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

Source: – By Brian Ives| All Things Michael


On Minimation, we comb through the 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 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, Batten was “losing her mind about it.”


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


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.



Roberto Cavalli Blog

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

Sources: Straight | All Things Michael


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.

 Tripp Welborne

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


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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Pizza, Music And Elevators

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

In many ways this is going full circle – coming back to New York. I have written about New York many times, and the pleasure it was to record the HIStory album at The Hit Factory. It’s hard to explain, but New York is sort of where I really discovered just how huge Michael was. The 1988 Grammys. The Bad Tour at MSG. So moving into The Hit Factory in 1994 seemed so natural.

The Hit Factory had this cool elevator that you would likely only find in a New York recording studio. It was a huge freight elevator that opened onto the street, so cartage (musical gear) could be loaded into it from the street and delivered to the correct floor. But it was also used for cars to access the parking garage under the building. So from time to time if Michael needed to get to our session on the 6th floor, his security guys would simply drive the van (yes, a big white passenger van, not a Maybach or a limo) into the elevator and bring him to the 6th floor – in the van! I don’t know… it wasn’t exactly “Flying Skateboard” cool, but it was still pretty cool. (Brad setting up a microphone on in Studio One on the 6th floor, giant elevator doors open up to reveal Michael getting out of a huge white van. Cool.)

We were at the Hit Factory (car elevator and all) for about 15 months working on HIStory. There were many special guests (“Janet, your brother is in that room, let me tell him you’re here”), and many of our tried-and-true friends.

Of course New York always reminds me of food. Let me rephrase that – New York has some of the best food on the planet! Pizza, water dogs, egg-on-a-roll, street carts, White Castle, steak houses, Italian joints, bagels. Yes, I gained a bit of weight on that project. We used to order in from a place called “Old Homestead” quite a bit. All these memories – all New York.

So in two weeks we’ll be back, and I am going to try something I have never done before. On Friday night (Feb 20), I am going to Skype in a couple of my friends who spent a lot of time on HIStory to talk about that album.

Steve Porcaro needs no introduction to MJ fans. He wrote two of my favorite songs, “Human Nature” and “For All Time”. Oh, and he is in a little band called Toto. Steve was with us for a chunk of time, and he is generously offering to join us via Skype that night.

Another name you may or may not know is Rob Hoffman. Rob is a great guy and a good friend since I met him at Hit Factory. He was with us virtually from the first day, and he helped with everything from recording to creating synth sounds. He was a very trusted part of the team, and continues to have an amazing career in the industry in LA. Rob was there, and he will share many of his stories via Skype.

I am so excited about “A Slice Of HIStory”, because I know these guys will bring some amazing stories. Plus – I’ll feed you pizza and beer/soft drinks! What could be a better way to spend a Friday evening??

On Saturday the 21st we will be back at Smash Studios for my full day seminar focusing on my 18 years with Michael in the studio (Bad, Dangerous, HIStory), prepping for his tours, building Neverland, etc.

New York. Michael Jackson. Pizza. Music. Stories. Memories. Friends. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t wait!

Tickets for both events are on sale now, and if you purchase both, you will receive a $40 refund. Have a great weekend, and Keep The Faith!


Two weeks from tonight – “A Slice Of HiStory”
February 20, 2015, 5-9:30pm

Two weeks from tomorrow – “In The Studio With MJ – V2.0″
February 21, 2015, 12-7pm

Smash Studios, New York

Supermodel Elle Macpherson Talks About Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson And More

Sources: Mstar News – By Jaymz Clements | All Things Michael

Modern Luxury Held At The Park Hyatt Hotel Dubai

Elle MacPherson has revealed some of the secret stories behind being a supermodel in the 1980s, talking about how she would hang out and party with celebrities like Whitney Houston, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson and was there when Christie Brinkley met her eventual husband Billy Joel. The Australian supermodel-turned-super-succesful-businesswoman also told Jimmy Kimmel Live! how she trademarked the phrase ‘The Body’ and struck out on her own with her famous calendar.

She also explained to Kimmel just how crazy the ’80s were. “It was interesting;” she admitted.”I’d just come from Australia and moved to America and was exposed to a lot.”

