Michael's Friends Talk About Michael
Michael's close friend and trainer, Lou Ferrigno, talks about training Michael and about the type of person Michael was
Reflections On The Dance
Michael Joseph Jackson Remembered
A celebration of love, spirit, truth & faith. Celebrating his life, his legacy, and his humanity
Lou and Michael's close friend Miko Brando talk about what kind of person Michael was
"Everything about Michael is truthful. And there is something in him that is so dear and childlike - not childish, but childlike - that we both have and identify with."
"What is a genius? What is a living legend? What is a megastar? Michael Jackson - that's all. And just when you think you know him, he gives you more."
"He's alarmingly bright."
"He's really not of this planet."
"I think he is one of the finest people to hit this planet, and, in my estimation, he is the true King of Pop, Rock and Soul."
"We're good friends, we talk all the time. I'm his, ah, children's Godfather (Macauley is reportedly Godfather to both Prince and Paris according to Aphrodite Jones in "The Michael Jackson Conspiracy".) His kids are so beautiful. I love them so much. They're so great."
"We had very similar experiences in childhood. We're both going to be 8 years old forever in some place because we never had a chance to be 8 when we actually were."
"Maybe five or eight people have this touch that God put on Michael. Stevie Wonder has it. Barbra Streisand has it. Louie Armstrong has it."
"In the studio, Michael was a hard worker, a really hard worker. He would stand there until he got it right. He likes to perform with the lights out and just a single light on the stand. And he likes to do some of his dances during songs."
"The people who don't want anything from him are children. Everyone else wants something. They want to flirt with glory... He's a tabloid victim."
"The persona that is created of Michael Jackson is very different when you're in a room with him, when you're talking to him. He's very funny. He actually fights. I was surprised. He's like a blue belt in Tae Kwan Do or something. I'd just done 'Ali,' and I felt that Michael Jackson might be able to hurt me. That dude looks sharp. He's a fast mover. You see how somebody could dance and move that good and do those spins. That takes strength man."
Will Smith in an August 2002 Teen Hollywood on Michael Jackson's presence on the set in "Men in Black II"
"...A man of many versatile talents, not the least of which is always being a gentleman."
"He is probably the most famous person on the planet, God help him. When Michael Jackson sings, it is with the voice of angels, and when his feet move, you can see God dancing."
Sir Bob Geldof
"I think he's a brilliant dancer and a wonderful singer. I think what makes him a star is he can do it and you can't help looking at him."
"When I met him, it was really love at first site. I think when you get to know Michael, you understand the nature of his charisma... He looks at the world with the innocent eyes of a child."
"He is one of the world's most acclaimed entertainers, an innovative and exciting songwriter whose dancing seems to defy gravity and has been heralded by the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly."
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
"Barry (Gordy) ...was very excited. He was trying to describe the group to us, and telling us about the little guy who was singing, who must have been here before, because he had all the soul quality of someone much older than he was."
What person would you most like to meet?
Michael Jackson, because he cares about our future and our children's future and the world they will come to live in. He realizes the urgency of our environmental problems and his concern is not a fashion.
Anita St. Rose
Miss Great Britain '96
Click Here to read more comments and articles from people who knew Michael
What Friends & Others Have Said About Michael Throughout the Years
One of Michael's bodyguards, Matt Fiddes, speaks about the kind, caring Michael Jackson whom he worked with and who called his Mum daily during her fight with breast cancer to see how she was doing.
"This is a moment that I wish that I didn't live to see come. But as much as I can say that and mean it, I do know that God is good and I do know that as much as we may feel - and we do - that we need Michael here with us, God must have needed him far more." -
Howard Bloom blogs about and shares his personal reflections on his client, Michael Jackson. This is something you definitely should read.
Excerpt: Michael was the closest I’ve ever come to a secular angel. A secular saint.
