Friday, May 3, 2013

Spotlight Series: Michael Jackson Archives

I am starting a new feature on my blog called "Spotlight Series" in which I spotlight a true fan of Michael's that are doing great things for Michael's legacy. Before Michael was murdered, the media did not do anything on Michael that would focus on his legacy and what his impact in popular culture would mean for the future. After Michael's death, the media showed their phony behaviors and started to state kinds things about him and shifted their to focus on his impact and legacy. I have made a mission with my blog to focus on what is true about Michael and the truth is, the media did plenty of damage to Michael's legacy. I will not watch the media tell people about the greatness of Michael when they participated in the hell that he went through when he was alive. It is a slap in the face to the many fans that literally witnessed the media trashed Michael whenever they can.

There is also division in the Michael Jackson fan community that is so bad that I am convinced that the fan community, online and offline, will never recover. There are reasons of why there is an division in the community and often times, we all have to accept that most of the fans that are causing the division are not actual fans. I stated on my last blog post of 2012, I wanted to focus on the fans in a positive light because I do believe that there are fans out there that really do care about Michael and his legacy. This is where this new feature comes into play. I want to put a spotlight on fans who are doing amazing things for Michael's legacy because Michael dedicated his life making lives of his fans better. I need to do my part and put a spotlight on not just my blog but websites that are done by loyal fans of Michael's.  

I want to put the spotlight on a website called "Michael Jackson Archives" that is done by Chris Cadman and Jamison L. (I will not reveal Jamison's last name for privacy reasons.) This website is all about focusing on Michael's amazing career and getting the fans to look into Michael's work for the truth about Michael and not the various stories that the now tabloid media continues to spew. Please read and enjoy this entry and take some time to visit "Michael Jackson Archives". 

Michael in 1988. 

Q: How long have you been a fan?

A: I was thinking about this just a couple of days ago. I can't honestly tell you a time but I do know I was enamored with him as long as I can remember. We had Moonwalker and Making Michael Jackson's Thriller along with Off The Wall and Thriller on vinyl and Bad on cassette so his music has always been a constant. It would be easier to just say Michael Jackson was an essential part of my childhood.

An ad for the first Jackson 5 album.

Q: Being a fan of Michael’s is, in many ways, a blessing. What do you believe are the best things about being a fan?

A: I think one of the best things about being a fan of Michael's, and when I say fan, I mean someone who TRULY appreciates the work he did as an artist, is that you listen to his work with an open mind. You're not paying attention to reviews or critics. You're hearing the music for yourself and that's how it should ALWAYS be. Along with that, you appreciate every period of his career. I'm not someone who just listens to his work from Thriller to 2009 or one of those fans who doesn't much interest in the music after a certain period. Every era, every album, has something I'm fond of. 
Another great thing is that I've met so many cool acquaintances and good friends who are fans like me. People like Chris Cadman and Christina Chaffin and others are some of my dearest friends, friendships that have gone beyond our fandom where we're simply good friends. The best thing is that I've learned to look past the tabloids, the scandals, and negativity to simply admire and appreciate Michael as an artist and a person. 

An newspaper article of tour dates for the Jacksons in the UK. 

Q: Would you call yourself a fan of Michael’s or a historian of Michael’s?

A: Well, I think I can call myself both. Honestly I think I'm a huge fan who happens to be a geek when it comes to his career LOL.
Q: What do you think makes you stand out as a fan compared to other fans?

A: Nothing really stands out. I think we as fans could be equal because at the end of the day, we're all simply fans.

An newspaper ad for the "Thriller" short film from 1983.

Q: There is so much negativity in the Michael Jackson fan community. How do you deal with that sad reality?

A: For the most part, I avoid it. It frustrates me seeing fans disrespect and attack each other so much these days. I don't frequent the message forums as much as I used to. I think fans have gotten so caught up that many have lost sight about what made us fans in the first place. There's also the situations where fans who collect rip off fellow fans and I saw so much of that. It's disheartening.

