REMEMBERING THE TIME ~BY TEDDY BISHOP
Wow! I remember when I was just a young boy and my mother and I were
watching the television and I saw the Jackson 5 for the first time. I
remember saying to my mom, “who is that”! And my mother said that’s
The Jackson 5. At that time they were performing on the Carol Burnett
Show. I was absolutely floored by these five black kids dancing and
playing instruments. From that day forward I knew I wanted to create
music. Looking back in retrospect my mother new what she was doing and I think that she saw a little bit of Michael Jackson in me.
My mother used to always say to me that I was going to do something
with my hands as she picked them up and looked at them as if she was
anointing me. I started playing drums at the age of 4 years old but I
didn’t get exposed to The Jackson 5 till maybe around the age of 8
years old. My mother would set up pots and pans when there was going
to be and appearance by the Jackson 5 on television I.e. The Carol
Burnett Show, American Bandstand, or Soul Train. Later when I got
In my teenage years, I was listening to all types of music, EWF, Chaka Chan, Funkadelic, Al Green, Debarge, Stevie Wonder, Prince, but I
never could get my ears off any of the songs Michael and his brothers
were singing. I remember at that time I was over at a neighbors house watching a very popular TV show called “midnight special” hosted by a
DJ named Wolfman Jack. He announced that the Jackson’s were going be performing at the end of the show singing their hit songs at that time
“Enjoy Yourself” and “Show You The Way To Go”. My eyes were glued to the TV until they performed.
After that aired, I went immediately out the next day and spent my whole
allowance on the album and some of the records that came before the
“Enjoy Yourself” album. I would sit in my room for hours listening to
every song, inflection, and instrument. At that time it was very rare
that you would even see Michael Jackson, it would take like 2 or 3 years
before he was seen again. So I had to look at video recordings of MJ
to study his moves, because by that time I had put together a dance
group and we would perform like we were the Jackson’s. The group
consisted of myself as Michael Jackson of course lol, Timothy Thomas
as Randy Jackson, a high school friend Todd Bridges as Jackie Jackson,
and a girl who could dance her ass off, Divina Buzy as Marlon
Jackson. We didn’t really care about having a Jermaine or Tito
because they never really danced like the other Jackson brothers,
however the problem came when everybody in the group wanted to be
Michael Jackson so guess what? like Mj I went solo.
When I tell you that I was a true MJ fan, I had every picture of
him and the Jackson’s on my wall. I practiced dancing like him every
day, I even wore my hair like MJ. I come from a family of
beauticians, my mother and grandmother started a successful beauty shop called ” Hair Dressers For Christ”. So when the jerri curl hit the
hair industry I got my mother to give me one and damit! I was really
Michael Jackson then. When I would walk through malls or go the
movies, or when walking down the hallways of school, people would be
like dam! You look just like Michael Jackson!
Shortly after The Jackson’s “Destiny Album” Michael’s ” Off The
Wall and then The Thriller Album”, Mj’s music and energy was
everywhere! When MTV premiered “Thriller” I really believe that the
whole world stood still for that 30 minutes the video was played. After that you couldn’t go anywhere without people black, white, hispanic, asian
mentioning Michael Jackson. At that time in my life, I was dealing
with some things I’m sure every teenager deals with, from trying to
figure out what to do with my life, to even the way I felt about
myself confidence. So, that year I enter myself into the schools
talent show. I remember having to report to the principles office to
let the show coordinator know what type of performance I was going to
do, and when I said, I’m going to dance like Mike Jackson, the folks
in that office looked at me like as if to say yeah right! See you had
to be on your shit if your were gonna be Mj because the guys that did
it before me got booed off the stage. So at any rate I filled out my
talent show form and walked out.
We didn’t have that much money but I got up the nerves to ask my
mother to buy me the Thriller jacket that Michael wore in the video.
The jacket cost $500.00 and when my mother heard the cost her
words to me were “boy! you better go and get one of those fake jackets for
$50 up the street, aint nobody gonna know the difference when your up
there on stage boy”! I was like but momma, I got to have the real thing
or I will get laughed at. Once my mother saw how serious I was and how hard I practiced, about two days before the show she took me the mall in Detroit call Northland Mall and bought the real Thriller jacket for me and it was on and popin at that point.
There was this great anticipation throughout the school about me
imitating MJ because others that did it before me were booed or they
would pop lock all throught the performance and then slide in a little Mike
move here and there, but nevertheless I got up there and rocked it, I
danced like Mike to the tee, the audience stood up and screamed to
whole entire time I was up there. What floored them was the famous
Michael Jackson pose when I opened up, my mother was even in the crowd cheering me on.
After my high school days I eventually grew out of whole imitating
Michael Jackson phase, but his music and his perfection stayed with
me. I started exploring the production side of music and I got into
studying producers like Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis,
Teddy Riley and LA Reid and Babyface, to whom which gave me my start in the music business.
Michael Jackson was more than an artist to me, through his music he was
my musical big brother. I once told Teddy Riley that I knew him
before I met him, because through his music were are cut from the same
cloth and that’s how I felt about Michael Jackson, via his music, I got
to know his creative spirit, which taught me how to work hard, perfect
what I do, be confident, and to have humility about it. I had the
opportunity to meet Michael once very briefly, and I will never forget
it, but what I’m going to hold on to the most about him is how he
shaped my life as a young kid aspiring to make my path through music.
Michael Jackson gave me the biggest hope in the world to dream big and I only hope that I can accomplish a mere faction of what he gave to this world through his music. God called home and angel that walked on this earth with us. R.I.P. Michael Jackson. 1958-2009.
“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” ~Michael Jackson
[LONG LIVE THE KING OF POP]
THE PHOTO’S BELOW ARE OF ME PERFORMING AS MJ. 🙂