Michael Jackson – The Boy That Moved Me To Tears

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 causing a shift inside of me. I have delayed reactions to my feelings and emotions and this event affected me no differently. I couldn’t quite process that he died and I was injured at work that same day.

I began to research who this loving, heart centered man really was not what the media tried to force-feed us. He was unique, filled with sensitivity and compassion and perfect instincts. He was filled with childlike innocence and a pure heart that loved. I learned that Michael Jackson received his inspiration from nature, children, animals and G-d.  His faith was unwavering and he walked with God throughout his life.  His childhood left him hungry to do for others namely children.  This is common among abuse victims. It was part of his destiny. His genius for creativity gave him an amazing depth despite of or was it in part, because of the abuse. The masses judged him because he couldn’t be put into any box.

I always loved Michael Jackson from the time I was in grade school. I remember being in the bedroom my 3 brothers shared where the brown veneer wooden Zenith stereo player had a 33 rpm record going around. A friend of mine and I were listening to Going Back to Indiana on the Jackson Five Third Album while dancing around the tiny room and clapping our hands to the rhythm.I was driving around in my 1979 Volvo with white exterior and red leather interior blasting the music on a cassette of Off The Wall from my JBL speakers that I had added on to my little car.  In 1982, I would watch Michael, mesmerized as he danced in his videos for Thriller and Billie Jean. I can still see him in that black suit with a pink shirt and red bow tie.  He turned the video medium into an art form and owning the Thriller album seemed to be a household staple.  Michael’s style was always his own. He was a trendsetter. “Mom,” Jermaine used to tease Michael. “Michael is wearing white socks again under his pants and he looks goofy.”  The teasing didn’t matter to Michael.  He knew exactly what he was doing. He said when he danced, he wanted the focus on his feet so he would add crystals or rhinestones to his socks for stage. He wore what he liked no matter what anyone thought.  He deliberately mispronounced “come on” to “cha’mone” when he sang. From 1987’s Bad to 1991’s Dangerous, Michael’s music became the soundtrack to my life. I could escape from reality into a world of Michael’s falsetto singing; a voice with a touch of sadness.

Michael always said, “I love you.”  “I love you more” when someone else said I love you first. Always. To his family, friends, and especially his fans. He wasn’t afraid to say I Love you. From everything I’ve read about him, this was a man who meant what he said.

Michael Jackson, in 2007 said, “music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in the world. Through it, my music, I know I will live forever.”  He was a juggernaut that couldn’t be stopped in his desire to gift us with his music, his dance. Late at night alone at the dance studio he had built at Neverland, he would dance at all hours, eventually wearing grooves into the hard wood floor from where his worn black loafers would spin, twist and turn.

Here is a note he wrote to himself. ” By the talent given me by God, training cultivating it. Studying the greats in my field and becoming greater. Like as artist searching persistent confident to be the best. Study the greats and become greater. Reach the zenith of my ability as an actor singer dancer. MJ”

His music does live on. What lives on for me, and millions of fans all over the world, was his heart, a heart that gave right up to the end.  Every night after rehearsals for This Is It, he would stop to speak to fans, sign an autograph or say I love you.

Julien’s Auctions is celebrating the anniversary of Michael’s passing with an auction of a collection of various Michael Jackson pictures, autographs, awards, fedoras, drawings, letters, notes, clothes, costumes even the wig he wore when he announced his final concerts in London, something I found macabre.

It’s obvious a lot of the items to be auctioned on the anniversary weekend of 2 years of his passing were gifts to people. Autographed photos, autographed cd’s or albums, a pillow case where he wrote, “Good night, I love you”. I’ve seen videos where he used to sign a pillowcase from a hotel room and throw it down to the fans. I can understand why these items are being sold. Someone decided not to hold onto it and to sell it.

What I don’t understand is selling is what certainly seems to be Michael’s personal effects. Michael was particularly sensitive about the bald spot he had after his scalp was burned in the Pepsi commercial in 1984. When he emerges from a pile of people trying to help him, the entire top of his head was burned, and bald as his hand went immediately to touch it. He would wear a wig to the American Music Awards that year to cover this spot. Wigs would become part of him after this event. It seems to me that selling one of his wigs is in poor taste given how tender this personal issue was for him.

It seems clear to me that many of these items were taken from his home in Neverland. When he left for Bahrain in 2005, he realized what he had known for some time. There was a witch-hunt to bring down Michael Jackson. Even thought district attorney Tom Sneddon gave it an earnest attempt by falsifying evidence, nothing could be proven because there was nothing to prove. Michael left his home of eighteen years at Neverland intact with all his possessions.

