Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Jacksons Bring Unity to Las Vegas

August 6, 2012 by Las Vegas Black Image Magazine  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

The original Jackson 5, plus brother Randy (jumping).

For the millions who grew up with the music of The Jackson 5, it is no difficult task to recite — sing-song style, without pause — its members’ names: “Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Michael.”

To the delight of those fans, the world-famous siblings — with the visceral presence of the late Michael’s spirit — are now crisscrossing the country in a well-received tour dubbed Unity 2012.

“Fans around the world have been sending us letters and emails requesting that we come out on tour,” said eldest brother Jackie Jackson, who recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Black Image. “They want to reminisce about Michael, and we know he would have wanted us to do this. We were planning, before Michael’s untimely death, to do a world tour together as brothers once he completed his London ‘This Is It’ [engagement]. We are happy that we all agreed to go on tour, and we always feel Michael’s spirit every time we perform.”

The tour recently arrived in Las Vegas, greeted by a packed house at the Cannery Hotel and Casino. As the audience crowded into the arena to the sounds of a full band, the electricity in the air was palpable. With Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon gracing the stage, the crowd stayed on its feet for the duration of their performance.

“We performed an entire 90-minute show, consisting of a lot of our hit songs,” said Jackie. “The hardest part was selecting which songs we could fit into a 90-minute show. We found a way to do it, and the crowd enjoys themselves with dancing throughout the whole show. It’s great to see people have a good time — and we feed off their energy.”

It is a reaction to which the Jackson brothers are well-accustomed. The breakout of the phenomenon can be traced to 1967, when they performed on amateur night at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Earlier this summer, they returned to the historic venue for a show that stirred a lifetime of memories.

“It was amazing to perform in the Apollo Theater again on our tour — that is where it all started, even before Motown Records,” said Jackie. “I remember Michael being so nervous and upset when we first performed there, because the group before us wasn’t so good, and the crowd threw eggs at them and booed them off the stage. Michael started crying because he thought the audience would do the same to us. But they didn’t. The crowd gave us a standing ovation, and we took it from there. It really helped to build our confidence and push us forward.”

Asked whether any of his famed sisters would play a part in the Unity tour, Jackie’s response is as swift as it is playful. “No, no, no — our tour is not about the Jackson girls,” he said, laughing. “This is about the brothers getting down.”

Las Vegas audiences are no stranger to Jackson performances; a show that included all of the siblings was once a hit 1970s attraction at the MGM Hotel, which is known today as Ballys Hotel & Casino.

While he keeps a home in Los Angeles, Jackie freely acknowledges that he favors his second home in Las Vegas. “I love spending time in Vegas more than Los Angeles, I really do,” he said. “Michael loved Las Vegas also, and so do Michael’s children. He loved all the glitz and glamour — and I do, too. That is why I call Las Vegas home.”

Despite the tabloid flurry that has recently surrounded the family matriarch — those headlines surfaced subsequent to Jackie’s conversation with Black Image — Katherine Jackson’s firstborn son insists that his mother is enjoying her time raising Michael’s three children. “My mother is doing wonderful, and enjoying watching the children grow up,” he said. “She really loves it. It keeps her going, and is great therapy — because it keeps her busy. She is ecstatic to see us all on tour together again. She has been waiting for this for a long time.”

As for his father, Joseph, Jackie revealed that “he is doing a lot of things. He goes around the country to speak. He is never home, he might be in Europe. … He is doing his thing and staying busy all the time. I like that about him, because he is not just sitting around the house.”

Even with their busy work and traveling schedules, Jackie says the entire clan still finds time to enjoy each other’s company. Recently, they came together for a big family barbecue over the Fourth of July holiday.

Still, there is the missing presence. The Unity tour pays tribute to Michael with rare, exclusive family photos flashed on big screens behind the stage, along with a musical tribute featuring some of his most memorable songs.

“We all miss Michael so [much],” said Jackie. “I miss him differently than his fans; I miss my brother. His personality and laughter are what I miss most. He was always in great spirits, and anything you needed, he tried to give it to you. He loved to joke around and put a smile on your face.”

He added: “When Michael died, many tried to get us to pick up his ‘This is it’ [engagement]. But because of legalities [we couldn't], and also we just needed time to mourn our brother’s death.”

Today, three years after the tragedy felt around the world, the Jackson brothers have aspirations to keep the family’s musical legacy alive by reinvigorating their historic musical archives and entering the studio to make new music. On screen, Spike Lee is working on a documentary about Michael, and Las Vegas may someday be the site of an ongoing Jackson 5 stage production.

“Are you kidding me?” Jackie responds when asked whether he is excited about the prospect. “I talked to my brothers, and we would love to have a permanent performing home on the Las Vegas Strip, at one of the major hotels. We love to perform, and love to share music that encourages more love in the world.”

