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Friday, June 25, 2010
Michael has so many classic performances, this one of my favorites. I love classic black and white gangster movies, in addition to Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals as did Michael. He was a master at incorporating some of these elements, and no one works precision moves like Michael did.
Originally posted June 26, 2009.
I remember seeing you and hearing you for the first time.
I remember cutting out photo's and posters taping them to my wall.
I remember moving to Los Angeles, and talking about you so much that my parents tired
of hearing me speak of you - so much so that I had to give you another name for a while.
I remember scraping up pennies to buy SOUL Magazine, and later Right On! because you were always in them.
I remember living in a cheap motel during this time, as our family had fallen on hard times, but vividly remember the inspiration I got from reading about you and looking at those pictures.
I remember looking at photo's of your family and wondering what it was like to be a Jackson.
I remember feeling proud as I looked at your family, somehow seeing myself in you and knowing my friends felt the same.
I remember how we talked about you at school, and danced to your songs in the school gym.
I remember taping your photo to my locker and in the hollow of my desk just to keep you near.
I remember every time I would lift that desk top, I'd see your face smiling back at me.
I remember dancing, singing and dreaming to your music.
I remember crying to songs like 'Maybe Tomorrow', and 'I Don't Know Why I Love You' in my room.
I remember the cartoon, the TV specials, singing with Diana Ross and Cher..and so much more.
I remember writing the first piece of fan mail I wrote: 'Dear Michael'.
I remember writing to you often - as if you could hear me.
I remember thinking I was going to grow up and be Mrs. Michael Jackson.
I remember not having enough money for a concert ticket for a Jackson Five concert at The Forum in Inglewood CA.
I remember what it felt like for my family to be going through such a tough time, and how your music and that of other's got me through.
I remember walking the perimeter of the Forum with my Mom in tears, as I could hear the music and screams of the lucky girls inside - as I was panic stricken and pacing from the outside.
I remember begging to get in to no avail to each door attendant,
I remember being desperate enough to lie and say I'd lost my ticket.
I remember my heart that night, I loved Michael Jackson.
I remember how hard my Mom tried to get me close.
I remember sobbing even more and the joy I felt when one of the door attendants finally let my Mom and I go in, as the intro of the last song of the night -'The Love You Save' reverberated nearly drowned out by the volumes of screams from all the kids who felt just like me.
I remember as soon as we got in - the fans rushing the stage and all I had was a brief glimpse, as it seemed the entire arena shifted to the stage.
I remember how soon it was all over. Lights on. Empty stage.
I remember how I continued to love all of the other albums that weren't as popular like 'Skywriter', and 'Moving Violation' as you and your brothers continued to grow up - as I was growing up too.
I remember how I could get completely lost staring at every album cover that had your face on it as a child.
I remember meeting you for the first time, and being in awe of the fate that would make such a thing happen.
I remember you and your younger sister Janet coming to watch Shalamar shows from the side of the stage with Groucho Marx glasses with the fake nose and moustache at Disneyland - peering from the side curtain.
I remember your brothers trying to hook us up, because I put '"Jody Watley Loves Michael Jackson" on the back of Shalamar's 'Three For Love' album, underneath my photo with the caption: "Loves.."
I remember the first time I heard 'Off The Wall', and how much I loved it and still do.
I remember being in the audience with my friend Jermaine Stewart at the Motown 25th..
I remember feeling the electricity that night, and your words "I like the old songs..but I like the new ones better" before you went into Billie Jean.
I remember how you changed the game of music.
I remember how you changed music video.
I remember where I was when I first saw the mini movie 'Thriller'.
I remember how everyone anticipated your world premiere videos on MTV.
I remember all of your iconic performances on The Grammy's and American Music Awards, and so much more.
I remember being nominated in categories with you and knowing I didn't stand a chance.
I remember that you are the first person who greeted me after I won my own Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1988 and smile to this day because as joyous and in shock as I was...
I remember that you emerged from the darkness of back stage at Radio City Music Hall ran to me, gave me a big hug, kissed my right cheek and said in your Michael Jackson voice "I'm so happy for you"
I remember thinking how I would have never imagined that moment with someone who had such a huge impact on my life.
I remember thinking you were magical and..
I remember thinking 'I was just kissed by MICHAEL JACKSON and how it nearly eclipsed even winning the award.
I remember how obsessed my daughter and her friends were when they were old enough to discover your music, and how many times we tried to do the choreography to Thriller, and Beat It.
I remember our family trip to Disneyland so we could see your Captain EO attraction.
I remember the joy.
I remember that the never to be seen again international success of Thriller seemed to give you so much - but the aftermath of such fame seemed to take even more.
I remember feeling angst at your trials, and saddened by the bubble your unparalled success seemed to create.
I remember thinking how lonely your life must be, and how you tried to fill the voids in ways we can't understand.
I remember that despite your struggles thinking you are one bad ass dude. The greatest of a generation and for all time.
I remember how you have touched the world.
