Monday, May 23, 2011

Barry Gibbs releases footage of Michael Jackson recording "All in Your Name"

Barry Gibbs Posted this video on his website today and also left a message for fans in the youtube video description. Michael and Barry were dear friends and had a long history together. Michael is also the godfather of Barry's son named after Michael.  Barry  is hoping to have the song released in its entirety. I guess that will be up to the estate of Michael Jackson. ~ Qbee

A Message from Barry Gibbs

Michael Jackson and I were the dearest of friends, thats simply what it was. We gravitated towards the same kind of music and we loved collaborating and he was the easiest person to write with. The more we got to know each other the more those ideas entwined and it all came to this song " All in Your Name".

"All in Your Name" is infact the message that Michael wanted to send out to all of his fans all over the World that he did it all for them and for the pure love of music. I hope and pray that we all get to hear it in its entirety. This experience i will treasure forever.

Recorded & Filmed at Middle Ear Studios in December 2002. All footage was shot by Ashley Gibb on a high 8 camera. There is over 2 hours of footage.

Barry Gibbs website

Monday, May 09, 2011

MJFC Interviews Joe Vogel about his upcoming book Man in the Music

Joseph Vogel is an American writer and a teacher at the University of Rochester. He writes about music and pop culture for the Huffington Post and PopMatters. He is the author of three books, including the upcoming
 'Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of  Michael Jackson.'

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson'Man in the Music'  is due out on bookshelves this November 1, and Joe was gracious enough to spend some time talking to MJFC's Joie Collins about his book and what compelled him to write it.

JC: How long have you been writing professionally?

JOE: I've been writing professionally for about five or six years now.

JC: I've seen you described as a music critic and as a pop culture critic. How would you describe yourself?

JOE: I would describe myself as an interpreter of art in all of its forms. I do music reviews and features for The Huffington Post and now PopMatters. Academically, I'm trained primarily in literary criticism, but there is so much interdisciplinary work these days that I've taught and written about music, film, history, psychology, philosophy, politics, etc. as well.

JC: With all the books written about Michael, what made you want to write this one?

JOE: It hadn't been written. I was always so fascinated by Michael, but there was so little of substance available to read, particularly about his creative process and the meanings of his work.

JC: What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

JOE: I feel like Michael really hasn't been given the respect he deserves among critics and journalists. When you read through assessments of his work there is so much condescension and bias. I want to begin a major critical re-appraisal of his work, particularly his post-1980s work, which is incredible, and deserves far more attention. In addition, I want the average book-buyer to be able to walk into their local bookstores and have an alternative to the the tell-alls and tabloid sensationalism.

JC: I agree, it seems as if everyone gets sort of stuck on THRILLER and BAD but, some of the best work Michael ever did came in later years with DANGEROUS, HIStory, and INVINCIBLE. Even the five original songs on BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR are amazing. In your opinion, which of these later albums is the most deserving of a closer look?

JOE: They are all very good -- Michael didn't make mediocre records. But for me, DANGEROUS and HIStory are two of the strongest albums of the decade. I would love for more listeners to experience what they have to offer. I read an article in which music critic, Robert Hilburn, was talking to Michael in 1995 about how his work had declined according to many critics and executives. It must have been so frustrating for Michael, because here he was, really at his creative apex, doing some of his most impressive, challenging work, but critics didn't get it. Or they couldn't look past his "eccentricities." Or they expected a repeat of THRILLER, commercially and stylistically. It hurt Michael deeply -- but he believed the music, ultimately, would hold up, and it will. Songs like "Who Is It," "Stranger in Moscow," "They Don't Care About Us," and "Give In To Me," are among the best in his entire catalog.

JC: It's not often we see a positive study on Michael's artistry so, as you can imagine, the fans are very excited about this book. What made you want to explore Michael's creative process?

JOE: It's exciting to really immerse yourself in great art and explore what is happening and what is being conveyed. It's exciting to go behind the scenes and see how a great artist operates. That's what made 'This Is It' so fascinating. I guess sometimes seeing behind the curtain can ruin the magic, but with Michael, it didn't feel that way. The more I learned about how he worked the more impressed I became.

