Oct 12 2010

Katherine Jackson on Oprah: Taj Explains, Friends Lament, Fans Worry (UPDATED)

Category: Family,Friends,Justice,Photos,Quotes,Quotes About MJSeven @ 3:36 am

MJ balances the head of the beast on his fingertip

Much of the Michael Jackson fan community had been awash with worry and disgust on Monday as we learned that Katherine Jackson may be appearing on Oprah’s show at some point, as evidenced by Orpah’s production crew seen arriving at the Jackson family compound recently and some interloper’s photos of Oprah in the family’s home showing up on Trash Media Zone (TMZ). Makes one wonder who in that house is leaking photos to the tabloids and how much they’re getting paid to feed the vultures. But that’s another issue.

If you remember, Lisa-Marie Presley was to appear on Oprah’s show on October 6, however that airing has not yet happened. Maybe the Lisa-Marie segment will be combined with the interview Katherine has done with Oprah. Regardless what the notorious backstabber’s plans are, they are no doubt designed to garner her top ratings in her last season.

However, what could be the objective of the the Jacksons in appearing on this woman’s show, particularly if they know Oprah’s opinions on Michael and how she has not only failed to support him over the years, but even worse, has ‘kicked him when he’s down‘ so-to-speak, joining in with the rest of the lame$tream medialoid’s chorus of “guilty freak” for decades.

In case you wonder why Katherine is doing this and if she knows about Oprah’s modus operandi when it comes to Michael, she does know and she has her reasons for wanting to talk to Oprah. Her grandson (Michael’s nephew) Taj Jackson tweeted about this on Monday afternoon, and I share with you what he had to say about it below:

Taj: Getting many tweets abt Oprah. its vry important 2 not let that same audience of Oprah think wht Oprah said or thought in the past was tru.

Fan-mily: Speaking for many fans here when I ask is your family aware of how much Oprah has disrespected MJ?

Taj: Very aware..

Taj: I am the first person who is angry at Oprah and how she turned her back at my uncle. However you let things linger and the world believes.

Taj: Talked to my grandma before she did it. We all want to clear MJ’s name.That’s our first priority. We are trying to set the record straight.

Fan-mily: cuz i did not like that so called tribute of hers

Taj: Me neither

Fan-mily: so bacically your family wants to set the record straight with O?

Taj: It’s time to set the record straight with everyone.

Taj: I personally don’t care what Oprah thinks, but I do care what her millions of audience thinks about my uncle. Esp. when it’s not true at all.

Fan-mily: What’s the thruth about him? What’s the most important truth 4 U?

Taj: How unique & special MJ was. He was too good for this world

Taj: Mj’s legacy is being shaped everyday. I owe it to my uncle to do everything in my power to keep it alive and erase all the untruths.

So there you have it. I was personally relieved to know Taj is involved and had spoken with Katherine about this and that the family is fully aware of Oprah’s history when it comes to Michael. It’s not Taj or Katherine whom I take any issue with or have any mistrust in. Their motives are not in question. However, knowing Oprah Winfrey and her rather slithery methods regarding Michael, her willful ignorance, and self-serving arrogance, it is her motives that I question, not the Jackson family or Katherine. Though I don’t like the method they chose this time, I fully support them in their efforts to redeem Michael’s legacy.

How will this program be edited? What commentary will Oprah insert into it? Did the Jacksons have their own cameras running like Michael did when Bashir carried out his lynching in that horrid career-destroying crockumentary? Can anyone blame the fans of Michael Jackson for not trusting the medialoids after what they’ve done to Michael? I don’t think so! And Oprah is part and parcel of those medialoid mercenaries not to mention one of most historically damaging members of it when it comes to Michael. Oprah made it clear after he died that neither her attitude nor her modus operandi in regards to him had changed. Verbally, she kicked him as he lay in his grave – after waiting weeks to say anything at all – nevermind that it was his interview on her show that garnered her highest ratings ever. Then just last week the ungrateful Oprah spat: “I don’t want to be Michael Jackson!”  Just speaking for myself, she looks ridiculous as she frantically chases after her precious (ratings), finding ways to use and abuse Michael’s family, friends, and ex-wife before her show leaves the air. Why would anyone trust this woman after what’s she’s done to Michael Jackson?

I hope the Jacksons do not trust her and that they find a way to ensure that when her program airs with Mrs. Jackson (and/or Lisa-Marie) that it is done truthfully and respectfully – and in a way that does not damage the case against his murderer, Conrad Murray. For instance, Michael did not die because “he’s a drug addict.” He died because a doctor injected / dosed him with inappropriate drugs in an inappropriate setting. His being an addict (whether he was actively abusing any substances when he died or not – coroner’s report says he was not) has nothing to do with why he died that day and the two subjects should not be linked as they are irrelevant to one another. The media however, insists on linking the two. It’s a convenient way to further negatively define Michael and has the added effect that Michael Jackson can thusly be blamed for his own murder, while Conrad Murray and AEG get off scot-free – absolved of any responsibility whatsoever in it.

Fans will not retreat if this woman destroys Michael Jackson’s legacy further during a program that his family has agreed to do in order to clear the air and finally set the record straight about Michael. To say she’ll have ‘egg on her face‘ is an understatement. What she’ll have IN her face is a lot of Michael Jackson’s fan-mily. Fans are in no mood for any further denigration of Michael Jackson by this selfish woman.

Here is what Michael’s long-time friend and make-up artist Karen Faye had to say about this:

Oprah’s agenda is to convince the world that her opinion of Michael is the right one. I pray her agenda is apologetic.

RATINGS. It is her last season before she moves to her own network. She is afraid not living up to her past successes.

Judge Judy beats her ratings in her present time slot. She wants to make sure her viewers follow her. It’s business. SHOW BUSINESS

This is Oprah’s chance to RIGHT her wrong. Let us see what she chooses. I am sure her only concern is her own ratings…not MJ or his family

She will go with what will give her the highest ratings.

