A Father and Son, Both With Stories To Tell: A Tale Of Two Projects-And One Very Intriguing Rumor

michael_joe_jackson_a_l
Two Intriguing Projects Have Come To Light, But Only One, Unfortunately, Is A Confirmed Deal. The Other? We Must Wait And See

In the last week or so, a couple of interesting MJ-related projects have come to light. One appears to be a definite go; the other is (as far as I know) merely a rumor at this time, but with the potential of being HUGE if, in fact, it is the real deal. But that remains to be seen.

Let’s start, however, with the project that looks for certain: Joe Jackson’s movie “The Architect: The Life and Death of an Empire.” Although this documentary was first announced back in 2011 (going then by the subtitle title “Confessions of a Father”) the promised 2012 release date was evidently pushed back to 2013. At any rate, this trailer is new to me and it looks as though this will indeed be a theatrical release.

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Hmm. I wonder what happened to the original title, which at the very least hinted that we might finally get some insight into how Joe felt about all those years of accusations as a horrible, abusive father? Perhaps it was decided this was a too salacious title (it did sound kind of tabloid-y). So now we have “The Architect: The Life and Death of an Empire.” Which means, in typical Joe Jackson fashion, the emphasis has been placed squarely back on the image of him-not as a father-but as the head of an empire; as its architect and builder.

Nevertheless, judging from the clips, it looks as though a lot of in-depth topics are going to be addressed. I don’t suspect this is going to be a fluff piece,so who knows? It could contain some revealing new insights. However, knowing Joe Jackson, don’t suspect any breakdown confessions. The man is never going to own up that he had issues. Joe, as I’ve said here many times before, is what he is. Just as Michael had to learn to do, we either accept him and forgive Joe for what he is-or we don’t.

I have also said before that there are many things I admire about Joe Jackson. He was a hard working man, and a good provider who kept his kids off the streets. He was a perfectionist who taught Michael and his brothers to never settle for being second best-at anything. The things I admire about him do not, of course, cancel out the many things he did wrong. Rather, it serves as a reminder to me that there are always many sides to a story, and that no individual can be entirely summed up by what this person or that person says. Human beings have many dimensions. Michael himself admitted that he did not hate his father, but that he simply didn’t understand him. That, for me, was one of the saddest legacies of Michael’s entire life.

Also interesting that Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails should be chosen as the background song for this trailer. In fact, that was downright spooky, since I had just done a presentation of that video to my English 102 class as part of a discussion of theme, and just that morning, Shane and I had been discussing how this was a song that Michael should have covered. Then I happen to see this trailer. Whoa (chills!).

I don’t know if this song choice was Joe’s idea. Who knows? But it’s an interesting choice for a number of reasons. Originally, the Nine Inch Nails version was simply a very dark and depressing song about drug addiction, depression and self-mutilation. It is a young man whose life has gone into a “downward spiral” (hence the album title from which it came) and who has lost most of his friends to heroin (“everyone I know goes away in the end.”). When Johnny Cash asked permission from Trent Reznor to cover the song in 2002, Reznor reportedly gave his consent with some reluctance, fearing the end result would be “too gimmicky.” However, the power and stark beauty of Cash’s version (especially after Reznor saw the video) won him over. Reznor said he wept when he saw it. The Johnny Cash version of this song-and its video-was acclaimed by many critics as a brilliant example of how different artists can bring an entirely different interpretation to the same song, while still maintaining the integrity of the original. Recorded literally just weeks before his death, Johnny Cash’s version of this song stands as a powerful testament to an elderly man facing the end of his own life; coming to terms with his mortality, and questioning what his life has amounted to. Does he have regrets? If he had it do over, would he change anything? Or would he gladly do it all again? The most powerful symbolic element of the entire video shows a frail and aged Cash sitting on a throne at the head of a Thanksgiving feast, a table filled with bounty. But he sits alone, lamenting all that has been sacrificed for this “empire of dirt.”

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur8j4xWe_44[/tube]

I suppose there are some parallels here, which weren’t lost on Joe. He, too, is an elderly man who must surely-at eighty-four years of age and having recently suffered a stroke-must be coming to terms with his mortality, and perhaps facing the question of how his own life and legacy will be remembered.

The question is: Will anyone else care? Joe is, for sure, a polarizing figure among fans, and I don’t imagine this latest venture will exactly endear him to those who already have their minds made up that he is Satan incarnate. Nor do I imagine that the public at large will be storming down theatre doors to get to this. Joe isn’t his famous son Michael Jackson, no matter how hard he tries to take credit for that particular creation.

But as another piece to the puzzle of understanding Michael’s complex life, this documentary may well have some value. If we choose to invalidate Joe’s side of the story, or refuse to acknowledge it, we are only denying ourselves an important piece of understanding the dynamics of this  father-son relationship; a relationship that I suspect was much more complex, and much more multi-faceted, than we will ever know. I will probably go to see this, provided it plays anywhere close by and doesn’t end up going straight to DVD.

I will see it, but not without some misgivings. It’s not that I fault Joe for perhaps wanting to finally tell his own story, before he dies. I don’t fault him for wanting us to understand him better.

