Video has come to light of teenagers from Liverpool interviewing Michael at the Liverpool Empire Theatre in 1972, when he was on tour with the Jackson 5.
They were members of an arts organisation called The Blackie, and Steve Smith, now 54 years old, remembers the time. “The interview is a fond memory of mine. The first album my mum bought for me was the Jackson 5’s ABC album and I was made up. I learnt all the dance steps and was trying to sing like them so to interview Michael was a dream come true.
“The Blackie made it available for some of us to gain interviews with stars like Michael Jackson. We were quite young and had no experience but we had interview workshops and were given lessons about how to use the video equipment.
“It was a nice interview. Michael was very relaxed, he didn’t seem anxious and he had the innocence of a child. He was just one black kid who had made good and was talking to other black kids. He wasn’t able to understand us sometimes because of our Liverpool accents so Sally Morris from the Blackie posed the questions to him.
“Pauline Williams asked him if he thought he would become a megastar and how long he expected to go on for and he answered ‘forever’. Pauline’s mum made him a love heart cushion which she presented to him and he was made up.
“The video was played at Saturday and Sunday discos so a lot of people got to see it, but I hadn’t watched it since 1988. I’ve spoke to my children and three grandkids about it, they are eager to see the video. My oldest grandchild Ciara is five and she is always going on about Michael Jackson so she will be thrilled when she sees it. It was really soul destroying that such a good artist had passed away so early in his life. What he achieved was out-standing.”
The footage is being shown as part of the AFRO B.I.A (Black Is Ace) exhibition at the Contemporary Urban Centre to commemorate Black History Month. AFRO B.I.A is at the Contemporary Urban Centre’s fifth floor gallery in Greenland Street from 1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays until the end of October.