Paula Abdul On Working With The Jacksons

Sources: All Things Michael | Healthy Living Magazine – By Yana Mandeville

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Discovered by the Jackson in the early 80’s, Paula soon rose to success by becoming choreographer to Janet Jackson and The Jacksons Victory Tour. From being a star on her own as a vocalist and dancer, to being a judge on top television shows such as American Idol, X Factor and currently So You Think You Can Dance, Paula has become one of the few stars to ever have a triumphant career spanning three decades, making her an inspiration to young talents of several generations. Being foremost a dancer with a petite figure, Paula has a lifelong protocol for a fit, healthy and active body and passionately shares her expertise in this interview.

HL: Is it true that the Jacksons discovered you?

Paula Abdul: Yes, I was a Laker girl and their choreographer. I turned them into a dance dream and the Laker girls were getting a lot of notoriety. The brothers were season ticket holders and they needed a choreographer. They approached the front office and asked, “Who does choreography for the Laker girls?”

HL: Were you close to Michael Jackson?

Paula Abdul: I was fortunate enough to have a working experience with him, and there was none quite like him I’ve ever met. And what’s beautiful about Michael is that he’s influenced every single dancer that comes on the show. I mean, some of their earliest conscious memories, they’ll say “watching Michael Jackson.” So it’s beautiful to see how much he meant to the world of dance.

HL: You must miss him then. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him too, right before he passed and he definitely had an influence on me, even thought I’m not a choreographer or a dancer.

Paula Abdul: I got to work with him and experience the intensity of a true professional. He wanted everything to be perfect, and he was a big proponent of practice until it’s perfect. And I grew up that way as well. There’s a certain freedom in performing, and I always tell this to the dancers all the time that yo must know the material inside out perfectly, like that it’s a part of your everyday vocabulary so that you can throw away worrying about steps and just live in the performance. When do the practices and the rehearsing enough that you know what you’re doing inside out, only then do you have the freedom to create greatness, because now it’s so inside of you that you can make every performance different, even though your performance is the same piece of material

Excerpt taken from the May issue of Healthy Living Magazine on sale now.

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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Michael Jackson, Brothers Johnson Bass Guitarist Louis Johnson Dies At 60

Sources: Rolling Stone – Daniel Kreps | All Things Michael

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Louis Johnson, founding member of funk band the Brothers Johnson and an in-demand bassist who appeared on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” died on Thursday, May 21st. He was 60. Johnson’s nephew Troy confirmed his death to Rolling Stone, though a cause of death has yet to be revealed.

“I’ve never been given parts to play in my whole life. I’m the most rare bass player in the whole world,” Johnson told Rolling Stone contributing writer Steve Knopper in 2013 for the upcoming book MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson. “No one ever gave me music paper to read; no one ever gave me anything to read. They tell me, ‘Here’s a track, play what you want.'”

The Los Angeles-based Brothers Johnson, a group featuring Louis and his brother George, got their start backing up Quincy Jones before releasing their acclaimed, Jones-produced debut LP Look Out for #1 in 1976. Over the next five years, the Brothers Johnson racked up three Number One hits on the R&B charts: 1976’s “I’ll Be Good to You,” their 1977 cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” and 1980’s smash “Stomp!” (Their rendition of “Strawberry Letter 23″ was later featured prominently in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.) The Brothers Johnson’s 1980 album Light Up the Night, featuring “This Had to Be” co-written by Michael Jackson and featuring the King of Pop on background vocals, ascended to the top of the R&B album charts.

“Louis ‘Thunder Thumbs’ Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument,” Jones tells Rolling Stone. “As a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums Body Heat and Mellow Madness, to their platinum albums Look Out for #1Right On Time, Blam and Light Up the Night, which I produced, to Michael’s solo debut Off the Wall, I considered Louis a core member of my production team. He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day.”

After the brothers parted ways in the early Eighties to pursue solo careers, Louis became known for his bass-playing prowess, emerging as a prolific, in-demand session musician. Johnson served as the primary bassist on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and later lent his skills to Jackson’s Thriller (“Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “P.Y.T.”), Paul McCartney’s Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack and the all-star “We Are the World” collaboration.

