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July 29, 2013
John Meglen, CEO of Concerts West, a division of AEG Live

John Meglen, CEO of Concerts West, a division of AEG Live

On week 13 of the AEG trial the AEG witnesses played a cheap comedy around the business side of the matter. The AEG witnesses were John Meglen, the Co-CEO of Concerts West, a division of AEG live and Eric Briggs, a business expert retained by AEG to assess the projections of plaintiffs’ Arthur Erk.


You remember that Arthur Erk estimated Michael Jackson’s potential earnings at around $1,5 billion for the next 15 years if Michael had lived.

Eric Briggs disagreed in a video deposition played on July 26 Day 57 of the trial. The deposition was short and non-committal. Despite personally working for 350 hours on the case and being assisted with 500-600 hours from his firm he didn’t assess any of Erk’s figures at all – he simply said that Michael Jackson didn’t agree to more than 50 shows and his life expectancy as of June 2009 was short.

Well, you don’t have to charge $800 per hour and work for almost a thousand hours on the case to be able to say that Michael did not agree even to 50 shows (his maximum was 10 shows) but his agreement or disagreement never mattered to the AEG people. 

And you don’t have to be a wizard either to know that his life expectancy was extremely short while he was in the hands of AEG – in fact it was so short that it simply ended then and there.

However if Michael had not entered into cooperation with this company he could have lived a long and happy life and could have earned millions even without the need to sing and dance – by a mere attending VIP parties in his honor, meeting fans, dancing and singing an occasional song or two, and presenting other artists. Actually by simply enjoying himself.

I am absolutely sure of it because in the past several days I found rare videos of Michael Jackson attending a VIP and fan parties in Japan in 2007 –  two years before Michael died. Not only did Michael look absolutely smashing at those parties but he also collected $200,000 from one party alone which is equivalent to half of his net income for one AEG concert (I gather that the second party brought the same sum). In repayment for those generous fees Michael had to do nothing but just be photographed with his fans and make a short speech.

Japan 2007 VIP party

Japan 2007 VIP party

When you see the way Michael looked in 2007 there can be no doubt whatsoever that he could have lived a long and happy life. He was healthier and much more vigorous than any other man of his 48 year age at that time, and the video also showed that he had a multitude of opportunities open to him.

So when you read the summary of Eric Briggs’s deposition just look at it as a personal opinion of an expert who got $800 per hour for the 350 hours spent on the case ($280,000) as well as his firm that charged $300-800 per hour for another 500-600 hours (another $303,000) and he had to say at least something to deserve the money paid.

His video deposition played on Friday July 26, DAY 57. The ABC tweets report:

  • He was asked to assess the projections of Arthur Erk, plaintiffs’ retained expert.
  • Briggs is a senior management director at FTI Consulting and professor at USC MarshallSchool of
  • Business.
  • Briggs said he helps a media company put together forecast and assess risks of projects.
  • Entertainment and media projects: looked at films, music, touring, video games, live events, pretty much everything.
  • Briggs said he gets hired by film producers, production companies, record labels, banks and private equity that invest money.
  • He has done work for talent agencies as well, like Creative Artist and William Morris.
  • Other clients: Estate of Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, among others.
  • Briggs has worked in over 1100 engagements, 300 of those related to the music industry, like Rod Stewart, Bruno Mars, 50 Cent, Usher.
  • Briggs has also worked in endorsement deals.
  • Strong: How many film engagements have you had over the course of your career? Briggs: Probably 600
  • Briggs said some of his predictions have been inaccurate. “I don’t have a crystal ball,” he said.
  • He has been doing forecast in the entertainment business for 15 years.
  • Briggs studies Economy at BrownUniversity and received his MBA at AndersonSchool at UCLA.
  • FTI Consulting has about 4,000 employees worldwide. Briggs is charging $800 an hour. He has spent approximately 350 hours.
  • Briggs has a team working on this matter, roughly 500-600 hours. Personnel on the team charge between $300-$800 per hour.
  • He has testified once in an England tax matter, equivalent to our IRS, and on an arbitration case.
  • Briggs mostly worked for companies that actively spend money in films.
  • Briggs said he has had significant involvement in most of the 1100 cases he worked on. “I’m not taking credit for somebody else.”
  • Strong showed exhibit with Erk’s Opinions: – Tour – Merchandise – Endorsement/Sponsorship – Las Vegas show – Movies
  • Briggs said he analyzed the first four opinions by Erk, since Erk didn’t project earnings for movies.
  • Briggs overarching opinion on topics: 1- It’s speculative whether these projects would occurred 2- The numbers projected are speculative
  • Briggs did not analyze Mr. Erk’s consumption numbers.
  • Japan 2007. MJ listens to fans screaming

    Japan 2007. MJ pauses when the fans are screaming

    “My understanding is that damages cannot be speculative and I didn’t want to prepare a speculative,” Briggs said.

