I THOUGHT I WOULD BE FIRED

I THOUGHT I WOULD BE FIRED
By Keith Badgery, former celebrity driver 
Michael was staying in Rome and wanted to travel to Florence to see a painting he was considering buying. There were something like 2,000 fans in front of the hotel and it promised to be difficult to get him out of the hotel and hit the road. So his bodyguards came up with a ploy. Several cars were parked near the hotel exits while Michael's official car and the police escort waited outside. 
The choice of which car to borrow would be made at the last minute. All of a sudden my walkie-talkie crackled. 
"Keith, this will be your car," announced Michael's security chief. "Get ready, we're coming."
I opened the car door and within a second, Michael was behind me. I put him and a friend in the car, while the concert promoter's daughter climbed in the front next to me. It only took a few seconds for Michael to cross between the hotel and the car but it was enough for him to be spotted, screams arose and shortly after the car was surrounded by fans. There were two security guards in front of us. They managed to clear a path through the hysterical crowd so that we could leave.
But just as we were about to go, Michael put his hand on my shoulder. "Stop," he shouted. “Someone took my friend's hat!''
I stopped but I might as well tell you that I was far from feeling delighted. 
"Michael, this is dangerous," I told him, as the bodyguard waved frantically at us. "In a crowd like this, anything can happen. I will restart."
 "Don't go," insisted Michael. "I want this hat".
 Security guards were losing control. “Come on! one of them yelled as the crowd roared and crowded around us. “Come on! You have to leave ! '
"I'll find you another hat," said the girl in the passenger seat. "Michael, please we have to go now." Michael finally agreed and just as people started drumming on the hood, we left.
We were scheduled to turn right several times to return to the front of the hotel, where we could find safety ... but there was so much traffic that we had to turn left into a one-way street. .. and in the wrong direction. However, it was impossible for me to turn around so with a lot of horns and flashing headlights, I slipped through the middle of the cars. Then I turned left several times, before suddenly realizing that I was completely lost ... not to mention that I had Michael Jackson in the back of the car and no bodyguards to protect him.
For a while I drove around but it didn't help. I was going to have to admit what was wrong. 
''I'm lost, '' I announced. 
"It's okay," Michael replied in a soft voice. 
''What are we going to do?''
The girl sitting next to me was nowhere near so calm. "Go back to the hotel," she yelled. “You cannot walk around Rome with Michael without any security service. What will happen if someone recognizes it? It could end very badly!" 
She was right. Michael Jackson is one of the most recognizable people on the planet and the hysteria surrounding him is such that even though his fans have no intention of hurting him, the risk of violent behavior surfacing is. very real. On the other hand, since the terrible assassination of John Lennon in New York in 1980, all the stars have to be more careful. The Beatles may have thought they were more famous than Jesus, but Michael was definitely more famous than The Beatles at this point in his career. We had to make a decision quickly. 
''Michael, '' I asked, '' what do you want me to do? Could I go to Florence and we could pick up the other cars there?" Michael hesitated. "I think we better get back to the hotel," he said finally ... so I turned around and to go back to the hotel. 
Michael was very calm but I think I felt he was a little more tense than before. I eventually found my way back but another problem was now surfacing: Michael was lying on the floor in the car when we got to the hotel, so fans couldn't see him and try to approach him ... but we were a good few dozen yards from the hotel entrance, which was blocked off by six rows of cars parked there ... and no security guard in sight. 
"Michael, there is no other way," I tell him.
 “We're going to have to run. Prepare yourselves."
The girl next to me left first to alert the hotel. I walked around the car and opened Michael's door. He leaps outside. I put one arm around him and used the other to keep the crowd away. The audience came close to hysteria when they discovered that in fact he was in the car. We rushed into the crowd, rushed through the hotel doors and a security guard locked the door ... I realized then that Michael's friend was stuck outside. "Let him in," I yelled ... and the friend made his way just in time, before the crowds managed to enter the hotel. 
I went directly to my room to pack my bags, certain to be sent back after this mishap. Shortly after, my boss entered. 
"What are you doing," he asked. 
"My luggage. I'm fired, am I not?" 
"Are you kidding?" asked my boss.
 "You brought him whole to the hotel all alone! Usually 9 bodyguards are needed for this. Michael is very relieved to be home and he talks about you in very positive terms."
It was with this episode that began a brief friendship with one of the most adorable men I have known.
