June 29, 2009
Posted: 06:19 PM ET
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 cart.
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.
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