The only problem is that it was never us whose understanding he needed. Rather, it was the one person for whom it is already too late.

Which brings me to Project #2. Although nothing has been confirmed or authenticated at this time, a story that first broke in the Daily Express on January 27th has caused some stirring. Whether truth or hearsay, perhaps it was no coincidence that this news broke just when more heated controversy over the Sullivan book was reaching its peak. After all, when it comes to the story of Michael’s life, no one could be a greater authority than Michael himself. Could he, in fact, end up having the last-and ultimate-word after all?

Was Michael Preparing To Be An Author For The Third Time?
Was Michael Preparing To Be An Author For The Third Time?

It seems this could be the case if there is any truth to the rumor of a 600-page manuscript that is believed to be a “tell-all memoir” Michael was working on, a memoir that allegedly chronicles his life from the late 80’s (picking up, we can assume, where “Moonwalk” left off) through all of the trials and tribulations of the Chandler allegations, the LMP marriage and divorce, fatherhood, on up to the Arvizo case, the trial, his life in exile, and finally, the return to the U.S. in 2007. Here is the Daily Express article (just ignore the rather sensationalistic paragraph describing the allegations):

Michael Jackson’s new tell-all memoir

MICHAEL Jackson secretly began writing an autobiography about his lowest moments in the last years of his life.

Jackson, who died in 2009, wrote 600 pages of notes about his struggles during the late Eighties through to 2007.He also accumulated sketches and documents in an attempt to correct how history was written about him.During those two decades, Jackson was rarely out of the headlines, not least for paying off Jordie Chandler £12million amid child-sex allegations. His admission he shared his bed with children led Jackson to be accused but acquitted in 2005 of molesting Gavin Arvizo.Anguished then Jackson flew to the Middle East where he began writing the manuscripts, where a former business contact has locked them away.The wealthy associate is in two minds over releasing the book, which is not complete and would need to be fleshed out to make a full autobiography.Jackson wrote one biography, Moonwalk, which had to be heavily edited because of attacks on family members.A source from Los Angeles said: “The manuscript covers a raft of Michael’s adventures and business dealings. He makes it clear that he is the father of Prince and Paris.“Michael wrote the book because he never got a chance to tell his story and at some stage needed to express his feelings on everything.“The book addresses the child molestation at Neverland, insisting how he felt sickened that he was accused of doing that. 
“Michael also talks about Jordie even though both parties agreed a gagging order when they settled in 1993.

“One of the key aspects of Michael’s book is his thoughts on his family.

“He talks about how he had been let down by all of them for many years. He accused most of them of wanting his money and being jealous of his fame.

“The only person who doesn’t get his venom is his mother Katherine.

“Michael says he felt that his mum was the only one, who understood him and his delicate nature.”

Jackson died after his doctor, Conrad Murray, pumped him with anaesthetic Propofol days before his comeback tour in June 2009.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/373550/Michael-Jackson-s-new-tell-all-memoir

In short, we’re talking some explosive stuff here. If there is any truth to it. And if it ever sees light of day. Casting aside for a moment those two big “ifs” this would certainly be a potential gold mine if true! As a fan, I’ve often lamented the fact that the only autobiography we have of Michael-his only attempt to tell his own story in his own words-is the rather tepid “Moonwalk.” Granted, while “Moonwalk” is hardly the fluff read that some have tried to pigeonhole it as (and the unreleased tapes, as I’ve discovered, are even more revealing!), I’ve said all along that it would be wonderful if we could have been left with an account of Michael’s last years from his own perpsective. After all, no Hollywood script writer-not even Shakespeare himself-could have written a greater tragedy. And I would suspect that, just as all of the dark rage and angst of his personal troubles that began in the 90’s resulted in some of the most profound music of his career, so, too, would we have no doubt seen a much more mature,stripped down, brutally honest and perhaps emotionally raw memoir. Who knows, perhaps we might have finally seen the book that many wished “Moonwalk” had been! For sure, the Michael Jackson of 2005-2007 (the time in which he was allegedly working on this manuscript) was in a much darker and angrier place than the idealistic young man of 1987 who was still on top of the world-and still innocent in so many ways. I always said that any autobiography Michael would have written post 2005 would have been a very different book indeed.

Now the burning question is…could this rumored 600 page manuscript be that book?

Hmm. I don’t know. But there are definitely some intriguing points here to consider:

“He also accumulated sketches and documents in an attempt to correct how history was written about him.” 

What sketches and what documents? What, specifically, was he attempting to correct? Could these be important medical records and documents that might-once and for all-put some of the outlandish surgery and skin bleaching issues to rest? Or documents proving his innocence in the Chandler and Arvizo cases? Proof of his biological paternity of Prince and Paris (since apparently this a subect said to be addressed in the manuscript?). Who knows, but this, for sure, is one of those cases where inquiring minds would really like to know. I suppose it might be fantastical or wishful thinking to hope that somewhere in this world, having been kept locked and hidden away, was an MJ  “Holy Grail” of sorts; a magic document that would be such irrefutable proof of every truth in his life  that it would permanently shut up all of the haters, cynics and naysayers for good! Wishful thinking, perhaps, yes. But no doubt, it would be fascinating to know exactly what those alleged sketches and documents consist of.

