The Jacksons are heading to Newmarket
Eldest brother Jackie Jackson speaks to the Cambridge Independent.
The legendary Jacksons are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and will be appearing at Newmarket Racecourse later this month.
The Jacksons in 2017 consist of vocalist Jackie, 66; vocalist/guitarist Tito, 63; vocalist/bassist Jermaine, 62; and vocalist Marlon, 60. Randy, 55, is no longer involved.
Jackie explained what fans can expect at the gig – part of the Newmarket Nights series of concerts – on June 30.
“You can expect us to do all of our hit songs, all the songs that people want to hear.
“We have so many that it’s hard to get all the songs crammed into one show. We try to do as many as we can.”
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, whose record-breaking career began with him fronting the group while still a child, passed away in 2009.
His extraordinary life is celebrated in the show through music, video and memories.
“We do a segment on him,” explained Jackie, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997.
“We sing a couple of songs and show him as a solo artist when he was small and us as The Jacksons working together.
“It’s a great show – people are going to love it.”
Asked what he misses most about Michael, Jackie replied: “I just loved him as a brother. Away from the business, he was a great brother with his laughter, his kindness – he liked to joke and play around a lot.
“The fans know him as Michael Jackson the entertainer, but we knew the Michael Jackson just being a brother off stage, and that’s what I miss.”
Citing his personal favourites among the band’s many hits, Jackie said: “I always tell people it’s that very first one, I Want You Back, because that’s the one that got us started.
“When I first heard it on the radio, I pulled over on the side of the road just to listen to it. You hear it so much in the studio, recording and mixing it, so when you hear it on the radio it’s something completely different.
“It was great hearing it on the radio for the first time.”
Jackie reflected on further highlights from the past 50 years: “One of them was performing for the Queen [in 1972].
“Another is some of the places we toured around the world, like Monaco and Morocco – we had close to 200,000 fans at the concert because it was the first time we’d ever played there.
“Also, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was unbelievable.”
The band has been back together this time for about four years and although Randy is not a part of it at the moment, Jackie insists that he’s welcome to rejoin at any time.
“He’s taken leave of absence right now, but the door’s open for him to walk in whenever he wants to – it’s always been that way.”
With all this touring and a new album in-the-works, it appears The Jacksons still have the hunger, drive and energy required to keep on achieving.
“Yeah, we do,” agreed Jackie. “We’ve always had a lot of energy and that’s what people expect to see.
“The fans are like fuel to our engines on stage – they make us go. We love seeing them having a great time and the audience standing up dancing.
“You do get older, but we’re still doing our thing out there. Plus it’s a great, great workout – it’s like going to the gym!
“When I come off stage I’m pretty drenched! I enjoy it very much.”
The Jacksons will be at Newmarket Racecourse on Friday, June 30. For tickets visit thejockeyclublive.co.uk.