Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days
written by Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard, and Tanner Colby
published by Weinstein Books
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. I’m a fan of his music. Even for a casual fan, I don’t see very much new information or insight in this book.
The copy I have is a hardback with a price tag of $26.00. That’s a hard charge to justify. The writing style is choppy – it flips back and forth between the first person perspectives of body guards and third person historical accounts of Michael Jackson’s life.
The story focuses on the part of Jackson’s life where he is financially, physically, and mentally bankrupt. It’s a sad story, and one we’ve heard before.
The only bright spot for me came on page 249. Bodyguard Bill Whitfield writes, “Whenever I hear that whole thing about how Michael Jackson missed out on his childhood . . . He wants to play with toys . . . ride roller coasters . . . Okay, that’s some of what he missed out on. That’s part of what childhood is, but it’s also a lot more than that. ‘Clean your room.’ That’s childhood. ‘Take out the garbage.’ Apologize to your sister.’”
While it’s a wordy, poorly written insight, I think Whitfield hits on an important aspect of what’s lacking in the adult superstar who made the choice to not to grow up.
About the book – from Goodreads: Hounded by the tabloid media, driven from his self-made sanctuary at Neverland, Michael Jackson spent his final years moving from city to city, living with his three children in virtual seclusion—a futile attempt to escape a world that wouldn’t leave him alone. During that time, two men served as the singer’s personal security team: Bill Whitfield, a former cop and veteran of the security profession, and Javon Beard, a brash, untested rookie, both single fathers themselves.
Stationed at his side nearly 24/7, their job was to see and hear everything that transpired, and to keep everyone else out, making them the only two men who know what 60 million fans around the world still want to know: What really happened to the King of Pop?
Driven by a desire to show the world who Michael Jackson truly was, Whitfield and Beard have produced the only definitive, first-person account of Michael Jackson’s last years: the extreme measures necessary to protect Jackson and his family, the simple moments of happiness they managed to share in a time of great stress, the special relationship Jackson shared with his fans, and the tragic events that culminated in the singer’s ill-fated comeback, This Is It. The truth is far more compelling than anything you’ve yet heard.
An indispensable piece of pop-culture history, Remember the Time is the story of a man struggling to live a normal life under extraordinary circumstances, the story of a father fighting to protect and provide for his children. Remember the Time is the book that dismantles the tabloid myths once and for all to give Michael Jackson back his humanity.