Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life of the Party

The only way I'd ever pay $300 for this eBay item would be if it came with a time machine that would take me back to the party itself. No one really wants a snapshot of Joe Jackson in a plaid leisure suit posing with a bunch of strangers. The real prize here is the actual invitation to the press party the Jackson family threw back in 1973.

On the J5's 1973 Soul Train appearance, Don Cornelius ran some footage from the party that included Randy hobbling around on crutches and Tito showing off his first-born son. A magic moment came when Don asked Joe the baby's name and Joe couldn't remember his own grandson's name, clumsily covering by saying "We call him... uh, Jackson. Little Jackson, that's what we call him." (For the record, it was Toriano Adaryll Jackson Jr, a.k.a. Taj. I could almost see Joe not remembering IF HE HADN'T NAMED HIS OWN SON THE SAME THING!)

Other fun involved the J5 playing basketball against the Temptations and Marvin Gaye. Here's Jermaine going up the Temptations on defense (good luck with that, Jermaine!).

And here's the whole group posing around the pool. I love looking at the awestruck faces on all of the kids on the left side of the photo, contrasted with the little boy on the right who is more interested in playing ball. But the best is the tiny interloper who sneaked into the group photo, standing right next to Michael like he was a member of the Jackson 5. Maybe he thought since Randy was on the disabled list, they'd be looking for a replacement.


  1. Oh, I always assumed that last picture was from some kind of 'afternoon house party' in 1972. I read it in an article somewhere, I'll look it up again!

    I hadn't seen that last picture before. Seems like Marlon looks very amused by the little interloper too and Michael didn't even notice.
    Is that huge J5 sign floating on the water?

  2. You're right Raisa, Michael and his brothers are dressed the same than in this album.

    As to know if that is the same party that was shown in Soul Train, or another, I don't know.

    I personally always thought that the party where Michael wears this blue turtleneck sweater was 73 instead of 72 but I had no proof of that. And I recently noticed that Mike is wearing the same watch than at the NAACP Image Awards that was held in November 72.

  3. Hey, I really want a snapshot-of-Joe-Jackson-in-a-plaid-leisure-suit-posing-with-a-bunch-of-strangers! It'd be my one collectible I wouldn't have to worry about anyone stealing.

    OH MAN would I have loved to have been one a those kids there. Our boys were great at ball, didn't Michael say they beat the Tempts?

    Damn Joe is sooooo embarrassing. Even more than my spelling.
    -Sir Lev

  4. The last photo looks earlier than 73 I'd say.

    The invitation would be a cool thing to own, I don't know about the picture of Joe though lol

  5. A friend of mine sent me a video of some local Gary/Chicago tv news shortly after MJ's passing. The video showed clips of this party that were never seen before, more than the Soul Train footage. It turns out that a mother of 2 wanted to help her daughter meet The Jackson 5. With little to no money, they took a bus from the East coast to Encino,CA. Mom relentlessly walked up and down Hayvenhurst in search of The Jacksons was their lucky day. LaToya came to the gate and long story short, she invited them to their party the following day. Mom had an 8mm camera with her as well and filmed the party.

  6. Oh really, that sounds great, was it color footage?

    And I did a quick search on that last picture. That can't be from that september '73 party because there were pictures of that party in a 16 magazine article (called J5- Hang out with us) that was published before september 1973.

    And I also found a little snippet in an entertainment rap magazine (january 1973). They call it an 'Afternoon Home Party' and gave the party an A which means it was 'Right on!'. They also say this about that party:
    'When Jackie Jackson (oldest member of the J5)and his father Joe Jackson, decided to throw a "littlle" At-Home-With-The-J-5 party, they really went about it right. Unlike most "Come Visit Our Home" get togethers, the Jackson's party was warm, friendly and lots of good fun. The guests even got to play basketball with the J-5!'