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AEG vs. Jackson trial Day 14. Julie Hollander of AEG Live or why we need full transcripts of the trial

May 31, 2013

The tweets from the trial all of us wholly depend on are a great help of course, but they can’t be compared with the full transcripts provided by the heroic TeamMichaelJackson site. Even a brief look at those transcripts gives some understanding of how fierce the fight is and how rosy a picture AEG is painting of the ugly business they were making on Michael Jackson.

I don’t claim that I am able to grasp all the intricacies of the fight however some things did attract my attention, so let me point out at least those I’ve noticed to make the job easier for others.

But first let me say that without TeamMichaelJackson’s transcripts no analysis of the trial would be possible at all as by now it has become clear that we cannot rely on the slanted and limited information provided by the press. TeamMichaelJackson puts down the testimonies in shorthand and then a couple of volunteers  type the whole thing, and this is done on a daily and even nightly basis.  I don’t know how long they will be able to survive at such a heroic pace, so if anyone is ready to help please go to their site and donate so that they are able to buy at least some transcripts.

We really need this tremendous work to be continued for the sake of the truth. Here is TeamMichaelJackson’s message:

LET’S HELP THEM SO THAT THEY HELP US

URGENT MESSAGE, PLEASE SEND AS “GIFT” “SENDING TO FRIEND” so we get 100% of your donations, or use this email once you have logged into your pp a/c manager@teammichaeljackson.com

We here at Team Michael Jackson are coming to you all, with a most sincere request, because we truly need your support and assistance. As you know… our founder has been in court every day since jury selection began on April 2nd 2013. Jury selection was close to a month and each day she was there reporting and letting us know about the true unedited process, of selecting a group of peers that will together decide the fate of this case. We learned about the jurors, and the reasons why those that were released were and those that appeared for the Plaintiff as well as the Defense. We all received up to the minute reports, about the attorneys… the judge… and their position. Our founder has now taken us inside, when the world’s request for cameras to view justice were denied. We have all come along vicariously in numbers, on this journey into the next phase of Justice For Michael. Our founder’s reporting has been the most comprehensive on the web and in the media to date.

You will not find any complete coverage of the opening statements or of key testimonies, in the Jackson vs. AEG Civil Trial nowhere…except for on our site TeamMichaelJackson.Com

This tireless work is done for Michael his Children his Family and his Fans out of Love, for there is absolutely no other reason, to endure such a huge undertaking. It takes a great deal to bring us all, the verbatim testimony posted on our site and via live coverage thru tweets, during this trial in real time. How she does it you may ask…our founder is trained in shorthand and for this trial specifically, adopted a form of short hand that has allowed her to take notes in court each day. Court begins between 9 and 10 am and concludes by 4 pm, Monday thru Friday…unless otherwise noted. When our founder is done with typing up all the notes, there are literally upwards of a hundred pages and this is per day.

There are only two admins, who can’t be in LA, that assume our duties by transcribing all the notes and with the time zone differences, it can become difficult to coordinate at times. This process our founder also a part of… As she too…for many hours into the night, after court has ended, is up along with us transcribing. There has been missed days of work, rescheduled appointments and changes of lifestyle… all to do this. Love and only Love drives us, motivates and gives us the energy to do this. We will do this for as long as it takes.  We have no more volunteers available, as they have dedicated the most time that they could and we appreciate them tremendously. In light of this, for the past few weeks, our founder has been doing this ALL on her own. It’s very difficult for one typist to take in the full breath of a full day in court and accurately type Directs Cross Examines Redirects and Witness Answers along with Side Bars…yet our founder manages to get this done.

We are asking that you assist us with donations, so when our founder is not able to be at court we can purchase transcripts, or so she can rest now and then also. There has been so much that has been exposed and we have all benefited in this knowledge. If it were not for the daily efforts, that are taken place in court each day, sadly we would all be in the dark. This trial is too important, exposing the truth about what happened to Michael too necessary….to be without. We need full coverage, verbatim… as we have been giving, not just the summarized tweets, so that we all can have full comprehension of what’s truly occurring the courthouse. They wanted to keep us out, you me and the world… Yet we are all present and accounted for. This trial will last at minimum 6 months and we want to bring you coverage for the entire length of the trial. We need this, just as much as you do… There will be days when the founder can’t be there or must miss a portion or have just simply worked herself to pure exhaustion… yet Justice For Michael will always and has always come first. One Woman though, simply cannot do this on her own, it’s much too great to ask… So Family we need your help. On some days we wish to purchase transcripts, which go into the hundreds
Donate whatever you can…no dollar amount is too small. We have already been contacted privately, by those wanting to support, asking how they can assist. We would never come to you if this were not a serious matter. We have operated independently for many years and have freely publicly shared information for education and discovery. Transcripts are up on our site, that pertain to many facets of this quest for justice. Help us continue to provide this information, so that the world becomes aware of what happened to Michael, so that they are aware of those that acted in collusion to take him away. We need to have this trial covered, it is too important not to. We will always be here for Michael and his Mom…Children and Siblings and extended family. We will continue to cover the trial in the best way that we can. Donations or not… we will never abandon Michael. However, at this time we humbly ask that you please help us!

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My huge thanks go to the TeamMichaelJackson as without them learning the truth would be impossible.

DAY 14  May 20, 2013

Julie Hollander

AEG Live Vice President of Event Operations Accounting

By now TeamMichaelJackson has posted several testimonies of the AEG people – Julie Hollander, the AEG controller and Vice-President and the first parts of Shawn Trell’s  and Paul Gongaware’s testimonies.

Reading Trell made me realize the importance of some of Julie Hollander’s statements and this is why I need to start with her first. As I have to retype the testimonies the post will have only some excerpts from Julie Hollander and my short comments on them. The full transcripts of her three days of testimony are found here:

Day 1 http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/8446

Day 2 http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/8491

Day 3 http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/8481

The behavior of this witness was called by TMJ ‘extremely stroppy’ . Dictionaries explain stroppy as  “hard to deal with, angry, unruly, impudent, belligerent” and I also thought the same of her when in answer to Panish’s question about some additional exhibits in her deposition she said “I didn’t sit there and count them”.

I will  start with her telling us that some people who worked with AEG for the This Is It tour did not have proper contracts, but were nevertheless signed in and paid by AEG after Michael’s death.

WORKING WITHOUT A CONTRACT WAS AEG’S NORM

Hollander mentioned two of them – Travis Payne and Karen Faye. It struck me that the key people who worked without a contract with AEG were those who were coming from Michael’s side (Travis was Ortega’s protégé and Ortega was invited by Michael too).

Since both Payne and Faye were working on the tour since April 2009 I wondered why AEG didn’t make a contract with them for more than three months and the matter had to be formalized after Michael’s death. The only reason I see for it is that lack of the official contract was used by AEG as a leverage  to make these people more ‘obedient’ and easy to control.

Now we know that with Travis Payne this policy worked while with Karen Faye it did not.

Q. Ma’am isn’t it true some people worked, then signed contract later, they got paid.

A. That is correct.

Q. Do you know Travis Payne?

A. I know him as part of cast and crew.

Q. Did you know he had a contract with AEG?

A. Yes.

A. Do you know he worked without a contract?

A. I don’t know who worked without one. As far as payment would have happened would have been after services were rendered.

Q. If a person performed their duties they were paid afterwards without a contract.

A. It’s not my place to know that.

The fact that Payne and Faye worked without a contract has a direct bearing on Conrad Murray.

His situation was exactly the same – he was also recommended by Michael Jackson, had to work without a contract and same as with Payne and Faye his contract with AEG also said that he was to perform the services reasonably requested of him by the Producer (and not the Artist).

