* "Moon Walk" Autobiography (1988) Excerpts:
In his "Moon Walk" autobiography, first published by Doubleday in 1988, Michael Jackson reiterates the importance of themes particularly pertaining to the protection and well-being of children and that of the planet, to social change, the promotion of non-violence and humility.
On visiting Europe, while touring (in his early years) with the Jackson 5:
"Europe was an education in the roots of Western culture and, in a way, a preparation for visiting Eastern countries that were more spiritual. I was very impressed that the people there didn't value material things as much as they did animals and nature. For instance, China and Japan were places that helped me grow because these countries made me understand there was more to life than the things you could hold in your hand or see with you eyes."
On African people and heritage:
"It was a visit to Senegal that made us realize how fortunate we were and how our African heritage had helped to make us what we were. We visited an old, abandoned slave camp at Gore Island and we were so moved. The African people had given us gifts of courage and endurance that we couldn't hope to repay."
On the Scarecrow character and ‘The Wiz’ movie:
“I auditioned for the part of the Scarecrow, because I thought his character best fit my style. I was too bouncy for the Tin Man and too light for the Lion, so I had a definite goal, and I tried to put a lot of thought into my reading and dancing for the part. When I got the call back from the director, Sidney Lumet, I felt so proud, but also a little scared. The process of making a film was new to me, and I was going to have to let go of my responsibilities to my family and my music for months. […] During this period in my life, I was searching, both consciously and unconsciously. I was feeling some stress and anxiety about what I wanted to do with my life now that I was an adult. I was analyzing my options and preparing to make decisions that could have a lot of repercussions. Being on the set of The Wiz was like being in a big school. […] My complexion was still a mess during the filming of the movie, so I found myself really enjoying the makeup. It was an amazing makeup job. Mine took five hours to do, six days a week; we didn't shoot on Sundays. […] Kids would come visit the set, and I'd have such fun playing with them and responding to them as the Scarecrow. […] I had always loved the Charlie Chaplin movies, and no one ever saw him doing anything overtly elegant in the silent movie days. I wanted something of the quality of his characters in my Scarecrow. I loved everything about the costume, from the coil legs to the tomato nose to the fright wig. I even kept the orange and white sweater that came with it and used it in a picture session years later. […] I also learned that there could be a slightly vicious side to the business of making a movie. Often when I was in front of the camera, trying to do a serious scene, one of the other characters would start making faces at me, trying to crack me up. I had always been drilled in serious professionalism and preparedness and therefore I thought it was a pretty mean thing to do. This actor would know that I had important lines to say that day, yet he would make these really crazy faces to distract me. I felt it was more than inconsiderate and unfair. Much later Marlon Brando would tell me that people used to do that to him all the time.”
“As much as I liked the old Wizard of Oz , this new script, which differed from the Broadway production in scope rather than spirit, asked more questions than the original movie and answered them too. The atmosphere of the old movie was that of a magic kingdom sort of fairy tale. Our movie, on the other hand, had sets based on realities that kids could identify with, like schoolyards, subway stations, and the real neighborhood that our Dorothy came from. I still enjoy seeing The Wiz and reliving the experience. I am especially fond of the scene where Diana asks, "What am I afraid of? Don't know what I'm made of . . ." because I've felt that way many times, even during the good moments of my life. She sings about overcoming fear and walking straight and tall. She knows and the audience knows that no threat of danger can hold her back. My character had plenty to say and to learn. […] The script was clever and showed me pulling bits of information and quotations out of my straw while not really knowing how to use them. My straw contained all the answers, but I didn't know the questions.”
On the peacock symbolism attached to the message of his and The Jacksons’ music:
“You don't find many articles about peacocks in the newspaper, but around this time I found the only one that mattered. I had always thought peacocks were beautiful and had admired one that Berry Gordy had at one of his homes. So when I read the article, which had an accompanying picture of a peacock, and revealed a great deal about the bird's characteristics, I was excited. I thought I might have found the image we were looking for. It was an in-depth piece, a little dry in places, but interesting. The writer said that the peacock's full plumage would explode only when it was in love, and then all the colors would shine - all the colors of the rainbow on one body. I was immediately taken with that beautiful image and the meaning behind it. That bird's plumage conveyed the message I was looking for to explain the Jacksons and our intense devotion to one another, as well as our multifaceted interests. My brothers liked the idea, so we called our new company Peacock Productions, to sidestep the trap of relying too heavily on the Jackson name. Our first world tour had focused our interest in uniting people of all races through music. Some people we knew wondered what we meant when we talked about uniting all the races through music - after all, we were black musicians. Our answer was "music is color-blind." We saw that every night, especially in Europe and the other parts of the world we had visited. The people we met there loved our music. It didn't matter to them what color our skin was or which country we called home.”
