Thursday, December 5, 2013
Review - Robert E. Swinson's "Maker of Dreams"
It was during phone conversations with Tatum O'Neal in the mid-1970s that Michael's dream took root. However, it was not until the beginning of the 1990s that this dream would finally come true.
"Maker of Dreams - Creating Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Park" documents the realization of the dream in words and hundreds of unique pictures from the private archives of the man, who Michael himself called his "Maker of dreams", Robert E. Swinson.
In June 1990, Swinson was national sales manager for Chance Rides Inc. and it was in this capacity that he mailed color brochures, photos, animal selection guides and a promotional video to an anonymous client of Wonderworks, a company specializing in models and special effects. A few days later, Swinson received a call from the mystery client - who turned out to be Michael Jackson. Michael was very excited about the carrousel video, which he admitted to have watched over and over again from his hospital bed in Santa Monica. (He was recovering from a stomach inflammation.)
Shortly thereafter, Michael ordered the custom carrousel - and subsequently the rest of the rides that would make up the Neverland Valley Park.
"Wow, I want one of those too," was a frequently uttered line during those years.
The book goes on to detail how a bare dirt area was transformed into the beautifully landscaped amusement park - from the first meetings in Michael's Neverland conference room to its completion a few years later.
The pictures, which make up most of the book, are amazing - most of them are no doubt completely unknown even to the most hard core Neverland afficionado too - and although the book is not so much about the man as it is about his dream, there are lots of Michael anedtotes included in the book. So even if Neverland is not the reader's main interest, I am sure that most fans will enjoy the book tremendously.
(One of the funniest anecdotes tells the story of Michael frequently spying on the workers from behind the corner of the theater building as they installed the rides, completely unaware that his bright red shirt gave him away every time he did so.)
Included in the book are also copies of original letters, Swinson's work diary, which is made up by transcriptions of notes and a pocket diary that he kept in 1992, a Brad Sundberg interview as well as a collection of links to related web sites and videos.
...To make a long story short - the book is a definite must-have for any fan of Michael!
Want to know more?
Visit the Maker of Dreams web site here: http://makerofdreams.com/