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 Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar

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trinixdeangelov
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PostSubject: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:26 pm

Feb 21 2010 Billy Sloan, Sunday Mail

GUITAR ace Jennifer Batten yesterday told of her heartache at the loss of her superstar mentor Michael Jackson.

The guitarist was Jacko's "right-hand woman" on three sell-out world tours - with the Bad star responsible for creating her famous hair-do.

Now she is to pay an emotional tribute to the King of Pop on her first Scottish concert tour.

In 1987, Jennifer was hand-picked by the singer from 100 guitarists who had auditioned to play on his Bad tour.

Jacko was so impressed that she joined him on the road for the next 10 years, playing on his Dangerous and HIStory tours to more than 4.5 million fans.

But the New York-born musician still hasn't come to terms with the death of her friend, from a drug overdose last June, aged 50.

"I was in LA when a friend called to say Michael had died," said Jennifer, 52. "I'd heard so many rumours over the years that I didn't believe it, but when I turned on the news I found it was true.

"It was a huge shock. Michael had so much to live for.

"He was so into being a good father to his children. He wanted nothing but the best for other people. I miss him."

Jennifer plays The Inn at Lathones in St Andrews on Friday with other gigs in Glasgow and Strathpeffer over the weekend as part of her first solo tour of Scotland.The highlight of her show will be an emotional 12-minute medley of Michael's songs.

Jennifer, who has also played with Jeff Beck, Brian May of Queen and Natalie Cole, still can't believe Jacko plucked her from obscurity to set her on the road to stardom.

"I heard Michael was looking for a guitarist and had organised an open audition." she said.

"I went into a rehearsal room in Hollywood and was surprised to see there was no band, it was just me playing alone. I played Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller, note perfect. It was videoed and Michael chose me from 100 other guitarists."

A few weeks later, Jennifer came face to face with Michael in a massive production hangar in Los Angeles.

"Michael walked in with his manager Frank Dileo to watch a run-through by the band," said Jennifer.

"I'd been told if he was happy with the music he'd start dancing and he did a few steps right away. Next thing I knew I had a ticket for the opening night of the Bad tour."

For the video of smash hit Another Part Of Me Jacko devised a complete image makeover for his new guitarist and Jennifer's distinctive big hair and sci-fi-style costumes were born.

"Michael had an artist draw a new image for me and had a team of wardrobe people make my costumes," she said.

"Two huge extension pieces were sewn into my own hair to add volume. It certainly worked- my hair was almost as big as the guitar I was holding.

was "I didn't have any problem with it because I understood the show was pure theatre and I was playing a role.

big as I was "I'll always be 'the girl in Michael's band with the big hair'. A lot of people only know me for that, and that's no bad thing. It helped me immensely."

show and I a On each Jacko tour, Jennifer had to sign a confidentiality deal not to reveal how his stage stunts were done.

Inevitably, there were nights when things went pear-shaped.

"During the routine for Beat It I had to wear fibre optic laser lights in my hair, costume and around my guitar so that I lit up during the song," she said.

"I was attached to a 100ft cable which was linked to a computer so the lights changed colour. As I ran across the stage, somebody stood on my cable, the lights went out and I got whiplash."

Jennifer was disturbed by the child sex abuse allegations which dogged Michael's life and led to a court case in 2005.

He was acquitted on all charges and the guitarist believes he was a victim of his phenomenal success.

"I think Michael was innocent. You get a creepy vibe from people who do things like that, but I didn't with him. Michael was just a big kid," said Jennifer.

"I don't know anybody who could have stayed mentally healthy after all the accusations thrown at him. But people are obsessed with extortion. It gives them power. Once lawyers and the Press get involved the stories run on their own."

Jackson will be in Jennifer's thoughts when she performs in Scotland next week. It's the first time since she's played here since the Dangerous tour at Glasgow Green on August 18, 1992.

Jennifer said: "Playing with Michael for 40,000 fans in Glasgow was a whole new experience. I flew first class and stayed in the best hotels. It was like a fantasy.

"I'm very proud of touring with him.

Just having the name 'Michael Jackson' on my resume helps a lot.

"Sadly, we won't ever see him realise his true potential. He was such a talent, there's no telling what he could have done next."

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PostSubject: Re: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:30 pm

i'm sure she enjoyed and cherished all the time she had with michael..

frankly speaking, i was quite irritated by the big hair and the lights.. haha.. has the getai feel some more.. hee.. probably i dunno how to appreciate it but she was a great guitarist!!
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PostSubject: Re: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:35 pm

LOLx... it's all abt doing a performance.. Hee

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PostSubject: Re: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:43 pm

haha.. my mum and i gave a weird expression when she came out.. and we laughed.. but she left a great impression on us.. =D
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PostSubject: Re: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:54 am

jennifer batten is one of my fave guitarists besides slash and orianthi. i love her hairdo, her brilliant guitar-playing skills and her showmanship. Very Happy however i hate it when they called michael jackson a jacko. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Michael Jackson's guitarist pays tribute to lost superstar   Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:38 am

u're not the only one... we, fans can say it til we're blue in the face & still ppl are gonna call him tt... hmph... ah wells, we're bigger than they are so we'll leave it to the fact they are disrepectful.

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