The only difference is that Murray’s contract supposedly had a clause about the need for Michael to sign it, but this is all. Oh, I forgot one more difference – Conrad Murray was not paid by AEG while Payne and Faye were.

Since Conrad Murray was not paid during the whole period while he was working the non-payment leverage factor used by AEG for easier manipulation of people applies to him perfectly well too.

All these people were called by AEG ‘independent contractors’. When Panish compared Conrad Murray with the other independent contractors AEG consistently objected and Hollander gave extremely evasive answers:

Q. In your deposition it reads, IF AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR PERFORMS HIS/HER SERVICES ON THE THIS IS IT TOUR, WOULD YOU EXPECT AEG TO PAY THAT CONTRACTOR?

A. TYPICALLY YES… WE WOULD PAY

Q. Dr. Murray was a Doctor performing his services to Mr. Jackson.

AEG: Objection. Overruled

Q. There is no reason when they wouldn’t pay his or her obligations. Dr. Murray was the Doctor performing his services for Mr. Jackson.

AEG: Objection. Overruled

A. My understanding was that Dr. Murray was part of the budget, his services were listed on the budget for the tour on request of the artist.

Q. So you don’t have any understanding of whether Dr. Murray performed any services?

A. I was in the accounting department, I can’t say for sure, not me personally.

Panish: Do people work for AEG without fully executed contracts?

A.Yes, they may start work on general terms.

For the second day of Hollander’s testimony we have no transcript but a summary from TMJ. Panish asked Hollander about the AEG practice to make people work without a contract:

“She stated that it was standard AEG policy that no payments be issued without fully executed contract – and that the contract could get executed at a later date.

Panish said people did the work before Mr. Jackson died, but got paid after he died.

A.I don’t recall specifics.

Hollander said there were people who had contracts renegotiated after Michael Jackson’s death. She said AEG renegotiated contracts after Michael died so as to ‘mitigate the burden on the Michael Jackson Estate’.

Hollander: “People commence work before their contract is executed, yes.”

Q. So based on this provision, you pay before or only after the contract has been executed?

A. Only after the execution of the contract.

Stebbins: Let’s turn to last page of the contract.

Hollander: Ok.

Q. This here at the bottom, Ms. Hollander we talked last week about contracts being negotiated and the paperwork being done after, do you remember

A. Yes.

Q. Now there were people working without a contract that had been fully executed, like Travis Payne and Karen Faye.

A. Yes.

Q. Was there anyone else working without a contract that had not been fully executed yet, because there was no signature, like for instance Mr. Jackson.

A. No.

The policy of delaying people’s contracts enabled AEG to be selective in choosing whom to pay and whom not to pay. All unsigned contracts are considered by them ‘not executed’, however to some people they do pay and to some they do not. I wonder on what basis they were making their selection in the This Is It case?

To Murray they chose not to pay:

A.I am using draft because the contract is not executed, meaning all parties didn’t sign it.

Q. If Mr. Jackson didn’t die and he signed the contact and AEG signed the contract, Dr. Murray had already signed the contract… AEG would owe Dr. Murray money, right?

AEG: Objection. Overruled.

A. If all parties signed the contract, it would have been a fully executed contract and I would have to have, it those costs were approved. There’s no reason why wouldn’t have paid Dr. Murray.

Let me ask a question at this point. From the follow-up tweets we learn that Frank Dileo made a sort of a declaration about Michael’s ardent desire to take upon himself all production costs and this is why the Estate paid to AEG $40 million in their compensation.

Why didn’t Dileo make a similar declaration about Michael’s desire to sign Murray’s contract so that AEG should pay him too? It’s obvious that AEG never wanted to pay him anything at all as non-payment seems to be another of those ‘standard AEG  policies’.

Timm Woolley who was creating AEG’s budget for the tour included Murray’s salary of $300,000 for two months into their budget which automatically turned Murray into an independent contractror having a deal with AEG (and not Michael Jackson):

Q. Now, the only reason why you say this is draft contract for Dr. Murray is because no one on behalf of AEG had signed it?

A.I say that because Mr. Jackson didn’t sign it.

Q. Mr. Jackson was dead and could not sign.

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any evidence that Dr. Murray didn’t work for Mr. Jackson after being retained by AEG…

AEG: Objected by Stebbins: states Dr. Murray was hired by AEG. Overruled.

A.I have no evidence to the contrary.

Q. In the budget you included $300,000 to pay to Dr. Murray.

A. I did not.

Q. I am sorry. Mr. Woolley created the budget, per AEG’s agreement with Dr. Murray for the current budget at the time for $300,000 because the doctor would be paid $150,000 a month. This was for two months’ pay and the contract was finalized in June.

A. There was $300,000 allotted for Dr. Murray.

Q. And that was approved by Mr. Gongaware.

A. Yes, that eventually would have been approved by Mr. Gongaware.

Break.

Side note: Witness looks extremely stroppy! Witness is not being truthful, it’s evident to many.

With the AEG people and their lawyers you never know what to expect and in this connection the activity the Jacksons’ lawyer Brian Panish noticed in the hallway during the break is very interesting:

Q. Ms. Hollander is this notebook of documents which you reviewed before coming to testify in court today?

A. It appears to be.

Q. I added them all up, there seems to be 80.

A. We flipped through it.

Q. A few have been removed? Did you know if there are any you didn’t review?

A. Yes, some were blank.

Q. And when you were in the hallway counsel removed some. I saw that.

A, Yes.

Q. Do you know by looking through here which ones were removed?

A. That I cannot answer.

Ms. Stebbins: I removed the ones the witness didn’t see.

Panish: I was standing right outside the door, I saw exactly what was happening.

Stebbins: I represent I gave to Mr. Panish every document the witness reviewed.

Judge Palazuelos: Some were blacked.

Stebbins: Now they are in full

Panish: Your honor…

Judge: Let’s keep going.

Okay, let’s keep going. The next point is who Michael’s advances were actually paid to – directly to Michael or to someone else.

This is no small matter though it may look like one at first sight. In accordance with the AEG/Michael Jackson contract out of the $5million paid as an advance to Jackson, $3million was going directly to the 2Sea Records company to settle the lawsuit of the Prince of Bahrain (paying him was a condition set by AEG) and the remaining $2million was not given to Michael personally but was remitted to Michael Jackson Company LLC where Dr. Tohme Tohme was President (or at least he said he was).

This point always worried me very much – Tohme could easily dispose of the sums as he was holding Michael’s general power of attorney and this is probably why I remember so well to whom the money was remitted though I am no  controller of AEG.  Hollander is, but she says she does not remember a thing:

Q. AEG made advances at least once to Mr. Jackson during preparations for the This is it tour.

A. Yes.

Q. These advances were paid directly to Michael Jackson?

A. I don’t know. I don’t have a recollection as to who the payee was

Q. Was there advance paid to Michael Jackson, yes or no?

A. They were paid on behalf of, in effect to Mr. Jackson. I’m not trying to give an evasive answer

Q. AEG Live paid advance to Mr. Jackson. Yes or No.

A. Yes, but they are recoupable at some point.

Q. There were also advances paid to others that AEG wanted to get back from Michael Jackson.

A. Yes.

Q. And this is a cost, not advance.

A. Yes.

Q. And if it’s cost not an advance, it should be reported as so, not an advance

A. Yes.

Q. Otherwise it would not be done correctly.

A. Correct.

Q. Cost would be something AEG would incur and pay, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And they don’t get paid back from the artist, do they?

A. It depends on the situation.

All this talk about ‘cost’ and ‘advances’ looks boring and surely confused you so let me explain. The money to be paid to Murray was production costs and this is very important to remember.

