Syd Mead – Futuristic Artist

Sources: Curbed – By Patrick Sisson | All Things Michael

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“We don’t go into the future from zero, we drag the whole past in with us.” Many of us have predictions or pictures in our heads of what the future might look like. Syd Mead, a noted illustrator, concept artists and visual futurist, is one of the rare few whom are asked to put those images onto paper and out into the world. For decades, his groundbreaking designs and artwork for a variety of corporations, creative firms and cinematic projects have become synonymous with looking forward. His film work alone, which includes Blade Runner, Aliens and TRON, gave a generation a glimpse into what technology and design may have in store. Mead says that he would use architecture as a sort of “magical background” in his work. Curbed spoke with him about his architectural influences and his current views of the future of urban design.

Syd Mead (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***

Do you ever get approached by people doing urban planning or designers asking for ideas?
I do. I have a big project now that I can’t tell you about. I’ve worked on a handful of billion dollar, first-phase theme parks designs that didn’t work out; one was going to be in Singapore and one was going to be in Japan, near Kobe. The more money that’s involved, the more fragile the project becomes. I was even working with Michael Jackson on a possible Jackson World park. I’m 82; my dream would be to have a superyacht on the water, and a Syd Mead-type world world or park….

See excerpt below from Reflections of the Dance Website

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Adam Driver’s Garage Grooves

Sources: Music News | All Things Michael

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Adam Driver used to turn his garage into a disco so he could emulate his idol, Michael Jackson.

The actor has a legion of fans around the globe since landing a lead role in Lena Dunham’s TV hit Girls and he has worked on movie projects including Inside Llewyn Davis and While We’re Young.

Growing up, legendary singer Michael was his hero and the now 31-year-old would go to great lengths to pay tribute to him.

“When I was five, I absolutely worshipped the King of Pop,” he grinned in an interview with German magazine Neon. “We had a garage next to our house and I turned it into a disco. I practised the moonwalk for ages but sadly never really mastered it.”

These days, Adam looks for inspiration closer to home. He married Joanne Tucker in 2013 and credits her with keeping him down to earth.

“My wife is my biggest hero,” he gushed. “She ensures that amidst all this Hollywood craziness, I remain a normal person. For example, she’ll persuade me to go and see old friends, even if I’m not really feeling like it. Having a person like that in your life is far more important than a successful career.”

Adam’s star continues to rise, as he picks up more and more lucrative projects. He plays Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars film, Episode VII – The Force Awakens, which sees him team with the likes of Gwendoline Christie, Oscar Isaac and Harrison Ford.

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Remember The Time Michael Jackson Shopped At Palm Beach Mall?

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Originally posted on Featured:

On the sixth anniversary of Michael Jackson‘s death at the age of 50, we remember the time the King of Pop donned a Spider Man mask and shopped for Hot Wheels and sweatpants at the defunct Palm Beach Mall (the county’s first mall stood where Palm Beach Outlets are now, kids).

His mall-crawl companion? Chris Tucker.

michael jackson Undated photo of Michael Jackson (File photo/The Palm Beach Post).

From a 2003 Thom Smith column that ran in “The Palm Beach Post:”

Rumors are flying that Michael Jackson has bought a home in Manalapan, but Palm Beach real-estate experts doubt that the pop star can come up with enough cash –$20 million to $40 million. Still, he was throwing around plenty of small bills Thursday and Saturday as he and Chris Tucker shopped at the Palm Beach Mall and The Gardens Mall.

“It got really crazy in here Thursday. He grabbed my arm and said, ‘Help me,'” said Dave…

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Radio.com Minimation: Slash Performs with Michael Jackson But Doesn’t Dance

Source: Radio.com – By Brian Ives| All Things Michael

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On Minimation, we comb through the Radio.com interview archives and animate interviews with legendary artists. In this interview from 2014, Slash talks about going on tour with Michael Jackson. He clashed with MJ’s guitarist over one issue, and it wasn’t about who gets to solo first. 

In last week’s Radio.com Minimation, Slash told us the story of how he ended up playing guitar on Michael Jackson’s 1991 album, Dangerous. The two artists hit it off pretty well. MJ was used to playing with great six-stringers (he’d worked with Eddie Van Halen and Steve Stevens on previous albums).

