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1988 Countdown #36: Michael Jackson, “The Way You Make Me Feel”

(And the beat goes on. New to the countdown? Catch up here.) A beautiful woman walks down a city street: tight black dress, bangles on her wrists, long kinky hair, flawless mocha skin, high heels. This is model Tatiana Thumbzen. A funky guitar riff plays in the background (the song “Hot” by Roy Ayers). The […]

posted 20 March 2017 in 1988. 6 comments

Rolling in the Deep, 11/5/13

You might be interested in a couple of pieces I wrote that appeared on the Rolling Stone website last week. I have a short interview with National guitarist Bryce Dessner, centered on his collaboration with the Kronos Quartet (the album Aheym, which I quite like). And, pegged to Halloween, I did a roundup (I’m trying […]

posted 5 November 2013 in Outside. no comments yet

Friday Foto: Neverland

Michael Jackson died one year ago today. These are a few more of my photographs from last April’s auction-house exhibition of the contents of his Neverland compound; previous installments can be seen here and here and here. Rest in peace.

posted 25 June 2010 in Photos. no comments yet

1988 Countdown #60: Michael Jackson, “Smooth Criminal”

Michael Jackson released seven singles from Thriller, but he made videos for only three of them. (That wasn’t unusual in 1983–MTV’s proof of concept wasn’t yet firmly established.) How much would we treasure videos for the other singles today? A high-concept clip for “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”? A restrained but elegant video set on top […]

posted 21 January 2010 in 1988. 4 comments

Friday Foto: Flipwalk #44

The flipwalks are more about space than time. When I look at them now, I remember the environment of downtown New York City, rather than the particular day I took a walk, but sometimes reading my notes will remind me of a time when I was jetlagged or bored or cheerful. (If you’re not familiar […]

posted 13 November 2009 in Photos. no comments yet

1988 Countdown: Commercial Break #14

Time to visit the Duke. MTV replays their promo for “Michael Jackson Sunday”; as you might expect, it plays very differently now than it did a few months ago. “He’s been bad,” says the MTV Voiceover Guy. (A clip from “Bad” plays.) “He’s been smooth.” (A “Smooth Criminal” clip.) “Now he takes his own image […]

posted 24 September 2009 in 1988. 4 comments

Friday Foto: Thriller Eight-Track

Some readers of Rule Forty-Two expressed astonishment at my post where I mentioned that Thriller sold a small but significant number of copies on eight-track, so I thought you might like to see the following, from a recent eBay auction: (If you want this artifact to love and cherish, there are several more on sale […]

posted 17 July 2009 in Photos. 2 comments

They Eat Off of You

The second Warhol/Jackson meeting, as recounted in The Andy Warhol Diaries. The setting is a party in a hotel room before a performance of the Jacksons’ Victory tour at Madison Square Garden: Saturday, August 4, 1984 Rosanna Arquette, the actress, came up and was so sweet, and I asked her if we’d ever done anything […]

posted 8 July 2009 in Excerpts. no comments yet

Ease on Down the Road

Andy Warhol had two encounters with Michael Jackson; in between, he did a portrait of him for a 1984 cover of Time (working from photographic reference). This is his account of the first meeting: Wednesday, February 2, 1977 Went home and did some work, then at 11:00 Catherine and I went over to Regine’s to […]

posted 8 July 2009 in Excerpts. no comments yet

Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing

Today’s my last day of Michael Jackson posting for a while (i.e., until his next video comes around on the 1988 countdown). I’ll have some MJ excerpts from the Warhol diaries a little later in the day, but first I thought I’d share two historical updates from last week. Another tidbit from the early 1980s […]

posted 8 July 2009 in Tasty Bits. no comments yet