Below is a Three-page handwritten letter from Michael Jackson to William Pecchi Jr., written on Capitol Tokyu Hotel stationary c. 1988. The letter is affectionately addressed to “Pecky.” Pecchi was a camera operator on Jackson’s film Moonwalker (Ultimate Productions, 1988). After Moonwalker, Pecchi was asked to travel abroad with Jackson during the Bad tour. Pecchi rode to and from venues to capture the crowd’s reaction to Jackson. It was during these rides that Pecchi and Jackson talked at length and one such conversation in Tokyo provoked this correspondence. The letter discusses Michael’s goals for the film, encouragement to Pecchi, reactions to conversations about racism and Jackson’s vision of the world.
I very seldom write letters. But in this moving occasion I couldn’t help myself. I want to thank you for putting the effort forward to capture the magic and excitement of the people of the world. What you do is a very personal and powerful medium to me. It is the art of stopping time, to preserve a moment that the naked eye cannot hold, to capture truth, spontaneous truth, the depths of excitement in human spirit. All else will be forgotten but not the films. Generations from now will experience the excitement you’ve captured. It truly is a time capsule. I will not be totally satisfied until I know you’re at the right angle at the right time, to capture a crescendo of emotion that happens so quickly, so spontaneously.
What you have done was good, but I want the best, the whole picture, cause and effect. I want crowd reaction, wide lens shots, depths of emotion, timing. I know we can do it. It is my dream and goal to capture truth. We should dedicate ourselves to this. The person who makes a success of living, is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication. There is no other way to perfection than dedication perseverance. Just tell us what you need to make it happen. Take the leadership to direct the other camera men. I enjoy working with you that is why I asked you to come, you have a gentle spirit that’s very likable. Maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses but I love people all over the world. That is why stories of racism really disturb me. You hurt my heart and soul when you told me of your boyhood in Texas. Because in truth I believe ALL men are created equal, I was taught that and will always believe it.
I just can’t conceive of how a person could hate another because of skin color. I love every race on the planet earth. Prejudice is the child of ignorance. Naked we come into the world and naked we shall go out. And a very good thing too, for it reminds me that I am naked under my shirt, whatever its color. I’m sorry to bring up such past issues, but in the car I was hurt by what you said. I’m so happy though that you managed to overcome your childhood past. Thank God that you’ve graduated from such beliefs of ignorance. I’m glad I’ve never experienced such things. Teach your kids to love all people equally. I know you will. I speak from my heart saying I love you and all people especially the children. I’m glad God chose me and you. Love M.J.