Episode 066 – Long Hair Don’t Care

This episode of The MJCast is dedicated to the victims of the September 19th Central Mexico Earthquake, which has killed more than 300 people to date and those who are suffering in hurricane ravaged Puerta Rico. You can pitch in here and here respectively. A massive recovery effort is underway in Mexico City and Puerta Rico. The MJCast wishes host of The MJCast en Español Ale Huerta and her friends and family all the best…

It’s nearly Halloween and, aptly, John Branca has coughed and spluttered back into action to gift us with a trio of new projects. The first is a compilation CD of songs that are Halloween-themed and also of songs which aren’t Halloween-themed. The tracklist includes Ghosts, Thriller, Torture… and Dirty Diana and Scream.

The second new project, given a preview at Comic Con in New York, is a cartoon about a jeri curl-sporting dog set to ‘reimagined’ Michael Jackson songs. The third is a 3D conversion of Thriller which featured the wrong music at its London premiere.

Two of these peak Michael Jackson Estate offerings – the CD and the new version of Thriller – were launched in recent weeks with a series of invite-only fan parties. After screening the music videos for several of the songs on the CD, John Branca and John Landis teamed up for some Q&As. So fans were treated to the sight of an unconvincing plastic dummy serving as a proxy Michael Jackson. They also saw the Torture video.

Co-host Charles Thomson and friend of the show Paul Black appear on this episode to discuss these latest Estate releases after Jamon and Q’s round-up of all the hottest news.

News

  • Michael’s Aviator sunglasses have been reimagined after 35 years.
  • 3T have performed at the We Love 90s Festival in the Netherlands.
  • A series of projects have taken place to mark 30 years of the Bad album, including The MJCast en Espanol’s first roundtable episode, a new article by Albumism and a new MJ101 eBook by Andy Healy.
  • Some new footage has leaked from the Dangerous Tour in Copenhagen.
  • A new HIStory Tour concert, from Johannesburg, has leaked.
  • A new audio documentary has been released about Janet Jackson’s work with Jam & Lewis.
  • Janet Jackson has kicked off her State of the World Tour in Houston and visited homeless shelters for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Paris Jackson has been announced as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.
  • ABC 20/20 has aired a documentary about the murder of Tito Jackson’s ex-wife Dee Dee, about which her sons – 3T – are unhappy.
  • London’s National Portrait Gallery has announced an exhibition of artwork inspired by Michael Jackson, to be held in summer 2018.
  • Behind the scenes footage of Nahko Bear’s new music video, featuring Paris Jackson, has been released.
  • Taryll Jackson has released Start It All Over Again.
  • Chart Masters has published an article detailing how many units the Thriller album has actually sold.
  • A collector claims he has a rare copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker Sega game, featuring Thriller.
  • Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, CEO of the Alibaba Group, has performed some Michael Jackson dance moves.

Main Discussion Topic

  • Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate have marked the release of a new Michael Jackson compilation CD with a series of fan parties, featuring screenings of Thriller 3D.

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Episode 065 – Hector Barjot Special

Hector Barjot has been a Michael Jackson fan for more than thirty years and started his MJ memorabilia collection in 1988. He now has one of the biggest collections in the world. From dolls to cuddly toys to rare vinyl pressings – you name it, he has it.

Based in France, Hector is the co-author of the Ultimate Collector book series and also runs a successful YouTube channel about his MJ rarities. His videos have amassed more than 150,000 views to date.

Today he joins Q and Jamon to tell them how he became a fan, what sparked his obsessive collecting and whether he regrets any of his purchases.

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Episode 064 – Vincent Paterson Special

Choreographer Vincent Patterson was at Michael Jackson’s side for many of the key moments which helped cement his status as an entertainment legend, first working with Michael as an assistant choreographer and lead dancer on the pioneering Beat It and Thriller music video shoots. When it came time to devise the videos for Michael’s next album, Bad, Vincent was brought back into the fold, working on the short films for The Way You Make Me Feel, Speed Demon, Dirty Diana and Smooth Criminal.

But it wasn’t just short films he collaborated on with Michael. He also helped shape some of the most historic live performances of Michael’s career, from directing the Bad World Tour to helping to choreograph Michael’s 1988 Grammy Awards performance.

Vincent’s association with Michael continued throughout the 1990s. He choreographed for the Black or White music video and Michael’s MTV 10th anniversary performance, helped devise Michael’s groundbreaking Superbowl half-time show and directed the Blood on the Dance Floor music video.

Today he joins Jamon and Q to discuss Michael Jackson as both an artist and a man, explaining their collaborative working process and telling the stories behind some of pop culture’s most historic moments. He also discusses his involvement in the documentary, The Man Behind the Throne, which is the focus of his work with Michael Jackson, Madonna and other celebrities.