Look, I’m an atheist, but Michael was not. He believed he was given a gift by God. He believed he was given talents and wonders and astonishments seldom granted to us very fragile human beings. Because God had given him this enormous gift, he felt he owed the experience of wonder, astonishment, awe, and Blake’s infinities to his fellow human beings. But unlike other generous humans–Bill and Melinda Gates, for example–with Michael giving to others was not just a part-time thing. The need to give to others was alive in every breath he took every single day.
Michael Jackson’s entire life was receiving and giving and the whole purpose of receiving was so he could give. He worked with every cell in his body to give the gift of that amazement, that astonishment to his fellow human beings. Needing the adulation of crowds WAS Michael’s connection to others, his most profound connection, far more profound than family and friends (though those are indispensable), and far more healing. That act of giving keeps an iconic person, a person who never knows normalness, alive
Howard Bloom in his recent blog
"There was no shortage of 'I love you's, I'm so grateful, I appreciate you.' That was very much who he was and what he was about."
Choreographer Travis Payne on working with Michael on the 02 shows
Michael Jackson, Jesus and Me
David Pack, Grammy Award winning recording artist, producer and music director and member of Saddleback Church (he works with Rick Warren on special projects, including the PEACE Plan and AIDS & Worship Conferences), speaks about his time sharing faith with the King of Pop and Michael's meeting with famous composer Leonard Bernstein
Two Former Sony Execs Tell the Truth about Michael:
Chris Yandek from CYInterview.com speaks with two former Sony/Epic executives that have known Michael for a long time and have worked with him. Chris Apostle was Vice-President of Special Recording Projects at Sony Music since 1993. Cory Rooney is a a producer/songwriter and was appointed Epic's Vice President of A&R in 1998. Both Chris and Corey knew Michael through Sony/Epic, as well as, the insides workings of the Sony music label and how the label treated Michael in the last 15 years. These executives have worked with the best of the music business and are resolved to set the record straight about Michael Jackson.
Andrae' has now told Clifton Davis (when he saw him at MJ's family funeral on Sept. 4) that he is "confident that Michael Jackson knew the Lord." This was reported by Clifton on TBN's "Praise The Lord" on 9/8/09, Tuesday night to the world. (Dave)
From Andrae Crouch's Facebook page. Andrae was a friend of Michael's and worked with him on various albums.
"He was a very delightful client to work with. He was very cooperative, he listened, he was very respectful of me, and attorney Susan Yu and our staff.....Michael Jackson was one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever met. He really wanted to do more than just be a musical genius. He wanted to heal and change the world through love, through kindness, through art and through music and I do believe the world’s a better place because he was with us.
He was very gentle, very kind. There was, I sort of describe it as a universal Michael and Michael the individual. There was the universalist Michael who wanted to change the globe. Wanted to see the entire world focus on children and he felt that if children were properly loved and cared for that we would significantly reduce the violence in the world, significantly reduce the meanness in the world, significantly reduce poverty, and all of the world’s most important problems. He felt that the way to do that was to focus on the world’s children. So that’s the universalist Michael who thought he could heal the world through music, through love, through humanitarian measures. He was one of the greatest humanitarians in world history. He actually is in the Guiness Book of Records as one of the largest donors to children’s causes, which the media doesn’t like to focus on.
There also is in the individual Michael, who I dealt with, who was a person, and he loved to see a child smile. He built Neverland to see children happy. He was one of the wealthiest men in the world. He could have spent all of that money selfishly. Instead he had a zoo, he had an amusement park, a theatre, he had statues devoted to the world’s children. If you looked at the artwork in his house, a lot of it centered on children and seeing them happy and respecting them for who they were. Their race, their religion, what part of the world they were from, what kind of native traditions they had. This was someone who as a person, loved to see a child smile. Loved to see a child from the inner city who was growing up in poverty and violence come to Neverland and look at a giraffe and smile and look at an elephant and smile. Get some free ice cream and just be happy. It just meant a lot to Michael because he was a very good person. But unfortunately when you’re that much of a genius, and you’re that wealthy, all of the sharks are going to come forward, and when you combine with that a certain level of naivety, a person who just didn’t want to be wrapped up in money matters all of the time or legal matters. He wanted to do creative things, he wanted to do humanitarian things. That makes him even more of a target for frivolous lawsuits and frivolous claims."