COSTS OR ADVANCES – WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

Though at first sight there is no big difference between costs and advances as both seem to be Michael Jackson’s responsibility (if we are to believe AEG of course), the differentiation between these two is extremely important. You cannot even imagine how important it is.

On her second day of testifying Hollander explained to Stebbins what an advance is:

“Stebbins asks Hollander what is an advance. Hollander said it was like a cash advance and – depending on the contract – it would be paid back by the artist.”

Since both advances and costs were turned by AEG into Michael’s responsibility most people will probably say – what does it matter if both of them were to be paid by Michael Jackson anyway?

But this will be more or less true only if Michael indeed was to cover production costs and if he really agreed to pay them.

However from further tweets we learn that AEG did not receive any written consent from Michael Jackson to cover production expenses, and this makes us suspect that the production costs were most probably AEG’s responsibility and in case of cancelling the tour were to be covered by the insurance.

What’s important here is that the expenses were not Michael’s and that AEG is most probably lying here.

As to Conrad Murray the matter of his salary being a production cost is a truly fundamental one.

If production costs were AEG’s responsibility and Murray’s salary was part of those costs, it means that not only AEG hired Murray but they were to cover the expenses on him too. If the tour was cancelled the cost of his services was to be reimbursed to them by the insurance policy.

It also means that Murray was fully AEG’s responsibility –  same as Travis Payne, Karen Faye, Kenny Ortega and other independent contractors who were also brought into the project by Michael Jackson. And the fact who brought who into the project does not matter here at all.

Paying to Murray was actually what AEG bosses most probably even wanted themselves as allowing Michael to pay the doctor could not give AEG a chance to monitor and control him. They had a chance to make the doctor fully independent of them but they never used the chance. To do so all they needed was include Murray into Michael’s advances and this is why the difference between advances and production costs matters so much.

If they had given Michael a bigger advance and said that he pays to his doctor himself they would have really made the doctor fully independent of them and they would have really washed their hands off everything he was doing  to him –  but they never did it that way.

In terms of overall expenses advancing Michael more money for Murray would be exactly the same as now they say that both sums (advances and production costs) were to be returned by MJ anyway. If this was indeed so for AEG it would not really make any difference if  they first gave Michael $300,000 more and then spent $300,000 less – the money spent would be exactly the same.

But from the view of controlling Murray it made all the difference in the world. To adjust his behavior AEG  needed a payment leverage to apply to Murray and therefore they were even interested in keeping Murray on their payroll. It is like keeping a carrot in front of a donkey to make it going, and it does not absolutely mean that the carrot will be finally given as promised.

This is why AEG chose to draft a contract between themselves and Murray, specify there that he was to provide only the services “reasonably requested by the Producer”, include the costs on the doctor into their budget and … never showed the draft of the contract to Michael Jackson. 

If this contract was done for Michael Jackson as they say it was shouldn’t they have at least shown it to the person for whom they were supposedly doing it?

On the third day of Hollander’s testimony we find out that Michael Jackson did not see a copy of Murray’s contract with AEG (to be more exact Ms. Hollander had no idea of it). Panish also wanted her to admit that Murray’s expenses were classified as production costs because they were meant to be covered by the insurance policy but Ms. Hollander said that this matter “never came up”:

Q. Do you know if Mr. Jackson received a copy of Dr. Murray’s contract?

A. I have no idea.

Q. Didn’t you tell us the amount of compensation to be paid to Dr. Murray for his services, was approved by Mr. Jackson?

A. I state what was in the budget for the doctor and on his contract.

Q. So you are unaware of whether Mr. Jackson approved the amount of compensation for Dr. Murray?

A. I was told that it was put in the budget at the artist’s request, that’s all I know.

Q. So that means that Mr. Jackson did approve payment for Dr. Murray?

AEG: Objection.

Q. And you don’t have any clue as to why Mr. Woolley classified Dr.Murray’s fees as production or pre-production?

A. No, I do not know.

Q. No one told you it was because it could be covered under the insurance policy AEG were trying to get.

A. It never came up.

Judging by the transcript her testimony about the way Murray’s services were included into the AEG budget was quite a spectacle. Ms. Hollander evaded answers, argued with the court, made everyone wait for her answers and impeached herself by giving answers not consistent with her earlier depositions:

Q. And the first budget this was dated may 19th and was subject 16 of the email?

A. That’s right.

Q. So Mr. Wooley prepared subject 16 and sent 19th?

AEG: Objection

A. Based on the description I would concur yes.

Q. You didn’t answer. Did you speak to Mr. Trell about this budget allotted for Dr. Murray, yes or no…

* the court waits, witness thinks*

Mr. Panish: Let me ask the question again.. Did you speak to Mr. Wooley, about the 150,000 compensation for Dr. Murray being added to the budget”

A.I spoke to Mr. Woolley about the inclusions and my conversation with Mr. Trell we discussed Dr. Murray and it was …

* courts waits again* 

A. Yes, if you want to put that way he (Trell) was anticipated being a part of this project.

Q. So you talked to Mr. Wooley and Mr. Trell about inclusion of Dr. Murray in the budget?

AEG: Objection. Overruled

A. I talked to Mr. Wooley about the inclusion of Dr. Murray in the budget and would have talked to Mr. Trell about details of that.

Q. Did you discuss with Mr. Woolley and Mr. Trell about the inclusion of Dr. Murray in the budget or the details of it, yes or no?

A. In my answer I said I discussed with Mr. Woolley the inclusion, I don’t agree with the semantics.

Judge Palazuelos: You are saying yes or no.

A. I’m not trying to evade anything.

Judge Palazuelos: Play it (referring to Hollander deposition)

Q. Do you recall as you sit here now, ever telling anyone about AEG Live’s decision to include compensation for Dr. Murray into the tour budget?

A. Yes.

Q. And who did you talk to about that decision?

A. Tim Woolley.

Q. Anyone else?

A. Probably Shawn Trell… You know I am a person who has not been through this sort of thing before, I never said I didn’t speak to Mr. Trell, it was an honest answer then, it’s an honest answer now!

“Mr. Panish plays video recording of Ms. Hollander deposition, in the recorded deposition when Mrs. Hollander is asked “Did you discuss with anyone about including Dr. Murray on the budget for This Is It tour? She replied “Yes, Mr. Woolley and Mr. Trell”

Then Mr. Panish shows Ms. Hollander transcripts of her video deposition.

A.This is hard to read.

Q. OK I’m going to blow it up for you, you have seen this before.

A. Yes.

Q. You reviewed this all in preparation for your testimony.

A. Yes.

Q. Pre tour $300,00 and another $450,000 and this was as of May 16th 2009. This what Mr. Woolley sent to you and you passed it on to Mr. Webking who as you understand passed the approved inclusion into the tour budget on to Mr. Anschutz, right?

A. Ummm, yes.

Q. What number is this?

A. 430?

Q. Whose number is that?

A. That is Mr. Wooolley’s numbering system.

Q. Mr. Woolley created that code as identifier for medical management daily care.

A. Yes.

Q. And that medical management daily care was referring to Dr. Murray?

A. Yes.

Q. The first $300,000 was referring to Dr. Murray’s first month pay, right?

A. Yes.

Q. Then we also talked about $450,000 for Dr. Murray.

A. This only refers to $300,000

Q. As of, we have largely budgeted for Dr. Murray.

A. Yes.

Q. That was added after February 7th 2009?

A. Yes.

Q. That was the first budget update sent to Mr. Anscutz.

A. Which one?

Q. This one.

Q. Yes.

The date of February 7, 2009 made me wonder –  if they started discussing the expenses on Murray that early why couldn’t they decide the matter with his contract for half a year after that?

Other emails said that the matter of Murray’s compensation was already settled at the end of April 2009 and then on May 20:

“Panish shows Hollander a document from April 30, 2009. It lists ‘management medical’ for $300,000.”

