Monday, January 30, 2012

Michael Jackson's Immortal World Tour European Dates Announced

MICHAEL JACKSON THE IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR EUROPEAN DATES BEGIN OCTOBER 2012

Premiere performance at London’s O2 Arena on October 12

January 30, 2012 – The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil announced today that the European tour of Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour™ will begin in October 2012 following its highly successful North American tour, which has thrilled more than 600,000 people since the October 2011 World Premiere in Montreal. This once-in-a-lifetime electrifying production combines the excitement and innovation of Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil’s unparalleled creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture. Written and directed by Jamie King, the show includes more than 60 international dancers, musicians and acrobats.

The European tour of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour will premiere in London at the O2 Arena on October 12, 2012 with a charity benefit as part of the opening night festivities. The tour will then travel to select cities in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Spain. Additional cities and dates will be announced in the coming months.

A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.

The Immortal World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspirational wellspring of creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked—his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.

The underpinnings of The Immortal World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics—the driving force behind the show—brought to life in Michael’s own voice backed by some of the very musicians who accompanied him in concert with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour underscores Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity. This innovative reimagining of Michael’s music, overseen by musical designer Kevin Antunes, can be found on the Epic Records release Immortal both in single disc and deluxe double disc.

Writer and Director Jamie King is a multiple Emmy Award® and MTV Video Music Award® nominee and has choreographed some of the most popular music videos and directed some of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. For the past 12 years, he has served as Madonna's creative director, and most recently directed world tours for Rihanna, Celine Dion, Spice Girls and Britney Spears. King has worked with an array of superstars including Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Shakira, George Michael, Elton John, Diana Ross and Jennifer Lopez. This is Jamie’s first show with Cirque du Soleil.

For tour schedule and ticket information, please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/michaeljackson.

FALL 2012 EUROPEAN TOUR SCHEDULE
October 12 London, UK – O2 Arena
October 24 – 25 Herding, DK – Jyske Bank Boxen
October 27 – 28 Copenhagen, DK – Parken
November 2 - 3 Stockholm, SWE – Ericsson Globe Arena
November 6 Helsinki, FIN – Hartwall Areena
November 16 – 17 Frankfurt, DE – Festhalle
November 20 – 21 Oberhausen, DE – Koenig-Pilsener
November 24 – 25 Munich, DE – Olympichalle
November 28 Hannover, DE – TUI Arena
December 1 -2 Vienna, AT – Stadhalle
December 5 -6 Manheim, DE – SAP Arena
December 8- 9 Leipzig, DE – Leipzig Arena
December 11 – 12 Hamburg, DE – O2 World-Hamburg Arena
December 15 – 16 Cologne, DE – Lanxess Arena
December 19 – 20 Berlin, DE – O2 World Arena
December 27 – 30 Madrid, ES – Palacio Deportes


About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Qu├ębec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents. In 2012, Cirque du Soleil will present simultaneously 22 different shows around the world.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com
For information about ONE DROP, please visit www.onedrop.org.


Source: http://www.mjjcommunity.com/forum.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Michael Jackson's Hand and foot prints immortalize at Graumans Chinese Theater

Michael Jackson's kids immortalize dad's glove, footprints
Alan Duke

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's oldest son, Prince, compared putting the singer's shoe and glove imprints in cement at Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theatre to accepting a Grammys lifetime achievement award two years ago on behalf of his late father.


"For me, and I think I speak for him as well, this right here is his lifetime achievement award," Prince Jackson said. "This is what he strived to get."


Prince and brother Blanket pressed a pair of their dad's shoes into wet cement, while sister Paris used one of his famous sequined gloves to create an impression. All three children added their own handprints in a ceremony on the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk Thursday.

"It's a very good celebration and I know if Michael was here he would agree, to see all his friends and loved ones, and especially his fans here to celebrate this with him," family matriarch Katherine Jackson said.

It was part of the promotion for Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour," which makes its Los Angeles debut Friday night.

Quincy Jones, who produced Jackson's best-selling "Thriller" album, and Smokey Robinson, who called Jackson "my little brother," spoke, but there was little doubt Paris Jackson, 13, was most excited about her chance to introduce teen pop star Justin Bieber.