And so, Slash did a few shows with the King of Pop as his special guest. Of course, MJ already had a guitar player – namely Jennifer Batten, a face-melting soloist in her own right. But no matter how good you are at your instrument, when you’re in Michael Jackson’s band, there are rules you must follow. Such as, taking part in on-stage choreography. So, it’s understandable that she figured, he she had to learn to dance, Slash would as well.

Slash, who at the time was a member of Guns N Roses, the baddest band in the land, was pretty firm on his stance: He was not going to dance. As he told Radio.com, Batten was “losing her mind about it.”

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At that point, Michael got involved, taking her down to “the sports bathrooms” (i.e. the locker rooms) and moderated. Spoiler: Slash didn’t learn choreography.

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A New Look For Michael Jackson – By Roberto Cavalli

Sources: Roberto Cavalli | All Things Michael

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368. A new look for Michael Jackson…

Michael Jackson had organized a small, private dinner, I would say a very intimate dinner because we were completely alone in the restaurant of one of the most prestigious hotels in Las Vegas, away from prying eyes.

Finally he began to tell me about his desire to usher in a new period of his musical life. A new style to which he wished to give a new look.

He made me realize that he wanted to abandon forever the short jackets, tight pants, white socks with loafers blacks. He had already noticed that I was wearing – as I always do – ankle boots in black suede. Well, that would be a look that he would like. He made me realize that he greatly admired the fantasies of the embroideries we had put on the shiny fabrics of some of our women’s jackets.

So he wanted something that would stand out, a rock-chic-elegance.

We left one another promising to meet again soon and I assured him that I would send some sketches and ideas for his new Michael Jackson look.

From that day we began to talk one another often. He had already accepted some of my proposals and, with the help of my son Daniele, we organized a first meeting in London to show him an exquisitely worked jacket we had designed for him. He was impressed!

His first return to the public would be in London during the “Fashion Rocks”. There was great expectation; the press had given a lot of coverage to his new look and I was part of that great event.

The final examination gown was exciting. Michael was delighted and expressed his approval!

During the concert the audience was screaming his name to the rhythm of the music. Michael continued to dance walking on the stage. The audience reached out to touch him, just to experience the sensation of touching him and his clothes.

Michael took off his jacket, swung it twice over his head and threw it into the screaming audience!

I looked at Daniele’s face. He was shocked! The wonderful “jacket” that had cost so much creative effort had ended up in the hands of a fan who certainly could not possibly imagine what had gone into it!

When Michael returned to the backstage I hugged him, and jokingly expressed my disappointment about the jacket… “Roberto, please, I was very excited… Just make me a new one…!” he said, hugging me again.

The world has lost a great artist and I have lost a friend.

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I LOVE YOU

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Kevin “Sipreano” Howes Recalls His First Time Seeing Michael Jackson On Stage

Sources: Straight | All Things Michael

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Canadian DJ, liner notes writer, curator, producer Kevin “Sipreano” Howes recalls going to his first concert ever as a kid and seeing the legendary Michael Jackson on stage.

As far as pop princes, kings, and or queens go, I don’t believe there’s ever been a bigger musical artist than Michael Jackson in the mid-1980s. MJ was truly a global superstar, bolstered by the power of music videos, Pepsi adverts, the moonwalk, and likely a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. November 16-18, 1984, saw Michael and his Jackson brothers perform a series of sold-out concerts at B.C. Place stadium. Unfortunately for me, the shows had sold-out weeks prior to the big event and my early indecision resulted in missing the boat. As the dates grew closer, I started to have pangs of regret and pleaded to my parents to get some scalper tickets. My mother Nicole, rest her soul, found a ticket tout in the weekend newspaper selling a pair of floor seats and off we went. Though I was only 10 at the time, I remember that the feeling inside the venue was truly electric, even more so than at a B.C. Lions football game, which I’d been to before. There was screaming fans, bright lights, explosions, and of course, the smooth R&B and funk-pop groove of the Jacksons’ backing band. Michael did a solo set of current hits from 1982’s Thriller and my young mind was blown. Since that fortunate night, I’ve been to hundreds of concerts, but it’s hard to forget the first. I’ll never forget my parents’ support of my interest in music, even when I was being a brat!

