Sources: In The Studio With Michael Jackson – By Brad Sundberg| All Things Michael
It’s always fun to talk about Neverland.
Since as long as I remember I have loved amusement parks – Disney parks in particular. Michael and I grew up in two very different worlds, but as we got to know each other it was very clear that we had many things in common. Amusement parks were high on that list.
Neverland was more than an amusement park; it was a very real extension of Michael. It had it’s center-stage personality, and it also had areas that were more reserved. The carousel was the centerpiece, the crown-jewel of the ranch.
The carousel was also my first “challenge” at the ranch. Michael wanted a monster music system to flood the ride with sound. We discussed several methods of pushing that much sound from a moving ride, including speakers mounted above each cluster of animals (there were more than just horses). The issues that came up were safety (we really didn’t want a speaker falling on a guest’s noggin) and getting the wiring from the amps to the moving speakers. Eventually that plan got a thumbs down.
We opted to build a huge concert system in the center of the carousel, where the guests could not see it. (Sorry, this might get techie for a minute – scan ahead if you like). The system consisted of four large JBL 2-way cabinets, and a pair of JBL 18″ subwoofers. I think we were pushing about 4000 watts for that first system. As the park grew, so did the size of the music systems.
The funny thing about building a music system in a theme park in the middle of a ranch is that ranches have mice. They were there first, and they see no reason to leave just because Michael Jackson has moved in.
I would routinely test and repair the carousel music system (as well as all ranch systems) to make sure it sounded great at all times. It was always an adventure crawling into the middle of the carousel and inspecting the rack. Little field mice seemed to really love the warmth of my amplifiers, and they were eager to leave me little thank-you tokens that they had been there. Thanks Mickey!
Seattle, I have completely restructured the VIP Neverland segment of my seminar, including a multi-layered surround sound experience. Neverland was filled with sounds, along with sights, and my job was to make those sounds to Michael’s standards. I will share many of those techniques and original sounds with you. I think you are really going to enjoy it.
Toronto, Cologne, Madrid – we are hard at work for your events also. Thanks for your support – it’s going to be a busy spring and summer!
Get your ticket right!