Late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury traveled to Michael Jackson’s home studio in Encino, California, in the spring of 1983 to begin work on three demos, Rolling Stone reports. They worked on material that originated during Queen’s 1982 Hot Spaces sessions “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” with Mercury encouraging Jackson to create new lyrics.
They also worked on music written solely by Jackson with “State of Shock,” and a co-written collaboration “Victory.” The songs were never completed, though they later surfaced in different forms in Mercury and Jackson’s solo careers, with Mick Jagger teaming up with Jackson for “State of Shock.” “Victory” is currently unreleased.
Mercury discussed the failed collaboration in 1987, “We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely.” He said in another interview, “He simply retreated into his own little world. We used to have great fun going to clubs together but now he won’t come out of his fortress and it’s very sad.”
Queen’s manager Jim Beach said Jackson’s bizarre behavior troubled Mercury. “I suddenly got a call from Freddie saying, ‘Can you get on over here? Because you’ve got to come get me out of this studio,’” he revealed in The Great Pretender. “I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ And he said, ‘I’m recording with a llama. Michael’s bringing his pet llama into the studio everyday and I’m really not used to recording with a llama. I’ve had enough and I’d like to get out.’”
When it comes to an iconic music artist such as Michael Jackson and the controversies that surrounded him, you can never really leave Neverland.
According to Variety, that was the topic broached at a Tuesday night panel titled, “Truth Be Told? Documentary Films Today,” hosted by the UCLA School of Law Ziffren Center and USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. At the panel, a group of attorneys discussed the ethics behind documentaries, in general, in terms of questioning truth and objectivity.
Naturally, Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland came up as a topic. The gripping HBO documentary follows James Safechuck and Wade Robson as they recount their sexual abuse allegations against the late King of Pop, which they claimed occurred when they were children.
In addition to the “separating the art from the artist” argument, Branca made his feelings plain, citing racism as the primary reason behind the ongoing controversy.
“It’s like what James Baldwin once wrote (about how) Michael Jackson will forever pay the price for being as successful as he was,” Branca continued. “There’s a large segment of the press that doesn’t care whether Michael is innocent or guilty because it’s not controversial enough. In the end, I really believe it’s a form of racism.”
O.J. Simpson shared his thoughts on Michael Jackson on the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death.
Simpson, who was acquitted in 1994 for the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, caused a stir earlier this month when he revealed he’d joined Twitter with some “getting even to do.”
The former NFL player and the real-life subject of “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” appeared in a video posted to his account in which he discussed the late Michael Jackson.
Sitting behind the wheel of a golf cart, Simpson discussed Jackson’s legacy and shared a story about bringing his kids to the singer’s Neverland Ranch several years ago.
“Hey, Twitter world. You know, I woke up this morning and they were talking about Michael Jackson’s 10th anniversary of his death. It got me thinking about Michael, it seems like 100 years ago.”
The actress, who met Jacko at the age of 12, said although she never saw anything herself, “it’s hard not to believe” the boys who spoke out in the explosive documentary series.
Tatum O’Neal appeared on Good Morning Britain via a live video feed and told Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid she wasn’t shocked by the allegations, as there are “so many disgusting things going on in Hollywood.”
The 55-year-old actress explained she was struggling to discount the alleged accusations made by James Safechuck and Wade Robinson in the Channel 4 documentary Leaving Neverland.
Of the docu-series, O’Neal said: “It’s hard not to believe those boys… didn’t see anything myself…