Corey Feldman Recalls Rocky Friendship with Michael Jackson

But "without Michael, I wouldn't be onstage tonight," the actor tells a concert crowd

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Timothy A.Clary/AFP/Getty

An unlikely musical tribute rolled in to the King of Pop Saturday, this one from someone who knew Jackson since his own childhood.

Corey Feldman – who befriended Jackson in the 1980s, at the time the young actor rose to fame in The Goonies and Stand By Me – dedicated a Los Angeles concert with his rock band Truth Movement to the singer who died Thursday. Feldman, distraught and moody, told the crowd Jackson was watching over the show.

“I didn’t feel I could pull myself together to do a show tonight,” Feldman, 37, told PEOPLE after the show. “It’s been really difficult, honestly. I’m all shaken up right now. I had to do a lot of acting, basically, to get through the last 48 hours.”

Of the events of the past week, said Feldman, who was joined at the concert by his wife Susie and their son Zen, “It was shocking, and I think I’m still in shock, to an extent. I don’t think I have fully, completely come to terms with it yet. I have waves and flashes. One moment, I feel fine and I’m myself. Then all of a sudden, it hits me, and I go, ‘Wow, he’s really gone. It’s very troubling.’ ”

Jackson’s Spirit

Feldman, an eco-activist, billed Saturday’s concert as the first of its kind as “off the grid” for its use of alternative fuels on site to take the place of electricity. The show ran on a bio-diesel generator and fuel powered by L.A.’s @ Power.

After his first song, Feldman, dressed in a Jackson-style buttoned regal jacket, told the crowd to take 30 seconds of silence to honor the “the world’s greatest entertainer” and “the great King of Pop.”

“I want to not only dedicate this performance to him, because without Michael Jackson, I wouldn’t be performing onstage tonight,” Feldman told the crowd. “He is with us here tonight.”

Recalling memories, Feldman choked up talking about Jackson to PEOPLE. The two endured a rocky relationship in which they spent time during Feldman’s teen years but then eventually drifted apart, not talking for several years before Jackson’s death. Feldman, however, continues to remain friendly with the Jackson family and even attended LaToya’s birthday party recently with Susie.

Lessons Learned

“What [Michael] taught me is that you always have to be nice to your fans and always treat them with love and respect,” Feldman said. “Even if you don’t remember the moment, they are always going to remember that moment. That’s something that I carry with me.”

Expanding upon that, he said, “Even if I’m in a terrible mood or am going through things, they walk away going, ‘Wow, that really meant something to me and meant something to him, and he wasn’t just blowing me off.’ I learned that from Michael.”

Feldman has played several L.A. shows recently with Truth Movement, his latest musical project with Pink Floyd saxophonist Scott Page, in support of their environmentally themed CD, Technology Analogy. The green-minded actor has been on a mission to make his live music shows dependent on alternative fuels.
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