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If I should die tonight...
Marvin Gaye & the dangers of sensationalized media
« Thread started on: Apr 4th, 2015, 12:24am »
Recently the Blurred Lines case, Zeola's confusing rift with Janis and just comments online have made me really uneasy. For all this talk of how Marvin was such a "bad man" and stuff, I think there's some issues to clear out that I hope Janis does when her book is released in the spring (this according to the Mic article about Motown 25 that MikeG posted).
We know from David Ritz's enjoyable but somewhat scandalized biography that Marvin Gaye was a conflicting man that could've claimed Gemini as much as Aries since he had two sides to his personality and psyche (he was just able to channel those sides better than the rest of us), but Steve Turner's book was not factual. Even the details in Eric Michael Dyson's book tried hard for the sensationalism while still trying to bring intellectualism as if to see why his music was that palpable or why R. Kelly and him can relate in more ways than one (more on that later).
There's still even that sick suggestion that MG had something to do with Tammi Terrell's death, which is a sick assumption. A guy "knew" him but it's a random dude on Facebook who don't show his face and it's been almost 50 years since her death and we know the facts are way different to what someone "heard".
But also this whole thing about Janis' age and Denise Gordy's pregnancy, I wanna clear this up right here and right now:
MARVIN GAYE DID NOT FATHER A CHILD WITH A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL (Denise) (thankfully a person has come with information that is more believable than the Gordys concocting a planned pregnancy; it's as stupid as that story that C. L. Franklin fathered Aretha Franklin's baby, though he wasn't a saint either getting a 12-year-old girl pregnant).
We know that Marvin and Anna adopted the child with Denise's approval because she knew how her uncle-in-law and aunt had wanted a child. Another hint that that couldn't have been Marvin's child: I know that looks aren't everything, but if you look at Frankie Christian Gaye now (MG and Janis' son, now 39), he looks like Marvin spit him out! Look at Nona Gaye, now 40, looked like both of her parents in early life but later began looking like Marvin. His genes were strong.
So how come when we see Marvin Gaye III - and this is not a knock on him, he's earned the right to be called Marvin Gaye's son if not by biological procreation - he looks like his mother and his relatives than he does anyone on Marvin's side of the family? Something in the water does not compute when you put two and two together. Some people may think "why would Steve Turner and Michael Dyson have reasons to lie?" Lots of reasons: mentioning MG having relations with teenage girls to compare to MG's own troubled childhood where he was molested by his uncle Howard (now I can see some truth in that, but I see why Marvin never brought it up if true). Plus, it goes for that "well rock stars have always been with teen girls".
One thing about Marvin is he seemed more into older women than younger women: Anna, Jewel Price (though the two never dated) and, later, Lady Edith Foxwell, each of these women were 15-20 years older.
Which leads to the one known relationship Marvin had with a younger woman in her teens - Janis Gaye herself. Unlike what was said in David's book and any other book or biography discussing Marvin, Janis Gaye (born Janis Elizabeth Hunter) was born on January 10, 1956. Marvin and Janis met on March 22, 1973. Marvin was less than two weeks away from his 34th birthday but Janis was already 17 years old and a senior at Fairfax High School. But take it from gossip columns, they would tell you the girl was darn near 14 or 15. Now why do people love to assume bad things? Janis probably hates to hear that people wanted to make Marvin out to be a Chester the Molester. He surely wasn't one to take advantage of kids and young women were throwing their feet at Marvin anyway (Janis included). Marvin asked her mother, and Janis recalled their first dates being romantic (Marvin kissing Janis on the forehead instead of her lips). Nowadays if a man as old as Marvin had made headlines for dating a 17-year-old (like Tyga is right now for dating Kylie Jenner), Facebook and Twitter would eat him alive but in 1973, no one really cared.
But as far as I'm concerned, that's the only relationship that Marvin ever had with any teenage girl. Anything else is just speculation and should be treated as such.
Now here's where I draw the line, and it involves Marvin's own sister. Zeola is insisting that the reason Father Gay shot Marvin was not because Marvin hit him but because Father Gay had assumed that Marvin and Mother Gay were "screwing around". Now if that ain't about the sickest bull I ever heard...
What Marvin's own mother confirmed was that it started over a missing insurance bill. The father cursed her out in front of Marvin, Marvin being his mother's protector (or what he thought he was and he could've been right) confronts the dad, the dad ignores him, some words are shouted, both men push and Marvin shoves and hits the old man, kicking him. Minutes later, Father Gay shoots him. But to suggest the argument had to do with Father Gay suggesting some sexual incestuous behavior is sick, considering Mother Gay was dying of cancer at the time and Marvin had invited women to his house (women Mother Gay said he didn't treat too well) and also because, mother and son, it's sick and disgusting and for Zeola to throw that in there (on top of claiming Janis tried to poison him and that her mother was a racist atheist) was lowdown, regardless of her intentions.
Frankie Gaye wouldn't have ever tarnished his big brother like Zeola did. Zeola claimed she was closest to Marvin but she probably was just as paranoid on drugs as he was if she thought that was a good story to put in her book. Also, remember a few years ago, someone had planned to put out a book on Marvin saying he had two illegitimate children and such, yeah I wonder what happened to that? Maybe because it wasn't true or that person was b.s.-ing or both.
And more stories. It doesn't make sense to scandalize a person just because of what was "heard through the grapevine" but if you're gonna say this, make sure that it's not sensationalized. Besides most of the people who were around Marvin and have talked about him are dead alongside him. I hope that whatever Janis writes, it would be respectful to the man who was as sweet as he was volatile, but not someone whose name continues to be thrown in the mud by enablers, some even within his own family. It's got to stop. When will it end?
"We really lied, didn't we baby? And on top of that, you have scandalized my name..." -- Marvin Gaye ("When Will You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You", 1978)