The veteran songwriter and guitarist regularly toured with The Jackson 5, who were managed by their father Joe, during their early years, but claims he never witnessed the abuse the band members claim they were subjected to and instead just said the music manager was ''very tough''.
When questioned on whether he was aware of the mistreatment, he told BANG Showbiz: ''Not really, because it wasn't ... it was never in my life. We were just on the road. Joe Jackson was almost like our tour manager too so I took it all with a grain of salt. To me it was sort of funny.''
The Jackson 5 - featuring brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael Jackson - claimed to have suffered severe emotional and physical abuse from a young age while performing, with Joe since admitting to beating them with belts if they failed to meet his high standards.
Instead, the 'Good Times' hitmaker said Joe's verbal abuse is something he has grown to expect from individuals in the music industry because he has been shouted at by ''tough band leaders and managers'' for his whole life.
Speaking at Kylie Minogue's Barclaycard British Summertime concert in London's Hyde Park, where he also performed, he said: ''I mean, when you're working, especially when I was starting out, the R&B music business was very, very tough, and you're accustomed to tough band leaders and managers and stuff like that, so to me I was just learning. Record executives screaming at me is like, normal. It's like, 'That record sucks, get out of my office!' and then it becomes number one and they go, 'Oh wow I love that record. The first time you played it I loved it!' and I'm like, 'Yeah, sure'.''
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