Attorney Tom Mesereau
"Michael, he loved to sit and tell stories. He loved to talk…talk…talk about everything. Every time he came to like a city or something I remember he wanted to go to the bookstore. They closed the bookstore down. He’d go to get books. He’d read. He’d educate me on Africa and how beautiful Africa is. He said, ‘You know, people don’t want you to know how beautiful Africa is because they’re over there robbing it of all its riches.’ But he said, ‘It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life.’ He brought me pictures. It’s just amazing."....
“As far as I’m concerned, actually Sunday I went to church and I spoke to my pastor at my church cause I wanted to be clear on something. I wanted to make sure that I’m not going to get attacked or get any trouble by expressing myself the way I’ve been expressing myself. I said, not to compare anyone to Christ because there is no comparison to Christ. If you just look at a second this world that we live in within God’s world which is called the entertainment world.” Michael, to me, I can only tell you to me and I’m sure I can get you dozens and dozens and dozens and hundreds of thousands of people who feel the same. Michael Jackson was like a Christ like figure for us. To know that this man over the last 15 years has been torn down, crucified, slandered, badmouthed, everyone would rather talk about something negative like he wanted to buy the elephant man’s bones. So what? You know what? I would buy them too.”...
"Like I said, he took his bumps, he took his bruises. He was one of the toughest men I ever met, and that’s the truth. He was a rugged tough guy. There was nothing timid about Michael Jackson.”
Lou Ferrigno and Miko Brando, both long-time friends of Michael's, speak out about Michael to Larry King:
Lou: When he was with me, the mask came off, the glove came off. It was just me and Michael. We were alone together. He was just a real genuine guy. There was no bs, no eccentric, he was brilliant. We just had fun. He was just a regular guy like you and I talking.....The thing about Michael. He was a personal guy and all he cared about was being a close friend. Just enjoying life. I mean, I don't care what the media said because everybody wants to focus on sometimes the negativity. I like people for who they are. If there's some people I don't like, I disassociate myself from them, but Michael was just very genuine. He loved all people.
Miko: I'm angry (about the negative publicity) esepcially now because he's not here to defend himself. He is such a good person, a loving person. Every time....anyone who knew him or had any kind of relationship, you knew he always ended every conversation with "I love you, see you." It was always love.
Lou: He was just a regular guy. It was Michael. You and I (to Mike) see a side of him that most people don't see.
Miko: And never will.....and never will.
Lou: He never forgot friendship
Miko: It was very important
Lou: (on their sharing in common having grown up with a tough father)...Michael's escape was music, my escape was bodybuilding, to become a world champion, and it's funny how we both became extremists.
Katie Burrell on the Michael she knew and on a trip to Neverland with her father
Michael liked those that can respect him. So many fans viewed it (the memorial service) as a show, a concert, and that's not what it was. They disrespected his family to get to him, pushed them etc...
If you went up to him with a clear head and spoke to him, he'd speak back to you in his 'real' voice. If you were the fan that cried and couldn't speak, he'd play the kop (King of Pop) role. He's always been like that.
He is very sweet and he was honest to a fault UNLESS he felt the truth would hurt you. He was (also) a very shrewd business man and if things didn't go correctly, he wouldn't hesitate to have someone fired.
The first time I took my father to the ranch, he was cranky. He's borderline diabetic and all we brought up were sweets, so he was complaining. We were in the arcade and it was blaring loud in there from the jukebox. Now im deaf, so if it was loud for me, it had to be mind numbing for everyone else. So i left and sat w/ my feet in the pool. My dad followed but then said he was going to go and get some water. After a half an hour, he still wasn't back and when i went back to the arcade, there he was, playing a video game with a big cheesy grin on his face. "pow, i got u! POW POW" omg it was hilarious.
