Friday Find – The King of Pop

I have a lot of records.

Not more than the KGB of course, (that nonsensical distinction is for MIA alone to lay claim to) but enough to have seriously impacted my pocketbook, personal life, and also to provide me with an escape when pressures of living with wackily overbearing desi parents prove to be a bit much.

I started collecting in 2000, a year before the first generation iPod was first released (partially designed by my friend’s dad while we were still in high school, no less). Since then, I’ve accumulated probably close to 1000 records but, to this day, my audiophilia never translated into me owning an iPod or any other personal mp3 player. The reason is simple- those devices offer the exact opposite experience to that of the LP. The record is a tactile medium and it is almost not possible for the music to be seen and felt as much as heard, a reality totally lost with the iPod. The mp3 player certainly provides incredible convenience and portability for those who want hours of tunes at their disposal without a wheel-barrow to schlep it around in, but I’ve found that it deracinates and decontextualizes the music from the interesting history and processes that helped created it. It’s in the spirit of this obsessive nerdery that I came across, via reading the miscellanea on my record sleeves, the subjects of tonight’s post and the nuggets I’ll be sharing every Friday with all ye Mutiny Faithful.

Pensive after reading Anna’s tribute to Michael Jackson last month, I remembered that I had seen something completely unexpected while scanning the sleeve of his single for The Way You Make Me Feel: the familiar “P-word.” I knew I was onto something big.jackson_patel.JPG Whoa. Who is Andrea Patel and how did she get Michael Jackson to dedicate a record to her? Did MJ owe a favor to a kind motel owner who put him and his stranded crew up one rainy night during their 1987 tour? dedication_closeup.JPGMaybe Andrea was the artistic genius behind Indian Thriller and Michael wanted to convey his appreciation? Or perhaps she was his secret Bollywood Princess, proving once and for all that the King of Pop was really desi (and straight) after all. If so, did he really love her? Did she love him? With a bit of determination, moxie, good old-fashioned police work and Google (actually, just Google) I found the answer to the mystery of the Perplexing Patel Paean. In her own words:

My name is Andrea Patel. When I was 6 years old I met Michael Jackson here in Toronto and he personally invited my family to his concert. Soon after he would phone us, and send us boxes of stickers/gum.Then to top it off he dedicated the single ‘The way you Make me Feel’ to me. Dedicated to Andrea Patel of Canada, I love you. It’s something I have neverbeen able to live down, even if I try. People are always fascinated by this and refer to him as my best bud even though I don’t talk to him anymore. It truly was 15 minutes of fame!


Her father, Nazir Patel, surprisingly has a quite the active internet social life and is on Twitter (add him!) and has a blog. He explains how Michael met his family and even provides us with pictures, including one of Michael with Andrea.


we had the good fortune of knowing between October 1984 until Mar 1988. A great human being who always spoke well of other celebrities whenever we spoke on phone during the years he kept in touch.It was Oct 1984 when he called us at The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto in response to a fan letter I wrote on behalf of our daughter Andrea aged 3 and a letter that I was able to get through his father whom I met outside the hotel walking on the street. Thereafter he invited us to his Victory Tour concert as VIP guests. And started a friendship that would have him call many times. In Nov 87 he dedicated a single The Way You Make Me Feel to our daughter Andrea 7 and then invited us to a Bad concert reception in New York in March 1988. Thereafter I received a large size photo of me with him in April. Unfortunately we never heard from him once he fired his manager at the time Frank Dileo.


Along with Nisha Kataria and Omer Bhatti, Andrea bring the tally of questionable-relationships-that-Michael-Jackson-had-with-a-desi-child to at least three. (Yeah, I’m keeping score. Please leave a comment if you are another one.)

Since I don’t want to leave without a track for your weekend playlist, check out this off-the-wall Hindi cover of one of MJ’s biggest hits.

The 12 inch of Bollywood Freak’s remix of a now legendary cover of “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” surprisingly didn’t get the Sepia bump when it mysteriously appeared back in 2004, but it did manage to attract the attention of two limber and effusive brown dudes with a video camera and a free weekend.

Usha Uthup1.JPG The track was first released as “Chhupke Kaun Aya” in 1981 by Southie songstress Usha Uthup on her rare album “24 Carats,” a strange collection of Hindi versions of American disco songs. The songs are almost note-for-note recreations, but the lyrical content is a subcontinent away: the Bee Gee’s “Night’s on Broadway” became “Aaj Sanam Mujhe” and Gloria Gaynor’s classic “I Will Survive” somehow translated into “Lelo Dil Mera.” I had to travel all the way to Delhi before I found a copy at the last record store on my list. The original has found it’s way into almost every set I’ve played for the past two years.