A magazine review of Michael's classic song "Black or White".

Q: Why do you think so many fans are so obsessed over celebrity that was Michael Jackson but not the musician and entertainer?

A: I've never understood it because for some time, I thought that's how we all became fans. I can't fathom people who became fans of him simply because of the media frenzy around him, especially when Michael Jackson, the artist and humanitarian was so much more.
Q: You are not only a fan of Michael but you are also a fan of music legend Prince. If someone were to ask you how were Michael and Prince different in terms of musicianship, performance and how they were perceived the media/public eye, how would you answer that question?

An ad for the 30th Anniversary concert from 2001.

A: There are things Michael does that Prince doesn't do and vice versa. I think Michael and Prince are quite ying and yang. They're similar but also so different in many ways. Prince is more the instrumentalist whereas Michael's strengths have always been more into singing. They're both great songwriters and arrangers which I think tends to be pushed aside. Both are incredible musicians but worked in different ways. Prince was a one man band, sometimes to a fault whereas Michael was more into collaborating with other musicians, which was a disadvantage sometimes also.
Q: How did you get involved in creating Michael Jackson Archives?

A: It was when the now defunct forum, "The Michael Jackson Vault", was still around. Chris had been in the fan community for decades and had collected a lot of great articles and magazines over the years and it was, if I remember correctly, a way of letting fans look back at Michael's life and filling gaps in his history.

Michael behind the scenes of "Captain EO". 

Q: How did you and Chris Cadman (co-author of For The Record series and the founder of Michael Jackson Archives) came with the concept of the Michael Jackson Archives website?

A: Chris launched The Archives website around 2009 or early 2010 with the help of our friend Christina Chaffin. I offered to help out with the artwork and banners for the page. It was around the time when I first started teaching myself how to use Photoshop and from the looks of the finished results, it's VERY obvious lol.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the website?

A: If I remember correctly, Chris wanted to give fans the experience to go through Michael's career through the numerous newspaper clippings, magazine articles and such, giving a new way to learn about Michael's career instead of picking up a biography or going through Wikipedia.

Michael in 1980 at the American Music Awards.

Q: What do you want to accomplish doing this site?

A: I work mainly on the Facebook page and Tumblr counterpart. With the Facebook page, we want Michael's fans and his friends, family, and collaborators to discuss and analyze, and overall celebrate the work he left behind. We want fans who are tired of hearing about the sensationalism and speculation and talk about what we know is real: Michael's 45 years of work and the great things he did for music, and the world.
Q: On the Michael Jackson Archives facebook group, there are people who are related to and have worked with Michael included in the group. Who have you reached out for an interview?

A: We have but as of now, we haven't gotten any responses but we did have Michael Prince participate in a discussion about a year ago and answered some questions about "Hollywood Tonight", and other songs. That was really cool.
Q: There are great artifacts on Michael on the website, facebook and tumblr accounts. How did you or Mr. Cadman find these artifacts?

A: Chris has a huge collection that he's acquired through the years, while I'm always online looking for articles and adverts online. We also have great friends who share with the intention that they will be on the websites.

Michael in the 1970s. 

Q: Do you find that doing this website helps you heal with Michael’s death?

A: It does because it's helped me and so many others learn more about Michael the artist that we wouldn't have learned from the usual books or documentaries. I've gained so much more respect and admiration from him because of what I've learned on the page.
Q: What do you want fans to get out of when they view the website?

A: I want fans to put aside all the things we've consumed through the media, questionable biographies and the like and gain more appreciation for not just Michael Jackson, the man, but Michael Jackson, the artist. He worked and gave so much and he deserves his absolute due. 


*I would like to thank Jamison L. for taking the time to answer the questions for this feature. * 

The Michael Jackson Archives Links - 


Facebook (group):




Pictures -
The pictures of the ads came from the "Michael Jackson Archives" websites. The other pictures came from my personal harddrive.