Oct 23 2010

Michael Jackson ‘the forgotten humanitarian’

Category: Friends,Humanitarian,Lyrics,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 8:30 am

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

I have featured Dr. Patrick Treacy on this blog as far back as June or July of 2010. He kindly left comments about Michael and shared with me stories about his time with Michael in Ireland.  He met Michael after the Santa Maria trial when he was living in Ireland (2006-2007).   Michael had approached Patrick hoping he would take him on as a patient while there to help him manage his dermatological conditions. From there, a professional relationship as well as a friendship blossomed. “It was quickly apparent we shared humanitarian ideals and a love of the African continent,” said Dr. Treacy.  Treacy is Medical Director of the Ailesbury Clinic in Dublin. You can read previous posts featuring Patrick Treacy on this site here, and here.

Patrick recently posted the lovely tribute below on Facebook and kindly gave me permission to share it here, once again.

• • •

Michael Jackson ‘the forgotten humanitarian’

In Mahavanain Buddhism, there is an enlightened existence known as the ‘bodhisattva’ who decides to postpone attainment of nirvana in order to alleviate the suffering of others. In my own lifetime, I have been fortunate to have met some of these visionaries, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Bono, John Lennon and Michael Jackson. Only five people in nearly half a century, just enough to count on the fingers of one hand. Each of them, intrinsically motivated by a sense of great compassion, generating bodhicitta for the ultimate benefit of all sentient beings. Of course, there have been others, circulating on the peripheries of my own dharma. I knew Lady Diana Spencer during the mid nineties in a medical sense and I had been in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama without having actually met him. All of these people, hugely influential, global messengers using their powers to try and make the world a better place for each of us to live in.

Nelson Mandela stood against the injustice of apartheid, Mother Theresa and Bono against the injustice of poverty, John Lennon against the injustice of war but Michael Jackson went further. His body of artistic work carried a spiritual message for these and all of the other injustices of the human race…those of racism, inequality, disease, hunger and corruption. His song ‘Man in the Mirror’ makes us realise that the path to Nirvana starts within ourselves through meditation and self reflection. “I’m starting with the man in the mirror; I’m asking him to change his ways; no message could have been any clearer; if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”

If Nirvana can be loosely described as an idealised state free of worries, pain and mental anguish, we all know that Michael never achieved this state, seemingly forever trapped in a state of the ‘bodhisattva’ with the temporal green grasses and sundials of Neverlands becoming its earthly substitute. His efforts at generating bodhicitta however are unfortunately rarely mentioned any more. Few people remember that he donated all of the money from the song we just mentioned above to charity. Following the 1984 Victory Tour, he donated his $5 million share from the tour’s profits to charity. In 1985, he co-wrote the single “We Are the World” with Lionel Richie and donated all of the proceeds to help the needy in Africa. Almost 20 million copies of “We Are the World” were sold, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The project raised millions for famine relief.

Michael was a humanitarian for Africa

Michael was a humanitarian for Africa

In fact, the first time I met Michael, his opening words to me were “Thank you for all you are doing for the people of Africa”. He then proceeded to take out an old magazine from his pocket, which had an article I had written back in 1992 called ‘The Silence of the Savannah’. The article detailed my experiences of coming across empty villages on route through Africa to Capetown and it predicted the eventual rise of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. It began…“Evenings in Kenya are enchanting. It is then that the sun takes on a light of deep red before setting, and barefooted women clothed in loose kangas stir up a light murram dust as they meet us on their way homeward for the night. As dusk falls the swollen rim of the sinking sun runs rivulets of scarlet colour into the skyline and silhouettes the acacia trees on the hillsides around us. This is the unchanging magic in the landscape of Africa, and it is our signal we have travelled enough for the day. We turn into the bush to find some shade and set up camp. In the distance we can hear some voices from a nearby ‘manyatta’, and the sound of barking dogs disturbs the stillness of the dusk….. ….later, we pass many empty villages, abandoned stores and vacant huts that are a testament to the destructive power of the plague whose path we follow. There is an eeriness about these deserted hamlets, and in the restless winds that stir the blue savannah grasses I listen expectantly to hear the noise of barking dogs, or the distant sounds of children playing ….. but no sound comes!” ‘

