Статьи: 1998 Making HIStory

Adrian Grant: You have traveled to many countries all over the world. Can you tell me about your admiration for Brazil, and the experience that you had whilst filming the video “They don’t care about us”?
Michael Jackson: I love the Brazilian people, I feel for them in the same way that I feel for the Indians and Africans. There’s a lot of poverty in Brazil, and I remember going there for the first time kind of left my heart… (You know there’s bits of my heart in different countries in different countries around the world in which I travel)… and I have a lot of heart for those people. Have you ever been to Brazil?

Adrian Grant: No, I haven’t, but I hope to one day, especially for the Carnival!
Michael Jackson: It’s amazing. The people are so sweet, and they were so happy to see me. You know, they were overwhelmed with excitement, and I was happy to be there for them. I wish I could do more – I just feel so bad that I don’t do enough, I really do.

Adrian Grant: Why did you choose Spike Lee to direct that video?
Michael Jackson: “They don’t care about us” has an edge, and Spike Lee had approached me. It’s a public awareness song, and that’s what he is all about. It’s a protest kind song, it’s an anti – racist song and I thought he was perfect to do it.

Adrian Grant: You wrote a song called “Money”. Having been a millionaire since you were a boy, how important is money for you?
Michael Jackson: I guess it gets things done… to fulfil some dreams you need to have financial backing. However I think everything starts with a thought, like if you plant a seed which then cultivates itself, everything comes out of that. I never thought about it when I was little. I always felt that I was compelled to do the things I did, I really did.

Adrian Grant: Do you not find it difficult to relate to the needs and the pain of the suffering when you seemingly have everything you could desire?
Michael Jackson: No. No, not at all. Being a world traveler I’m touched and moved by everything that happens, especially to children. It gets me emotionally sick, when I see that type of thing. I can’t pretend as if I don’t see it. It affects me very much. For some reason there’s a certain part of my concert where I break down in every show and in that spot I get a certain thought – I think of the plight of the children and it gets me every time. I don’t know why in that place, it’s during “I’ll be there”, the thoughts just come to me and I try hard to contain myself.

Adrian Grant: What is your favorite song on the “HIStory” album and why?
Michael Jackson: My favorite songs are “Earth Song”, “Childhood” and “You are not alone” because I like songs with emotions and a message, and a sense of immortality. I like there to be some depth in the lyrics as well as a melodic simpleness that the whole world can sing them. That was my goal to capture that on those songs and I think I came pretty close. Wherever we went on a tour, people just loved them, I was pleased to have done that.

Adrian Grant: Would you say there is a concurrent theme running throughout the “HIStory” album?
Michael Jackson: It’s about people looking at their lives, and taking any seconds of their well being and making something of yourself – creating a legacy so you can look back and look at what you have done. I always wanted that, that’s why I like working very hard.

Adrian Grant: How did your collaboration with R. Kelly on “You are not alone” arise?
Michael Jackson: R. Kelly sent me this tape of the song and I liked what I heard. It had no harmonies and it had no modulations so I told him he wrote a great song, is it OK if I just go in and I do what I think this song should have? He said “sure”, so I went in and produced it. I put a choir in the end and did a great modulation, so the song had a sense of climax and structure.

Adrian Grant: Why did you include your cover of the Beatles song “Come together” on the “HIStory” album?
Michael Jackson: I was coming home from church and my engineer was fooling around with that song, which I hadn’t asked him to do, but when I heard it I said “WOW! This is my favorite Beatles song.” So I just went in and in one take started singing it. We kept kinda of raw and funky. It was just spontaneous, but I knew I wanted to do something with it.

Adrian Grant: You broke many records during your successful “HIStory tour”, is it hard to get motivated for each show, after more than 30 years of performing?
Michael Jackson: I usually come to the show not feeling like I really want to do it because of being overworked, but once I get there I feel the spirit of the entire audience before I even get on stage. And then the magic take place – no matter how you feel, even dead, sick and weary – suddenly you just go out and do it. The energy comes out of nowhere, it’s like the Gods are blessing you.