These photos (of Oprah at Jackson residence) were probably all pre arranged. Celebs set up photo ops for the tabloids.

What most people outside of show business do not understand is that it is BIG BUSINESS. Making stars and celebs is all arranged,bought&paid4

Maybe Mrs.J & LMP can change her heart. A bigger power may be guiding this ship….

I hope a bigger power is guiding this ship. Because you know, enough is enough of this garbage.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

UPDATE Late Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Randy Jackson tweeted Tuesday evening about the Oprah debacle, and about her interviewing the children:

i know every 1 wants to know my position on the Oprah interview.

1rst let me say that i love my mother and father.

i am humbly grateful to have them as my parents. but i don’t always agree with the choices they make. this is 1 of those times.

i found out Oprah was at our family home, my stomach ached and it still hasn’t gone away.

i had no prior knowledge this was going to happen. it was deliberately kept from me because they knew i would have tried to stop it.

I know how Oprah feels about my brother and family.

i also know that he would not have wanted this.

in fact, she is the last person on earth he would want around his children.

i can never forget when she had the show on pedophilia during the jury deliberation process in my brother’s santa maria case.

that was no coincidence.

i know there are a lot of you out there upset and angry over this. i don’t blame you.

can you imagine how i feel. i’m angry 2.

i’m sorry for the delay. just trying to hold myself together.

Let our anger be the fuel that ignites our desire for truth, and keeps us unified on the road to justice for him.

i will continue to do my best with my family. all i need is your love and support. i will never give up.

-Randy Jackson via Twitter, October 12, 2010

How to Contact Oprah about this issue

If you’re on Twitter and wish to Tweet Oprah about this, you can insert “@Oprah” in your tweet to her.

Also, you can contact her show here: http://www.oprah.com/contact_us.html, and find her on Facebook here.

If you choose to tweet or contact Oprah, please do not YELL (don’t use all caps), and do not swear or curse. Do not call her names when contacting her or her representatives. State your concerns in a calm fashion and behave like someone who deserves to be heard. Remember that when communicating about issues involving Michael, your behavior reflects on Michael and his legacy. The last thing we need are people balking about a bunch of “crazed Jackson fans” stalking Oprah with hysterical messages. That won’t help anything or anyone. Please remain calm, no YELLING, and no cursing or namecalling in your messages to her!  I tweeted Oprah, repeating some of Randy’s comments, and telling her we know she is after ratings, and simply asked her to at least leave the children out of it.  Likely you’ll get no response from her or her representatives. However, if you as a fan want your concerns to be voiced (and I think that’s reasonable), then please do so carefully and calmly.  I don’t like her. And I’m angry with her due to the way she’s treated Michael over the years and recently, and because she’s using his family like this (and yes, maybe they’re using her too). But I’m saving the real anger until after we see what happens.  Even then, we can shout epithets amongst ourselves but when it comes time to speak to the ‘powers that be‘, hysterics and rudeness will only be ignored or mocked – so when communicating with them, be assertive (not agressive!), and calm.  Leave the really ridiculous behavior to Oprah and others in the media like her. We can do better than that because we had the best teacher – Michael.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

UPDATE Wednesday October 13th, 2010, Taj says kids are not being interviewed.

I wasn’t personally sure about the rumor about the kids. This is why when I tweeted Oprah I said “If rumors are true, Please leave MJ kids out of it. MJ did not want them exploited by tabloids & media. And especially not by you.” (note the “if” in there).

Taj tweeted:

Hey guys. Have many thoughts, but I have to bite my tongue still.

Don’t wan’t to turn this into a rant.

How many of the so called MJ experts actually sat down w/ my uncle & talked to him about what he wanted . I did. My grandma as well.

I was lucky to have that type of open relationship with my uncle.

Oprah did not interview MJ’s kids. Rumors get started and people run with them. We should know better than to trust rumor sites.

And like expected, Negativity still makes the front page and positivity doesn’t. It’s so easy to throw stones from a distance.

Where’s the press about the campaign for Uncovering MJ’s name at Gardner Street School. http://www.facebook.com/UncoverMJ

TMZ of course, not to anyone’s surprise constantly posts negativite things about MJ and my Grandma.

Why? Because our family divided is what sells newspapers. Some of us realize that and fight to unite, some of us don’t and feed it

Guys, we are there, on the front lines,making sure my uncles legacy will last centuries. That is the big picture for me. That is my mission

I thank the many that did support us and gave us the trust and benefit of the doubt.

To see some of the hate we face…

@tajjackson3 why do ppl hate mj why
Because it’s easier to hate then find the truth.

Guys. I can’t say this enough. My grandma was there EVERYDAY during the trial, on camera and off. I know cause I was at Neverland with them

I moved to Neverland right before the trial to support my uncle. It was the least I could do for him. He was that amazing to me.

I saw him everyday before and after each day of court . I’ll never forget that my Grandma was by his side the whole time.

To have some fans turn on my grandma like that really upsets me. At least give her the benefit of the doubt. You would for my uncle.

@tajjackson3 Were you in court on verdict/vindication day Taj? Or did you stay at the ranch?
Stayed at the ranch the whole time

@tajjackson3 How could we know you are not a fake account? Contact Twitter to get it verified, plz
I’ve been trying to

Sorry guys.. it’s just that if you knew the love my uncle had for my Grandma, you would be feeling the same way.

We need to stay focused on all what MJ stood for. Love

@tajjackson3 your Grandma was his everything right?
Yes, and his kids of course.

My uncles legacy is the most important thing for me. I am not even promoting Code Z like I should because of this importance.

I am so thankful that I was able to tell MJ how much I loved him & appreciated everything he did for me,3 months before he passed

My Grandma needs Ur support, not ur stones. My uncle looked up to her everyday. She was also my mom’s role model. That’s not a coincidence.

