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Andy Warhol Interview
Interview year: 1977
Wywiad z Michaelem przeprowadzony przez Andy'ego Warhola, 31 stycznia 1977 roku w Nowym Jorku, zredagowany przez Chrisa Hemphilla na podstawie taśm.
Monday, January 31, 1977, 10 P.M., REGINE’S , 502 Park Avenue. Andy Warhol and Catherine Guinness are sitting with Michael Jackson and Susan Blond, publicist for MJ’s record label, EPIC. Just out of reach of AW’s SONY is Stephanie Mills, star of THE WIZ, who at the end of the interview asks MJ to dance, and MJ’s entourage, consisting of a personal manager, a bodyguard and a factotum.

(Tape #1, Side A.)


In the background, Regine’s disco music plays incessantly – ISN’T SHE LOVELY?, MY LOVE IS FREE, DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY, etc…

Andy Warhol: It’s sort of noisy, isn’t it?

Susan Blond: I said we needed a little quiet. I guess that’s why they sat us here. But it’s still pretty noisy, you’re right. You just talk to Michael right over me.

Catherine Guinness: Have you come to New York to do recording or what?

Michael Jackson: No, interviews. Where are you from?

CG: London. Where are you from?

MJ: Gary.

CG: Where’s that?

MJ: In Indiana.

CG: I see. And where’s that?

MJ: The Mid West.

CG: I see. How nice.

MJ: Do you like to draw?

AW: Do I like to draw?

MJ: Do you like art?

AW: Ahh… I’d really like to make movies but they’re harder to do.

MJ: I always thought you you were a poet.

AW: A poet? A poet usually writes good music but I can’t even sing.


AW: The salad is really great. It’s got truffles, fois gras…

CG: Are you the oldest of all your family who sing and play?

MJ: I sing by myself.

CG: I thought you had brothers who also sang.

MJ: I do.

CG: Are you the oldest or the youngest or the middle or…?

MJ: I’m the second.

CG: The second to the what?

MJ: The second to the youngest.

CG: I see. Are they all boys?

MJ: There’re nine of us – three girls and six boys.

SB: Now the girls are in the act, too. They’re on the TV show.

CG: What about your parents? Do they sing and dance, too?

SB: The father’s the manager.

CG: How nifty.

SB: Is that the truffle soup?

MJ: What are truffles?


MJ: I like meat and potatoes.

CG: Do you practice every day?

MJ: Just about.

CG: The girls must be still in school, aren’t they?

Mj: Yes. They just do the TV show, but they don’t tour with us.

CG: I see. And can they tap-dance?

MJ: One can.

CG: How nifty. I wish I could.

AW: What are you doing in New York?

MJ: Interviews.

AW: You’re going to have to go to the bathroom soon.

MJ: I know. I drink a lot of water.

SB: They’re going to do a show with Fred Astaire but they can’t do it in this set of shows. They have to wait till the next set.

AW: What do you mean?

SB: They want people that younger people are attracted to more.

MJ: That’s where the ratings come from.

CG: But at 8:30 they can’t be very young.

MJ: What?

CG: I said, “If it’s on at 8:30 they must be quite old.”

MJ: Well, it’s young and old. But the young kids are the main, particular ones that control the TV sets today. They’re the ones that give everybody the ratings. They’re…

(End of Side A.)

(Tape #1, Side B.)

MJ: … just talking.

AW: OK, you can talk now.

CG: It’s too late. We’ve said it all now.

AW: Said what?

CG: We told each other our intimate secrets.

AW: Did she really? Do you have any intimate secrets? No? C’mon, you must have one. No? Really?

MJ: You know who I always see you with? I don’t know why but when I usually see a picture of you you’re usually with Alfred Hitchcock. I thought you were brothers or something.

SB: Where was that picture? ‘Rolling Stone’ or something?

AW: No, it was ‘People’ or something.

MJ: Did you interview him? He talks funny, doesn’t he?

CG: He’s English, isn’t he?

AW: He talk like her. She talks funny.

CG: I talk without an accent. You speak with accents.

AW: Don’t you like Susan’s voice? Can’t you put her on your TV program?

MJ: Yes, we’ll fly her out. Can she act? Is she good?

AW: She’s really good. Oh, you have a cartoon on TV which I watch all the time. It’s my favorite Saturday morning show. Are they still doing those?

MJ: They’re doin’ re-runs. And they’re showin’ it overseas.

AW: How long have you been working? Since you were two, or…?

MJ: Since I was four.

AW: How many years is that?

MJ: I’m eighteen now.

AW: Fourteen years – God, that’s too long.

MJ: But you see if it’s fun and you like it, that’s good.

CG: God, all this truffles and fois gras!

MJ: Is that caviar?

CG: Yes, and scrambled egg. Would you like some?

MJ: I’m not too anxious to.

AW: Why don’t you try it? C’mon…

MJ: Maybe just a little.

AW: It’s really good. You’ve got to.

SB: Now that’s a lot. When I eat it I just like a tiny bit at a time. Give him like a taste.

MJ agrees to try the caviar.

MJ: Do you honestly like this stuff?

CG: Yes, but I can’t explain why, curiously enough. Perhaps it’s the texture.

MJ: I can’t understand that. How could anybody eat this stuff?

AW: When you start taking your girlfriend out you’re going to have to start eating all these things.

MJ: No!

AW: Yes, you are.

MJ: Not if I don’t like it.

AW: So many people like it, it must be good.

CG: But there’s so little of it. Maybe that’s why it’s good.

AW: Listen, when I was in Iran I had it all day long.

MJ: Have you ever been to Disneyland? Do you like it?

AW: Yes, it’s really great.

MJ: I like your bowling shirt. Where did you get it?