“You know I cried when I read that”, he continued. “We must do something together for the people of Africa”. And his humanitarianism did not stop on the African continent. In 1984, Michael donated his out of court $1.5 million settlement to the Brotman Medical Centre in Culver City, California. This facility was later renamed the “Michael Jackson Burn Center” in honour of his donation. Using this money the facility was able to get the best available technology for treating burn victims, especially children. In 1993, he gave all the profits from 67 concerts over eighteen months on the Dangerous World Tour to the Heal the World Foundation. In 1999, he organised a series of benefit concerts with Mariah Carey, Slash, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti in Germany and Korea. He donated the total proceeds to the “Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund”, the Red Cross and UNESCO. After 911, he helped organise the ‘United We Stand: What More Can I Give’ benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. He also was given a special award from President Ronald Regan for his support of American drug and alcohol charities. His last album, Invincible has a song called Cry. It is a song about the collective humanity of the earth. It carries a mission to change the world and create a better version of the human. It is a cry from another world. “You can change the world (I can’t do it by myself) You can touch the sky (Gonna take somebody’s help) You’re the chosen one (I’m gonna need some kind of sign) If we all cry at same time tonight”.

Michael Crowned King of Sani

Michael Crowned King of Sani in Africa

That is how I will remember Michael Jackson on his anniversary and maybe in the evening sun as the restless winds stir the blue savannah grasses of far away Africa; ….this is the way his ancestors might also!

-Dr. Patrick Treacy

• • •

I also want to share with you the audio from an interview Dr. Treacy recently did with Rev. Catherine Gross of ‘A Place in Your Heart Radio‘. Patrick discusses how Michael and himself shared a common love of Africa and its people. He also tells how Michael’s fans are moving through the different stages of grief, almost like a bereavement reaction. He explains that their anger is really just part of coming to terms with their loss. His brother Raymond specially wrote the music for this video. He sings with a French band called ‘The Tones’.

Patrick also, and not for the first time, mentions that Michael didn’t even want a painkiller after some surgery. He just dealt with the pain. This counters the many accounts by others that Michael was abusing drugs or painkillers. Though others remember differently, Dr. Treacy’s remembrance of Michael is evidently not one of an abuser of drugs.

If you remember, Dr. Treacy also said in a video I referenced in a previous post:

Michael was a creation of the media, and often, the media didn’t want to hear the truth about Michael….the media are chasing me right now. They want me to put some dirt out about Michael, and it doesn’t exist!…They wanted to hound him to death, to crucify him, to put him in jail.
. . .
AEG, the company involved may have pushed his doctor to the extent that, because he wasn’t turning up for performances and that, that they wanted to get him technically – to cure his insomnia and of course a lot of drugs were given to him.

Now I know for a fact – and this is where Dublin will probably sit on the trial, that Michael would never involve himself with any of the drugs mentioned without the presence of an anesthetist.

Also, Reflections on the Dance recently did an interview with Dr. Patrick Treacy. Below, I’ll share some excepts from that interview which deal with the issue of drugs and the media’s penchant for wanting to portray Michael as a drug-addled freak prior to the trial of Conrad Murray. I have also mentioned this issue in my comments about the show Oprah did with Lisa-Marie Presley on October 21st.

In this interview, Dr. Treacy also shared information about Michael’s faith and “secret humanitarianism”, about the abusive, profit-driven media in general, and about Michael’s vitiligo and lupus. In regards to the potential upcoming trial of Conrad Murray, Patrick said:

There are forces trying to smear his name prior to the new trial in Los Angeles. The media are gearing up to throw more missiles at a ‘freak‘ who was ‘addicted to drugs‘ and who was probably guilty of pedophilia even though he was acquitted of all charges relating to the same.

There are two types of media presently functioning in our society. One, like the ‘BBC’ embraces objectivity and sees its function to provide credible documentaries and news commentaries primarily written for its listeners and readers. This type of professional reporter is usually devoid of having to please advertisers with high volume of sales, television audience management (TAM ratings) or ABC numbers. The other type of reporter pens stories that are written solely to please advertisers. These are usually subjective, lack credibility and push the limits of legality. Their information sources often lack proper credentials and may be untrustworthy.

