Episode 089 – John Barnes Special

The MJCast’s Elise Capron and Jamon Bull are honoured to interview renowned musician, arranger, songwriter and mixer John Barnes, who has worked with an incredibly wide range of the world’s top musicians and entertainers, including, of course, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

John has been recording music since the early ’70s, and has collaborated with artists such as Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, and many more. He first teamed up with the Jackson family in the early ’80s, playing synthesizer and handling arrangements on The Jacksons’ Victory album. He also worked independently with Janet and Jermaine during this time.

Captain EO and the Bad album marked the beginning of John’s deep involvement in Michael Jackson’s solo career. While Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien were working at Westlake, John, Matt Forger, and Bill Bottrell spent their days at Michael’s private home studio at Hayvenhurst, bringing to fruition Michael’s own musical creations. John took on many different roles in the creative process. He was a musician, programmer, and developed ideas from the group up alongside Michael, including co-writing ‘We Are Here to Change the World’.

John worked with Michael in his later years as well, and spent time with him in Bahrain following the 2005 criminal trial in which he was found not guilty. Not only was John a crucial member of MJ’s creative team, but he has also had a major impact on the popular music landscape as we know it, both as a traditional musician and with his revolutionary work with synth sound programming. Today, John continues his work in the music industry as the CEO of Innersound Studios.

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Episode 087 – Happy 60th Birthday MJ!

On this episode celebrating Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, Q, Elise and Jamon go on a trip down memory lane with special guest Sean Fitzgerald, who was part of the team who ran The Magic World of Michael Jackson Fan Club in the U.S. from 1989-1995. Sean recreates the incredible moments he experienced during this golden era for MJ fans, such as attending Michael’s fabled Bad World Tour shows at Madison Square Garden and having front-row access to the filming of MTV’s 10th Anniversary Special, where Michael performed Black or White and Will You Be There for the first time. He also talks about the infamous 1995 HBO Beacon Theatre show that was cancelled when Michael fell ill and organising ‘MichaelFest’ fan gatherings.

Plus, Sean goes into detail about his fan club’s very positive relationship with MJJ Productions, who invited Sean and other fan club organizers to their LA office on multiple occasions. Sean also gives interesting insight into how the fan community was organised pre-internet, and how that time contrasts to the online community today.

Sean Fitzgerald is based in New York, and now works in marketing. He’s been married to his high-school sweetheart (who is also an MJ fan!) for 27 years, and they have five children together. Sean is also very active in Church ministries (prison ministry, youth ministry and bible study) and has multiple degrees in Theology. He still has many very personal items from his collection of MJ memorabilia, including a range of items signed personally from Michael Jackson.

The MJCast can’t imagine a better way to celebrate sixty years of Michael than with these fantastic memories.

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Stay BAD!

Episode 077 – Let’s Make HIStory Special with Brice Najar

Q flies solo today, welcoming returning guest Brice Najar back on the show, along with his wonderful wife, Laetitia Latouche. Brice is well-known in the Michael Jackson community for his books on The Jacksons and the King of Pop, but this discussion is focused on his most recent book, Let’s Make HIStory. Najar’s book goes into detail about the recording of Michael’s brilliant HIStory album. Based around interviews with key collaborators, the book is a comprehensive and fascinating look into the creation of a masterpiece.

Q, Brice, and Laetitia discuss what makes Let’s Make HIStory an important contribution to Michael Jackson literature, why the HIStory era is of particular significance, what it was like to interview collaborators, the process of getting this book published, and surprises that Brice discovered along the way. Brice and Laetitia also talk about MJ Music Day in France, and how that event came together.

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Episode 073 – Season Three Mixtape

Jamon and Q have interrupted their end of year break to bring you The MJCast’s second annual mixtape. This curated musical experience is made up of your top-voted, favourite songs from our third season, as well as a few of Jamon and Q’s select favourites. Sit back, put your headphones on and let the groove get into you!