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Desmond, Tripp And Michael Jackson’s Hat

Sources: Michigan Rivals – By Chris Balas | All Things Michael

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Former Michigan All-American safety/punt return man Tripp Welborne and Heisman Trophy winning receiver Desmond Howard weren’t in the same class at U-M, but they were good friends. They were among the elite at their positions in the country, and they bonded off the field, seeing eye-to-eye on just about every issue but one – the rightful bearer of late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s hat.

Once in a while you come across a story that seems to good to be true. This is one of them – the story of two elite athletes at one of Jackson’s sold out concerts in the late 1980s who happened to be in the right place at the right time. They were only there at the Palace of Auburn Hills because good friend and team manager Mark Jacobson was sick, Welborne recalled, and had two floor seats six or eight rows from the King of Pop he couldn’t use.

At some point in the concert Jackson flung his trademark black fedora hat into the crowd. When it went up, Welborne’s punt return instincts kicked in.

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Tripp Welborne

“It did a boomerang,” Welborne, a former captain of industry and recently hired athletic director at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., recalled with a laugh. “My punt techniques kicked in. He threw the hat, and it actually came back … he threw it up and it went back past us, seemingly, then started coming back like a Frisbee. I was looking at it while everyone else was screaming, ‘aaaah – we love Michael Jackson!’ and I’m saying, ‘there’s the hat!’

“It was like slow motion, every revolution. I saw it and just went after it. Des saw me diving and I called out, ‘Desmond – the hat!’ I dove; he saw me diving and dove right by me. It was crazy – the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of.'”

This coming from a guy who once hung out with NBA legend Michael Jordan, even spending the night on his airness’ doorstep after deciding to stay a bit later at a party than the former Chicago Bulls star and his entourage he’d been hanging with.

And the details make it even crazier.

“I laid out,” Welborne recalled, now laughing harder at the recollection. “Just natural instincts. I just saw it coming, said, ‘oh my goodness, there’s the hat!’ I mean, I just laid out. I landed right on top of this lady. I’m 200 pounds, and I landed right on her head.

“But I caught it originally. I caught it first. Desmond dove in behind me and after I caught it, we were on the ground, then Desmond dove in and so we had the hat together. Then all these people dove on it like recovering a fumble. It was alike a big pile. It was amazing.

Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard

“So I’m underneath the pile with Desmond, and we can’t see each other because it’s dark. I’m yelling, ‘Desmond! I’ve got the hat! I’ve got the hat! He was yelling, ‘I’ve got it, too! I’ve got it, too!’ But there were five hands on it – two were mine, two were his, then there was somebody else’s. I don’t know whose it was. What I told him was, ‘all right, Desmond – I’m letting go so I can start getting people off us.’ I had a cast on one of my hands because I had messed up my thumb. I only had fingers on one hand, so I used that cast and started hitting people’s knuckles.”

When he started doing that, Welborne recalled, he made sure Howard had two hands on the hat before letting go completely.

“I said, ‘Desmond, do you have a good hold of it ’cause I am letting go so I can knock hands off,'” he continued. “He was like, ‘I got it! I got it!’ He was hollering and all excited, just a young freshman. I let it go and started throwing people off, then eventually security comes and helps to get everybody off. When everyone is off it’s just me and him standing there holding the hat up in the air, and they put the spotlight on us.

“The crazy thing was the only reason we went is because our friend Mark Jacobson was sick and had tickets to the concert and couldn’t go. We looked around and said, ‘we’ll go.’ And I had a car. We came back to the dorm and all we were doing was dancing like Michael Jackson. Mark didn’t know what was going on. We were laughing and dancing and said, ‘you won’t believe this, but look.’ He still had no concept that it was Michael Jackson’s hat, because who does that? Who catches Michael Jackson’s hat?”

Two guys among the best to ever wear the winged helmet – that’s who.

As Welborne recalls it, the two friends made a pact to take turns with the treasure for the rest of their days – and Welborne is still waiting for his.