I remember how much I love your music, watching you dance, and listening to your distinctive voice.
I remember the influence of Jackie Wilson, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and James Brown in your work.
I remember the influence of Michael Jackson in others.
I remember these things and so much more..
I remember the shock I felt at hearing the tragic news, and the tears that followed.
I remember thinking a piece of my own childhood went with you.
I will always remember the time I had with you.
May your deepest sadness be healed. May your soul now rest peace.
Many artists can experience hit records. Few truly make a lasting imprint with 'signature' style spawning look-a-likes, wannabes, impersonators, Halloween costumes and imitation. Michael Jackson took signature style to a new level.
Michael Jackson had so many iconic and memorable looks. From apple caps, fringed vests and colorful bell bottomed pants from his youth as a member of The Jackson 5, Michael made a mark not only musically but visually. In his young adulthood he gave us the classic black suit, white shirt and socks for the "Off The Wall" era. When you think of the black fedora, loafers, the white crystal glove, military-esque swag, buckles and belts with "Bad" the Michael Jackson signature style comes to mind. We will never forget the iconic red and black leather jacket and jeans in the history making "Thriller" video. In fact, it is artwork for the biggest selling album of all time- "Thriller"- that remains one of my favorite Michael Jackson style imprints. In the days of vinyl, I can remember the joy at looking at the gatefold sleeve. Michael Jackson exuded an innocence and charm which was quite endearing and with his lithe frame he could wear anything and make it look good.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
When I went on my debut solo tour in 1989, I wanted to do so many things creatively. I wanted a stage that evoked Salvidor Dali and spectacular lighting, a kick ass show with live vocals, funky music and enough room to be spontaneous. Another big desire was to have a tour book that wasn't standard music fare. Subsequently, I chose to have an over sized book measuring 16" x 12". It's now a standard size in touring, the merchandise company at the time balked at the idea initially citing costs and production concerns, but I was tenacious and prevailed.
I wanted to showcase my love of fashion illustration with the cover art. We found a wonderful local artist to do an illustration of me. Another unorthodox decision which was choosing not have my name on the cover. I thought this idea was far more chic and understated. My initials appear on the back cover.
My incredible art team and I loved it. As an artist, there's something very special when you are able to collaborate with people who "get it" and work tirelessly for a successful outcome for the team. I'm always grateful that despite constant misgivings about many of my choices, I was allowed creative freedom. We did more fashion oriented pics for the inside, which was also very unusual for the time. I really wanted it to feel more like a fashion brochure and something more unique rather than a basic artist tour book. My inspiration came from a fashion supplement that came with an Italian VOGUE back in 1989. I have gotten a lot of inspiration from Italian VOGUE over the years. Of the many things I wanted to be growing up, being a fashion illustrator was another of my childhood career fantasies. I continue to believe in dreaming many dreams and to keep adding on to your goals. Sometimes you get fortunate to incorporate them all.
My love of illustration continues.
Illustration: Sally Simonetti
Art Design: Lynn Robb and Jody Watley
One of my favorite illustrators has to be David Downton. I love the fluidity of his work.
Illustrations: David Downton
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Wide leg pants are "In", but personally I think they are always a classic staple to your wardrobe as long as you're not short. In that case they may not be flattering.
I've always loved wide leg pants dating back to my love of black and white movies with Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and later movies like 'Annie Hall' with Diane Keaton. They seemed to represent strength and independence. At the peak of the disco era in the 70's one of my favorite photo's is of style icon Bianca Jagger looking incredibly chic in a white Yves St. Laurent pant suit with a wide trouser and bowler hat.
I can easily recall begging my Mom to buy me a pair of pin stripped ones while in junior high. When I learned to sew, I made them in bold colors and plaid, though I could never conquer a good zipper. I wore them with botched zippers and all. As a contestant in Chicago's Ms. Black Teenage Illinois Pageant, I wore a bright canary yellow pair I'd made for the 'casual wear' potion. Wide leg pants have made their way into more than a few of my videos, concerts and photo sessions over the years. I wore a pair to my son's graduation recently as well.
You'll find them available now and for various Fall Collection's 2010 at various price points.
Photo's: (via) Flickr
I discovered this line earlier in the year and have been hooked on it. Pure Fiji "Coconut" Hydrating Body Lotion has rich blend of coconut milk and exotic nut extracts. It smells delicious, makes my skin feel like silk and reminds me of being in Hawaii instantly.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Vintage Vamp: Jody Watley
Eighties pop/dance superstar Jody Watley seems more relevant now than ever! Not only do her late-'80s megahits like "Looking For a New Love," "Real Love" and "Don't You Want Me" still sound as danceable and funky today (please re-listen to "Still a Thrill." Hot!), Watley's signature beauty look -- brazen red lips; cat-eye black liner; bold brows and crimped hair -- can be seen on runways and red carpets everywhere.
Click Header to Read Full Article at Essence.com
Photo: Michel Comte