He was topping the charts with Off the Wall and already being hailed as a genius – but even aged 21 the young musician was showing worrying signs of what was to come.
In January 1980 the gates of 4641 Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino California were open unguarded.
The record-company PR greeted me at the door and I waded after her through shaggy ivory carpet.
Overhead chandeliers twinkled like lights in an elfin grotto.
‘One thing’ she said – as if it were an insignificant point she had just remembered.
‘You don’t mind if his sister sits in on the interview do you?’
‘Of course not. What’s her name?’
Oh and one more thing.
If you could direct your questions to Janet she’ll put them to Michael’
.My mouth opened to query this extraordinary request but the arm that had been barring my way was behind me now launching me through a double doorway and down several steps into the presence of he-who-must-not-be-addressed-directly.