“…Jackson flew to the Middle East, where he began writing the manuscripts…”

An autobiography is said to have been among the projects that were proposed as part of a business deal with Sheikh Abdullah:

“…Sheikh Abdullah said that as well as reneging on a contract to record a new album, write an autobiography and produce a stage play, Jackson also owed him $7 million.”-Italics are my emphasis.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/24/us-jackson-court-idUSTRE4AM2B320081124

Could those 600 pages of notes, documents and sketches have been this proposed autobiography, a work in-progress that was never completed following Michael’s legal problems with Sheikh Abdullah? It is certainly a possibility. After all, Abdullah’s claim was only that the autobiography, like the album and play, was never delivered. But who’s to say it was never started, or that Michael could not have well been over 600 pages into it when his relationship with Abdullah soured and things fell through? It would also make sense that if the unnamed “business associate” who is sitting on this manuscript is none other than Abdullah himself, he may well have confiscated the unfinished manuscript and locked it away as part of their settlement agreement.

Michael's Unfinished Song "The Innocent Man" Dates From The Same Time As This Alleged Memoir. Coincidence?
Michael’s Unfinished Song “The Innocent Man” Dates From The Same Time As This Alleged Memoir. Coincidence?

I wouldn’t blame him for being “of two minds” about releasing the manuscript, given all of the controversy over recent projects and the fear “of those crazy, rabid MJ fans” (I say this tongue in cheek, of course, but there is no doubt that making this manuscript public will invite its share of controversy and heated disputes, depending in how it is handled). Even if the manucript proves to be authentic, and even if it should prove to be Michael’s greatest vindication, it still begs the ethical question: Should it be released, if Michael is not here to give his blessing? With such fiascos as the Michael album and the controversial Rabbi Schmuley book still fresh in mind, it is not an easy question to answer.

Like the “business associate” I am of “two minds.” But in this case, I think the potential value of this alleged manuscript-provided again, that it can be authenticated and proven genuine-outweighs those considerations. Obviously, if this was intended as a memoir, that would mean that Michael was writing it with the full intention of having it published. And even if he might have eventually changed his mind about some of the things he wrote, it would still stand as an invaluable testament to where he was-mentally, physically, and spiritually-at that particular moment in his life.

“…A source from Los Angeles said: “The manuscript covers a raft of Michael’s adventures and business dealings. He makes it clear that he is the father of Prince and Paris…”

 
photo

I’m not quite sure how the book could prove that sort of thing definitively (not that I think Michael owed it to anyone to have to “prove” he was the parent of those kids) but it would be interesting to know. Remember, there were at least two independent sources, one from 1996 and one from 1997, that mentioned Michael having DNA testing to prove his paternity of Prince. I make no claims as to the validity of these sources; only that they do exist (if albeit are now very hard to find):

Michael Jackson agrees to pay off mother of his child

The Associated Press
LONDON – After DNA tests confirmed that he is the father, Michael Jackson signed a multimillion-dollar deal with his pregnant wife, a British newspaper said.

Under the headline “Jacko Buys His Baby,”The Daily Mirror reported Friday that Debbie Rowe would be paid $1.25 million when the child is born, and $280,000 a year after that for as long as the couple is together.

Citing an unidentified source, the newspaper said Jackson would pay Rowe $2.3 million if…

Published on 1996-12-22, Page A12, The Kansas City Star

And, from an article that appeared originally on psychologytoday.com:

Michael Jackson: The Performer Vs. the Person

Back in 1997 I published a newspaper editorial in San Diego’s North County Times (02/09/97) on the details of a postnuptial contract he ordered his attorneys to write up for him. It was to provide him with exclusive rights to his not-yet-born child should he split up with Debbie Rowe (his “nominal” wife at the time). My article wasn’t simply about Michael, but about the excesses of our capitalistic system, which seemed to permit traditional ethical values to simply be “bought out” at the right price.

JACKSON’S BABY DEAL AN EXAMPLE OF CAPITALIST VALUES RUN AMOK

I read in your paper recently that Michael Jackson had signed a multimillion-dollar deal to purchase outright (if need be) his own offspring. Assured through DNA testing that his wife-of-convenience, Debbie Rowe, is in fact carrying his baby, he has reportedly had his attorneys fashion a contract wherein should the marriage deteriorate and the two of them split up, he would obtain exclusive rights to the child. In this (not at all unlikely) event, his wife has allegedly agreed–for the tidy compensation of $2.3 million–”never to see the child again.”

It’s interesting that most references to this alleged DNA test have now been completely removed from the web. The article above, for example, was still online when I wrote a post on this alleged DNA test back in 2010 (I have since had to add a note that the link to the above article no longer works):

http://old.allforloveblog.com/?p=4036

Luckily, I have the screencaps and the trace information to prove that both articles do/did exist. As I’ve stated, this information dates back to a time when the media was not so much concerned over whether Michael was the father as to what was then the more relevant burning question on their minds: How much did he pay Debbie? 