“When I went to the session with ‘Billie Jean,’ I took like 10 basses and I lined ’em up. I’d say, ‘Michael, pick one,'” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “He’d pick one with the zebra wood on it. It had 12 different kinds of wood, different layers. It was dark brown and tan and light-colored, and it looked like a tiger or a zebra. Michael picked it because it sounded good. I hot-rodded it. I beefed it up and put extra magnets underneath the pickups. I did all the things I knew how to do to get the best sound. That’s how come the bass sounded like that.”

Johnson is also credited with creating the bass line from Michael McDonald’s hit version of Leiber & Stoller’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” a melody that was later sampled by Warren G and Nate Dogg for “Regulate.” Over his long career, Johnson also worked with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert and George Benson.

“I had access to all musicians and artists, from Barbra Streisand to Paul McCartney to Michael Jackson,” Johnson told Rolling Stone. “It was like an open door. The Lord blessed me with that — I prayed to God and my prayer he answered. He said, ‘OK, you got the whole world now.’ Every time I’d get in the car to go somewhere, I’d hear me playing the bass… I was all over the place. I released the funk on everybody.”

As news of Johnson’s death spread, hip-hop artists, funk legends and bassists inspired by “Thunder Thumbs” showed love on social media. “Thank you for blessing me and the world with your original #funk. RIP,” Lenny Kravitz tweeted, while Bootsy Collins added, “Another Brick in our music foundation has left the building. Mr. ‘Louis Johnson.'” Slave’s Steve Arringtonwrote, “Just heard the great bass player and song writer Louis Johnson has passed away. Awe man….Going to miss U Thunder Thumbs.” My Morning Jacket bassist Tom Blankenship and the Roots’ Questlove wrote similar tributes to Johnson.

Additional reporting by Steve Knopper

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THE EVENT HORIZON – “SYNCLAVIER, MUSIC AND MICHAEL JACKSON” – PART 2

Sources: Headphone Guru – By Chris Currell | Thrillergirl | Edited By – All Things Michael

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The Making of the “Bad” Album

Michael’s album project was to be recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Studio D. Westlake is located at Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. The day prior to officially starting the album, I had Michael’s Synclavier brought into the studio. The main tower was set up in a small room just outside the control room. The keyboard and terminal were set up in the control room. This was to be the Synclavier’s permanent home for the next 12 months. As I was setting up the Synclavier, Michael came in and we just chatted for a while. He was clearly excited that we were finally beginning to record his next album. One of the things he said during that conversation stayed with me always. He said to me, “The key to success in this business is to be humble.”

The next day, Bruce Swedien and Quincy Jones came in to the studio. I had already met Bruce but Michael introduced me to Quincy. Their demeanor was very polite but professional. I was thrilled to be working with these people. They were very top professionals in the music industry and the vibe was that we were there to make an album to top Thriller, the biggest selling album of all time! This was going to be a big task!

The Synclavier was new to Quincy. All he knew was that Michael had made his song demos on it. Bruce had a little experience on his prior movie score project for “Running Scared.” Both Bruce and Quincy had worked together many times so they already had a way of working together. Quincy’s way as a producer was to bring in combinations of various musicians and record them. Bruce’s way was to get the performance recorded as close as possible to what the musicians were playing live. The Synclaveir was about to change that idea of working.

My professional view was that I was there to operate the Synclavier and to be quiet and observe these talented people at work. For the next couple of weeks, I observed Quincy’s method of production and Bruce’s method of recording.

The main recording/production team that would work on the album nearly everyday for the next 12 months consisted of Michael Jackson (Artist, Producer), Quincy Jones (Producer), Bruce Swedien (Engineer), Craig Johnson (Second Engineer) and myself (Synclavier). Of course there were many musicians and technicians that would also be working as well. There are so many stories I could tell but there is not enough room to tell them all here, but here are a few.

