168: Vindication Day Special with Gratian Dimech

Charles Thomson welcomes first-time guest Gratian Dimech to the show for this year’s Vindication Day Special.

Gratian first saw Michael Jackson live on the Bad Tour and first met him on the Dangerous Tour. Attending 35 Dangerous concerts, he got to know many of Michael’s inner circle. Michael and Brett Barnes even nicknamed Gratian and his friend Justin as the “Waldos”, because wherever they went, they could pick them out of the crowd.

Gratian became an advocate and an activist, challenging negative media coverage of Michael. His creative protest against a particular British tabloid photographer was immortalised in Adrian Grant’s book Michael Jackson: A Visual Documentary and he has been interviewed about it for filmmaker Jin Chohan’s upcoming documentary series “Trial By Media”.

Gratian had a front-row view for everything from the “Give In To Me” music video shoot, to Jarvis Cocker’s stage invasion during Michael’s 1996 Brit Awards performance, and even the infamous, history-altering bridge collapse during Michael’s 1999 MJ and Friends benefit concert in Munich.

Gratian has toured Neverland, got stuck in New York when the Twin Towers were attacked mere hours after Michael’s 30th Anniversary concerts, and even spent time hanging out in Janet Jackson’s hotel rooms.

When Michael drove around London on an open top bus to protest against Sony Music, Gratian was on the bus with him – and when Michael went on trial in 2005, Gratian flew out to support him, even winning the lottery to go inside the courtroom.

In this unscripted conversation with his friend Charles Thomson, Gratian tells us only a fraction of his amazing and insightful experiences in the orbit of Michael Jackson. The MJCast can’t wait to have him back for future episodes!

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter and Jamon Bull.

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