It would be interesting to know if Michael had planned to set the record straight once and for all. Could his medical records of that rumored DNA test be among those charts and documents alleged to be contained in the manuscript? Again, we will never know unless Abdullah (whom I’m convinced is the said “business associate”) decides to release this or to continue to sit on it.

“…Michael also talks about Jordie even though both parties agreed a gagging order when they settled in 1993…”

 Again, this could be truly bombshell info, or nothing at all. But it would certainly be interesting to hear-for the first time ever-Michael’s side to the Chandler story. (Even though we did get that story, albeit somewhat cryptically, on the HIStory album).

“…One of the key aspects of Michael’s book is his thoughts on his family.

“He talks about how he had been let down by all of them for many years. He accused most of them of wanting his money and being jealous of his fame…”

Well, none of this is exactly earth shattering news for those of us who have followed Michael. Though Michael never uttered a negative word about his family publicly, there is more than enough ample evidence that he had no qualms about confiding his feelings privately. But most of what we know of his feelings comes from just that-private sources, or at any rate, sources that were intended to remain private. I don’t know that he would have so readily dished family dirt in a book intended for publication, especially given that he had just endured a horrific trial in which we saw the Jacksons presenting such a united front of support for him. Would he have then turned around and pulled a Latoya, trashing them in a book?

My guess is that, just as the “Moonwalk” tapes contained a lot of info that never made it into the book, Michael would have probably eventually edited a lot of this material. Who knows, ultimately, what would have made it into the finshed book-or what was ever intende to be part of the finished book? I suspect that, just as Michael always over wrote for every album (with hundreds of songs always left in the can afterward) this proposed autobiography may have resulted in hundreds of pages that might never have been used. After all, writing for private, therapeutic reasons is one thing; writing for publication is quite another.

Therein lies another danger with ever releasing a project like this, especially an incomplete memoir. There is simply no way for any outsider to ever be able to fully gauge his intentions. Were all 600 pages intended as part of this memoir, or was there an understanding that eventually an editing process would take place?

Which brings me to the next bit of information of great concern to me:

“…The wealthy associate is in two minds over releasing the book, which is not complete and would need to be fleshed out to make a full autobiography…”

That last part gives me the heebie jeebies. No thanks! If this thing is ever released, leave it the hell alone! Either release it as is, warts and all (even if it is just incomplete notes and ramblings) or leave it alone. The last thing we need is another do-gooder journalist like Randy Sullivan, or another amateur psychoanalyst like Schmuley Boteach, writing Michael’s story for him and/or putting their own analytical spin on his words and ideas!

Let's Hope If There Is ANY Truth To This That Michael's Words Will Be Allowed To Stand Alone...Or Else LEFT Alone, For All Eternity
Let’s Hope If There Is ANY Truth To This That Michael’s Words Will Be Allowed To Stand Alone…Or Else LEFT Alone, For All Eternity

I think I can safely speak for every Michael Jackson fan out there when I say I would rather read his incomplete, unvarnished, unfinished notes any day-and have the joy of discovering for myself what he meant or intended-than to have one more book full of psychobabble about him. Let’s hope and pray that, for once, integrity will rule the day.

Of course, the big question that remains: Is this the real deal, or a phony? Or, for that matter, a phony story? That remains to be seen. Personally, I will remain skeptical until further confirmation.

But if this does turn out to be more than unfounded rumor, it is interesting that both of these projects hinge on one very important and crucial, similar element. In both cases, we have two men-a famous father and a famous son-who wanted their stories to be told.

Fortunately, Michael left us more than enough material to piece together that story-two books, and a legacy of music. His life is in his songs. Do we really need another tell-all memoir about Michael Jackson?

I would venture a very reserved “yes”-but only if this proves truly to be HIStory.

As he would have told it.

37 thoughts on “A Father and Son, Both With Stories To Tell: A Tale Of Two Projects-And One Very Intriguing Rumor”

  1. Hi Raven, I watched Piers Morgan’s interview with Joe Jackson with Dieter Wiesner at his side. As you say, with Joe, he is what he is, take him or leave him. At the very end of the interview, when time had run out, he finally got to speak of his documentary but referenced it by the name “Journey In My Shoes”; then with seconds left said something about it being all the way back to the Native American families. The following day all I could find with regard to a Joe Jackson documentary was the one you reference here, The Architect (formerly titled Confessions of a Father). Seems confusing to say the least! Perhaps Joe misspoke when on Morgan’s show he called his doc “Journey In My Shoes”? Wouldn’t be the first time, LOL!

    1. At any rate, that is a horrible title for a movie, lol. Let’s hope it stays as is.

      Joe is 84 and has had a stroke. I have been amazed that Joe and Katherine have been able to remain as physically strong and sharp as they are for this long. But it’s possible that Joe may be starting to get some things confused.

  2. Hey Raven,

    I really hope that if there is a real memoir written by Michael out there, it is not about all the usual stuff like surgery, paternity and trials. He never had an opportunity to talk about what really mattered to him in interviews exactly because every interviewer wanted to talk about those things that and “set the record straight”. It is like Michael always had to talk about what he wasn’t instead of who he was.