“He is a crook. He is a hoarder,” Welborne quipped, now roaring. “We made a pact. Desmond actually still has it in a case, a glass case sitting in his house as you come into his house in Florida. The pact that we made – because we partnered in capturing the hat – was that we would share it. Early on it was that it would spend a little time, like a couple months or so, at your mom’s house, then a couple months at my mom’s house, but because he was closer – he was in Cleveland – he got it to his mom’s house first. It never made it to my mom’s house.

“Every time we talk, and we talk quite often because he’d actually come to my basketball practices with kids I coached multiple times – he even practiced with the kids when he was doing his ESPN stuff – we’d get together, and every single time I say, ‘um … can I get my turn? It’s only been 25 years!’ Or I’ll say, ‘see you soon – bring the hat.’ He’s like, ‘it’s good. It’s safe.'”

When the time is right, Welborne added, it might just pay for both of their retirements – that’s if Howard ever lets it out of his sight.

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Yeah, Make That Change!

Sources: CCM – By Andy Argyrakis| All Things Michael

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Special extended BONUS material from the CCM Magazine exclusive interview with Sandra Crouch, by Andy Argyrakis. CLICK HERE to read the main portion of the interview, featured in the April 1, 2015 edition of CCM Magazine.

CCM: How did it work logistically when you were collaborating and touring so frequently with Andraé but also releasing solo records?
Sandra: It was so funny. My records did well. He would say “Sandra, okay, you can do a couple of dates, but you have to come back and be with me.” He always won. He would look so pitiful, like one of those little Doberman Pinchers, and I’d say, “Okay, Andraé.” I won a GRAMMY and he ran up there before I did and exclaimed, “My sister!” While I was trying to say something over the microphone on stage he would interrupt and answer for me! But we were twins and we were just really inseparable. We did everything together. He did some touring without me, but I was mainly with him from the start until the end.

CCM: Didn’t you also have some involvement as a session player with Motown?
Sandra: A friend of mine named Frank Wilson was the producer at Motown and he used to come to the church. We were great friends and he’d say, “Sandra, I want you to play on one of my productions that I’m doing.” So I said “okay,” played on one and then Barry Gordy heard me. He liked using the same people, so I don’t know how many projects I played on, but some of them included Diana Ross & The Supremes, Diana’s solo projects, The Temptations, and I played on Michael Jackson’s demo when Diana Ross presented him. I did the Motown thing for at least five or six years straight, and then from Motown, I did some pop and rock stuff. It was a whole genre of music that the Lord blessed me just to be a part of. I’ve also played percussion—even on some things for films and really enjoyed it because I got a chance to meet a lot of people. And then from that, I introduced Andraé to Michael Jackson and Diana Ross and then the rest became history. I enjoyed that. I loved doing sessions.

CCM: So were you on all those classic records alongside Andraé, like Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror?”
Sandra: I directed the choir. Andraé would say, “Sandra, I want to do…” and just start mumbling. That is the way he arranged things. And I’d go, “Oh, okay,” because I could understand what his mumbling meant. When you’re with somebody that long, you can understand what the mumbling means word for word. He would go into the booth and I would direct the choir, then he’d come out and say, “I’ve got another idea.” He’d go back in the booth with Michael and I would complete it. If he was directing, I would sit down. If I was directing, he would sit down. We would just trade off. We did that all our lives. He’d say, “I’ve got an idea and my sister will finish it up” and I’d say, “Okay” and he’d go sit down.

Let me tell you more about that song. [One day during the “Man In The Mirror sessions] we were in the parking lot and Andraé said, “Sandra, I’ve got an idea. Tell all the singers not to leave.” I said, “They’re getting in their cars, Andraé!” He said, “Tell them ‘don’t leave!’” We ran back in the studio and said “Michael, Andraé’s got another idea. He wants to put another little thing on it. Michael said, [in his high-pitched voice] “Do whatever you want to.” So everybody went back into the studio and they did [the song’s signature choral chat] “Yeah, yeah-make that change.” That’s the part that wasn’t there in the beginning, but added that at the end after Andraé’s last-minute suggestion. He just would keep singing little things and that’s how that happened. Michael was a dear friend. He was a really dear guy and we loved him a lot.

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