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Thanks to listener Cody Covington, we now have a full transcript available for this episode. Our deepest thanks and gratitude, Cody.

Episode 063 – Q Q&A

Just when you thought things were getting back to normal, Jamon has deserted ship again, leaving Q to man the deck single-handed. Luckily, Q is more than capable of entertaining himself while Jamon isn’t looking.

In this solo episode, Q answers questions submitted by you, our loyal listeners. Episode 062 was the fastest-downloaded regular news episode in the show’s history, so Q felt Episode 063 would be the perfect opportunity to engage in a little back and forth with our ever-growing audience.

Topics ranged from MJ in the movies to what Q would do if if was manning the fort over at the MJ Estate, instead of here at The MJCast.

From Lina Yakoub:

  • Who are three actors you think would be able to channel Michael the best in a movie (could be singers as well)?
  • What already existing movie roles do you think Michael possibly could have played?
  • Do you have any exciting guests on upcoming episodes and, if so, could you give us a few hints on who they may be?

From live-tweeting queen Carley (@MJIsMyGoldenBoy):

  • Which MJ songs have you not listened to ever since MJ’s passing?
  • What were the highlights of seeing MJOne?

From Lyne Tyler (@FmrMTLr):

  • A common complaint with fellow fans is the lack of available materials from the Jacksons’ touring years. As we gripe about not having the Destiny, Triumph or Victory tours on any media, we never ask who owns the rights to those tours. Is it the band (ie. The Jacksons) or another entity? The MJ Estate may not have full ownership and may therefore not be to blame for not releasing them. I personally have no clue and thought you may have insight.
  • My second question relates to your outstanding work in putting this podcast together. Without revealing your secret sauce, as you all seem to make it so easy, how do you manage to produce such a high quality show with consistent topics and without speaking over each other? How much prep time is involved and how do your respective significant others feel about the time we steal away from them? I love them all for sharing you with us so generously.
  • One last question. Can we get Mr Thomson to live tweet more? He is priceless.

From Kory Wise:

  • If you could go back to witness one moment from Michael’s life or career, what would it be and why?

From Reny SanLuis:

  • If you could own any piece of MJ memorabilia, what would it be and why?
  • If you were in charge of the MJ Estate, what would be the first MJ item/thing that you would put out or do for the public?
  • If you could go back in time and watch Michael create a signature moment during his stellar career, what would it be and why?
  • The famous Oprah Winfrey question: What do you know for sure?

From Ashley White (@1958TO4EVER):

  • Do you know what happened to the tsunami relief song Michael was working on around 2005, that he was shown working on in the Geraldo Riviera interview?
  • Do you think we will get a remastered Thriller on Blu-Ray as a result of Thriller 3D coming to cinemas?

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Episode 062 – They Didn’t Need an Expert to Say That

Jamon is back from his paternity leave, rejoining Q to co-host Episode 062 after a few months off. They are joined by recurring guest host and legal correspondent Charles Thomson, plus lifelong MJ fan Angela Kande. Charles and Angela discuss their recent visits to Santa Maria, Forest Lawn and the Jacksons’ 50th Anniversary Tour, before helping Jamon and Q dissect all of the latest MJ and Jackson family news.

After the news, Jamon and Q first delve into Angela’s fan story, where she shares some of her most vivid memories from the ‘frontline’ of MJ fandom in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to attending the HIStory Tour in 1997 and the World Music Awards in 2006, Angela spent time at Michael’s hotels and other places he visited during his trips to the UK. She recalls the lows (like witnessing a photographer assault Michael outside a recording studio) and the highs (like bagging a seat right behind Michael at a London theatre) of her time spent in Michael’s orbit. She also discusses the origins of her spoken word poem ‘Legacy’, about the impact of Michael’s death on his fan community.

The hosts then turn their attention to Charles. Despite first appearing on the MJCast in Episode 002 and having been a frequent contributor ever since, Jamon and Q recently realised they had never asked Charles some of the key questions they usually ask guests during their first appearances on the show. What begins as a simple interview about Charles’ favourite songs, albums, videos and concerts turns into an emotional discussion about what Michael means to his fans – and the wider world – and how the fan community must fight for his legacy as his Estate allows it to crumble.

This episode marks Angela’s first ‘live’ appearance on the MJCast, although she did appear as one of Charles’ interviewees in his World Music Awards 10th Anniversary Special last year.