"I know my father would've wanted to be a mentor to someone like him, and would be very proud that he came to today's celebration," Paris Jackson said.

Michael Jackson is his role model, inspiring him to be the best he can be, Bieber said.

"I want to have that perfection, I want to, you know, be the best I can be, that's what Michael did," Bieber said. "He always wanted to be the best he could be."

Jackie Jackson said that a 300-pound block of cement with his brother's footprints and signature, found in the basement of a closed Las Vegas hotel just before it was torn down, would be placed on the Grauman's forecourt next to the imprints created Thursday. It was created in 1994 for a Las Vegas walk of fame project "that never materialized," he said.


"Michael, we miss you," brother Tito Jackson said. "There's hardly a day that goes by without him going on in mind somehow, some way, and I know that he is here today with us. That's for sure."

Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson have been more public in recent months in contrast to their lives before their father's 2009 death, when they were shielded from public view.

The children attended the Canadian premiere of the traveling Cirque du Soleil show with their grandmother in October.

The "Immortal" show is touring the United States and Canada through this year before taking up residency in Las Vegas.

Show biz legends who left their handprints and footprints in Grauman's concrete courtyard on Hollywood Boulevard include Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Sidney Poitier, Clark Gable and Mary Pickford. The tradition started in 1928, a year after the historic theater opened.

Michael Jackson's Hollywood Walk of Fame star is on the sidewalk in front of the theater.

Source http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/26/showbiz/jackson-graumans-footprints/index.html

You can watch the whole ceremony here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Michael Jackson: King of Pop and Entrepreneurs

When Michael Jackson's family and fans gather in the courtyard of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood this week and use his shoes to create footprints in cement, it will be the King of Pop's legacy as a music icon that takes center stage.

Music, however, wasn't Jackson's only talent. He was a sharp and polished entrepreneur who knew his audience and who, up until his death in 2009, was constantly trying to improve his product and refine his brand.

Music writer and University of Rochester instructor Joe Vogel,  author of the new book " Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson " (Sterling, 2011), says Jackson's evolution as an artist and a person went beyond his talents as a musician.



In an exclusive interview with BusinessNewsDaily, Vogel talks about Jackson's legacy as an entertainer, businessman and innovator and what lessons he offered all of us.


BusinessNewsDaily: Michael Jackson was clearly more than just talented and more than just lucky. He must have had some other quality – some entrepreneur-like quality– that helped him on his road to become the King of Pop.  Can you describe it?

Joe Vogel: One of Michael Jackson's greatest qualities was his ability to envision something in his mind – something bold and different and innovative – and then have the willpower and work ethic to realize it. He was constantly challenging himself and those around him to push beyond the ordinary. He often had friends and collaborators read "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," a fable about refusing to conform and striving for excellence. You see, even with his "This Is It" concerts at the age of 50, he wouldn't accept mediocrity. He wanted the shows to be unlike anything people had experienced before.

BND: Do you think his decision to constantly reinvent himself was a conscious one in an effort to always become something new and exciting for his audience, or do you think he just naturally evolved as he got older?

J.V.: Michael Jackson understood that stagnation for an artist was death. He hated the idea of simply repeating formulas. So he was constantly transforming, re-inventing his image and style and sound, keeping people guessing and wanting more.

But there are also continuities to his image/persona: certain symbols, trademarks and qualities. He is perhaps the only artist who can be represented in five to 10 different poses in silhouette and people know exactly who it is. He was very deliberate about his choices. One thing he always feared was overexposure. He knew that the magical aura associated with him, the excitement could be retained only by withholding from his audience. So, for example, he would never do a whole circuit of TV performances and interviews to promote an album the way most artists do today. He would do one show, and the buildup to it would be incredible.

BND: How do you think he would have described the Michael Jackson brand? What was he trying to sell?

J.V.: I think Michael was a lot like Steve Jobs in that each new product – whether an album or video or single – was an event. There was all kinds of hype and anticipation. So the brand was about that excitement, because you knew whatever he was releasing was going to be cutting-edge, unique and of the highest quality.