“Panish shows an AEG Pre-tour Cost Projection document dated May 20, 2009. It states that AEG was to pay Conrad Murray $300,000. This was pursuant to the contract. The document shows that AEG budgeted to pay Murray for his work with Michael Jackson as ‘Pre-production cost”. Murray was not paid.”

So if I understood it right the first time the sum of $300,000 was added to the budget sometime “after February 7, 2009”, then it was listed as “management medical” in the budget at the end of April and on May 20th it was again budgeted as pre-production cost?

But if all this time they were including Murray’s salary into their budget why did they begin drafting a contract with him only some time in the middle of June as Kathy Jorrie said at Murray’s trial?

All of it looks like an intentional game played by AEG with their goals being totally different from those they declare openly and masked very well by the various pretexts they give for not doing things right.

DR. FINSKESTEIN AS ANOTHER CHOICE

Another incredible point that caught my attention is that following Mr. Panish’s questions Ms. Hollander had to admit that there was some kind of a choice between doctors and AEG was somehow involved in it.

The choice seemed to be between Dr. Murray and Dr. Finkelstein and we learn about it from the fact that she was “kept in the loop” (in the know) that the choice was made in favor of Conrad Murray. This was discussed between her, Gongaware, Philips and Webking and looked to me like an incredibly important matter.

It was broken on Hollander by Panish somewhat unexpectedly:

Q. And Dr. Murray was the only physician Mr. Gongaware for AEG Live had budgeted in for this This is it tours.

A. That’s correct.

Q. And this email is to Mr. Phillips and Mr. Webking, the controller and you’re the controller and Mr. Gongaware of Concerts West.

A.Yes.

Q. And this was sent by Mr. Woolley and what did he attach?

A. Well, it says, AEG O2 doc, that’s the description of the transaction. Which would be compensation for the doctor in London. It’s an explanation of difference between compensation in the US and the UK.

Q. And the purpose of this email was to keep you in the loop that it would be Dr. Murray and not Dr. Finkelstein.

A. Yes.

Q. So you were involved in the process, that’s you were on the email?

A. Yes.

Dr. Finkelstein is a personal friend of Paul Gongaware. As we know from Karen Faye’s testimony Dr. Finkelstein was one of the two doctors accompanying Michael on the Dangerous tour (the other doctor was the ‘insurance’ Dr. Forecast). Since the Dangerous tour was cancelled due to Michael’s need to go to a rehab the matter of prescribed drugs was common knowledge for everyone and especially Paul Gongaware as Finkelstein’s friend.

So if there was a selection between Dr. Finkelstein and Dr. Murray it means that AEG could easily guess what kind of treatment Conrad Murray was expected to provide to Michael. The only mistake they made was in the kind of the prescription drug but not in the matter of prescription drugs in general.

In short they knew (or supposed) that it should be something and the only thing they probably did not know what exactly it would be. They most probably thought that it was Demerol or another painkiller and they were absolutely ready for it. Moreover they probably even expected the doctor to do it.

And it must have been a big surprise for them, a really big surprise that Michael was not taking any painkillers at all.

Another side of this point is that if there was a choice between the two doctors the nomination of the doctor for the tour was not wholly Michael’s matter, was it?

What if AEG deliberately chose Conrad Murray over Finkelstein as his financial dependency on them and the payment leverage they could employ made Murray easier to control and more suitable for their needs?

HOUSES FOR THE STAFF AS MICHAEL’S RESPONSIBILITY?

In the next piece from the summary of Hollander’s testimony she says that AEG was to make payment for three houses for Bush, Faye and Murray in London, and this confirms that it was AEG’s obligation and not Michael’s.

Well, this is probably how they presented it to Michael and Michael might have indeed thought that his obligations were only to pay for his personal needs out of the advance received from AEG.

But the problem is that first Ms. Hollander says the three houses in London are AEG’s expense, then she confuses us by saying it was advance payment to Michael, and finally she agrees with Panish that if the expenses were real advances they would have been listed as such in the budget. But they were not. They listed them as production costs, and this as we’ve seen is something totally different.

So this way she admits that the expenses on accommodation were production costs and the productions costs were AEG’s. Conrad Murray’s salary is also included into production costs as it was not included in the advances:

AEG pays for entertainment arcade and bowling alley as a precondition in terms of what Michael requested at the Carolwood house as and part of the agreement.

AEG pays for 3 of the houses – for Bush, Faye and Murray (wardrobe dresser, makeup/hair and personal physician). Panish also exhibited several additional emails showing that other vendors were paid – including Karen Faye.

Michael Jackson pays for additional furniture, staff, security, nanny, food.

Gongaware responded on June 19, 2009: I agree with Timm’s allocation and the charges. Approved.

Hollander said it was pursuant to the terms of the contract that AEG must pay those costs relating to This is it tour – as an advance payment.

Panish: If the $300,000 was supposed to be advance for Mr. Jackson to be repaid, it would be listed under category ‘Artist’s Advances’

Hollander: Yes.

In reality Michael was evidently supposed to cover only the expenses on his everyday life (nanny, etc.).  But the expenses on independent contractors like Karen Faye, Bush and Murray and the cost of their accommodation in London were to be “paid” by AEG .  “Paid” comes in quotes because on the one hand Hollander says they were to pay, but as ‘advance payment’ to Michael, but these advances are not listed anywhere and all of it is production cost, so on and so forth. In short she gives evasive answers which do not really answer but only confuse.

On the other hand we still rememberAEG crying in each interview after Michael’s death how they had spent millions on the show and how huge their losses were and now they expected them to be covered by the insurance.

So when they were crying they were either lying to us that the expenses were all theirs, or they were not lying and the expenses were indeed theirs, only they later stealthily shifted all of them onto Michael and his Estate.

It is either this or that.

While four years ago AEG said no word about all production costs supposed to be Michael’s responsibiliy now Ms. Hollander openly asserts that all of them were to be covered by Michael Jackson:

Hollander testified that Michael Jackson was responsible for 100% of the production costs if the tour did not go forward.

And if the tour went forward, Michael Jackson was responsible for paying 95% of the costs – AEG would pay 5%.

Panish also very much doubs AEG’s information that Michael was responsible for the production costs, and under his heavy questioning the next witness Shawn Trell had to admit that they had no written consent from Michael Jackson to cover them.  This is why Tohme and Frank Dileo signed certain declarations about Michael very much willing to go into all that production expense and agreeing to cover it.

But over here Ms. Hollander ‘s testimony contradicts the point as it asserts that Tohme had no right to sign anything at all on behalf of Michael Jackson. Hollander says she was aware that Tohme Tohme was fired and had no right to sign anything on behalf of Michael Jackson.

And if the chief AEG controller knew it, it means that all AEG bosses knew that Tohme was signing a worthless document, however they needed at least someone to state that Michael was ready to cover all production costs:

“Hollander said she knew who Tohme Tohme was – and that she knew he had been let go at some point from duties as Mr. Jackson’s manager. Hollander testified she knew Tohme was terminated before Mr. Jackson died – and had no legal signing authority for Mr. Jackson.”

An interesting point, isn’t it?

Brian Panish showed Ms. Hollander a copy of the document sent to Michael’s Estate on October 21, 2009 stating that all production expenses were to be covered by the Estate (on the basis of those managers’ declarations). The sum spent was around $25mln. –  2,5 mln more than was budgeted.

The Estate audited it from the point of view of the accuracy of spending, but they evidently did not look into or dispute the fact that the production costs could not be Michael’s responsibility at all:

Q. Was this document sent to the estate of Michael Jackson?

A. Yes, to my recollection this was sent to Mr. Jackson’s estate.

Q. What was the purpose of sending this?

A. This kind of report was to provide the Mr. Jackson’s estate with and accounting of debts incurred and what had been paid in regards to This Is It and Mr. Jackson, up to the date of the report.

