Pop legend Michael Jackson used to enjoy kicking back, relaxing, and laughing at videos of Prince messing up, according to a new memoir by producer and record studio head L.A. Reid.
Jackson apparently enjoyed watching Prince “falling flat as he could” and would allegedly even show his favorite outtakes of Prince’s on-stage failures and bad movies to visitors, including Reid, at his Neverland Ranch.
Reid, previously the head of Island Def Jam Records and the current head of Epic Records, told the story of Jackson’s anti-Prince escapades in his recently published book, Sing To Me.
The pop star’s favorite clip, according to Reid, was taken at a James Brown concert in 1983, when both Jackson and Prince were asked to join the funk musician and his band on stage. Jackson sang a little, then performed some of his classic dance moves to massive audience approval. Then prince took the stage, and bombed.
“Prince [couldn’t] make his guitar work, frantically stripping off his shirt and trying tricks with the microphone stand and making all these poses,” writes Reid, “After Michael’s dazzling star turn, Prince fell as flat as he could, and Michael enjoyed laughing at the video.”
But that wasn’t the only clip Jackson showed Reid. A perfectionist in every sense of the word, Jackson apparently gazed fondly on his rival’s failures outside of music too.
“After that, he put on a scene from Prince’s movie Under The Cherry Moon, the artsy black-and-white bomb he made after Purple Rain and he laughed some more at Prince,” Reid says.
As far as stories about Michael Jackson go, Reid is probably a pretty reputable source. A legendary session drummer and producer with three Grammy awards, he has been responsible for helping develop the careers of Boyz II Men, Outkast, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, among others.
Prince has yet to respond to the news that his rival pop legend may have reveled in his failures.