BND: Did he make good business decisions? What were some of his best and worst?

J.V.: Michael made very good business decisions for the first 10-15 years of his adult career, and very bad ones in his final 10-15 years. His smartest decision was to not only retain the rights to his own master recordings (before him, there was a long history of exploitation in the music industry, particularly of African-American artists), but to also actively acquire other publishing rights, including the Beatles catalog.

His worst decisions came when he had a lot of money and not much consistency or oversight. His management, beginning in the early '90s, became a revolving door. He became vulnerable to extortion, exploitation and excessive spending because he no longer had a trustworthy, vigilant, dedicated team around him.

BND: What could any business owner or entrepreneur learn from Michael Jackson?

J.V.: I think the main thing an entrepreneur or business owner could learn from Michael Jackson is that doing something great requires both vision and work. Michael approached each new project with boundless passion, and that energy was infectious to collaborators. But what really impressed those who worked with him was that he could bring his ideas to fruition. He dreamed big and then worked tirelessly until his dreams came to life.



Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1943-michael-jackson-book.html 
Jeanette Mulvey managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Michael's Jackson's Elementary School Launches Music Lab in His Name

Michael Jackson Class Picture 1970

The elementary school where Michael Jackson once roamed the halls could be the alma mater of the next king or queen of pop.

Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood, where Michael Jackson attended sixth grade, will kick off its Michael Jackson Music Education Lab with an open house Monday for students and parents.

The lab will feature a new curriculum and interactive music education program created to teach students how to read music, play piano and compose and arrange music.

The MusIQ program and its lab will incorporate personal computers and M-Audio MIDI keyboards into its curriculum. The lab was built with donations from parents and local community organizations and businesses.

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com


'Michael Jackson' music lab lets Hollywood students follow in former pop star's footsteps

The Hollywood elementary school that saw Michael Jackson through sixth grade will host an open house for its Michael Jackson Music Education Lab on Monday morning. It's the second building the campus has dedicated to the singer; silver letters in front of the school auditorium already read "The Michael Jackson Auditorium."



Gardner Street Elementary School plans to showcase the lab and new music curriculum during a small reception at 11:00 a.m.

"This was his classroom," said Leslie Holmes, a parent that started the non-profit fundraising organization Friends of Gardnerville. "He actually signed the chalkboard that was in the classroom."
According to Holmes, the chalkboard is now a wall decoration, replaced with whiteboards and a room of 40 personal computers and M-Audio MIDI keyboards.

The school's new music curriculum will teach students how to read music, play piano and compose music in an interactive way with a program called MusIQ. The first lesson has students distinguishing between high and low notes, and the final lesson will include them composing original songs.
So far, six classes shuttle through the music lab. Holmes said the kids love it.

"The looks on their faces when they come into this lab is heartwarming. They come in saying 'Awesome,' 'This is fantastic' and 'This is so cool,'" Holmes said.

Source: http://www.scpr.org/

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dancing The Dream by Michael Jackson

DANCING THE DREAM


Consciousness expresses itself through creation

This world we live in is the dance of the Creator

Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on

On many an occasion when I'm dancing,

 I've felt touched by something sacred.

In those moments, I've felt my spirit soar

 and become one with everything that exists.

I become the stars and the moon

I become the lover and the beloved

I become the victor and the vanquished

I become the master and the slave

I become the singer and the song

I become the knower and the known

I keep on dancing and then it is the eternal dance of creation

The Creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy

I keep on dancing and dancing and dancing, until there is only.....the dance




- Michael Jackson


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Restitution Request From Dr Murray Is Withdrawn by Katherine Jackson.

I'm really not happy with this decision. This means Murray is free to throw Michael under the bus and profit from book's appearances or any means after his release. rather than pay restitution to his children. This would have secured his future earnings for restitution.  I guess it's all fine for the Jackson's as long as they can profit from their civil cases against Murray and AEG which seems is is the reason this was done. One thing I respect is D.A. Walgren did contact Michael Jackson's estate and the children's adlitum attorney to get their opinion. Also Joe Jackson's shyster attorney, Brian Oxman may be barred and unable to represent his case ~ Qbee



LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors will not seek restitution against the doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson after conferring with the singer’s parents and attorneys for his estate and children.