Source: Keith Badgery worked as a celebrity driver. This story is taken from his book 'Baby You Can Drive My Car' which came out in 2002. He worked for Michael for 41 shows across Europe, during the Dangerous tour.
https://keithbadgery.webs.com
By Keith Badgery, former celebrity driver 
 
 
Michael was staying in Rome and wanted to travel to Florence to see a painting he was considering buying. There were something like 2,000 fans in front of the hotel and it promised to be difficult to get him out of the hotel and hit the road. So his bodyguards came up with a ploy. Several cars were parked near the hotel exits while Michael's official car and the police escort waited outside. 
The choice of which car to borrow would be made at the last minute. All of a sudden my walkie-talkie crackled. 
"Keith, this will be your car," announced Michael's security chief. "Get ready, we're coming."
I opened the car door and within a second, Michael was behind me. I put him and a friend in the car, while the concert promoter's daughter climbed in the front next to me. It only took a few seconds for Michael to cross between the hotel and the car but it was enough for him to be spotted, screams arose and shortly after the car was surrounded by fans. There were two security guards in front of us. They managed to clear a path through the hysterical crowd so that we could leave.
But just as we were about to go, Michael put his hand on my shoulder. "Stop," he shouted. “Someone took my friend's hat!''
I stopped but I might as well tell you that I was far from feeling delighted. 
"Michael, this is dangerous," I told him, as the bodyguard waved frantically at us. "In a crowd like this, anything can happen. I will restart."
 "Don't go," insisted Michael. "I want this hat".
 Security guards were losing control. “Come on! one of them yelled as the crowd roared and crowded around us. “Come on! You have to leave ! '
"I'll find you another hat," said the girl in the passenger seat. "Michael, please we have to go now." Michael finally agreed and just as people started drumming on the hood, we left.
We were scheduled to turn right several times to return to the front of the hotel, where we could find safety ... but there was so much traffic that we had to turn left into a one-way street. .. and in the wrong direction. However, it was impossible for me to turn around so with a lot of horns and flashing headlights, I slipped through the middle of the cars. Then I turned left several times, before suddenly realizing that I was completely lost ... not to mention that I had Michael Jackson in the back of the car and no bodyguards to protect him.
For a while I drove around but it didn't help. I was going to have to admit what was wrong. 
''I'm lost, '' I announced. 
"It's okay," Michael replied in a soft voice. 
''What are we going to do?''
The girl sitting next to me was nowhere near so calm. "Go back to the hotel," she yelled. “You cannot walk around Rome with Michael without any security service. What will happen if someone recognizes it? It could end very badly!" 
She was right. Michael Jackson is one of the most recognizable people on the planet and the hysteria surrounding him is such that even though his fans have no intention of hurting him, the risk of violent behavior surfacing is. very real. On the other hand, since the terrible assassination of John Lennon in New York in 1980, all the stars have to be more careful. The Beatles may have thought they were more famous than Jesus, but Michael was definitely more famous than The Beatles at this point in his career. We had to make a decision quickly. 
''Michael, '' I asked, '' what do you want me to do? Could I go to Florence and we could pick up the other cars there?" Michael hesitated. "I think we better get back to the hotel," he said finally ... so I turned around and to go back to the hotel. 
Michael was very calm but I think I felt he was a little more tense than before. I eventually found my way back but another problem was now surfacing: Michael was lying on the floor in the car when we got to the hotel, so fans couldn't see him and try to approach him ... but we were a good few dozen yards from the hotel entrance, which was blocked off by six rows of cars parked there ... and no security guard in sight. 
"Michael, there is no other way," I tell him.
 “We're going to have to run. Prepare yourselves."
The girl next to me left first to alert the hotel. I walked around the car and opened Michael's door. He leaps outside. I put one arm around him and used the other to keep the crowd away. The audience came close to hysteria when they discovered that in fact he was in the car. We rushed into the crowd, rushed through the hotel doors and a security guard locked the door ... I realized then that Michael's friend was stuck outside. "Let him in," I yelled ... and the friend made his way just in time, before the crowds managed to enter the hotel. 
I went directly to my room to pack my bags, certain to be sent back after this mishap. Shortly after, my boss entered. 
"What are you doing," he asked. 
"My luggage. I'm fired, am I not?" 
"Are you kidding?" asked my boss.
 "You brought him whole to the hotel all alone! Usually 9 bodyguards are needed for this. Michael is very relieved to be home and he talks about you in very positive terms."
It was with this episode that began a brief friendship with one of the most adorable men I have known.
