We thought this easy-to-get-with groove – real gentle but real sexy – would be a warm way of kicking things off.
That's why Rene suggested I surround myself with the kids in the dance troupe and let me relax, just be myself."Tish Oliver comes running out to the patio to wish everyone good morning.
She's the one whom Janet castigates at the end of the "That's the Way Love Goes" video for looking at the camera.
She's from South Central, and this morning, Janet is driving her over to the junior college, where Tish is taking an English course.
She smiles and asks me to meet her in a couple of days.
"We'll take a little trip together" is all she day trip turns out to be an exploration of the twin forces of Janet Jackson's childhood, the elements that seem to have fixed her fascination on both the insulated world of show business and the uncharted territory beyond.
He showed me the script of and I immediately loved it. John had the same feelings I did – do something different.
Tish is irrepressible, loose-limbed, bouncing off the walls with happy energy.
We start out where Janet started out, in Encino, Calif., an affluent white-bread section of the suburban San Fernando Valley. I've seen that they're exceedingly warm, well mannered but locked in a peculiar kind of loneliness. He was my best friend, and I couldn't stand the thought of his leaving.
Dressed in baggy denim overalls, Janet is behind the wheel of her Defender, a safari-style jeep, as we pull into the famous Hayvenhurst Avenue mansion, the compound seen by a million fans in the pages of a million fan mags as the fairyland hideaway where the Jackson kids came of age. They space out in a strangely endearing manner, making you want to befriend them and become their confidant. My father put everyone in the act, and my brother Randy and I were doing impressions of everyone from Jeanette Mac Donald and Nelson Eddy to Mickey and Sylvia. I cried my eyes out and begged Mother to take me to visit him in New York.
It would seem like a simple thing to do after listening to Janet Jackson's new album and looking at her new videos. Sex is obviously on her mind, on my mind, on the minds of her fans who are consuming her record in mass quantities. Listening to my new record, people intuitively understand the change in me."She then tells me about something Camille Paglia, the sociosexual pop scholar, recently wrote about "You see," Janet continues, "sex isn't just fire and heat, it's natural beauty. It's letting go, giving and getting what you need. I knew I wanted control – I still believe in creative control – but I soon saw that I'd have to give in order to get: give myself over to a creative environment that was different and even a little dangerous from anything I'd ever known."The danger hit home when a couple of guys started stalking me on the street. Control meant not only taking care of myself but living in a much less protected world. Getting attitude." statement, she's a soldier in an army of reformers, covered from head to foot in a dark, buttoned-to-the-neck uniform.
Yet when Janet arrives at her dressing room, when she's standing before me in leather and suede form-fitting pants and tight halter top, when she slides into an easy chair next to me, I find myself backing off. "We're all sensitive people," Marvin Gaye sings in "Let's Get It On," a song that has undoubtedly influenced the current direction of Jackson's career. Up close, in the flesh, she's being so damn sincere, I question my own sincerity; Janet Jackson gives off a good-girl vibe that only a cad would challenge. In the age of AIDS, it certainly requires being responsible. There are a couple of love songs, but the record centers on social ills.