Jacko didn’t want to be a Black

Posted: July 4, 2009 in others
Tags: , , , , , ,

I always felt that Michael Jackson might have hated his colour, being a Black, being an African, which might have made him to always yearn for a fair skin, go for plastic surgery and date fair women. I have never heard about his affairs with any Black women. In a country like United States, one can understand a person’s feeling of being a black.

I read Tony Morrison’s The Blue Eyes in my postgraduation and was deeply moved by the plight of Blacks in America. Whenever I heard about Jackson, I imagined his situation and plight in the background of that novel. Many works on the plight of Blacks have come out on the theme and Jackson’s transformation from Black to a White is just a living example the world witnessed. Their situation and condition was no different from Dalits in our country. In fact, I had presented a paper in a seminar on their plight comparing with Dalits in our country. Though Blacks form a race and Dalits a community, I still find similarities in the oppression and sufferings. They like our oppressed communities dream of coming to the mainstream society. They imagine themselves to befriend other sections of the society and they find no other way, but to upgrade themselves either by marrying people from upper class or rebel against the system.

I think Jacko found himself a new way to find place among the Whites. He didn’t rebel against the system, he transformed himself, he gave up his colour, the very identity to become one among the larger section of society, a White, whom the whole world adored and admired.

While thinking about all these, I found an interesting interview in Details, an interview by the hit-making producer, Quincy Jones, who was behind the King of Pop’s rise discussing Jackson’s life, death, and love of chemical peels. Jones, who first worked with Jackson on 1979’s Off the Wall, told Details they’d talk “all the time” about how Jackson was changing.

Jacko and Quincy

Jacko and Quincy

Did you believe him about the disease?
I don’t believe in any of that bullshit, no. No. Never. I’ve been around junkies and stuff all my life. I’ve heard every excuse. It’s like smokers — “I only smoke when I drink” and all that stuff. But it’s bullshit. You’re justifying something that’s destructive to your existence. It’s crazy. I mean, I came up with Ray Charles, man. You know, nobody gonna pull no wool over my eyes. He did heroin 20 years! Come on. And black coffee and gin for 40 years. But when he called me to come over to see him when he was in the hospital on his way out, man, he had emphysema, hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, and five malignant tumors. Please, man! I’ve been around this all my life. So it’s hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. But when somebody’s hell-bent on it, you can’t stop ’em.

But it must’ve been so disturbing to see Michael’s face turn into what it turned into.
It’s ridiculous, man! Chemical peels and all of it. And I don’t understand it. But he obviously didn’t want to be black.

Is that what it was?
Well, what do you think? You see his kids?

Did you ever discuss it? Did you ever ask, “Michael, don’t you want to be a black man?”
No, no, no, please. That’s not the way you do it.

But he was beautiful before?
Man, he was the most gorgeous guy.

But he seemed to have some deep-seated issue with how he looked?
Well, that comes about a certain way. I’m not sure how it happens. I’m just a musician and a record producer. I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there’s a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin’ about what’s wrong, because everybody’s had a rough time, in one way or another.

I’ve heard you say that you wanted Michael to sing “She’s Out of My Life,” the great pop ballad from Off the Wall, in part because you felt like he had to deal with reality.
I just wanted to hear him deal with a romantic relationship with a human being rather than a rat. I’m saying that facetiously, but it’s true. I saw him at the Oscars very emotional about “Ben.” I wanted to hear him get in touch with a real human relationship. “She’s Out of My Life” was written by Tommy Bahler from a very bad ending to a marriage. So it was very real. I was saving it for Sinatra. But I gave it to Michael. And Michael cried during every take, and I left the tears in.

It’s interesting you mention this, because I was just watching a clip on YouTube where you’re sitting on a couch with Michael and he’s petting a snake the whole time.
Oh, I remember that. Yeah, that was Muscles.

Muscles?
Muscles. That’s a big boa constrictor he had. Muscles used to wrap around my leg in a record session and crawl across the console. I was never comfortable with that. It was a choice between that and Bubbles — you know, the chimp.

Did you ever meet Bubbles?
Are you kidding me? He bit a hole in my daughter’s hand! Rashida’s hand. Rashida Jones — did you see I Love You, Man? That’s my daughter. She was a little girl. And Bubbles bit her hand. Michael used to bring Muscles and Bubbles by the house all the time, you know.

What did you think of that? Wasn’t that a little weird?
I don’t know, man. Everybody does his own thing. I’ve met every freak in the business. Everybody has their idiosyncrasies. I try not to judge it, you know. I know all women are junkies for little dogs and bags and purses. Ha ha ha ha!

At root, what do you think killed Michael Jackson?
I don’t know, man. I’m a musician. I’m not a psychiatrist. I would think that the pressure of the concerts and the debt and everything else… look, I’ve been in the hands of Nobel doctors for the last five years, in Stockholm, at the Karolinska hospital, which you can’t even pay to get in. I’ve learned so much about the human mind and the body, and the doctors talk all the time about how you become your thoughts. It’s true. With one thought it starts, you know, and if you sit there and just stay hung up on one negative thought, you will become that thought. I know that Lisa Marie Presley said that she always thought he was going to die like Elvis. You sit and think about that stuff, it’ll happen to you. If you start thinking about darkness instead of light, or fear instead of love, you’ll get in trouble. I really believe that.

With so many people asking you about Michael Jackson, is it hard to find the private space in which to mourn his death?
Yes, it is. It’s surrealistic. I don’t know how to process it at all. Because everybody’s reacting to it, and making up their own answers.

You’ve said that you don’t attend funerals anymore because you’ve lost so many friends. Do you plan to attend Michael Jackson’s funeral?
No, not at all, not at all. Because it’s going to be, like, 9 million people there, and it’s not what I want to see.

You’re not going to be there?
No. I can’t be there, anyway. I’m going to Wales the day after tomorrow, I go to Montreux, I go to Marbella, I go to the south of France. My condolences and love I’ve already sent to the family. But being there with 10 million people is not my idea of a tribute to somebody you were so close to — who’s got a part of your soul. Our souls were joined, you know. And a piece of it goes with him.

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