Michael Jackson’s creative genius introduced the world to the concept of massive…massive vision, massive avenues of artistic expression… all wrapped up in the idea of ERAS. Because each album Michael created took approximately four years to pass the rigorous standards Michael’s perfectionism required, each debut was anxiously anticipated. Unlike other singers, however, Michael’s vision extended into much more than a few tunes on an album. To be sure, the music was always first. But, with Michael, each song had gone through evolutions because melodies, harmonies, beatboxing, instrumentation, orchestration, lyrics, collaborations all were the tangible manifestation of what Michael saw and heard in his mind. To be sure, Michael chose amazing talent to work with…but, the final product was all Michael. Accepted by even the most rudimentary Michael Jackson student, Michael’s harmonies and beatboxing, rhythms and vocal layers and range are legend. “A typical MJ album would take between 10 and 15 months in the studio. His budget allowed for as many as 100 songs to be recorded for any given project. Some would be discarded early on, while others were fine tuned. Musicians would be brought in to add their textures and ideas, but in the center of it all was Michael.” ( Brad Sundberg) Joined into the wealth of musical integrity was Michael’s VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the work. He was a pioneer and innovator extraordinaire. Still today, Michael’s work is studied and imitated by many. Here again, however, unlike other artists, Michael’s short films were taken from HIS IMAGINATION AND VISION, he wrote or co-wrote EVERYTHING. ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS PROMINANT IN ALL OF MICHAEL’S WORK…LITERALLY NOTHING IS LEFT TO CHANCE…EVERYTHING IS INTENTIONAL. Set design, staging, costumes, make-up…EVERYTHING! To promote albums, artists are asked by record companies to do performances. That would be common. MICHAEL’S PERFORMANCES WERE ANYTHING BUT COMMON. At the beginning of EVERY project Michael would set the tone by saying.” I want this to be the biggest and best that has ever been done!” Mediocrity was not a term in Michael’s vocabulary. And so, HIS SHOWS WERE THE GREATEST ON THE PLANET…and, EACH AND EVERY CREATIVE DECISION WAS HIS. Michael Bush talks about performance clothing at great length in his well-written book KING OF STYLE…DRESSING MICHAEL JACKSON. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read it, I highly recommend that you do. Adding to performance, Michael included his public life in the mix, using his global platform for philanthropy and social change. His intention was to bring his music to the world in an effort to help heal it. He visited as many hospitals and orphanages as he did concerts. Heads of State wanted to meet with him. He lived his humanitarian life every day he was on the planet and his public life went to further that goal. Because he is the most awarded artist in history, Michael had many opportunities all around the world to turn his acceptance speeches into pleas for a better world…FOR CHANGE. You see, Michael not only expressed a need for social change and environmental change in his music and lyrics and speeches and interviews…HE LIVED AS A ROLE MODEL FOR US ALL TO FOLLOW. He completely believed in the POWER OF THE PEOPLE and he turned to his FANS for help. Unlike other artists who, when the show is done, ESCAPE…Michael viewed the “after show” as important as all the rest. His vehicle traveled the streets to his hotel slowly as he greeted Fans. He signed autographs and talked with Fans. Often, Fans were invited to his suite to share their works of art and gifts with Michael. Michael’s rooms led out to balconies where Michael would interact with Fans below. He was not trying to hide from the people who gave him so much loyalty and love. On the contrary, he sought them out and interacted with them creating another strand of the bond. Put simply…MICHAEL LOVED HIS FANS WITH ALL HIS HEART. He believed in telling them that often. Then, after things settled down a bit, Michael would take the films from the show he had just completed and evaluate the performance, making any changes he thought necessary. DEDICATION, WORK ETHIC, PROFESSIONALISM, GENEROSITY, ART, HUMANITY, SOUL, LOVE…just some of the words to define Michael Jackson. People from all over the global have recognized Michael’s ambassadorship. He impacted foreign relations.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_SZbbReAGY
Is there any doubt that the period of time, from the date of release and extending through each aspect of work going into sharing it with the public, received the title ERA. Thus, THE “OFF THE WALL ERA”, “THE THRILLER ERA”, “THE BAD ERA”, “THE DANGEROUS ERA”, “THE HISTORY ERA”, “THE BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR ERA”, “THE INVINCIBLE ERA”, “THE THIS IS IT ERA”. There is no other artist who has achieved this level of creative endeavor and, I believe, there never will be. Studying Michael’s appearance at the Super Bowl in 1993…today’s artists work hard to bring a spectacular show…but, who among them has involved 3200 children and half of the stadium to share in the message of HEALING THE WORLD…none! Michael wasn’t there to promote his Dangerous album as the media would have you believe. His album had already been Number One worldwide for two years. He was there with a message, accentuated by the fact that his wages for his performance were donated to charity. THAT IS WHO MICHAEL JACKSON IS. THAT IS WHY HIS WORK NEEDED A WORD LIKE ERAS.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX66ZZSRerc
Dear Friends in Michael, as promised to you, I will end with Michael. I have often said that if someone was studying my life, I would want them to learn it from my lips and my actions. Michael’s life speaks to me and to millions. His words and actions offer me inspiration and hope…explanation and guidance. Here are some glimpses into living the Michael Jackson way.
