By Domenica Goduto
Michael Jackson was a huge fan of Scottish poet icon Robert Burns.
Friend of the deceased King of Pop David Gest said that the two of them had even made a musical based on the Bard’s life – to be directed by Gene Kelly.
Michael Jackson, who died on Thursday night from a heart attack, only ever played one solo show in Scotland, although he was a fan of the country and especially of national poet Robert Burns.
Last year David Gest, a television personality and concert promoter, revealed that he collaborated with the star on an album of Burns’ poems and songs, although this album has yet to be released.
Gest, 56, said: “Our favourite poet in the world is Robbie Burns.
“Michael and I were originally going to do a musical on his life with Gene Kelly directing and Anthony Perkins as executive producer but they both died.
“So Michael and I put all the poems to contemporary music in his studio.
“We did Ae Fond Kiss, Tam O’Shanter and all that, we turned his work into show tunes – it is beautiful and I still have the recordings.”
Jackson also professed a desire to escape California to live in Scotland, despite having been asked not to return by council chiefs faced with a barrage of noise complaints after his massive concert in Glasgow Green in August 1992.
Undaunted, Jackson arrived in Scotland in January 1997 to view properties along with his sizeable entourage, including pregnant wife Debbie Rowe.
Among the properties under consideration were Invertrossachs House near Callander and Glenmayne House in Galashiels, but no deal was ever made.
During his stay the singer was based at Cameron House Hotel on Loch Lomond, where at the time Peter Fleming was head chef.
Fleming said: “He asked for a bowl of chicken soup, so I made him his chicken soup and he phoned me to say how great it was.
“Then I got a call at home at 6am the next day asking if I could make this soup again.
“I ended up having to explain to the breakfast chef over the phone how to make it!”
Questions still surround the reasons for Jackson’s death, and the family have asked for a second autopsy to confirm the cause.