For the millions who grew up with the music of The Jackson 5, it is no difficult task to recite — sing-song style, without pause — its members’ names: “Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Michael.”

To the delight of those fans, the world-famous siblings — with the visceral presence of the late Michael’s spirit — are now crisscrossing the country in a well-received tour dubbed Unity 2012.

“Fans around the world have been sending us letters and emails requesting that we come out on tour,” said eldest brother Jackie Jackson, who recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Black Image. “They want to reminisce about Michael, and we know he would have wanted us to do this. We were planning, before Michael’s untimely death, to do a world tour together as brothers once he completed his London ‘This Is It’ [engagement]. We are happy that we all agreed to go on tour, and we always feel Michael’s spirit every time we perform.”

The tour recently arrived in Las Vegas, greeted by a packed house at the Cannery Hotel and Casino. As the audience crowded into the arena to the sounds of a full band, the electricity in the air was palpable. With Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon gracing the stage, the crowd stayed on its feet for the duration of their performance.

“We performed an entire 90-minute show, consisting of a lot of our hit songs,” said Jackie. “The hardest part was selecting which songs we could fit into a 90-minute show. We found a way to do it, and the crowd enjoys themselves with dancing throughout the whole show. It’s great to see people have a good time — and we feed off their energy.”

It is a reaction to which the Jackson brothers are well-accustomed. The breakout of the phenomenon can be traced to 1967, when they performed on amateur night at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Earlier this summer, they returned to the historic venue for a show that stirred a lifetime of memories.

“It was amazing to perform in the Apollo Theater again on our tour — that is where it all started, even before Motown Records,” said Jackie. “I remember Michael being so nervous and upset when we first performed there, because the group before us wasn’t so good, and the crowd threw eggs at them and booed them off the stage. Michael started crying because he thought the audience would do the same to us. But they didn’t. The crowd gave us a standing ovation, and we took it from there. It really helped to build our confidence and push us forward.”

Asked whether any of his famed sisters would play a part in the Unity tour, Jackie’s response is as swift as it is playful. “No, no, no — our tour is not about the Jackson girls,” he said, laughing. “This is about the brothers getting down.”

Las Vegas audiences are no stranger to Jackson performances; a show that included all of the siblings was once a hit 1970s attraction at the MGM Hotel, which is known today as Ballys Hotel & Casino.

While he keeps a home in Los Angeles, Jackie freely acknowledges that he favors his second home in Las Vegas. “I love spending time in Vegas more than Los Angeles, I really do,” he said. “Michael loved Las Vegas also, and so do Michael’s children. He loved all the glitz and glamour — and I do, too. That is why I call Las Vegas home.”

Despite the tabloid flurry that has recently surrounded the family matriarch — those headlines surfaced subsequent to Jackie’s conversation with Black Image — Katherine Jackson’s firstborn son insists that his mother is enjoying her time raising Michael’s three children. “My mother is doing wonderful, and enjoying watching the children grow up,” he said. “She really loves it. It keeps her going, and is great therapy — because it keeps her busy. She is ecstatic to see us all on tour together again. She has been waiting for this for a long time.”

As for his father, Joseph, Jackie revealed that “he is doing a lot of things. He goes around the country to speak. He is never home, he might be in Europe. … He is doing his thing and staying busy all the time. I like that about him, because he is not just sitting around the house.”

Even with their busy work and traveling schedules, Jackie says the entire clan still finds time to enjoy each other’s company. Recently, they came together for a big family barbecue over the Fourth of July holiday.

Still, there is the missing presence. The Unity tour pays tribute to Michael with rare, exclusive family photos flashed on big screens behind the stage, along with a musical tribute featuring some of his most memorable songs.

“We all miss Michael so [much],” said Jackie. “I miss him differently than his fans; I miss my brother. His personality and laughter are what I miss most. He was always in great spirits, and anything you needed, he tried to give it to you. He loved to joke around and put a smile on your face.”

He added: “When Michael died, many tried to get us to pick up his ‘This is it’ [engagement]. But because of legalities [we couldn't], and also we just needed time to mourn our brother’s death.”

Today, three years after the tragedy felt around the world, the Jackson brothers have aspirations to keep the family’s musical legacy alive by reinvigorating their historic musical archives and entering the studio to make new music. On screen, Spike Lee is working on a documentary about Michael, and Las Vegas may someday be the site of an ongoing Jackson 5 stage production.

“Are you kidding me?” Jackie responds when asked whether he is excited about the prospect. “I talked to my brothers, and we would love to have a permanent performing home on the Las Vegas Strip, at one of the major hotels. We love to perform, and love to share music that encourages more love in the world.”

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Comments

One Response to “The Jacksons Bring Unity to Las Vegas”
  1. Charles Tureaud says:

    We haven’t received any complaints on the weblog as of yet.

    Report this comment

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