Michael Jackson, Moonwalk, 1988
“In those days, touring with the Jackson 5, I always shared a room with Jermaine. He and I were close, both onstage and off, and shared a lot of the same interests. Since Jermaine was also the brother most intrigued by the girls who wanted to get at him, he and I would get into mischief on the road.”
Soul, August 10, 1970
Michael doesn’t have a girlfriend. “I don’t know if I want one,” he says thoughtfully, “The girls at school, they just play hit and run-that’s all they do, they hit me and run… I don’t know most of them though. They know who I am, they know I sing. But they treat the other boys the same. I just don’t pay any attention and when they see they can’t bother me, they stop.
“The first thing I notice about a girl is the way she acts-they’re a little bit different than the boys, you know…I mean the girls that go to my school, not the big girls. I like the big girls better, big girls don’t play hit and run, they don’t act like that.”
Michael sings a line in ABC with an authority that shows he can probably handle any girl: “Sit down girl, I think I love you,.. get up girl, show me what you can do…”
And in his life he finds that girls are very nice to him outside of school.
“In New York girls bought stuff for us; we never told them to do it, but they just they did it anyway. We were at the Appollo Theater and these girls came with a bunch of stuff- a bag fulla stuff they bought us-you know watching an things. And we didn’t tell them to do it. We didn’t even know they were coming, you know I didn’t even know them, they were just real nice.”
The super baddest thing I do is the way I act on stage! I come on strong and raunchy, and I say a lot of things – all in fun – that make it seem as though I, Michael Jackson, am a real “lover boy”! Some people may think I shouldn’t do this, since I’m only 12 years old and still have quite a bit to learn about girls. After all, I don’t even date yet! But I enjoy myself up there on stage, and I kind of think you understand and dig it too. At least I hope you do, cos I’m really trying to entertain you!
Me: “Mike, let’s talk about Jermaine first. Do you get along with Jermaine as well as with your friends?”
Michael: “Jermaine and I have a lot of groovy times together! We get along very well and hardly ever fight like a lot of brothers with a big age difference do! Jermaine is the kind of older brother you can dig. cause he’s not the type that thinks he’s smarter just because he’s an older brother.”
Me: “What do you think is the thing that’s most different between you and Jermaine?”
Michael: “There’s a big difference in the kind of girls we like. People say I’m full of energy, and I guess that’s why I like lively girls who laugh and talk a lot. Jermaine is more cool. He digs girls who are the foxy type, mysterious and quiet.”
The only difference between me and an ordinary 13 year old boy is that he can go to a place by himself. With me, it’s alittle different. I can walk to stores around my hometown by myself but anytime I go somewhere else, I have to have some kind of security. I don’t mind. I kind of like the idea of the girls trying to get to me.
Star: What kind of girls do you like Jermaine?
Jermaine: I like girls who are quiet with nice pretty brown eyes. Sort of shy and sweet, smart and bright!
Tito: Right on, brother!. I agree with you 100%! A chick’s gotta have personality and be fun to be with too!
Star: What do you like in an girl, Michael?
Michael: I think personality’s the most important thing of all. I dig chicks who are on the lively side, who love to laugh and talk.
Marlon: I like a girl who’s not too loud, and not to quiet, and who’ll give me the lovin’ I need!”
Right On, April, 1972
Judy: The girls are probably wondering what kind of you like best so why don’t you tell us?
Michael: I’ll tell you. As long as they have a good personality…
Judy: What’s a good personality?
Michael: Well, like, you wouldn’t get a girl and marry her in one day, would you? You’d have to talk to her first and see what she’s like.
The Free-Lance Star, July 22, 1972
We ask him about singing love songs at a youngish age, and he says “It’s not odd for me to sing love songs because I know what I’m singing about.” This brings laughs and snickers from his brothers. Jackie says, teasingly, “He gets really deeply involved.” Michael defends himself, “There’s no age limit to love.”
Q: How do you feel about kissing on a first date?
MJ: I can dig it! I think that if you dig a chick enough to ask her out, you’re crazy if you don’t want to kiss her. And, if she accepted the date, she likes you and probably wants to be kissed. So, I couldn’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t! I think I’d like to wait ’till the end of the date before I kissed her, though! I think most girls are afraid you’re comin’ on too fast if you kiss them right away. But, if I could tell that chick I was with was just waitin’ to be kissed, I wouldn’t mess around wastin’ time! I’d take her in my arms, bend her face back to rest on the back of her seat, and slowly lean toward her, gazin’ into her eyes and talking in a slow, smooth voice. Then, I’d press my lips against hers, gently at first, then harder and harder until we’re both lost in a soul kiss of true love.”