Source: Keith Badgery worked as a celebrity driver. This story is taken from his book 'Baby You Can Drive My Car' which came out in 2002. He worked for Michael for 41 shows across Europe, during the Dangerous tour.
https://keithbadgery.webs.comI THOUGHT I WOULD BE FIRED
By Keith Badgery, former celebrity driver 
Michael was staying in Rome and wanted to travel to Florence to see a painting he was considering buying. There were something like 2,000 fans in front of the hotel and it promised to be difficult to get him out of the hotel and hit the road. So his bodyguards came up with a ploy. Several cars were parked near the hotel exits while Michael's official car and the police escort waited outside. 
The choice of which car to borrow would be made at the last minute. All of a sudden my walkie-talkie crackled. 
"Keith, this will be your car," announced Michael's security chief. "Get ready, we're coming."
I opened the car door and within a second, Michael was behind me. I put him and a friend in the car, while the concert promoter's daughter climbed in the front next to me. It only took a few seconds for Michael to cross between the hotel and the car but it was enough for him to be spotted, screams arose and shortly after the car was surrounded by fans. There were two security guards in front of us. They managed to clear a path through the hysterical crowd so that we could leave.
But just as we were about to go, Michael put his hand on my shoulder. "Stop," he shouted. “Someone took my friend's hat!''
I stopped but I might as well tell you that I was far from feeling delighted. 
"Michael, this is dangerous," I told him, as the bodyguard waved frantically at us. "In a crowd like this, anything can happen. I will restart."
 "Don't go," insisted Michael. "I want this hat".
 Security guards were losing control. “Come on! one of them yelled as the crowd roared and crowded around us. “Come on! You have to leave ! '
"I'll find you another hat," said the girl in the passenger seat. "Michael, please we have to go now." Michael finally agreed and just as people started drumming on the hood, we left.
We were scheduled to turn right several times to return to the front of the hotel, where we could find safety ... but there was so much traffic that we had to turn left into a one-way street. .. and in the wrong direction. However, it was impossible for me to turn around so with a lot of horns and flashing headlights, I slipped through the middle of the cars. Then I turned left several times, before suddenly realizing that I was completely lost ... not to mention that I had Michael Jackson in the back of the car and no bodyguards to protect him.
For a while I drove around but it didn't help. I was going to have to admit what was wrong. 
''I'm lost, '' I announced. 
"It's okay," Michael replied in a soft voice. 
''What are we going to do?''
The girl sitting next to me was nowhere near so calm. "Go back to the hotel," she yelled. “You cannot walk around Rome with Michael without any security service. What will happen if someone recognizes it? It could end very badly!" 
She was right. Michael Jackson is one of the most recognizable people on the planet and the hysteria surrounding him is such that even though his fans have no intention of hurting him, the risk of violent behavior surfacing is. very real. On the other hand, since the terrible assassination of John Lennon in New York in 1980, all the stars have to be more careful. The Beatles may have thought they were more famous than Jesus, but Michael was definitely more famous than The Beatles at this point in his career. We had to make a decision quickly. 
''Michael, '' I asked, '' what do you want me to do? Could I go to Florence and we could pick up the other cars there?" Michael hesitated. "I think we better get back to the hotel," he said finally ... so I turned around and to go back to the hotel. 
Michael was very calm but I think I felt he was a little more tense than before. I eventually found my way back but another problem was now surfacing: Michael was lying on the floor in the car when we got to the hotel, so fans couldn't see him and try to approach him ... but we were a good few dozen yards from the hotel entrance, which was blocked off by six rows of cars parked there ... and no security guard in sight. 
"Michael, there is no other way," I tell him.
 “We're going to have to run. Prepare yourselves."
The girl next to me left first to alert the hotel. I walked around the car and opened Michael's door. He leaps outside. I put one arm around him and used the other to keep the crowd away. The audience came close to hysteria when they discovered that in fact he was in the car. We rushed into the crowd, rushed through the hotel doors and a security guard locked the door ... I realized then that Michael's friend was stuck outside. "Let him in," I yelled ... and the friend made his way just in time, before the crowds managed to enter the hotel. 
I went directly to my room to pack my bags, certain to be sent back after this mishap. Shortly after, my boss entered. 
"What are you doing," he asked. 
"My luggage. I'm fired, am I not?" 
"Are you kidding?" asked my boss.
 "You brought him whole to the hotel all alone! Usually 9 bodyguards are needed for this. Michael is very relieved to be home and he talks about you in very positive terms."
It was with this episode that began a brief friendship with one of the most adorable men I have known.