Then we went to the train station. It was full of pastries and candy. My father, the 'diabetic', went to the Good Humor chests (they had them all over the ranch) and got two ice cream bars for each hand, stuffed some candy in his pockets and waited for the train. After we ate dinner, we went to watch a movie. Instead of using the popcorn bucket for...popcorn (LOL) he filled it up w/ sweets and went to go sit down. h
He told michael, at the end of the day, that he finally understood what the ranch was about. He finally got it. It was about the child within the adult. You didn' t have to be a kid to enjoy it and he was glad Michael opened his eyes to that. Michael just said he was glad and that he hoped he had a good time and to come back whenever.
He (my father) told michael, at the end of the day, that he finally understood what the ranch was about. He finally got it. It was about the child within the adult. You didn' t have to be a kid to enjoy it and he was glad Michael opened his eyes to that. Michael just said he was glad and that he hoped he had a good time and to come back whenever.
Katie Burrell on a trip she took to Neverland with her father
"First of all, he was a very kind soul. A humble guy. Very Jesus in spirit who was caring, loving. A true person....he was just a very humble guy. For all his success, he was very, very kind.
His biggest weakness? Being kind, being trusting of people. He trusted people and he also believed in great loyalty. A lot of people betrayed him. He was hurt by Hollywood also. People in Hollywood betrayed him, they turned their backs on him. That hurt him deeply. The powerful people in Hollywood, I'm not going to name their names, turned their backs on him, shunned him. They all fleed from him like a disease.
He asked me to fly down to Florida in 07 to talk with him. So I flew down to Florida that night. His brother picked me up at the airport, and Michael sat up until around 3 a.m. in the morning and he spoke about how Hollywood mistreated him and I could see and hear the hurt in his voice about that situation and I told him, 'You gotta move past it.' I said 'Mike, we're gonna do like we used to do. We're going to jump out on the road and we're gonna show 'em.'"
Tito Jackson's manager speaking with Larry King
"I believe what people fail to realize is that Michael was a human being."
Speaking to Larry King
"What I remember most is his dedication to the industry, for the music industry, and how hard of a worker he was. I have some memories from being on the road with him (Leonard did the Off the Wall tour with Michael)
"After the first 21 or 22 shows, I had to pull it down for a few weeks because he caught an infection in his throat that spread to his ear and I had to let him come home and rest for about 2 1/2 weeks and then he was able to finish.
We was in Alabama one night and this is when he had got the infection, and he was coming out of the dressing room and I was hoping we could make it because we had a break coming up before we go to Hawaii.
When he was coming out of the dressing room, I said 'Mike, don't exert yourself so much and cut down on all the dancing and the spinning,' and he looked at me with them humble eyes and said, 'I can't do the people that way. I've got to give them all I got.' I remember that.
Jackson family friend speaking with Larry King
Michael's long-time friends Miko Brando (son of Marlon Brando) and Dave Dave, speak to Larry King about Michael
Miko: When he heard of people in need, we'd watch the news together, he'd reach out to them, send them a basket, send them a note. Get well or whatever the incident would be. He'd always reach out to people to help people. Even around town he'd stop and help people.
Dave: He befriended me. He took me into his life, which is very rare for Michael to do, but he opened up his arms to me and accepted me as a very good friend of his and throughout the years, he never let me go. At that moment, when we met, we embraced, and that embrace never ended throughout our whole entire friendship. I believe what people fail to realize is that Michael was a human being. Throughout the years he was kind of stigmatized by the media and I believe that wasn't really helpful to him or to anybody around him. I believe that Michael was a great person. He has never hurt a soul. I am happy to have been through all of these years, a dedicated friend.
Miko: That's just the kind of human being he was. He's very loving, caring. That's the kind of person Michael was. He loved a lot of people. He'll be missed and loved by a lot of people.
Dave: Michael offered a lot of emotional support for me. He was there for me whenever I needed to talk to him. He opened up Neverland to me as a means to get away. Metaphorically, he was almost like a father that I never had.
Miko: The people that knew him would tell you the same stories. How much of a loving, caring human being he was. One of a king. People that didn't know him would make up stories about him. He was a private individual. He liked his privacy. He was a private man.