Here’s Michael’s hand written lyrics to some of Beat It:

Here’s some photos of drawings he made.

These photos are stamped “Nov 1972” and appear to be taken in a hotel room. They look like the type of photos that I have in my family photo album as a kid. They used to stamp the photos like this at Thrifty Drug Store. Looks like personal photos taken from a photo album or a drawer.

A pair of gold sunglasses Michael wore during the Victory Tour in 1984.

The gold record from Epic Records to commemorate the sales of Bad framed.

A holiday card that was obviously never sent.

A hand written note that Michael made on a single page of letterhead from Dr. Arnold Klein’s office.

There are items here so iconic that I’m puzzled why they are being sold. Okay, this is just my humble opinion but shouldn’t items like this be kept for his children? Or at Neverland, which I’ve heard rumors will eventually become a museum of Michael Jackson belongings.

For example:

The custom made black spandex shirt with large stones punched around the neck and across the front. MJ wore this shirt on the opening night of performance of the BAD world tour in Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Julien’s estimates this will sell for between $2000-3000.

The black synthetic blend avante garde shirt designed by Dexter Wong featuring elastic neck, waist and cuffs and covered with circular gathered puckers of fabric to create a three dimensional effect. Michael wore this shirt in the ground breaking video “Scream” made with sister Janet. Scream was the most expensive video ever made. Michael wrote Scream as a response to the backlash he received from the media after being falsely accused of child molestation by a dentist who was relentless in his blackmailing efforts against MJ.

Here is the shirt MJ wore on the Motown twenty-five special on March 23, 1983. Michael was a rising star when this was aired and after that show, he was legendary. A synthetic blend, black long-sleeved shirt with label reading “Mr. Alex Beverly Hills” and the name “Helnsen Michen” typed on the label.  The shirt had been customized with punched rhinestones covering the collar, chest and rolled-up cuffs of the shirt. He wore this shirt first during his performance of the song “Ease On Down The Road” with Diana Ross for her February 2, 1981, CBS TV special. Diana wore a matching version of the shirt as they sang the single from their film The Wiz together.

MJ on Motown 25 special. 23 March 1983

The black sequined glove he wore on The American Music Awards show where he won 8 awards on January 16, 1984. Custom made for his right hand, with hand-sewn black Swarovski crystals with a single snap closure. There are photos of him with Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, and Emmanuel Lewis wearing this unique glove. What makes this glove unusual is he typically wore white gloves during this period.

The black and red leather jacket Michael wore in the Thriller video is estimated to sell for between $200,000-400,000 nuts.  Michael gave this jacket to his longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. It has a “Marc Laurent Paris” label, silver buckle, red silk lining, trapunto stitched collar, snap front closure and signature winged shoulders. Michael inscribed “To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson” on the inside lining and the sleeve is also signed “Love Michael Jackson”. This jacket ignited a nineteen eighties fashion trend and was so much a part of Jackson’s persona that it was used as a reference for all of his subsequent concerts when he danced Thriller.

When I first viewed all these items at Julien’s Auctions I felt these items need to be preserved. They are part of musical history. My heart’s desire is that Tom Barrack, owner of Colony Capitol, who saved and is the steward of Neverland, will swoop in and purchase all of these pieces. I will have to let go of the idea of these pieces being on display at Neverland for all the world to see, instead of going into a private home, where perhaps 1 or a few people will enjoy these treasures. Look, I understand. It would be fun to have one of Michael’s gloves.  I would like it more knowing many people could enjoy it.  What is the purpose of my hanging onto this need?

Even though the likes of great talents such as James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly inspired Michael, he was a rare, indefinable mega talent onto himself. He didn’t need fifty back up dancers, special effects, and video screens all around. Give the boy a stage and a microphone and he was on fire. He grew up on stage. I grew up watching and listening to him. Even though he is no longer with us, he left us with a part of his soul forever.  Michael Jackson is my hero because he channeled all his hurt, sadness and suffering into art.  He is my hero because he understood that sweetness and innocence and compassion didn’t make you weak, they make you strong. On June 25, 2009, he left us but only physically. Michael truly embodied the adage of wherever you go in life; it should be a better place because you were there. Gone Too Soon.

I love this shirt he wore during the 70’s. MJ always had style.