The request for payments from Conrad Murray was withdrawn Wednesday during a brief court hearing, just days before a judge was scheduled to consider how much the former cardiologist should pay to members of Jackson’s family or his estate.


Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the judge handling the case that he was withdrawing the restitution request after speaking with Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and attorney for his father, Joseph. Walgren also consulted with an attorney for the singer’s estate and a court-appointed attorney representing the interests of Jackson’s three children, a transcript of the proceedings shows.

Murray remains in jail after being convicted in November of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to serve four years in jail, but his incarceration will be cut in half due to overcrowding and California’s budget crunch.

Jackson’s estate estimated the singer would have earned at least $100 million if he had performed his “This Is It” concerts planned for London’s O2 arena. Murray might have also been found liable for Jackson’s funeral expenses, which totaled more than $1.8 million. Murray’s attorneys said he had nowhere near the money to pay either amount, and he filed paperwork last month indicating he is indigent.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled that the family was waiving its right to restitution permanently, although two separate cases pending in a Los Angeles civil court seek damages for the King of Pop’s June 2009 death. Katherine Jackson is suing concert giant AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson’s planned series of comeback concerts, claiming they failed to properly supervise Murray.

Joseph Jackson is suing AEG Live, alleging negligence by the entertainment promoter in his son’s death, and he is suing Murray for wrongful death in the case.

Murray’s attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, said he was pleased to have the restitution issue resolved. Flanagan said during Wednesday’s hearing that he intends to seek bail for Murray while he appeals his conviction, according to the transcript, but he was told to put the request in writing.

The fate of Joseph Jackson’s civil case remains unclear. A California bar court in Los Angeles recommended Friday that the Jackson family patriarch’s attorney, Brian Oxman, be barred from practicing law because of conduct on other, unrelated cases. Oxman filed Joseph Jackson’s lawsuit in federal court on the one-year anniversary of the singer’s death, but a judge later ruled it should be heard in state court. Oxman is the only attorney who has been listed on the case so far and has been a vocal antagonist against Murray and AEG Live.

Reached by phone, Oxman declined to comment on the recommendation, which still must be approved by the California Supreme Court.

The disciplinary court found that Oxman and his wife, who is also his law partner, mixed clients’ and personal funds in an effort to evade creditors and sanctions imposed against Oxman. He had been disciplined previously, which the court cited among its reasons for seeking the revocation of his law license.


Source : http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Author:  Anthony McCartney at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .

Monday, January 09, 2012

MJ Estate Executer John Branca to receive 2012 GRAMMY Service Award.

Estate executor John Branca to receive 2012 GRAMMY Service Award.
It was announced in December by the GRAMMY Foundation that John Branca, a partner in the law firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP and former Board Chair of the GRAMMY Foundation’s sister charitable foundation, MusiCares®, will be the recipient of the 2012 Service Award at the GRAMMY Foundation®’s 14th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative® Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s luncheon.


The Service Award was established in 2006 to recognize contributions by prominent entertainment attorneys that include outstanding service to individuals (pro bono or otherwise); leadership and participation with organizations that help advance the music community; and work to affect positive change that benefits the community overall. Past honorees include David Braun, Jay L. Cooper, John T. Frankenheimer, Joel A. Katz, Paul G. Marshall, and Al Schlesinger. The ELI luncheon is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY® Week, a celebration that will culminate with the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

“For close to 15 years, our GRAMMY Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative has created a forum where law students and seasoned attorneys can come together for research, dialogue and debate in the field of entertainment law,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy®, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. “This year, we are pleased to have a digital visionary such as Daniel Ek join us for what will undoubtedly be an insightful and thought-provoking keynote address. It is also our pleasure to honor our good friend, former MusiCares Board Chair and steward of our current MusiCares 20th Anniversary Campaign, John Branca, with our Service Award. Both of these individuals are at the forefront of our industry.”