“IN MANY WAYS AN ARTIST IS HIS WORK.”
From Brad Sundberg: “I have watched him write many songs and the process is amazing. I asked him where they come from and he said they were gifts from God. He could hear the entire song in his head before we could get tape on the machines. He would sometimes sing the drums, bass, percussion, keyboards, etc. and we would later bring in musicians to replace his demo tracks.”
From Elizabeth Taylor: “A heart that gives expecting nothing in return. The purest love I’ve ever known.”
“Michael had a keen understanding of how to draw the audience into every song with unsurpassed intensity. He understood that it wasn’t just about his unique moves, but how his moves went with the music. He understood how everyone on stage has a vital role or how a well-placed pause can have just as much if not more impact than the song itself. That is what made Michael Jackson the greatest entertainer that has ever lived. He simply got the entire package of entertainment from music to lighting to choreography to set design like no one else.” MJJJusticeProject
From Michael Bush: “Michael was a man of many paradoxes, most of which we were able to represent in the clothes we designed: rigid military cuts that were also elastic and movable; rebellious regalia fit for army commanders worn over the heart of a gentle man; bedazzled embellishments adorning a man blessed with a quiet humility; one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted clothes worn with aged scuffed Florsheim shoes. Michael’s image was as much a work of art as the man himself.”
Michael called his performance clothes WEARABLE ART.
From Joseph Vogel: “Michael was ART INCARNATE.”
“Michael would go to the Santa Maria ToysRUS at closing time and buy $60,000.00 worth of toys and games, books, etc. to take on tour with him to distribute to sick and orphaned children around the world. He personally shopped for those items. If that doesn’t tell you how much this man has in his heart-nothing does.” MJJJusticeProject
BAD WORLD TOUR 1987-1988 123 SHOWS
HISTORY WORLD TOUR 1996-1997 82 SHOWS
“YOU NEVER KNOW HOW LONG YOU HAVE WITH SOMEONE. DON’T FORGET TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ WHILE YOU CAN.”
THE THINGS YOU DO WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING ARE THE THINGS THAT DEFINE YOU.
“Michael’s Jackson’s art transcended every way that human beings have thought of to separate themselves and then healed those divisions, at least at the instant that we all shared his music as the globally understood grammar of hope. You didn’t have to speak English to understand Michael…his language, as hokey as it sounds, was the language of joy and love.” Michael Eric Dyson EBONY MAGAZINE
Dear Friends, I give thanks every day for the massive vision that wrapped around each of Michael’s ERAS. Everything was bigger in Michael’s world. He was willing to give every ounce of blood and sweat and God-given talent, and the world has been the beneficiary. “When you want to be close to me, listen to my music…the love is stored there.” Michael Jackson. Ohhhh, I feel that love so strongly. It drives me to try to do more, be more. Happily, you and I have been gifted LIVING MICHAEL’S WAY. Together, we will make a difference. IT’S ALL FOR LOVE.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDYf3qqDQxQ