Unfortunately, most people in our western society are poorly informed or inadequately educated and sometimes may not be able to differentiate between the subjective components of the believability of a source or message. The media plays on these people to generate sales of their publications. To achieve high volume they must write about someone who a lot of people know. The absence of regulation in this marketplace leads to gross defamation of character and this is legally easier whenever the person in question is deceased.

This media’s penchant for intentionally misreporting facts caused Patrick himself to want to protect Michael from them, and from a public that too easily believes their misinformation while Michael’s noble intentions become lost in the lies and sensationalism. Patrick was fully aware of how it would be played out in the media and how it would appear to the public if Michael followed his heart and visited some badly burned children at Crumlin Childrens’ Hospital in Dublin. Patrick denied Michael’s request to visit the children. Not because he did not trust Michael, but rather because he rightly did not trust what would happen if the media got hold of the story, particularly so soon after Michael’s trial had ended. Thus, he told Michael: “Your innocence will get you into trouble!

Dr. Treacy also commented on Michael’s vitiligo and lupus:

It is well documented that in 1986, Michael was diagnosed with Vitiligo and Lupus. Vitiligo is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation of patches of skin. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that is may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural, or viral causes. Lupus is a condition which affects different people in differing ways. These vary from skin manifestations, to swollen joints to extreme fatigue. Both of these conditions made him sensitive to sunlight (hence the umbrella you saw him with every time he was outdoors) as the Vitiligo would may him susceptible to skin cancer, and his lupus could reactivate from remission. It is also well documented that he used topical medications to balance his different skin tones and these would also leave him susceptible to ultraviolet radiation effects.

As we know, the autopsy revealed the truth about Michael’s skin condition, yet the perception of him as having “bleached his skin because he didn’t want to be black“, and of him being a ‘freak‘, are firmly implanted in the minds of the public by a decades-long for-profit negative propaganda campaign carried out against Michael by the corporate-owned media.

Michael was one of the biggest humanitarians who has ever lived. Yet he never flaunted or even mentioned much all the work he did, all the causes he supported, all the help and money he donated around the world all his life. Besides that, the media deliberately ignores these stories because they don’t fit in with their mantra of Michael as a child-molesting freak (and such stories also don’t pad their corporate profits enough with high ratings). Says Patrick about Michael’s faith and humanitarianism and why he kept the true extent of his giving private:

Michael was deeply Christian and believed that private acts of charity were considered virtuous only if not done for others to admire. We should be reminded of Matthew 6:1 when Jesus says “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

True to his faith and belief system, Michael did much of his humanitarian work to be seen by the eyes of God, not the eyes of anyone else.

Given all that we know, and all that Michael’s friends know about Michael Jackson, it would be much more appropriate if the media would spend as much time reporting on his artistic and humanitarian work as they do desperately trying to define him as a drug-addled, paranoid, child-molesting freak in order to protect and satisfy various corporate profits. Until and unless they do, or until there are laws enacted to protect the public from media’s habit of assassinating the character and lives of innocent people, it is up to all of us to ensure that the real Michael Jackson is never forgotten.

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Aug 06 2010

‘Michael, they have taken you away’

Category: Lyrics,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 2:26 pm

The Fields of Athenry

The Fields of Athenry

I have learnt that after parting ways with Prince Abdullah in Bahrain and while living in Ireland in 2006, Michael collaborated with the Caheraggin Village Choir, singing six verses of the ballad “The Fields of Athenry“. Michael was intrigued by the rich storyline, and the verse “Michael, they have taken you away“.

Someone recorded the session and placed it in a bank vault for safekeeping. The news was reported shortly after the singer’s sudden demise in June, 2009. The choir spokesman Kevin Gillane, has revealed that the choir and its trustees have determined that they may hold the entire rights to the recording as technically Jackson was merely a guest on their recording: “We were in the former Sunset Studios recording our album with owner, the late Gerry McGrade, when we were asked to work on doing some backing vocals for material that Mr. Jackson and his people were working on. However, it was during our paid-for time and down time in his recording that we got together to sing “The Fields of Athenry”, so technically, this creates a different issue for the choir and the trustees. That is why we have placed the tapes in the vault”, says Gillane, insisting they do not seek to exploit this situation in their favor.