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I remember one day very early on, Quincy had his favorite session keyboard player Greg Phillinganes come in to record. The approach Quincy had was to re-record the Synclavier tracks with live session musicians. Quincy told me to play the Synclavier version of the song “Smooth Criminal” for Greg. I played the song and when it was near the end of the song, Greg asked if there was anything different on the fade out. I said, “No, it just repeats.” So he said, “Ok, let’s do it!” I called up the first sound and hit go. Bruce began to record and Greg proceeded to play every single part on the song…with only one take on each of the tracks! This included all the drums and percussion, the bass, the chords…everything! Perfectly! But what really amazed me was that he had only heard the song once! I was mind boggled! No wonder he was Quincy’s first call keyboardist!

Another day, Quincy brought in bass player Louis Johnson from the Brothers Johnson to play bass on some of the tracks Greg had played. Slam’n bass!

But I soon began to notice that there was no attention being paid to synchronizing these tracks with the Synclavier. There are many reasons why the Synclavier should be in sync with these recordings. I saw a possible train wreck in the near future if this was not addressed. I decided to break my usual silence and explain to Bruce. He basically told me that they have everything under control. So I said “Ok.”

I would arrive every day at about 10:00 am and we would work until maybe 7:00 pm or later. I would then drive to Michael’s house and work until about 1:00 or 2:00 am. We would work on Saturdays at Westlake but usually take Sundays off. But on Sundays, I would go to Michael’s house and work on songs all day and late into the night. This was to be my basic schedule everyday for the next 12 months.

One interesting note, for the first two weeks of working, Bruce would comment out of the blue everyday how he and the other Synclavier operator from his previous movie project, would do such and such and how cool it was and how good a Synclavier operator he was. Talk about pressure! All I could do is acknowledge and do my best. Then one day, again for no particular reason, Bruce turned to me and said, “You know, you are a lot better than (un-named)!” I was totally surprised! Bruce never mentioned him again! Wow!

One morning, John Robinson, drummer extraordinaire and another of Quincy’s top guys brought in six of Michael’s songs that he had programmed on an Oberheim drum machine. Most drum machine parts I had heard sounded very mechanical. Not so with these tracks. They sounded amazing! The feel was great! John said “He programed them in real time and were not quantized to a click.” John said He finished just in time because he was going on tour the next day with the famous group The Band. We recorded his drum tracks from the drum machine to digital tape. That day I was just observing. The next day, Michael came in to hear the tracks. I told him they sounded great. He listened and was dancing. When we finished listening, Michael agreed, they sounded great but…the arrangements were completely wrong! John was already gone on tour so he could not redo the tracks!

Bruce was perplexed as to what to do. I said, “I can put those tracks into the Synclavier and then rearrange everything correctly.” So he said “Ok” and I did it. This is when Bruce realized the importance of being able to sync the recordings with the Synclavier. So we proceeded to redo everything that we had already done, so we would have a solid framework from which to do anything. We could replay parts, change sounds, change arrangements…anything. I could even make a breathable click track from John’s drum machine performance so as to not mess with the feel! So for a few more weeks, the Synclavier became a “Band Aid.” We re-recorded everything in order to begin at square one.

Also, early on, when live tracks were being recorded, Michael would listen and say he liked the Synclavier versions better. This happened all the time, so soon, Quincy changed his way of working and we began to use the Synclavier for everything.

So many interesting people came into the studio during the making of the album. All friends of Michael or Quincy. People such as Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, George Lucas, etc., etc., etc. Very interesting!

After about six months of recording, Quincy decided, as a change of pace, to bring in a group of the best session players to record a ballad. I think it was the song, “I can’t stop loving you.” Everyone thought this was a good idea. As I recall, this group consisted of, among others, Greg Phillinganes (Keys Synclavier), Nathan East (Bass), N’dugu Chancler (Drums) and Paulinho da Costa (Percussion). When this group of musicians got together at Westlake, they realized that Michael was using the Synclavier. Nathan said, “So YOU’RE the reason why no one was being called.” What was interesting, these Los Angeles first call studio musicians had been aware that Michael was working on a new album but they were wondering why no one was being called to record. I was not received well by these musicians at the time because they thought I was taking away their work. What a great introduction to LA’s finest studio musicians! Yikes! Actually, I had never even considered that I was taking away work from anyone. I was just using the Synclavier as a creative tool for manifesting Michael’s musical ideas. As it turned out, Michael liked the Synclavier version of the song better…Wow!

