147: The Big British Q&A

It’s been quite a while since the team’s last Q&A episode, and this round features three of our favorite Brits in the fan community: Charles Thomson, Samar Habib, and Charlie Carter. With nearly 100 questions received, the guys tackle a wide range of topics, from the allegations, to Taj Jackson’s documentary project, to favorite Michael Jackson books, insights on MJ’s lyrics and politics, and much more. A huge thank-you to all those listeners who submitted questions! We wish we could have gotten to them all. Grab yourself some tea and biscuits and enjoy this deep-dive fan chat.

Questions
Emma (Twitter) – South Wales, UK
1) Aside from the Brett Barnes episode (which I think everyone needs to listen to at least once), what would be your Top 3 episodes that a new listener (but lifelong MJ supporter) should listen when delving into previous MJCast podcasts? Emma.

GNTalk (Twitter)
2) Sorry – allegation question. Do the guys think there will ever be a day when one of the accusers, JC in particular, may come public and give their true account?

Dane Thomson (Twitter) – Brisbane, Australia
3) Are British tabloids worse than American tabloids? If so, why do you think this is?

Sydni Taylor (email)
4) Taj said on his Livestream earlier this year that he still believes Jordan Chandler will come forward, do you think Taj is saying this because he contacted Jordan or is it just wishful thinking. Do you believe Jordan will ever come forward. I personally don’t think he’ll ever tell his story.

Rob Seymour (Facebook) – Watford (Near London), UK
5) I’d be interested to know how things worked with regards to the 93 Chandler extortion attempt, if it was actually reported to the Police and whether they actually investigated it? Also Was it part of the settlement that the extortion charge was dropped? And how would that work as you cannot pay someone off to stop them testifying so how would it be legal to drop the extortion charges?

Dr. Andrew Greene (Twitter) – United States
6) My question is for Samar. Samar, I follow you on social media and admire the fact that you aren’t afraid to get a little political. Michael Jackson transcended a lot of barriers, one of those barriers was politics as is evident by his fans from around the world and people around him. From rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush, to performing for Bill Clinton at his inauguration and later the Democratic Party, to being beloved by those in countries like communist Russia. What is it about Michael Jackson that you believe attracts people from all political spectrums to Michael Jackson? Also, do you believe that Jackson’s music reveals an evolution of his own [political] beliefs as he got older?

Kris (Twitter) – Kansas, USA
7) Yes, if a gun was at your head, what do you guys think are the top 3 MJ songs that never had videos that absolutely HAVE to be turned into videos? Kris from the US.

Andrew Gray (email) – Chicago, USA
8) What are your favorite MJ books?

MJUnreleasedMix (Twitter)
9) How different do you think the last decade of Michael’s life would have been if the bridge collapse in Munich ’99 at MJ & Friends never happened? If he isn’t on painkillers, does the Bashir documentary still happen? The trial? This Is It? Might he still be here today?

Eva (email) – Amsterdam
10) Hey MJ friends! This is Eva from Amsterdam. I have a very specific question but it’s been on my mind for a while and I’m curious to hear your thoughts about it. Do you believe that the song Morphine was a cry for help? And are you aware if anyone responded to that at the time? I remember when the Blood on the Dance Floor album came out I thought “oh, that’s a cool and interesting song,” but I thought nothing else of it (granted, I was only 12 years old at the time). Also throughout my later years as a fan I never looked for a deeper meaning behind it. After Michael’s death, the song suddenly seemed like an ominous foreboding. The extent of MJs addiction to pain killers was widely exposed after he died and some of the lyrics in the song sounded like he predicted his own death and also talked about his own struggle with addiction during his lifetime. “A heart attack, baby”, “Demerol, oh god he’s taking Demerol”; “He’s tried / Hard to convince her / To be over what he had / Today he wants it twice as bad / Don’t cry / I won’t resent you / Yesterday you had his trust / Today he’s taking twice as much / Demerol”, “Relax / This won’t hurt you / Before I put it in / Close your eyes and count to ten /Don’t cry / I won’t convert you / There’s no need to dismay / Close your eyes and drift away”. Those last lines could even be the soundtrack to the scene between ‘doctor’ Murray and MJ in the moments before he died. Looking back, it feels like Michael may have written this song with great self-awareness and consciousness of his addiction. Could this have been a way for him to ask for help? As far as I am aware he never spoke publicly about the extent of his addiction and from what I’ve learned he also kept people who were close to him away from it. And then suddenly he releases this song, which in retrospect seems to be fully autobiographical. Do you know if after he wrote and released this song, there was anyone reaching out to him about it or asking about it? Or was everyone just like me, “hey that’s a cool song bro” and that’s it. When I imagine the loneliness he must have felt if that was indeed the case, it breaks my heart. Imagine sharing your darkest problems in a song (and how desperate you must be to do so, especially as such a public figure) and no one responds to it. Curious to hear your thoughts! I’m also sending this question to Brad Sundberg btw because he may have a perspective on whether anyone in the studio heard any alarm bells when they recorded this song. Warm regards and thank you so much for all the great episodes, Eva.

