Michael Jackson – Dangerous Tour MTV Diary (Apocalypse Sound AS 197)

Dangerous Tour MTV Diary (Apocalypse Sound AS 197)

(approx. 80 minutes), The Dangerous Tour revisited through the best live performances, tour facts and band & crew members words.

Episode #1:  MJ’s arrival in Germany, Jennifer Batten & Benny Collins talking, Tour Facts, Black or White (live in Munich, June 27, 1992), Lee Solters (public relations) talking, Billie Jean (live in Munich, June 27, 1992)

Episode #2:  Jam live, Jennifer Batten (guitarist) & Karen Faye (make-up) talking, Randy Altaire (dancer) talking, Sharon Gault (make-up) talking, Trip Khalaf (sound engineer) talking, Wanna Be Startin’ Something (live in Werchter, July 22, 1992), Marlon Jackson talking, Greg Phillinganes (keyboardist) talking, Siedah Garrett (vocalist) talking, Jam live, Jam (live in Dublin, July 25, 1992), MJ arriving in London with Mickey & Minnie Mouse (July 29, 1992), Visiting Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Jennifer Batten talking & playing guitar, Beat It live

Episode #3:  Report from Hamburg, Greg Phillinganes (keyboardist) talking, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (live in Hamburg, August 10, 1992), Siedah Garrett (vocalist) talking, Kate Ferris (nocturne video) talking, Motown Medley (live in Hamburg, August 10, 1992), Phillip Dennis (costume supervisor) talking, Jam (Live in Cardiff, August 5, 1992), Sonya Saul meeting MJ, She’s Out of My Life (live in London, August 1992)

Episode #4:  Wembley Stadium control room info from Mike Potter, Working Day and Night (live in London, August 1992), Barry Clayman (promoter) talking, Paul Gongware (tour manager) talking, Don Boyette (bass guitar) talking, Human Nature (live in Leeds, August 16, 1992), Pyrotechnic info, Peter Morse (lighting designer) talking, Kevin Dorsey (backing singer) talking, Beat It (live in London, August 1992), Skip Twitchell (chef) talking

Episode #5:  Brad Buxer (keyboard player) talking, Michelle Berube (dancer) talking, Will You Be There (live in Berlin, September 4, 1992), Food facts, Howard Sinclare and Dennis (drivers) talking, Darryl Phinnessee (vocalist) talking, I’ll Be There live, MJ’s tour bus

Episode #6:  Diary recap, Bennett Kleinberg (tour publicist) talking, Heal the World (live in Madrid, September 23, 1992), Ricky Lawson (drummer) talking, Dorien Holley (vocalist) talking, Kevin Dorsey (backing singer)  talking, David Williams (guitarist) talking, Jennifer Batten (guitarist) talking, Black or White featuring Slash (live in Oviedo, September 21, 1992), Dancers’ interviews, Man in the Mirror (live in Madrid, September 23, 1992)

Michael Jackson’s second tour as a solo artist was the massive Dangerous tour in 1992 and 1993.  At the start, MTV was allowed to film backstage and broadcast six fifteen minute episodes on the tour every two weeks throughout the summer. The show was called “Michael Jackson Dangerous Diaries” and presented by Sonya Saul (and sponsored by Pepsi).  Apocalypse Sound collect the six episodes onto one disc in excellent video and audio quality.  The label kept the disc in the PAL format to preserve the sound quality, so it won’t play in older DVD players.

The first episode presents basic facts about the tour (the number of jumbo jets needed) and shows footage from the first night in Munich.  Michael’s onstage performing “Black And White,” the big hit from the new album, and “Dangerous.”  The episode is also notable for comments from tour guitarist Jennifer Batten calling it “total paradise,” production executive Benny Collins saying he helps the crew in fulfilling Michael’s dream of making the show enjoyable, and the late Lee Solters revealing he handles publicity by saying “Michael Jackson will be here and people just show up.”

