RANDALL SULLIVAN’s book and MICHAEL JACKSON’s blissful days in Ireland
Guys, I was wondering about Thomas Mesereau’s statement concerning Sullivan’s book and really don’t know now. Can he have a different copy from the one we are reading? From the look of it, his version does seem to be an advance copy and may indeed be different. However even if it is, Thomas Mesereau’s vehement defense of the book makes you think twice before saying all you initially wanted to say about it.
THE BOOK AND THE LAWYER
Mesereau looks tired and it seems that he knows more that he is saying in public. In his place anyone would be tired – for years he has been fighting the system, which not only doesn’t follow the “innocent until proven guilty” principle it so boldly proclaims, but does not allow to call a person innocent even after he is proven innocent like Michael Jackson was.
If I were in his place I would be frustrated. What was the good of defending the man in the court of law if even after the non-guilty verdict and seven years of speaking about Michael’s innocence this vicious machine is still running full speed and calls an innocent man “criminal”?
Indeed, what else should he say to the people to convince them that their court system works? And that Michael Jackson was absolutely no fool to “molest” anyone after Bashir’s documentary aired, when the authorities were already conducting the first interviews suspecting him of a crime…. How much longer should Thomas Mesereau indeed say to the public that the prosecution simply had no case against Jackson and all of it was nothing but sheer malice?
I may be wrong but I think that it is only now that Thomas Mesereau has seen the power of the machine working against Michael Jackson. It is probably the first case in his practice when he realizes that his honorable profession and the legislation system behind his back are powerless – the case had an overwhelming victory in court, however it simply does not matter to anyone. The media goes on inviting the prosecution side on TV, as if there was no trial, and the case seems to be undergoing a never-ending rerun, as if gossip matters much more than the legal system which has already asserted the truth.
Is Thomas Mesereau praising the book simply because he is happy to see just any attempt to stand up for Michael on the part of the media people? No matter how imperfect it is? Because he knows that all the rest of what they do and say against Jackson is much, much worse?
If this is the case then let the public decide for themselves what to do with Sullivan’s book – if Thomas Mesereau thinks that it will help the general public to learn at least something good about Jackson, let it be. Time will show whether he is right. What is clear though is that for the rest of us the book is no help at all.
As to me I cannot even pretend that I like what I’ve read by now.
Some of the passages are not bad but usually it is due to the original source being more or less neutral to Michael. The rest of it is just a collection of every story ever told about Jackson – fictional or non-fictional alike mixed together into so tight a bundle that it is next to impossible to distinguish truth from fiction there.
Some of the information would even be interesting if we could be sure that it is true – the one about finances and Sony for example – but since the sources are the same media outlets or some questionable Michael Jackson aides, it is difficult to use it because you never know the degree of its veracity. There were occasions when I made mental notes of some worthy points, however each time I had to pinch myself to remember that it was no use – how can we know that this information is trustworthy if the rest of the book is just the usual media lies?
The problem with Sullivan is that he indiscriminately records every little thing ever said about Jackson by the media or individual liars and does not even try to learn the real truth. And since most of what was said about MJ was either malicious gossip or people’s misinterpretation of facts, it is mostly this pulp fiction that the reader has to consume as a result.
The book looks like an anthology of every scrap of gossip and misinformation ever reported about Michael Jackson. It is a sort of a convenient digest – now the reader does not have to look into the media coverage scattered all over the net and for several decades too. All of it is now neatly grouped together in one huge volume spanning a vast field of more than 20 years of the media coverage of poor Michael – from Maureen Orth’s blood baths in the Vanity Fair to every little detail of Pfeiffer’s lawsuit against Arnold Klein with all its graphic details (what does it have to do with Michael Jackson I wonder?).
There is one good point about the whole thing though. If after reviewing everything the media lied about Jackson for so many years Randall Sullivan does come to a conclusion that accusations against the man were unjustified, it means that even all those lies taken together did not convince him, or rather convinced him of the opposite – and this is a very valuable result in and of itself.
However I haven’t seen any of Sullivan’s positive conclusions yet. Up till now the only chapter which looked really positive (and truthful) about Michael Jackson was the one about his time in Ireland. But again, it is absolutely not due to the author’s efforts, but solely due to the fact that Irish people themselves left the overwhelming evidence proving that Michael was absolutely normal when he associated with normal people.
