March 20, 1999 (Saarlandhalle Saarbrücken, Germany)
Michael Jackson appeared on the German tv show 'Wetten, Dass...?' to talk about his project "Michael Jackson & Friends". The show was televised live on tv channel ZDF. 15.87 million viewers (49.8%) watched the show. Michael was on tv for about 9 minutes.
TG: Thomas Gottschalk (show host)
MJ: Michael Jackson
JM: Jonathan Morrish (head of Sony, UK)
[About 150 fans are let into the Saarlandhalle at both sides of the stage. At about 10p.m. 'We Are The World' video is shown just before Michael appears at the show.
TG: "The King of Pop"! Here is Michael Jackson !!!"
[Michael (MJ) walks in. He is wearing black trousers, a black jacket with a red band on his one arm, a white shirt, black boots and sunglasses. His hair is shoulder length.
Thunderous applause, the fans scream for minutes.]
[Michael greets TG and makes a short gesture as to how tall TG is.]
TG: Let’s talk a little bit about the new project...
[They walk over to the couch where the other show guests are sitting. TG sits down but MJ waves to the fans so TG gets up again. The fans are still screaming so that a conversation is impossible for minutes. MJ smiles.]
TG: So....Thank you. [to the fans]
MJ: They just can’t stop...
TG: Then....Michael, they don’t listen to me..
[Fans are still screaming so loud that no one can understand a word.]
Today he wants to ........listen to..... listen to us a little....you over there as well
[meaning the second group of fans on the other side of the stage]. Come on....poor Michael would be happy if you listen to him once. He has seen you now. Ok. So....we know you love him. Please think a little of uncle Thomas. I want to ask him some things. Ssshhhht...come on !.... short break!....kids!!!!! Do I have to scold you again??
MJ: [Blows a hand kiss to the fans and points towards them...giggles.]
Give me that picture. Give me that picture. Morrish...gimme that picture.
[Fans start screaming again.]
TG: It’s like being in a pliers. When I have these ones here in the grasp [pointing to the fan group on the left] the ones over there start being loud again. Ok kids. Listen...let’s talk 2 sentences about this new project...... Kids, you don’t know what’s going to come...
[Someone hands over a banner to Michael which reads: "Children's paradise in your heart".]
He has got a new project. There will be 2 big concerts by and with him.... one here in Germany and one in Korea.
[Meanwhile MJ puts the banner to the floor and looks at it.]
Michael, a new project of yours. How did you get the idea for such a project?
MJ: Well...what happened was....
[Fans start to scream again as they hear Michael talk.]
[Fans still screaming so that Michael can’t continue to talk.]
TG: Okay, tell us...
MJ: I knew I had to do something. I just couldn’t sit back, you know, between now and the millennium and do nothing. And then I had this idea for a song and the words "What more can I give" kept coming. Then I knew I had to do something...ahem...And about the same time.....I was talking to president Mandela and when he invited me to perform that was all the inspiration that I needed.
[Giggles and the fans start screaming again loud so that MJ can’t continue.]
TG: Come on [to the fans]... I will tell you something about it. He will travel to Michael Mand...ääähhh...Nelson Mandela and explain this project to him again. And later on I will talk to representatives of the groups that help him with this project- the Red Cross and the UNESCO. Michael, in Seoul you’ll meet some of your friends that you invited: Pavarotti, Stevie Wonder, Eros Ramazotti, maybe the Scorpions. We are happy of course that you will come with them to Munich. Are you also looking forward to Munich?
MJ: [The fans are still screaming loud and Michael was watching them while TG was talking. He seems a little confused as TG waits for him to answer the question. It seems that he just missed the question - maybe due to the fans that are still screaming so loud that you can barely understand a word.]
[He seems a little confused about what he is expected to say so he looks around for a known face to help him out. He sees Jonathan Morrish (head of Sony UK) points towards him asking him to come over to the couch.]
Mr. Morrish...he is better equipped than me....from Sony.
[Jonathan Morrish (JM) takes a seat.]
TG: He is the boss of the record company.
MJ:...and Marcel Avram...
[At the moment Marcel Avram is serving a jail sentence for tax evasion but he was allowed to leave the prison for this occasion. MJ makes signs towards Marcel to come to the couch as well but Marcel doesn’t want to.]
JM: I think there is a....This is a very serious evening! What Michael is doing is enormous. He is giving of himself - he always does. I think he is wanting - There is one important message why he is doing the show in Munich and a show in Korea.
[Meanwhile Michael takes one of the bell flowers which are on the side of the couch as a decoration - the fans start screaming again]
What we all got to remember is the tragedy and suffering at the second world war - a lot of countries got split. Germany unified 10 years ago - that’s why Michael wants to do a show here. The other reason why the show is in Seoul is because ...it’s very important. Michael wants to get the message across that North and South Korea got to unite again. And that’s a very important part of what these twin shows are for that will
be done by Michael with the friends that Thomas already announced.
TG: Wonderful! Thank you. Michael couldn’t have said it better. Thank you very much.
[He shakes hands with Michael and wants to discharge him.]
It’s a pleasure. An honour of course. Thank you.
We have.... Michael, do you remember "Wetten, dass...." Remember...you have been with us. A little memory when he sang at "Wetten, dass..." back then.
[They show parts of Michael’s "Earth Song" performance. Michael does some little dance moves to the music. After that he goes over to the fans on the left.]
Just say "Hello".
MJ: [Points at a banner.] Oh...Wayne...Wayne, get that one.... Get that one.... Come on....That one....That one [pointing towards the banner he would like to have].
: [TG wants to lead Michael to the exit but Michael just doesn’t want to leave. He is still watching the fans and their banners.]
Thank you for being here. Thank you.
[Nevertheless Michael returns to the fans to get the banner he had pointed at and Teddy Lakis hands it and 2 others over to him. Michael waves to the fans then he looks for the banner he had pointed at and shows it to TG.]
MJ: Very lovely!
TG: Oh.Yes. Thank you, Michael. Thank you. Bye-bye.
[Michael walks out with the banner under his arm. TG sits down a chair - absolutely exhausted].
Oh, oh. Oh, I never want to become a legend [meaning the fans].
[Then TG talks to Dr. Peter Walker (chief of the Red Cross) and Dr. Dieter Bärstecher
(UNESCO). Both organizations will be involved in the project as well and all the money raised by the concert will be used for charity. Dr. Walker explains that the Red Cross will use the money that will be raised with the - as he calls it - project "Adventure of Humanity" to finance projects around the world. For example they will send medicine and food to North Korea. Some money will go to Latin America where hurricane Mitch just caused severe damages. Further support will go to Africa, especially war zones like Uganda and Angola, to reunite families that have been separated during war.
Dr. Bärstecher finally adds that the UNESCO will use the money for their "Children in need" program which provides direct help (food, education) for children all over the world.]