On tackling responsibilities and life priorities:
“I had always shouldered a lot of responsibility, but it suddenly seemed that everyone wanted a piece of me. There wasn't that much to go around, and I needed to be responsible to myself. I had to take stock of my life and figure out what people wanted from me and to whom I was going to give wholly. It was a hard thing for me to do, but I had to learn to be wary of some of the people around me. God was at the top of my list of priorities, and my mother and father and brothers and sisters followed. I was reminded of that old song by Clarence Carter called "Patches," where the oldest son is asked to take care of the farm after his father dies and his mother tells him she's depending on him. Well, we weren't sharecroppers and I wasn't the oldest, but those were slim shoulders on which to place such burdens. For some reason I always found it very difficult to say no to my family and the other people I loved. I would be asked to do something or take care of something and I would agree, even if I worried that it might be more than I could handle.”
On the costly price of fame:
“The hardest part is having no privacy. I remember when we were filming "Thriller," Jackie Onassis and Shaye Areheart came to California to discuss this book. There were photographers in the trees, everywhere. It was not possible for us to do anything without it being noticed and reported. The price of fame can be a heavy one. Is the price you pay worth it? Consider that you really have no privacy. You can't really do anything unless special arrangements are made. The media prints whatever you say. They report whatever you do. They know what you buy, which movies you see, you name it. If I go to a public library, they print the titles of the books I check out. In Florida once, they printed my whole schedule in the paper; everything I did from ten in the morning until six at night. "After he did this, he did that, and after he did that, he went there, then he went door to door, and then he . . ." I remember thinking to myself, "What if I were trying to do something that I didn't happen to want reported in the paper?" All of this is the price of fame. I think my image gets distorted in the public's mind. They don't get a clear or full picture of what I'm like, despite the press coverage I mentioned early. Mistruths are printed as fact, in some cases, and frequently only half of a story will be told. The part that doesn't get printed is often the part that would make the printed part less sensational by shedding light on the facts. As a result, I think some people don't think I'm a person who determines what's happening with his career. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've been accused of being obsessed with my privacy and it's true that I am. People stare at you when you're famous. They're observing you and that's understandable, but it's not always easy. If you were to ask me why I wear sunglasses in public as often as I do, I'd tell you it's because I simply don't like to have to constantly look everyone in the eye. It's a way of concealing just a bit of myself. After I had my wisdom teeth pulled, the dentist gave me a surgical mask to wear home to keep out germs. I loved that mask. It was great - much better than sunglasses - and I had fun wearing it around for a while. There's so little privacy in my life that concealing a little bit of me is a way to give myself a break from all that. It may be considered strange, I know, but I like my privacy.”
“There are so many things all around us to be thankful for. Wasn't it Robert Frost who wrote about the world a person can see in a leaf? I think that's true. That's what I love about being with kids. They notice everything. They aren't jaded. They get excited by things we've forgotten to get excited about any more. They are so natural too, so unself-conscious. I love being around them. There always seems to be a bunch of kids over at the house and they're always welcome. They energize me - just being around them. They look at everything with such fresh eyes, such open minds. That's part of what makes kids so creative. They don't worry about the rules. The picture doesn't have to be in the center of the piece of paper. The sky doesn't have to be blue. They are accepting people too. The only demand they make is to be treated fairly - and to be loved. I think that's what we all want. I would like to think that I'm an inspiration for the children I meet. I want kids to like my music. Their approval means more to me than anyone else's. It's always the kids who know which song is going to be a hit. You see kids who can't even talk yet, but they've got a little rhythm going. It's funny. But they're a tough audience. In fact, they're the toughest audience. There have been so many parents who have come to me and told me that their baby knows "Beat It" or loves "Thriller." George Lucas told me his daughter's first words were "Michael Jackson." I felt on top of the world when he told me that.”