One day, Quincy informed me that Jimmy Smith was coming in to play. Quincy decided to bring in his modified MIDI Hammond B3 for Jimmy to play. We could record his performance via MIDI into the Synclavier. We could then have the possibility to modify his performance or change the sounds after the fact. Quincy said, “Jimmy is good for only a couple of takes so make sure you capture his performance the first time.” Quincy was correct. I got his performance into the Synclavier no problem. I even sampled every note of the Hammond sound he was using after he left the studio. Later, Quincy decided to crossfade his Hammond performance with a more modern synth solo by Greg. This is what ended up on the album.

I remember when Run-DMC came to Westlake for a meeting with Michael. Quincy thought Rap music was going to be the next big thing and he wanted Michael to do a collaboration with them. After the meeting, nothing seemed to happen. Later I asked Michael how it went. It seems they were very arrogant and demanding. Wrong attitude for them! Michael thought the vibe wasn’t right. Anyway, I asked Michael what he thought about Rap music. He said, He did not like it very much. It was not musical enough for him. He liked melodies and real singing.

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Michael liked to double and triple track his vocal harmonies. Generally, Michael liked to really go for it on one set of harmonies to get the emotional impact. Then I would put those in the Synclavier and insert them in all the places in the song where those harmonies appeared. This procedure also reduced vocal fatigue from just repeating the same things multiple times…especially on repetitive out-choruses that went on for 5 minutes for dance mixes.

At one point in the project, Michael became concerned that for some reason, the songs were not sounding the same as we had originally recorded them into the Synclavier at his house. He had discussed this with Bruce but he did not seem to understand Michael’s concern. Michael liked to listen LOUD!!! When he would come into the control room at Westlake to listen to something…everyone would run out of the room as he turned up the 25,000 watt speaker system to nearly full! He wanted to “feel” the music! Quincy even joked that during the making of Thriller, the speakers actually caught fire. This was taken as a sign for a hit album! Westlake blew a tweeter while we were doing the song “Bad”!

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THE EVENT HORIZON – “SYNCLAVIER, MUSIC AND MICHAEL JACKSON” – PART 1

Sources: Headphone Guru – By Chris Currell | Thrillergirl | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Many people are interested in my work with Michael Jackson and have requested that I share some of my experiences. I thought about this and decided to talk a bit about my music interaction with Michael Jackson. {…}

In 1983, sampling and a new keyboard were added to my system. For the next two years, I was doing various sessions with the Synclavier. I had branched off on my own as a producer and Synclavier programmer. It was in the summer of 1985 that I got a call from Michael Jackson. He had heard about me from the New England Digital company. Michael had a huge Synclavier system and he asked me if I would teach him how to use it. Apparently he had had many programmers operating his Synclavier but not being musicians, Michael couldn’t relate to them so he decided to learn it himself. I put together a nice learning program and schedule for Michael to learn the Synclavier. We finally scheduled a time where we could meet and begin my teaching. I went to his personal studio at his house on a Sunday morning. He introduced himself and was very hospitable and polite. I liked him right away. We sat down in front of the Synclavier and began his first lesson.

He told me “I don’t know anything about computers.” I said “no problem, first, you insert this floppy disk.” He said “time out” and said he did not know what a floppy disk was. I realized Michael barely knew how to operate a cassette recorder! His hands on with technology was very limited! So I got more simple and we continued. After three hours, I had taught Michael how to power up and boot up the Synclavier, call up his sound library and showed him how to call a sound down to the keyboard for him to play.

He said “That’s all I can take for today, can you come back tomorrow for a session?” I said “sure!” Little did I know that this would be the beginning of the most interesting four years of my life!

