“Mike and me started the Invincible album in New York. That’s when Michael built this studio for me on the top floor of a building. He had Criteria Studios build me a studio in a penthouse in two weeks. I kid you not. I went home and Michael was like, ‘Go home…the studio will be built in two weeks.’ We finished everything else in Miami. When I started working on Invincible one of the songs that stood out for me was ‘Whatever Happens.’ It came from an artist that was signed to my label. We were going to sign him to Interscope, but this guy started tripping out. So I ended up going to the writers of that song and asked them could I produce the song for Michael. They let me do it. I told the label that I wanted a 40-piece orchestra to do strings on this record. And I told Michael that it would be great to have Carlos Santana on the song because of the guitars on there. Michael was like, ‘Okay, we will make that happen.’
I wanted ‘Whatever Happens’ to be special. But we had a problem. Santana didn’t want to leave the house at that time. He told us, ‘This is family time.’ He takes time out, for months, to spend with his family. So anything that would have to be done would be done at his home, so we went to his home studio. Santana was such a good guy…very spiritual. And he is a very big fan of my idol Miles Davis. This dude had a Miles Davis guitar and all these performances on video. During the guitar track to ‘Whatever Happens’ Santana was doing the whistling that you hear. And Michael loved it. I remember his excitement over the record. He said, ‘Let’s keep it!’ So we are working on the Invincible album and around the same time I invited Michael to Virginia. That was moment Virginia had a real respect for me. They were like, ‘If he could bring Michael Jackson to Virginia as well as Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, he’s bringing revenue to the state. So we have to respect him.’ And I’m talking about getting respect from the political side.
I was in so much mess with this album [laughs]. Michael had me responsible for so many things. I remember Tommy Motolla (one-time head of Sony Music Entertainment) cursing me out telling me, ‘This will be the end of your career if you don’t turn over those masters!’ I had no idea that Michael had told him I had the masters [laughs]. I called him up and said, ‘My God Michael…you put me in trouble with Tommy Motolla. Do you know who Tommy Motolla is? But I ended up helping Michael. I took the masters and I held them for him. Michael was upset with the marketing plans for the Invincible record. I was going to stand behind Michael and that’s what I did. To me it was an album that was going to do the big numbers. But when Michael saw the marketing plans he told me, ‘I’ll be surprised if this album does only two million.’ They took money from his budget, too. I didn’t care about anything else. I just believed in Michael.”