@tajjackson3 Why do you call him MJ? Why don’t you call him Uncle Michael? 🙂 ♥
It’s shorter for twitter 🙂

My uncle always said he has the best fans in the world and I know it. My uncle is not gone, he lives through you guys.

Guys, Twitter has closed verification “office” due to improvements/ upgrades. I can’t be verified yet or I would be. Pls RT.

History is what people with the pen write. It then get’s past down to each generation. I’m making sure people know the truth about my uncle.

I know my grandma is on the same page. Let the world know the real Mj, as only we knew him. The incredible person with a true heart of gold.

UPDATE Monday October 18th, 2010, Taj added via Twitter that kids were interviewed after all:

Guys, there really is no easy way for me to say this but I always want to tell you the truth. Good or Bad. After finally talking directly to my cousins, I found out they did in fact speak to Oprah. I don’t know if they are or will be part of the upcoming interview or not. Anyways, I’m sorry for tweeting something that I didn’t hear come directly from the horses’ mouth. That was truly my mistake. I should have known better.

My friend Nikki has done a bit of research and has uncovered what appears to be an obsession on Oprah’s part with pedophelia. While this is certainly a serious and insidious issue that needs diligent attention, one needs to be careful not to ruin the life of an innocent person by accusing him of it when decades of facts and evidence (not to mention a trial in which he was fully exonerated) clearly indicate his innocence. Having been a victim of the crime, perhaps Oprah herself needs some therapy to help her deal with her own inner demons. It is not fair to Michael Jackson, his family, or his legacy that Oprah continually makes him pay for the sins of her own abuser. Michael Jackson was not an abuser and he was certainly not her abuser. Quite the opposite. Michael himself was and is abused by this woman. He is once again, the victim. Now that his life is prematurely ended, she has moved on to abuse his family, instead. And I realize that some members of the Jackson family want this interview and I don’t particularly like that decision. But that does not change the fact that their own motives and Oprah’s are likely at polar opposites of each other. It also does not change her past record of systematic abuse of Michael Jackson to suit her own needs, or the fact that her modus operandi seems unlikely to change much at this point from what it has historically been. She is a high-profile member of that pit of snakes known as “the media” that helped destroy his life and livelihood. Turning to one of the most abusive members of the same collective entity that helped cause Michael’s destruction in order to redeem him seems nonsensical at best, but they are his family and it is their decision to make. I support their objective (even if not their method), and I only hope for the best outcome, however unlikely it seems.

Here is what Nikki wrote today on Twitter:

Apparently Oprah has had several shows on pedophilia/molestation (if TV Guide is accurate, pay attention to the dates):

http://www.tvguide.com/detail/tv-show.aspx?tvobjectid=100340&more=ucepisodelist&episodeid=4799426

8/2/2005: When the One You Love Is a Pedophile

10/4/2005: Kidnapped by a Pedophile: The Shasta Groene Tragedy

1/17/2006: Oprah’s Latest Capture: From Boys’ School Director to Most Wanted Pedophile

9/28/2006: What Pedophiles Don’t Want You to Know

—————————————————-

4/19/2010: Best of Oprah: Exclusive: Accused of Molesting Her—Oscar Winner Mo’Nique’s Brother Comes Forward

2/8/2010: Best of Oprah: A Special Report: Oprah & a No Holds Barred Conversation With Child Molesters

10/11/2005: Oprah Captures Child Molesters

6/13/2005: Molested by a Priest

5/11/2005: Day I Found Out My Husband Was a Child Molester

9/30/2004: I Shot My Molester

8/14/2003: Child Molester in Your Neighborhood?

2/21/2003: Confessions of Molestation

Nikki further observed:

As for the dates, one show aired on 5/11/2005: Day I Found Out My Husband Was a Child Molester. Then, on the day of his acquittal another show aired (6/13/2005: Molested by a Priest). I can’t see shows listed before 2003 but looking at this, 2 shows were pre-charges, the bulk of her shows were during 2005 and 2006–when MJ’s trial was still fresh on people’s mind. She apparently had no shows on the topic in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and has now picked back up on the topic in 2010. The timing may be coincidence but I kind of doubt it. I don’t think Oprah does much by coincidence. She did not get to the top of her game by chance or accident.

Fellow writer Deborah Ffrench has left a comment below that was so well-written and on point I want to add it here as well. Deborah said:

What has struck me most over the years about Ms Winfrey’s coverage of Michael Jackson is how few meaningful questions she asked.

Occupying an unprecedented position to examine the multitude of anomalies and doubts cast by the compromised sources behind most of the bought ‘testimonies’ of ex-employees in 1993, not to mention the myth that the settlement precluded a criminal trial — instead Oprah contented herself with giving worldwide airplay to assumptions and the further denigration of Mr Jackson’s character and integrity, while he was in the midst of fighting for his life and liberty in 2005.

Later, in 2005, no questions or eyebrows were raised about the ridiculous, logic-defying timeline, the glaringly malicious and overwhelmingly dubious motivation of the accusers, or the highly personalized investment of Tom Sneddon. None of these realities can have escaped Oprah. Her remembrance program in 2009 could have left no-one in any doubt as to where she stood on the subject of Michael’s innocence.

Does the news of this forthcoming interview signal a change of heart? It seems unlikely.

Clearly, Oprah’s desire for ratings remains unabated. To use a powerful medium like televison to more than imply Mr Jackson’s guilt and/or ‘bizarreness,’ can only have compounded the media frenzy at the time, that resulted in the public’s inabilty to see the 2005 trial for the jihad it actually was. Such a stance, is not only unprofessional it also profoundly undermines her status as the woman who ‘asks the difficult questions.’ When the asking of those ‘questions’ could have done Michael some tangible good — Oprah was silent.

No doubt the forthcoming interview will focus on Michael’s ‘drug use,’ without offering any mitigation whatsover about the context of his life, swiftly followed no doubt by ‘how are the children doing?’ inquiries.

