A lost radio broadcast featuring Michael Jackson and George Harrison chatting about the stories behind their songs will air in the U.K. this weekend (09-10Feb19) as part of a BBC documentary.
The late stars sat down to review the week’s new releases as part of DJ David ‘Kid’ Jensen’s long-running BBC Radio 1 show Roundtable in 1979, but only a small clip of their 90-minute chat aired.
A rare recording of the full interview was discovered last year (2018) and now the chat has been restored. Excerpts will be broadcast as part of a radio special, When George Met Michael, which will air on BBC Radio Solent on Saturday (February 9, 2019), the 40th anniversary of the original broadcast.
During their get together, taped months before Jackson released his Off The Wall album, the two stars talked about the future King of Pop’s love hate relationship with bosses at record label Motown, while Harrison revealed what it was like to work with songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the Beatles, calling them “clever little fellows”.
Jensen, who admits Jackson and Harrison were “lovely guys to talk to”, has no idea why radio bosses decided to scrap the chat.
“We knew we had a good show on our hands, just by the general vibe in the studio before the mics went live.”
Engineers later erased the programme, but BBC Solent producer Richard Latto set about finding a complete copy a few years ago.
“I put the word out on the collectors’ circuit and a chap called Richard White came forward with a cassette recording of the entire broadcast,” he says. “This was fantastic news because the BBC only held a short, four-minute extract from the show.”