JC: Do you feel this is a book for the fans or will the general public enjoy it as well?

JOE: I hope it will serve as a gift to fans and an eye-opener to the broader public. It makes me very happy to see how excited fans are for the book -- they deserve to see Michael represented in this way. But I would like to see people that don't know much about him, or know him only as a phenomenon or a tabloid fixture, to see what made him such a brilliant artist.

JC: I notice that in the courses you're teaching this semester at the University of Rochester, you often use Michael as a tool for education. What is it you feel that we all need to learn from him?

JOE: There is so much to explore and learn. That's one of the reasons Michael will hold up over time, and what puts him in an entirely different league than his pretenders. Most pop musicians are one-dimensional. Michael's work is multi-dimensional; it's eclectic, nuanced, innovative and evocative. The more you bring to it the more you get out of it.

JC: You began writing 'Man in the Music' back in 2005. Can you tell us what prompted you to begin writing it?

JOE: It was during his trial. I remember watching the coverage and being absolutely disgusted. Even though he was acquitted he was massacred by the media. I had researched enough about the case to know the allegations were false. I knew there would probably be a slew of books covering the trial; what I wanted to cover was his creative work. He had become such a caricature for so many people, I wanted the focus back on his music and humanity. So I began researching and writing that year.

JC: While researching for the book, did you encounter any surprises about Michael's creative process or maybe something that you had taken for granted before?

JOE: I was surprised by how patient he was and how restrained. Imagine holding on to songs like "In the Back," "Blue Gangsta," and "We've Had Enough." These are songs he really worked hard on. But he was such a perfectionist, and if a song wasn't ready or didn't fit an album, he held on to it. And in many cases that patience paid off. "Earth Song," for example, was left off of DANGEROUS. It was already incredible, but he made it better for HIStory.

JC: For this book you interviewed a lot of the people that actually worked with Michael in the studio. Can you give us a little preview and tell us some of the people you spoke with while researching for the book?

JOE: I spoke with people like Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Bill Bottrell, and Brad Buxer, among others.

JC: In a recent interview with the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait you mentioned that you could have easily written entire books on each of Michael's albums. Any chance we'll see a series of books in the future?

JOE: I would love to, but it would require an enormous amount of time and resources. What I have done for 'Man in the Music' is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what could be done. I ended up cutting hundreds of pages. If not for deadlines, I would have been at it for years more, polishing, revising, and adding. After he died especially, I felt a huge responsibility to get it right and do his work as much justice as I could. But it's a huge task. If there is one thing I wish I could have done more of for this book, it is interviews with everyone involved with these albums. We need more specificity about how the albums and songs were made. More details. I did as much as I could under the circumstances, but much more needs to be done to preserve history.

JC: I saw a blog you wrote a couple of weeks ago about Michael's top 10 non-studio album songs and, as I read it, I was reminded just how many there are out there. Each one of them, even in their various stages of completion, is an absolute masterpiece of music. What are your thoughts on these songs?

JOE: The depth of Michael's catalog is very impressive. In the book, I include about 5-15 extra songs per chapter that were recorded during each respective era. Some of these songs -- like "Streetwalker" or "Much Too Soon" -- really are incredible and deserve as much attention as the studio album songs.

JC: What were your feelings about the fan's initial backlash over the MICHAEL album and their insistence that the vocals were not genuine?

JOE: I can understand the concerns. The vocals sound strange on the Cascio tracks and the Cascios haven't offered much in terms of explaining their origins and recording process. I think the Estate and Sony tried to do everything they could to verify. Hopefully the Cascios will be more forthcoming in addressing fan concerns.

JC: There are so many unreleased songs floating around on the Internet - "Blue Gansta," "If You Don't Love Me," "Slave To The Rhythm," "You Are All I Need," among others. And so many more sitting in a vault somewhere that have never seen the light of day. Do you think this unreleased material should be issued on other posthumous albums in the future?