We can only hope Mrs Jackson secured editing rights for herself. As we all know, many people will be tuning in for this, they will be unable not to — and that is precisely what Ms Winfrey is banking on.

Tags: , , , , ,


Sep 03 2010

Sony and AEG: They Had Him Trapped in ‘Financial Bondage’ (Updated)

Category: Justice,Photos,QuotesSeven @ 7:56 pm

•

NEW INTRO added 9/03/2012: This piece is based on what we’ve been told by some who were there, on information in a few books that have been published, and on some articles and documents that we’ve seen (for instance,the contract between MJJ and AEG). It may not be exactly right but my guess is that it’s pretty close.  I’ve decided to re-share it in consideration of an article just published about some leaked AEG emails before/during preparations for “This Is It“. Those emails are very telling. The article of course has a snotty, negative, media slant as most do about Michael, and the timing of its publication is suspect – it appeared within 48 hours of the 25th anniversary of the release of Michael’s “BAD” album and Spike Lee’s fantastic “BAD 25” film about the making of that album. However, those leaked emails are undeniable fact. The undeniable fact is that AEG knew there were issues with Michael’s physical and emotional wellbeing and they tried to hide them. They required those working for them to hide them (lie) about what was going on, while also trying to coerce Lloyds of London to forego required physical examinations required for their insurance coverage. Why would they do that if there was nothing to hide?

The article is here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-aeg-jackson-20120902,1597,4847317.story?page=1   Why would “AEG’s insurance broker” try to “persuade Lloyd’s to drop the  physical” in London if Michael Jackson was perfectly fit and able?

Most chilling, the last sentence of the article reads: “Michael’s death is a terrible tragedy, but life must go on. AEG will make a fortune…”  Thus, it seems loss of MJ’s life was just “collateral damage” in this whole business deal. The indifference is stunning.

The following is what I wrote about this situation exactly two years ago, and given what we see in the LATimes article in those leaked emails (nevermind the rest of it and the interesting timing of the article), it may not be too far off the mark:

Like a dancing marionette in a cage, they had him trapped. I’ve written before about corporate parasitism and abuse, and particularly the abuse of black artists. In the last couple of days I’ve become aware of some very informative blog entries from other people who are investigating the contracts and legal agreements between Michael Jackson (Company LLC), $ony, and AEG. I provide details here to help shed light on the actual content of some of these agreements and contracts. If these accounts are true, we can see how unfair (and even duplicitous) they were to Michael, targeting him during the weakest financial points in his life, in an effort to gain or re-gain control of his most valuable asset, his music catalogs – and everything else too seemingly, in the case of AEG.

The objective of these predatory and parasitic entities? Profit. Control. Power. Getting Michael Jackson at the O2 would help AEG Live overtake their main competitor, LiveNation in the entertainment venue market. And if that failed, the contract enabled them to very nicely profit from and have complete power and control over (ie: OWN) the most successful and greatest entertainer who ever lived, including and especially his catalog(s). If he did not or could not do what they wanted, they were going to own him. Of course they did this under the guise of “helping” him out of his various financial crises, just like $ony always did. This is disaster capitalism at its worst (or finest, depending on whether you are a capitalist or not). Corporations typically operate this way with impunity all over the world. This is nothing new for them. And this is yet another reason why I believe these contractual agreements were likely just as abusive and/or duplicitous as they appear to be.

The Michael Jackson cacophony is fascinating in that it is not about Jackson at all. I hope he has the good sense to know it and the good fortune to snatch his life out of the jaws of a carnivorous success. He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.

-James Baldwin, ‘Here be Dragons’

First, I’ll share some information about the contract between AEG and Michael Jackson Company LLC (not Michael Jackson the individual). There’s a reason the contract is not between AEG and Michael Jackson himself. The reason is that Michael Jackson Company LLC is the entity which contains the holdings for all of Michael’s assets. And, if Michael did not pay back advances given to him by AEG or complete the tour, they could sue him for the advances and production costs of the tour. This promissory note was collateralized by Michael’s assets, including the catalog(s).  I have mentioned here before that AEG was paying the rent on Michael’s Carolwood estate home, paying for his children’s schooling, etc. and that they had threatened to ‘pull the rug‘ out from under him if he didn’t start showing up for rehearsals when they thought he should, and if he did not do everything they thought he should. They had him in ‘financial bondage’, as one other blogger put it.

His brother Randy also corroborated that they were threatening and controlling Michael financially and in other ways (even threatening his life, according to brother Randy), and I have absolutely no doubt at this point that they were. That video and post is here.  The pertinent part of the blog on the promissory note between Michael Jackson Company LLC and AEG is as follows:

… However, what has not been widely published is Leonard Rowe’s accusation that AEG Live’s contract was not with Michael Jackson the artist, but rather was with The Michael Jackson Company LLC. The reason why Rowe says the contract is between the Michael Jackson Company and AEG is because Michael’s assets were held in the company. If Michael failed to do the tour or failed to live up to his contract, AEG could sue Michael for advances given to him and for the production costs of the tour. Michael’s share of the ATV, according to Rowe, was held by the Michael Jackson Company LLC. According to this blog, Rowe is quoted in his book as writing:

…This promissory note from Michael Jackson Company, LLC and Michael Jackson, the artist,required Michael to pay the principal amount of the note, in full on the maturity date as defined above to be about six months after the first leg of the tour in London, but not later than December 31, 2009.(whichever comes first), or six months after written request is received from AEG by Michael Jackson or his company. However, AEG gets really slick here in this promissory note, because the entire note is collateralized not by Michael Jackson the artist, but by Michael Jackson Company, LLC. Why is this you may wonder? More than likely it is because Michael Jackson’s business holdings, which would include his publishing rights and catalogue, are owned by Michael Jackson, LLC and not Michael Jackson, the individual artist. So if the promissory note is for any reason not paid or defaulted upon, the assets of the Michael Jackson Company, LLC get forked over to AEG. In other words, owning Michael Jackson Company, LLC and/or its assets, means owning Michael Jackson.” (Rowe, Pg. 173)

Now, I don’t have Rowe’s book and personally am on the fence about his credibility. On the other hand, I trust the entity that is AEG and Randy Phillips in particular, even less. I know those who were there during the rehearsals for the shows, and what they saw first-hand. Their accounts jive with what Rowe says about this, and what Randy Jackson said they were doing to his brother. That is no less than three different sources saying the same thing about how AEG was controlling Michael financially. And now, we have some actual details of the contract which seem to confirm what these sources say.