CG: In England in Kensington Market, strange to say. It’s American.

AW: I save all my old clothes in boxes. You have the best costumes. What do you do with them after you’ve finished using them?

MJ: We keep them. We have three rooms packed full of them.

CG: Great. Who designs for you? Bob Mackie?

MJ: He did some things for us.

AW: Great. With sequins?

MJ: No, just shirts. We have all our old stuff – way back to THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW

AW: Was that the first thing you were on?

MJ: Ah-hnn. It’ll be on this Friday on THE DICK CLARK 25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW.

SB: And then you’re doing the Grammy’s, too, right?

MJ: Ah-hnn. We’re getting a Gold Record for ENJOY YOURSELF.

AW: For what?


AW: Great.

SB: He probably doesn’t even know what it is. Why don’t you hum a bar. C’mon…

MJ agress to hum a bar of ENJOY YOURSELF.

SB: Isn’t it funny seeing all these rich people dance?

MJ: Why doesn’t Andy dance?

CG: He never does. I only do if I’m very drunk.

MJ: But then you can’t.

AW: Have you been dating in Hollywood?

MJ: No.

AW: But you’re so cute.

MJ: I’ve never been on a date – outside of The Dating Game. And that was work.

AW: Oh, I know.

MJ: Do you like it here?

AW: At Regine’s? I love it.

MJ: No, I mean…

(End of Side B.)

(Tape#2, Side A.)

MJ: …in Las Vegas.

SB: They had a riot just a few weeks ago when they were promoting the record in San Francisco.

MJ: It was fans outside the store window.

SB: They were shaking so much that the windows broke and cut up everybody. You could talk to Michael about it for hours and hours.

MJ: Yeah, it was really bad. A girls throat got slit. Blood was all over the place. It was like a thousand kids pushin’ up against the window.

AW: Gee how scary.

MJ: Have you seen THE WIZ?

AW: Yes, I saw it opening night. It was great. Stephanie was really great in it. And now I see her every night on the TV commercials for it. They’re really, really great. Is this your first date out with a lot of chaperones?

SB: Without chaperones? He’s got about six!

MJ: My first day or my first date?

AW: No, I mean, is this your first date with a star?

MJ: No, I went to her show, She had a big party after. All the Motown stars were there. It was really big. It was so good. She got three standing ovations. Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder – everybody was there.

AW: Great.

Mj: Do you have any kids?

AW: Me? I don’t believe in marrying.

MJ: Really? Why not?

AW: I don’t believe in love.

MJ: Really? You don’t? You just date?

AW: Yes, I like to date.

MJ: Do you live alone?

AW: With my dogs. Do you live with your family? All of them? All nine?

MJ: Five of them are out.

AW: Are they all married yet?

Mj: Four of them.

AW: They’ll probably have a lot of children, too, right?

MJ: They may. You like children?

AW: Ahh… only if they’re not mine.

SB: You should see some of Andy’s early movies someday. He made movies that were four hours long, eight hours long, 24 hours long…


MJ: Was there any narrating?

AW: Just the people in the audience that didn’t fall asleep. Do you get your eight hours a night?

MJ: I try to. Don’t you?

AW: I never used to. I used to sleep an hour at night. Now I do.

SB: So are you looking at some scripts now or is that farther away in the future?

MJ: I’m lookin’ all the time. There’s one idea I want to do for myself. It’s about this guy that wants to be a tap-dancer. It’s about his struggle to kinda be in show business.

SB: How many millions of records have you sold altogether? Eighty?

MJ: Sixty.

SB: When we signed the Jacksons on Epic, we also, in that deal, set it up so they’ll put out Michael Jackson albums, too.

AW: Great. Do you have any dogs?

MJ: I have three – a Doberman and two German Shepherds.

AW: Three scary dogs. Why do you have three scary dogs?

MJ: They guard our house.

SB: Tell him about your parrot.

AW: He talks? What does he say?

MJ: He’s crazy. He laughs, he cries, he says hello, he says goodbye, he sings opera…

AW: Really? What operas?

MJ: He’s crazy. Barry White gave him to me for Christmas.

SB: Today, right before this interview, Michael went to the zoo here because he really loves that kind of stuff.

MJ: I used to have a lot of animal birds but I had to get rid of them, I had a peacock, an ostrich…

SB: In your house[…]

MJ: Yeah, we used to. We moved from there. We moved because the homes were too close. We built a studio in the house – 16-track, you know, and everything – and when we’d rehearse the neighbors would complain. So we moved.

AW: What movie star complained? All of them?

MJ: Only one movie star complained. Frank Sinatra lived right above us.

AW: He complained?

MJ: No, he never complained. But his balcony was right over us.

AW: Really? Did you ever see him?

MJ: Yeah, I’m seen him lots of times.

AW: But on the balcony?

MJ: Never on the balcony.

AW: Oh.

MJ: Do you have any pictures of yourself? Could you send me one?

AW: I’ll send you one of me if you send me one of you.

SB: Oh, that’s cute.

MJ: Do you know Stevie Wonder?

AW: I met him once when he was playing with Mick Jagger at Madison Square Garden? He’s really great. I gave him a camera for a present and he was taking pictures with if but I don’t know if he ever, ahh.


Stephanie Mills: C’mon, Michael, let’s dance.

MJ: Let me watch.

SM: Oh, c’mon, Michael, please…

MJ: I just want to watch.

SM: No, Michael, please, please…

MJ: It’s just I’m not used to dancin’ if…

SB: If he’s not paid for it.

SM: Michael, Michael…

MJ: I’m going to watch. I don’t like to be put on the spot.

CG: If a young lady asks you to dance, you can’t refuse.

SM: Michael, please, Michael, Michael, Michael…

MJ agrees to get up and dance.

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