One of Michael's dancers, Timor Steffens, speaks about Michael, his impact on him and working with him
Video uploaded on YouTube by hoofmark
Michael Jackson's bodyguard Big E is interviewed on the radio the day after Michael's death
Uploaded by CelebrateMJ
The 2009 SXSW Music Keynote speech from Quincy Jones Quincy Jones speaks about Michael, his talent, working with him and how Michael was touched by God
Video by sxsw on YouTube
Timor Steffens, one of Michael's dancers for the 02 shows, talks about Michael's influence on him:
"He is very modest, shy and pure man. When you see him on stage, hitting the moves and doing his thing, you think 'wow!' That's all very spectacular. But face to face he's a sweet and soft man. Very easy to talk to, down to earth but also a very, very shy person.
I learned a lot from him. About dancing, about life experiences....everything.
When you stand next to him...his energy, it's as if he's glowing. I really mean it. If he dances....what I want to say is...he's 50, but he dances like he's one of us, like he's 20 or 18.
My goal is to go try to inspire other people like Michael did with me.
He is very humoristic. He loves to laugh and he enjoys life."
(When asked why he speaks in the present tense about Michael)
"But he's not dead. Not for me. Michael lives in all of us. I can feel him, in the experience I now have. I can feel he's still there for me"
One of Michael Jackson's recent bodyguards, Big E, speaks about working with Michael:
"Michael was just really an unbelievable person. He was just misunderstood by so many people.
He was an incredible, incredibly, incredibly sensitive person. He was just really sensitive to people.
Some of the guys that worked with him, one of the things that we can take away from MJ was just the fact that, you know in the short time we was around him, was just the fact that he really wanted people to be treated right.
Every single time we would come out and leave the house, if you can imagine, there's fans outside of his house every single, solitary day. He would always roll his window down. He would always stop and talk to people, these fans, every single time, to some point where I felt it could be detrimental to his safety. He's very serious, adamant and gracious to his fans.
Prince, Paris and Blanket are all really, really smart and beautiful children and they really love their father. (after Big E took them to the family compound after their father's death)....(the kids) were more concerned about us. It was really kind of shocking. But they're really mature, beautiful children. Paris turned back and said "Well, my Daddy's in Heaven."
"The King of Pop, he's the biggest star in the history of the world....just having small conversations with him (meant a lot).
I'd be the first person he'd see when he comes out. We'd have to pull the cars up and get ready to leave. I'd have to get his door and make sure he was in and I'd say 'Good afternoon Mr. Jackson' and (he'd say) 'Good afternoon' and he'd smile, you know how Michael Jackson was, and that big old smile....oh man. (his voice trails off painfully).
Geraldo Rivera talks to Bill O'Reilly about Michael being a normal, competent father and questions where all of his friends were during his 2005 trial and also the press' adoration of Michael now when they tore him to pieces during the trial
"He was a true gift and there are very few that have come to the magnitude of influence that he had on the world."
Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Frank Cascio, long-time friend of Michael's
talks about how Michael longed for normalcy in his life
Read the article and view the video HERE
MICHAEL JACKSON. THE LEGEND. THE ICON. THE MAGICAL ONE. THE KING. THE VOICE . THE DANCE. THE HUMANITARIAN. THE MAN IN THE MIRROR.
"For me, Michael was all the above and more over, an incredible human being. I was blessed to meet him, know him and visit Neverland when Michael still considered it his home.
I worked with Heal The World for several years in the '90s and joined Michael in different Humanitarian projects to help underprivileged children in war torn countries in the past years.
Other than being a loyal MJ fan for 25 years, I found ways to connect to Michael through mutual interests and respect for humanity. There was nothing more rewarding to Michael than being able to help a less fortunate or ill child, anywhere in the world.
I wrote a poem about my reflection of Neverland and gave it to Michael some years ago. Although incomplete, he expressed to me how much he loved it and how he really lived his creation through my description.