MICHAEL JACKSON IN IRELAND
I have enormous respect for the Irish people now. The way the whole Michael’s neighborhood went into silent cahoots to protect Michael from paparazzi is impressive and should go down into history.
Not only did these ordinary folks make Michael welcome in their country and surround him with exceptional love, peace and warmth, but they shielded him from the outside world in a very quiet, dignified and witty way.
Not a single person betrayed his stay in the country for several months running. Not a single neighbor said a word to the media that he went to pubs, walked in the woods or played bowling there like any ordinary person would. None of them looked for ways to improve their financial situation at the expense of selling Jackson and this alone is unprecedented given everything he had to experience prior to that.
As a result Michael had the time of his life in Ireland, enjoying unheard of freedom there and protection which was secured for him by the people themselves – they shut their doors to paparazzi, sent them in wrong directions, and one farmer even threatened to empty his slurry trailer over a paparazzi’s car if he didn’t go away.
Dear Irish people, they way you treated Michael Jackson is admirable – I take my hat off to you…
Some of the things I’ve described are in Sullivan’s book, but to be able to know them you needn’t actually read the book – most of it is there in the Irish press and on Youtube. However to be fair to Sullivan I need to say that when talking about the Irish period in Michael’s life he ignored the usual media stereotypes (“the bizarre, twisted fairy tale of Michael Jackson’s life”), and used the Irish sources proper which were much more genuine, original and friendly.
Jackson’s Cork hideaway
By BILL BROWNE
Thursday July 02 2009
“An incredibly loving father who clearly adored his children”. That was how Patrick Nordstrom, the owner of BlackwaterCastle in Castletownroche, described the late Michael Jackson. Speaking to The Corkman, Patrick recalled the time in 2006 when the pop icon spent almost a fortnight at the north Cork hideaway as he tried to shield his children from the prying eyes of the world’s media.
“Michael had organised a trip to Disneyland Paris with his children. However, while he was there he found it impossible to escape from the constant media attention that a star of his stature inevitably attracted. They were virtually prisoners in their hotel room,” said Patrick.
“He simply wanted to relax in peace with his children, like any father in his circumstances would want to. His management made enquiries about places in Europe where he could stay and be guaranteed some tranquillity,” he added.
Those enquires led of the front door of Blackwater Castle in the heart of the north Cork countryside.
“We were given a few days notice that he would be coming to the castle. When he landed in Cork it was on a public flight, so it proved impossible to keep his arrival under wraps,” said Patrick. However, he did manage to keep Jackson’s destination a close secret, despite attempts by the media to track down the elusive superstar.
“Basically we shut the gates of the castle while he was here. Michael realised that it would be impossible for him to go out without being recognised, so he and the children did not go outside the grounds,” he said.
At the time rumours abounded that Jackson was considering buying a home in the area. “His advisors did take a look around the area for potential properties, as they would have done wherever he stayed. I don’t really know how serious they were about buying,” said Patrick.
During their stay the Jackson children took lessons from their own private tutor in the morning, spending the rest of the day exploring the castle’s expansive grounds, often accompanied by Patrick’s own two children.
“Given the unusual circumstances they had to live under, the children were extremely well behaved and had impeccable manners. We learned to appreciate Michael as an incredibly loving father who clearly adored his children,” said Patrick. “It was equally clear that they adored him.”
During his stay Jackson even developed a taste for that most Irish of breakfast delicacies – porridge.
“My wife Sheila gave him some one morning and he loved it and insisted on having a bowl every morning. About a week after he left I was listening to the radio and heard on a programme how Michael had developed a love for Flahavan’s Oats,” laughed Patrick.
“I would say that in terms of a family unit there was very little difference between the Jackson’s and the majority of families who stay here in that they were very happy. On a personal level we were delighted that we were able to offer them the kind of privacy they so clearly craved,” he said.”
