Michael covering the Beatles in his 1988 film, Moonwalker.
At the 30th Annual Grammy Awards on March 2, 1988, Michael gave a truly awe-inspiring performance of “The Man in the Mirror”.
From the Bad tour in Yokohama, Japan, 1987. Incredible.
On February 7, 1984, a party was thrown in honor of Michael Jackson at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. He was to be presented with awards and recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records and CBS for having broken a seemingly endless number of records, including—as he learned that night—that for the biggest-selling album of all time, Thriller.
This record still has not been broken, and never will be.
During his concert at the Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles on August 20, 1983, James Brown called Michael and Prince to join him on stage. What follows is one of my most favorite MJ moments—just a few seconds that demonstrate perfectly how humble he is, how shy, how respectful of those he admires; not to mention his mastery of movement.
The first video is very high quality, and shows only Michael’s appearance on stage with James Brown. The second video also includes Prince’s stage time, but is of lesser quality.
Michael Jackson: Life in the Magical Kingdom
Rolling Stone; February 17, 1983
It’s noon, and somewhere in the San Fernando Valley, the front shades of a row of condos are lowered against a hazy glare. Through the metal gate, the courtyard is silent, except for the distant splat of a fountain against its plastic basin. Then comes the chilling whine of a real-life Valley girl. “Grandmuther. I am not gonna walk a whole block. It’s bumid. My hair will be brillo.”
And the soothing counterpoint of maternal encouragement: “Be good pup, Jolie. Make for mama.”
All along the courtyard’s trimmed inner paths, poodles waddle about trailing poodle-cut ladies on pink leashes.
“Not what you expected, huh?” From behind a mask of bony fingers, Michael Jackson giggles. Having settled his visitor on the middle floor of his own three-level condo, Michael explains that the residence is temporary, while his Encino, California, home is razed and rebuilt. He concedes that this is an unlikely spot for a young prince of pop.
It is also surprising to see that Michael has decided to face this interview alone. He says he has not done anything like this for over two years. And even when he did, it was always with a cordon of managers, other Jackson brothers and, in one case, his younger sister Janet parroting a reporter’s questions before Michael would answer them. The small body of existing literature paints him as excruciatingly shy. He ducks, he hides, he talks to his shoe tops. Or he just doesn’t show up. He is known to conduct his private life with almost obsessive caution, “just like a hemophiliac who can’t afford to be scratched in any way.” The analogy is his.
By Bob Colacello and Andy Warhol
Interview, October 1982
In August of 1982, Interview’s executive editor, Bob Colacello, interviewed Michael Jackson, then 23, at the condominium in the San Fernando Valley that the singer was renting with his family while their house nearby was being redecorated. (Andy Warhol called from New York midway through their conversation.) Jackson, of course, was already famous for his work with his brothers in the Jackson Five, but his first adult solo album, Off the Wall (1979), released three years earlier, had made him a star in his own right. When this interview took place, he was at work on a storybook companion record for the Steven Spielberg film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)—hence the E.T. references—and was fielding an array of film-role offers. He was also finishing up recording Thriller (1982), which would go on to become the best-selling album of all time. The following is an excerpt from their interview as it originally appeared as the cover story of the October 1982 issue.
BOB COLACELLO: Did you like performing as a child? Did you always love it?
MICHAEL JACKSON: Always did. I always enjoyed the feeling of being onstage—the magic that comes. When I hit the stage it’s like all of a sudden a magic from somewhere just comes and the spirit just hits you and you just lose control of yourself. I came onstage at Quincy’s [Jones] concert at the Rose Bowl and I did not want to go onstage. I was ducking and hiding and hoping he wouldn’t see me hiding behind people when he called me on. Then I went up there and I just went crazy. I started climbing up the scaffold, the speakers, the light gear. The audience started getting into it and I started dancing and singing and that’s what happens.
COLACELLO: How do you compare acting to performing on the stage?
JACKSON: I love both. Acting is the cream of the crop. I love performing. It’s a phenomenal getaway. If you want to really let out everything you feel, that’s the time to do it. With acting, it’s like becoming another person. I think that’s neat, especially when you totally forget. If you totally forget, which I love to do, that’s when it’s magic. I love to create magic—to put something together that’s so unusual, so unexpected that it blows people’s heads off. 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.” I love surprising people with a present or a gift or a stage performance or anything. I love John Travolta, who came off that Kotter show. Nobody knew he could dance or do all those things. He is like—boom. Before he knew it, he was the next big Brando or something.
From the Jacksons’ Triumph tour. The somewhat poor quality is worth it!