On deprived children:
"I spend a lot of free time - in California and when I'm traveling - visiting children's hospitals. It makes me so happy to be able to brighten those kids' day by just showing up and talking with them, listening to what they have to say and making them feel better. It's so sad for children to have to get sick. More than anyone else, kids don't deserve that. They often can't even understand what's wrong with them. It makes my heart twist. When I'm with them, I just want to hug them and make it all better for them. Sometimes sick children will visit me at home or in my hotel rooms on the road. A parent will get in touch with me and ask if their child can visit me for a few minutes. Sometimes when I'm with them I feel like I understand better what my mother must have gone through with her polio. Life is too precious and too short not to reach out and touch the people we can. […] If I were living for no other reason than to help and please kids, that would be enough for me. They're amazing people. Amazing."
“Sometimes when you're treated unfairly it makes you stronger and more determined. Slavery was a terrible thing, but when black people in America finally got out from under that crushing system, they were stronger. They knew what it was to have your spirit crippled by people who are controlling your life. They were never going to let that happen again. I admire that kind of strength. People who have it take a stand and put their blood and soul into what they believe.”
* "Nourish This Child":
In 1993, Michael Jackson pens "Nourish This Child", an introduction to the book: "Pigtails And Frog Legs: A Family Cookbook from Neiman Marcus", a recipe – like foreword underlining the heightened significance of family nurturance for children (viewed by him as "wiser"), including the "poor, sick or disabled", by way of providing them with both material and spiritual nourishment. In it, the singer also mentions that the theme of song, poem and charity, "Heal the World", represents the central point of his and the mentioned book’s pursuits.
"To a child, food is something special. It isn’t just a delicious taste or the vitamins that build a healthy body. Food is love and caring, security and hope — all the things that a food family can provide. Remember when you were little and your mother made a pie for you? When she cut a slice and put it on your plate, she was giving you a bit of herself, in the form of her love. She made your hunger go away, and when you were full and satisfied, everything seemed all right. Because that satisfied feeling was in the pie, you were nourished from a deep level. Food is something we all need physically, but so is love, the deeper nourishment, that turns into who we are.
* In 1985, Joan Howard Maurer, daughter of Stooge Moe Howard from “The Three Stooges”, writes a biography of her uncle, Curly – “Curly: An Illustrated Biography of the Superstooge” . She asks Jackson to pen the book’s foreword, him being an avid Curly and “The Three Stooges” fan. He gladly accepts and writes the following words:
“My memories of The Three Stooges”, and especially Curly, are still with me to this day. In my childhood, around our house in Indiana, it was a daily ritual for me to watch “The Three Stooges” on television. All my brothers loved them then and even more so now. Chaplin and the Stooges are the greatest to me - their humor survives each generation. Even my mother loved to see us have fun watching them. Rehearsing as a team and watching the Stooges were the only times we got together as a whole family.
The Stooges craziness helped me to relax and to escape life’s burdens. They influenced me so much that I even wrote a song about them.
Curly was definitely my favorite Stooge. He was unquestionably a comic genius who understood ad-libbing better than anyone. I loved the Stooges’ slapstick action, child-like mannerisms and attitudes. He should be honored much more than what has been done for him in the past, for everyone loves him.
As a kid, I imitated Curly all the time, and I enjoyed feeling superior to and smarter than those three silly grownups. I owe so much to them that I feel they belong to me. That’s why I had to write the Foreword for this book.
Joan, the author, asked me whether I thought that Curly had suffered when he had to shave off his wavy head of hair in order to become a Stooge. My answer is that I was sure he did, that underneath the smile may have been a tear – after all, he was a clown. But it is our duty as entertainers to satisfy the people – to give of our souls even if it hurts.
Curly had a magic. He was God-gifted - a natural. Even when he didn’t intend to be funny, he was magic.
Today, thirty-three years after his death, Curly still has legions of fans because he was a natural. Such people appeal to the masses young and old – like the color blue.
I love everything about Curly and I would give anything to really know what he was like.
Thanks to the author, this book will clear up much of the mystery of Curly for me and his millions of devoted fans.
- Michael Jackson.”
* Auctioned Sheets..
