Sep 30 2012

“Was Michael Jackson Framed?” – Original GQ Article Available on Amazon!

Category: Books,Justice,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 7:52 pm

I squawked about this on Twitter several days ago and posted it on my MJJ-777 Facebook page last Friday. Now, everyone in the MJ fan community is abuzz about it. Guess it took them a while to catch up with the news.

The GQ article “Was Michael Jackson Framed?” by Mary A. Fischer is now available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Was-Michael-Jackson-Framed-Superstar/dp/0786754133.

If you have a Kindle, it’s also available in that format for only $2.99:  http://www.amazon.com/Was-Michael-Jackson-Framed-ebook/dp/B009G1SX0S/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

From the Amazon writer bio:

Award-winning writer and journalist Mary A. Fischer has tracked down crime and corruption stories from around the world for national magazines including, GQ, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times magazine, New York, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, O-Oprah, ELLE and AARP.

Twice she has been ranked as one of the top five print reporters in the U.S., when two of her GQ articles, including her cover story on Michael Jackson, were finalists for the National Magazine Award.

Known for pursuing under reported stories, Fischer is credited with breaking several high-profile criminal cases, among them, the ’93 Michael Jackson case originally published in GQ, and the McMartin Preschool child molestation scandal. She was the first print reporter to take the controversial position, backed up by her six-month investigation, that there was no credible evidence against the McMartin defendants and the allegations against them were not credible.

In her memoir Stealing Love, Fischer tells the personal story of why she is passionately drawn to stories, and life situations, of injustice.

She lives in Los Angeles and is at work on another eBook and a news-making journalist project, this time in Washington D.C.

Joe Vogel, author of “Man in the Music, the Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson” and the recent article “Studying Michael Jackson“, says this about the Mary Fischer piece (via Twitter):

Mary A. Fischer was one of few voices of reason and fairness during the first MJ extortion case. Highly recommend this.

-Joe Vogel

Well, I’ve got my copy. I think this was and is a very important voice in the sensational pro-guilt wilderness surrounding the allegations against Michael. There were and sadly still are few factual and objective voices on the subject. Among a few others, I’m happy to support this one, too.

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Aug 04 2012

“I laughed every day until he died”

Category: Art,Books,Friends,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 10:02 am

Michael to MLB: “I needed your help”

If you haven’t heard, Michael Lee Bush, Michael Jackson’s designer/costumer for 26 years, through the worst times of his life, and right up to the very end, has a book coming out.

The King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson” is due out October 30th, and is undoubtedly a must-have for die-hard fans as well as the simply fashion-curious.

SOURCE: http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/michael-jackson-s-longtime-costumer-unveils-book-1.3872272

What most people don’t know about Jackson is he was a joker — a playful prankster who loved to laugh and often teased those closest to him the most.

[Michael Lee] Bush tells of meeting Jackson for the first time in 1983, when both men were 25. The King of Pop hadn’t retained a costumer yet, and Bush was up for consideration. Jackson had been holed up for hours in his trailer on the set of “Captain EO.” Bush could hear a monkey squealing as he approached. It was dark inside and “like 120 degrees.” Jackson was snacking.

Eager to please as he prepped the pop star’s clothes, Bush felt something hit him gently in the head. A cherry stem. A few seconds later, it happened again. When it happened a third time, Bush lobbed a cherry at the rising superstar. Jackson tossed a handful back, and thus began a close professional and personal relationship that spanned the remainder of Jackson’s life.

I think he wanted someone he could play with. He just wanted to see, ‘Am I going to have fun with this person?‘” said Bush, now 54, an almost sheepish, informally trained clothier from Ohio who learned his craft from his mom and grandmother, who made wedding gowns, prom dresses and quilts.

And I laughed every day until he died.

. . .

Jackson had a childlike fascination with rhinestones, Bush said.

Sometimes I’d drive three hours to retrieve loose rhinestones straight from the factory, just because looking at them in that raw form pleased Michael to no end. Every time I opened the swatch of white felt that encased the rhinestones, he’d gasp,” he writes. “He’d take them from me and delicately move them around with his fingertips and whisper… ‘Can you imagine being a pirate opening a treasure chest? And seeing all the glitter inside? What a fascinating life, to be a pirate like that.’

Speaking of pirate ships .. this portrait entitled “Peter Pan” was created in 1998 on Michael’s request and was presented to him in 1999. It is Michael’s very first commission from artist Céline Lavail. At first attracted by a preliminary sketch picturing him under the personification of JM Barrie’s famous character, Michael Jackson asked for a finalized portrait of him inspired by the Peter Pan theme. This artwork adorned Neverland Ranch’s walls and was reproduced upon Michael’s request on one of the golf carts he used to drive in his California property.

More about Céline Lavail and her Michael Jackson artwork here: http://www.mj-777.com/?p=6572.  Below, a video of Michael Lee Bush at work with Michael Jackson during the HIStory tour:

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{ Thanks to my friends at UK Loves MJ for locating and sharing this article about MLB’s new book and to Angela for finding the video! -Seven }

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Jul 09 2012

Joe Vogel does it again in “Featuring Michael Jackson”

Category: BooksSeven @ 10:52 pm

Joe Vogel’s new work, ‘Featuring Michael Jackson – Collected Writings on the King of Pop’, available July 11th, 2012

COMING JULY 11, 2012!