I came back the next day and we worked on one of Michael’s songs. He wanted me to come back everyday. He said to me “I want you to make unusual sounds.” I said “sure, no problem!” I like doing that all the time anyway! This was not work, this was fun! I began to think…if I want to continue to be here, I have to expand my job. I had realized that by having so many programmers and musicians using the Synclavier in the past, his sound library was in chaos. I thought that no matter if it is me or someone else that uses Michael’s Synclavier, the sound library had to be in some logical order that can be accessed easily. There were thousands and thousands of sounds on hard disks and computer storage tapes everywhere and none of them were organized in any way! I presented to Michael the problem and that I could organize his library for him. He said “sure!” So I began working longer hours. I was at his studio from about 10:00 am to about 1:00 am every day. This job ended up taking me six months, seventeen hours a day seven days a week! The year was 1986.

In the meantime, I was continuing to make “unusual sounds.” Unusual sounds are fun but they have no real meaning unless they are in some kind of context, so I would create grooves and various musical pieces that would demonstrate the possible uses for the sounds I was creating. When I was finished, I would run them off on a cassette tape and slide it under his bedroom door every night before I would go home. Many times, he would call my house at 2:00 am and would be all excited about some sounds or groove. I could hear the tape I had made blasting in the background! Michael likes to listen to music LOUD!

After a few weeks of working closely together, we both realized that our ability to communicate together was a bit unique. We just both understood each other about musical ideas and grooves. We noticed that words were used less often and we just “knew” what we were feeling or thinking. It quickly got to the point where Michael would say to me “make me a sound that makes me do this”…and he would do a dance move. I got it right away…and I could make him the sound that he was feeling. I have never worked with anyone else where we had this kind of musical rapport.

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After about six months working with Michael everyday on various songs, sound design and library work, I got the word that Michael was soon to start his next album with Quincy Jones. We had lots of songs demoed. I was wondering if I was going to be working with Michael and Quincy or if my fun job would finally close.

One day, I was working in Michael’s studio when his secretary came in and announced to me and the engineer that Michael was having guests that evening and we could all go home at 5:00 pm. I thought ok cool. I worked for a few hours and as it was near 5:00, Michael’s secretary came in and said that Michael said I can stay. I really did not think much of it. Everyone left and I was alone making music on the Synclavier. It was dark outside when I heard voices of people entering the studio in the next room. Suddenly the door opened and in walked Michael with Diana Ross and an entourage of people. I was very surprised! Michael was giving Diana a tour of his studio. He then introduced me to Diana and told her what I did and showed her the Synclavier. Clearly he was showing off! Then he continued the tour and they walked out. This kind of experience would become normal over the next four years.

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I was working one afternoon when Michael told me that he was going to start the new album very soon and that Bruce Sweden, his engineer for the Thriller album, was coming for a visit. Bruce was going to be the engineer for the new album so he was visiting Michael on a kind of combined social PR visit. Bruce came in the studio and was very friendly. Michael introduced me and told him what I did. Bruce acknowledged but was very focused on what he wanted to convey to Michael. He had just finished the sound track for a movie called “Running Scared” starring Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal. Bruce said that this was the first time he had done a whole project digitally and it sounded great! He was telling Michael all the details. Bruce then said that it was also the first time he had worked with the Synclavier and how amazing it was to be able to create sounds so fast and move tracks easily, etc. He said that the Synclavier operator was really good and a very nice person and that they had become friends. I knew who most of the Synclavier operators were, but not all personally. I knew the operator Bruce was talking about by name only.

I thought, wow, Bruce is promoting his Synclavier guy. It looks like I will be out of a job soon. I was a bit depressed but I had a good time the past six months and it had been a great experience. I was pretty sure I would not be working on the new album.

Everyone in Michael’s camp knew in a week, all the work at Michael’s studio would shift to WestLake Studios where the new album would be recorded. No one said anything to me. I did not know what would become of me. I just kept working as usual. Then the day before the work was to begin at Westlake, Michael’s secretary came in the studio and said to me that Michael wanted me to work on the album and to move the Synclavier to Westlake. Wow! Michael wanted me to work on the album! I was in! To say the least, I was thrilled!

Next month, I will continue my Synclavier and Michael Jackson story:
The making of the “Bad” album and the “Bad” world tour.

See you next month here at the Event Horizon!