MJ: I think that bein’ honest with one another is important when you’re gettin’ serious with a chick, and don’t want to have her goin’ out with other guys. You have to be loyal and true to one another, or your love will never last! But, when you’re dating lots of chicks, and the chicks you date go with other guys, honesty isn’t so important. Don’t get me wrong, though! I don’t think lyin’ to someone is ever a good or a smart thing to do! But, as long as you haven’t made any promises to each other, you have the right to keep some things for yourself! For instance, if you’ve been dating a chick on and off and she dates other guys, and she asks you where you were when she phoned your house and didn’t get an answer, I don’t think it’s any of her business to know you were out with a different girl! I don’t think I have the right to pry into her life either!
Q: What would you do if you fell in love with a girl who was going steady with someone else?
MJ: Well, if I knew from the beginning that she was going with another guy, I probably wouldn’t date her, no matter how much I wanted to! But, if I didn’t know she was going steady, and I found out after I fell in love with her, I think I’d be pretty mad! Even if I thought that she didn’t do it to be cruel, and was just too scared to tell him her true feelin’s, I think I’d tell her in a kind, understanding way, to figure out what she was gonna do, and come back after she’d done it.
Michael Tells: ‘I’m A Girl Watcher!’ Tiger Beat, September 1972 (Michael aged 14)
Have you ever had that weird feeling that someone was staring at you – watching your every move? If you have, you might discover that the someone is none other than Michael Jackson!
He was leaning against the tree, whistling a nameless little tune. The sky – so blue that it hurt the eyes to stare up too long. But that was all right because he wasn’t looking at the sky. His eyes were busy elsewhere!
Michael grinned to himself. There was nothing that could top what he was doing right now! Standing here so casually, with his thumbs stuck through his belt loops, no one could guess that he was practicing an art.
Michael always says it with a smile but he’s serious when he calls girl watching ‘an art’!
When asked, he’ll explain that it takes a lot of practice to ‘eyeball chicks’ without being noticed. For one thing, Michael knows that it’s very rude to stare at a person openly. That’s why he’s perfected a technique that never gives him away.
Why did he go through all this trouble?
‘Because I really don’t want to offend anyone by watching them. Some people really get uptight if they know someone is looking at them. But I have this weakness – I love looking at girls!’
‘Just watching a girl can give me the best reason to smile. Girls are something very special and you got to treat them that way. That’s why I always say don’t stare right at a chick. She’ll begin to fidget, wondering if her hair’s messed up or if her make-up is smeared. It’s kind of like going to an art gallery to see beautiful paintings. If you look at a painting just
the right way, you get the most out of it!’
It’s very normal for a young, healthy, and great looking guy like Michael to enjoy girl watching. Every guy his age has put in time standing around just enjoying the lovely view of girls passing by! But, some guys like to look at girls and then rate them according to the way she’s dressed or how pretty she is. Not Michael. He has his own reasons.
‘The guys who are doing the rating are missing the whole point. They’re so busy counting up the scores that they’re not looking – I mean really looking at the girls.’
‘The way a girl walks. You can tell a lot from the walk. If she’s happy or sad – if she’s proud of being a girl. And then, there are the chicks that look so helpless that I want to rush over to them and put my arms around them!’
‘And if I’m lucky enough to be close enough to see her face – well, that’s like your favourite dessert after a fine meal!’
‘The eyes – do they wink at you? What makes them shine like they do? Love? Or just happy at being alive?’
‘And the mouth. Is it smiling at some secret? Or is she just doing her best to spread a little happiness by smiling at every person she sees?’
Michael’s list goes on and on. He can spend hours on a windy day seeing how the wind plays with long hair, short hair, darhair, light hair. Or he can stare at the girls’ hands. Does she hold them still when she sits? Or are they part of her communicating methods? Do her hands come alive in conversation – gesturing wildly to emphasize her words?
But mostly, Michael just wants the time to watch and see the whole picture – the whole person. He likes everybody but the girls are still, for him, ‘something very special!’
If he was one of those guys who rated the chicks he saw, Michael would be spending all his money on paper to add up the high scores for each girl. Because to him, each girl is a winner – simply by being a girl – by being someone special – by being the very girl he might be staring at this very moment – with a smile on his face.
