Michael Jackson visits Motown Museum 1988 Oct 10, 2006 18:19:23 GMT -5
Post by Emerald City on Oct 10, 2006 18:19:23 GMT -5
2,500 turn out for superstar's visit
Michael Jackson visits Motown Museum
October 24, 1988
BY GARY GRAFF AND MICHELE CHANDLER
Free Press Staff Writers and
Free Press Special Writer
It was more a chiller than a thriller, but 2,500 Michael Jackson fans were willing to brave the rain and cold Sunday to catch a glimpse of the pop superstar as he paid a visit to the Motown Museum on W. Grand Blvd.
Even so, some complained that Jackson spoke to the crowd for less than a minute as he left the museum -- though he did shake a few hands on the way out.
"He was up there just a second," said Tika Guy, 13, of Detroit. "I thought he was going to talk more."
Jackson -- who performs sold-out concerts tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Palace of Auburn Hills -- showed up to present a check for $125,000 and some memorabilia -- a hat, a rhinestone-studded glove and a stage uniform from 1972 -- to Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., and his sister, museum President Esther Edwards.
"I'm very happy and proud to be back to the soil from which I came," said Jackson. "Berry Gordy is the man that made it all possible for me. I want to say thank you, Berry, and I love you."
Jackson, who recorded for Motown from 1969 to 1976 before setting a world record by selling more than 38 million copies of his 1982 album, "Thriller," now records for Epic Records. His check represents his net profits from tonight's concert, a Jackson spokesman said.
Jackson -- dressed in a navy blue-and-red military-style uniform -- also spent a half hour touring the museum. He joined Gordy, Edwards, Mayor Coleman Young and others for dinner at Gordy's mansion in the Boston-Edison district after the visit.
At the museum, Jackson chatted with Gordy and others, posed for pictures with museum volunteers, gazed at a Michael Jackson gallery that had been set up and sang while one of Gordy's sons played the piano.
Verbal tributes to Jackson flowed like the rain. Gordy was particularly effusive, calling Jackson "not only the greatest entertainer to have ever come from Motown, but the greatest entertainer to have ever come from any town."
Huddled under umbrellas and blankets, and contained by barricades and a large squadron of police, the crowd appeared to feel the same way about Jackson. There were random chants of "We want Michael!" and screams whenever a limousine pulled in front of the old Motown headquarters.
"I don't care if I catch pneumonia, as long as I see Michael Jackson today," said a drenched Nicole Allen, 9, of Detroit, who stood in front of the museum with her mother. "I love him. I want to marry him," she said.
"It's definitely worth it," Michelle Carter, 20, of Detroit, said of the wait in the rain.
The event had special meaning for Tammy Clark, 26, of Columbia, Ga. Clark, who is visiting a friend in Detroit, has glaucoma and is losing her vision; she wanted to see Michael Jackson before she went blind. "It's supposed to be 80 degrees at home, but I'm glad I'm here," she said. "In Columbia, you don't get anything quite as exciting as this."