Michael Jackson changed several homes in rural Ireland and eventually moved into a place which had a recording studio owned by Paddy Dunning. The Observer is evidently a British source and this explains the “Jacko” thing repeated here – the Irish sources are not that ill-bred and never use this word with regard to Jackson:
The Observer, Sunday 15 August 2010
..In 2006 a woman called Grace Rwaramba arrived to check out Grouse Lodge studio for an unnamed A-list pop star. She liked what she saw and booked the studio plus a three-bed cottage on the grounds that had been converted from a cowshed. But she still didn’t reveal who the artist was. Paddy and Claire only discovered the identity of their new lodger when a bus turned up and out trooped Prince Michael Junior, Paris and Blanket, followed by their father Michael Jackson, nanny Grace and the children’s tutor.
Grouse Lodge is set around an old farmyard, and there’s a collection of converted outbuildings that form a second grassed courtyard, none of which is visible from the road, so it’s not hard to see why Jackson felt safe and secluded here. He began work on new material at Grouse Lodge with Will.I.Am and Rodney Jerkins, producers who flew in from America.
Jackson fell in love with County Westmeath and, after a month in the converted cowshed, moved to the equally secluded neighbouring estate of Coolatore, also owned by the Dunnings. Because Jackson didn’t have his own driver in Ireland, Paddy enlisted local taxi driver Ray O’Hara to drive Michael and the kids around in a borrowed people carrier with blacked-out windows.
The Dunnings somehow managed to keep the fact that the King of Pop was in residence a secret for several months. Even when Jackson began to venture out and there were rumoured sightings of him in the nearby villages of Moate or Kilbeggan, the Dunnings would deny all knowledge. “If someone said to me I’ve heard Michael Jackson is there, I would tell them: ‘Yeah, so is Elvis Presley!’ says Paddy.
The only security Grouse Lodge arranged was to post three guards on rotation at the top of the drive to intercept unwelcome visitors. When word eventually began to leak out, locals in the know became protective of Jackson, sending reporters the wrong way, and one farmer even threatened to empty his slurry trailer over the car of a paparazzo.
The Irish Midlands are often overlooked by people rushing from Dublin to Galway or other parts of the west coast, but it’s a magical land dotted with ringforts and medieval castles. …There are also a few local pubs that haven’t changed for decades, such as the William Fox in Loughnavalley, and Gunnings in Rathconrath, which doubles as shop, newsagent, garage and community centre.
Traditionally, the hill of Uisneach is the geographical centre of Ireland. It’s only 600ft high, but from the top you can see 20 counties on a clear day. It was the ancient seat of the kings of Meath, the most sacred site in the world in Pagan times, and home of the ancient festival of the fires, Bealtaine, which attracted Egyptians up the Shannon 2,000 years ago. It’s also home to the Cat Stone (or Stone of Divisions), said to be the burial place of the goddess Ériu (who gave her name to Ireland, or Eire).
“Michael was interested in history,” says Paddy, “and smitten by the intricacies of Irish music.”
“It was mad playing “Billie Jean” with Michael Jackson. I never thought I’d do that”, says Paddy
The Dunnings have a wealth of stories from the time they spent with Jackson. “One night we ended up in the studio,” Paddy recalls. “Michael was on the drums, I was playing guitar and [American producer] Nephew was on the keyboards and we just started getting a rhythm together, and slowly but surely Nephew just creeped the song in to ‘Billie Jean’. It was just mad playing ‘Billie Jean’ with Michael Jackson – I never thought I’d do that.”
Paddy is a natural raconteur. He tells me how, when he bought the Wax Museum Plus – Dublin’s answer to Madame Tussauds – the resident Elvis was looking a little tired, so Paddy retired him, placing him in the woods by Coolatore. He had forgotten about him until Michael Jackson came in from a walk one day looking shaken. “Paddy,” he said, “I just met my father-in-law in the woods!”
Towards the end of his stay in Westmeath, Jackson started to look at prospective houses to buy. When the Dunnings bought a further property, Bishopstown House, a derelict Georgian estate a mile or so away, Jackson visited it and discussed the renovations with Paddy. So, although it would be a little disingenuous to call Bishopstown the House that Jacko built, it’s certainly the house built with Jacko in mind. Jackson had a base in London for his ill-fated 50-date run of gigs at the O2, but according to Paddy he also planned to spend time in Ireland, escaping the media glare of the English capital.