Q. You mean production cost.

A. Yes, production costs would be included in the report.

Q. What’s the date of this report?

A. October 21st, 2009

Q. Is this date after Mr. Jackson passed?

A. Yes.

Q. Here… this is the total cost of production that Mr. Woolley budgeted. What does it say?

A. $22,228,000 was the overall production budget.

Q. What was actually spent on production?

A. $24, 835, 011

Q. Is it fair to say there is a significant difference between what Mr. Woolley projected and what was actually spent?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it common?

A. It can be… yes.

Q. After Mr. Jackson passed, you sent a report to his estate, did they do audit?

A. Yes, they did.

Q. To your understanding did Mr. Jackson’s estate approve the production costs?

A. The costs were supposed to be paid as they were incurred pursuant to the contract.

Let us not be mislead by the phrase that the production expenses were to be paid by the Estate ‘pursuant to the contract’. First of all the contract does not say a thing about all production expenses being Michael’s responsibility, and second, this was mentioned in the Appendix only (which is undated and unsigned),  and not even mentioned but implied and in an extremely indirect and incoherent way too.

The only way we could understand that all production was his responsibility was in the definition of  ‘contingent compensation’ to the Artist which was a certain sum minus production costs. If you make an investigation you may come to the conclusion that they are talking of all production costs, but if you do not make this investigation this matter may be easily unnoticed.

Apart from that the AEG papers do not clearly say who is to pay the production expenses. I wonder why the Estate so easily agreed to pay those sums. Most probably because they considered themselves too weak to handle a monster like AEG or were too dependent on their moves. I’m sure that the future will tell us why.

PRODUCER + PROMOTER FEES

Now the AEG people pretend that production expenses have never been theirs. In fact they say they have very little to do with  producing the shows and say they are promoters only. They specifically focus on this ‘promoters’ thing to once again assure everyone that production expenses were all Michael’s (and therefore Murray was MJ’s responsibility too).

Ms. Hollander says that since 2009 they produced few tours:

Q. How many have you done where AEG Live was the promoter only?

A. Now about upwards of 100

Q. Erm… what about as producer?

A. We produced few tours since 2009, not too many.

Q. Is it fair to say you have been more a promoter, rather than the producer?

A. By far.

Q. So when you act as producer, you get more money than a promoter?

A. Yes.

Q. There is fees paid to producer and to the promoters.

A. Typically it depends on the deal structure.

Q. This deal you talk about, promoter is just one fee.

A. Yes.

Q. When AEG is the promoter there is a fee.

A. Yes, there is another fee they receive being producer.

A. Sometimes

Q. So sometimes there is no fee, is that your testimony.

A. No.

Q. This time there was, for This Is It there were producer fees.

A. Yes.

Well, it is difficult for AEG to prove that they were not producers of the tour as they even charged Michael a producer’s fee for their services. As Shawn Trell will later tell us ‘this time’ AEG charged Michael both as a promoter and as a producer too – 10%  as promoter and 5% as producer.

10% was to be charged on the gross sum collected from the tickets, and 5% was on the net income of the Artist. And all this in addition to all the money they made on the secondary tickets sold through Viagogo and other brokers.

Though this is no place to talk about it now for those who don’t know let me just say that AEG was directly selling their tickets through Viagogo and at very high and ‘surprisingly uniform prices’ too as the article below says. Why the uniform prices surprise? Because Viagago is supposed to be a place where fans sell tickets to other fans and in this case any ‘uniformity’ makes you think that you are not dealing with fans but directly with AEG.

However it seems that AEG is not even hiding this fact from the Times:

The Times understands that outside the official sale of the tickets, AEG Live approached secondary ticketing companies – which allow people to resell tickets to sporting and music events – offering to provide them directly with between 500 and 1,000 tickets for each performance.

It is thought that AEG Live offered the tickets on the understanding that they were sold at about £500 each, with 80 per cent of the revenue returning to AEG Live and the secondary ticketing company taking the remaining 20 per cent.

Last night tickets for seats closest to the stage were on sale on Viagogo for thousands of pounds. Other seats in prime locations seemed to be on sale at surprisingly uniform rates, with many priced at £418 and £659. 

AEG Live did not deny its links to Viagogo.

http://www.viagogo.com/About.aspx?HelpID=1002690

As a producer AEG was doing I don’t know what (unless they were really to cover all those production costs themselves) but as a promoter their main obligation was to provide to Michael their  O2 arena in London.

In fact filling in their O2 and other facilities was AEG’s biggest concern as these days it is difficult to find stars to fill a big venue like O2 arena on 50 dates. So what AEG was presenting as their huge contribution to the deal should be interpreted in exactly the opposite way – it was a big favor on the part of Michael rendered to AEG that he was giving work to their O2Arena and filling the venue on 50 dates.

After Michael’s death Randy Phillips said that filling in the dates in summer time is a tough job in general, so the most they would have managed to fill without Michael would have been 10 dates:

AEG is also under pressure to book the O2 for some of Jackson’s dates. That’s “the toughest hit,” Phillips says. … The truth is, July and August are the slowest months of the year in Europe, so maybe 10 of those 27 dates would have been filled anyway.”

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/268222/exclusive-aegs-randy-phillips-talks-about-michael-jackson-fallout

So if it had not been for Jackson’s 27 shows in the summer of 2009 the O2 Arena would have been filled only on 10 days at the most during the same period of time.

And this makes me think that the increase up to 50 shows from the original 10 was probably because they wanted to fill their O2 arena to its utmost –  and this could be the main reason why they set up those 50 shows.

At some point we wondered why they did not arrange 15 shows at triple the price of tickets for example. This would have brought AEG the same revenue, would have tremendously eased the burden on Michael and would have spared his nerves, health and everything else  –  but then the O2 arena would have stayed vacant on most of the dates and there would have been no chance to sell thousands of premium tickets at inflated prices through secondary ticket offices like Viagogo….

Filling in the venues on as many days as possible and selling extra tickets at exorbitant prices is probably the answer why they set 50 shows at all!

As regards the split of their profit from those concerts the same article mentioned above quoted Randy Phillips saying that the profit split was better for AEG than the usual one used for the most superstars:

Had Jackson performed these shows, AEG would have made significant revenue on food and beverage sales, a percentage of merchandise sales that could have totaled up to $15 million and the rental fee that AEG Live would account for to its corporate parent. Phillips declines to release terms of the deal with Jackson, but he says it was better for AEG than the 95%-5% split most superstars receive.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/268222/exclusive-aegs-randy-phillips-talks-about-michael-jackson-fallout

So this time they had better terms for themselves even as compared with similar deals with other stars. As if there are any other stars like Jackson. And if those terms were better for AEG it means that they were worse for Michael. And they admit it themselves.

I hope that all of the above is providing the necessary background for the stories we hear now from the AEG people and will cut some paths in the jungles of their lies. What we need to be on the lookout for now is information on who was responsible for the production costs. If the Jacksons lawyers manage to prove that those costs were never Michael’s responsibility it will not only dot all i’s and cross all t’s in Murray’s case, but will turn AEG into the epitome of lies, fraud and deception.

But we still need to go a long way to be able to learn the whole truth about what they did to Michael.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Lopsided man permalink
    June 11, 2013 2:18 am

    Re: the March 2009 Huffington Post article about Michael’s “Children of the World” poem.

    Back when Michael first released it (prior to the Chandler shakedown in Aug 1993 – when he was merely considered a sort of ‘harmless eccentric’ by the press), the media’s reaction to it, and other similar statements about children, was to simply dismiss him as naive, saccharine and sentimental.

