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My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man Hardcover – November 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Everyone knows Michael Jackson—the myth. This is the revealing true story of Michael Jackson—the man.

To Frank Cascio, Michael Jackson was many things—second father, big brother, boss, mentor, and teacher, but most of all he was a friend. Though Cascio was just a few years old when he first met Jackson in 1984, at the peak of the pop star’s career, Jackson was at the center of his life for the next twenty-five years, allowing Cascio to observe firsthand the greatest entertainer the world had ever seen. In that time, he became the ultimate Michael Jackson insider, yet remained publicly silent about his experiences. Until now.

In My Friend Michael, Cascio refutes the rumors, lies, and accusations that have accumulated over the years, providing a candid look at the Michael Jackson he knew for more than two decades. Offering an uplifting and definitive account of the legend, Cascio details how he grew up alongside Jackson, traveling the world with him on concert tours and eventually working for him. Through this lens, Cascio captures Jackson’s most private and tumultuous moments, while also setting the record straight on the entertainer’s notorious and misunderstood lifestyle—from his Peter Pan reality and his sexuality to the false allegations against him.

As Cascio shows, there was a great deal more to Michael Jackson than the headlines about him have suggested. Cascio reveals his friend in all his complexity, bringing to light his passions and joys as well as his flaws and eccentricities. Including stories about Jackson that have never before been made public, Cascio creates a balanced, human look at the pop star, one that shows Jackson as the very real person he was—a lively friend with an endearingly juvenile sense of humor.

What emerges is a clear-eyed yet deeply respectful portrait of Jackson—a man who was at times unremarkably average but also terribly scarred by his life in the spotlight. Packed with never-before-seen photos, anecdotes, and insights, My Friend Michael is a trove of Michael Jackson lore that both celebrates his life and redefines our understanding of the man behind the myth.

About the Author

Frank Cascio is an entrepreneur, whose expertise ranges from business finance to music entertainment. His friendship with Michael Jackson began when he was five, and at the age of eighteen, he was hired by Mr. Jackson to be his personal assistant, eventually being promoted to his personal manager. Cascio was a producer of The Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See as well as creative consultant to and one of the producers of Michael Jackson Private Home Movies which aired on Fox in 2003. He has worked in New York City for the last six years, and he splits his time between there, California, Germany and Italy.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062090062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062090065
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid on November 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I started reading this book expecting to dislike Frank Cascio. I assumed he was just trying to make money off his supposed "friendship" with Michael Jackson. I almost decided against the book when I read newspaper articles about it. I'm glad I didn't. This book ended up being absolutely fascinating.

Can you imagine being a teenager and having Michael Jackson over to your house for dinner? Can you imagine going to school every day, listening to all of your friends talking about Michael Jackson, and knowing that he's actually sitting on the couch in your living room waiting for you to get home? Not quite sure how Frank managed to stay quiet all of these years. I can assure you that if Michael Jackson had been over to my house, the entire school would have known about it.

This book is filled with cute anecdotes and stories. Things like Frank and Michael feeding Starburst candies to the elephants at Neverland. Walking around Times Square late at night, with a disguised Michael, while a street performer did a Moonwalk before them. Late night stories about Madonna trying to seduce Michael. Stories like these seem to give insight into Michael as we've never seen him before. (Personally, I never would have guessed that Michael's shyness would be the source of so much of his behavior.)

The book talks a bit about the charges against Michael and some drug use, but that's definitely not the focus. This is a book about an unusual relationship. Why did the King of Pop feel most comfortable with a family in suburban New Jersey? This man seemingly had it all, yet it seems that the Cascios were able to provide with him with a sense of peace that he didn't feel anywhere else. When times were tough, they seemed to be first ones to have his back.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful By ivy on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
** Note: Do not let the people that haven't bought or read the book but gave negative reviews because they hate the Cascio family affect your decision to buy. Read the reviews from people that have bought and read the book.

Before I go into details, there's something that everyone should understand about this book. As Frank mentions in the prologue this book is about Michael Jackson - the man and not Michael Jackson - the King of Pop. This book is about the decades long friendship - with ups and downs- Michael and Frank had. Also realize that Frank has a different perception of Michael than we all do. To Frank Cascio , Michael Jackson is the person that he met as a kid without knowing who he was, who turned to a person that helped with his homework, to a father figure and then a friend; a friend that he laughed, worked, cried, shared and even argued at times.

As a long time fan I have also read almost every single book, article, magazine (and even court documents) and watched every documentary, news show etc about Michael. So as I was already knowledgeable about most things, many of the books and documentaries (including recent releases such as Jermaine Jackson's book) didn't offer much "new" stuff to me. I knew them all and they even became boring (how many times do we need to hear the Motown story, honestly?). Frank's book was refreshing in this regard. Although we all know the main events, the details mentioned in the book are new and make it an interesting read. That alone made me satisfied with my purchase.

The time period when Frank was a child is perhaps the most fun part of the book. Frank details his experiences with Michael and they are all inspiring to say the least. They will surely put a smile on your face.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By LisaS on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not enjoy reading this book at all. For someone who claimed to protect Michael Jackson's privacy, I felt that Frank Cascio gave away too much information about Michael's private life, information that was not his to give. He went into great detail about his problems with prescription medication. Reading about this made me feel very uncomfortable and sick to my stomach. I felt as though I was reading information about Michael that was not for me to know. His personal battle with prescription medication should not have been discussed in such great detail in a book without Michael's prior knowledge. I expected to read more stories about Michael and Frank's adventures together. I wanted to read about their friendship as the title suggests, but these stories were few and far between. Much of the book is about Frank Cascio. With all due respect to Frank, I am really not interested in his life, so reading about what a great soccer player he was just bored me to tears. I also felt he big noted himself - a lot!!! The way Frank tells it, at the age of 19 he was responsible for all of Michael's business decisions, and apparently according to Frank did a very good job!!! I also struggled to read his view of Michael's marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, considering Frank was only 13 years old at the time.

He also complains bitterly about the affect being Michael Jackson's friend and "personal assistant" had on his life. If this was the case, why didn't he just walk away? Why? Because he loved the lifestyle being Michael's friend brought with it - first class flights around the world, 5 star hotels, parties at Neverland (when Michael wasn't there).

Frank is no better than the "associates" of Michael's who he continually criticises.
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