Source: Keith Badgery worked as a celebrity driver. This story is taken from his book 'Baby You Can Drive My Car' which came out in 2002. He worked for Michael for 41 shows across Europe, during the Dangerous tour.
https://keithbadgery.webs.comI THOUGHT I WOULD BE FIRED
By Keith Badgery, former celebrity driver 
Michael was staying in Rome and wanted to travel to Florence to see a painting he was considering buying. There were something like 2,000 fans in front of the hotel and it promised to be difficult to get him out of the hotel and hit the road. So his bodyguards came up with a ploy. Several cars were parked near the hotel exits while Michael's official car and the police escort waited outside. 
The choice of which car to borrow would be made at the last minute. All of a sudden my walkie-talkie crackled. 
"Keith, this will be your car," announced Michael's security chief. "Get ready, we're coming."
I opened the car door and within a second, Michael was behind me. I put him and a friend in the car, while the concert promoter's daughter climbed in the front next to me. It only took a few seconds for Michael to cross between the hotel and the car but it was enough for him to be spotted, screams arose and shortly after the car was surrounded by fans. There were two security guards in front of us. They managed to clear a path through the hysterical crowd so that we could leave.
But just as we were about to go, Michael put his hand on my shoulder. "Stop," he shouted. “Someone took my friend's hat!''
I stopped but I might as well tell you that I was far from feeling delighted. 
"Michael, this is dangerous," I told him, as the bodyguard waved frantically at us. "In a crowd like this, anything can happen. I will restart."
 "Don't go," insisted Michael. "I want this hat".
 Security guards were losing control. “Come on! one of them yelled as the crowd roared and crowded around us. “Come on! You have to leave ! '
"I'll find you another hat," said the girl in the passenger seat. "Michael, please we have to go now." Michael finally agreed and just as people started drumming on the hood, we left.
We were scheduled to turn right several times to return to the front of the hotel, where we could find safety ... but there was so much traffic that we had to turn left into a one-way street. .. and in the wrong direction. However, it was impossible for me to turn around so with a lot of horns and flashing headlights, I slipped through the middle of the cars. Then I turned left several times, before suddenly realizing that I was completely lost ... not to mention that I had Michael Jackson in the back of the car and no bodyguards to protect him.
For a while I drove around but it didn't help. I was going to have to admit what was wrong. 
''I'm lost, '' I announced. 
"It's okay," Michael replied in a soft voice. 
''What are we going to do?''
The girl sitting next to me was nowhere near so calm. "Go back to the hotel," she yelled. “You cannot walk around Rome with Michael without any security service. What will happen if someone recognizes it? It could end very badly!" 
She was right. Michael Jackson is one of the most recognizable people on the planet and the hysteria surrounding him is such that even though his fans have no intention of hurting him, the risk of violent behavior surfacing is. very real. On the other hand, since the terrible assassination of John Lennon in New York in 1980, all the stars have to be more careful. The Beatles may have thought they were more famous than Jesus, but Michael was definitely more famous than The Beatles at this point in his career. We had to make a decision quickly. 
''Michael, '' I asked, '' what do you want me to do? Could I go to Florence and we could pick up the other cars there?" Michael hesitated. "I think we better get back to the hotel," he said finally ... so I turned around and to go back to the hotel. 
Michael was very calm but I think I felt he was a little more tense than before. I eventually found my way back but another problem was now surfacing: Michael was lying on the floor in the car when we got to the hotel, so fans couldn't see him and try to approach him ... but we were a good few dozen yards from the hotel entrance, which was blocked off by six rows of cars parked there ... and no security guard in sight. 
"Michael, there is no other way," I tell him.
 “We're going to have to run. Prepare yourselves."
The girl next to me left first to alert the hotel. I walked around the car and opened Michael's door. He leaps outside. I put one arm around him and used the other to keep the crowd away. The audience came close to hysteria when they discovered that in fact he was in the car. We rushed into the crowd, rushed through the hotel doors and a security guard locked the door ... I realized then that Michael's friend was stuck outside. "Let him in," I yelled ... and the friend made his way just in time, before the crowds managed to enter the hotel. 
I went directly to my room to pack my bags, certain to be sent back after this mishap. Shortly after, my boss entered. 
"What are you doing," he asked. 
"My luggage. I'm fired, am I not?" 
"Are you kidding?" asked my boss.
 "You brought him whole to the hotel all alone! Usually 9 bodyguards are needed for this. Michael is very relieved to be home and he talks about you in very positive terms."
It was with this episode that began a brief friendship with one of the most adorable men I have known.
 
Keith Badgery worked as a celebrity driver. This story is taken from his book 'Baby You Can Drive My Car' which came out in 2002. He worked for Michael for 41 shows across Europe, during the Dangerous tour.
 
https://keithbadgery.webs.com

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