“It’s a really exciting time for the music industry,” said Ek. “Today we have the ability to listen to all the world’s music, instantly and wherever we are on the planet. That’s a pretty amazing idea and one which inspired me to launch Spotify. I’m a big supporter of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative and look forward to catching up with everyone in February.”

“I’m honored by the recognition and pleased to join such a distinguished group of past Service Award recipients,” added Branca. “Daniel is one of our industry’s real visionaries, and I looking forward his talk, as well as hearing about the topics presented in the winning student papers — they often prove to be cutting-edge topics in our industry.”

Branca specializes in the music and live appearance industries. He is a leading artist representative, having represented an unprecedented 29 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Aerosmith, the Beach Boys, Bee Gees, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, and Carlos Santana, among others, and such other artists and celebrities as Enrique Iglesias, Nickelback and Mike Tyson. He has been at the forefront in the acquisition and sale of music publishing catalogs, including the acquisition of the Beatles catalog, ATV Music, for Michael Jackson, as well as its merger with Sony Music to create the world’s third-largest music publisher, Sony ATV Music. Branca has also been the architect of the sales of many major music catalogs, including Berry Gordy’s Jobete Music Co., the Kurt Cobain catalog, the Leiber and Stoller catalog, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

He serves on the board of trustees for Occidental College, participates as an active fundraiser for the UCLA athletic department and serves as the Co-Chairman of MusiCares' 20th Anniversary Campaign, a campaign in support of the leading industry charity devoted to helping members of the music community. Branca also serves on the Board of Trustees for the GRAMMY Museum and the Pauley Pavilion Renovation Campaign Committee.


To Read more from Grammy Website:
http://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/press-release

Friday, January 06, 2012

Michael Jackson's Estate Wants to Keep Thrilling

Michael Jackson's Estate Wants to Keep Thrilling
More than two years after his death, Jackson is still on top. His estate wants to keep him there

By Ronald Grover and Andy Fixmer




Long Live the King: Michael Jackson's executors are intent on pitching the artist to a new generation of fans Ho New/Reuters

More than two years after his death, Michael Jackson is still moonwalking to the bank. Already one of the best-selling artists of all time, the singer was the top-selling act of 2009, thanks to a post-mortem surge in interest in his albums. That raised his career total to more than 750 million records worldwide. This Is It, the backstage look at Jackson’s unrealized final tour, was released four months after his death and became the highest-grossing concert film ever. In the 18 months after his passing, his estate reported that it collected $310 million from music, merchandise sales, and its share of publication rights on a music catalog that includes songs by the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Jackson himself.

Now the hard part begins. As unseemly as it may sound, the first year of a celebrity’s death can be a bonanza. “When a star first dies, fans are desperate for just one more performance,” says Mark Young, a University of Southern California professor who specializes in sports and entertainment. Maintaining that buzz could be a challenge for even the King of Pop as fans move on to the next Lady Gaga-du-jour. Jackson wouldn’t be the first king to fade. The Elvis Presley estate, long the gold standard of money-making by dead stars, now has all the earmarks of an aging brand. In 2010 the estate generated $57 million for CKX, which owns the rights to the Elvis name.

Not bad for someone who’s been dead for more than 30 years. Still, tourist visits fell in five of the last six years at Graceland, Presley’s Memphis home, which provides more than half the estate’s revenue. Occupancy at the Heartbreak Hotel next door slid from 80 percent in 2006 to 67 percent in 2010. That’s a reason the estate scrapped plans to develop a hotel and convention center adjoining Graceland, taking a $900,000 write-off. “We learned a lot from the Elvis estate, and we see opportunities,” says John Branca, Jackson’s former lawyer who is co-executor for the estate with music executive John McClain.

Branca has tackled some urgent financial issues. He refinanced $300 million in debt that was pledged against the singer’s 50 percent stake in Sony/ATV, the music catalog behind much of his wealth. The estate paid off Jackson’s $4 million mortgage on the family home in Encino, Calif., and paid $35 million to concert promoter AEG to satisfy debts from the singer’s aborted tour. In all, Jackson’s debt was cut to around $300 million from $500 million. In November the estate was part of a group that agreed to pay $2.2 billion for EMI’s music publishing business, bolstering the revenue stream for its beneficiaries—Jackson’s mother Katherine, his three children, and some unnamed charities.