Claire and the staff at Grouse Lodge cooked for Jackson, who favoured a simple, healthy diet of porridge for breakfast and main meals of fish or chicken with vegetables. “The guy was fit – he was getting stronger,” Paddy says, “and I reckon if he had lived here and stayed here, he wouldn’t have died.”
No doubt about it – if Michael had stayed in Ireland he would be alive today…
This video explains why Ireland became Michael’s sanctuary in the last years of his life.
Mike Brando: ”He liked Ireland for its people, the countryside. It was a nice place, he found peace and love there, enjoyed it. Was very fond of it, absolutely.”
Ian Halperin: “If Michael would have lived in Ireland he would still be breathing today”.
Voiceover: “Can you believe what the world’s biggest megastar did when he got here? He went to KFC, Chinese takeaway and even took his kids to the local bowling alley.”
The owner of the place: “Michael came here like any other visitor to the centre. .. No one has worn his bowling shoes since they were worn that night by Michael.
David Gest: “He told me that he loved Ireland, that there was a special feeling of tranquil because of all the green valleys and the feilds and the people. He loved nature, he loved animals and people were so wonderful. He could be himself here and he could bring his children here.”
“He was very happy here. He just LOVED it. I think he would have eventually bought a home here”
The next piece from Ireland has some really precious news for us – I for one have learned for the first time that Michael was very good at playing the guitar, the piano and the drums!
Paddy Dunning said about it:
- “Michael was an amazing guitarist, he was incredible on the drums, he stunned everyone when he got behind the piano, but most of all, you can’t overstate his singing voice.”
What the media could not see in Michael Jackson for decades the Irish people realised about him just upon first meeting him – that all Michael longed for was peace or normality in his life. They saw an adoring father whose children always came first to him and a gentleman who despite his kind heart spent his whole life being hunted. They didn’t call him “weird” because of his natural craving for privacy and secured as much privacy to him as they only could. And what they really did for Michael was bringing him to life again.
Friends remember Michael’s special fondness for Ireland
Restless soul found tranquillity here in rural retreats away from glare of media spotlight
By NIAMH HORAN Entertainment News Reporter
Sunday June 28 2009
He performed onstage to millions across the globe; entire generations grew up listening to his words, watching his every move. And yet, as the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived, his sudden death has left his audience with one cold realisation. We never really knew him at all.
This weekend, as fans reel in shock at the news of Michael Jackson’s tragic death, Irish friends of the star have begun to piece together a rare picture of the man behind the mask.
A restless soul who found the tranquillity he desperately craved in the Irish countryside. A gentle spirit who loved Flahavan’s porridge, indulged in hot apple tart and cream and who only really came to life in the quietness of a Cork woodland.
These glimpses of the private Michael Jackson have materialised among dozens of tributes which have poured in from well-known Irish personalities as the world mourns the loss of one of music’s greats.
For the first time, castle owner Patrick Nordstrum, who hosted Jackson during his 2006 stay in Ireland, has spoken fondly of the star he personally came to know.
Speaking about the entertainer who lived with him for two weeks at his home, BlackwaterCastle in Co Cork, Mr Nordstrum described private chats that the pair had about the singer’s feelings towards the vulturistic world he lived in.
“I don’t think he ever had any kind of peace or normality since he was a child. I would see him as a restless soul but he felt quite homely here. He was very careful about who he trusted. He once told me how he had gone to stay at another castle to seek out privacy and he had just landed in the helicopter a few minutes when the owner took him straight inside, opened a door and there was a hundred or so people waiting there to meet him. So he was understandably very wary.”
He also described how Jackson, long vilified for dressing his children in black veils and hiding them away from the world, was in fact a model father who placed his children’s interests above all else.
“His children adored him and he was a very good, loving father. He brought them here because they had been hunted down in Disneyland Paris and they were looking for a place to escape. He raised them to be very well mannered and very polite and all his decisions centred on the children’s best interests.”
… Meanwhile, magician Liam Sheehan, who was brought in to entertain Jackson’s children during his stay at the castle, described his sadness upon hearing the news.
“The man that I came to know was kind-hearted and a gentleman. It is tragic that he spent his life being hunted. I hope he has found his little piece of heaven now.”