I may not own an iPod, but if you do, I hope Chhupke gets at least one play this weekend from you macacas, including those limber ones with video camera.

19 thoughts on “Friday Find – The King of Pop

  1. Chupke could peel some wall-flowers away from their vertical blanky. Good stuff.

    regarding digital vs. vinyl, i do see more than charms (and more sound) in vinyl but recently i’ve been listening to stuff that sidesteps it (i.e. straight into soundclick or some creative commons.) Like mauritanian desi genius Misha “Bulb” Mansoor. He got a following through that and the Meshuggah boards.

  2. Awwwwww! now Ima have to dig up some of my uncles’ old asha puthli records…long live vinyl

  3. “The way you make me feel” was dedicated to a pre-pubescent girl?! My brain.. my brain.. the image sears!!

  4. Almost as funny as one of the Weird Al parodies. Good to see some Indians are out and proud of it enough to put a clip of them gaying it out on youtube, especially the funny green shirt fella.

  5. I’m so pissed I’m stuck here on a staurday – but correct the frikkin link to Anna’s post

  6. was thinking of starting a record collection, but is going to cost a fair few bob. anyway, found my old BDP tape which is now blaring out my dads car!!

  7. (and straight) after all.

    Dude, stop beating that stupid, dead horse. He was a non-pedo heterosexual.

  8. Is MJ’s “relationship” with kids a surprise?? If only he had remained in touch, there would’ve followed an invitation to Neverland… for a sleep-over…

  9. Nice–it all started with a fan letter. Wonder what I’d get if I wrote DJDP a fan letter…[Cackles.]

    Thereafter they lived happily.

  10. @Nandalal Rasiah – Nagaland, is that you? If so, we must talk Primus.

    @rohit – Dude, I was considering doing a post on Asha. I’ll be happy to take any records of hers you won’t be needing off of your hands.

    @bess Sing it, sister!

    @oy ve It must suck having Lumbergh for a boss.

    @Darth Paul I added the humor tag so you won’t have an apoplexy the next time you read something on the internet that may not be factually correct.

    @Herb Save your stamps. The Poonjabi Postal Service is notoriously bad.

    @Mardar – Finally, someone who read the post and understands its gist!

  11. Am I the only one who still believes that MJ was innocent? OK, so the dedication is slightly creepy, but still. He was a messed up man who genuinely felt he was reliving his childhood, at least imo.

  12. “@rohit – Dude, I was considering doing a post on Asha. I’ll be happy to take any records of hers you won’t be needing off of your hands.”

    No doubt! A true original…Her stuff isn’t too rare…it is getting harder to find year by year though.

  13. yessir, i believe we covered Opeth as well. Do you spin on the east coast? once my city decides brown is sexy, and has more than one bollywood night at sharty hipster bars, the demand will be there…

  14. @Nagaland – We didn’t get to Opeth yet, but I think we left off with the Chiefs. (Email me so we can nerd out further.) I’m a proud West Coaster, and one Bollywood Night is too many for me, so you’ll have to hitch your wagon to a star and go West if you want to see me drop beats.

    @rohit – How’d you find out about her? Did she get you with her whip? I found her when researching some of Puff Daddy’s beats. Maybe a post on obscure desi hip hop samples is in order.

    @Radhika – I believe it.

  15. @rohit – How’d you find out about her?

    In 2003-07 I spent a lot of time playing cards in London. I got to know a fair number of djs, many of them desi…I already had a sizable vinyl collection so there were a lot of musical secrets to go around.

  16. For the car, i went back to CD’s. Having 1,000 songs made it too easy to skip songs. Now i get whole albums again and listen to the whole CD. I don’t skip tracks on the whim like i do on my Ipod since a typical cd only has 15 tracks. Its much easier to appreciate an artist and the album this way. For a while, i’d download the whole cd, give each track a few listens, and throw 2-3 onto my ipod. I know this isn’t exactly what you were talking about, but this is just another way mp3 players, even with the many benefits, have taken away from the music experience. I wouldn’t ever turn my mp3 player in and i couldn’t live without it, but sometimes its good to take a step back.

  17. I know this isn’t exactly what you were talking about, but this is just another way mp3 players, even with the many benefits, have taken away from the music experience. I wouldn’t ever turn my mp3 player in and i couldn’t live without it, but sometimes its good to take a step back.

    Exactly, Moni. I’m not saying that your iPod should be kindling for the next Bonfire of the Vanities, but that the listener experience has changed dramatically and taking that step back can be a good way to re-familiarize yourself with your favorite songs.

    @Rohit, email me too if you get a chance.