Now, the estate is focusing on projects to keep the Jackson flame alive for long-time fans while introducing younger audiences to his work. Jackson left behind enough music for one more album, according to a person with knowledge of the singer’s business. (A 2010 album of new songs that the estate released sold a half-million copies.) Plans for a biopic film have been shelved, however, until the right script and director come along. The executors can wait: The estate has rights to Jackson’s music, so an unauthorized film is unrealistic.

The estate signed with Ubisoft for a video game Branca hopes will help introduce a new generation to moonwalking like the master. It also paid half the $60 million production cost for Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, a show by Cirque du Soleil that opened in October. Rather than backing a show anchored on Broadway or in Las Vegas, Branca opted for a touring show in hopes that fans will bring their kids—who later may become fans themselves. The estate gets half of ticket and merchandise sales plus royalties.

Once The Immortal’s U.S. tour is over, foreign versions will continue. A permanent Cirque show will open in Las Vegas in 2013, along with an interactive museum where fans can dance with the mummies from the Thriller music video. A Broadway show and a tribute concert tour could be next. “There’s a whole generation out there who doesn’t know about Michael and his music,” says Branca. “We’re going to change that.”

The bottom line: Thanks in part to a wave of fan interest, Michael Jackson’s estate was able to trim about $200 million from his debts after his death.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/michael-jacksons-estate-wants-to-keep-thrilling-01052012.html

CYInterview: Frank Casico speaks about his friendship with Michael Jackson

Frank Cascio claims a friendship with Michael Jackson that most fans could only have dreamt of. In his recently published book, My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man, Frank sheds light on facets of Michael’s personality most people probably did not even know existed. He shows Michael as an everyday, flawed human being, while at the same time being one of the greatest entertainers of the last 100 years.



In our ongoing coverage of all things Michael Jackson, including speaking with his sister La Toya Jackson  and former choreographer for the This Is It Tour Travis Payne  and our one hour interview remembering Michael in 2009 with former Sony executives Cory Rooney and Chris Apostle , our CYInterview with Mr. Cascio covers MJ’s life on a day to day basis, over a period of years.

You can listen to the entire Frank Casico CYInterview Here:
Audio: Listen to the entire Frank Cascio CYInterview here


Highlights:
Frank Casico believes he was one of the few who truly knew who Michael Jackson was. Frank met Michael as a young child through his father Dominic who was an employee at a hotel Michael visited on different occasions. Because Michael formed a friendship with Frank’s father, Frank got to spend a lot of time with the gloved one and would later go from being a friend to a working employee for Michael and dealing with many different business aspects of MJ’s career.

I think I’m one of the few who actually knew this man and got to see so many different sides of him over a long period of time and you know, I’ve been blessed because Michael doesn’t bring many people into his life, especially for that long period of a time…If it wasn’t for my father being the person who he was, this would have never even been possible. It could have been anyone, but Michael took an affection to my father.”

Frank tells a story of one of his early experiences with Michael, recounted in My Friend Michael, about Madonna inviting the king of pop back to her hotel room. Cascio gives his thoughts on the story:

“Girls would throw themselves at Michael. But yeah, Madonna, that’s right, wanted to seduce, tried to seduce Michael and I remember Michael telling us that story. He admitted he was so shy with her because she was overly aggressive and Michael’s a very sensitive man.”

Frank shows a personal side of Michael, sharing stories about him dating numerous women. He agreed that Michael’s attraction to women was something that generally wasn’t focused on.

“It was downplayed. And I’ll tell you, Michael was private about that part of his life. Michael was attracted to women. He had a very particular type and it’s funny because people wouldn’t think it, but it’s a simpleton. He was dating this girl who he really cared about and you know and she cared about him and it was great to see, but it was also kept very private because Michael did not want to, you know, expose this girl and have the media from the outside ruin a relationship that he really was enjoying and you know, he likes slender, tall, simpletons, sweet, humble, soft-spoken girls. And I’m really happy that Michael actually found that in his life later on.”