    Whether it was pre-Aug 1993 or post-Aug. 1993, they were never interested in Michael’s message anyway.

    Like

  2. June 8, 2013 7:42 pm

    Thanks for your feedback. Let us wait and see what dirt Prince has to spill about AEG.

    Like

  3. June 5, 2013 9:18 am

    Guys, I need to leave the blog for some time as my Internet capacity is limited. I will work on a post about the AEG contract (again!) and will try to explain what a terrible comedian show Trell and his lawyer Stebbins made out of the contract discussion at the trial.

    You need to know that the version of the contract I have in this blog is indeed FINAL (the way AEG understands it). There was a moment when I started doubting it and expressed my doubt in a post about DAY 16, but by now I know for sure that we are talking about one and the same document.

    Therefore the question where this paper has the signatures of Trell and Gongaware still stands (you remember Trell saying that “all of them signed it”). He also said that they had 4 drafts of the contract before that and these were final papers. However their final papers begin with an address to Dr. Tohme Tohme and close with “yours truly” signed only by Randy Phillips. This letter is all they have and playing a comedy that “this was how they intended it from the start of it” is no use.

    Another big issue is why the Estate didn’t dispute AEG’s idea that all production costs were Michael’s responsibility and paid AEG $40mln.(!) in repayment of their losses. Was it because they indeed thought that the costs were Michael’s or didn’t want to quarrel with AEG or were cooperating with them on a deeper level will still have to be looked into. But I cannot believe that they did not notice all the discrepancies and vagueness of AEG’s contract connected with those production costs.

    It is also important that both AEG and the Estate wanted to get an insurance sum under their policy from Lloyds because both of them were its beneficiaries. However their situation was different as after payment from the Estate AEG had no right to any compensation (though they asked for it) – they simply did not sustain any losses, while the Estate could claim compensation as all losses were indeed theirs. It remains to be seen whether the Estate tried to help AEG to get a compensation and if they did, why.

    Another big question is why Brian Panish is not ripping AEG’s contract into shreds. This may be only temporary and he may still return to this matter in the future (I hope so) but if he doesn’t … well, at least to me it is an unforgivable thing to do. The reason why he may refrain from criticizing the contract (if he does) is because he claims that Michael was to receive a lot of money as a result of the tour and this is a basis for their claim at all, however to me it is clear that AEG was planning to pay Michael very little and probably even wanted to rob him of his last.

    In short Panish’s goals may be different from mine (mine is seeking the truth), so I do not rule out that we may look at AEG’s contract differently. I still stand by what I said and will try to explain it in the next post.

    Like

  4. June 5, 2013 6:54 am

    “VMJ, you are good at contracts, could you at some point make a simmary of what has happened so far?” – kaarin

    I would like to. I’m just having some technical problems as am now in the country and don’t have the necessary documents at hand. My Internet is also slow here.

    The farce they arranged at the trial over the AEG contract is a complete outrage. But before writing about it I need to read some more transcripts to see whether Panish raised those issues with Trell or not.

    IF HE DID NOT I would be ready to strangle him with my own hands.

    Like

  5. June 5, 2013 5:35 am

    “He said so and I had no reason not to believe him”, Trell in regard to Thome Thome .And for sure he did know Thome was no doctor, never mind other things.Any background check on him? No.And Thome Thome was the one, an associate or something like that of Tom Barrack at the time, who ignited this whole tragedy..I start to believe they are telling so many tall stories to confuse the poor jury.

    -Thome came up big after Michaels death being the one who officially reported it at the very first official occasion after Michaels death at the hospital.

    Every single page of the sc. agreement with Michael and AEG needs to be shown clearly with signatures and signatures missing. And the gall to send the whole bill of 40mln to the Estate just 3 days after MJ´s death.

    –Hope the jury can see through all the soapbubbles.

    VMJ, you are good at contracts, could you at some point make a simmary of what has happened so far? It is too bad that this is not on video like the Murray trial..

    Like

  6. June 4, 2013 1:10 am

    “lena dear I know that I might be asking a little too much but can you please refute the post it has gotten stuck in my mind please will you be kind enough to do so…?”

    Goodie, if you are talking about that 2009 trashy article (ridiculing Michael’s poem) I wanted to leave a comment there but all comments are already closed. And writing specifically about that article here is impossible at the moment – there is too much to do about the AEG trial.

    On the other hand I doubt that I really have to say anything to these people. Remonstrating with authors and readers like that is no use. They should walk a long road themselves and do their part of the job before they are able to understand anything at all.

    By the way the AEG trial is the best way for self-education. Four years ago the public was presented with the front and false side of the matter, and now we see the back and true side of the same. This provides fantastic opportunities for self-education. If people do not understand that this kind of lies, trouble and mistreatment Michael had to live with all his life they are hopeless.

    Look for example, at this revelation: Randy Phillips said Michael was “drunk and despondent” and Gongaware says that he saw nothing of the kind and Michael was not even smelling of alcohol. And we did see him at the press-conference with our own eyes and there was no indication of any intoxication.

    So THIS IS HOW THEY LIED about him. Anyone could pop up and say the most ridiculous thing and it would be immediately picked up and followed by a hue and cry. People’s minds are crammed with similar false stories about Michael. Vodoo… blood baths…. Neverland a laire of sin… Most of it is simple science fiction and the rest is taken out of all proportion. It is like a fictional horror story turned by Hollywood into a blockbuster.

    People themselves should see now how all these lies were made, and the AEG trial is the best way to learn.

    Like

  7. goodie permalink
    June 3, 2013 10:10 pm

    I didn’t know the impact these kind of articles could have its just mind boggling

    Like

  8. goodie permalink
    June 3, 2013 9:56 pm

    lena dear I know that I might be asking a little too much but can you please refute the post it has gotten stuck in my mind please will you be kind enough to do so…?

    Like

  9. June 3, 2013 3:16 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/michael-jacksons-disturbi_b_172541.html
    well, i am disgusted by these but please see and share your views and please read the comments as well. they are disgusting –
    goodie

    What can I say? People with flat minds and flat thinking. Explaining this poem to them is like explaining colors to the blind or music to the deaf. And living side by side with them is like living among the blind and deaf who also ridicule you for your ability to see and hear.

    It never even occurs to these people that in this poem Michael may not be talking of children at all. He is talking of everyone who managed to retain some innocence and freshness in their souls which helps them to see wonders and beauty where others see only dollar signs.

    Here is the article:

    John Lundberg
    Posted: March 8, 2009 10:18 AM

    Michael Jackson’s Disturbing Poem

    A poem written by the “King of Pop” and carved into some sort of tombstone-looking thing will be auctioned off next month along with a slew of other property from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The five-day auction, which is expected to bring in more than three million dollars, will also feature the gates to Neverland, some MTV awards, and a pair of jewel-encrusted socks. But I doubt that anything will be as disturbingly symbolic of Jackson’s recent years as the poem.

    What would Michael Jackson write a poem about? Children, of course. And if you’re starting to get that uncomfortable feeling in the back of your mind, you’d be right. Here’s the opening of “Children of the World.” It begins by introducing a weird, idealistic vision: the world’s children uniting to do innocent things–with Michael Jackson–while the rest of the us struggle along. That’s all well and good (if poorly written), but, as you’ll see, the poem quickly gets uncomfortable.

    Children of the world, we’ll do it
    We’ll meet on endless shores
    Making sandcastles and floating our boats
    While people fight and defend their point of view
    Forever putting on masks that are new
    We’ll swing the tide of time and do it.

    Children of the world, we’ll do it
    With song and dance and innocent bliss
    And the soft caress of a loving kiss
    We’ll do it.