I do not know what is customary in such contracts between artists (or their respective companies) and a promoter for tours of this magnitude. My admittedly uneducated opinion is that Michael didn’t want to do these shows and wasn’t prepared to do them. Other promoters had previously talked to Michael about performing again and rightfully decided against any deals with him at or just before that same timeframe. Michael was likely talked into or coerced into the O2 AEG deal (perhaps by Tohme Tohme, Colony Capital et al – they’re all tied together) and thus agreed to do ten shows. Once again, I assert that Michael was targeted by these corporate entities while at his financially weakest. The advantage to them was profit by overtaking a market, and barring or in addition to that, profit via complete ownership and control of Michael Jackson the entity and all his assets (ie: again, profit and control).

Overnight, those ten shows became fifty shows, and AEG felt fully confident that Michael would do all those shows whether he wanted to or not (or died trying) because they knew they had Michael over a financial barrel. This explains the arrogance and the attitude on Phillips’ part that he owned Michael (they essentially did). They had him trapped in financial bondage, or whatever term one chooses to use. I’ve said this many times before in personal conversations but did not know the exact details – only that they had him in a financial trap, that they were controlling him financially, and that they had threatened to destroy him if he didn’t perform all the shows, and that he had no control over the production, or his life, at that point.  He was literally a dancing marionette being controlled by AEG.

UPDATE: 2010-09-06

Commenters below are puzzled as to why Michael may have signed such a seemingly terrible contract with AEG. Here is some additional information that might help readers to understand Michael’s possible reasoning in doing so:

A friend tells me that she went through the AEG contract thoroughly herself, and that even with the redacted parts, there was enough to put the pieces together. Her impression was that Michael was to receive several advances from AEG once the contract was signed, and at different times throughout the tour, one of which was paid immediately. She believes that advance was possibly to secure a property in LasVegas that Michael called ‘Wonderland (not its official name). I do remember as I know readers do, that Michael fallen in love with a property in Vegas that he very much wanted, and so it could be the advance money was meant to secure that property for himself and his children. She got the impression that this house was was one of the major ‘inducements‘ to sign the contract, while he had refused previously to sign with AEG. A commenter below also states that the MJLLC/AEG contract also stipulates that part of Michael’s salary be withheld for payment on this home in Las Vegas.  No doubt Tohme was aware of Michael’s previous refusal to sign with AEG:  enter Colony Capitol. Michael also did not want to lose Neverland, which was about to happen.

Was this advance the money Tohme had taken and returned after Michael’s death? We don’t know, but it seems possible. Also she reminds (and we know) that Michael very much wanted to do films and the AEG/O2 deal was also a means to that end as well, so that might have been another reason Michael signed.

She remembered too, as do I, that Michael kept cash in his house – usually around $1 million according to LaToya. LaToya could not find the cash after Michael died and Tohme had fired all the staff that same day. I seem to remember reading or hearing about these details myself after his death. Very odd, both the missing money and the same-day firings of all staff by Tohme.

If these things are at all true, Michael likely started out knowing exactly what he was signing and had the above reasons to finally do so, given the ‘inducements‘ contained in the contract. However, things apparently quickly spun out of control as more and more shows were added. Michael knew what he could do and what he could not do, however by that time, it was all beyond his control, and it seems no one was listening to him anymore. Tohme likely mostly had to answer to Thomas Barrack and AEG with Michael coming in a distant third, if he was considered at all. Tohme does (or did), I believe, work with Colony Capitol so his working with and for them as well as for Michael seems to me to be a blatant conflict of interest and could be why he continued to hang around even after he was fired by Michael – to look after Colony’s and AEG’s interests.

With the stipulations of the contract Michael signed, he stood to literally loose everything he currently owned and every dream he had for the future if he didn’t fulfill his obligations – meaning do all 50 shows, even if he felt that was way too many for him. It remains haunting to me personally that Michael had said just some years ago that he could not tour again or it would kill him – and how he’s gone. That is what always comes back to me when I go through this situation in my mind. These ‘inducements‘, these ‘coersions‘ used to get Michael to sign onto a tour, signing him, then expanding the tour to so many dates he did not previously agree to and was evidently very concerned he could not complete, seems like a dupe – a stab in the back. To use Michael’s own words from another debacle in his life “somehow greed got in there“.

Tohme-Tohme knew nothing of the music business and said so himself. His job, he said, was to ‘take care of Michael‘. It seems he failed in that regard, in a big way. As evidenced by the outcome, he took much better care of Colony Capitol and AEG than he did Michael Jackson.

_ _ _

Michael in Corporate Chains

Michael in Corporate Chains

Now, on to Sony, and a bit further back into the past. Blogger MUSIKFactory2 shares the following, as she researched the contracts over the years between Michael and Sony:

In 1985, Michael Jackson bought the ATV Music Publishing aka Beatles Catalog for $47.5 million. Yes, Michael used to own ALL of ATV Catalog.

In 1995, Michael was experiencing financial problems. Sony proposed an attractive deal to buy half of the Catalog for $90 million. Michael accepted. ATV Publishing was merged with Sony and renamed Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

At the time, it appeared to be a business savvy decision. In hindsight, it will turn out to be a deadly mistake.

