"It was only when I broke all ties After the stillness of the shrieking cries In the depths of those heaving sighs The imagined sorrow of a thousand lies I suddenly stared in your fiery eyes All at once I found my goal The elusive shadow was my soul."
A week before Christmas, on December, 18, 1979, I was hired to shoot Michael backstage at the Jacksons’ concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, where he was receiving his platinum records for Off the Wall. The award presentation took place shortly before the Jacksons would perform. I detected more tension in this dressing room. Many people were present —— a huge entourage of record executives, secretaries, disc jokeys, family, extended family, and friends. I greeted everyone I knew by name, but when Michael’s eye met mine, I just nodded slightly to acknowledge his presence.
Michael walked over to me and asked me in a quiet, hurt whisper : “How come you never speak to me ? You joke with my brothers, but not with me. Don’t you like me ?”
I didn’t know what to say. He took me completely off guard with both his voice and his question, “No, you’re fine,” I answered. “You always look so busy, and I’ve had nothing to say. Michael, I like you.”
"Okay," he said, and walked away.
Todd Gray, Before He was King