In The Studio With Michael Jackson – “The Bad Mixes”

Sources: In The Studio With Michael – By Brad Sundberg | All Things Michael

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Whenever I get closer to doing a seminar, I dig into my boxes of memorabilia for two reasons:

1) To look for unique items, music, etc., to share with the group.
2) To get myself back into “MJ World”, if that makes any sense.

I know this likely comes as a shock, but I don’t listen to MJ music 24/7. Particularly after a series of seminars I simply need to take a break from it and instead listen to Beck or Steely Dan or AC/DC or Gloria Gaynor (don’t laugh) for a while. I know… it doesn’t make sense, but it’s true! The seminars bring back a lot of memories and things get to be very real again… and I have to let it go. (Wow, that got deep fast.)

So I am going over last minute prep for the next series of seminars in London, Copenhagen and Frankfurt, and I opened up my memory boxes. Captain EO shirt (original!), my signed Thriller album, boxes and boxes of tapes, CDs, lyrics, scribbled notes and comp sheets, etc. Then I saw my old “Bad Mixes” CD.

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After the “Bad” album was released… I mean almost immediately after it was released, Bruce Swedien and I were back at Westlake Studio D starting the remixes for singles, dance mixes, video mixes, etc. This went on for months – song after song.

Monster Cable was involved in the “Bad” album (no, I don’t get a free anything for mentioning them), and Noel Lee was an occasional visitor to the project. Noel was cool, and always seemed to enjoy his visits to the studio. We had Monster Cable all over the place, which was a mixed blessing: It does sound good, but suddenly I was having to lug cables the size of garden hoses around for speakers, and microphone harnesses with the diameter of a grapefruit everywhere we went. No need to hit the gym in those days.

So I don’t know the exact origin of the “Bad Mixes” (I’m sure there are plenty of readers who know more about it than I do), but Monster had some direct involvement – at least with the Special Edition CD. So one day Noel shows up and Bruce and I were working on something – I have no idea what – with a small box of CDs under his arm. He was very proud and pulled them out of the box. Each one had a number: 0001, 0002, 0003, 0004, 0005, and so on. Michael was on tour, and I’m not sure where Quincy was, but Noel very graciously gave us the CDs with specific instructions that Michael was to have 0001, Quincy would receive 0002, Bruce got 0003, and I received 0004. Noel would keep 0005 for himself.

Now don’t read more into this than you should because I was treated very well by everyone, but it was pretty cool for Noel to include me in the top four of receiving one of his hand-delivered, limited edition numbered CDs. They could have gone to the endless list of managers and executives and lawyers first, but Noel knew we were on the front lines of making the music sound great, and using many of his products along the way, so I think this was his way of saying “thank you”.

I still have good old 0004, sealed in it’s original packaging, as a cool momento from a long time ago. No, it’s not for sale… It represents way too big a part of my life to sell. So there you go… I’m ramping back into MJ world just by digging in a box of memories.

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London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt – tickets are still available, and the new material is pretty cool. I was up late last night putting some new segments together from Dangerous – and I think you are going to like them!

Download the “Bad Mixes” or dig out your old CD of it and crank them up this weekend – “Smooth Criminal” sounds better than ever!

I hope to see you on our European tour starting next weekend. Will You Be There?

(0004 will be staying home, safe and sound).

Tickets are still on sale at www.inthestudiowithmj.com, AND – if you are already a ticket holder – I have a few T-shirts still available for purchase here – just scroll to the bottom of the screen: http://inthestudiowithmj.com/events/

Have a great week, and thank you to my guests in Europe who have already purchased tickets – we are so excited to see you in the coming days!

Keep The Faith -

Brad

 

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Tyga Debuts L.A. Gear Sneakers Line – Sneak Preview Of Michael Jackson Basketball Shoe

Sources: Hip Hop Wired – By Trent Clark | All Things Michael

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Tyga the superstar rap artist has been eyeing the most suitable footwear to compliment his Last Kings clothing line.

You may remember the once prominent brand L.A. Gear for their light up sneakers, Reebok Pump replicas or unlikely endorser in Michael Jackson. The Los Angeles based company enjoyed their glory days back when the Young Money rapper was still in diapers but Hip-Hop’s love for all things retro is everlasting and the cycle has reached its full circumference.

“T-Raww ‘6ams’ running shoe coming soon!,” Tyga posted while posing in a pair of bright orange low top sneakers with his nicknamed embroidered on the tongue.

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He also unveiled a basketball shoe and special MJ model that were likely inspired by the late King of Pop’s look during his Bad album run.

