Reporter Recalls Michael Jackson-Donald Trump Assignment

It included a flight on a 'prototypical Hair Force One.'

Alex Connock turns a number of memorable phrases in his look-back for London’s The Spectator.

A tour in 1990 of the finest suite at Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City delivered an aesthetic that ‘was Aladdin meets Donatella Versace’s underwear drawer.’ Connock also muses that a reincarnation of Cleopatra at the front desk with an Amex gold card would not have caused quite the same level of excitement among hotel staff as the sight of Michael Jackson, then at the peak of his musical and live performance powers.

Connock, who covered the opening of the Atlantic City resort for an American weekly, goes on in his Spectator Life insert magazine piece to punchline Trump’s PR wizardry as follows:

Jackson retired to his suite. I later heard a rumor that he’d been spotted disguised as an old woman, playing the slots with a plastic bucket full of quarters. Meanwhile, Trump got on energetically with the marketing — an Olympics of superlatives with only one contestant. Biggest, greatest, most expensive, finest, pure class, high-rollers, helicopters and gold. And that was just his hair.

Ha ha. On the second day of the Taj Mahal junket, Connock wound up on a private plane with Trump and Jackson, headed in Indianapolis. At one point during the flight, Jackson chatted with Trump about the fact that the latter was on the front page of the National Enquirer. To find out whose jet it was, and why this gang traveled to the Heartland, as well as view a great photo of Trump and Jackson, read on.

Photo via:

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.