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About hannahkozak

I am passionate about photography & have been making photos since I was a little girl. I have been a stunt woman for twenty five years. I have a passion for exploration, discovery, and escape. I dream of every place I seek to travel to. A recovering adrenaline junkie, I seek authenticity in everyday experiences. I love Kundalini Yoga,travel, books,writing and authentic, real experiences and people. I brake for squirrels. Que le vaya bien! View all posts by hannahkozak

16 responses to “Michael Jackson – The Boy That Moved Me To Tears

  • Sam

    Love the black glove! Beautiful Hannah just beautiful xx

  • Bonnie

    WOW!!! This was fantastic. I’m truly blown away. What a beautiful piece!

  • Kate Van Raden

    excellent journalism Hannah. He was beyond a boy or a man…he had a gift to give and he certainly did that.

  • cynthia kates

    I think that when you consider Michael you have to remember that you cant just put him into a box. He transcends a “box”, color and mortality. The truth is, Michael gave somethings to people with the thought that if they even needed money they could sell it. He was not irrational, he understood he was worth money and rightfully so. Some of these pieces are irreplaceable and it makes me sad to think that we might never be able to enjoy them again. Michael knew people would rummage through his house when he left, but i think there are only so many things he wanted to worry about. Making people smile, loving his children and showing the world that one boy could exponentially change the world forever were among those things. Julien’s items will one day all fade away, but history will prove that Michael was FADE RESISTANT!
    Hannah, thank you for taking these wonderful pictures and posting this piece. I think people today jump before they look and sometimes we need to stop and look. Keep em coming!

  • Rd

    A sensitive piece right from your heart. Very nice.

  • rantings from a recovering perfectionist

    hannah, what a beautiful and insightful piece…just like you!
    much love, brauna

  • MJLoverforAlways

    This was fantastic..Woww..Beautyful..Thank you Hannah
    It’s All For L.O.V.E..

  • lcpledwards

    Hannah, this is David from Vindicate MJ. Your post was amazing! I have never seen so many MJ memorabilia items up close, but your photos are the next best thing to seeing the in person! I love that black long sleeved shirt he wore for the BAD tour! (Although I love the red one better!)

    It’s a shame that his wig was put up for auction, though. That was a personal item, and it’s nobody’s business that he wore it in the first place. It’s a disgrace that his privacy was violated like that.

    You have a great blog! Keep up the good work!

  • Cecilia

    What an beautiful piece.You are writer from the soul, Hannah. I have enjoyed all your blogs, or I should rather said, I felt them: your images, your words.

    All are, but this one is very special, because I know how special MJ is for you: the artist, the life of the artist, the creative translation of pain into love for others.

    I have also learnt so much about MJ. Through you, I feel closer to the work of an amazing artist. For your sensitive and generous research and blogs,
    I am immensely grateful.

    Cecilia

  • Steve Ferry

    Hanna, you are awesome. The love flows out of you and into your subject, no matter what you’re writing about, but especially when you write about MJ…. So happy I have the privilege of being your friend….
    XO Steve

  • melody

    Amazing blog…..!!! The love and respect for this man I hope far exceeds those who believe everything they read in “the Star”…

  • Yoly Leung

    I like the comment made in your last paragraph the most. It’s so touching and yes, he lives on in our hearts

  • Vered Zarco-Maoz

    I loved it Hannah…

    Somewhat gave me the feeling that there is a Michael Jacskon inside of you…

    Love,
    Me

  • Inga

    Hallo Hannah,
    thank you so very much for this wonderful piece and for your very kind response, you wrote to me before.
    I have to excuse me, answering so late,and my english is
    not even good.
    Love the pictures of all the wonderful clothes, Michael
    wore on his performances. I hope, all the money which is earned on this event goes to his children, but I’m not sure!!
    Much L.O.V.E to you
    from Inga Germany

  • Louise

    Hannah your inner Journalist is no secret anymore! You combine editorial opinion, fact and emotion seamlessly. Your two loves married: words and photos. Perfect. XOOXO

  • wornout65

    All the other comments pretty much said it all! Thanks for sending it to me, it’s amazing work!!!
    I agree that personal items reflecting problems like wigs and other personal things should not have been there. Why did much of it not go to the children, the photos, drawings and a myriad of things?? It seems as if Neverland was plundered but I don’t know who did it.
    Were the proceeds to go to the estate to pay bills? If so did they actually go to the estate or a private ‘pocket’?
    A story is good if it stirs emotions like I’m having now-some good but most painful!

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