He says they had known about the recording for three years but were unwilling to record it out of friendship and respect for Jackson. “The Fields of Athenry” was created during the Great Irish Famine (1845-1850), about a fictional man named Michael from near Athenry in County Galway, who has been sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay, Australia, for stealing food for his starving family. The song was written by Pete St. John in the 70’s and is a widely known and popular anthem for Irish sports supporters and fans of Celtic F.C. and has also been adopted in movies.

Obviously Michaels rendition is not available to post but here is the song:

Fields of Athenry – Lyrics

By a lonely prison wall,
I heard a young girl call:
“Michael, they have taken you away,
For you stole Trevelyn’s corn,
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.”

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall,
I heard a young man call
“Nothing matters, Mary, when you’re free
Against the famine and the crown,
I rebelled, they cut me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity.”

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

By a lonely harbor wall,
She watched the last star fall
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
For she lived to hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

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Jun 27 2010

Seth Riggs, Michael’s Voice Coach for Three Decades, Remembers Michael Jackson

Category: Family,Friends,Lyrics,VideosSeven @ 12:08 pm


He had a great heart. He went everywhere that somebody was in trouble. He went and shelled out money to buy what they needed or to fix their lives… There are a lot of things people don’t understand about Michael. He would never, NEVER upset a child in any way.

-Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach

Also, Lisa-Marie Presley mentioned a song by Chris Cornell called ‘Sunshower‘ on her MySpace page June 24th, 2010. If you remember, it was Lisa-Marie’s comments that led to the initiation of the ‘Sunflowers for Michael‘ Program. Lisa-Marie urged fans to surround Michael with a ‘Sunshower‘, and so they have. Lisa-Marie says this song says more than she could herself.

Sunshower, by Chris Cornell

Dark as roses, fine as sand
Feel your healing and your sting again
I hear you laughing and my soul is saved
On forgotten graves you cry

Crawl like ivy up my spine
Through my nerves and into my eyes
Cuts like anguish
Or recollections of better days gone by

But it’s all right
When you’re caught in pain
And you feel the rain come down
It’s all right
When you find your way
Then you see it disappear
It’s all right
Though your garden’s grey
I know all your graces
Someday will flower
In the sweet sunshower

Eyes like oceans so far away
A feather trail to a better way
Worried mornings turn into days
Then into worried nights

But it’s all right
When you’re all in pain
And you feel the rain come down
Oh it’s all right
When you find your way
Then you see it disappear
Oh it’s all right
Though your garden’s grey
I know all your graces
Someday will flower
Oh in the sweet sunshower
Oh in the sweet sunshower
In the sweet sunshower

I know all your graces
Someday will flower
In the sweet sunshower
And it’s all right
All you’ll be you are today
Are today
It’s all right
All you’ll be you are today
Are today………

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May 06 2010

The Sociopolitical Message in Black or White

Category: Justice,Lyrics,Photos,VideosSeven @ 3:01 am

by Samar Habib

Michael and the Black Panther symbol

Michael and the Black Panther symbol

I’ve been online discussing ‘Black or White‘ with a few friends over the last few days and thought I’d post my observations here… a friend of mine opened my eyes to the significance of the opening verse and the rest just flowed from there. I can’t believe that the significance of the line “Boy, is that girl with you?” passed me by for 19 years. I’m a political animal but just didn’t see what that meant.

Michael Jackson, the biggest black luminary of all time chose to launch one of his most commercially successful albums with a song about racism that begins with the line “I took my baby on a Saturday bang. “Boy, is that girl with you?”. “Yes, we’re one and the same“.

That verse represents a conversation he’s having with a racist who is offended at the sight of a black man with a white girl. The word “boy” is a racial slur. A word that racists used in reference to their black slaves. It’s the word that alleged KKK member and alleged racist Tom Sneddon used when questioning black superstar Chris Tucker on the stand during Michael’s trial – “If you’re a good boy“. Would he refer to Russel Crowe like that? Who knows…

Later in the video Michael sings “I ain’t scared of no sheets” while bursting through imagery of a KKK meeting. The “sheets” being a reference to the Ku Klux Klan white sheet clothing.

The video ends with Michael destroying racist graffiti including the slogans “nigger go home“, “no more wetbacks“, swastika images and finally “KKK rules“. After he does that he morphs onto a black panther. A BLACK PANTHER!!!! Do you know who the Black Panthers are???