    1. I agree. Now that you mention it, that is the one thing the article doesn’t even address (as if that would not be a strong enough selling point for the book!). However, we have to keep in mind that Michael was supposedly writing this during what would have been the lowest ebb of his life, in the immediate aftermath of the trial. It’s possible that discussing his music and art may not have been as important to him at that point as setting some other things straight. But knowing Michael, music was still a priority and any memoir would probably delve into this quite a bit. We know that Michael would never have felt his story to be complete without those discussions. It sort of reminds me of how in the Bashir doc, they spent all of five minutes (if that much!) discussing his creative process. It was as if Bashir couldn’t wait to dispense with that so as to get on “to the good stuff.”

      1. You’re right, if he was writing during that period, he would probably vent about some of these things. I believe Michael always had the ability to see view himself as the Michael Jackson in perspective. Whenever he actually would comment on the trash about him, he seemed to always put it in context by referring to other historical or public figures or cultural contexts. It would invaluable to read his own thoughts of how his life played out in that respect.

        I don’t see him writing a tell-all book where he would trash everybody, unless he was writing for theraputic purposes. Remember, he was talking to a therapist after the trial.

        Btw, what about all the journals and diaries that were taken by the police and as far as I know never returned…

  3. I’m with you Raven, if this is really the truth, then let Michael speak in his own words, without all of the “psycho-babel” as you put it! I would love to hear what really mattered to Michael, not just all of the rehashed stories that had absolutely no truth to them. Honestly, didn’t all of those journalists (I’m using that word very loosely) have anything better to do than to ask Michael about those allegations, why he had his children wear masks, etc? I would love to hear more about his creative, artistic side. And I would love to hear exactly how he felt about his family, like his nieces and nephews and not just some sensational spin off of the truth (I am reminded of last summer, how everyone labeled the Jacksons as dysfunctional and only reported hearsay). For me, Moonwalk had a lot less detail than I would’ve hoped, and very few quotes, in terms of dialogue/conversation. I would like to get Joe’s take on his life, and how he raised his kids and hear more about his childhood and his side of the family. I wish Katherine would have her book reprinted again, I’ve never read it but have heard about it–I’d love to hear what she had to say, and her thoughts on the last 20 years of Michael’s life (and of course, how those lovely grandchildren of hers are doing, lol)!

    1. Yes, regarding the family, obviously this article (as medialoid always does) is sensationalizing by emphasizing only the negative. If Michael wrote anything positive about the family to balance the negative, we would have to buy it and read it ourselves to ever know.

  4. Hi, Raven, I read a comment that in Sullivan’s book (yes, THAT book), there is a discussion of a safe that MJ left behind that contained personal papers and jewelry (and maybe other stuff too), but during the lawsuit with the sheik, the sheik hung on to it. When the lawsuit was resolved, Tohme flew to get it and when he unlocked it–it was empty! According to the comment, only Grace Rwanda had the key. But obviously somehow Tohme opened it. Raven, you have the book, so maybe you can check it out. I am wondering if this safe held the writings discussed. Frankly, it makes sense MJ would write thing out–as in a journal–to express his emotions and spit it all out., He was caught in so many traps and the gag order was in force for 2 years during the Arvizo mess and then the settlement forbade him from talking except in a criminal case, but now that he id deceased, I wonder if they (Chandlers, and snake Feldman) can stop any publication posthumously?? I would be journaling like mad to try and sort it all out too.

    1. I haven’t gotten that far in the Sullivan book yet. But I do remember that story. Tohme is someone I do NOT trust. I have always had a very, very bad vibe about him.

      I don’t know if the Chandlers or Arvizos would be able to stop it. I do get a lot of readers through here with legal backgrounds. Perhaps some of them might be able to better answer that question. My guess is that any gag order pertaining to the Arvizo case would have been lifted after the trial, especially since he was acquitted. The Chandler case is murkier, since the gag order was part of the settlement agreement.

      There is still the possibility that anything Michael wrote could have ended up heavily edited-and could still be the case, even now. That would be a pity, because really, the last thing we need is another whitewashed account of what happened. I would hope for a scathing narrative that pulls no punches-one that names names, and tells it exactly like it is/was. And that we will be allowed to have that narrative. Of course, the risk there is that it may paint a very different picture of Michael than the one so many have come to love-this person who was so all about love, and forgiveness, etc. But, again, I don’t think telling the truth would (or should) in any way brand him as a hypocrite.

  5. Thanks for a very interesting blog.

    I too have reservations about the movie involving Joe – am still not sure what I feel about him, but as Michael seemed publicly to forgive him, then I too should follow his loving example!!

    As to the personal memoir, I am sure it would make very very interesting reading indeed, but I have the same reservations as you expressed –

    “Fortunately, Michael left us more than enough material to piece together that story-two books, and a legacy of music. His life is in his songs. Do we really need another tell-all memoir about Michael Jackson?

