The Hard Rock Café in New York’s Times Square will host an auction on November 21st, by Julien’s Auctions. The main event will be the sale of the left-handed, white crystal glove which Michael wore at the Motown 25 Special, in 1983. That event was considered THE ‘moment in time,’ when Michael’s career went supersonic.
The Motown special glove was for the left hand and was a modified, store-bought glove covered with rhinestones. The one-of-a-kind keepsake, expected to go for between forty and sixty thousand dollars, has been in the hands of founding Commodores member Walter “Clyde” Orange, who received it from Michael, the night he wore it. In a letter accompanying the glove, Orange describes how he came to have it and his friendship with Michael over the years. They got to know each other in the 1970s, when the Commodores toured with the Jackson 5. Orange said Michael would always turn down his requests for autographs and that turned into a running joke between them.
“In his humble way, he refused to give me his autograph, saying that I was more famous than he was,” Orange writes. “He never did give me his autograph.”
When they met up again in March 1983, during the Motown special taping, Michael sang with his brothers and then took to the stage alone, to unveil the moonwalk while performing ‘Billie Jean.’
Afterwards, Orange said, “Michael came up behind me and put his hand over my eyes and said, ‘Guess who?’ I knew who it was because I felt the one glove on his left hand and no glove on the other. When I once again asked him for his autograph, Michael gave me the glove he wore that night instead, still refusing to give me his autograph! He was always a real prankster, even as a little boy, so I asked him if he was serious about giving me the glove, and he assured me that he was.”
Speaking to The Associated Press, Orange added, “There’s one hundred other gloves out there, but this is the one you want. … He blew up after that [performance] with ‘Billie Jean.’ The world should see this. This is the first. That’s the song that made him shoot through the roof as a superstar.”
Orange hopes the glove will end up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or another historical institution, and he said he’s happy the proceeds from the sale will benefit the ‘MusiCares Foundation,’ which helps musicians struggling with substance abuse.
Other ‘Michael’ items going under the gavel at the event, include a fedora Michael wore onstage at the 1995 ‘MTV Video Music Awards,’ zombie costumes from the ‘Thriller’ video, a costume from Michael’s final United States concert in April 2002, and a signed and stage-worn ‘Bad,’ jacket.