In 2006, a collection comprised of over 2,000 personal belongings from Michael, Janet, Jermaine, Tito, La Toya and other high-profile Jackson family members, was obtained by Universal Express, a luggage transportation company. Universal purchased the collection from New Jersey construction company owner, Henry Vaccaro. Michael Jackson and sister Janet Jackson reportedly sued to stop Vaccaro from taking ownership, but a Los Angeles judge threw out Michael Jackson's case in 2006. "Mr. Jackson was not aware and he is extremely upset that his memorabilia was included among the memorabilia that is being auctioned off," says his spokeswoman at the time, Raymone K. Bain. The auction went ahead, nonetheless, but enjoyed little success. Vaccaro later creates 2 website (now defunct), (one of them titled, J5 Secrets) featuring all items intented for auction, among which sheets containing drafts of songs, including personal notes and ideas pertaining to them by Michael Jackson.
The handwritten sheets are of high relevance with respect to the mission of The Silenced Truth, the sole purpose for which some of them are transcribed and posted here:
“Little Susie” (1979 – appears on album “HIStory”, 1995)
(Note: She was so young and so fair […])
She was heard screaming,
Beaming her voice in the doom,
But nobody came to her soon.
(Or = A pull down the stair, her dress
Torn, the blood in her hair)
She lie there so tenderly,
Body so slenderly, lift her with care,
Oh, the blood in her hair.
Somebody killed little
Susie, the girl with the
Tune, who sings in the
Day time at noone (sic), she was
Heard screaming, beaming, a
Fall down the stair,
Now look at the blood in
Everyone came to see the
Girl that now is dead,
The long fall had twisted her
Head. And suddenly a voice
From the crowd said
That will mess her tune.
(Or = Oh, did she fall, a voice
Screamed out among the crowd,
Then all started crying out
She lie (?) there so tenderly.
[…] She’d sing out at noon
To express in a tune how
(Note = Maybe she took her own life.
She’d sing out in such
Pain, in such strife.
She was trying to get attention
Mentally and physically,
Singing every day at noon.
She finally thought if she kills
Her self, everyone would then
Give her that special attention
That she desired or so badly.
For someone just to take care
I should really dig deep in child
Psychology to bring out her problems.
Somebody killed little Susie,
The girl with the tune,
Who sing (sic) in the day time
She was heard screaming,
Beaming her voice in the
Doom. But nobody came to
Then a fall down the stair, her
Dress torn, the blood in her
So sullen in air.
She lie (sic) there so tenderly,
Body so slenderly, lift her
Oh, the blood in her hair.
(Note = A people of shame, ‘cause nobody
Everyone came now to see
The young girl that is dead,
The long fall had twisted her head.
And suddenly, a voice from the crowd
Said the girl lived in vain.
Her face shows her agony,
“In The Life Of Chico” (unreleased, 1979)
Famine, starvation, hunger,
Poverty, a South American
Chico, his sister,
Brother, mother live a force (?) in
An old war (illegible) shack,
Drought is killing the people.
And the half territory (?) has made food supply.
The father of Chico
Went off for help, but never came
Back, Chico, 9 years old,
Is left to fend for his family,
Man of the house.
He provide (hope?) for the family, working
So hard all day long in (illegible)
So that starvation won’t come (?).
Bless Chico’s pride and courage,
As he does the work of a man
For his family’s survival.
Drought came again
Killing more, Chico’s sister dies
Malnutritionly (sic), Mother dies in shock and
Heartbreak (illegible) leaving 9 year old
Chico alone, many (illegible) continued.
Heartbroken (?) ran, but Chico keeps his pride,
1 real man, he decide (sic)
To up off to the city far away
To challenge the miles,
To build a fruit stand to make
A living to carry on his father’s good,
The nearest city was 130 miles away (?), Chico aching (?).
Painful, for his journey (?) hunger (?) fearless (?)
But drought heat
And malnutrition killed
Chico when he was
10 miles from the city.
Leaving his home (?) in the Sun to
Rot, with his bag in hand (?).
But God bless Chico
Keeps his pride, faith is Chico, man of Man.
But bless Chico’s faith,
‘Cause in God’s heaven Chico
Has a place.”
“Feel, Believe” (supposedly 1979)
Let the song write itself, let it tell you what to write, what instrument to use, what melody, slowly let feeling be your guide, be used, feel, feel as though, as though a prophet [were] writing through the thoughts of God. His penmanship. God’s thoughts.