Michael Jackson-Sony discord started in 2000 and disintegrated in 2002.

The onset of Michael’s trying times, his frequent utterances of conspiracy and his fear for his life coincide with the aforementioned time frame.

The incredible machinations of the men from Japan and their American allies were designed to ensure nothing less than the destruction of Michael Jackson and billions of dollars profit for Sony. The dark underbelly of the entertainment world is not a pretty sight. It’s time to hold it up to the light.

-Lynton Guest, ‘The Trials of Michael Jackson

Here’s the part that too many people do not understand, also from MUZIKFactory2:

Michael was expecting the licenses to the masters of his back Catalog (mechanical copyrights) to revert back to him in 2000 which would have allowed him to market his songs without sharing profits with Sony.

Michael was in awe to find out that due to various clauses in his Sony contract, the date when the copyrights revert back to him was many years away.

The contract required Michael to deliver to $ony a certain number of albums on a given period. For every album he didn’t deliver, Sony added more years to when the mechanical copyrights would revert back to Michael.

Michael stated that he wasn’t informed of such clauses.

Upon investigation, Michael found out that the law firm that represented him also represented Sony. He used this conflict of interest to extricate himself from the Sony Contract. Michael would deliver Invincible album, Sony retains rights to repackage Michael’s back Catalog and Michael is out of his Sony contract.

Michael was so chagrined by the entire situation that he dragged his feet during the production of Invincible. To make matters worse, Sony restricted Michael’s creative control, which it had never done with other albums. There were many heated debates between the parties over production, budget and promotion.

As an advance on forthcoming sales of Invincible, Michael had negotiated a $188 million loan from Sony, using his stake in Sony/ATV Catalog as collateral.

While demanding that Michael reimburse the loan, Sony simultaneously sabotaged the production, promotion and the sale of Invincible album.

Why did Sony sabotage against its own artist?

Michael wasn’t just another artist to Sony. He was a business partner with an equal stake in Sony/ATV Publishing. Now that Michael left the label, stakes had just gotten high. Sabotaging Invincible was just another mundane business decision for Sony to keep its publishing division intact.

When half of the Catalog changed hands in 1995, parties signed a contract that allowed Michael to dissolve the LLC and take his half of the Catalog with him upon exiting the label as well as %50 of the earnings from the years of LLC.

The LLC between Michael and Sony gained considerably in value since its inception, with hundreds of millions of dollars in liquid assets. If Michael were to dissolve the joint venture, Sony would have been forced to transfer half of the LLC assets and half of the Music Publishing Catalog that it acquired together with Michael. Sony would also have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to MJ for the %50 of the earnings.

This could result in a massive financial deficit for Sony, undermining what little financial stability it had achieved through fiscal restructuring.

At the time, the entire music industry was suffering from a depressed economy. Sony was not exempt from this downward trend. In 2000, Sony cut off 17,000 jobs. After it announced a disasterous $927 million net loss in first 3 months of 2003, Sony’s stock sank 24% in 2 days, losing $3.8 Billion of its value. The news shocked the Stock Market and the event was dubbed as “Sony Shock“.

In October 2003, Sony announced it would cut off another 20,000 jobs.

Sony Shock was also shock to us” said Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman of Sony.

Due to the downsizing and modest hits of Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson, the record division posted a %9 gain but with an operation deficit of over $100 million (Sony 2002 Annual report). By the third quarter of the fiscal year, the only reason that Sony Entertainment Division posted a gain was because of the increased value of the Yen when converted to Western currencies.

One of the foundations that upheld the profit margin was its Music Publishing Department. Michael dissolving the LLC was a risk Sony couldn’t afford.

If only MJ defaulted on his loan, Sony could take full possession of the Catalog.

Michael Jackson was beset with trials & and tribulations which, on face of it, were unconnected to each other. There was the child abuse charge, the downturn in record sales, the financial catastrophes and the struggles to retain ownership of Sony/ATV, his back catalogue and Neverland.

Yet far from being coincidental, everywhere we detected the hidden hand of Sony attempting to orchestrate events.

-Lynton Guest, ‘The Trials of Michael Jackson


May 14 2010

Love is the Ultimate Truth At the Heart of All Creation

Category: Ecstasy,Photos,QuotesSeven @ 11:02 pm

Love is Creation

Love is Creation

With guys like Michael and musicians in general, when you get a chance to work with somebody who’s really really good it doesn’t really matter what genre they’re from because these people are amazing. Ray Charles was one who no one expected me to play with, who I got together with for a while. And Michael is one of those guys. He transcends labelling, he was just an amazing talent. I had a great time with him. He was a great example of a work ethic, of focus, of passion for what he does. And that’s what I’m all about. So I really related to him and was influenced by that.Slash

Creative affirmations Michael Jackson probably very much lived by, both instinctively and intentionally

  1. I am a channel for God’s creativity and my work comes to good.
  2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.
  3. As I create and listen, I will be led.
  4. Creativity is the Creator’s will for me.
  5. My creativity heals myself and others.
  6. I am allowed to nurture my artist.
  7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
  8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.
  9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
  10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
  11. There is a divine plan of goodness for me.
  12. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
  13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
  14. As I listen to my creativity, I am led to my creator.
  15. I am willing to create.
  16. I am willing to learn to let myself create.
  17. I am willing to let God create through me.
  18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
  19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.
  20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

And Speaking of Slash – Here is Michael and Slash Rehearsing  for the 1995 VMAs . . . “I wish you could trash it!”, said MJ

Here’s what Michael likely meant when he said “I wish you could trash it!”


_ _ _

{ Thanks to my friend Ivana for the Pearl S. Buck quote that is so apropos for Michael! Thank you to Anne for the Slash article and quote. Thank you to my friend Rashmi for the MJ & Slash videos! Creative affirmations are from the book ‘The Artist’s Way‘ by Julia Cameron -Seven }


Mar 23 2010

Some Links to Make Ya Think

Category: Justice,Photos,QuotesSeven @ 2:40 am

Contemplation . . .