You can check out my various activities at these links:
http://transformation.ishwish.net
http://currelleffect.ishwish.net
http://www.ishwish.net
http://www.audiocybernetics.com
http://ishwish.blog131.fc2.com
http://magnatune.com/artists/ishwish
http://www.plenumvoid.com

Or…just type my name Christopher Currell into your browser.

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MJ Choreographer Fatima Robinson Has Been Nominated For The 2015 BET Awards Video Director of the Year

Sources: BET | All Things Michael

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Fatima has worked with greats like MJ and Aaliyah in pushing the boundaries by connecting a message to a brand through art. Videos like “Happy” by Pharrell or shows like “The Voice” has showcased her immense range and skills.

See the behind the scenes interview with Fatima and Stretch from Remember the Times (3:47-4:40)

See more nominations here

Meet The Mystery Man Who Rapped On Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’

Sources: Vice – By Jaime Lee Curtis Taete | All Things Michael

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A couple of years ago, I heard the song “Black or White” by Michael Jackson on the radio in my car. When it got to the rap (” See, it’s not about races, just places, faces, where your blood comes from is where your space is, etc…”) I realized that I had no idea who had done the rapping on the song. After googling, I saw that it was credited to someone called L.T.B. who, according to what I could see online, had done nothing before or since dropping that verse.

A friend of mine who I mentioned this to emailed the producer of the song, Bill Bottrell, who is also credited with writing the lyrics to the rap, and asked him for more info on L.T.B.

Bottrell responded the same day and provided a Gmail address that he said belonged to L.T.B. I sent a message to the address asking for an interview, but never received a response.

The mystery of L.T.B. sat in the back of my brain for the next couple of years, rearing its head whenever I heard the song. Each time it crossed my path, I would take to the internet again to try and figure out who the mystery rapper was, but was never able to find anything. Despite the fact that he had rapped on a song that was number one in over 20 countries, with a music video that broke records by being watched by 500 million people on its initial broadcast in 1991, L.T.B.’s internet presence is limited to personnel lists for “Black or White” and unresolved Yahoo Answers threads asking who he is.

Then, last week, after hearing the song again, I thought fuck it, and decided to try hitting up Bottrell again to ask if he’d talk to me about the rap. “I can do that,” he emailed back. “It’s not a long story.”

When I spoke to Bottrell on the phone the next day, he admitted that he was the one who had actually performed the rap, using the name L.T.B. as a pseudonym. He explained that, when my friend had emailed him, he had given us another email address of his with the intention of pretending to be another person named L.T.B. to fuck with us. “I was gonna do a ruse,” he explained, but had backed out when he realized it would most likely fail. “I think there are a lot of people who already know and the joke wouldn’t have worked so well,” he said.

Bill Bottrell in Berlin last year. Photo courtesy of Bottrell

Bill Bottrell in Berlin last year. Photo courtesy of Bottrell

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Michael Jackson’s Engineer Pal Helped King Of Pop Capture Unusual Sounds

Sources: Contact News | All Things Michael

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The King of Pop’s longtime engineer Matt Forger tells WENN he often joined the pop star on missions to find sounds for album tracks, but as a car enthusiast, he was more than a little concerned when Jackson started banging pieces of wood on Tito’s classic Model T Ford.

Forger, who worked closely with Jackson on albums from Bad to Dangerous, admits it was always a fun adventure when his boss was on the hunt for a specific sound.

He explains, “You’d never know where you were gonna end up. I remember one time Michael said, ‘We’re gonna go to my brother’s house, and we’re just gonna walk around. Bring the portable recorder. We’re gonna try some things.’

“Tito had some antique Model T cars and what does Michael do, but picks up a piece of wood… and he was tapping on the body, tapping on the fender, tapping on the door.

“We went into the house and he found a broom and started banging on a table, on the staircase. He had this ability of wanting to hear a sound and knowing that if he searched for it long enough he’d find it. This happened many times… He would bang about and he loved antique things… In his mind, he knew he was looking for something he hadn’t heard before and he’d find it and say, ‘That’s the sound’.”

Forger tells WENN the sounds were very important to Jackson’s live show as each would serve to prompt the pop star to move a certain way, inspiring his famous dance moves.

 

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