West Australia EMI music boss Dixie Battersby has fond memories of how, as a 16-year-old, she managed to talk her way into spending a day in Perth with The Jackson 5.
The Jackson 5 boys were in town for their concert at Beatty Park Swimming Pool on June 29, 1973.
Battersby said she was at school at Pinjarra High and heard the band was touring.
“I was a massive fan, had posters on my bedroom wall – although more so of Jermaine than Michael – and decided to make the trek up to Perth to meet them,” she said.
“I thought that you could just go and do that. I stayed at my grandmother’s house in Kelmscott and caught the train into the Sheraton Hotel and was confronted by a bunch of kids waiting outside the hotel.
“I can’t remember how I managed to get into the foyer as the security was very tight, but nevertheless I did and walked up to the first black man I saw and boldly said ‘I wanted to meet the Jackson 5′.
“He looked a bit amazed that I had managed to get through security and asked me my name – I thought I was going to get thrown out.
“Anyway, he asked me to come with him and took me up in the lift. The man turned out to be their father, Joe.
“For the rest of the day I hung out with all of them and had lunch with them. They signed a photo for me and we sat around and talked. They asked if I was going to the concert and I said ‘no’ as I didn’t have a ticket, and with that they decided to really look after me and took me to the concert in one of the limos – Michael, Jermaine and Tito were in the limo I went in.
“It was my very first concert.
“I stayed side of stage with their minders and watched the concert, and when it had finished they took me back to the hotel where I called my grandmother to come and pick me up.
“I was with them all day and particularly enjoyed hanging with Michael. I still have the autographed photo and somewhere at home also have the backstage pass they gave me.”
Battersby’s most vivid memory was the journey back from the concert in the limo.
“The screaming kids were jumping on the car and trying to get in,” she said.
“I remember the crush inside the limo and was terrified being in this car trying to get through the crowd.
Battersby, who has been with EMI for 26 years, has since spent time with the likes of Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, Brian Ferry, Crowded House and Paul Kelly. But said Jackson was instrumental in shaping music history.
“He has written and performed some of the greatest music in history,” she said.
“He has left a legacy of great dance moves and music. His album Thriller is in my top five albums of all time and I think it would be in most people’s top 20.
“It was a phenomenal album – end of story – think back to his video clips of Thriller and Billie Jean.”
From all of us here at EMI… RIP MJ, music and the world itself will never be the same again.
Source: the in sound from way out