Fantastic Michael Jackson article:
Michael finds himself back in the old Motown building for a day, doing some video mixing, when Berry Gordy approaches and asks him to be in the twenty-fifth-anniversary special on NBC. Michael demurs. A claustrophobic moment for him. All of that business, his brothers, Motown, the Jackson 5, the past: That’s all a cocoon he’s been writhing inside, finally chewing through. He knows that “Billie Jean” has exploded; he’s becoming something else. But the animal inside him that is his ambition senses the opportunity. He strikes his legendary deal with Gordy, that he’ll perform with his brothers if he’s allowed to do one of his own solo, post-Motown hits as well. Gordy agrees.
What Michael does with his moment, given the context, given that his brothers have just left the stage and that the stage belongs to Mr. Berry Gordy, is outrageous. In the by-now totemic YouTube clips of this performance, Michael’s preamble is usually cut off, which makes it worth watching the disc (which also happens to include one of Marvin Gaye’s last appearances before his murder).
via Back In The Day.