"Everybody says 'Beat It' was taken from West Side Story. It's not true. My inspiration was the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, where I'm from. I listened to the song over and over, and realized it was about all the Italian hoodlums I grew up with - everybody trying to be tougher than they are, but really, we're all cowards at heart." - Bob Giraldi (video director)
''Michael was this musical genius with this childlike innocence. He was such a professional, and such a sweetheart." - Eddie Van Halen
"I wanted to write the type of rock song that I would go out and buy. But also something totally different from the rock music I was hearing on Top 40 radio." - Michael Jackson
''THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG''
(click on the image)