“Joseph Vogel has brilliantly cracked the DNA, the code of the work, the artistry of Michael Joseph Jackson.” —Spike Lee

“Vogel’s voice is dignified and powerful. I very much respect what he has to say.” —Bill Bottrell, Grammy-winning Producer, Songwriter and Collaborator of Michael Jackson

“Without calling much attention to itself, Vogel’s writing is quietly incendiary and often rather delightfully subversive.” —John Scott G., Music Industry Newswire

AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON AMAZON!

U.S.U.K. — GermanyFranceSpainItaly — Japan

Ebooks available the first month for just $3.99!

In this slim new collection, critically-acclaimed author and journalist Joseph Vogel gathers together some of his most informative and provocative pieces on the late King of Pop. Featuring ten articles and a previously unpublished bonus chapter, this fascinating mosaic explores a wide range of subject matter: from the impact of race on Jackson’s career, to the ways he challenged and expanded the definition of “pop,” to behind-the-scenes histories of his songs. Based on original research and personal interviews with the singer’s close collaborators, Featuring Michael Jackson is a book no fan or music history buff will want to be without.

CONTENTS:

INTRODUCTION

1. Second to None: Race, Representation, and the Misunderstood Power of Michael Jackson

2. The Top Ten Michael Jackson Songs of All-Time

3. “Don’t Be Messin’”: The Story Behind Michael Jackson’s Infectious Bad-era Demo

4. Dangerous, Nevermind and the Reinvention of Pop

5. Inside Michael Jackson’s “Hollywood”

6. On Morphine

7. “Blood on the Dance Floor,” 15 Years Later

8. “Am I the Beast You Visualized?”: The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson

9. Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Immortal Takes Audience on a Dazzling Ride

10. Gone Too Soon: The Many Lives of Michael Jackson’s Elegy

BONUS CHAPTER: Have You Seen His Childhood?

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May 20 2012

“To Lie And Shame The Race” | Jack. Michael. Muhammad.

Category: Books,Justice,VideosSeven @ 1:46 am

In their fourth series of educational short films, The Michael Jackson Academia Project finds some interesting correlations in regards to the deliberate and systemic destruction of Michael Jackson’s public image. These latest MJAP videos suggest that the methods of personal and professional destruction used against Michael Jackson were the same as those used against Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, and others.

Michael himself mentioned Jack Johnson in an interview with Jesse Jackson (from 4:47-5:27), when Jesse asked Michael how he dealt with the pain of the allegations flung at him. Michael was very aware of this pattern of systemic destruction of successful black men in America. He had mentioned it in various interviews such as the aforementioned, and expressed his awareness of it and his frustration with it in many of his songs.

“To Lie And Shame The Race” | Jack. Michael. Muhammad. Chapter One:

“To Lie And Shame The Race” | Jack. Michael. Muhammad. Chapter Two:


Recommended reading:

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson by Geoffrey C. Ward (2004). Unforgivable Blackness, a film directed by Ken Burns, is also available on DVD from PBS, along with a study guide for teachers.

Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser (1992).

Huey P. Newton: The Radical Theorist By Judson L. Jeffries (2002).

I also encourage you to read Dr. Sylvia Martin’s ‘The Roots and Routes of Michael Jackson’s Global Identity‘, just published in March of 2012.

All of these resources will provide an important learning and teaching perspective in regards to the pattern of destruction brought upon these men once they became successful in a world whose ruling powers were determined to keep them “in their place” and if it could not do that, to destroy their professional and personal reputations in any way possible.

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Apr 01 2012

‘No more talking silence is more powerful’

Category: Books,MJ Quotes,PhotosSeven @ 9:34 pm

A UK-based book enthusiast has located a book from Michael’s vast collection which was on auction in LA previously. The book’s pages are annotated by Michael himself, who underlined some sentences and wrote his own notes in the margins.

Bookride.com says:

This year at auction in Los Angeles someone paid £8500 for a self-help book annotated by Michael Jackson. It was The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene (Viking 1998) and without the Prince of Pop’s marginal notes it can be bought for less than £1. Bonham’s catalogue entry goes thus:

“… a number of pages with passages underlined and annotated in various pens by Michael, providing an insight into his view of the world, with comments such as ‘Make yourself respected, a God Demands Worship‘ and ‘No more talking silence is more powerful‘, and ‘you create your own circumstances even in the manner in which you are treated and looked upon‘, and ‘deer are special because they hide if they walked the streets like dogs no one would care‘ and ‘the moon comes every night so people don’t care to look to the heavens Haley’s Comet, the fact it comes once in a lifetime makes it important…

The Bookride piece goes on to describe The 48 Laws Of Power as “somewhat cynical and ruthless for a self-help book“. The book is pretty much described that same way at Amazon.com:   Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power in to forty-eight well explicated laws. As attention-grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. 

The remainder of Bookride’s commentary is rather uncomplimentary though, first referring to Michael Jackson as the “Prince of Pop” rather than the King of Pop as he was known, and further using the  racist moniker “Jacko” in reference to him. Speaking of cynical and ruthless, the book certainly could not be more cynical and ruthless than this book enthusiast’s comments about MJ. Regardless though, the book and Michael’s annotations on its pages are interesting:

Page from 'The 48 Laws of Power', annotated by MJ (click for larger image)

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{ Thanks to Karen O’Halloran for finding and sharing this item! -Seven }

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