    Jackson may have meant that second to last line to be innocent, but I have a hard time reading it that way. This is a man who has been accused of molesting an underage boy. At the very least, someone should have realized it would be a bad idea to try to sell this thing.

    The poem blithely continues with Jackson weaving between the real world of people with jobs who struggle with things–including, rather mysteriously, carpetbaggers(!)–and his preferred world of children and innocence.

    While traders trade and haggle their price
    And politicians try so hard to be nice
    We’ll meet on endless shores and floating our boats
    We’ll do it.

    While lawyers argue and doctors treat
    Stockbrokers quote the price on meat
    While preachers preach and ring the bell
    Carpetbaggers with something to sell
    We’ll sing and dance in innocent bliss
    With the soft caress of a loving kiss
    We’ll do it.
    Meeting on endless shores
    Making sandcastles and floating our boats
    We’ll do it.

    We’ll ride the rainbow, a cloud, a storm
    Flying in the wind, we’ll change our form
    We’ll reach the stars, embrace the moon
    We’ll break the barrier and be there soon

    While architects plan their buildings high
    And trade unions raise their hue and cry
    While boardroom squabbles generate heat
    And in secret places dealers meet

    We’ll sing and dance in innocent bliss
    And the soft caress of a loving kiss
    We’ll do it.

    While philosophers grapple and continue to tackle
    Endless dilemmas of body and mind
    Physicists wander, continue to ponder
    Perennial questions of space and time
    Archeologists survey, continue to dig
    Bygone treasures small and big

    As the poem nears its conclusion, Jackson seems at least subconsciously aware of the trouble with his “innocent” affection for children, bringing up psychoanalysis, priests taking confessions, and the meaning of sin, before repeating his unfortunate refrain.

    Psychologists probe, analyze the tears
    Of hysterical notions, phobias, fears

    While priests take confessions
    In a serious session
    And people struggle
    In the hustle and bustle
    In the noise and din
    On the meaning of sin
    We’ll touch the stars, embrace the moon
    Break the barrier, arrive there soon
    Ride the rainbow, the cloud, the storm
    Flying in the wind, changing our form

    Children of the world, we’ll do it
    With song and dance and innocent bliss
    The soft caress of a loving kiss
    We’ll do it.

    It’s a strange, strange world that Jackson lives in. I think Brian Riles of Buzzfeed summed up the poem best: “Note to the children: don’t do it. ” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/michael-jacksons-disturbi_b_172541.html

    The first Christians by the way called “children’ the people who chose to live their life in chastity and innocence. They would have understood the poem.

    Like

  10. goodie permalink
    June 1, 2013 5:51 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/michael-jacksons-disturbi_b_172541.html

    well, i am disgusted by these but please see and share your views and please read the comments as well. they are disgusting

    Like

  11. June 1, 2013 8:21 am

    “We need these documents. ..In 2012 MJJC published a court doc the cost was approximately over $300.00 and that was just for one document. The Courts and/or Court Reporter charge per page. The average witness testimony transcript for one witness and one day is hundred if not thousands of pages.” – dialdancer

    Yes, Dial, we need these documents very much. And I didn’t expect the cost to be that high. This makes the work done by TMJ all the more valuable. But their site does not allow copying so I for example, have to retype everything to be able to analyze it. Asking TMJ for their copies is not an option as I understand that they have the full copyright to it. But if the transcripts are purchased with the help of donations, we would of course need them to be made more accessible to others. I think that the transcripts bought by TMJ for the money sent to them should be made available for copying.

    Could we organize it between several sites so that some buy the transcripts and post them (allowing copying), and TMJ goes on with their work – only at a slower tempo which will allow them some rest? At the moment the burden they are carrying is really too big. There are still so many testimonies to hear that it will require the effort of several teams.

    Any ideas?

    Like

  12. June 1, 2013 6:51 am

    “Thanks for the posts and the indepth analysis again. Calling Prince to testify in the AEG trial seems like a real good idea. Was excited to read about Prince’s fall out with AEG- you may be well aware of the incident already.” – ssuparnagoswami

    I’ve reviewed the post and changed it to stress some of its points. This AEG thing is very difficult for understanding and even more difficult to explain. I am also a little wary not to say things too soon or make a wrong judgment.

    AEG tells a good deal of lies and their lies constantly change. When I was writing about AEG’s contract three years ago the discovery that they shifted all the expenses onto Michael was a complete shock to me and others – at that time AEG was keeping it a big secret until Randy Phillips was forced to admit it at Murray’s trial.

    But now the situation is the opposite one – they openly flaunt information that nearly all production costs were Michael’s responsibility because this helps them to hide some of their other lies. This way their lies come in several layers and constantly change – you uncover one layer and take it away, but all you see after that is another false picture which needs clearing up again.

    At the moment the point that seems to me the crucial one is production costs again. If Brian Panish proves that Michael never agreed to pay them and that AEG shifted them onto Michael after his death it will settle not only Murray’s matter (as Murray was on AEG’s payroll as production cost) but will forever turn the name of AEG into the epitome of lies, deception and fraud.

    As to Prince yes, I’ve read that he was no longer able to tolerate AEG either and ridiculed them in public during the show. Thank you for the full story about it. I also remember that Prince was at least paid $3mln for the night as he said it himself. But Michael was to get only $1mln or even less… I hope Prince testifies and tells everyone about the way AEG was treating him. It would be the next best thing to having Michael testify for himself with a correction that Michael was evaluated by AEG as three times lower a star than Prince.

    Here is the full review about Prince’s concert and him speaking out against AEG:

    February 27, 2012

    Bootleg Review: Prince “L.A. Confidential”

    Three shows on the same night with three different bands. Only Prince could pull something like that off, and he did just that the night of March 28, 2009 in Los Angeles in celebration of the release of his “Lotusflow3r” CD set. Making the L.A. Live complex his home base on this night, he started out with his current touring band at the time, (as well as a guest appearance by Sheila E.), for a show at the Nokia Theatre that focused on a lot of his funkier hits and some covers. The night then moved to The Conga Room for an incredible, guitar heavy show with the New Power Trio of Prince and old NPG members Sonny Thompson on bass and Michael Bland on drums.

    That brings us to the show captured here. The final show of the evening started well after midnight at the Club Nokia. Prince was joined by Rhonda Smith on bass, the incomparable Renato Neto on keyboards and John Blackwell on drums for a mellow set focusing on his more jazzier, laid back material. This show can now be seen as the precursor to his July Montreux Jazz festival appearance, as many of the songs that were played here for the first time live would be incorporated into the setlists at Montreux.

    Like the Montreux concerts reviewed here last month, this Club Nokia show has been released as a Pro-Shot DVD and soundboard CD on the “L.A. Confidential” set by Eye Records, and it is a stunner. Prince fans continue to be spoiled with these incredible releases as this is another high quality, must have item. The only letdown is that the other two shows from this night weren’t recorded in this fashion that I am aware of. What you get here is the entire set, just over 90 minutes long, professionally filmed and recorded. The CD here is obviously just the soundtrack to the show, although there have been some complaints about the audio mix missing much of the low end. The focus though should be on the true highlight of this set, the Pro-Shot DVD.

    The show kicks off with a couple of instrumentals before Prince takes the stage. The band runs through “Under The Cherry Moon” and “Dreamin’ About U” before Prince appears for “When Eye Lay My Hands On U”. It’s one of the few songs on the night where Prince plays guitar, and it’s always a treat to hear this song done live. A couple of major surprises follow as the rarely performed ‘Emancipation’ outtake “Journey 2 The Center Of Your Heart” is next. Prince’s version was never released, but the song was recorded by Chaka Khan on her 1998 NPG Records release ‘Come 2 My House’. The second half of the over eight minute performance features Prince’s best guitar work of the night. A smoothed out version of “The Sun, The Moon And Stars” is yet another rarity in the set.