This is a short glimpse of the magical place that Michael created and loved:
Slowly driving through the welcoming oak gates of Neverland valley. You initially smile, you then open your eyes, and at that moment shed a tear of delight. Magically blood rushes to your head through all the veins in your body, like love through your heart. This is the entrance of Neverland. The first thing you see are two beautifully lit up archangels, hung in front of the house, blustering their trumpets with eminence, greeting you home.
The sound of free flowing water, droplets of fountains and the sweet whistles of birds all encapsulate the air with joy, as classical music and verses of Michael's 'Childhood' projects through the rocks creating a melody through the trees. Instruments of nature, all reflections of the man who lives here.
In the distance set on an island are dozens of elegantly placed pink flamingos flaunting eloquence, illuminating the path to your childhood. Lakes, fountains, water and dandelions all at peace with one another.
The sun, the glowing star shines over the surrounding mountains into the valley, creating sparkles and emulating images in the water, reminiscing on the life beyond.
Flowers of purple, blue, yellow, mauve and lavender all enrich the gardens of Neverland, releasing odours of freedom and peace. The different colours and shapes define nature’s beauty.
A red steam train transports you throughout the journey of your youth. First stop the train house on Katherine Street. The potent aroma of candy and sweets dominates all senses, taking you back to your first sweet delight. A beautiful retreat for all your childhood memories, with Santa’s Christmas gift list and a spiral stair case leading to a warm and cosy game room. Holograms are designed on the walls and an honorary plaque for a beloved mother titles the house and sets the sensation of love.
Next stop the stunning theme park. Here your jaw drops open and your soul emerges. The child exists in us all. Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire cat awaits your arrival as all the rides are activated and alight. The songs of Disney fill your heart and lift up your spirit, commemorating visions of lost youth. Bumper cars, zipper, Ferris wheel, swings, the maiden of the sea all operate with Michael’s music energising the tranquillity.
To be continued...
I told Michael that I would only complete the poem when I revisited Neverland.
Sadly that would never happen. Michael, you will indeed live forever in my heart.
I will miss you immensely. God Bless and protect your sweet, innocent children.
You finally can rest in peace eternally, look after us all. x
Worked on humanitarian projects for Michael Jackson
Michael's long-time makeup artist and friend, Karen Faye, speaks about Michael on what would have been his 51st Birthday
Video by MJJItalia on YouTube
Artist and long-time friend, David Nordahl, talks about his commissioned works for, and his friendship with, Michael
Pure In Heart
Judith was one of the amazingly talented singers who sang with Michael on what was to be the This Is It concerts in London, and she is featured in the This Is It rehearsal footage film "This Is It"
July 18, 2009
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8) I read this passage in my hotel room right before the memorial service. I thought about Michael. I thought about how pure his heart was and how he was able to bless so many people with that purity. And yet ridiculed, accused, and abused, he still managed to maintain the pureness of heart so that everyone who crossed paths with him felt his love. He warmly welcomed all of us on the “This Is It” tour. His disposition was so genuinely sincere. That’s what I focused on during “Heal the World”. Looking into the faces of the children, I remembered Michael’s love for them.
I looked up to the heavens and knew God was smiling down on us at that moment. Nothing else mattered. Cameras, media, and business all became a faded echo drowned out by the overwhelming presence of God’s love. Not sure how I ended up closing the service, but I understood it in my heart. It wasn’t showtime; it was ministry time. As the King of Pop, as a legend of our time, and as the first and last of his kind, Michael’s message was even greater, “There are people dying, if you care enough for the living make a better place for you and for me.” This message gets right down to the truth. Death has a way of leveling everyone out so that the rich man holds the hand of the poor man. Though we live our lives chasing after other things, we all understand the importance of relationships, especially when a life is terminated. I was so blessed to see how every person came together at the service. What better legacy to leave than the gift of love? After Michael’s death, my heart was paralyzed. But now, I’m starting to come out and realize that Michael may have left us, but God hasn’t left us. And God is the reason why Michael was so special. “Every good and perfect gift is from above” James 1:16. As long as I’m living, I want to appreciate the people around me and use my gifts wholeheartedly. This life goes by so fast. It’s painful, but often times pain is beautiful