Macpherson then regaled Kimmel with a couple of classic ’80s stories, saying that she may’ve hooked up Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley — who were married form 1985 to 1994 — as well as setting Whitney Houston on the path to stardom!

Said Macpherson, “I remember one of my first jobs I was invited to go to St Barts… and I remember thinking ‘No, I can’t go, I don’t have enough money for the plane ticket,’ and my agency said, ‘No, the magazine actually pays for you to go,'” she laughed.

Once she got to St Barts she says “A friend of mine called me and said ‘you’ll never guess who’s playing the piano down at the piano bar,’ and it was Billy Joel!”

Down she went with her Whitney Houston, who Macpherson was working with. “She started as a model,” remembers Macpherson, “so Whitney and I were working together and then Christie Brinkley was shooting her beauty book there. So it was Whitney, Christie, and me, and Billy Joel, and the rest is history. He ended up with Christie and very much in love…

“And,” she added, “I remember Whitney made a tape and gave it to him and said ‘do you think I could be singer?’ and there you go.”

She also remembers having “dinner at a casino in New Jersey I think it was, at one of the Trump Towers, with Michael Jackson and Donald Trump,” which was “pretty cool,” she laughed.

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So… how was it hanging out with Michael Jackson in the ’80s? “He was cool,” revealed Macpherson. “He was sweet and funny, and very wry. I remember people chasing him and he would run the other way up the escalators to try get away and I was like ‘How did he do that? How do you even go up a down escalator?’ But that was what he could do. He was nifty on his feet.”

That’s for sure.

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Larry Allison Talks About His Time Working Security For Michael Jackson

Sources: Wilson Post – By Ken Beck | Edited By – All Things Michael


From right, Larry Allison, Liza Minnelli, security chief Michael La Perruque and Michael Jackson are captured in this photo taken at Minnelli’s wedding party in New York City in 2002. Note the broach that Jackson is wearing. Allison purchased the piece of jewelry for $12.50 from a gift shop on Park Avenue just before the event.

During the course of a career that stretches across four decades, lawman Larry Allison not only crossed paths with some of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities, he made sure that their paths, front and back, were all clear.

The former California cop, today a part-time policeman in Watertown, once provided security for such renowned folks as Nicole Kidman, Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson, Andy Griffith, Aaron Spelling, Will Smith and Robin Williams.

“It’s been a crazy ride. I sit here now and my mind’s going two million miles an hour,” says the officer, 59, over lunch at Depot Junction in Watertown as he grants his first interview ever about his heydays in Tinseltown where he watched over the stars at awards shows like the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys and provided security on movie sets and sound stages for TV shows including “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The King of Queens,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Quantum Leap.”

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“I was tired of the desert and had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles full time in ’99. I left law enforcement to work for a company that had several celebrities and began working in Will Smith’s house in residence protection, and when Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman split, I was assigned to work for her,” he recollected.

When Kidman left for a lengthy film job out of the country, Allison was offered a job by a close friend, Michael La Perruque, Michael Jackson’s security chief.

“I jumped on board and traveled with Michael Jackson for about 11 months. It was fun. He was a very interesting person, and I met a lot of interesting people and I enjoyed it,” recounted Allison, who shaved his moustache to placate the king of pop.

“He thought I was very intimidating with my moustache and asked me if I would shave it. It was the longest time I was without my moustache.”

One of the more amusing incidences during his time with the singer came just hours before the 2002 wedding of his friend, singer Liza Minnelli. Jackson called Allison and asked him to purchase a broach for him to wear to the event.

“We were staying at the Palace Hotel in New York but they didn’t have anything. So I ran down Park Avenue in and out of three or four gift shops, and I bought one for $12.50, and he loved it. He said, ‘Oh, that’s great. I love that. You did so good.’

“It’s funny because I’m sure that people who saw that broach were thinking that it was probably a Harry Winston million-dollar piece, and it’s $12.50 from a gift shop on Park Avenue,” laughed Allison.

After his tenure with Jackson he returned to providing security for Kidman and then for professional soccer icon David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, and there were numerous jobs in-between before he was employed by one of his favorite clients.



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