Rachel Doosti (email) – Dubai
11) Hi Jamon, You and Elise are doing a phenomenal job, love love love the direction of the podcast. Thank you so much to both of you for taking the time and providing great episodes with small children, full-time jobs, and family life. Bless you, both. I recall in one of the episodes Charles went to US and was helping Taj for his doc and reviewing materials and he shared da story of a video of Michael dancing with Jermaine while having a bandage on his nose but he did not share anything else with us. If it is not an intrusion, I love to have more insights on what he saw and reviewed in that trip and share more insights with us. Best Rachel Doosti

David Edwards (email)
12) Here’s my question for Charles Thomson: Are you still involved with Taj Jackson’s documentary “Re-Righting HIStory”, and if so, can you give any updates on its status? Thanks, David Edwards.

Anonymous (email) – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
13) Why do you think it is that fans invest so heavily in the reporting of Roger Friedman around certain subjects (like the allegations) given that Michael publicly denounced his journalistic integrity while accusing Friedman of writing what Michael described as “vicious and untrue stories in an attempt to destroy my image” throughout the last decade of Michael’s life? Moreover, since Michael’s death Friedman has spent 12 years relentlessly perpetuating the lies of Eddie Cascio, James Porte, Sony and the estate regarding their fake songs, during which he has used his platform to call fans “deranged, bitter, stupid, nuisances” and Michael’s family “greedy and jealous.” Why do fans hold this man up so highly regarding some topics given his egregious conduct on others?

Emmet (email) – Ireland
14) Hi lads, I’ve always been fascinated with the cancelled HBO December 1995 show that MJ had planned but obviously didn’t happen. We always had the visual of MJ performing in stadiums to a sea of people, but I’m sure there is a large proportion of MJ’s fanbase that would’ve loved to have seen a more intimate, less pomp and circumstance concert that focused on his singing ability rather than the usual MJ style that we got from the Bad to History world tours. From what I understand, this concert was going to be just that, and it’s always been a sore spot for me that we never got to see it. Does any of the panel know if any footage exists of MJ rehearsing for that show? We all know he recorded nearly everything relating to his performances, so perhaps there is something in a vault somewhere? Why was the show never rescheduled? Was he unhappy with the production of it? I always wished he’d done a stripped down show, but unfortunately it was never to be. Long-time listener and love the show, keep up the great work! Emmet, Ireland

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
15) Charlie and Samar. You’ve both spoken about Invincible before, with Charlie being critical of the album and Samar being supportive of it. Is there some common ground that could be reached?

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
16) Charlie and Samar. Similarly to my Invincible question, you’ve both got very different opinions on Janet Jackson as an artist. Again, could some common ground be reached?

Seány (Twitter) – Russia
17) I felt the discussion reg #MJtheMusical on a past ep was rather unfair & I disagreed with almost 100% of the guests review (I had seen the show 3 times by the time that particular ep had aired) Since its continued successes & accolades, are you more inclined to now want to see it?

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
18) Charlie, you told me once that you wish you’d had a chance to speak on the episode Elise, Q and Björn did together about whether Michael was a gay icon. Tell me your thoughts.

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
19) Carter. What was it like looking down on Neverland while flying over it? How much would you like to walk the grounds of Neverland one day?

Mookie864 (Instagram)
20) My question is for CET. Charles, after finishing your Podcast, ‘Unfinished’, last year, I was left feeling like there may be more coming in the future. Can you reveal if you are still investigating the Shoebury topic and if there will be a season 2?

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Additional Links
• TheMJCast 063: Q Q&A
• TheMJCast 069: C Q&A
• TheMJCast 074: J Q&A
• TheMJCast 099: Leaving Neverland Q&A
• TheMJCast130: An Evening With Charlie and Jamon

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, 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.comKeep Michaeling!

146: Cascio Tracks Removal Roundtable

On November 8, 2010, Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson unveiled the first song from their new Michael Jackson album in a worldwide premiere via michaeljackson.com. The song, called “Breaking News,” was said to have been written and produced by Eddie Cascio, James Porte and Michael Jackson. But there was one problem… The Jackson family, several of Michael’s former collaborators, and thousands of fans around the world believed the track was fake, with vocals sung by an impostor.

Five weeks after the premiere, “Breaking News” and two other songs also believed to be fakes were commercially released on the album, simply titled “Michael”. Despite the ongoing protests of fans around the world (including The MJCast), the album would remain commercially available in music stores, via online retailers and on streaming platforms for nearly twelve years. One fan in particular, Vera Serova, filed a class action lawsuit against the Estate, Sony, Cascio, Porte and their production company in 2014, which remains unresolved to this day.

Finally, in 2022, the three tracks in question have been removed from digital platforms.

In this conversation, host Jamon Bull is joined by author and Cascio track expert Damien Shields, studio engineer Dan Villalobos, award-winning journalist Charles Thomson, and Friends of the Show James Alay and Samar Habib. The panel discusses the impact of the Cascio Tracks, the long-running lawsuit to have them removed, emerging news that the songs have been removed, and also a statement from the Michael Jackson Estate’s online team that they have removed the songs from sale not because of their legitimacy, but because they have been distracting fans from buying more posthumous products.

