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An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me: DAVID NORDAHL (Part 1)

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This is an interview of David Nordahl for Michael Jackson's 55th birthday. There are technical difficulties! Yet this was a delight for yours truly to do, in fact it was an honor.

An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me: DAVID NORDAHL
Aired: 8/29/2013 11:00 PM UTC
Host: Rev Dr Catherine M Gross
Description: We are about to embark upon a weekend of love, with David Nordahl as our Captain. Of my own account, I will tell you that the spirit of LOVE that flows from David as he speaks about Michael is breathtaking. A few years ago, I heard David speak in a taped interview. All I could think about was how much I wished that I could just tell him thank you for being such a loving and kind friend to Michael. David Nordahl was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota in 1941. He left the world of commercial art to work as Michael Jacksons private portraitist in 1988. He received a late night phone call from Jackson, who had recently seen a Nordahl painting in Steven Spielbergs office, depicting a 19th century raid on an Apache camp by US Army troops. Initially contacting Nordahl for art lessons, Jackson quickly found a kindred spirit and friend.

[Start of Transcript]
[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
4:42: Hello lovely ones. I am so glad that we're together. I'm having a hard time talking actually right now because whenever I listened to that song (Childhood), it chokes me up. I kinda wonder who would not love Michael Jackson? What kind of person would not love Michael Jackson? I know that has nothing to do with us because we loved him. We loved him wildly and I want you to know, as I always want you to know, I love you, I love you so much, I love you because you are here, I love you because you love Michael. I love you because you love the thoughts of love, and you know what? There is nothing be wrong with that! Yeah, there is nothing wrong with that. So since nothing is wrong with that and we we're talking so much about love, I want you to know that I am so happy to have our guest tonight. I have wanted David Nordahl to come and speak for us forever for all of us who may have heard his original tape then you know, like I know, that it oozed with love and that is the most valuable thing. That's what it is, that's what it is, I can hear how much he loves Michael and what I wanted to do is, I wanted to just get a chance to say thank you David and I got the chance to do that... and you'll get a chance to that too. David is here with me right now. So, David say hi.

[David Nordahl]
6:29: Hi. I just wanted to say that, that song chokes me up too because it embodies Michael's whole purpose in life. He told me many times that we are all brought into this world to do something and he said "mine is to help children". He spent over third of billion dollars helping children. He built wings on hospitals orphanages. He did everything in his power to help children and that was the whole purpose of his entertainment to make that money so he could afford to do that.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
7:10: See that is just, we could never find a person like that again.
[David Nordahl]
7:16: Never! No. No. It's just such a shame someone who means so well is so persecuted, why is that I wonder?

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
7:29: I do wonder too, but after I -- I'm used on it, I'm used on this thing and it occurred to me that there are people who are afraid of, just like I said that we are love junkies. There are people that were afraid of it. They are so frightened of someone -- Michael is all squeaky clean, they had to find some mud.

[David Nordahl]
7:52: I know. I know.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
7:53: It is frightening for them; you know people think they are will be of worth, they were right. They were in the presence of angelic being and it scared them.
[David Nordahl]
8:06: I think so it had to be something like that because what a wonderful man and like I said his whole life he had a purpose to it and that was to help children and help people that were poor and that was his whole concern and for our planet as well.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
8:27: We're gonna keep trying to carry on his work. I don't know how we're doing with that. I think we're doing a pretty good job considering and that is what our plan is.

[David Nordahl]
8:46: We do and we can.
[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
8:47: Yeah to carry on but let's go to this thing. One of the reasons I played The Childhood is because as I was telling you that the part of all becoming a kindred spirit. Tells us about how you met him.

[David Nordahl]
9:06: Okay, I had gotten a call from Steven Spielberg 'cause I have done some paintings for him and he said expected call from Jon Voight because Jon Voight has been in his office and he just absolutely love my work and so Steven said "don't be surprised if he calls you" and so about two weeks after that somebody's personal assistant called me from Los Angeles and ask if I would send photographs of my work and I said sure. And I had an art show in Arizona. I think it was around February 13th and I had sent show brochure as well and so after I got home, it was about two or three days after I got home from a show. I was working because there was a show coming up in July. So I was already working hard for that and the phone rang about midnight I was still working. And normally when you get a call midnight it's usually an emergency or a family problem or something like that or some drunk trying to dial the phone rang and so when I pick the phone up but before he said this is Michael Jackson and I thought okay.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
10:26: Yes. Okay.

[David Nordahl]
10:27: It just going around the phone, but then right away he said, "thanks for sending the photos and the show brochure, so then I've done I made that sure that is where I have sent it too and so we talked. Oh, I don't know how long, I think about an hour Lorry felt it was about an hour and half, but we just talked on the phone and he had asked me if I gave painting lessons and I told him that I really didn't and so he asked, "would you give me painting lessons" and so I said that '"I am working on a show right now" and "I said let me think about for a few days and then I will let you know" and so two or three days after that, after I talked to him I found that he is on the Bad Tour they were opening at Kansas City and I felt well and I am gonna hear from him he is busy, but then Julie his personal assistant called me a couple of days after that and gave me a list of cities that they be playing and so I chose Denver because Denver was closed and so he said "Michael wants you to pack up all your stuff, your easel, your paintings, your paints and brushes and all that stuff created up and send that up to Denver". So I did he was not gonna take no for an answer on the painting lessons and so I sent everything up there and they send a limo to my house to drive me to the airport and I flew first class up to Denver and I had a driver when I got off of the airport. The driver that was my driver for the time I was there for that week and I went over the hotel and I got out the car and all this hotel employees lined up and so I was looking around to see who they were expecting. It was for me.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
12:32: Really.

[David Nordahl]
12:33: Yeah. I have never been treated like that at a hotel. I don't know if you have?

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
12:38: No, no absolutely not.

[David Nordahl]
12:41: Yeah, the manager was there and he told me anything I want at anytime just call, they will get it for me, which was absolutely true. I would call down for room service for breakfast and before I hang the phone up it was there. And my food is always hot, it as always good. Like I said, normally if I stayed at hotel and ordered room service food is cold so that was great and then shortly after I got the room maid delivered the big crate up there and I started on packing it and Julie called on the room said "Michael is really anxious to see you, would it be okay if you came down now and I said sure". So Julie and Michael and Chuck, his bodyguard came down to the room and Julie and Chuck stayed in the room for a little while after they came in. I am sure that was to see if there were any flaws about our conversation or any awkward places and as soon as I saw that Michael and I were getting along just fine then they left and so it was just a great week. We went to bookstores, we went to galleries that's funny because we cannot just go to a bookstore or gallery we have to phone ahead and they have to clear the place, all that stuff and we've gone to a gallery in Downtown Denver and so when we we're driving in a van so the van pulled up in the side walk and we jumped out, run in store, but it was like this outer shops we're around this inner core and was all glass towards the inner core and ride across again was a beauty shop and so after a while I am sure that they could spot Michael. He is wearing a black cap and wearing red shirt and so these ladies from the beauty shop started flowing across this inner core and they ended up hanging on the window and they had the blue towels or whatever those things are because we are having our hair down. Somewhat of a shampoo and so at that time then we had to leave because once that starts it's like water flowing towards you so you have to get out of there and so we did that while wrapping the course going to the concert which was unbelievable. I do not know how many of your listeners have been to a Michael Jackson concert but if they have they will never forget it. And the foreman who works so hard on the stage after the show was over he would need IVs because he was so dehydrated. He would lose like six pounds during a performance and he could not afford six pounds.

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