Contemplation . . .

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough? When is enough ENOUGH? For $ony – Never.

Flashback to 2002:

… But the dispute over the handling of ”Invincible’‘ grew out of a larger struggle between Jackson and Sony over Jackson’s effort this year to renegotiate his contract with the label, where he has spent his entire adult career, those involved in the negotiations tell the Times.

At issue are two sets of assets. One is Jackson’s master recordings, which Sony is supposed to turn over to him in seven years, but which he wants in three. (Owning those will mean he no longer has to split royalties with Sony.) The other is Sony/ATV, the music publishing company that Jackson co-owns with Sony, which holds the copyrights to several hundred thousand songs, including the catalogs of the Beatles and such Sony artists as Bob Dylan. (Last week, Sony/ATV bought Nashville publisher Acuff-Rose, which holds the rights to 55,000 country songs.)  Both Jackson and Sony want to buy out each other’s stake in the publishing venture, the Times says.

It appears it wasn’t enough to take the man’s life, now they want his entire catalog (MiJac), his share of Sony/ATV, and all the profits that can be had from his music – released and unreleased, for the indeterminate future and with John Branca to help them, the possibilities for Branca and $ony’s profits are endless – as they previously and rather blatantly said, although they used the name “Michael Jackson” in place of $ony Corporation in their statement of greed ie:

We and Sony feel that the future for Michael Jackson is unlimited,” said John Branca, a special administrator for the estate.

Actually, what is unlimited is John Branca’s and $ony Corporation’s collective greed, and Michael Jackson has little to do with that. In fact John Branca was the second person on his list of people Michael suspected were out to destroy him. Tom Sneddon was the first. And Michael was right about both of these men.

Michael Jackson ditched $ony years ago due to just the type of abuse as they are demonstrating now.  They were the first (This Is It film) and the second (this $250M deal) – not so coincidentally,  to step in to profit off of his death.  And just what will be left for Michael’s children and family by the time $ony is done emptying the trough of every last drop of profit they can suck from him?  When will $ony Corp. have stolen enough from Michael Jackson and his family? His very life wasn’t enough. What is? The term boundless greed comes to mind.

The quote below is from the SonyATV website in August 2009, after Michael’s murder. I love their language: “$ony Corp. helped facilitate the deal“. That’s very interesting terminology. The vultures did was that they inserted themselves into the deal so as to keep hold of that catalog in the event that MJ defaulted, or in any event – like his death, for instance. They were constantly meddling in MJ’s financial business in order to manipulate their way to that catalog, as we can plainly see.

Despite media reports of investor interest in Jackson’s half of Sony/ATV, Sony Corp. remains in the driver’s seat. When a cash-strapped Jackson refinanced his debt with the Fortress Investment Group in 2007, Sony Corp. helped facilitate the deal and in return secured the right to purchase half of his share in Sony/ATV at a predetermined price; it also became managing partner of the publishing company, giving it operational control. Sony also obtained the right to match any future offers on Jackson’s remaining 25% stake. Separately, sources say that Sony/ATV also gets a first look at purchasing Jackson’s own Mijac catalog upon the expiration of its administration deal with Warner/Chappell.

From Lynton Guest, author of “The Trials of Michael Jackson

In writing this book I investigated how, in his later years , Michael was beset with trials and tribulations which , on face of it, were unconnected to each other. There was the prosecution on child abuse charges, the downturn in record sales, the financial catastrophes and the struggles to retain ownership of assets such as Sony/ATV, his back catalogue of recordings and Neverland. Yet far from being coincidental, everywhere we detected the hidden hand of Sony Corporation attempting to orchestrate events.

The Medialoids

Statistics back it up: The lame$tream media is part of the PROBLEM, as per usual . . .

Media Tenor International analyzed the news coverage of ABC, CBS, Fox News and NBC in the time frame from June 1st 2004 until May 31st 2009 with a total of 150 portrayals of Michael Jackson in at least 5 seconds of air time. 90% (135) of those portrayals dealt with Jackson´s court case, while only one of the reports concentrated on his career and another one on issues of culture.

AEG

And, the quote below from an LA Times article, corroborates the fact that AEG had Michael Jackson over a financial barrel and that in fact, that is why they targeted him as easy prey to be manipulated into doing the O2 shows for them. Oh they were ‘helping‘ him alright. They had complete financial control of him. They told him at one point to ‘straighten up’ or they’d yank the financial rug out from beneath him. They were paying the rent on his house in LA, his children’s education/tutoring, etc. – everything. Michael himself said he never wanted to tour again or it would kill him.  And so it did. Or I should say, THEY did.

The concerts, Phillips acknowledged, are a do-or-die moment for Jackson. “If it doesn’t happen, it would be a major problem for him career-wise in a way that it hasn’t been in the past,” he said.

‘The Estate’ and John Branca

The Probate Lawyer Blog featured this article about the Michael Jackson Estate several weeks ago, posing the question of whether it is ethical for estate executors to seek a 10% fee for certain business deals they reach for such a high-profile estate.

Well, this attorney, John Branca, and his co-executor, John McClain (a music executive), just hit the mother-load. It was widely reported yesterday that they brokered a deal worth up to $250 million dollars (that’s right — one quarter of a billion dollars!). What was the deal for? Sony announced a seven-year distribution agreement for unreleased music recorded by the late King of Pop (as well as related video footage).

Yes that means that Branca and McClain earned $12.5 million each for one deal.

Why do we question this? For several reasons, actually. First, it’s the job of executors to bring in as much money as possible for an estate that has earning potential like this estate has. They shouldn’t need a 10% incentive to do the job they’re required by law to do.