That, my friends, makes that song (and video) a HUGE political statement. It means that when Michael Jackson was the biggest star on the planet he had something very important to say. It means that Black or White is not JUST a fantastic pop record. It means it was also a political masterpiece. Lady Gaga can song “oh-la ooh-la-laaa“… Michael Jackson sings “I ain’t scared of no sheets“. Absolutely amazing.

Black or White was the biggest video premiere in the history of our planet. No artist before or since had the platform that Michael Jackson did. Michael chose THAT moment to launch THAT message. To me, he used to be the greatest. Now that my eyes have been opened he’s the double greatest!

Muhammad Ali has always been my hero – not just because he was the greatest heavyweight of all time. But because, when he had a platform, he had something important to say.

But this??? This is just incredible. It elevates Michael Jackson even higher, if possible, in my eyes. The man was a genius.

That opening verse comes from the same place as Sam Cooke’s verse in ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ – THE civil rights record:

I go to the movie and I go downtown…
Somebody keep tellin me ‘Don’t hang around”

– Sam Cooke, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come

It’s the same line, different era.

I’ve been blown away by this realisation. I’ve been a fan for almost 30 years and this has just blown me away. I thought the guy was great. I didn’t realise how great.

Michael Jackson, may God bless you.

-Samar Habib

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Below is a video that attempts to explain some of the messages inherent in the ‘Panther Dance’ portion of the Black or White video. As the media most often does, they completely missed or deliberately ignored the social and political messages in this piece in favor of other distractions – like his sexual dance moves or in favor of complaining about the violence. In focusing on that, they missed the message completely. It’s what they always do. Their particular brand of willful tunnel-vision is impeccable.  Especially when it comes to Michael Jackson.

The anger expressed in the video is anger at racism, prejudice, and discrimination and it seems that would be obvious for anyone who isn’t sound asleep. It is not violence just for the heck of it, as the media with their constant barrage of disinformation assumed and proceeded to shape public opinion into believing. “We don’t understand it!“, they repeatedly said. What’s not to understand? I remember when this video came out and I was simultaneously disgusted and amused – not about Michael’s video – but rather with the lame$tream media’s collective sophomoric and willfully ignorant reaction to it. Good heavens. Pfft.

But then the media has made an entire industry out of negatively defining everything Michael Jackson is or does so it is typical that they would do the same with this video.  Granted there was then, as there is even now with an African American president in the United States, violence in this country caused by issues of social classism in which racism is so deeply embedded (or vice-versa). However, looking for excuses to invalidate any attempt to bring attention to the issue so that we can summarily dismiss and ignore it not the answer. Except to the lame$team media, apparently. Thus, they are part of the problem as they are with many issues we face in the U.S. as a “Democracy” (or Democratic-Republic) and as a society.

Rather than make any attempt whatsoever to embrace or even understand the social and political messages in this video from the most prominent black entertainer and artist of our time, the predominantly white-owned lame$tream media summarily and self-righteously criticized and dismissed it, and the most significant piece (‘the panther dance‘) was thusly removed from the remainder of the video in some distributions due to the controversy.

The entire ~11-minute film can still be viewed on YouTube and is available on his ‘Dangerous, The Short Films DVD.  In some versions, the graffiti Mr. Habib mentions above (‘nigger go home‘, ‘KKK rules‘, etc.) was removed from the video.  In my own opinion, this detracted from the effectiveness and intended message in the film, as did chopping off the last half of it – the ‘panther dance‘ portion.

Michael himself said this about the video in an interview:

I wanted to do a dance number [and] I told my sister Janet, I said, ‘You remind me of a black panther.’ I said, ‘Why you don’t do something where you transform into a black panther and you transform into yourself again?’ She said, ‘I like it,’ but she didn’t go with it,” he explained. “The two of us, we always think alike. So I did it. And in the dance, I said, ‘I want to do a dance number where I can let out my frustration about injustice and prejudice and racism and bigotry,’ and within the dance I became upset and let go. I think at the time people were concerned with the violent content of the piece, but it’s, like, easy to look at. It’s simple.  -Michael Jackson

