Tonda Owner and ‘Beat It’ Director Bob Giraldi Remembers MJ

Photo: jessicac’s Flickr

We almost forgot that before Bob Giraldi was the owner of Tonda and Butcher Bay, he directed Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video, as well as two Pepsi commercials (one of which resulted in Jackson’s hospitalization after his hair caught on fire). Tonda says it has no tribute planned and we couldn’t reach Butcher Bay, but here’s Giraldi writing about the great Gloved One, via Twirlit.

“In the 80s, my first video ever–’Beat It’– Michael talking me into hiring two real-live LA gangs; the Crips and the Bloods– mortal enemies– to appear in the video– on stage next to each other playing themselves alongside dancers over-dressed as gang bangers– silly, clearly a difference– cops wanting to shut it down, Crips and Bloods pushing each other, taunting, nothing to do with movie-making– I asked for one take to dance, hoping the music blasting through playback would settle everything down– ‘just one take,’ the cops demanding– Michael agreeing– ready to dance– real gangstahs standing on the sidelines, Michael, bopping down the cardboard boxes, taking the actor gangstahs and dancing– everything stops, everyone mesmerized, stunned, the Crips and Bloods, eyes fixated, mouths open, realizing they’re witnessing something more macho than all their wars, crimes, vendettas– dancing by their brothers, most of whom were gay– and, most of whom have never have raised a hand against another human being in their lives. Michael, at his best, creating peace wherever he went.”

Director of “Beat It,” Speaks Out About Michael Jackson [Twirlit]

Michael Jackson: Beat It Rehearsal [YouTube]

Tonda Owner and ‘Beat It’ Director Bob Giraldi Remembers MJ