    I would venture a very reserved “yes”-but only if this proves truly to be HIStory.

    As he would have told it.”

    I think that is essential in this case.

  6. Yes this would be an amazing book, but i agree it should be left as is and not fleshed out in any way, no-one other than Michael himself knew his inner most thought and feelings about his final years.
    On the subject of Joe and his documentary, well i to am not sure how i feel about this guy, when he started talking about the documentary at the end of his interview with Piers Morgan i couldn’t help but think God here we go again, me me me always about Joe. Reminded me of the record label he was pushing the day after Michaels death. Joe just can’t put his brain into gear before opening his mouth and this is why so many have trouble warming to him, he always seems to have an annoying smugness about him. That said this could be an enlightening documentary to watch, who knows.

  7. Raven , thats a sharp observation about Johnny Cashs’ song as the soundtrack to Joe’s documentary .
    Thank you also for the story behind JCs version of the song. Its a very chilling but beautiful song. ( might put it on my Ipod). Its eerie that he recorded it shortly before passing , that you had connected this song to Michael AND that its now connected to Michaels father.
    I often notice these kind of strange coincidences with Michael too.
    Knowing the background of the song , I find it a fitting choice for Joe’s documentary

    I am actually very interested in the documentary. Joe has many flaws and he may not be the most pr savvy, but he is Michael Jacksons father and was the initiator of Michaels career, whether people deny, diminish or ignore it.
    I dont think he owes anyone anything, less to be forgiven by strangers.
    The only one he has to come clean with is hisself and his family and I dont see his family criticizing him the way outsiders do.
    Michael said he didnt judge him too harshly as he hoped HIS children would not do the same to him.
    He also said he was a lion like his father, but I wish he had had some of Joe’s attitude, not always worriyng about peoples opinion about him. It would have saved him alot of pressure and anxiety and maybe sleepless nights.

    As for a new MJ biography I think there are 3 possibilities.
    1. there is no manuscript at all and this is the work of a spindoctor trying to create a buzz for obvious reasons.
    2. As Michael never returned to Bahrain , the manuscript, if it exists could be left in a safe and is now in the hands of either Thome, who as per Sullivan said he found the safe empty when he went to pick up Michaels belongings , Grace who went there on her own, alledgedly to pick up papers for Michael or the Sheikh who may have confiscated Michaels belongings when they were fighting in court. Which would be the worst case scenario.
    3. the manuscript was at Michaels home and was found by the people who were there first after he was taken to hospital, which could be Tohmes people, the bodyguards ,the family subs. Michaels estate.
    It would also be interesting to read Michaels words without the usual labels, manchild, regressed, arrested development or asexual and what not.

    Why the article is not trustworthy, even if there is a manuscript somewhere, is that I dont believe that Michael would ever talk about his childrens dna, how they were conceived etc the way the tabloid article suggested.
    No parent speaks in such terms about his own children. Or about his family the way Latoya did about him and the rest of the clan. But who knows.

    1. I was also wondering if maybe the article sensationalized the part about the children. These types of articles will often take the proposed contents of a book out of context. It could amount to nothing more than Michael stating, as he had always insisted, that he was their biological father. It’s just that the mention of those documents has made me wonder. You could say it has my curiosity picqued. But, of course, there’s no way to know for sure unless the manuscript, or excerpts, are ever made public. And really, I would hate the thought of only excerpts being made public because what would happen then is that certain individuals would control what excerpts were released, and as we know, there is always danger with things being taken out of the context in which they were written. This is of especial concern since we know how the media loves to sensationalize anything negative about Michael. I would really hope that they don’t go that route, and that if this thing is genuine and ever released, we get all or nothing.

      I still have some doubts, as well, as to whether this is genuine. Until we get confirmation from the estate-or at the very least, more reliable sources than The Daily Express, I wold exercise caution. My whole angle here is that, yes, this is an intriguing find if the rumor is true. But that is still a very big “if” right now.

      1. The estate has nothing to say if the documents are in the possesion of the Sheikh or Tohme who had POA over Michael and claims he was never officially dismissed by Michael (Thats why he and Randy Philips went to the hospital when Michael was taken there because he thought he was still in charge of Michaels business). I dont think Schmuley had to ask permission either to publicize ‘the tapes’, including quotes from Katherine Jackson whom he had also interviewed on tape.

        I am intrigued by the idea and it would be very exciting to read Michaels self written memoires. But the more I think about it, the more I doubt if Michael after the exhausting trial had the time, energy and concentration to write 600 pages.
        According to the Sheikh he didnt deliver, after Bahrain he never stayed in one place too long, except for Ireland where he was working on music. In 2007 he was back in the States making business deals, working in the studio , moving from place to place, househunting, meanwhile taking care of the kids alone without a nanny. 3 home schooled kids for a single parent is like a 24/7 job.
        Even for a seasoned writer 600 pages is years work and writing is not Michaels metier.
        If we consider how Moonwalk was written- he was interviewed and had a ghostwriter- the time and effort it took , and being the perfectionist that he is it doesnt sound plausible.
        The timing of the story is also suspect. Why not after he passed away when there was much more public interest than now.
        The only possibility if there is a document is that the statute of limitation or a confidentiality agreement of some sorts has expired and someone is testing the waters.