Whether the media and their Ignorami followers who suckle at the tit of their incessant and unintelligent decades-long ‘negative-definition-of-all-things-Michael-Jackson‘ campaign like it or not, now that he is gone from this Earth, this piece of art will remain an indelible and historical statement on the continuing issue of racism and inherent social classism in this country. There is nothing they can do about it as much as they would like to continue finding excuses to invalidate the issue and the incredible black man Michael Jackson along with it (not-so-ironically or coincidentally).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here’s the entire Panther Dance sequence by itself:

‘PREJUDICE IS IGNORANCE’

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May 05 2010

Now I’ve learned that love needs expression, but I’ve learned too late. He’s out of my life.

Category: Friends,Lyrics,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 2:49 am

She's Out of My Life

Michael in those 'Off The Wall' Days

The song ‘She’s Out of My Life‘ was written by Tom Bähler in 1977.  Bähler was in NYC with the crew dong backgrounds and vocal arrangements for ‘The Wiz‘. Before Michael ever sang the song, sound engineer Bruce Swedien’s wife Bea heard it while Tom played it for her on piano in the studio then. It was a song relating to a failed relationship in Bähler’s life.

The next year, when they were working on Michael’s first solo album ‘Off The Wall‘, the song was recorded with Michael. Bruce was baffled that Michael could sing the song with such sincerity since he doubted that Michael at that point in his life had had such experiences yet.

Bruce writes:

When we were recording Michael’s vocal, he broke down and cried at the end of every take. We recorded about six or seven takes. At the end of each take Michael was sobbing, actually crying. I know he was sincere, because when we finished the last take, Michael was too embarrassed to come in the control room. He just tippy-toed out the back door of the studio, got in his car, and left the studio building. Quincy said to me “Hey — that sob at the end, that’s supposed to be. Leave it on there. Leave it there.” Of course, I left it there. We didn’t see Michael again until a day or two later!

We were recording the basic rhythm for She is out of My Life at Cherokee Studios… At that time Michael absolutely did not curse or say a bad word. He is still pretty much this way (Although in the past few years I have seen him get mad and say something nasty. I think he’s entitled). It was the day that we were to record the music track for ‘She’s Out of My Life‘. It was about 1.00 p.m. We were rehearsing in the studio. Michael was seated at the drums., singing his heart out! Everytime we came to the third verse, and the line “Damned indecision and cursed pride” Michael couldn’t say the word “damned“! He just couldnt bring himself to do it! He would stop singing and with his foot, hit the bass drum foot pedal as loud as possible!! He just couldn’t curse! When the rehearsal ended, Quincy quitely told Michael that he would absolutely have to sing the word “damned” for the recording. Michael nodded and said to Q, “I know”. He did

-Bruce Swedien

In his book Moonwalk, Michael explains his feelings about singing ‘She’s Out of My Life’ and what the song meant to him:

‘She’s Out of My Life’ is about knowing that the barriers that have separated me from others are temptingly low and seemingly easy to jump over and yet they remain standing while what I really desire disappears from my sight . . .

But I got too wrapped up in “She’s Out of My Life”. In this case, the story’s true – I cried at the end of a take, because the words suddenly had such a strong effect on me. I had been letting so much build up inside me. I was twenty-one years old, and I was so rich in some experiences while being poor in moments of true joy. Sometimes I imagine that my life experience is like an image in one of those trick mirrors in the circus, fat in one part and thin to the point of disappearing in another. I was worried that would show up on ‘She’s Out of My Life’, but if it touched people’s heartstrings, knowing that would make me feel less lonely.

When I got emotional after that take, the only people with me were Q and Bruce Swedien. I remember burying my face in my hands and hearing only the hum of the machinery as my sobs echoed in the room. Later I apologised, but they said there was no need.

-Michael Jackson, Moonwalk

A sweet testimony to how much Michael cared about the children all over the world and how much he loved his mom Katherine, the album credits in ‘Off The Wall‘ included: “ I dedicate this to the year of the child and my mother. –Love M.J.

_ _ _

{ Thanks to Bruce Swedien, author of the book ‘In The Studio With Michael Jackson‘, and to Deborah Campise Kunesh, webmaster of the Reflections on the Dance website, for their contributions to this sweet memory of our Michael. -Seven }

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