1979 - The Jacksons perform Destiny tour in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
1996 - Michael performs HIStory tour at Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, India attending 70,000 fans.
His appearance in the evening at the Andheri Sports Complex lived up to expectations. The special effects were truly awesome and as for Michael, he can deservedly be called the best performer in the world. For those present at the show, it was an out of body experience!
For his show Michael flew in all his equipment in three Russian Antanov cargo planes. The stage was 60 ft. deep and 210 ft. wide and he had three teams to work on it – an assembling team, a dismantling team and a standby team as well. That’s what they call perfect organization. It took at least 24 hours to erect the whole structure and prepare it for the show and less than six hours to bring it down. The green room was beneath the stage and had four divisions – The meditation room, the rest room, the photography room and the VIP guest room. The rest room was ornately done in true Indian tradition, with regal décor befitting the King (read Maharaja) of Pop. This room had 20 air-conditioners installed and was christened the Air-Conditioned Marquee. Michael uses the photography room for photography sessions. The fortunate few who were allowed to accompany him under the stage, were his bodyguards, his tour manager and his wardrobe manager.
Crowds in India at Airport to Welcome Michael Jackson. The tank that was used on the stage as a prop in “The Earth Song” was made of blocks of plywood, though it appeared as authentic as a battle tank. The other props, such as the dilapidated buildings and the shuttle Michael used to make a grand entrance in, was also made of collapsible material that could easily be dismantled. She show had its own tender moments, when it left everyone present in tears. And that included Michael who was moved to tears at the overwhelming response he received from the Indian audience for the first time. “This has been the best show of the HIStory tour” he later admitted.
A special route was chalked out for Michael to drive into the Andheri Stadium with his entourage. And it was only at 8.30 pm that he actually reached the stadium.
Journalist and theatre promoter Suman Bhuchar, who had travelled from London for the concert, said: “I had gone for (British Asian artist) Bally Sagoo who was the warm-up act for Michael Jackson. It was a great evening. I remember him emerging out of the darkness in his silver space suit. I have kept the brochure from that concert.”
Jackson donates most of the proceeds from the HIStory concert in Bombay, India to the poor. Michael Jackson flew to India in a private jet. Sabbas Joseph, director of Wizcraft, the event management agency that had the airport shut down on his arrival recalls 14 years later: “Michael met the CM and Raj Thackeray. This was followed by an aarti by Sonali Bendre. As he was walking out, a strange incident occurred. A child fell down and Jackson immediately glided over and picked him up. He held him and hugged him with such care like he was the child’s mother.”, recounts Sabbas. “The (1993) allegations seemed all wrong. Michael even shot with 100 children in India for a calendar that he was producing”, he continues. On his way from the airport, he stopped the car several times to dance with the poor. Sabbas adds that Jackson was even willing to postpone his visit for a day or two in India to meet Mother Teresa. But that didn’t work out. Viraf Sarkari, co-director at Wizcraft, recalls that all the celebrities and industrialists wanted to meet him. “We arranged meet-and-greet sessions with him. Michael kept all his commitments. He was a gentle person and met everyone respectfully.” Sabbas echoes the sentiment that Jackson was the easiest international artiste to work with, as he was very humble and the staff very professional. Both directors acknowledge that Jackson had a great spiritual connect with India. Viraf says,
“We first met him in Los Angeles to confirm the concert. We were told he is very keen on performing in India. We’d presented him with a Ganesha, a Nataraj and a sherwani. And without requiring any explanation, he said, “Yes, that’s Ganesha, the god of luck.”Even when Bal Thackeray presented a silver statue of Nataraj to Jackson, the star didn’t need the politician’s explanation and said, “Yes, I know, that’s the god of dance and art.” He also visits and endows a children’s home and a school for visually-impaired ones in Bangkok, Thailand with 100,000 dollars, toys and the like in November, 1996.
On January 25, 1997, the musician waves 85% of the $5 to $6 million ticket receipts from a concert held on November 1, 1996 in Bombay, India, and donates 1,1 million dollars to a local NGO educating children dwelling in slums - ”Shiv Udyog Sena” - the sum also helping to create jobs for 270,000 young unemployed people in the state of Maharashtra, Bombay; on arriving in Bombay, the singer asks to stop in order to converse with children playing in the crowded slums for 20 minutes, according to Indian journalist, Hema Shukla.
before leaving Bombay, India, where he stays during his HIStory Tour there, Jackson leaves the following handwritten note on a pillow from his hotel room:
"India, all my life I have longed to see your face. I met you and your people and fell in love with you. Now my heart is filled with sorrow and despair, for I have to leave you, but I promise I shall return to love you and caress you again. Your kindness has overwhelmed me, your spiritual awareness has overtaken and moved me, and your children have truly touched my heart. They are the face of God. I truly love and adore you, India. Forever. Continue to love, clean, and educate the children. The future shines in them. You are my special love, India. May God always bless you. Michael Jackson".2001 - ABC aired the edited version of the 11-hour "United We Stand - What More Can I Give" concert. Michael Jackson was shown performing his song "Man in the Mirror" and introducing other acts.