Ein frühere Mitarbeiter vom Martketing-Team beim Label Epic, hat in einem Interview berichtet, wie es war, mit Michael Jackson zu arbeiten. Dan Beck berichtet, dass er Michael Jacksons Manager Sandy Gallin vom Versuch abhalten wollte, den Titel „King of Pop“ zu etablieren.
Das spannende Interview kann hier nachgelesen werden. So hätten auch er und das Epic-Team sich zunehmend Kopfzerbrechen gemacht über all die negative Presse. Dies sei etwa ein Grund gewesen, wieso er Sandy Gallin Anfang der 90er davon abhalten wollte, Michael Jacksons Idee mit dem „King of Pop“ umzusetzen. Es wurde befürchtet, dass dies dem bereits dmaals angeschlagenen Image nochmals zusätzlich schaden könnte. Wie wir alle wissen, hat sich der Name „King of Pop“ dann doch etabliert, wenn auch es mittlerweilen ein offenes Geheimnis ist, dass sich MJ den Titel selbst verlieh.
Dan Beck spricht auch darüber, dass Michael Jackson grundsätzlich sehr offen für Ideen gewesen sei – ausser, er hatte schon eine genaue Vorstellung, die er dann unbedingt in die Tat umsetzen wollte.
In that very last documentary that Jackson did, it becomes clear he’s very strong-willed. So, if he would make a decision, he was going to push that through pretty much no matter what. Is that what happened when you were doing the work on these albums?
Dan Beck: It was a culmination of things. If Michael got things in his head, they became very fixed and he was very focused to move forward. A lot of what we tried to do was to establish a perspective and reasons to do things before he would get positioned on it. He was very open-minded to those kinds of ideas when he didn’t have something fixed in his head, and I thought he was a wonderful collaborator in the sense that he always appreciated ideas and was very thoughtful. That’s why so many really talented people liked to work with him – from Quincy to the choreographers to the video directors, the big names that were involved through his career – because in that collaborative effort he was just a pleasure to work with.
The other thing that really surprises me about the guy is that he was such a wonderful songwriter, and it seems like you need to have some kind of grounded life experience to write these really relatable songs. Jackson was born in a bubble, yet he was still able to write songs that moved ordinary people.
Dan Beck: Very much so. I was around him when he was in the studio, and he was never particularly a musician in the technical sense – he was a guy with ideas in his head and he would interpret them through musicians. But I think so much of songwriting comes from isolation. Even as a child performer he had a lot of isolated time where he wasn’t like everybody else, and I think that’s why he became such a good writer. He was also a student of the whole business and I think that is part of it too.
There are people who overwhelm you with what they have contributed creatively, whether it’s John Lennon or Kris Kristofferson, and I think Michael was inspired that way.
Bezüglich dem „King of Pop“:
Dan Beck: You’re not looking for the ultimate tag. Maybe you’re coming up with something for an advertising campaign for the record or something to give some definition.
People say, „Oh, that’s a combination of such-and-such a band and…“ Why? Because it just seems that people need some direction – they need something to hang their hat on: „What kind of band is that?“ So, we get into these descriptions. I think it’s rare that it just really works. Michael Jackson manufactured „King of Pop,“ and believe me, we were trying to talk him out of it.
Why did you try to talk him out of it?
Dan Beck: Well, our feeling was that radio was going to just roll their eyes and say, „Screw you!“
This was around the time of Dangerous, the late ’80s and beginning of the ’90s, and here was a guy that the tabloids were starting to talk about his skin color, they were starting to talk about the plastic surgery and the Elephant Man and the hyperbaric chamber – I guess those were probably the first four aspects of Michael starting to take hits in the media.
A lot of people in the media were unhappy with Michael because he didn’t talk to them and Frank DiLeo [Jackson’s manager] essentially kept him away from the press, I think with good reason because Michael only had so much to say and he also was a very vulnerable guy. He wasn’t media savvy in the way of sitting down with a journalist and really having that engaging conversation. He was just too much in a bubble.
Frank kept him away, so with all the success that he had there were some media people who were very frustrated that they couldn’t talk to him. So, when things started to crack and there were more odd entities in his life, it started to turn negative.
Well, now, Michael starts to evolve the idea of „King of Pop“ and he passes that along to his new manager, Sandy Gallin, who starts presenting this idea that we’re going to call Michael „King of Pop.“ At Epic, we were saying, „Sandy, stop, please. This is going to hurt him and we could have people turn against us.“
Were we over-concerned? Probably. We were all trying to make our own lives simpler. In the meantime, if you look back on the whole thing, he did become „King of Pop.“ I guess in immortality he established it and maybe he was working on that while he was alive.
Quelle: jackson.ch, songfacts.com