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 The Michael Jackson Story (paperback)

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PostSubject: The Michael Jackson Story (paperback)   Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:41 pm

By Nelson George

FOR THE
VERY FIRST TIME!


AN INTIMATE
LOOK INTO THE
VERY PRIVATE
WORLD OF
AMERICA'S
#1 SUPERSTAR

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PostSubject: Re: The Michael Jackson Story (paperback)   Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:42 pm

ELECTRIFYING PERFORMER...
SHY, SENSITIVE SUPERSTAR...


He's America's hottest star of the eighties-exciting singer . . . dramatic songwriter . . . sensational dancer . . . actor of promise.

All through his teen years he was adored, loved, envied, and pursued. But, at twenty-four, Michael Jackson, the man, still remains a mystery.

Now you can step behind the footlights . . . meet Michael's family friends and famous coworkers . . . watch him play with his unusual pets . . . share his private time . . . enter his secret world of fantasy, magic, and dreams.

You've thrilled to the music. You've seen him in action. But you won't have the whole, fascinating picture until you read . . .

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PostSubject: Re: The Michael Jackson Story (paperback)   Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:44 pm

THE MICHAEL JACKSON STORY

Acknowledgments


The material in this book is culled from my interviews with various Jackson family members, their friends, and their business associates over the years; interviews and notes fellow journalists have shared with me; and written accounts of Michael Jackson's rise since 1968.
-Thank you, to journaalists Vernon Gibbs, Brian Chin, Vince Aletti, Robert Christgau, Joey Berlin, Sam Sutherland, John Shelton Ivany, Paul Grien, Tim White, Gerri Hirshey, and Steve Ivory, who gave freely of their opinions and observations of the Jacksons. Don Cornelius, Lionel Richie, Tom Vickers, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Manning, Shirley Brooks, Freddie Perren, Ed Eckstine, Ndugu Chanceler, Reggie Andrews. James Mtume, Quincy Jones, Adam White, Sheila Eldridge, Irv Lichtman, Elliott Hubbard, Laverne Perry, and Ken Reynolds were some of the industry figures helpful in writing this book. So was the staff at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Special thanks to my mother, my sister and my niece Ebony for being sweet. Extra special thanks to my agent Robert Cornfield, Madeleine Morel, Karen Moline, my meticulous and tough editor Gary Luke, and ultimate "hyphen lady," my business manager "Alex."
-Finally, I say thanks to Michael Joe Jackson for music that has thrilled me since we both were kids and for illustrating that there is no substitute for dedication and determination in turning God-given talent into magic.

NELSON GEORGE
August 1983, N.Y.C.

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PostSubject: Re: The Michael Jackson Story (paperback)   Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:45 pm

MAGIC

I wouldn't say I was sexy! But I guess that's fine if that's what they say. I like that in concert. That's neat.