JOE: I absolutely think this material should be released, and will [be released] over time. It would be a shame for it to gather dust when there is so much outstanding music and so many people that want to hear it. Plus, just from a historical standpoint, it is important. I just hope the demos are released along with whatever remixes are made.

JC: During Michael's lifetime, his musical genius was often overlooked. What do you think of the renewed interest in his artistry and the new, younger generation of fans since his passing?

JOE: It makes sense. It's a longstanding cultural ritual we have of only really appreciating greatness in retrospect. But still, it's nice to see young people, who never really knew him until his death, be exposed to and appreciate his work.

JC: Michael has written some of the most iconic songs in our history and yet, many critics both amateur and professional, still refuse to acknowledge him as a songwriter of any great merit in the way they do Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or even Prince. Why do you think Michael is still not given his proper respect in this area?

JOE: That's a very good question that I try to answer in the book. It involves a whole range of biases including race, persona, popularity, genres/styles, etc. In addition, Michael didn't write lyrics in the same way someone like Dylan or Springsteen did. His lyrics are not always inherently poetic (though they certainly can be -- see songs like "Stranger in Moscow" or "Scared of the Moon"). His vocalizing, however, was like an instrument, capable of conveying emotion beyond the strictures of language. So even his scatting, gasps, exclamations and cries convey very nuanced emotions. Even if he sang a cliche he could somehow inject it with authenticity and depth.

JC: In your interview with the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait, you said, "Michael believed the best way people could understand him was through his art. I found that to be the case. Everything essential comes out in his work." If that's a true statement -- and I believe that it is -- why do you think Michael was, and still is, so misunderstood by the general public? Are we, as a society, just too jaded or cynical to see him as he really was?

JOE: People, I believe, still aren't paying close enough attention to his music. All they think of is THRILLER and even with that, they tend to discuss it in a very superficial way. It requires openness and attention to really understand someone or something. And for many people, it is simply easier to view Michael Jackson as a caricature.

JC: Sadly, I have to agree with you. Do you think, as time goes on, that we will see Michael finally being celebrated as the truly ultimate performer that he was?

JOE: Michael will hold up. His place in history is secure. Hampton Stevens from The Atlantic argues convincingly that he is the most influential artist of the 20th century. Will he ever be universally appreciated? I'm not sure. Often times great artists can be polarizing. But we saw his enormous global influence when he died -- the response was unprecedented.

JC: We just celebrated Earth Day on April 22. You said recently that you believe Michael's "Earth Song" is the most significant anthem of our age. Can you elaborate on that a little bit for us?

JOE: Ummm.... I'm going to leave it at that for now since I am publishing a piece on it this summer. Stay tuned!

JC: Fair enough! Finally, Michael's charitable efforts were greatly ignored during his lifetime. Now, it seems people are looking back and he is finally beginning to be recognized as the great humanitarian he was. What do you think of Michael's humanitarian legacy?

JOE: I think it's profound. He took activism to a whole different level. It was woven into the fabric of his music. He didn't simply want to sell records and be famous; he wanted to change people's consciousness. He was like John Lennon in that way; Michael took the baton and expanded the role. In many ways, he became the voice of the voiceless, whether for victims of AIDS, abuse, war, poverty or injustice.

Source  MJFC

MJFC would like to extend a heartfelt 'thank you' to Joe Vogel for his time and his willingness to talk to us! And also for his efforts in bringing forth 'Man in the Music.' It is our sincere hope that this much anticipated book will bring both delight to Michael Jackson fans and enlightenment to others.

'Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson' is now available for pre-order on and you can also visit Joe Vogel's website  for more details.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Robin Leach interviews John Branca co-executor Of The Michael Jackson Estate

The Michael Jackson Fan Fest will be open to those who want to participate in it and to ticket holders of the touring show. Fan Fest will be set up in the Bay East and West Halls of Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

This week, we’ll post our interviews with the partners of Team Michael Jackson involved with the new Cirque du Soleil shows headed here -- the touring show and the new permanent residency show opening in 2013 as part of an MJ Zone at the resort.  First up is a rare and revealing interview with the co-executor of the estate, attorney and former manager John Branca

Director Jamie King and John Branca, executor of The Estate of Michael Jackson

Robin Leach: When you took on this enormous responsibility, I think it’s safe to say that at that moment, neither his family nor his fans understood what your role was. You’ve not only polished the reputation, you’ve protected the reputation, and you’ve built an enormous industry going forward. When you sat down those first moments after his tragic death and said I am the co-executor of the estate, what was in your mind to achieve for the man you once managed?