14 year old Michael, Right On!, October 1972
I really like it when I can just go out by myself and walk around without security guards and stuff. I can walk to the store here near my house, but anytime I go somewhere else I have to have some kind of security. It’s nice just to be able to go out and get lost in a crowd. However…
… it’s also true that I kinda like the idea of girls trying to get to me! I think about girls, but I don’t go out with them yet. I’m too young. My brothers do though. Sometimes girls will find out where I live and come to see me at the gate in front of our house. They want photographs and autographs and stuff like that. I give them what they want and they leave. I have to, after all they buy the records! It makes me feel good to know they like me enough to wait outside like that.
”There were lots of times when we’d rather loafed around the streets or the park with other guys in our grades. But Dad always insisted that we set aside a certain amount of time regularly for our practice sessions.
Only when we’d done that were we allowed to vamoose and get into all the mischief we wanted! Mind you, even then he always made it clear that, if we were in any trouble, we’d better make sure first that we could get ourselves out again!”
”Dad’s always been pretty good about shutting his eyes to scrapes we’ve gotten ourselves into,” Michael continued…”Except if it was trouble at school. We soon learned it was best to keeep more or less in line there!”
Even so, Michael admitted confidentially that they were far from being little angels. But -sshhh…I’m not going to give away another guy’s secrets!
As for the girls in Michael’s life, there are many. Michael says he enjoys flirting with the idea of a heavy romance.
“You know, when you’re on the road, you get a chance to meet a lot of girls. I’m only scared of them when they’re in a group watching our act. Sometimes I think we’ll never get off the stage in one piece. They do some strange things, like taking off their underwear or whatever you call them and throwing them onstage. I’ve heard of this happening to other entertainers but until it happened to us, it was hard to believe.
“When we were in Chicago, three girls tried to storm out hotel room. And they meant business. Now I have grave doubts as to who the weak sex really is.
“Of course, I believe in love. It’s beautiful when it’s right. My love life is like my music. I don’t record a song unless I really dig it, the same goes for girls I see.”
As far as anyone knows, Michael doesn’t have a serious relationship going on with any one pretty girl. He is, as he says, playing the field.
“Let’s face, I’m too darn young to be thinking about marriage and kids. I’m still just a kid myself. Being nineteen soon doesn’t mean that I’m ready to settle down.
“There’s a whole world out there I still want to see. There are people of other countries I’d like to get to know better. Travelling in itself has been an education. You learn so much by seeing a place, eating their food, hearing their folklore and trying out their dances. I’m working on languages in my spare time, too. I think knowing the language of a country opens the door to their hearts. And that’s what I want to do.”
Groupies, to Michael, are the girls who succeed in climbing over the wall of their house and then get thrown out by the security guards. And the guards are the people he sneaks by to have a good night out. And when Michael has a good night out, he is smart enough to keep it to himself.
Rock Lives, 19 year old Michael Jackson, 1977
Speaking of your thoughts and your heart, do you have any girlfriends?
“I’m too busy for dating girls right now. I’d like to try, maybe. What do you think? Think I should, yeah? Well, I’ll think about that. I’ll think about what you said. We’ll see… But I’m happy. “
“I’m not married and haven’t got any plans to marry though I expect I will eventually!” Michael grinned.
Action, November 9 1978
Action: Do you have a girlfriend?
Michael: I have girlfriends. But they’re friends. The right girl has to come along. I’ll take my time.
What about marriage? It is a logical question when dealing with a handsome, rich and intelligent bachelor. “I’m certain thatI will get married and settle down to raise a family – I’m just not ready yet. I do meet young ladies that I respect and enjoy being with – but marriage is an important step and I want it to last forever. A family is something that I want more than anything in the world.”
Ebony, December 1982
Michael turned 24 in August. He says he has finally taken charge of his life and career (“I pay people and I tell them what to do”). There’s a new lady he likes a lot, and he’s as happy as he has ever been.
Michael wants a “real nice place for my mother, because we’re very, very close, you know” and “I want it to be real nice because this is where I plan to spend most of my time until I get married and move to Switzerland.”
“I’m not saying, but it’ll be sooner or later and I definitely plan to do it.”
He’s also one of the most popular, best liked entertainers in Hollywood although he says he has “only about three really close friends.” He refuses to name them because “the people I don’t name will be upset.”
RO/CLASS: How do you feel about the gossip about your sex life?
Jackson: I don’t listen to it. Or read it.
RO/CLASS: Do you think most of the public imagine you’re gay?
Jackson: I think most people are smart enough to know you can’t judge a book by its cover.
RO/CLASS: But why the flamboyant touches like glittery socks or the silver glove?
Jackson: Because I like them.
RO/CLASS: Are you very sheltered from outsiders, as has been claimed?
Jackson: I have to make the most of my time and I do choose the people I’m with.
RO/CLASS: How is your personal life? Is there someone special?
