Saturday 27 February 2010

Jackson Guitarist: 'No Truth' to Simmons Claims

Michael Jackson's long-serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten has slammed Gene Simmons' recent allegations against the King of Pop.

Last week I sat down for an hour-long interview with Batten, who accompanied Jackson on all three of his world tours. During her decade of service she was also seen in the Dirty Diana music video, Jackson's feature film Moonwalker and the star's record breaking Superbowl performance, which was watched by more than a billion people.

Batten performs Dirty Diana with Jackson on the Bad Tour, 1988.

During our interview, I took the opportunity to quiz Batten over allegations recently made by aging glam rocker Gene Simmons, who claimed in a Classic Rock interview that a musician friend of his had quit a Michael Jackson tour after 'seeing boys coming out of the hotel rooms'.

Was it true, I asked her, that a musician had quit one of Jackson's tours while on the road?

"Number one," said Batten, "there's no truth to it. Number two, I would guess that it was somebody who got fired. Somebody who was embarrassed that they got fired and made-up a story."

But did any musicians ever get fired mid-way through a tour?

"No. Nuh-uh. No, there were a couple of people who got fired like a week before we took out on the road."

So there you have it, folks. No musician ever left a Michael Jackson tour mid-way through. Some musicians were fired but before the tour even hit the road, meaning that they couldn't have seen anything going on inside any hotels.

Yet again, Simmons' ravings about Jackson have been entirely debunked.