Episode two picks up the tour with footage from Jackson’s arrival in Stockholm and Wechter, Belgium.  Karen Faye discusses make up, back up dancer Randy Aldair says he sweats a lot while on stage, and Trip Kalaf discussing the sound for the shows.  A scintillating performance of “Wanna Be Starting Something” from Wechter is followed by words from his brother Marlon Jackson who was just in Belgium on business and came to greet him.  He’s sitting with keyboardist and musical director Greg Phillinganes calling Jackson “unique.” 

Siedah Garrett is called the hottest songwriter in the business for helping to write “Man In The Mirror” and “Keep The Faith.”  The latter half of the episode shows Jackson arriving in London with Micky and Minnie Mouse, visiting Queen Elizabeth hospital, and Jennifer Battan showing off her guitar back stage and on stage playing the “Beat It” solo.

Episode three starts off in Hamburg.  Sonya interviews Greg Phillinganes by the poolside three hours before the show.  When asked why, he laughs “because I can.”  He speaks more about his duties as musical director, keeping the band tight and Michael happy.  A snippet of “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” follows.  Siedah Garrett reiterates how nice it is to have people singing her songs, and Kate Ferris discusses her duties on video.

Much time is taken showing the Mowtown medley from the Hamburg show.  Phillip Dennis discusses Jackson’s nine costume changes.  A bit of the Cardiff performance is followed by more Phillinganes and Sonya posing with Michael Jackson himself.  He isn’t interviewed in any of these episodes, and this is the only time we see him with the host.  The episode closes with a performance of “She’s Out Of My Life” from the London performance.

England is the setting for the fourth episode of “Dangerous Diary.”  Sonya begins the telecast by speaking to Mike Potter about the control room in Wembley Stadium, the “hot burning center of activity.”  After footage of “Working Day And Night” from Wembley, promoter Barry Clayman compares promoting Jackson with The Beatles and Paul Gongware speaks about managing the tour.

The latter half of the episode focuses upon the pyrotechnic display and how loud Michael wants it, the Voodoo Cafe that is part of the tour entourage serving espresso and a great clip of “Beat It” from London.

Soul starts off episode five by declaring that, after two months, they made her one of the posse and she proudly shows off her tour jacket.  Next, she’s dropping in on tour keyboardist Brad Buxer in his Berlin hotel room.  He shows off his keyboard set up in the room, allowing him to practice between gigs.  Dancer Michelle Berube talks about dropping the ball one night during her routine and is followed by footage of Jackson singing “Will You Be There” from the Berlin performance on September 4th.

The rest of the episode deals with logistical matters.  Crispin Chetwynd of Eat Your Hearts Our discusses cooking food every day for the tour, and drivers Howard Sinclare and Dennis discuss the comforts of the tour bus.  Darryl Phinnessee is one of the back up vocalists who worked with Jackson since the Victory tour.  There is live footage of him singing one of his leads in “I’ll Be There.”  It ends with Soul in Jackson’s personal room on the tour bus, fondling his pillow and towels.

The final episode starts in Madrid, Spain.  There is a quick recap of the preceding episodes followed by some words for tour publicist Bennet Kleniberg and footage of “Heal The World” from the September 23rd Madrid show.  Short interviews with drummer Ricky Lawson, vocalist Dorien Holley, backing singer Kevin Dorsey, and guitarist David Williams comprise the bulk of the show.

The best footage of the diary occurs in the latter half.  Battan gushes about meeting Jeff Beck in the “U of K” and is followed by live footage of  Slash  joining them onstage at the September 21st show in Oviedo, Spain for a scintillating “Black Or White.”  Battan comments that meeting Slash was like meeting Fred Flintstone for the first time.

The diary ends with more interview with the dancers of the tour and footage of “Man In The Mirror” from the Madrid concert.  The European tour would end a few days later on October 1st in Bucharest, Romania.  Apocalypse Sound have done a good job in producing this DVD.  It offers a fascinating time capsule into a tour almost twenty year ago right before Jackson’s popularity suffered irreparable damage in the US.  For Jackson collectors, Dangerous Tour MTV Diary is recommended.

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