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Participants
• Jamon Bull
• Damien Shields
• Dan Villalobos
• James Alay
• Charles Thomson
• Samar Habib

Additional Links
• The MJCast’s Remove the Cascio Tracks Now campaign
• #TheMJCast067: Joseph Vogel Special
• Damien Shields’s website, with a section dedicated to the Cascio Tracks.
• Damien’s upcoming Faking Michael podcast
• Damien’s book, Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault

Connect with us
• TheMJCast.com
• Facebook
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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

141: Janet Jackson Documentary Roundtable

The team is back for Season Eight of the The MJCast! Host Jamon Bull is joined by Charles Thomson, Charlie Carter, and Courtney Stribling and Cuzin Kam (co-hosts of the Janet Jackson podcast, Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever) for a Roundtable to discuss the recent multi-part documentary series, JANET JACKSON. In this in-depth, lively chat, the guys and gals dissect their thoughts on pluses and minuses of the series, from the promos, to the rare footage, to representations of Janet, Michael, as well as other Jackson family members, and much more.

The MJCast team has a great season planned. Thank you for joining us!

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Additional Links
• 10 things we learned about Michael from the Janet Jackson documentary
• Links to listen to Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever podcast

Connect with Us
• TheMJCast.com
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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

121: The New Adventures of Charlie Thomson

Charles Thomson returns to The MJCast, joining Jamon Bull for a massive catch-up on everything the investigative journalist has been up to since the release of Leaving Neverland a year and a half ago. The duo discuss Charlie’s whirlwind year, from winning national journalism awards in the UK while simultaneously losing his job, being hired for a podcast, and unexpectedly becoming the central narrator in Danny Wu’s 1993 allegations documentary, Square One. They cover back-and-forth trips to Los Angeles (featuring a cameo by Helen Mirren!), restaurant-hopping with Tom Mesereau, parties at Hayvenhurst, an HBO court hearing, and much more. And finally, Charlie talks about being hired for a Larry Nimmer documentary, and launching his own true crime podcast, Unfinished: Shoebury’s Lost Boys. It’s been an epic year for Charlie, to be sure.

Discussion Topics
• Leaving Neverland has won a BAFTA.
• Charlie’s amazing year.

Additional Links
• Charlie’s Twitter and website.
• Charlie’s new true crime podcast, Unfinished: Shoebury’s Lost Boys.
• Danny Wu’s documentary, Square One. (You can read The MJCast review of the film and see photos from the LA film premiere here.)

Sponsors
• Audible – Great audiobooks. Great a free one-month trial (including one free audiobook) and help support the podcast by using our custom MJCast promo link.
• The MJCast’s official shop. Support The MJCast and Michael Jackson all at the same time by buying some of our merchandise.

Connect with Us
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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

108: Back to Square One

In this regular episode, Jamon and Q catch up on lots of big news in the world of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. They discuss museum exhibitions at the Smithsonian and in Finland, an updated edition of Joe Vogel’s Man in the Music, Raymone Bain’s much-hyped press conference, new videos from Michael Trapson, and great new music from TJ Jackson. For their main topic, they discuss three (yes, three!) new Michael Jackson documentaries: Chase the Truth, The Lies of Leaving Neverland, and Square One. Plus, special guest Danny Wu, YouTuber and creator of Square One, joins the guys for a chat about his film.

Follow Up
• Michael Jackson birthday events roundup.
• The MJCast Legal Correspondent Charlie Thomson is now working for Taj Jackson as the writer of his allegations documentary.
• 50 Cent and Sheryl Crowe.
• Thanks for giving me a heart attack, Janet!
• Rotterdam Walk of Fame.

News
• An iconic Michael Jackson photograph is featured in the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.
• The Michael Jackson – On the Wall official Estate and National Portrait Gallery exhibition is now showing at the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, Finland.
• Raymone Bain’s press conference.
• Michael Trapson drops full 36-minute Trapson EO tribute film, as well as the Michael Trapson New Vibration 2019 Pepsi remake.
• Joe Vogel’s updated, revised and expanded edition of Man In the Music has now been released and is available for purchase. Published by Vintage Anchor Books, links for purchase are available here, or with free shipping via Book Depository.
• TJ Jackson releases his first solo single, Insomnia, available now across streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music.

Main Discussion Topic
• Chase the Truth
• Lies of Leaving Neverland
• Square One, premiering in Los Angeles on September 28, and releasing worldwide on YouTube on October 5.

Finds of the Week
• Jamon – Disney Channel’s The Making of Captain EO
• Q – Legends Never Die video tribute to MJ and his fans, made by the world’s best MJ YouTube video mixer, Malc Jennings/Smooth EmJay.
• Danny – Amateur footage of MJ Live in Brunei 1996 and Billie Jean Live In Munich, Germany 1997.

Additional Links
• Danny Wu’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Ad & Music Breaks
• Michael Jackson – Remember the Time (Nick* Deep Mix)
• The Jacksons – Lovely One (Groovefunkel Remix)
• Michael Jackson – Smile (Piano Version) [Alternate Vocal]

Connect with Us
• 
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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.comStay BAD!