    Prince leaves the stage for another band instrumental, this time on “Sometimes It Snows In April”, before returning for a twelve minute workout on “When The Lights Go Down”. He then literally asks for the lights to go down and the crowd to be as silent as possible for a performance of “Eye Love U, But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore”.

    It must be said at this point, Prince was unhappy with the sound quality throughout the evening. All three shows were marred by technical problems, feedback and poor sound systems. By the time this show was in motion he had enough. During the early part of this set he asked for adjustments to the sound several times. Before the next song, he launched into an epic rant from the stage, directed at AEG who he had been working with for a number of years on his tours, including the massively successful Musicology Tour of 2004. AEG oversees the entire L.A. Live complex and Prince started naming names, specifically calling out AEG Live President and CEO Randy Phillips and AEG’s President and CEO Tim Leiweke from the stage in a 90 second public lambasting.

    “Before we play this, Randy Phillips, Tim Leiweke, they run AEG. And, uh, this is their building so the buzzes you hear you can talk to them about it. I’m gonna play through it, I’m gonna do my best. Now feel me, they spent a lot of money on the seats, and the lights are beautiful. But I done told them several times, let’s work on that sound. I came to see Alicia Keys here and it was the worst sound I ever heard. But Alicia is a genius, bar none. She is music and she deserves the best, alright? So we’re all in this together. So if we fix the sound, I’ll be here every night. This is what I do. And I’ll do it for free, I won’t charge ’em. But now I got to go back to my three million a night!”

    Prince then kicks into “She Spoke 2 Me” by shouting sarcastically “It’s alright Tim and Randy, we love ya!”, then during the performance gets the crowd to chant ‘AEG, AEG’ over and over. I cannot emphasize enough what a monumental night this then became. AEG made Prince a ton of money helping him make his 3121 shows in Las Vegas and his 21 Nights in London a reality. He planned to do a similar 21 night stand in L.A., but in one onstage rant, he called out the highest executives of the company by name, publicly embarrassed them and burned yet another bridge in the entertainment industry. His relationship with AEG, again a company that made Prince millions of dollars, was over and he blew it up right in front of about 2,500 fans. The fact we now get to see it on video is priceless. Prince closes the performance of “She Spoke 2 Me” by introducing the band then getting one last shot in at AEG by declaring, “And my name is Randy Phillips. Thank you, goodnight.”

    Prince and the band return for the first ever live performance of the unreleased “In A Large Room With No Light”, before he breaks into that famous guitar line that kicks off “Sweet Thing” and special guest Chaka Khan makes her way to the stage. The performance is just Chaka on vocals and Prince on guitar while the audience helps by singing along. A very cool version that, in some strange way proves Prince’s point, by ending in a big burst of feedback from Khan’s microphone causing her to voice in agreement, “This ain’t no joke! You were not kidding about the sound”, as Prince chuckles and shouts, “What?? Told ya! Told ya!” I can’t imagine the uncomfortableness in the room for those in attendance but this is gold to watch on video.

    The show then ends with four of Prince’s finest ballads, truncated versions of “Insatiable” and “Scandalous”, a mostly complete run through of “The Beautiful Ones” and the closing “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Now make no mistake, as pissed off as Prince obviously was at the sound problems, enough to destroy a relationship with the entertainment behemoth AEG, he does not make the fans suffer over his problems. He is very grateful for their support and still appears to be in a good mood overall, enjoying his band and the music. The band is on fire all night, with Neto especially displaying his mastery of the keyboards during numerous spotlight solos.

    With gorgeous packaging to boot, “L.A. Confidential” is a must own set. These professionally filmed shows that are making their way to DVD are an embarrassment of riches for Prince fans and collectors. Here you get a set loaded with rarely performed songs, a Chaka Khan guest appearance and an incredible tongue lashing of the giant AEG. Who else but Prince can deliver this much excitement in one night?

    http://mikea7.typepad.com/now_its_on/2012/02/bootleg-review-prince-la-confidential-.html

    Like

  13. May 31, 2013 11:21 pm

    Hi Helena,   Thanks for the posts and the indepth analysis again. Calling Prince to testify in the AEG trial seems like a real good idea. Was excited to read about Prince’s fall out with AEG- you may be well aware of the incident already. Sending you the link still, and copy- pasting from the web page http://mikea7.typepad.com/now_its_on/2012/02/bootleg-review-prince-la-confidential-.html  

    “It must be said at this point, Prince was unhappy with the sound quality throughout the evening. All three shows were marred by technical problems, feedback and poor sound systems. By the time this show was in motion he had enough. During the early part of this set he asked for adjustments to the sound several times. Before the next song, he launched into an epic rant from the stage, directed at AEG who he had been working with for a number of years on his tours, including the massively successful Musicology Tour of 2004. AEG oversees the entire L.A. Live complex and Prince started naming names, specifically calling out AEG Live President and CEO Randy Phillips and AEG’s President and CEO Tim Leiweke from the stage in a 90 second public lambasting.

    “Before we play this, Randy Phillips, Tim Leiweke, they run AEG. And, uh, this is their building so the buzzes you hear you can talk to them about it. I’m gonna play through it, I’m gonna do my best. Now feel me, they spent a lot of money on the seats, and the lights are beautiful. But I done told them several times, let’s work on that sound. I came to see Alicia Keys here and it was the worst sound I ever heard. But Alicia is a genius, bar none. She is music and she deserves the best, alright? So we’re all in this together. So if we fix the sound, I’ll be here every night. This is what I do. And I’ll do it for free, I won’t charge ’em. But now I got to go back to my three million a night!”

    Prince then kicks into “She Spoke 2 Me” by shouting sarcastically “It’s alright Tim and Randy, we love ya!”, then during the performance gets the crowd to chant ‘AEG, AEG’ over and over. I cannot emphasize enough what a monumental night this then became. AEG made Prince a ton of money helping him make his 3121 shows in Las Vegas and his 21 Nights in London a reality. He planned to do a similar 21 night stand in L.A., but in one onstage rant, he called out the highest executives of the company by name, publicly embarrassed them and burned yet another bridge in the entertainment industry. His relationship with AEG, again a company that made Prince millions of dollars, was over and he blew it up right in front of about 2,500 fans. The fact we now get to see it on video is priceless. Prince closes the performance of “She Spoke 2 Me” by introducing the band then getting one last shot in at AEG by declaring, “And my name is Randy Phillips. Thank you, goodnight.”  

    Like

  14. May 31, 2013 4:15 pm

    We need these documents. It provides legal credibility to your discussion and ensures you can tell the difference btw a true copy and one manufactured by some hate group.

    We depend on others to get the documents making them available for us to read at our convenience. The 05 trial transcripts we all use had to be purchased by Fans from the SB Court Site. I imagine there were other Fans who supported the purchase with donations.

    In 2012 MJJC published a court doc the cost was approximately over $300.00 and that was just for one document. The Courts and/or Court Reporter charge per page. The average witness testimony transcript for one witness and one day is hundred if not thousands of pages. We enjoy the banquet, ask for extras, but forget to help pay the tab.

    If you can help do so, ask others to do the same. $1.00 is better than none. If you can’t then don’t worry about it. If you are against it for whatever reason that is fine as well.

    But if you are saying “no” out of stubbornness or some stance, ask yourself if you supported efforts to keep this woman out of the trial in the first place? Were you one who wrote emails voicing support against cameras in the courtroom? And will you at some later date be the one to need these transcripts to compare against witnesses comments before & after trial? Will you need them for debate or post on your own site, forum blog? Some things we just do not think about and sometimes we can be too stubborn for our own good.

    Like

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