The Magic Behind The Jackson Five: Joe Jackson (Final part of the interview)
The Magic Behind The Jackson Five: Joe Jackson (Interview Conclusions)
Entertainment Rap Magazine, March 1973
For the last three issues of ENTERTAINMENT RAP! We have been sharing some of “Papa” Joe Jackson’s most intimate memories with you. Here now is the conclusion of this four-part interview with the proud father of the Jackson Five…
This picture was taken at the same time as these rehearsal pictures of the boys (Entertainment Rap magazine, March 1973)
Rap: Do you see Tito and Jermaine getting extremely good at their instruments? For example. The Beatles worked brilliantly as a group we all know, but as time went on George Harrison and John Lennon especially got extremely good at their electric guitar playing. As far as the “rock world” was concerned, they could have made it on that alone. Do you see something like this happening with either Tito or Jermaine?
J.J.: Ah, that’s very interesting. We’ve thought about that and I have to say: yes! As time goes on I’ve noticed both Tito and Jermaine really taking their instruments seriously. I know they feel a lot more comfortable onstage today than when they began. Often, and this just isn’t onstage, they venture off into things that make the songs sound good. I definitely think they enjoy exploring music. They’re always trying to better the sound, if you know what I mean.
RAP: Do you ever sit down and play with them after all these years?
J.J.: No, I’m just there close by whether they’re rehearsing, recording or onstage.
RAP: What do you do when you travel with them?
J.J.: A more of less advise the boys’ road manager Reggie, and help to see that everything goes well at the rehearsal before each show. During show time I walk around and see how the sound seems to be working, which is easy because if you see the J-5’s fans up in the top balcony keeping time to whatever the boys are singing onstage, that means the sound’s getting out ok. If they’re not doing anything up there, then I know they can’t hear the music right.
RAP: Is it a big hassel taking so much stuff with you when you travel? I mean I’m looking around this room right now at all these unpacked trunks with the boys’ instruments and whatever. Do you ever discover that you’ve left something in Chicago and something else in Cleveland? How do you keep it together?
J.J.: Oh we have and equipment man who handles all that
Rap: Just one person?
J.J.: Yes. And we have a security man also, Bill, who takes care of the boys. He really looks out for them. He’s a wonderful man. He’s also a detective for the LAPD. He’s very good.
Rap: What do you mean? What kind of things does he have to watch out for?
J.J.: Well, he goes on tour with us and makes sure that they put something around the stage to keep the fans from getting to the boys. He organizes the security, like ten to fifteen policemen within the city and hires them to stand around the stage to make sure no one gets through and climbs on the stage.
Rap: Is this a constant problem? Well, of course it is, I don’t know why I asked that!
J.J.: Oh yeah! A lot of times we’ve had to actually stop the show because some fans have gotten through and start attacking the boys.
Rap: Jermaine told me that the last time you were on tour everytime they sang “Never Can Say Goodbye” the audience thought they were about to split so they rushed the stage and missed two numbers the J-5 still planned to sing.
J.J.: Right, that was really funny. The boys had to drop their instruments and race offstage before the concert was really even over. They actually had at least two more songs they were going to sing, but there’s nothing you can do once those kids start rushing the stage. Fifteen policemen can’t do much.
Rap: That must be very frightening. Is it flattering for them or plain terrifying?
J.J.: Well, I’m sure they understand that no one is out to do them any intentional harm, but let me put it to you this way: when those girls start rushing – my boys run for their lives!
Rap: Yes, I see their point
J.J.: One time poor Randy, who was all of nine, got caught in the wings by some extremely large and very excited young lady! She grabbed him and kept hugging and squeezing him. I think Jermaine or someone came to rescue just in time. Randy was in a daze. It’s overwhelming no matter how many times you see it happen. It’s an amazing sight.
Rap: How was Europe? The reports we got were sensational!
J.J.: We were mobbed everywhere.
Rap: I hate to keep bringing up this Beatles parallel, but do you realize that that’s exactly what happened when The Beatles finally came to America for the first time? Everyone had heard so much about them and of course they had several big hits over here just like your boys do in Europe, so that when they finally arrived…! Well everyone knows they changes the entire course of pop music over here. I wonder what the J-5’s impact will be now that the tour is over.
J.J.: I don’t know. All I can tell you is that when we arrived in London we couldn’t even hear the jet engines the kids were screaming so loud! They pulled hair out of Jermaine’s head! Tito was bruised; Marlon was shaken; Randy was absolutely panicked; even Jackie was nervous; and of coure Michael was nearly devoured!
Rap: Were you scared?
Rap: Were you proud?
Rap: I guess we all are.
(Entertainment Rap magazine, March 1973)