Jackson: It’s wonderful and I am in love…
Ebony Dec 1984
“I think for guys, girls make the best friends. And for girls, guys make the best friends…”
Special Edition of Right On magazine, 50 Facts About Michael, 1984
28. A soft, sexy scent will make Michael turn his attention to you.
31. Balloons, balloons, and more balloons are what Michael would send you if you were his special girl.
37. He loves singing romantic songs more than any other kind.
38. Michael loves having long telephone conversations with special ladies.
39. Michael thinks Japan is a wonderful country to fall in love because of its beauty and romance.
41. Go on a roller coaster with Michael and you’ll his win his heart. The scarier the better.
“I think I have a goody-goody image in the press and I hate that, but it’s hard to fight because I don’t normally talk about myself. I am a shy person. It’s true. I don’t like giving interviews or appearing on talk shows. When Doubleday approached me about doing this book, I was interested in being able to talk about how I feel in a book that would be mine – my words and my voice. I hope it will clear up some misconceptions.”
“Needless to say, I love the interaction between the sexes; it is a natural part of life and I love women. I just think that when sex is used as a form of blackmail or power, it’s a repugnant use of one of God’s gifts.” [p. 174]
“I do think that marriage can be a wonderful thing if it’s the right thing for the two people involved. I believe in love – very much so – how can you not believe after you’ve experienced it? I believe in relationships. One day, I know I’ll find the right woman and get married myself.” [p. 254]
“Sometimes it’s hard for me to look my dates in the eye even if I know them well. My dating and relationships with girls have not had the happy ending I’ve been looking for. Something always seems to get in the way. The things I share with millions of people aren’t the sort of things you share with one. Many girls want to know what makes me tick – why I live the way I live or do the things I do – trying to get inside my head. They want to rescue me from loneliness, but they do it in such a way that they give me the impression they want to share my loneliness, which I wouldn’t wish on anybody, because I believe I’m one of the loneliest people in the world.”
“I didn’t really have any girlfriends when I was in school. There were girls I thought were cute, but I found it so difficult to approach them. I was too embarrassed – I don’t know why – it was just crazy. There was one girl who was a good friend to me. I liked her, but I was too embarrassed to tell her.”
“There have been a lot of wonderful women in my life, women whose names wouldn’t mean anything to the readers of this book, and it would be unfair to discuss them because they are not celebrities and are unaccustomed to having their names in print. I value my privacy and therefore I respect theirs as well.”
“I really believe that you know how to love from the moment you’re born. There are different kinds of love-and in my very own special way. I really and truly do love you.”
M: I want to be with someone… I want to know what a relationship is all about before I die, cant you understand that, girl?
M: I just wanna know what it’s like, girl, to have a real relationship with someone who doesn’t want me for me.. that I don’t, I dont’ have to look over my shoulder all the time.
M: Yeah, that doesn’t question me.. I mean..(i) I dont… and, and.. like La Toya said in her book.. she said, either I am going to have to find somebody who doesn’t know who the heck I am or, or, deal with somebody whose career is equally as important, or equally like mine.
G: Well, a nix to both of those
M: What am I gonna do? I dont want to die without knowing about having a real relationship with a women or being involved…
M: I haven’t been married before, ever.. having a relationship like that before, I never… Being in a normal… having a relationship with someone (I) I never had that.
G: Well, I think everybody wants too
M: But, I haven’t!
M: And that’s what I want.
M: I don’t want to die not having a relationship like everybody else around me have had.
G: You’re pushing 34 my dear.
M: Yeah and I have never had that. I’ve never had that kind of relationship. Why would I want (Tape cut). Everyone else I know have had it. But I never have.
G: Well, I guess it’s time you get it.
M: I know it is. (Tape Cut) I trust her. Even though we had a little falling out. I ruin my own relationships.
MJ: You know if I meet some girl somewhere and I think she’s beautiful, which I see a lot of them, that’s great. I mean, I’ll go on a date or something. Nothing wrong with that.
SB: If a woman walks round with all her cleavage showing….
MJ:Frank loves it.
(Michael gestured to Frank Cascio, who was sitting right next to us. We all laughed.)
MJ: Of course you want to look.
SB:A lot of people like being a sex-symbol. You don’t like it because you are shy about it. Do you know when some women speak to you that it’s what’s on their mind?
MJ:Umhum. They tell me.
SB: I want to have sex with you?
MJ: Yeah, they are loyal, women. They have been loyal. They are activists. They will fight you about me.