John Branca: That’s a big question. First of all, when that job was handed to me, I was thankful because a lot of Michael’s fans were really supportive. They had felt that since I’d been there with him since January 1980 that John McClain and I were the right co-executors for the job. So that gave me some confidence, but we had to prove ourselves, and there were a lot of challenges. The fact that I’d worked with Michael on and off for 30 years and that I had come to know him so well in terms of his business approach gave me a big advantage.

I kind of felt like I knew what to do right from the start. I think if somebody brand new had come in, it would have taken them a year or two just to figure everything out. But John McClain went to high school with Michael, I worked with him on and off for 30 years. It almost seemed natural.

It didn’t seem like, “OK, we have to figure this out.” It was just once the judge handed the baton to us, we just started running. The one thing that I think made it easy was our decision to authorize and release the movie This Is It because when I saw that footage, I realized, in my opinion, that people would see Michael in a different way. They would see Michael the perfectionist, they would see the reason why he was a great artist. At the same time, you would see his humanity. Michael did not talk down to his musicians and his dancers. He was a very gentle but demanding human being.

We felt if we put this movie out, people would see Michael in a whole different way, and fortunately that was the case. And it went on to become by far the most successful concert documentary movie of all time. As busy as he was, I’m certain he got time to see the video shot of himself from those final rehearsals. I’m sure he did review it to study it to see which parts he might want to do better. I don’t know for a fact, but I’m pretty sure he reviewed some of it, although not all of it.

RL: Do you get any criticism, or if there was any, how did you answer it about making so much money out of his name? First of all, I’m presuming some of that moneymaking was forced on you because of his large debts that had to be straightened out.

JB: We viewed our obligation as really to Michael, in terms of his legacy and his work, and then to his mother and his children. And what we wanted to do over time was to be able to put the Estate into a condition where eventually when it was handed over to his own three children down the line, it would be in much better shape than when we inherited it. So it’s our job to generate income. If we sat around and did nothing, it would be a disservice.

RL: Do you eventually relinquish this work, and then it goes to the three children?

JB: Down the road. Well down the road. Under Michael’s trust, which is confidential, there is a date at which when the children reach a certain age, the assets get distributed, and as is typical in high income, high-network families, you don’t turn it over too soon. You wait until the kids are older.

RL: So they have to be well over 21. If Michael was witness to everything that’s going on now, with what you’ve done, what you’ve managed to achieve, do you think he would approve and it would all have his blessing?

JB: I think so. I think that because of the many conversations I’d had with him over the years. It wasn’t so much that he spoke about his own immortality, but he spoke about his legacy. I met with Michael the week before he passed away, and we had an agenda to go over about future affairs. A couple of months before, he had said through his manager Frank DiLeo that he wanted me to start thinking things, ideas, so when I came into that meeting, I had an agenda with a lot of ideas. I left knowing which ones Michael wanted, and so what we have done is what he wanted anyway.

The other thing is that John McClain had said to me, if we went to Michael and said let’s put out a film of your rehearsal footage, he would have said, “Are you of your mind?” Michael was a perfectionist, so purely rehearsal footage would have been a no. But if we’d said to him, ‘Michael they’re gonna pay you X amount of money, and it’s going to be the most successful concert film ever, and the album will go to No. 1, and it’s going to outsell Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber combined, what do you think then? He would have instantly said, “Where do I sign?”

RL: This meeting that you had a week before he passed. Was it in any way a premonition, or in getting ready to fly to London for an extended stay with This Is It, was it just being protective and the normal case of keeping one’s life in order?