  8. As I recall, when the first pictures of Baby Prince emerged, there were no suggestions that he was not MJ’s biological son. He had a typical ‘brown baby’ appearance, light brown skin, and very dark, almost black eyes. Because of the shape of his head, I thought he looked like a miniature Joe Jackson! Baby Paris also resembled Joe, with her eyes the same shade of green. I can’t recall anyone questioning the paternity of Rashida Jones, even though Quincy is darker than the Jacksons. It’s outrageous that the media accepts any claim about MJ, no matter that it concerns his minor children.

    I hope there is a ‘tell-all’ book and that we get to read it. Perhaps it will confirm a few of my suspicions – for instance, I’ve always believed that MJ was having an affair with June Chandler, and Jordan was jealous of the attention she got.

  9. “I think I can safely speak for every Michael Jackson fan out there when I say I would rather read his incomplete, unvarnished, unfinished notes any day-and have the joy of discovering for myself what he meant or intended-than to have one more book full of psychobabble about him. Let’s hope and pray that, for once, integrity will rule the day”

    AMEN to that 🙂

  10. Raven, I feel the need to tell you that I – after much reading and many books – I came to the conclusion, perhaps wrong, it’s just my opinion, that the best way to respect Michael that is no longer with us is to follow only his songs and what I really wanted to leave.

    I do not trust anymore. And about Joe Jackson, I do not ever see a documentary or read one of his books (and the same goes for all family members).
    This is not a personal dislike or hate stupid, etc. etc., just because I believe that I dont want be part of the assets in bussiness after death Michael, in particular, from the affairs of the family.

    I am not a studious nor Michael biographer and I can help but further details and, always expressing myself as a mere point of view of all questionable, so doing I think I respect him totally and absolutely.

  11. Being Michael Jackson fans, it’s a given that we’re a bunch of crazed hagiographers, able to spot an anti-MJ conspiracy in the most innocent circumstances. So maybe some sane, intelligent non-fan can proffer an explanation for the scrubbing of most references to DNA testing, ordered by MJ.

    1. Those references were from tabloids to begin with and we are taking internet back in 1997-1998, before it spread for real and before everything that was printed online was in the web forever unless someone removes it. How many tabloid stories from 97 do you think can still be found?

      1. Plenty of tabloid stories from twenty years back can be found on the internet. My question is why anyone would go to the trouble of scrubbing stories that reinforced the idea that Michael Jackson was actually the father of his own children.

        1. I think fans should also stop discussing Michaels paternity of his children. Its bad enough that the tabloids keep milking it. Either way it must be hurtful for the children to be the constant subject of discussion on public forums. Imagine what it does to a child if your existence and your fathers sex life is under constant scrutiny, no matter how well meaning.
          There are fans who fantasize about Michaels sex as a way of fanfiction. Not my cup of tea, but pretty harmless. But endless speculation about who he had sex with or not, under the pretence of research and factfinding ? .
          I cant help wondering ,why speculate and not just ask the women who are involved.

          1. I cant help wondering ,why speculate and not just ask the women who are involved.

            Except no one ever believes them. You wouldn’t believe how hard some people work to try to discredit the women in his life.

          2. Exactly, it is endlessly disrespectful and distasteful especially since the kids are now aware of it. And what for? What is the big pay off in discussing paternity?

          3. I don’t think they would be believed, regardless. Some people have too much invested in denying Michael’s paternity of his own children. If his children were to have DNA tests done in public, proving Michael was their father, many still would deny it. Look at President Obama and the nutty “birthers”. There was no birth certificate good enough for them.

            Some people are just willfully ignorant and no explanation or evidence contrary to what they think will ever change their mind. Sad and pitiful.

  12. I don’t believe Michael was working on any memoirs, and if any such were to surface I would doubt their authenticy. Even if this were true such a book would never see the light of day. There is no way the Estate would permit such a book to be published where Michael discusses the “confidentiality” settlement with the Chandlers, and be in breach. The estate focuses on the art and happy Michael and tries to stay away from the more salacious side of his life. Again if these writings do exist they maybe diary entries. Taraborelli did say he was seeing a therapist while in Barhain.

    1. As I said, I am skeptical of the story, too. My whole angle here was to say it would be interesting and intriguing if true, but that is still a big “if” right now. I would need a lot more evidence than one story quoting one source, and for sure, I would want to know it was officially authenticated before investing too much in it one way or the other.

      I don’t know if the estate would have any say in being able to stop or allow the publication of such a memoir. If that were the case (that their goal was to see only the happy, positive MJ portrayed) then, for sure, a good many books written about MJ would never have seen light of day. In fact, probably 90% of the books that have been published in the last three years! The estate cannot stop the publication of a book. However, this one may be a whole different can of worms, since it purports to be a book written BY Michael himself. Then I would think, yes, the estate would have some leverage there. I still think they would be the best, most reliable ones to authenticate it, one way or the other.

