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...Good Vibrations...


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Interviewer: This'll sound like a huge butt-lick, but you were great last night.
No problem - let me just spread my cheeks. (laughs) I think I've been more relaxed on this show, I guess it's because it's all my baby - I directed the whole thing because I had to prove to myself that I could do it.

Interviewer: Why do you do all this work by yourself, Miss Gigantic Superstar?
'Cause I'm disturbed. (laughs) And because I love it. And because I am crazy. I mean, you have to be crazy to put yourself through this all the time.

Interviewer: Well, it sure looks like you're getting off by turning the audience on.
Very much so. It excites me. (very quietly) One night I really, really got close to...

Interviewer: An orgasm?
Walking to the stage, on the stage, leaving the stage... (cracks up)

Interviewer: Performing turns you on that much?
It's more than that. It's because of...a little extra something that I have.

Interviewer: of your new piercings?

Interviewer: I must tell the readers that Janet Jackson has now slowly leaned forward and currently has her forearms pressed up against her crotch-
And it's not by accident, I want you to know! God, I'm telling you some stuff...

Interviewer: I'm shocked, Janet. And you, the "Let's Wait a While" girl.
I'm thirty-two - am I supposed to stay a virgin all my life? And anyway, I adore my piercings - especially my nipple one.

Interviewer: How did you decide on that one?
I let Rene(Elizondo Jr., her companion of twelve years) choose where he'd like me to get it. It was so funny - when Rob, my piercer, was doing me, Rene got so turned on watching Rob watch me, because Rob had said, "You have to get your nipple hard." So I'm playing with my self, saying "Is this hard enough?" And they'd say, "Just a little bit longer." (laughs)

Interviewer: Your piercings seem to have encouraged you to wear alot less clothing. Will you be doing a LaToya anytime soon?
Hell no! They've asked me many times - and offered alot of money - but I think some things need to be left to one's imagination, as opposed to giving...everything.

Interviewer: Well, it seems to be working fine for the men as is. Last night a guy grabbed my program and licked your pictures.
No! (laughs) When I was in Europe, in the song "Rope Burn," where I bring a guy onstage and tie him up, one guy stuck out his tongue and licked my hand, up my arm, across my stomach, and then looked at me and said "Mmmm." (laughs) I enjoyed it.

Interviewer: Did you now? And what else do you like? Could it be...bondage?
Now we're getting into that field...(giggles) All I can say is, I know what I like.

Interviewer: Does that include ropeburns, darling?
(laughs) See, there are certain things that are very sexy to me, and I mean, you hear people talking about hurting people, and I've never done that. But there are certain things that I love...candle wax or ice or having a blindfold on and anticipating your lover's every move.

Interviewer: So the Control girl now feels more in control by being less in control?
Absolutely - in order to be in control, you have to know you're out of control.

Interviewer: But tell me - are you a size queen?
Hell yes! Someone said, "It's not the size, it's the magic of the wand." And I said, "What's wrong with having a big magic wand?"

Interviewer: Nothing, baby. Listen, you've talked about how wrenching Rope was to make, but I think it's hard for people to believe that the rich, famous Janet Jackson could be-
See, even though people want to look at you differently, they have to understand that you're human just like they are. I mean, I shit just like everybody else - that's the bottom line. So I'm trying to find ways to break through that barrier by writing about things that have happened in my life. That's why I did Velvet Rope - I needed to get some things off my chest for myself, and I'm glad I did it. (suddenly impassioned) I have no regrets, and if I feel the need to go it again, I will do this again.

Interviewer: On Velvet Rope, you attempted to cut many of your personal "ropes." Are any still up?
Some - more family things than anything.

Interviewer: Ah yes, the family. I don't want to use the term "baggage," but you are, well, a Jackson, which is-
Baggage. (laughs) There is alot there. Like with every family.

Interviewer: Even so, you're considered "the normal Jackson."
Yeah, I've heard that alot. But my take on why they call me that is that I've allowed people to get to know me. Other people might not want to do that - and that's their right. But you know...I mean, when my family all gets together, you would see how really down-to-earth they all are.

Interviewer: Including Michael?
Including Michael. Honestly. Including him.

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Interviewer: Okay, but I'm struck by how high your "street" quotient is, and surely you didn't learn that at the Jackson family compound. Did you Minneapolis partners, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, help channel Janet's inner homegirl?
Definitely. Growing up, I was very sheltered, and there was not much you could do in my parents' house as far as going out and being alone. And I always wanted to do things for myself, and I got to do more of them being with Jimmy and Terry - like driving myself around. 'Cause growing up, we always had a driver.

Interviewer: Sounds like prison.
In a way, it was. I mean, growing up at my parents' house, there were two guard booths and guards on duty twenty-four hours. Just the other day, Rene and I were talking and Rene goes, "Remember how you hated swimming because there were cameras aimed at the pool?" And I said, "Yeah, I used to always turn off the lights." And he goes, "Yeah, and then security would come over but they'd only see me." I thought he was saying they only saw him because it was dark and I'm dark. But then he smiled and said, "No, they didn't see you because you were always under the water." Get it?

Interviewer:  I get it, you little tramp. Well, now you've lived happily in Malibu for eight years. Does the beach inspire your music?
It does. My brother Jermaine used to live down the street from where I live now, and every summer LaToya and my mother and I would stay with him. And I loved it - I always said that when I got older I'd have a beach house, and now I do. It calms me, it relaxes me, it frees me up. It allows me to create music.

Interviewer: Do you drive alone there?
I love driving. I've got a ton of trucks - I love trucks - and I've done alot of writing driving.

Interviewer: Janet, the truck-driving Jackson. How'd you get so real, baby? Therapy?
I have a friend that I talk to, a cowboy.

Interviewer: A cowboy?
Yeah, I met him in the desert, I was looking for spirituality, searching my butt off, and happened to run into this guy. He's older, very wise, works with horses, but he's experienced practically everything. And within thirty minutes of us talking, he knew my shit like he'd lived with me my entire life. I was like (awed) "Fuuuck." So, aside from Rene, he's the person I run to alot, because he's taught me so much.

Interviewer: About what?
Loving and accepting me for what I am. Or I should put it like this: I've gotten to the point where I like myself, and I didn't before - I hated myself. I know that's a strong word, but I did.

Interviewer: So when the audiences were screaming for you back then - as they will be in just a couple of hours - how did you deal?
Janet: If they're screaming at me, does that mean I'm somebody? No - I am somebody, with or without that, and that's wherer you gotta get. Do I love the screaming? Of course - I'd be lying my ass off if I told you I didn't. But I think that what gets alot of entertainers in trouble is they don't know who they are without the screaming, and when it dies, they don't know what the fuck to do with themselves. And they go crazy. See, you've gotta know where it begins and where it ends, and that's all in getting to know who you are. I'm so happy I've gotten to this point - to know, "Yes, I love that high but I can survive and be absolutely fine without it." And I can.

Good Vibrations
By Brantley Bardin
Details magazine

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