Feel, feel, feel.
Feel, feel, feel. Believe the force. Mj.”
“Ideas for [A] Baby Smiles” (supposedly 1979)
Tell about all the beautiful places In the world I’ve been And the things I’ve seen All over the world. Wonders from the mountain to the prairies, But nothing matches the Beauty of a baby’s smile. It feels (sic) my heart. With so much joy & Glea (sic). Thank God babies smile. It’s for the rich, it’s for The poor, it’s for the world To see. Only magic in a baby’s smile. Only babies smile.”
“Palestine” (unknown date, unreleased)
See the plains
Of the days of old
Just a century ago
When peace stories were told.
Of how Gallilie (sic) ran through
The Jordan river.
What remains are cold
Tales of war,
Of the death and dying,
Bomb shells are flying,
See the children crying.
What are they fighting for?
I will pray for you,
I will carry you, oh, Palestine.
Come deep in
My heart. I’ll always love you.
Palestine, don’t cry,
I will pray for you,
God’s a place for you
And, I believe in you.
Oh, Palestine, I will die for you.”
(Unspecified song title, unknown date)
“Well, they say that their love was
Taken, ‘cause they lost the way / God don’t love us anymore.
Well, they say that the native people
Tried to win (or fight) a loosing (sic) war.
They say that the white man knows
What he’s fighting for.
He raised his play while dying
Although they lost the war.
‘Is it true that God don’t love us anymore?
(Note = As children stand there crying,
Seeing their mothers
Or = Asking what are we fighting for?)”
(Unspecified song title - later credited as “Michael McKeller, 1990”)
“Talks to the mirror,
Himself he entertains,
(Or: He’s standing in the rain)
Tries to escape the pain,
His pain remains the same.
Michael McAller feels
He must get away.
He’s left alone today.
Nobody cares to stay.
Talks to the mirror,
Feels he must run away.”
“Anything For Money” (later titled “Money”, appears on album “HIStory )
I’ll lie, I’ll cheat, I’ll steal,
I’ll [do] anything for money.
I’ll twist the truth, I’ll kill,
I’ll do anything for money.
It’s my lust, my pill,
I’ll do anything for money.
“T.S.” (unknown date; later becomes ‘HIStory’’s song, “D.S.”, a.k.a. Thomas Sneddon, a former district attorney of Santa Barbara, California, who prosecuted the 2005 false charges against the entertainer (a trial ending with his vindication), prior to that resorting to even unethical means to have the singer prosecuted for the false 1993 and 2003 allegations and sentenced to prison)
They wanna get my a**
Dead or alive,
Invade my privacy, they sure took me by
Surprise or he’ll overrule the truth for M.O.N.E.Y.
He said he brother with
He don’t do half what he say.
Chorus: T.S. is a cold man,
He’s really hungry for a
He’ll stop at nothing, breakin’
Every rule in the game.
I heard his brother to the
“The Innocent Man” (supposedly written during his 2005 trial, unreleased)
Sometimes I feel just like a fugitive. I’m running
For my life.
And deep inside I ask the question why.
But I’m not running at all,
I’m just healing a lonely wounded heart.
The truth becomes the lie.
I wish I could fly away.
If I sail to Accapulco (sic)
Or Cancoon (sic) Mexico,
There the law is waiting
And God knows that I’m
If they won’t take me in
Cairo, then Lord, where will I go?
I’ll die a man without a
And only God knew I was
Let the whole world be
Against being (?), as God
Knows I’m an innocent man now.
If the British try
To find me, then Lord, where will
Let the whole world try
To find me
Long (?) as God knows.
“Crack Kills” (1986) (intended for album “BAD” as a duet with Run DMC; unreleased)
Independently from the above case, this unreleased manuscript surfaces in 2008 and is posted on www.liveauctioneers.com up for auction. The back of the page consists of the first words to two verses of an unknown song he was working on, along with a doodle of a face. The main manuscript is matted with a copy of its reverse (the back of the frame is open, allowing the original reverse to be seen), and a signed photograph of the star. The handwritten lyrics are:
Your little brother.
Crack kills the baby, it’s shady
It’s such a loser.
Crack kills the winners,
It’s such a trader (?)
It’s this to take you
In How Far
And you all know
Who you are.