      But publishing it would be controversial in any case, since it would come down to a matter of “if” Michael actually wrote it (just as they question the vocals on the Michael album). Many fans will undoubtedly question the ethics of whether it was ever intended for publication, just as with the Schmuley tapes. Then people would also be bound to question how MUCH of it did he write; inevitably, people would start speculating that things have been added or left out. If the book is edited, people will inevitably question why some things were left out, and it will only invite endless speculation regarding those parts left out-from both haters and fans, alike.

      I am intrigued by the “possibility” of such a memoir existing, even in fragmented form. But whether it would ever see light of day-or even should see light of day-is a different matter. For me, it would depend on a lot of “if’s,” most of which I have already mentioned in the post. It would have to be proven authentic, and it would have to be released exactly as written. They could include a prologue or foreward to let readers know it is not in complete form, and why. That is all that needs to be done.

      If these were private notes or a diary never intended for publication, that is a different matter. But even in the case of an actual memoir, it may still-as I mentioned-beg the question of how much he actually intended to include, and what may have eventually been edited out, either by himself or an editor. (This is normal procedure; the same thing was done with the Moonwalk book). Since Michael himself is no longer here to oversee that process, it becomes a much stickier and more problematic issue. There aren’t too many people (and I include myself among them) who will trust ANYBODY to “get it right” when it comes to such a delicate matter as choosing how much Michael wished to reveal to the world, and how much he ultimately would have decided should remain private.

      1. If such a memoir does exist, it should go straight to Prince and Paris Jackson. Prince was sixteen yesterday, old enough to exert some control over his father’s legacy. If there is any material critical of certain individuals – and this is a big old if – such as John Branca, and the memoir is turned over to “the Estate”, it will never see the light of day.

      2. Whether these were supposed to stay private notes for a diary, or were meant to eventually be published as a memoir, they are probably in Michael’s very distinct, unique handwriting, using phrasing that could easily be verified to be his. By far, most writers start any big project as a conglomeration of notes and paragraphs that get shuffled around. It’s likely Michael would have hired a great ghost writer to finish, such as Jermaine did for his book.

  13. I think at this point we have to get used to the idea of Michael as a historical figure. I mean when it comes to prominent figures of the past, its pretty common that their private correspondence, diaries or even love letters gets published. The ethical standard is different the more time passes. If it was Mozart’s or Voltaire’s private diary that was found, would it even be question to publish? No, I don’t think so.

    For me personally it is a very strange transition to go from being a fan of a breathing and working artist to a fan of a historical figure. But we have to adjust somewhat at least because Michael does belong to the world now. I don’t think the argument of “what would Michael like” is valid anymore. Maybe for us, but not for the history anyway.

    But just like with schmuley tapes, I’m glad we got them because they do show so much of Michael’s true character. Schmuley parts can be ignored.

    1. Hi, Gennie–private letters etc are usually owned by heirs, and they have the right to choose who gets to publish via granting permissions. So maybe it would better if these papers just get put back in the estate, if that is possible. Just not clear on who owns them and how they got hold of them in the first place (if they exist, which is not unlikely IMO). I agree MJ is now a historical figure, but his Estate should have control of his private papers, possessions, works, etc. I agree too that ‘what MJ would want’ is hard to know and everyone has a take on that. I am pretty sure he would not want his private journals published by anyone other than his Estate or heirs though.

    2. I don’t think the argument of “what would Michael like” is valid anymore

      Why is it still valid for Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and other artists who have living heirs ( family,children )who oversee authenticity of their work and try – however not always succesfully- to honour the spirit of the deceased.

      We may think we are entitled to his (unreleased )work but are we also entitled to what he wanted to keep for hisself? Where do we draw the line?
      There was nothing groundbreaking in the Schmuley tapes that I couldnt do without or that changed my pov.
      And Schmuley is still a backstabber for publishing Michaels words that Michael had chosen not to release.
      To me he is not different from Bashir except he couldnt edit and manipulate Michaels words as much as Bashir did.
      His ethics are definitely worse.
      As a rabbi/counselor you are held to stricter confidentiality rules and you are not supposed to speak in public about things that a person wants to keep private.
      Do you know that this is what Schmuley said about Michael
      “He did good in his life, and he made people happy – and [for] some of whom he was very special – but he may indeed have been guilty of very serious crimes, which no one could excuse, and if he was guilty of those crimes, he deserves to be condemned,”
      Later it became “This is Michael reaching out from the grave, in a book he desperately wished to be published”
      Sorry, Schmuley makes me sick.

      And you are right nothing is valid when it comes to Michael.
      It wasnt when he was alive so why would it be now that he is dead.

  14. I would be fascinated, so interested to buy and read this memoir of Michael’s after it has been passed by the Estate and his children. However the argument that Michael was an historical figure of great importance so his diaries or personal notes should be published as with others of his ilk, holds a lot of sway with me. Is there a time limit on that as with music copyright; i.e. so many years have to elapse after a person has died before publication? This is foremost a huge part of the world’s musical history, apart from other considerations. Many, like a world famous classical Chinese pianist, liken Michael to the genius of Mozart.

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