Adrian Grant: What personal satisfaction did you gain from the tour?
Michael Jackson: Seeing all the races together, which I love so much. All the colours in the audience loving one another, getting on with each other and enjoying the music – a unified field!

Adrian Grant: Would you say that your music is now written from a more personal viewpoint, compared to the pure disco of your earlier material?
Michael Jackson: I never categorize the music, ’cause I never sit down and say I’m gonna write a disco song or pop or rock or… I just kind of write according to the emotion, according to what I’m going throughout in the moment. I caught up in the moment wherever the moment is, wherever the emotion is. I create out of that and I almost feel guilty of putting my name on the song that I write, because they are from another source. I’m just a funnel through which they come, I really do believe that. They are from above. They choose me I don’t choose them.

Adrian Grant: “Blood on the dance floor” is a very striking title. Is the song about Aids?
Michael Jackson: No, it isn’t, not at all. Actually I didn’t create the title, my engineer (Teddy Riley) thought of the title, which I thought was cool, so I wrote the song around the title. And then I made a mistake, and I apologised, but they didn’t show it on TV. When I was in England – I hid in England at some time (1993) and Elton John let me his house. He was so sweet and kind, and I thought I never thanked him. So I decided to dedicate a song to him, and that song was “Blood on the dance floor”. But after it came out I said, “Why did I dedicate that one of all the songs, it could have been ‘You are not alone’ etc…” So I always thought that I wanted to apologise to him for that – it was just out of him being kind. He’s a wonderful person.

Adrian Grant: Do you feel a connection with the late Princess Diana, given that many of your songs on the “HIStory” album talk about your personal torment and persecution from others?
Michael Jackson: Yes I do, very much. I think I understood her. In the moments that we had, that were very intimate and personal, we talked on such subjects. I think it’s a tragic, tragic loss. I feel that people like myself and other artists should carry the torch of what her mission was and I think I have that understanding – it’s what I do, and am willing to do. I thought she was brilliant.

Adrian Grant: Do you feel that the song “Tabloid junkie” highlights at all the tragic circumstances in which Princess Diana died?
Michael Jackson: Yes, the tabloids are a bunch of trash. I think there should be a way to destroy them. We should create a big burning, like in stadiums around the world – pile them all together! You remember how they used to do disco records, and just create a burning, to make people aware. It’s such an intrusion. It’s a horrible thing. They hunt you, it’s terrible. It creates such ugliness, they never think about how the person feels about what they write.

Adrian Grant: When and how did the idea for the short film “Ghosts” arise?
Michael Jackson: It started with the “Addam’s Family”, they wanted a theme song (“Is it scary”) for their film and I didn’t want to do it. So eventually we go out of it. So I ended up making a short film. I love films, I love movies, and that’s why my next mission is to make films. That’s what I want the next chapter in my life to be – movies and records. There’s no other place to go. I’ll do film, do records and direct.

Adrian Grant: What type of films would you see yourself in?
Michael Jackson: Everything, not just musical stuff but drama, pathos – I love it.

Adrian Grant: Which people and events in the world history have played a significant part in your own life and why?
Michael Jackson: I would say John F. Kennedy, because that smacks of my generation, when I was little. I think he was America’s greatest President. I saw some of the civil rights movement on the television, but I never experienced it personally, but that affected everybody.

Adrian Grant: Throughout your career you have constantly taken your art from to another level. How do you see your live performances taking place in the future?
Michael Jackson: I don’t wanna do any more live shows (World Tours), I don’t think I will! I wanna spend the rest of my life doing records and films. I’ll do some special shows here and there. You know, I’ve been doing it since I was five, I don’t wanna do it anymore, but I do love it very much. I wanna create for the next 100 years, and that’s film work.

Adrian Grant: How would you like history to portray Michael Jackson?
Michael Jackson: I think as someone who has been given the ability and talent to do what I do, do heighten the awareness of peace and love, and the plight of children worldwide on to a universal level. It’s been created throughout song, dance and film – I guess that’s my mission, and I’m happy to have been chosen