JB: I had not been working with Michael since 2006. I had resigned. But in 2009, he signed up for the This Is It concert tour. I said to myself humbly, “I’m not sure that there’s anybody else that can help Michael achieve what he wants to achieve. Not artistically, because he was the master with that, but business-wise. I called the AEG people and his manager to simply let Michael know if he wanted any help and had the interest, I’m here for him.

I got the calls back, and they said Michael wants you to implement a plan. So over the course of a couple of months, we gave it a lot of thought, and I was ready to meet him on the Wednesday -- never thinking for a moment he would be dead that weekend. It was far more about helping him have a plan from the concerts. The timing was totally coincidental … it was not a premonition. Those outlines, however, became our blueprint for protecting and ensuring his legacy. It’s what he wanted to do anyway.

RL: Would he have wanted this amazing partnership with Cirque du Soleil?

JB: I took Michael to his first Cirque show. We went together back in the early ’80s. It was a tent show in a Santa Monica parking lot next to the pier. He loved it! We had to go backstage after because he wanted to say hello to all of the entertainers. He was a huge Cirque fan. He saw every one of the Cirque shows. He went to Montreal to see Cirque headquarters and watch all the performers at work. In his way, he is now working with Cirque, which is something he always wanted to do.

RL: Your prediction for Cirque’s arena tour and for the second show and the Neverland re-created museum of memorabilia here -- a prediction on it all?

JB: My philosophy is you do the best you can in creating what you’re creating. And if you do a good-enough job and it’s Michael Jackson and Michael’s music with Cirque and Jamie King, well, the results speak for themselves.

RL: Final question: You worked with him for a long period of time. What was his genius, what was it about him that had that mega appeal to connect with everybody around the world? Did he even understand it himself?

JB: Michael’s genius was multifaceted. He started out as this incredible young singer and dancer that then got molded through the Berry Gordy Motown music factory into becoming the consummate entertainer. He then started to write his own music. Who knew he was a songwriter? Then after Off the Wall, he started to produce his own music. He produced “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” with Quincy Jones and co-produced “Bad.”

His talent kept unfolding and growing -- part of it because he was so driven to perfection and he studied the other greats. The other part was an innate likability about him. You read stories of great artists with egos, and nobody wants to be around them. That was not Michael. Michael was a great artist and a great genius, and everybody loved him.

RL: I had the privilege of having a Chinese dinner with him one night at the Wynn hotel here. He was the most regular, likeable guy in the world.

JB: Exactly, and then when he was ready to go onstage, he went to another level of superstar.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

John told me that Michael has 32 million friends on Facebook and that his older brother Jackie Jackson is very involved with the Estate. “Jackie has been working with us at the estate on many projects, including developing a very high-end leather jacket line inspired by Michael’s videos that will be available retail at the MJ Zone in Mandalay Bay,” he said.

Tomorrow, we’ll post the conversation with Jackie, along with how Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling plans to set up his hotel for the experience. Later in the week, our interviews continue with Immortal director Jamie King and Cirque President Daniel Lamarre.

John summed up: “We are thrilled to establish Michael’s home away from home here at Mandalay Bay. Very few fans would ever get to visit Michael’s Neverland Ranch because of its remote location. But millions of Michael’s fans will now come to Mandalay Bay to hear Michael’s music and experience Michael in many other ways.

“When we think about Fan Fest, Michael was always a fan of Beatles Fest, Elvis Week, Star Wars conventions, and he used to say, ‘Someday I want to have my own fan convention.’ Michael’s fans have told us they also want the same thing, so we are thrilled to accomplish another one of Michael’s objectives. We look forward to working with our partners to make happen all the things Michael himself wanted.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Source: Robin Leach

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jermaine Jackson Adresses The Death Hoax On Twitter

Jermaine Jackson expresses his feelings and concerns on Twitter about his brother Michael and the Death Hoax theory that claims he is still alive.