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@lagear Michael Jackson redesigned by me coming soon! #LaGear

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Review: Thriller Live At Eden Court

Sources: The Press And Journal – By Susan Welsh | All Things Michael

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Having entered the record books as one of the longest-running musicals in West End history, Thriller Live opened at Eden Court Theatre on Monday night.

The spectacular non-stop show celebrates the career of what some regard as the world’s greatest entertainer, the late Michael Jackson.

Through a combination of dance, video and a talented cast of five singers, 10 dancers and excellent six-piece band, the audience is taken on a musical journey through Michael’s 45 year career.

Playing to a packed house, the show opened with History before immediately launching in a medley of Jackson 5 hits including I Want You Back, ABC sung by Wayne Robinson, J Rome, Alex Buchanan and Deborah Dada and Dak Mashava, while the flexible dancers jigged, somersaulted and back-flipped across the stage.

That set the tone for the evening. Great music, fabulous dancing and numerous hits from different decades.

With favourites such as Can Your Feel it, Off the Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Bad, Rock With You, They Don’t care About Us, Dangerous and Heal the World, it wasn’t long before the crowd were on there feet – 25 minutes in fact, which must be something of a record for Eden Court.

For me, and I suspect I’m not alone, the star of the show was young singer, Alex Buchanan who gave a classy, polished and note-perfect performance.

He made it to the semi finals of TV’s The Voice last year and if he continues to put in performances like this, he’ll be headlining his own shows soon.

After more than two hours of non-stop fun, the show drew to its glitzy end with a fantastic version of Thriller, complete with zombies running through the audience to get to the stage.

If you want to forget your troubles for a couple of hours, and leave the theatre feeling happy, then grab a ticket for this show which is at Eden Court until Saturday, October 25.

 

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Chicago’s Largest ‘Thriller’ Flash Mob Ever Being Planned For Halloween

Sources: Chicagoist |The Local Tourist Chicago |All Things Michael

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Flash mobs may seem beyond passé at this point, yet not even the most jaded flash mobster can resist the siren call of the Thriller dance. And so, I|O Urban Roofscape at The Godfrey Hotel hosts what they are dubbing Chicago’s largest “Thriller Flash Mob on October 31 to celebrate their first Halloween.

Here’s how it goes down:

Don’t worry if you don’t know all the creepy, crawly moves, because instructors at Flirty Girl Fitness will be happy to teach them to both men and women that night. Thriller classes will be held at their studio located at 2215 N Halsted Street at 6:00pm, 7:00pm and 8:00pm. Come in costume or bring it with you. Either way, Flirty Girl’s staff can help transform you into the living dead with nail, hair and make-up services for $5 – $15.

To complete the party atmosphere, alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase from Flirty Girl’s bar. Take adult beverages into the disco-lit, fog machine enhanced studio while learning when to clap your hands over your head and slide to the right. (That’s the only move I remember from the video.)

After the Thriller choreography is perfected, or at least sort of learned, the mob will head to the Halloween party at I|O Urban Roofscape beginning at 9:00pm. Then, at 10:31pm and again at midnight, all the preparation will pay off as the dance floor will be invaded by ghouls and zombies breaking out into coordinated dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

You’re nobody if you haven’t tried to do the Thriller dance at least once in your lifetime. But whether or not you want to try to do so amongst a group of perfect strangers in Halloween costumes is an entirely different matter. Tickets to this macabre soirée can be bought here.

Just remember to have someone do the Vincent Price narration as well.

Flirty Girl Fitness is located at 2215 N. Halsted Street in Lincoln Park; I|O Urban Roofscape is located at 127 W. Huron St. 

 

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Massive Zombie Thriller Dance Coming To City Hall (Toronto)

Sources: Blog To – By Aubrey Jax| All Things Michael

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Those sleepovers where you danced the zombie dance while your friends’ parents begged you to go to sleep and stop making noise up there are about to pay off. Next weekend a spooky cast of dancers are calling on Toronto to rattle its gross, brain eating (costumed) bodies in an attempt to set a new world record for the most people sashaying the zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Toronto held claim to the first such record in 2006, in case you dance best under pressure.

If you’d like to take part, bring a donation for the Prostate Cancer Canada to Nathan Phillips Square, specifically “the washroom, at the skate rental area” (sketchy), at 4:30pm Saturday, October 25th – it’s the same day as Zombie Walk, so you don’t have to worry about over-zombie-ing your pores this year – and join the hour long rehearsal before the 6pm showdown. If you just want to watch, look out for the bitey ones.

 

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The Michael Jackson “Dittmar Collection” Exhibit Ends Tomorrow

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Gronau – Anyone looking for a cozy place away from the fresh autumnal temperatures can still quickly take advantage of the last opportunity to visit the Michael Jackson exhibition in the rock’n’ popmuseum. The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, October 19, before it goes back in private.

