There’s a sinister eeriness and lyrical ambiguity to Michael’s song ‘Scared of the Moon’ that allows an interpretation of it being about him suffering sexual abuse as a child,
“Invaded by shadows / The light from the window / Cuts through the air / And pins the child lying there… / There’s nothing wrong / Don’t be bothered they said / It’s just childish fantasies turning your head / No need to worry”.
Of course, the song may literally be about a child frightened of the moon, with Michael merely inspired by the memories of his being taken far from home and the comfort of his mother, and into the guidance of Bobby Taylor.
Bobby Taylor is renowned as having discovered the Jackson 5. Yet he has been oddly blackballed from their history, including any acknowledgement for songwriting credits as part of The Corporation – songs in which Michael was strictly disciplined into carrying out convincing portrayals of sexuality involving children. With lyrics such as,
“When Alexander called you / He said he rang your chimes / Christopher discovered / You’re way ahead of your times!”
Prior to his succumbing to the bane that is the taxman, Bobby Taylor was a big Motown name in his own right, having formed bands called Little Daddy and The Bachelors and Four Niggers and a Chink before settling on the somewhat-more politically correct appellation, Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers.
Little Daddy and The Bachelors had a hit with ‘Too Much Monkey Business’ / ‘Junior’s Jerk’.
Diana Ross was ultimately chosen to “present” the Jackson 5.
Michael recorded Scared of the Moon as part of a gamut of creativity he experienced during the mid-eighties, with the unreleased tracks from this period providing perhaps the clearest glimpses into his soul that we were ever gifted.
There are several instances of vagueness in Michael’s adlibs that are frequent subjects of debate by fans, with a popular one occurring towards the end of the Bad-outtake ‘Monkey Business’.
‘Monkey Business’ is almost a cover version of the Little Daddy and The Bachelors track of the same name (itself a Chuck Berry cover), apart from some distinct lyrical differences such as,
“The government won’t pay my taxes / And I’m really mad… / I might tell on you / So don’t you start no stuff with me / You can’t like it that I’m looking right at you / You can’t like it that I’m looking right at you / You’re dirty / You’re dirty”.
Michael did a lot of soul-searching in the eighties. I like to imagine he managed to purge some of his demons during this time. After all, by the end of the decade – far from being scared of the moon – his very name had become synonymous with it.
Italian translation available here: http://amzn.to/1O85aRV