In early July, Rolling Stone called and asked me to go to the Jacksons’ Victory Tour opening in Kansas City. Turns out, they liked the Springsteen and Prince photos, too. I flew down the night before the first show and went to the press conference at the Hyatt in downtown Kansas City. What a circus! Don King was the promoter for the tour, and he was everywhere, big hair and all. Michael was on stage wearing one glove, the first time anyone saw that affectation. When the press conference was done, we were all invited out to Arrowhead Stadium to see the stage and eat a huge buffet dinner. I was standing in the back of the room when this announcement was made, and the people around me, all from Chicago (we travel as a posse), ridiculed that and said that if we were in Kansas City, we had to go to Arthur Bryant’s for barbeque.
Someone had a rental car (and directions) and we headed to what I thought was going to be a fancy, white tablecloth kind of place. As we drove into the ghetto, I realized I was wrong. We soon found ourselves at the start of a cafeteria line talking through a hole in the bulletproof glass that surrounded it! The food was the best barbeque I have ever eaten, and I go back there every time I am passing through Kansas City. I’ve even flown down there for dinner and came back the same night.
The concerts the next two nights were fabulous, a seamless mixture of showbiz and musical ability. Michael Jackson established himself once again as one of the greatest performers of his generation.
About Paul Natkin
Paul Natkin learned photography in the trenches, working with his father, the team photographer of the Chicago Bulls. He shot sports in the Chicago area for five years before he discovered music photography in 1976.
Since then, he has photographed most of the major music stars of the last half of the 20th century, shooting album covers for artists such as Ozzy Osbourne and Johnny Winter and magazine covers for Newsweek (Bruce Springsteen), Ebony (Tina Turner), People (Prince), and music magazines around the world. See his work online at natkin.net.