He went on: “His children adored him. They would ask me if I would race their dad and tell me proudly that he would win because he was so tall and fast. You could tell they really looked up to him.”
And Mr Sheehan spoke of the disciplined way in which Jackson reared his offspring. “Even at the end of their stay, when they were leaving for home, the children jumped into the limousine and Michael made them get out again and come over to thank each and every one of us for our hospitality.”
Painting the picture of an ordinary character who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life, he said: “His real personality only really emerged in the privacy of the woods. The shyness left him and I saw a much more boisterous and loud spirit who loved playing with his children. That quiet-spoken Michael that you would see in the media instantly disappeared.
“He loved apple pie and ice-cream and really enjoyed being in the privacy of the castle grounds and I know he loved the friendliness of the Irish people.”
… Paddy Dunning, who owns residential recording studio Grouse Lodge, near Moate, Co Westmeath, was host to Michael Jackson and his three children in October 2006.
The pop icon caused a sensation when he moved into the Georgian estate at Rosemount, just off the Dublin-Galway road.
“Michael had originally only intended staying in Westmeath for a month, but ended up living here for five months,” says Dunning who’s abiding memory of the star was how he casually displayed his immense musical genius.
“Michael was an amazing guitarist, he was incredible on the drums, he stunned everyone when he got behind the piano, but most of all, you can’t overstate his singing voice.”
Dunning became a close confident to Michael during his stay and was in contact with the Jackson family after his death was announced. He confirmed this weekend that Jackson loved his time in Ireland so much he’d even pledged to return this autumn to open the NationalWax Museum in Dublin.
“He told me that he would definitely pop over when he came for his gigs in London,” Dunning said.
“He would have settled down here for while, I have no doubt about that, he loved Ireland and Westmeath.”
Hollywood neighbour and friend of the singer Michael Flatley also joined the country’s mourners in paying their respect to an icon that shaped a generation.
Speaking from Las Vegas, the dancer, who hosted Michael Jackson in his Cork home, Castlehyde, near Fermoy, described the star as a “wonderful” person who fell victim to unfair treatment by the world’s media.
“I knew Michael as a man, not just a performer, and he was a great man. The world will miss this wonderful person and his moving performances. My heart goes out to Michael’s family.”
He went on: “I was shocked and saddened to hear the devastating news. He was a genius as a musician and a dancer. The press at times was horribly unfair to this man. Unfortunately, the media tend to make fun of things they cannot understand.”
This was very well said: “The media tend to make fun of things they cannot understand.” A very true observation!
The owner of one of the places where Michael stayed, Mr. McGahan, shares his precious story about Michael. I’ve transcribed a little bit of it as best as I could:
- We’d had a call and we knew that somebody was coming down here to look at the property with a view to staying here for a little while. We didn’t really know that it was Michael Jackson until the door opened and popped in the superstar. I guess you could have pushed me over with a feather. It was like: “Who is this? Is this for real?”
- He decided that this was the room that he wanted to stay in because .. for the obvious reasons … the kid’s playground was down here and he was writing his album here and he could have watched the kids and supervised them and could have enjoyed seeing them having fun outside.
- -One of the most unusual requests which he made was to put at night time all the lights on the property: “I’d been a little bit intrigued by it wondering what he was doing and I popped my head through the hedge and there was Michael Jackson moonwalking in the moonlight. It was quite an eerie scene seeing this pop-icon practicing his dance moves in our front garden here”.
- He was beautiful, great to deal with, very down-to-earth, which defies you know, the so-called image of the superstar and him as well.
Even in Ireland and even after the full acquittal at the 2005 trial the matters of “pedophilia” could not be left alone of course:
PADDY DUNNING: I KNOW MICHAEL JACKSON WAS NOT A PAEDOPHILE
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 09 Sep 2010
In the new issue of Hot Press, Paddy Dunning, one of Ireland’s most successful music industry entrepreneurs talks to Jackie Hayden about going from being a binboy to jamming with Michael Jackson.
“It was a privilege to have him and to get to know him. He was just a normal person. I know he’s not a paedophile. He’s been vilified unbelievably. My kids were in contact with him and his kids. I had no worries on that score whatsoever.”