Tracklist
1. Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Something (Louis La Roche Remix)
2. Michael Jackson – Jam/2000 Watts ONE Supermix
3. Janet Jackson – State of the World (United Nations 7″ Remix)
4. Michael Jackson – Remember the Time (Human ’86 Remix)
5. Jackson 5 – The Love You Save (Nick* Redux)
6. Michael Jackson – Best of Joy (Acoustic by Nick* & CCMC)
7. Michael Jackson – For All Time (Eric Hudson Remix)
8. Laura and Berwyn – Human Nature
9. Michael Jackson – Human Nature/Never Can Say Goodbye ONE Supermix
10. Duo Alve – Black or White (Flute and Guitar)
11. Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror (Groovefunkel Remix)
12. The Game – Better on the Other Side (feat. Chris Brown)
13. Cyrano, Esq – Peace For Your Soul
14. Funkyphon – Stranger in Moscow (Orchestral Version)
15. London Symphony Orchestra – Earth Song
16. Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (BlkPanther SOLO Orchestral Mix)
17. Michael Jackson – Thriller (35th Anniversary SWG Extended Mix)
18. Michael Jackson – Threatened (Crook County Remix)
19. Michael Jackson – Blood on the Dance Floor (20th Anniversary SWG Extended Mix)
20. Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us (Nick* Crook County Remix)
21. Michael Jackson – Hollywood Tonight (Demo)
22. ForceStudios – Moonlight Groove
23. Michael Jackson – A Place With No Name
24. Michael Jackson – Liberian Girl (Master Chic Mix)
25. Jackson 5 – I Want You Back (Accents Bring the Sun Remix)
26. Janet Jackson – Dammn Baby (Noodles Remix)
27. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation (2017 Bit Error Remix)
28. Michael Jackson – Bad (Dance Extended Mix)
29. Michael Jackson – Human Nature (Louis La Roche Remix)
30. 3T – I Need You (Christmas Mix)
31. Tito Jackson – So Far So Good (feat. 3T)

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Episode 071 – MJ101 Special: Bad 30


Creator of the free MJ101 eBook series Andy Healy has released his new book, Bad 30, and what a great opportunity for us to explore both the book and the album for our second last episode of Season Three of The MJCast.

Joining returning guest Andy is a new voice for listeners, Chris Lacy. Chris is a lifelong Michael Jackson supporter in more ways than one. His fiery passion for music and dance came from studying Jackson’s artistry while he was growing up on Navy bases. Chris eventually became a dance instructor while learning from Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker of So You Think You Can Dance? fame. His appreciation for Michael Jackson expanded beyond the music when he started battling vitiligo at the age of twelve, a skin condition Jackson also endured. Fortunately, his strong Christian faith has not only helped him with his own struggles but has also inspired him to mentor youth who wrestle with various self-esteem issues. Chris is also a Contributing Writer for Albumism with heartfelt tributes for Bad (1987) and Dangerous (1991) under his belt, among others.

Andy, Chris, Jamon and Q explore and discuss the tracks on Michael’s critically and commercially acclaimed late 80’s masterpiece Bad. As Andy was lucky enough to see Michael live through witnessing The Bad World Tour in person, we also get to hear his account of this incredible concert, making us all slightly envious!

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Episode 070 – Nobody Gonna be Payin’ Us

Q and Jamon are back in the saddle and ready to discuss all things Michael Jackson and the Jackson family! The fellas kick things off with some discussion around a previously unseen version of the Victory album cover, Michael’s influence across the hip-hop genre, Tito Jackson’s interview around unreleased Michael music and a recent Dee Dee Jackson Foundation and Heal Los Angeles Fundraiser. Q and Jamon then delve into the new Blood on the Dancefloor X Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-up) remix, Paris Jackson’s Melbourne Cup visit, Janet’s State of the World Tour and Out100 Gala appearance and Austin Brown’s new EP Canyon Sessions. To round out the news, the boys update listeners on Katherine Jackson’s position as guardian of Bigi ‘Blanket’ Jackson, Mike Smallcombe and Andy Healy’s book announcements and the Dangerous World Tour (Live in Oslo) leak. The main discussion topic for this episode is all around Q and Jamon’s thoughts on the CBS TV special Michael Jackson’s Halloween.

P.s. We apologise for the audio issues on Jamon’s vocal throughout this episode. He needs a new mic chord!

News

  • Michael Whelan, illustrator of the Victory album cover, has revealed two early concepts for the design
  • MJ’s influence across hip-hop video
  • Tito Jackson gives an interview around unreleased Michael Jackson music
  • Dee Dee Jackson/Heal Los Angeles fundraiser event takes place at Hayvenhurst for Halloween
  • Sony have released a new mash-up video for Blood on the Dance Floor X Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-up)
  • Paris Jackson visits Australia for the Melbourne Cup and suffers terrible treatment by Australian media, and also some great media here, here and here.
  • Janet Jackson attends official LA #SOTW Tour after-party and performs at Hollywood Bowl with Jackson’s in attendance. Reunites with previous dancers for If, Scream & Rhythm Nation medley.
  • Janet Jackson honoured with the 2017 music icon award at the Out100 Gala
  • Austin Brown releases a new EP titled Canyon Sessions
  • Katherine Jackson resigns as guardian of Bigi Jackson
  • Mike Smallcombe is set to release a revised version of Making Michael
  • Andy Healy’s Bad 30 101 is available for download
  • Michael Jackson’s Dangerous World Tour (Live in Oslo, 1992) has leaked
  • LaVelle Smith Jr shares footage of Michael’s 2002 “A Night at the Apollo” lip-synced performance of Heal the World
  • Stance launches official Thriller socks range
  • Director John Singleton shares memories of working with Michael
  • Jermaine Jackson performs on Dutch TV show Tijd voor MAX as well as engaging in some interviews while in the Netherlands.