As a minor, Frank Cascio traveled the world with Michael Jackson – with his parents’ consent – and saw many his of live performances around the world. Frank says Michael is not a pedophile and didn’t have any physical attraction to young children. He says those comments are hurtful:

“Michael has never ever once ever invited a child to stay in his room, sleep in his bed. Michael’s never invited a child to stay in his room. You know, it’s different. You want to stay with him. You wanted. It’s like hanging with your buddy. It’s like having a slumber party. And Michael was a child at heart. There was nothing sexual about Michael. He had no attraction to young children. It’s just disgusting. I’m so hurtful [sic] by those misconceptions, that in particular. Michael loves children for their innocence and their purity and that was his inspiration. It just hurts me because Michael is not a pedophile and has been falsely accused and that’s hurt him.”

Regarding Michael, Mr. Cascio does get into some stories about Michael Jackson’s use of prescription drugs. For a period of time, Frank states he was monitoring Michael’s prescription drug intake. He also believes there were doctors who took advantage of him. Cascio also speaks of Michael’s chronic back pain.

“I was concerned when I saw some doctors come in, give him medicine and how he would react to it and his state of mind. And you know, for a period of time, it was something that I was concerned about. He was also going through many, many things. He had back issues. He had, who’s trying to take money from him here. Who’s trying to accuse him of this on this end? Who’s trying to, you know, friends just let him down and go sell him out.

"He had all these different factors coming in and what was going on. Yes, I was concerned and Michael resorted to some medicines more than I personally think he should of, but I’m not a doctor…I also believe that Michael was also manipulated by many doctors and was taken advantage of that because they saw him as a money pit… It was bad. He had constant back pain for years…After all these years, it [performing] just took a tool on his body and that’s where the chronic pain came from…Nobody can understand it, but your body takes a beating, it takes abuse and Michael’s body was abused after all these years of working, working, dancing, dancing, dancing and it took a toll on him and it caught up with him.”

Frank agreed that it’s hard for people to accept that Michael Jackson was just another human being, who dealt with issues and troubles like everyone else:

“I think it is because you would never know; because every time Michael was performing, or in front of you, you never saw that side of, you only saw the professionalist. You only saw the genius. You saw the brilliance. You saw someone very, very special and unique. And even, and I can’t say when the cameras were off or he’s on stage he wasn’t you know, special and unique, but he was, but there’s also a human side of him that he didn’t want, you know, some people to see immediately. Later in life he wanted everyone to see the human side of his stuff, to understand. Michael wasn’t very good at communicating and explaining himself to people. “

When it comes to some people believing Dr. Conrad Murray was the fall guy in the death of Michael Jackson, Mr. Cascio states that he believes Dr. Murray is the only person who was responsible for Michael’s death.

“Dr. Murray was the ignorant doctor, selfish, manipulated Michael, portrayed himself to be a doctor that he wasn’t. And out of negligence, ignorance and selfishness, we lost Michael Jackson because of Dr. Murray.”

In a story published, not that long ago, about Marlin Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson driving across country together and ending up in Ohio after 9/11, Cascio says that story is completely inaccurate. He tells me that Michael was with his family in New Jersey after the events of September 11th, 2011.

“That’s completely, completely inaccurate. After 9/11, Michael and I, his family, his kids I should say, got in a car and went to my family’s house in New Jersey and we were there for a couple of weeks, maybe two or three weeks. We were in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. And that story is completely inaccurate.”

There is a quote on page 96 of Cascio’s book claiming the gloved one said to Frank, “All you have to do is study these pictures and these words. Look in the mirror and tell yourself what you want to happen. Do that every day and it will happen.” Frank elaborates on that:

“The key to his success first was in the form of do everything from a place of love and do everything that you do the best. And before The Secret and all these documentaries and books coming out, Michael understood the secret way before The Secret. Michael understood being connected with God, the universe, whatever you may want to call it and believing in yourself and it all comes from within.”


My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man
You can find more information and purchase a copy of Frank Cascio’s book Here
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You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com