Michael Jackson was a child in his heart and stopped at the Mickey Mouse Club, at the Disney-MGM studios in Florida, in 1990 during a shoot. The former ‘Mousequeteros’ Damon Pampolina, Albert Campos and Chasen Hampton remember with affection the visit of the King of Pop.
"Michael arrived on the set of the Mickey Mouse Club when he was passing through Disney," Damon recalls. "They took him to greet us and gave us all a personalized and autographed photo." It was a dream come true. Damon, a native of Houston, Texas, promised his teammates that he would meet the one in the Glove after playing Billie Jean for a talent show in the second grade, and his wish was granted when he turned 12.
According to Damon, security was airtight. “Everything was very controlled. They raised a barrier - a wall - around our set where there was no way for anyone to enter. ”
What was Michael really like?
“It was one of those strange things that happen, you didn't think it existed because it was such an amazing artist,” says Damon. “You didn't think he was human and seeing him was like:‘ Oh, God, there is ’(laughs). It is surreal. Being a child, you think: "Maybe it's not real." You think of him as a superhero. His skin was perfect. It looked exactly as you saw it on the posters. The hat, the hair, everything. Amazing".
Although the entire cast of actors did not take a picture with him, they did get autographs. Damon says the photos were not signed in front of them. They took him elsewhere, signed them and then distributed them to everyone. ” “I have a framed autograph. It was the same for everyone.
He says: “For the Musketeers, my favorite club worldwide, you all really inspire me. I love your wonderful show. All my Love. I love you all. Michael Jackson. "
Damon realizes his meeting: “We shook hands, that was all. He said: "It's been great to meet you all." It was quite dazzling that moment. Of course, I didn't say a word. ”
For Albert, who grew up in the city of Michael, Gary, in Indiana, the interaction was more personal. He had about ten minutes face to face with him in the backstage. "That was the first thing we talked about," "Hey, I'm also from Gary," Albert said. “It was amazing because it influenced me and everyone, especially being where I am from and that my family saw him as a child when I went to school with his brothers and sisters. It was amazing and he was great, saying things like: "I liked the show, I usually see it and it's great to be here." Because he wanted to come see us film it. He said he loved the show and what we did in it. The songs, the dance, the acting. He said: "Guys, you are a triple danger." It was crazy. That was the conversation; "I'm your friend," things like that. "
Albert continues: “He had something that was absolutely fascinating, even standing there: the sound of his voice. Everything about him was crazy. It was a big thing to meet him and look him in the face. I will not lie; It was a bit strange. It was easy to get lost in his eyes and dream of puppies and rainbows. ” Serie.
Disney and Michael were quite on par. The attraction of the King of Pop, Captain Eo, was part of EPCOT in Disneyland and Disneyland Tokyo. “We all know he was a fan of Disney and Peter Pan,” says Albert, “that's why I think Michael Eisner or Jeffrey Katzenberg were with him at the time. They were the ones who took him. And Disney-MGM Studios were new, that's why the Mickey Mouse Club was an attraction he wanted to see, since the show was filming there. ”
"He shook my hand gently," says Albert. “I didn't like that. Do you know when people shake hands gently? So he did. But, on the other hand, I was amazed. But he was great because he behaved in a simple way. His conversation was genuinely cheerful. He was genuine when he said, "I like what you do." It was cheerful. And it was not a spooky thing. I had an aura as if a vacuum cleaner sucked you and you go and say: ‘ehh Wait a minute!’ ”
Chasen admits it was a day he will never forget. “It was extraordinary. I believed in the magic of Disney. He liked our show and said he used to see it every day he could. That just excited me already. He told us he was our fan. What power on stage and what a beautiful person out of it. I was never afraid to say what most of us don't dare. ”
What nobody can deny Michael is the X Factor. "He was literally kissed by God to have that talent," says Albert.
Damon saw Michael perform on the Victory Tour, in 1984, and on the Bad Tour from 1987-89. "There is absolutely no other artist on Earth with such magnetism, energy and ability to dance," he says. “His talent for the stage; If you have not seen him, I do not think he can exist again. And I'm not denying anything to other artists; I am a huge fan of Prince, of Beyonce, but the talent and magnetism he has on stage, there will be no more. There won't be in our time and I don't think there will be again. There will never be another Elvis. There will never be another Michael. ”
Chasen now works as a music director for Rock Nation, a music school for all ages, and teaches many young aspiring musicians. "His autographed photo he gave me is hanging there," he says. “It is an inspiration for all the children who come to school. I'm sure it would make him happy. ” Chasen adds: “Michael, thanks for my musical career and for raising the barriers in music and acting. Thank you for inspiring us not only in music but also in kindness and generosity. ”
Albert says: “I had that gift that most people don't have. He was a very special person in that regard. And it helped the world. That's why everyone is so affected by his death. It was very special. ”
Rest in peace, Michael. You will always be loved.