and instead of trying for the July dates right off the mark, I told him to get tickets for one of the dates in September, which he managed to do.

I was really excited about going home for the show as I had always wanted to see Michael Jackson performing live and I was walking around in a weird state of disbelief during the days after it happened. I think most people were expecting it to be a huge publicity stunt to promote the tour and that MJ would reappear and reassure us that he was fine…but that moment never came.

Whatever you may think of him, it has to be acknowledged that he was considered and probably always will be one of the most influential figures in entertainment. Michael Jackson’s rise in popularity was an important part of the post civil-rights era in the US and opened up black entertainers to the mainstream markets like no other artist has. He also had the ability to own a stage like nobody else – just as he did with this performance at the 1993 Superbowl.

Even through the controversial court cases, I remember always dismissing them as gold-digging parents who just wanted to cash in on his generosity as he always came across as unassuming and someone who always saw the best in people. The guy grew up a child-star and missed out on having a childhood, but I don’t believe in him being a pedophile even if he appears to “fit the profile”. This was compounded by the countless comments and tributes that celebrity friends and his staff made after he died last year, including Donna Summer, who said of the alleged accusations, “I can’t even imagine he [Michael] would ever try to hurt a child. I felt more like it was exploitation, personally, from other people. I don’t know if it’s true or not. I just – you know, I just think he was a sitting duck at times.”

While I was back in the UK, it was announced that This is It was going to be made and released and I remember being slightly hesitant and cynical about what I was going to see. However, when I went in and saw the film on opening night, I was blown away and delighted to discover that Jackson retained the brilliance and showmanship at 50 that he did all those years before in ’93. It was as if no time had passed and it would have without doubt been one of the most eye-popping and spectacular concerts ever held.

On the DVD, there is a whole section on the various costumes and one of these was a suit complete with lights built into it so that it could light up and shoot colourful beams down the arms and legs. It was to be used when he performed Billie Jean. It would have been epic and I felt a mix of excitement and melancholy watching that film.

The odd thing to me is how consistent Michael Jackson’s message of peace, love and saving the planet for the children and our children’s children was. And yet, the man was persecuted, misunderstood and treated as an outcast by the very media spotlight that helped create this spectacle in the first place. Why do people turn on those who try to spread positive messages in the world? Do we think they have some kind of hidden agenda?

If I believed in God, then I would say Jackson was the closest thing we had in recent times to a modern-day prophet. His followers and fans outnumber any other modern religious or public figure and he always spread his message of healing, love, peace and acceptance. When it comes down to it, I know I definitely believe in MJ and his message because I have proof that he was real.

The tragic impact we’re seeing from the BP disaster has been bringing back chilling images of Earth Song. Whenever Jackson spoke about disasters it’s like he knew something worse was just around the corner. A quote from This is It says it all “I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That’s why it makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening in the world: that every second I hear the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. That kind of stuff really bothers me. That’s why I write these kinds of songs, you know, to get some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people.” Jackson then went on to say: “The planet is sick, like a fever. If we don’t fix it now it’s at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have or it’s like a runaway train…The time has come, This is It. It starts with us. US. or else it’ll never be done.”

The words his children said at the memorial last August were enough to obliterate any doubts (if any) that I had about Jackson’s innocence when his daughter Paris said “daddy was the best father you could ever imagine”. Some people disagreed with the kids being allowed to speak, but I could sense it was heartfelt and something she felt like she needed to say. After all, Jackson cut his father out of his will over the alleged abuse he suffered as a child because he never wanted to see his own children go through that. Why would anyone assume he’s guilty just because statistically there have been suggestions of child abuse victims repeating that behaviour? Are there no exceptions?

I’ll leave you with the parting poignant words of one of my favourite MJ songs. In fact, they almost sound like they could be someone’s wedding vows: “In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care? Will you be there? In my trials and my tribulations. Through our doubts and frustrations. In my violence, in my turbulence. Through my fear and my confessions. In my anguish and my pain. Through my joy and my sorrow. In the promise of another tomorrow, I’ll never let you part, for you’re always in my heart.”

Was Michael Jackson a modern-day prophet? Why does humankind have a tendency to attack or turn against those who try to spread a message of love, acceptance and healing?

R.I.P. Michael Jackson – The King of Pop

Chaz Harris @Over the Rainbow

 

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