Main Discussion Topic

  • Michael Jackson’s Halloween

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Episode 067 – Joseph Vogel Special

After an extended break from the Michael Jackson fan community, author and Merrimack College professor Dr. Joseph Vogel is back. He appears on this week’s special edition of The MJCast to mark the release of his fully revised book, ‘Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion‘.  Interviewed by Jamon Bull and Charles Thomson, Vogel gives the most candid interview of his career.

After attracting criticism for his endorsement of fake tracks released on the MJ Estate’s first posthumous album, Vogel left social media several years ago. In this exclusive interview, Vogel tells The MJCast he no longer stands by his old comments and now believes the songs are fake. The Estate assured him it had evidence they were real but, over the years, he came to realise that simply wasn’t true.

Fans who boycott the Estate over the release of those songs are being perfectly reasonable, says Vogel. He hasn’t spoken to the Estate for around two years and hasn’t been approached to appear in Spike Lee’s rumoured Thriller documentary. He is now actively seeking a publisher to reprint his first MJ book – ‘Man in the Music‘ – in part so he can remove his words on the fake tracks and cease to acknowledge them as MJ songs.

Also in this bombshell interview, Vogel discusses how and why he revised his Earth Song book, why he left social media, whether the fans who turned on him were justified and what his next projects will be.

Joe’s revised edition of ‘Earth Song: Michael Jackson and the Art of Compassion’ includes fresh insights based on new evidence and interviews with key MJ collaborators, like Earth Song short film director Nick Brandt.

In addition to writing several books on Michael Jackson, Joe has appeared in the Estate’s documentaries on the Bad and Off The Wall albums and wrote the liner notes for the Estate’s Bad 25 box set.

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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 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 051 – He’s a Lover, Not a Fighter

On Episode 051 of The MJCast, Q and Jamon are flying solo. The fellas begin the show by discussing follow-up around Sky Arts’ decision to pull the broadcast of their Urban Myths ‘MJ’ episode. After this, news galore! Jamon and Q then talk about Janet Jackson’s baby boy, The Jackson’s 50th Anniversary world tour, a wrap up of Brad Sundberg’s 2017 Aussie In The Studio With MJ tour, Ne-Yo’s tribute to Michael Jackson and some new Nick* remixes. This is followed by discussion around Taika Watiti’s new animated film about Bubbles, Navi as Michael Jackson in Lifetime’s new biopic and all kinds of news around Paris, Prince, Marlon, 3T and Tito. With a brief segue into a legal update from Charles Thomson, the boys then wrap the show with discussion around Neverland’s prospective sale, Thriller and Bad’s recertification and the possibility of a new Jacksons TV show. We hope you enjoy this episode of the internet’s premiere podcast on all things Michael Jackson and the Jackson family.

Follow Up

News

  • Janet Jackson gives birth to son Eissa Al Mana
  • The Jacksons are embarking on a 50th anniversary world tour in 2017 including a Blenheim Palace UK performance with Kool and the Gang
  • In the Studio with MJ Australia tour roundup
  • Taking the Stage; Ne-Yo’s MJ tribute
  • Nick* has dropped a number of new MJ remixes including Billie Jean (Nick* Redux), They Don’t Care About Us (Nick* Crook County Remix) and Man In The Mirror (Stripped Mix)
  • Taika Waititi to co-direct a biopic on Michael Jackson’s chimp Bubbles
  • MJ impersonator Navi is set to play Michael in a new Lifetime biopic
  • Paris Jackson’s new interview with Rolling Stone and an accompanying podcast around the interview experience
  • Paris Jackson’s interview in CR Fashion Book 10
  • Paris Jackson signs with IMG Models
  • Paris Jackson presents at the 2017 Grammy Awards and Prince Jackson releases a video in support of her
  • Prince Jackson continues his charity work with Heal Los Angeles
  • Taryll Jackson launches a new trailer for his new musical project
  • Marlon Jackson takes part in an interview around fears of Trump presidency negative impacts
  • Jackson Source has launched the 2016 edition of Jackson Magazine, featuring an interview with Tito Jackson and a range of other Jackson family related stories
  • Tito Jackson drops new music video for his hit single We Made It
  • 3T are to perform at We Love the 90’s festival on August 26th in The Netherlands
  • Neverland sale price slashed by $33 000 000
  • Thriller and Bad re-certified with record breaking sales figures
  • Members of the Jackson family partner with Scout Productions

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