SB: Like when Oprah asked yout about your sex life, you repsonded something to the effect, “That I’m a gentleman I don’t talk about that.” Do you feel that we should be more respectful of the sexual side of our lives? Has it all become to overt? I mean you’re naturally shy about this.
MJ:Yeah, I’m just naturally, um cause I think that’s…Private. Yeah, that’s my personal opinion. Other people who are exhibitionist, you know naturists, who go out nude and they feel different about it. Um, I don’t know, I’m different in that way.
MJ: That’s why it’s my job to cast the girl, because it’ my job to think they are cute. So I can do that if I really like them, like some of the girls you see in my videos. I have cast them because I really like them and it caused a problem afterwards because they start to really like me, and I don’t want to get that serious, and it becomes a problem sometimes.
So how often do you find that women really get clingy?
MJ: What do you mean?
Like you said, it supposed to be a professional thing. You just film something with a female costar but afterwards they become attached.
MJ: Yes it happens.
How do you break the news to them that you don’t reciprocate?
MJ: When they see me running the other way. Yeah. Some of them follow me around the world and it’s hard.
SB: That probably makes them chase you even more because they probably are drawn to that boyish shyness. To be sure, many women like “bad” boys. But for the same reason, a lot like shy guys. In the same way the believe that they can redeem the bad boy and polish up this coarse diamond, they believe the same thing about the shy guy. They think, ” Only I can bring him out of his shell.” But I guess for a while with you running halfway around the world from them, they get the message. But you never tell them directly?
MJ: No, because it would hurt them too much.
SB: Is it possible Michael you’re attracting the wrong kind of girl because of your celebrity?
MJ: It’s hard That’s why it’s hard, it’s hard for me. It is hard. It’s not easy for celebrities to be married.
SB: Do you think that you could only really marry celebrities so that they don’t need you as much?
MJ: That helps, in my opinion. And they understand what you go through. They’ve been there.
SB: They help you for the right reasons, then?
MJ: Yeah, they’re not after you know, What you’ve made [the money] or you know? [singing] “That’s what you are….” [ He won a Grammy for that.]
SB: Right, right.
SB: Now out of your 5 brothers, you were getting more attention than any of them. You were becoming the star until you were spun off as a solo artist. Was that hard for your brothers to handle? Was it hard for you? Was there any analogy to the story in the bible about Joseph and his brothers getting more attention than his brothers?
MJ:It didn’t come into my mind and I didn’t see it until later and then it showed up later. My mother saw it but she wouldn’t bring it to my attention. But I think the wives kind of instigated it. It is what broke us up as a group. Wives are what broke up the Beatles. Its is what broke up Martin and Lewis. Its what broke up all of the great acts. The wives get involved and they start saying to one member ”You’re the star. He needs you. You don’t need him”. Then he comes into work the next day puffed up with pride and they start to fight. And that’s what happened with me and my brothers. They really did. I saw it happen.
SB: That’s what turned you off marriage a bit?
MJ: It really did. I said, ”I don’t want no part of this”. I said ”I am not getting married”.
SB: Was there any way to have stopped it? Could you have said to your brothers, ”Look! What is happening to us?” Could you have stopped it? They married young. They must have been lonely as well.
MJ: They married young to get away from my father, to get out of the house. We begged them not to get married and they did.
SB: How do your feel about men who are not faithful to their wives?
MJ:I dont’t think it’s good but I understand it. I know that is a strange answer.
SB: You find wome fall in love with your all the time as the megastar so you don’t judge men who are unfaithful, because sometimes you’ll ascribe it to women who make themselves available?
MJ: I don’t judge them because women can do some things that make guys very unhappy. I have seen it with my brothers. I have seen my brothers crying, in teears and pulling grass out of the lawn with frustrations because of their wives.
SB: Do you think a lot of their wives are interested in their success than them?
MJ: Absolutely. They were after their money. That’s why I said to myself that I would never be married. I held out the longest. I stayed at home until I was twenty-seven, twenty-eight.
SB: So part of the attraction to LMP that she had her own money and her own fame and you did’nt have to become anxious that she was interested in you for the wrong reasons?
MJ:Absolutely she didnt take a penny [when we got divorce] she didn’t want anything. She makes about a million dollars a year from Elvis memorabilia and selling all that stuff and she has her own thing. She is not here to take, you know.
SB: So that means there was almost like one girl in the whole world that you could marry becaue even a rich woman would want your name. You needed someone with money and a name. You were down to a Presley or a McCartney or something like that.
MJ: I know Lisa was great. She was a sweet person. But it is hard to tie me down. I can’t stay in one place one time so that’s why I don’t know if I can really be completely married all the time.