Tags: ,


Feb 12 2010

The True Story of Billie Jean: There were 91 mixes of the song. In the end, they chose mix #2.

Category: Friends,Lyrics,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes,Quotes About MJSeven @ 5:03 am

This is according to Bruce Swedian – sound engineer extraordinaire (and that’s an understatement).  Here’s what Bruce says about recording and Mixing “Billie Jean”:

The year is 1982. The song is “Billie Jean”. The sonic image of Michael Jacksons’ “Billie Jean” is a perfect example of what happened, when I sat around dreaming awhile, about combining different recording techniques to produce a unique musical canvas with a tremendous ‘sonic personality’.

Billie Jean Handwritten Lyrics

Billie Jean Handwritten Lyrics

Of course I was comfortably ensconsed in Westlake Audio’s beautiful new Studio ‘A’ on Beverly Boulevard, with my good friends Quincy Jones, Micheal Jackson and Rod Temperton. We were doing our favorite thing… We were making music!!! We had just started recording Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller”…

We were recording Michael’s song “Billie Jean”…..

I recorded the drums,(played by the fantastic drummer, N’Dugu) with as tight, and powerful a drum sound as I could come up with. Of course I put N’Dugus’ drum set on my plywood drum platform. Also at this time, I had a special kick drum cover made that covers the whole front of the kick drum. There’s a slot with a zipper in it that the mike fits through. When the kick drum mike is in place, in the slot in my drum cover, I zip the opening tightly shut around the mike.

I brought in my old pal George Massenburgs’ spectacular sounding, portable, 12 channel recording console and used it to record the rhythm section. With it I recorded the bass, drums and guitars on my analogue 16 track, with no noise reduction equipment in the way of that fantastic sound!

In my estimation, the the result of the song “Billie Jean”, is a perfect example of what I call “Sonic Personality”. I don’t think there are many recordings, where all you need to hear is the first few drums beats, and you instantly know what song it is.

Great albums always start with great songs….

“Billie Jean” is just such a superb song! Of course, Michael wrote “Billie Jean”..

Quincy says that the lyric that Michael wrote is highly personal. I’m sure that’s true. Michael told us… it was about a girl, that climbed over the wall at Michael’s house, and was lounging out there, by the swimming pool…. she was laying out there, near the pool , lounging… hangin’ out… with shades on, her bathing suit on. One morning she just showed up! Kind of like a stalker, almost. She had accused Michael of being the father of ONE of her twins… Is that possible? I don’t think so….

When it came time for me to mix “Billie Jean”, it was business as usual… When I am working with Michael, Quincy, Rod, Jennifer, Sergio and so on….. I am allowed total ceative freedom with the sonics of the music… In other words, I am always left to myself when it is time to mix. My mixes can take hours, days or even weeks…. I firmly believe that a mix is not finished, until it is on a Record for sale at Tower….

So I had been mixing “Billie Jean” for a day or two. I’d do a mix. ….. Say I was up to mix number 2…. (At that time I was mixing onto 1/2” analogue.) I thought it was killer!!!

I called MJ, Quincy and Rod into the control room and played mix 2 for them. They loved it!!! They were all dancing and carrying on like crazy!!! Smiles all around! Then Michael slipped out of the control room, turned around and motioned to me to follow him… Then he whispered to me, “Please Bruce, it’s perfect, but turn the Bass up just a tiny bit, and do one more mix, please….” I said to him…”OK Smelly, no problem”…

(When we were recording “Off The Wall”, Quincy gave Michael the nickname of “Smelly” because when Michael liked a groove, he’d call it “Smelly Jelly.” Also Michael doesn’t curse, and when MJ wants to say a bad word he’ll simply call it “Smelly”… The name has stuck…)

Then I went back into the control room to add Michael’s tiny bit of bass to my mix… Quincy pulled me over into the corner and said “Please Svensk… “(Svensk is Quincy’s nickname for me. It means “Swedish Man” in Swedish… When you have a genuine Quincy Jones nickname like ‘Svensk” – You are truly honored….) Q said to me…. “Add a little garlic salt to the snare and the kick. Just a squirt!!!”) so I went back into the control room and added a little garlic salt to the snare and the kick. Just a squirt!!! Now I was up to mix 20 on “Billie Jean”.

Well, this went on for about a week. Soon I was up to mix 91!!! I had a stack of 1/2 inch tapes almost to the ceiling!!! I would do a few mixes, we’d listen… Then do a few more. We had it PERFECT!!! We thought we had a really ‘HOT’ mix on “Billie Jean”. I played Mix 91 for the boys… Everybody smiled… but Quincy had one of his funny looks on his face…

I thought…. Hmmmm…. Oh, Oh….

Quincy said “You know Svensk, just for the fun of it, can we listen to one of your earlier mixes???” My heart jumped because I knew that my earlier mixes were dynamite!!! Then Quincy said, “Let’s hear mix number 2!!!” Oh WOW!!!! Hallelujah!!! I love mix 2!!!!

We listened to mix 2… IT WAS SLAMMIN’!!! EVERYONE IN THE STUDIO WAS GROOVIN’ AND DANCIN’ and HAPPY, and actin’ IGNORANT!!!!

Well, here’s the deal. When “Thriller” was released to the Whole World by Epic Records, on Tuesday, November 30, 1982, it went to Tower Records with MIX 2 OF “Billie Jean” on it!!! AND, when the single of “Billie Jean” came out it was MIX 2!!!

The REAL Story of “Billie Jean”…

Bruce Swedien

"Back row Craig, Andrew Scheps, me (Rob…?), Brad Sundberg, Matt Forger•Front row Bruce Swedien, the Glove, Eddie Delena"

"Back row Craig, Andrew Scheps, me (Rob…?), Brad Sundberg, Matt Forger•Front row Bruce Swedien, the Glove, Eddie Delena"

Tags: , , , ,


« Previous PageNext Page »