June 29, 2009
Miko Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando, has been friends
with Michael Jackson for over 25 years. Miko will be a guest
on LKL tonight. Miko's commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive
Michael was my idol. He's been my father figure since my father
died. It's strange living without him. I will never be the same,
and I don't know if I'll ever get over this loss. It's like
losing your companion, someone you always thought would be there.
It's just not right. He meant a lot to me. I feel like a different
person than I was before Thursday. I feel numb - lost. He was
a good friend for so many years. I treasure the time I spent
with Michael. We'd go shopping together, go to Disneyland, take
trips, spend time at Dad's house. He'd just come over and set
up camp at my dad's house for a while. I enjoyed talking about
music, eating together and having fun with Michael. We were
just good friends, that's the best way I can put it. He was
always there for me when I needed him, and I'd like to think
I was always there for him.
I don't really have a single memory of Michael that sticks out.
It's hard to do when you've been friends as long as we have.
My best memories are of the time we spent talking, him hugging
me, having good conversations, and making him laugh - I really
enjoyed making him laugh. I could say some things - just a few
words in his ear, and I could get a laugh out of him. And boy,
did he have an infectious laugh.
Above all, Michael was a very caring person. He had a lot of
love in his heart. He cared about everybody, especially the
people on the street. He wasn't stuck up - he had no ego, and
he tried to make time for everybody because he didn't want to
hurt anyone's feelings. If he thought he did something wrong,
it would really bother him. He had more love than anyone I know.
The Michael I saw everyday was one that loved his kids. They
were his main focus. He was a very busy man, but he always made
sure the kids were being looked after.
What a lot of people may not realize about Michael, is how good
a businessman he was. The tour he was planning is a perfect
example. He was a perfectionist, and he knew exactly what he
wanted and how to get it. Everything regarding the tour had
to be approved by Michael. Just because he hasn't been on TV
or out in public a lot recently, that doesn't mean he wasn't
busy and active. A lot of people have speculated he was really
stressed over the tour, but I don't think he was. He went through
the same routines he did for past tours.
I've thought about whether there were any similarities between
Michael and my dad, and I cannot think of a single one. You've
heard opposites attract? I think that explains their friendship.
They had absolutely nothing in common, but when you got them
together, you couldn't tear them apart. He loved my dad, and
they spent many days together at Dad's house and at Neverland.
They were very close.
Michael was instrumental helping my father through the last
few years of his life. For that I will always be indebted to
him. Dad had a hard time breathing in his final days, and he
was on oxygen much of the time. He loved the outdoors, so Michael
would invite him over to Neverland. Dad could name all the trees
there, and the flowers, but being on oxygen it was hard for
him to get around and see them all, it's such a big place. So
Michael got Dad a golf cart with a portable oxygen tank so he
could go around and enjoy Neverland. They'd just drive around
- Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, with an oxygen tank in a golf
Some of the best times I spent with Michael were just sitting
on a bench at Disneyland's "Main Street." We would
just sit there and people watch. Sometimes Michael would be
in a getup so people wouldn't recognize him - but they always
did. When he was in a bad mood or a little down, I'd just say
"Michael, the bench," and that would bring him out
of it. If I knew he wanted to have fun, or just get away, I'd
say "let's go to the bench," and we were gone.
Of course, Michael Jackson in a public place like Disneyland
was bound to draw crowds, and sometimes we would have park security
with us. But they weren't there to protect Michael, they were
there to protect the crowds. He was never really concerned about
himself, but that someone would get hurt in the crush of people
that wanted to see him. People would just go crazy when they
saw Michael Jackson.
Michael rarely cried, but I think he'd be in tears over the
reaction to his death. He'd be overwhelmed and happy that so
much of the love he gave was returned by the people he loved.
I think he'd take a deep breath and just say thank you.
The family is still planning the funeral, but I think Michael
would want it to be a celebration. He would want everybody there.
He loved his fans. I've been around plenty of big movie stars,
but Michael's fans are beyond fans. He knew the fans were what
made him, and he wouldn't want to leave anyone out. Everywhere
he went, fans would be there. He'd tell me the fans always knew
what he was doing. I don't think anyone has ever had fans like
that. So Michael would want a funeral that included his fans
and made them happy. He would want it to say: "I'm still
with you and we'll always be together." He was happy, and
he wanted to make everybody around him happy. Finally, he would
want love. Above all, Michael was about love.
Back to Michael Jackson's mystery