News

  • Michael’s Estate announces a one-off cartoon, ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’, featuring ‘reimagined’ versions of his music.
  • A 3D version of Thriller, plus the Making of Thriller documentary, are to be shown at the Venice Film Festival.
  • Producer Teddy Riley, a major contributor to Michael’s Dangerous album, discusses his time in the studio with Michael in a new two-and-a-half interview.
  • Remixed by Nick* has made a large number of his Michael Jackson remixes available for download.
  • Jimmy Safechuck’s posthumous demands for money over alleged abuse by Michael have been thrown out of court by a judge, and Wade Robson’s case looks set to follow.
  • Quincy Jones has been awarded more than $9million by a jury after he sued the Michael Jackson Estate for underpaying him.
  • An attempt by Frank Cascio to auction a CD of fake Michael Jackson songs for upwards of $50,000 has been called off – but the disc remains available for private sale.
  • Jermaine Jackson performs at the grand finale of BBC talent contest Pitch Battle.
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been used as the soundtrack to the new trailer for Stranger Things – Season Two, after producers were eventually able to secure the rights
  • Michael Jackson’s Estate has granted Sony, a company Michael despised, continued permission to control the licensing of his music.
  • New transcripts from the class action lawsuit over the release of fake Michael Jackson songs reveal a judge has accused lawyers for Sony, MJJ Productions and the MJ Estate of throwing their co-defendants under a bus by conceding they may have been duped into selling bogus material.
  • Michael’s son Prince has produced a music video for Swedish singer Nano.
  • FIlmmaker Spike Lee has announced his latest Brooklyn Loves MJ street party.
  • The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has added new Michael Jackson exhibits to its collection.

Main Discussion Topic

  • Angela and Charles’ fan stories

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Episode 061 – Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett Special

Drummer Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett first worked with Michael Jackson when he joined the Jacksons on their Destiny Tour in 1979. He remained with the brothers for the Triumph Tour – where his work was immortalised on the Jacksons’ only live album – and then joined them on their legendary Victory Tour. He later played on the Jacksons’ album 2300 Jackson Street and on Michael’s 1988 Grammy Awards performance.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he worked with other music legends including Madonna, Elton John and George Michael. In 1996 he re-teamed with Michael Jackson for the HIStory World Tour, which lasted into 1997, and then joined him again in 2001 for his two 30th Anniversary Celebration concerts at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

In 2009 he was selected for the This Is It band and worked with Michael in his final weeks, days and hours of rehearsals. He performed at Michael’s Staples Centre memorial and has since worked for his Estate on its Cirque Du Soleil Immortal World Tour.

In this special episode, Jonathan joins Jamon and Q to discuss his long career and relationship with Michael Jackson.

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Thanks to listener Cody Covington, we now have a full transcript available for this episode. Our deepest thanks and gratitude, Cody.

Episode 058 – Vindication Day Special (Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations)

As far back as he can remember, Ryan Michaels was a Michael Jackson fan. He was just five years old when the Dangerous album came out but vividly remembers watching the Black or White music video upon its release in America. In his teenage years he became an active member of the Michael Jackson internet fan community where, in his 20s, he got to know Charles Thomson.

After Michael’s death, Ryan withdrew somewhat from the fan community. Today he lives in Tokyo, where he works for several companies and, in his spare time, hosts the podcast Reason Bound. The show is all about logic and critical thought; what people believe, why they believe it and the importance of being able to recognise good and bad arguments. Each week he and a guest discuss these points in relation to a particular hot topic.

Charles’ life also now revolves around logic and critical thought. Since Michael’s death he has become an award-winning newspaper journalist, investigating issues and weighing evidence on a daily basis, in addition to regularly reporting on criminal trials.

A few months back, Ryan invited his old friend Charles onto Reason Bound. He appeared in episode seven, where they discussed the justice system and the importance of preserving the presumption of innocence. Given their history, the two of them naturally referred to the Michael Jackson trial several times during the show.

August 16, 2004 – MJ attends the pretrial hearings, escorted by LaToya and Janet.

After the recording was finished, Ryan felt there was a lot more to be said about the Michael Jackson case. He invited Charles back onto the show to do something neither of them had ever seen done before – to record a podcast where the two of them would discuss the child abuse allegations leveled at Michael Jackson during the latter half of his career – from their inception in 1993 through to his 2005 trial – within the context of Reason Bound’s usual parameters; looking at what people believe, why they believe it, and the importance of being able to recognise good and bad arguments. They would discuss the evidence in an unemotional way, testing the theories and arguments of bother Michael Jackson’s fans and his detractors.

June 13, 2005 – The Jackson Family leaves the court after the veredict.

