Michael on Soul Train 1975
Don Cornelius: Do you go to a regular school or a private school?
Michael: No, we go to a private school and it’s a lot different from public.
Don Cornelius: I would imagine that there are a lot of show-business kids that go to school there.
Don Cornelius: Who are some of the more famous kids you go to school with?
Michael: Well…Donny Bonaduce of ‘The Partridge Family’
Don Cornelius: Is he a pretty good kid?
Michael: Yeah…yeah, I guess you could say that.
Don Cornelius: That’s not what you told me a while ago…
Michael: …No, he is!
The Response - Danny Bonaduce: My Life as a Has-Been
Esquire, August, 1991
Another time, I was driving to school when a special bulletin interrupted my favorite song on the radio. The announcer said, “The world of show business has suffered a devastating blow.” I cranked up the volume. “Danny Bonaduce was found dead in his car after a mysterious auto accident.”
I was flattered. I mean, at this point, I couldn’t get a job in show business, but I could give it a devastating blow. Cool. And anyway, being dead was a reasonably acceptable excuse to miss class.
At 9:00 am, I was dead. At 10:00 am, my day got worse.
I was watching Soul Train when my classmate Michael Jackson appeared on the screen. Host Don Cornelius asked Michael if he went to school with any other kid celebrities . “Oh yes,” Michael replied. “Danny Bonaduce and Tony deFranco.” (The deFranco Family, remember? A cheap Italian knockoff of the Osmonds).
Michael told Cornelius that I was always cracking jokes and that my teachers hated me. I couldn’t decide which offended me more — being called a jerk on national TV or being compared to Tony deFranco. I returned to school the next day with the full intention of kicking Michael’s butt.
Over the school PA system I howled, “Jackson, get your ass out here!” It was a poor choice of words. I went to school with all the Jacksons. Within seconds I was surrounded by a well-choreographed army. I knew I could take Michael and probably LaToya. But I had seen Marlon fight on the basketball court and in that moment I settled an ancient schoolyard debate: Yes, indeed, the Jackson Five could beat up the Partridge Family.
Danny asked him one day, "Michael, why don't you ever speak?", and Michael said, "Because I am in constant remembrance of God". Danny said, "Wow, what about chicks?" and he said Michael just looked at him like, "boy, are you on the wrong path".
Danny remembered at the time, he thought Michael was foolish because he had a Bible in his hand and wasn't chasing girls like other teenagers, and he said, "the funny thing is, Michael went on to change the world and I went on to prove him right, that I was in fact on the wrong path".