Did That Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson Post-9/11 Road Trip Really Happen?
We all remember how chaotic, sad, and disorienting the days after September 11, 2001 were for the United States and the world. Air travel in the United States was shut down for days so we could assess security and how to go forward in our scary new world. Most people just wanted to stay at home and hug a pillow and watch CNN for hours on end.
Three of the biggest celebrities of the 20th century, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, and Michael Jackson were all stuck in New York City after the attacks. Jackson was there performing a few gigs at Madison Square Garden.
The story goes that Jackson and Brando and Taylor escaped to New Jersey by car since private jets were not an option. From there it is said that the trio embarked on a road trip to California, but after getting as far as Ohio, they abandoned the trip and went their separate ways. By then airports would have more than likely reopened.
Pop-culture lore has the trio making copious stops at fast food joints to sate Brando's mondo appetites, to the aggravation of his fellow travelers. The notion of being stuck working a drive-thru window in the days after 9/11 and seeing three of the biggest icons in entertainment -- those voices -- talking back to you -- is too hilarious and weird for words.
I would like to think they took a huge Lincoln Town Car on their trip. Remember when a gallon of gas was a buck and those things were almost vaguely economical?
Would Jackson be riding shotgun next to Brando while Taylor luxuriated in the back, filing her nails in big black sunglasses? Would Brando have let out such monstrous farts, making the Gloved One squeal with anger, his Wendy's Frosty melting onto his outfit.
"Marlon, you nasty!" Jackson would exclaim as Brando would smile and giggle at his body's handiwork.
"Marlon, seriously? Remember when you did that at the Cleopatra premiere and Hitchcock got blamed for it? Fabulous!" Taylor would howl from the back of the car.
If only we could have recorded the conversations going on, the arguments, the confessions.
But did it even happen?
According to a piece in Vanity Fair last year after Taylor's death, a close associate to Taylor says that the trip never even happened and that the Hollywood queen instead stayed in NYC to pray and meet with first responders, but even those claims were never substantiated.
If Taylor stayed behind -- for whatever reason -- that means then that Jackson and Brando went on an insane ride through part of America alone until hitting Ohio, which is almost more fucked up than a Taylor-Brando-Jackson roadway odyssey.