I’m writing about two things in this piece: one being an account from one of the lovely ‘This Is It‘ dancers about Michael’s condition during rehearsals; and another being a well-deserved slap upside the head to the lame$tream and online media by Charles Thomson.
Dancers Who Tell the Truth
Kriyss Grant, who like most of the young dancers chosen to work with Michael on TII, was very excited to be near his mentor and hero and looked forward to a successful dancing career with this TII performance on his resume. But, because I’ve heard from others who were there during these rehearsals, there are a couple of comments that Kriyss made that immediately caught my eye. They caught my eye because they corroborate with accounts others had of Michael’s apparent physical and mental condition during those rehearsals.
…He was 50, and he hadn’t danced like that in a long time. He had to familiarize his body with all those moves he used to do. I think he was scared; he couldn’t take the stage and appear fragile to us.
The last rehearsal: He was his old self. He was interacting with us, giving us suggestions, making changes. In the beginning, he let everyone else run things. Then, he was like, ‘This is my show. We’re going to do it how I want to do it.’ I loved it. That’s something I always wanted to see. I thought he was being taken advantage of in the beginning because he was older. … And you could tell he had something to say, but he wouldn’t say it. But that last day, he took over. He knew what he wanted. The dancers were like, ‘Good, he’s speaking up.’ The dancers had Michael’s back.
These remarks are significant to me because accounts I have of the rehearsals are of Michael having little to no control over many aspects of the production, of him feeling pressured, on edge, and feeling like he may not be able to do 50 shows, especially since he’d originally only signed on for 10 and 40 more were added almost overnight without his prior knowledge or approval.
He’d been off the stage for over 10 years, and yes, he was 50 years old. Doing an athletic 2-hour concert at that age, of the caliber Michael is known for, after having not danced or performed for 10 years is not something you “just go do”. It takes months of physical and mental preparation and training to get back in shape for something like that. And to do 50 of those shows takes even more training and preparation time. It’s just like an Olympic athlete wanting to make a comeback. They don’t just “go do it”. They need months of training. Michael didn’t have months. He had a few weeks, and that was all. Not enough. And he knew it. Yet he had been arbitrarily signed up for fifty shows and given too little time to prepare. For Michael Jackson who is known for being a perfectionist, to be under that kind of pressure was probably extremely debilitating and anxiety-provoking for him. It’s no wonder he had trouble sleeping.
–Randy Phillips of AEG: We spoke […] Michael said: [puts on a mocking high voice] ‘Randy, Randy no more shows, no more shows.’” -March 13, 2009
Also, the accounts I have were that in the last 2 days of rehearsals, like Kriyss said, Michael changed. Kriyss isn’t aware that Michael had apparently been “talked to” by those running things – pressured to ‘buck up’ and engage, lest the rug be pulled out from beneath him financially (and it was a BIG rug).Michael was under a LOT of pressure and while he had a lot of responsibility for pulling off these shows, he had very little control over them or many aspects of them. It was hardly a good situation for Michael.
So, unbeknownst to this innocent dancer who is only relaying what he saw in his hero and mentor, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that the dancers – any of them – were likely not aware of. However, Michael’s behavior and condition as identified by them, corroborates the accounts of others who were there and did know the ‘behind-the-scenes’ situation. This makes Kriyss’s account very interesting.
Media That Won’t
As per usual, the media(loids) refuse to tell BOTH sides of the story, much less the TRUTH about anything. Specifically, the story where old sewer rat Gene Simmons decided to call MJ an “abuser” and all the media simply copy/pasted his comments far and wide for the World to see. (Gene Simmons is hardly anyone to be lecturing Michael Jackson on morality, but I digress..)
Subsequently, when Jennifer Batten, Michael’s lead guitarist, refuted his claims on not only fact but sheer logistics, the same media almost totally ignored it.
I’ll let Charles Thomson’s words do the explaining:
Many are quick to scoff when Michael Jackson’s fans speak of a media conspiracy to destroy the star’s reputation and I used to scoff with them, but I find it increasingly difficult to explain the apparent bias.
• • •
Aging glam-rocker Gene Simmons made international headlines last month when he claimed to know that Michael Jackson had molested children. In an interview with Classic Rock, Simmons alleged that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children and that during the star’s 2005 trial a travel agent had testified to importing Brazilian boys for Jackson’s amusement. He also claimed that a musician friend had quit a Jackson tour after seeing ‘boys coming out of the hotel rooms.’
What followed was a classic example of copy and paste journalism. Within hours the story had been duplicated by hundreds of blogs, forums and news websites from Australia to India to the USA. None of them had fact-checked the story before they re-hosted it. Jackson was never on tape ordering alcohol for children. There was never any testimony during his trial about young Brazilian boys. Both of these claims were easily disproven by trial transcripts.
As a relative Jackson expert, I was also unaware of any musician ever leaving one of the singer’s tours midway through. So when I sat down a fortnight ago for an interview with Jackson’s long serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten, I ran the story by her.
She told me that no musician had ever quit a Jackson tour. Two musicians had been fired but both were let go before the show hit the road, so they couldn’t possibly have witnessed anything going on inside hotels.
When Sawf News published Batten’s rebuttal I observed an all too familiar phenomenon. Although the story appeared on Google News and was picked up fairly swiftly by the Examiner, nobody else seemed willing to touch it. Whilst Simmons’s speculative and ultimately baseless accusations had been reproduced the world over, Batten’s expert rebuttal was being suppressed.
• • •
But more than 48 hours later, typing an exact quote from Simmons’s rant into a search engine produced almost 350 webpages. The number of news outlets hosting Batten’s rebuttal? Three.
This was not the first time I’d had a Jackson story suppressed. After Evan Chandler’s suicide in November 2009 I was contacted by the Sun and asked to supply information about the 1993 allegations. I spent quite some time compiling my research, advising the newspaper of common myths and how to avoid them, being careful to source all of my facts from legal documents and audio/visual evidence.
When I read the finished article I was stunned to find that all of my information had been discarded and replaced with the very myths I had advised them to avoid. I alerted staff to the inaccuracies but my emails were not replied. The same inaccuracies appeared in every single article I read about the suicide.
SO – there you have it. Our media(loids) which have zero integrity to begin with, and wouldn’t know truth if it jumped up and ripped their corporate-owned faces off, are (still) DELIBERATELY suppressing the truth – or even another side of the story, about Michael Jackson. Why? Because they make more MONEY with LIES and sensationalism. TRUTH does not matter to them. Only PROFIT does. This is part and parcel of what helped send Michael Jackson to an early grave. They persecuted the man all his life for sheer profit and now, they continue to do so after his death.
Mark my words – HIS CHILDREN will be next. They’ve already started on them.
If the media finally decided to start telling the truth about Michael Jackson, it would make them look bad. It would make them look bad because they’d have to ADMIT that they’ve been LYING about him for FORTY YEARS for ratings and profit.
And they’re not ABOUT to do that.