A video on Youtube says that when the American TV reporter Billy Bush came to meet Jackson in Ireland Michael asked the driver to take him in circles around the place he lived in to create the impression that it was a long way, though there were only 2 miles to go. The trick didn’t help as Billy Bush spread the news about Michael’s location anyway.
Sullivan says that Paddy Dunning was sorrowful about Bush’s stupidity:
- “Billy Bush had shredded his [MJ’s] veil of privacy. Right after shooting the interview at Grouse Lodge, Bush stopped over in nearby Moate, where “ he told the men, women, children, and dogs in the street where Jackson was,” as a reporter for Britain’s Observer described it. “ Stupid man,” a sorrowful Paddy Dunning would say”.
The article below mentions this last Michael’s TV interview and also a Californian “psychic” saying some gibberish about Michael’s stay in Ireland due to his fascination with fairies and leprechauns. What can a Californian “psychic” know about it? Fascinated he probably was, but it was the peace, calm and the warm heart of ordinary people which drew Michael to Ireland first and foremost. The news about a leprechaun theme park also reported there was of course pure fiction, as usual.
Friday, 26 June 2009
Although Michael Jackson was a global superstar, he always maintained a close relationship with Ireland. His two 1988 sell-out concerts in Cork are still fondly remembered by the thousands who flocked to Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The shows came as part of the ‘Bad’ tour and Jackson was at the height of his powers.
But while there have been infrequent visits back to Ireland for concerts, it was his less advertised time here that drew massive attention. Jackson fever gripped the midlands in 2006, after the singer visited the village of Rosemount, near Moate in Co Westmeath.
He stayed in the luxurious Grouse Lodge recording studios to lay down some tracks and there were reported sightings across the region. While at Grouse Lodge he recorded an interview at the studios with American TV reporter Billy Bush for the show ‘Access Hollywood’.
Jackson told the show: “Ireland has inspired me to make a great album. I have never given up on making music.”
… According to Californian psychic Randa Starr, the pop superstar has always been interested in Ireland because he is fascinated by fairies and leprechauns. There were even rumours that the singer wanted to build an Irish-themed leprechaun theme park twinned with his Neverland ranch in the USA.
Billy Bush was sensitive enough to see that the wall between him and Michael did not come down even despite all his effort to make Michael more talkative – what became possible between Michael and ordinary Irish people was still impossible for the media after all they had been doing to him for so long. And though being a typical Hollywood Access reporter Billy Bush managed to see the pain Michael was feeling and that he wouldn’t be able to take a single more ounce of disappointment….
Ireland was home to Michael Jackson’s last TV interview
By ANTOINETTE KELLY,
IrishCentral.Com Staff Writer
Published Saturday, June 27, 2009, 7:49 PM Updated Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 12:10 PM
Tragic superstar Michael Jackson’s final TV interview was filmed in Ireland.
In the interview, which was filmed at Grouse Lodge recording studio with Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Jackson is clearly uncomfortable with the media.
Interviewer Billy Bush from Hollywood Access said: “Michael was much relieved to have Will join us and in truth, Will mostly did the talking. When the music came on, MJ started tapping and moving. He got up and danced, he sang. I was eight feet away. Wow. I’ll always have that.”
“Of course my intent was to get him relaxed and talkative. It never really happened cuz that wall wasn’t coming down. I saw the pain in Michael. I knew he could not take one more ounce of disappointment.
I’ve found Michael’s last TV interview and was floored both by the splendid way Michael looked there, and the feeling of insecurity in communication with the outside world which he clearly had after the ordeal of the trial, the lingering accusations and the necessity to be always on the run.
Here is the last TV interview of Michael Jackson:
Sullivan wrote about it in his book:
- “Are you writing new material?” Bush asked Michael. “I’ve never stopped, I’m always writing a potpourri of music, you know. It’s how it is.”
The most revealing moment of the Access Hollywood crew’s visit to Grouse Lodge had come during the setup that preceded Bush’s attempted interview, when Michael and the cameraman discussed how he would be lit. – “Less shadow,” Michael suggested. – “ Less shadow,” the cameraman repeated. “ It’s more frontal. You like that?” – “I like that, but can you pump more?” Michael asked. – “ Like a little hotter?” “ You mean warmer?” the puzzled cameraman suggested. “ Like a little hotter?” – “No, brighter,” Michael told him. “ Take away the shadows. I’m trying to look like I slept,” he added with a laugh, “ and I need your help.”
