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An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

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An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

Post by WeAreTheWorld. on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:04 pm

An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

By: DAVID NORDAHL
October 16, 2013

This is part two of our interview with David Nordahl. 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. ( continued from part 0ne, published 10/15/13

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
16:01: All for Michael.

[David Nordahl]

16:03: Yeah. But we had a great time that week and so then he went on with his tour. I did work with Michael because I brought my drawing board too and I set up things and we practice doing certain things with pencil and colored pencil, but Michael was a perfectionist and so he would get angry at himself if what he was trying to do didn't work very well. He was so impatient with himself so we had a few lessons like that and I told him, it takes a long time to develop skills in art and you know he really didn't have the time to devote to that with his music and all the other things the he was doing, he simply did not have the time to sit down do the kind of practicing that he needed to do, but I am convinced though that if Michael had devoted himself to art, he would have been a great artist, but if he devoted himself to be a preacher, he would have been a great preacher. If he devoted himself to being a doctor he would have been a great doctor. So it did not really matter what he chose.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

17:22: If he had the spirit, to do whatever it was that he wanted to do.

[David Nordahl]

17:29: Absolutely! That's right and he always told me he said "you know I could be working on a gas station, if I have not been given this talent". He said "Who knows what I would be doing" and he so appreciated his fans. He did everything for his fans. He never ever forgot who was paying the bill. He always wanted his CDs or his records or the tapes that he did he always made sure that it was always the very best that could be done and you know if you listen to any of the CDs you can understand that. They are crystal clear and so he really, really, really appreciated his fans more than I think, most of his fans even know and when he said "I love you" to his fans, boy he really meant it.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

18:21: Oh! Goodness. I hope you guys heard that that he meant it. Now as this relationship moved on, I know that you left a job with commercial art. What made you stay with Michael so long? I know there had been more than painting.

[David Nordahl]

18:48: Yeah, he just -- it seemed like we formed the friendship right away, and so he was not just a client he was a good friend and I loved the fact that he was a perfectionist, because if you are a perfectionist you are always trying to do the very best you can possibly do, and I enjoyed that so I loved working with him. He never ever made demands on me that I could not do.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
19:22: Oh that's amazing, but as I told you before we started I said you know what you have to tell us the whole thing. Tell us all about -- every single thing even down to strolling to the store you know why, because I just loved the way you speak about him. I mean the idea that we know that you went to a -- he gave you an experience you had never had before this whole thing of going to a hotel. Now I cannot really imagine what it's like to go to telling be treated like royalty, (Crosstalk), what it's like someone to give you an experience that you never had before something surprisingly nice.

[David Nordahl]

20:18: Oh yeah, absolutely.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

20:19: Do you want me to answer calls while we're talking?

[David Nordahl]

20:22: Of course!

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

20:24: Okay, let see who this is but the person left.

[David Nordahl]

20:29: Oh, oh, they can't wait.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

20:30: They couldn't wait, I guess not.

[David Nordahl]

20:33: They have to try again.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]
20:34: So if you want to call back, call back I am looking in so much stuff that probably they thought, they didn't see them. Anyway, So that's what it is so I can understand what it's like to have something new, something fresh, something concerning and caring.

[David Nordahl]

20:57: Yeah, Michael always treated me like I was a celebrity. I could not believe that. He always treated me that way, but Michael treated everybody with respect, great respect.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

21:17: We feel that he treated us with respect and it's just were most of the fans have never ever laid eyes on him really, but what he was like he was a family. I feel like he is part of my family. I was walking him grow up.

[David Nordahl]

21:36: Yeah. Me too.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

21:39: I feel like he is part of the family or something, like my little boys.

[David Nordahl]

21:44: Yeah. Like we -- many of us did that we watched him growing up. I remembered the first time he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, I was over to these peoples house and we are gonna to have dinner that was on the Sunday night and we got a call to dinner and I stood up and headed for dinning room and all of a sudden, there was this kid on the Ed Sullivan Show. It just stopped me doing my tracks because I could not believe that a little kid could sing with that kind of soul. Soul is developed overtime you know that. It takes life experience but he did not even need that I mean he was born with soul.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

22:28: That is amazing. That is just amazing.

[David Nordahl]

22:32: Yeah.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

22:42: I am trying to get for the people that are looking for the chat room I am having a hard time putting it up for you, oh I have gotten it. Yes, I have gotten the chat room. Yes, life is good. Life is good. Alright I have been on several different computers while we are talking to get a chat. Hello everyone welcome, welcome, welcome. I am so glad you are there mercy. So now as the friendship developed I mean you go from being business, working put work from being a client.

[David Nordahl]

23:26: Yeah.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

23:27: You know that commercial like this I am so and so I am also a client. You know some friend that. Anyway I am a friend but I am also a client. You go from being this from one stage to the other, what happens when you go pass it into the heart.