From @
I hadn't wished to address this, because I find it hard to accept that people think this way, but it saddens me to read tweets that believe Michael is still alive. He is not. Please stop hurting yourselves with this false belief. I have compassion for those whose denial misinforms them, but this increasing hoax talk is wrong and helps no-one. It is distressing how 'believers' interpret anything as a 'sign' & read between lines that do not exist. I can't give this any more attention. It is a false debate that forgets that Michael would never, ever so cruelly hoax the fans he loved.  Love you all~ Jermaine Jackson

Soon after Pearljr from author of PSEUDOCIDE Did Michael Jackson Fake His Death To Save His Life?

Tweeted Jermaine the following  message to
@  to @  Alive documentary is only 53 minutes long. Tell fans how their research is wrong explain it to us honestly Fans crave 4 truth.  Give the fans more than just a denial- All clues to understand hoax in "Alive! Is Michael Jackson Really Dead? Documentary"  ... Name a place & time & we'll be there-2 many beLIEvers now to  quiet us with just insults & denials. Let's do interview to clear it up

 And many more tweets to challenging his statement and promote her Documentary 

To which Jermaine replied
@  to @ you should be ashamed of yourself -- irresponsibly fanning the flames with your nonsensical speculation & false premise... that's all

Jermaine was then attacked and mocked by Many Death Hoax Fans / Believers for speaking his feelings and concerns about his brother and the death hoax.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sony/ATV has Submitted Takeover Bid for Warner Music Group

Sony/ATV is Said to Have Submitted Takeover Offer for Warner Music Group

Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, owned by Sony Corp. (SNE) and Michael Jackson’s estate, submitted a bid for Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) ahead of yesterday’s deadline, two people with knowledge of the auction said.

Sony/ATV made a joint bid with billionaire Ronald Perelman and Guggenheim Partners LLC, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Warner Music yesterday called a board meeting with the aim of picking a buyer in 48 hours, people said then.

The entry of Sony/ATV increases the number of known bidders to three after billionaire investor Ron Burkle decided to walk away last week. Len Blavatnik, a former Warner Music director, and brothers Tom and Alec Gores also submitted bids ahead of the deadline, people familiar with the offers said yesterday.

Sony/ATV’s bid is in the $3 billion range offered by Blavatnik and the Gores brothers, one person said. The company, headed by Martin Bandier, is interested Warner Music’s publishing business, while its partners are focused on recorded music, one of the people said.

Will Tanous, a spokesman for New York-based Warner Music, and Liz Young, a spokeswoman for Sony Music in New York, had no comment. Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes in New York, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Jeffrey Kelley, a spokesman for Guggenheim in Chicago, declined to comment.

Warner Music, which began seeking offers in January, fell 3 cents to $7.37 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has climbed 31 percent this year.

Ownership Breakdown
The record company, home to artists including Cee Lo Green and the Black Keys, has long-term debt of $1.94 billion, according to company filings.

Eight of Warner Music’s 13 directors are executives of Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital LLC, two Boston-based private-equity firms that together hold 51 percent of the company’s shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Providence Equity Partners owns 8.3 percent and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar Bronfman Jr. owns about 7 percent.


Reporters: Cristina Alesci, Andy Fixmer
editors: Jennifer Sondag, Anthony Palazzo

Dr Murray Trial is delayed to September

Murray trial: Start delayed to September
May 2, 2011 11:15 am

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge agreed Monday to push back the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor until September.

Judge Michael Pastor made the ruling at the request of defense attorneys representing Dr. Conrad Murray.

The attorneys said they could not be ready for trial, which was set to begin with opening statements next week, because of eleventh-hour prosecution experts debunking their theory that the king of pop died by his own hand.

Prosecutors contended the latest medical experts proposed no new theories, and the defense caused the situation by invoking Murray’s right to a speedy trial.

They told the judge last week that one of their experts reached the conclusion that it would have been impossible for Jackson to have caused his own death by orally ingesting the drug propofol, an argument that defense attorneys made during preliminary hearings.

The 171 potential jurors who had filled out lengthy questionnaires about the case in March will be excused, and a new panel will be selected beginning Sept. 8, the judge said.

Pastor said the delay was necessary for “fundamental fairness.”

Murray has pleaded not guilty to causing his famous patient’s death by injecting him with propofol, a powerful surgical anesthetic, and leaving his bedside.