-MICHAEL JACKSON, 1983

There is a chill in the air as the sun rises over Encino, California. Outside of Michael Jackson's home young people, male and female, lean against the wall, or sit in cars by the gate, or squat in the brushes. Some wear their obsession on their chests in the form of T-shirts and buttons bearing Michael's likeness. They are a vision of adoration, respect, and love. At times they are persistent.
-Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, has often found them climbing a fence or curled up asleep in fetal positions on the grounds around the house, their possessions scattered around on the grass. "They" are so ubiquitious that Michael has a developed a sixth sense about their presence; he knows when to roll up his car window at a red light or when not to open a hotel room door. It is a faculty all public figures develop at some point. It comes from the fear of being smothered by a devotion so strong you can't breathe. "You have to be careful because sometimes love can reverse on you," says Michael. "They feel they can't get you, and they'll go to the point of plotting and planning terrible things . . . terrible things to hurt you."
-So this morning, as she does occasionally, Katherine walks out to the front gate to talk with them, hoping some good old midwestern common sense and maybe some carefree will send them back to Los Angeles or Bakersfield or even Peoria. "You have no idea of what's really going on in their minds," she has said. Some heed her urging and go. Some stay. Katherine does what she can, yet she knows there will be more tomorrow.
-Inside, Michael makes a few phone calls, getting ready for sessions the next day on 'The Jacksons' new album and talking with some business advisors about a potential movie deal.
-Michael puts down the phone and walks past LaToya's and Janet's rooms, downstairs to a place he usually ignores: the kitchen. He isn't getting anything to eat (the sight of Michael eating is an event so rare that even his brothers are surprised when it occurs) but reaches into the refrigerator, picking out a can of Welch's grape juice. He is a strict vegetarian. After a sip he moves through another room, past his extensive collection of statues (including one striking Cupid-like figure named Michael), and back up to his room. He closes his door and moves over to his bookcase, where numerous books on acting are shelved along with Jehovah's Witnesses' publications which feed his deep spiritual beliefs. Next to it is his stereo, the most prominent object in a room filled with just his bed and a simple desk.
-Michael is getting ready to engage in one of his favorite rituals: a Sunday full of long, hard dancing during which he brushes up on old Jackson Five moves and tries out new routines with an eye toward the next tour. "Moving your body is an art," he contends. "Dancing is really showing your emotions through bodily movement. It's a wonderful thing to get on the floor and just to feel free and do what you want to and just let it come out . . . It's escapism, getting away from everything and just moving the body and letting all the tension and pain out."
-But first he pulls out an old record. The gathered fans outside who snap their fingers to "Beat It" would be surprised to see Michael, the biggest superstar of the eightes, lying quietly on his bed as Gordon MacRae thunders through "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma. Michael's mind fills with images of the ultimate wide-screen Technicolor musical featuring all his favorite stars. There is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. And over there Judy Garland with Liza. In the background, smiling and looking as pure as a deep winter's snow, is Julie Andrews. In the middle, in tux and tails and dark blue glistening shoes, is Michael, gliding through the middle of a chorus line, his hair flying all around the set with the biggest, widest smile the world has ever seen on his lips. On the big screen he is commanding, and all the audience can do is watch with wide open eyes and wonder, "What will that boy do next?"

On May 16, 1983, forty-seven million television viewers got the answer to that question. They were watching NBC's Motown 25, a tribute to the quarter century of the hit recordings from the label. All the great stars to emerge from that once small record company appeared: Diana Ross and the original Supremes, Mary Wells, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Junior Walker, Stevie Wonder, the Commodores, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Martha Reeves. But amid all that talent it was the performance of a twenty-four-year-old showman that most dazzled the crowds.
-After a nostalgic medley of Jackson Five hits sung with his brothers, Michael was suddenly alone at center stage. "I have to say, those were the good old days," he said softly. "I love those songs. Those were magic moments with all of my brothers, including Jermaine. . . . You know, those were good songs. I like those songs a lot . . . but especially, I like the new songs." The crowd shouted in anticipation. Michael popped on a top hat. The drumbeat opening of "Billie Jean" flowed from the speakers. Now the audience screamed. What followed, said Rolling Stone magazine, was "the most electrifying five minutes of the evening. He showed off moves that owed as much to street 'break' dancing as to traditional Motown choreography: stop-on-a-dime spins, some astonishing backward walks." It was magic, to invoke one of Michael's favorite terms. "I love to create magic; to put something together that's so unusual, so unexpected, that it blows people's head off," Michael of performing. "Something ahead of the times. Five steps ahead of what people are thinking. So people see it and say, 'Whoa, I wasn't expecting that.' . . . When I hit the stage it's all of a sudden a 'magic' from somewhere that comes and the spirit just hits you, and you just lose control of yourself."
-Next day the consensus across the nation—in coffee shops, on street corners, on buses—was that Michael Jackson had come of age.
-Of course, those stunning five minutes onstage represented only a single moment of a career that began twenty years ago.

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