Even though he was taking it easy this week in Hong Kong, Michael Jackson made big news back home in the U.S. when Pepsi-Cola unveiled his two big-budget commercials for the soft drink. One was a 90-second concert spot of Jackson performing his track "Bad," and the other featured a young Michael wannabe sneaking into the pop star's dressing room to fantasize. The ads were the first phase in Pepsi's $10 million deal with Michael, which also included a four-part episodic commercial that would appear the following year.
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger was doing the solo thing back in 1987 with his album Primitive Cool, and this week he was shooting a performance-based video for his single "Throwaway."
"Some of them are great and some of them really suck," Jagger said about making music videos. "What I like about it is, if someone's throwing money at me to do my own fantasy or whatever, I'm not gonna say there's anything wrong with it. I enjoy doing them so I'm just like, 'Great.' Sometimes you think, 'Why did I ever do that stupid [video],' but with performance ones you know you're on solid ground."
Aside from making the video, this outing was the first chance for Jagger to perform in front of an audience with a new band, which featured the often-reclusive veteran guitarist Jeff Beck.
"This is the first time we've ever appeared in public," Beck explained. "It's quite a moment, really. To watch people's faces, they love [Mick] so much. It takes the strain off me."
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe sounded off this week in 1987 on a variety of subjects. MTV News was there to take it all down.
On the band's chemistry ...
Michael Stipe: People have always asked us about the chemistry ... it's something I prefer not to even think about. I don't know why we four can work together so well and come out with music that I'm basically very happy with. I think that to try to pick that apart like a frog on an operating table would be to maybe destroy it.
On a dark period for R.E.M. ...
Stipe: When we recorded the [Fables of the Reconstruction] album it was a very rough time for us as a band. We weren't sure that we wanted to continue doing what we were doing. We couldn't ignore the real business side of the music industry at about the same time we went in to record. A lot of the fun aspects of it were getting really kind of trampled, which was really hard on us and we almost broke up. Instead we put out this record that is incredibly dark.
You can't take this too seriously. This is a rock and roll band. This is not the Geneva Convention. I can't even take the Geneva Convention seriously. This is a band and you can only apply so much weight to it. You can only put so much into it.
On listening to others ...
Stipe: The most important thing is not to listen to anyone, no matter what. Don't listen to anything they say 'cause they're wrong. I think that anyone can like us or really hate us and the ones that really hate us I say there's the door, you know where it is. Ignore it. It's easy.
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