Given Charles’ continuing work with The MJCast, Jamon and Q were given a sneak preview loved the show so much they decided they wanted to air it too. So for the second time in The MJCast’s history we are simulcasting with another show. We are proud to present, for our third annual Vindication Day Special, episode 10 of Reason Bound, titled ‘Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations’.

The show goes live today on both The MJCast’s channel and Reason Bound’s. We thank Ryan for working with us on this episode and we encourage you to head over to iTunes and check out some more of his thought-provoking episodes.

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Episode 056 – Remixed by Nick* Special (Urban Jungle Mix)

Who is Nick*? For years, the Chicago-based mystery man has tantalised fans with his reworkings of Michael Jackson’s greatest tracks, often including elements never included in the final versions of the songs. The MJCast has regularly included Nick*’s work in its episodes but in this special show, the elusive remixer actually joins hosts Jamon and Q to to discuss his methods and his Michael Jackson fandom. Alas, he’s keeping mum on how exactly he keeps getting his hands on Michael’s priceless multi-tracks. In addition to featuring the David Attenborough-esque wildlife soundscape of Nick*’s neighbourhood, this episode also features a brand new Nick* reworking of The Jackson 5’s hit single The Love You Save.

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Episode 055 – You’re Muted for Two Weeks

Having grown sick of having to keep interviewing Michael Jackson’s friends and collaborators, Jamon and Q appear on their own this week with a good, old-fashioned news round-up.

The show kicks off with the news that Janet Jackson might be touring again soon, followed by the depressing news that Michael’s former manager Sandy Gallin recently passed away, then the even more depressing news that somebody has decided to perform a cover version Man In The Mirror.

The despair continues with the announcements that convicted killer Conrad Murray has recorded an interview with celebrity quack Dr Oz, Taryll Jackson is to undergo televised counselling on a dubious reality TV show and Britain’s Channel 5 – which previously brought us such marvels as ‘Michael Jackson’s Face’ and ‘When Pilots Eject’ – has produced a new Michael Jackson ‘biopic’. Oh, and a Michael Jackson impersonator has started charging fans to go on holiday with him.

But there are some glimmers of hope. World-renowned biographer J Randy Taraborrelli has broken his vow of silence on Michael Jackson and agreed to update his biography for 2019. Jackie Jackson has given an in-depth interview to the UK’s Times newspaper ahead of the Jacksons’ impending 50th anniversary tour. And Brad Sundberg has announced he will host one of his amazing In The Studio With MJ seminars in Los Angeles in June.

After the news, Jamon and Q argue the pros (tracks 1-5) and the cons (the rest) of the Blood on the Dance Floor album, which, frighteningly, turns 20 this year.

News

  • Reports suggest Janet Jackson may reschedule her postponed Unbreakable World  Tour
  • Sandy Gallin, Michael Jackson’s manager during the Dangerous era, has passed away
  • Camila Cabello has covered Man in the Mirror
  • Universal Orlando’s new thrill ride Race Through New York has a hidden Michael Jackson Easter Egg
  • Taryll Jackson and his wife Breana Cabral are to feature in reality TV show Iyanla: Fix My Life
  • Conrad Murray is to appear in a May episode of the Dr Oz show
  • A bootleg recording of Michael Jackson’s Ghost of Another Lover has leaked
  • Brett Ratner has spoken about his appearance in Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movie TV show
  • Biographer J Randy Taraborrelli is ending his vow of silence on Michael Jackson and will update his book for 2019, he has announced on Facebook
  • A new documentary, titled Michael Jackson: Man in the Mirror, has aired
  • Jackie Jackson has given an in-depth interview to UK newspaper The Times
  • LaVelle Smith Jr has released a video of dancers rehearsing new routines for Michael Jackson’s aborted HBO One Night Only concert
  • A Michael Jackson impersonator is charging fans to go on holiday with him
  • Brad Sundberg has announced 3 Days of MJ from June 26th – June 28th in Los Angeles

Main Discussion Topic

  • Michael Jackson’s Blood on the Dance Floor album

Finds of the Week

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Episode 054 – CJ DeVillar Special

CJ DeVillar is a bassist and mix engineer who’s had the honour of working with artists like Quincy Jones, Boyz II Men, Van Halen and Yolanda Adams – but he joins us today, of course, to discuss his work with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He tells us how he came to meet and work with Michael and shares some intimate memories from the studio, where he and Michael worked on songs including Break of Dawn, Blue Gangsta and A Place With No Name. Jankins, host of the Moonwalk Talks podcast, joins us for this special interview with one of Michael’s collaborators during some of the last studio sessions of his life.

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Thanks to listener Cody Covington, we now have a full transcript available for this episode. Our deepest thanks and gratitude, Cody.