Interview with Ian 'Molly' Meldrum
Tuesday 19th November 1996, Australia Molly: Well, Michael, I can finally welcome you to Australia, and whether you like it or not, being the King of Pop and the biggest recording star in the world, what is your philosophy of staying at the top?
Michael Jackson: Boy, I think being humble and believing in yourself and having true love in your heart for the world and really trying to help people through lyrics and the love of music and dance because I truly do love people very much.
Molly: Realising that, but does it not put pressure on you, I mean that you have to be…
MJ: Well it always
Molly: …and they hold you in such esteem.
MJ: Well it always does. The next album has to be better than the other. [laughs]
Molly: Well how do you cope with all the hysteria? I mean wherever you go, whether its London, whether its Munich, whether its New York, whether its Bangkok, whether its Japan and even here in Australia, how do you cope with the hysteria?
MJ: Um…I know its all love, so it makes my heart very happy and I like to give it back, you know through however I can give and it puts a smile on my face to see all the children and all the teenagers and the adults, the demographics. It makes my heart very happy, I love them, I love all the fans very much.
Molly: Well coping with the hysteria, I mean I can't cope with it, I mean watching all this going on around, I mean the press have been absolutely manic, its been manic mania. Can I ask you, do you ever relax? Does Michael Jackson ever relax? Cause I know you're a workaholic.
MJ: [smiles] Yes, I am a workaholic. Uh, I don't relax really, I don't sleep a lot, I like to continually… my mind never stops. I'm always creating. I never stop. But, I love a good water balloon fight or you know playing around, goofing off, nintendo games, arcades.
Molly: Now Michael, I have to ask you this question. Being possibly the biggest profile in the world, um I guess Princess Diana matches you, you read all these amazing stories about Michael Jackson. I mean I don't know whether they're true or not. You read that Michael Jackson's a weirdo, you read that Michael Jackson's bizarre, you read that he's done this, he's done that. Now I know some of those stories are not true because even I was accused of being at your wedding, and I knew that wasn't true. But how do you cope, how do you feel about all these stories that are written about you?
MJ: It's very sad, I just want the fans to know and to understand that is not the truth. 99.9% of it is not the truth. And don't read it, don't believe it, it's garbage. It's tabloid junk, I mean they just simply make it up for greed and money. So please don't listen to it, it's trash.
Molly: Alright now, there's one more question I've gotta ask you. It's about a personal friend of yours. But I have gotta ask you this question..
[Michael looks sternly at him]
(Molly was granted the interview on the condition that Michael had approval of the questions, and this bit was obviously not pre-approved)
Molly: I am a Stephen King fanatic, I have every book…
[Michael starts to laugh]
Molly: …that possibly Stephen King has written, um… you can say mind your own business. And I know you've done Ghosts with him and I think that's a sensational piece of work.
MJ: Thank you.
Molly: Did you enjoy doing that?
MJ: Very much, yes.. yes.
Molly: I mean that skeleton blew me right out..
MJ: Where you there at the premiere?
Molly: No, but I've seen it at home.
Molly: It is just amazing. Can I ask you what is Stephen King like?
MJ: Stephen King is a very gentle sweet kind man I mean the profile that we see… the books, with his works… he's nothing like that. He's very humble.
MJ: Ahhh… A lot of people judge me the same way. I'm pretty simple… I love to create. I love to make magic. I love to create the unexpected. You know. And Stephen, he's just wonderful, he's not bizarre or strange or weird. He's a loving person.
Molly: And great to work with?
MJ: Great to work with. Together, he and I wrote Ghosts and had fun doing it.
Molly: Alright now, listen, I never normally asks for autographs. But this is a Stephen King book and it's called Insomnia, and I'm sure over the last week I've had no sleep…
[Michael starts to laugh]
Molly: …with the Michael Jackson thing. Can you sign this book of Stephen King for me?
MJ: Sure. Sure. [Takes the book and signs it]
Molly: Thanks very much.
MJ: Thank you Molly.
Molly: Enjoy Australia.
MJ: Thank you.
Molly: And we look forward to more work from Michael Jackson, more records…
MJ: Thank You.
Molly: ..and being the biggest star if not the biggest star in the world, and entertaining everyone.
MJ: All my love to everyone, thank you.
Molly: Thank you.