“I’m trying to look like I slept, and I need your help”! So Michael as usual had not slept before the interview or was probably not sleeping at all, and it was only the tranquility of his life in the countryside which somehow compensated for it. What a bitter joke he is making!
But the most heart-felt account of Michael’s life in Ireland was the story told by Paddy Dunning. Here is the video with some bits and pieces transcribed by me – it will give you some idea of how loving, warm, sincere and still totally heart-breaking the whole thing was:
- Kids fell into play with my kids. It was two happy families. Wouldn’t tell anybody.
- For months, months he was able to chill out.
- He is funny guy, very humorous.
- If someone told me, ‘I’ve heard Michael Jackson is there,’ I would tell them, ‘Yeah, so is Elvis Presley’.
- He was walking around and he was given the time and the space just to be himself.
- Once we heard a very weird noise. I thought it was a tree crushing to the ground. Never heard this noise before. And Michael came out. “Paddy, what’s that sound?” I said, “I don’t know”. Michael, “Sounds like a dragon”. … And then I heard it again. And then it stopped. And then the next minute right here comes this gigantic beautiful rainbow-colored hot air balloon and the basket with people hanging out, waving down, and then another one and another one and another one – a host of hot air balloons, extremely colorful. And we are all excited, running about, the dogs are barking, Michael is all “Wooooooo”. They didn’t know it was Michael Jackson…. There were some blissful days here that we had.
On some of the days here Michael would be on the drums, Nephew would be on the piano. And he would just start playing a song, getting a rhythm together. Slowly but surely Nephew would creep the song into “Billie Jean”.. It was just mad playing Billie Jean with Michael Jackson. I didn’t think I’d ever do that.
- I would sing songs with him in a car. I remember singing the song, that one with Paul McCartney … “The girl is mine”. They were very special moments. Things just you’d never think would ever happen… Michael would stick his head out of the window and having a laugh with someone in Dublin… coming up to the traffic lights. They didn’t know … the guy sticking his head out is actually Michael Jackson?
- When the paparazzi started to arrive we told them it is another direction… miles off the beacon. It is 30 miles away…. The local neighbors were kind of boxing them off. So another thing he appreciated was the help and support he was getting from people.
Michael said: “Paddy, it’s the first time I’ve been in a house with no security.” So he was able to walk out, to go for walks… he was able to go into town now and again, and pop in a fish and chips shop, you know.
- “What’s wrong, Michael?” “Paddy, I just met my father-in-law!” Elvis, it was just Elvis popped up against the tree (laughing).
- He was getting over the fact that the world had turned his back on him. The guy was fit. He was getting stronger. He was eating well.
- I reckon if he had lived and stayed here, he obviously wouldn’t have died. He would have continued to record. He was getting stronger.
Sullivan probably never met any of these Irish people and just used the same videos as I did. Dr. Patrick Treacy, for example, as one of those people left a comment on Amazon that Sullivan never talked to him though if the author wanted to know more about Michael the doctor was one of the first persons to go to.
Similarly, Sullivan probably never met sheikh Abdullah either and recites in his book the tales about his relations with Michael told by some third parties whose credibility we will never know. Whether they tell the truth or simply share their fantasies depends on who the source is – Thomas Mesereau or someone of a different kind.
Perception differs from person to person as each of us sees only the things we want to see. Human soul is the biggest distortion lens of all – the cleaner the soul is the cleaner picture the story-teller paints for you and it is only the dirt which sees nothing but dirt in others too. This is a well-known psychological phenomenon, so even from the point of view of science the spirit of the Irish people we’ve met is clean like the water running from a mountain brook.
God bless Ireland for all the good they did to Michael and for the people they are!
It is interesting that as regards Michael’s visit there Sullivan did not let him down in his description. He could have limited himself to a couple of paragraphs only and shrugged his shoulders at the “weirdness” of Michael Jackson who made his choice for life in a rural area, but no, he related the story quite accurately and in much detail and this seems to me a step forward in the process of the media acquiring some human qualities at last.
And this is probably what Thomas Mesereau likes about the book.