[David Nordahl]

23:49: Well, I think was Michael like I said I think we became kind instant friends and so after that initial meeting we head up in Denver Michael would call me a lot and I realized also when I got home from Denver this really was not about art lessons, this was more about -- this was like a meet and greet and he want to find out kinda who I was and what my thoughts were etc. before we started doing any paintings together. And so after that initial meeting, when he was tour and everything, he used to call me at all time, a lot of times late at night because Michael always had a hard time sleeping so a lot of times he called me at midnight or even later than that and we had certain chat for a while.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

24:44: That nice.

[David Nordahl]

24:47: Yeah and then he told me that during that time that he had a lot of projects so he wanted me to work on and if I was willing to do and I said "sure".

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

24:56: Tell me about this picture, it seems like the pictures it started out being just a normal size picture but ended that being something like 24 x 38 that the Children of the World picture.

[David Nordahl]

25:13: Yeah, that was that Michael called Field of Dreams. That started out as like you said it was a simple sketch and the original painting was going to be 9 feet x 12 feet and so then overtime, it kept growing and the next one was 9 feet x 20 feet and then 12 feet x 38 feet. And I felt bad because I did that sketch and I did over 5,000 drawings of different kids, different nationalities, different religions etc. to finally come up with the final painting, but if you can imagine the size of that and the number of figures, I would have had the paint over 300 figures in there. So there was not a project that I could retake on by myself. So I tried to get some commitments from some other artist that I knew that could help me at least get the painting wrapped in, but I could not get commitment because they have their own careers and things and so they could not take the time so the large painting never got done.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

26:24: Oh, would never get done.

[David Nordahl]

26:26: Never get done. It is just too big a task, I just can, would have taken years to complete that.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

26:33: To finish it, have been after what (crosstalk). Yeah, that would have, that is too much, but it is now okay so you just said that he spent like a third of a billions dollars helping kids. Do you think that it mattered or, I mean considering the way things go on in the world. We know about the little boys will deliver but for the most part, what defines do you think it made. I would have told you what I think in a minute, you could please tell me.

[David Nordahl]

27:13: Well I think his acts in the people that he impacted doing the things that he did I think he changed a lot of people's minds. I think anybody who worked with Michael on any of those projects or anything else I am sure understood Michael's spirit and hopefully they would continue on doing the kind of things that Michael would like them to do.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

27:42: I would hope so I think they will, I think that any of the people that are listening to the show, there are few countries listening to this show and all of them have been affected by Michael before, what he said he did have the internet, now he could talk to all of his fans but it was never like this, but before got to be like this, he was able to touch so many hearts all over the world.

[David Nordahl]

28:19: That is right.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

28:20: And that is the different side that he made.

[David Nordahl]

28:22: Oh yeah.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

28:27: I think it mattered up because even the kids say, he could not help. He touched the heart of others who would like to do what they saw him doing. (crosstalk)

[David Nordahl]

28:44: Yeah, I wanna tell you about the first night that I went to the concert and we had this hair-raising ride in three vans through Downtown, Denver and out to the stadium and when we got there, there was an area that was fenced off backstage had this metal pipes and then this dark blue curtains that hang on there and then there was a big sign there that said "absolutely no admittance", and then there was line of kids in wheelchair and respirators and all that kind of stuff. These were Make-A-Wish Foundation of kids that Michael went straight in there and he spent all that time before going on stage and there was those terminally ill children and that first night I thought something had gone back there and I ask Chuck I said that the boy past away and Chuck just nod at and so I think that little boy that was in there I think passed away and Michael went from there saying a prayer with all the people that were performing and not onstage. After the concert, I asked "Michael, how can you do that? How can you see these poor pitiful children and then go from there to performing?" and he said "How can I not?" He said "If I can extend the child's life for an hour or a day or a week or a month", he said "why wouldn't I do that?" It was a very simple answer. He had so much compassion for ill children and terminally ill children. That whole ranch was set up for that. All the rides were especially modified to make sure that special needs children's arms did not flop out or their hair didn't get caught in these things. He just had so much compassion and he would ... If a mother called and had a critically ill child or something, Michael would drop everything and go there and he would leave the child with something like a glove or something else. He would tell the child "I'm gonna be back here in two weeks", and I think it was just amazing how he actually extended some children's life just waiting for him to return. He told me, he said "I know I'm just a person". He said but Michael Jackson the entertainer means a lot to these children.

[Rev Dr Catherine M Gross]

31:52: I know, I read somewhere. I think it's the Rabbi Shmuley. If he thought he was saving that he has a healing power and Michael told him "Yes".

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Re: An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

Post by midangerous on Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:08 pm

Awesome!
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Re: An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

Post by ijustcan'tstoplovinguMJ on Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:16 pm

beautiful, amazing, incredable
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Re: An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

Post by Capricious Anomaly on Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:36 pm

Nordahl is so talented-ty for posting WATW!

 

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Re: An Unforgettable Journey, Michael and Me

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