With one of the most famous last names in the music business, The Jacksons need no introduction! The brothers return to Australia in January so we had a chat to Tito Jackson about music, family and legacy, with the legend saying they won’t stop until you get enough!
“We plan to set a record with it that’s for sure. You know we started so young,” he says. “The only person or group that’s above us right now I think is the Stones, they’ve been doing it just as long, if not longer.
“You have the fan base, you have hit records, you’re a Hall of Famer, people consider you as legends – you have to give the people what they want and make it happen so that’s what we do!”
And legends they are. A career spanning over five decades, three Hall of Fame titles, a star on The Walk of Fame, four number one tracks and eleven singles in the top 10 Billboard charts, the brothers are still making music and touring.
“Music is a love, you know it’s like having a love relationship with a person. You always want give it attention and you always want to be there with it,” Jackson says. “I’ve been playing ever since I can remember. It’s almost like having a meal or whatever, I’ve eaten a meal every day of my life, so it’s the same thing. It’s not a difficult thing to perform or write songs or tour or whatever it takes to succeed in the music industry.”
Defiantly picking up his fathers’ guitar at age of ten, some would say Tito sparked the Jackson 5 phenomenon, but he doesn’t like to take the credit for their renowned career.
“Who knows what the family would have done or would be doing. We were always very interested in singing and dancing and that whole thing. There’s a great opportunity that it would have happened regardless but I always said I was the first one to show a special talent.”
At 65 years of age, the Motown veteran has just released his debut solo album, Tito Time, following in the footsteps of all of his siblings.
“Isn’t that funny, the first one to show talent is the last one to record an album,” Jackson laughs. “It was a present for the fans because they wanted me to do it.”
Tito Time fuses love songs, ballads, pop, R n B, country and the classic Jackson motown sound with audiences getting a taste of songs at The Jacksons upcoming Australian National Tour. In their first tour since the Unity Tour in 2013, the quartet will be bringing with them a full blown Motown party. Kool and the Gang, The Pointer Sisters, Village People, Sister Sledge and the Sound of the Supremes are coming along for the ride for what is set to be homage to the great Motown label that kicked off their careers. Don’t worry if you miss them though, they will be back!
“We haven’t visited Australia very much in our past but we’re going to make it a part of our yearly routine.”
Notably, the fifth member of the famous five, Michael Jackson, will be missing from the lineup. Next year will be the ten year anniversary of the passing of the King of Pop and Tito confirms that the family have something special “in the incubator”, but says the group will never replace Michael in the quintet, the way bands have done in the past.
“There’s a funny thing about the Jacksons is that we have the type of band that you don’t want to bring a member into the band that isn’t a family member. Like a John George from Wisconsin, I don’t know how the fans would take to that.”
As the band continues on, one question remains. How have the Jacksons kicked the notion of ‘you should never work with family’ to the curb?
“Well it’s true love. That’s the first thing you have to have, whether you work together or you don’t, you have to truly love your siblings and you have to understand them.”
If your love for the Jacksons is as true as their sibling love, make sure you grab tickets to the Motown mayhem!
Witness that magic of The Jacksons at Sidney Myer Music Bown, Melbourne – January 16 2019. Tickets from www.mjrpresents.com
Written by Tammy Walters