In recent months, many fans of the King of Pop have came to rock’n’popmuseum. In addition to the interested museum visitors, fans clubs traveled in buses and even went in costumes through the exhibition.

Visitors get to see an extract from the “Dittmar Collection,” the private collection of Chris Dittmar Julian, one of the largest and most valuable Michael Jackson collections worldwide. The collector has complied hundreds of exhibits from his possession with the aim to bring visitors closer to both the private individual as well as the world famous Mega Star, who held the breath of the world for decades.

Its artifacts include garments of the singer, including an original Billie Jean jacket that he wore in Pensacola during rehearsals for his “BAD World Tour” in 1988 and also a worn shoe signed by the artist.

The exhibit includes several original awards, such as the eye-catching Platinum Award presented to Michael Jackson for 7 million records, CDs and cassettes sold of the album “Dangerous.”

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The skurrileren exhibits includes an original invitation to the private funeral and burial of Michael Jackson, which was held in Glendale on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Video clips and audio round off the varied appearances of the exhibition.  The audio guide gives the visitor detailed information about the objects that lift the veil of legend.

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Edited By – All Things Michael

 

Thriller Live Coming To Wolverhampton Grand Theatre November 11-15

Source: Broadway World | All Things Michael

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As it continues its record-breaking 6th year in the West End, a brand new production of THRILLER LIVE is to visit only four regional UK theatres including Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (11 – 15 November) before jetting off to Australia and New Zealand into 2015. THRILLER LIVE has now performed to nightly standing ovations in 28 countries.

The West End production of THRILLER LIVE is now the longest-running production in the Lyric Theatre’s 125-year history. It first moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours.

Recently, THRILLER LIVE has entered the record books to officially become the 20th longest running musical in West End history. The production overtook the records set by the legendary stage musicals The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, which are no longer included in the top 20.

THRILLER LIVE is a constantly evolving music concert celebration. When Michael Jackson died, the Lyric Theatre became a focus for fans from all over the world, who created a massive shrine of flowers, candles, and tributes. More than 40 books of condolence were signed in the foyer then sent to the Jackson family. A year after his death, a permanent West End memorial to Michael was unveiled in the theatre foyer.

THRILLER LIVE brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits, blending eye- popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd.

The show was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary. It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.

 

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“Thriller” Time: Learn October’s Unofficial Dance

Sources: NBC Los Angeles – By Alysia Gray Painter | All Things Michael

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You could round up a group of thesis-writing post-doctoral students, and summon the greatest minds of our time, and they’d still reach the same conclusion we all would, to a person, when asked this question: “When dancing the ‘Thriller’ dance, which move do people always, without exception, start with?”

The answer: the claws.

It’s always the claws, in the air, first at one side of the head, then the other, but the funny thing, of course, is that the claws don’t appear in the “Thriller” video, Michael Jackson’s 1983 John Landis-directed, Vincent Price-narrated phenomenon, until deep into the dance of the undead.

Which means this: People probably need to learn the dance, from scratch, rather than tapping into their memories of what turned out to be one of the most famous, if not the most famous, music videos of all time (if such things can be measured, and we’re sure someone is working on that).

Thrill the World LA is stop one. It’s part of the global Thrill the World event, where zombies — are they zombies, really, or traditional, fresh-from-the-grave undead? — gather in spots around the planet to go claws up in one joyous, seasonal dance. There are typically rehearsals, and you can study past performances on line (hardcore Thrill-the-World-ers are prone to showing up at Staples Center and other local spots for flash mobs outside of October).

Thrill the World LA 2014 goes down at the Queen Mary on Saturday, Oct. 25. It’s free — parking isn’t — and you can come down and watch the merry madness. Or get involved with the “Thriller” crew. They like to wear spooky make-up and zombie-esque duds, which is fun stuff in our workaday world.

And Kim Blank, one of the original dancers from the video (and a ghoul who’s a friend to this writer, disclaimer), also teaches a yearly one-time-only dance class that flaunts all the moves she learned from Michael Peters, the video’s choreographer. Class size is limited, people do dress up, Swerve Studio is on West Third Street, and the moves?

Well, they go way, way beyond the claws in the air, as you’ll see if you sign up for the Sunday, Oct. 18 workshop. Prepare for disciplined and cheeky instruction from a professional dancer who was one of the few to shake it, undead-style, on-screen.

“Thriller,” after all, isn’t just about the big scary eyes and shreddy clothing but about those jerky but precise movements, the low, menacing squats, and, yes, the occasional clawed hand.

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