  • MJ had a prolific career which resulted in a catalogue that results in a lot of money every year. Briggs did not analyze that.
  • He said he looked at income MJ would’ve generated for performing, going on tour.
  • “My opinion relates to opinion MJ would have generated by working,” Briggs said.
  • Strong showed an exhibit with “Erk’s TII Tour: Speculative” – No agreement beyond 50 shows – MJ’s drug use
  • Exhibit: – MJ’s history of cancellations – World tour depends on completion of 50 shows – Performance Risk – Execution Risk
  • “As of the date of death, there was no agreement that AEG or MJ would go beyond 50 shows,” Briggs said
  • Briggs: MJ had a significant history of drug use, and this was significant to render my opinion.
  • “There’s significant testimony on the record from four medical doctors in this case regarding MJ’s drug use,” Briggs explained.
  • Briggs: As part of my job, I’m asked to analyze all sorts of things, including drug use for someone who needs to perform.
  • “It’s all about the same thing: the risks,” Briggs said.
  • “My conclusion, based on the evidence presented, MJ’s life expectancy was very short as of June 2009,” Briggs said.
  •  “MJ was taking drugs in very dangerous ways, had history of taking drugs that had a long lasting impact on his health,” he opined.
  • Briggs: MJ had a unique history of great performance but cancellations, particularly in cases where they were practically certain to happen.
  • The expert said MJ canceled a number of dates on Dangerous tour to enter rehab, canceled HBO special in 1995.
  • Also, the Millennium concert didn’t take place, theTwoSeas arrangement where nothing came of it.
  • “The world tour depends on the completion of the 50 tours,” Briggs said.

    Fan Appreciation party March 2007

    Fan Appreciation party March 2007

  • “There’s always a risk of whether the audience will perform and whether the artist will show up,” Briggs testified.
  • He said Guns N Roses, U2, Lady Gaga, Van Halen — all cancelled shows that were pretty certain to happen.
  • Those aspects helped shape Briggs opinion that Erk’s projections were speculative.
  • “The four additional tours are also entirely speculative,” Briggs said. They were based on Erk’s personal opinion.
  • Briggs: MJ had agreed to do 50 shows when he died and was actively engaged in rehearsals.
  • Strong: Do you have an opinion on whether MJ would have completed the 50 shows at the O2?
  • “My opinion is that it’s speculative whether the 50 shows would have been completed,” Briggs said.
  • “There was a significant heath risk in place and the length of the tour exceeded 9 months,” Briggs explained.
  • Judge then adjourned trial until Monday at 10 am PT. We only had half a day today and will only have half day on Monday as well with Briggs.
  • Potential witnesses for next week: Debbie Rowe, video deposition of Randy Jackson and Rebbie Jackson.
  • We hope to see you then!

If this is all Eric Briggs has to say let us congratulate him on the $600,000 collected for the hard job done and proceed to John Meglen instead.


With John Meglen of Concerts West we have another surprise. He gave an extremely boring and false testimony on Monday-Wednesday the same week and was summoned to provide his “personal knowledge of the matter”. His personal knowledge boiled down to belittling Michael Jackson, and in doing so he overdid it so much that he made himself look totally ridiculous.

He said that Led Zeppelin were bigger than Michael Jackson and that he and Marcel Avram “sold half the house” on two Michael Jackson’s History shows in 1996 in Japan and … wait a minute, is he talking about Japan?

Japanese fans in 2007. So many young faces!

Japanese fans in 2007. So many young faces!

After seeing the way Japanese fans greeted Michael in 2007 I don’t know what Meglen had to do not to be able to fill the house in Fukuoka during Michael’s 1996 History tour there. He must have either completely neglected his duties as a promoter or must have been totally unprofessional in what he was doing.

Japanese fans pay $3,400 to see Michael Jackson (March, 2007)

Japanese fans pay $3,400 for the honor to see Michael Jackson (March, 2007)

In 2007 Michael did not even have to perform but the Japanese fans still paid $3,400 a ticket just for a mere chance to have a handshake and spend a couple of seconds with him.

It was a real chase starting for many of them at MJ’s hotel, then turning into a long procession of taxis following Michael around the city and finally getting to see him at the destination point where the VIP party was held.

The 2007 documentary is even called “Fan-deMonium. Chasing Michael Jackson” and I suggest you see it before you read Meglen’s nonsense. One of the opening episodes is in Japanese, but if you survive it at approx. 3:15 the English language will start and make it a great watch.

Let me express my admiration to Japanese fans for the fantastic welcome they gave to Michael Jackson and their never-ending love for him – they really managed to give Michael what he truly deserved. So here it is – Chasing Michael Jackson and a VIP party in Japan in March 2007:

After seeing it you will realize that the “half-house” episode at Fukuoka in 1996 was totally Meglen’s fiasco and no one else’s. But he and AEG’s attorney Jessica Stebbins grasped at this straw and discussed it at great length trying to hypnotize the jury into thinking that Michael Jackson was not as big a superstar as he really was.

The ABC tweets report on July 22, DAY 53:

  • AEG called their next witness, John Meglen.
  • AEG’s attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina did direct examination.
  • John Meglen is a concert promoter, works at AEG Live, he’s the president and CEO of Concerts West.
  • Paul Gongaware is co-CEO of Concerts West with Meglen. He described his extensive background in the business.
  • Meglen said he went to Veterinarian school initially. “I feel like I work with animals some times,” he joked.
  • Bina talked about rivalry between AEG Live and Live Nation.
  • Meglen said he doesn’t think being the number 1 is necessarily a good thing. He explained it is the difference between quality and quantity.
  • When they created Concerts West, Meglen said their first tour was Andrea Bocelli. They promoted first tour of Mariah Carey.
  • Meglen worked with MJ prior to “This Is It” once. He was a consultant to a firm in Japan that promoted two MJ shows in 1996 around Christmas
  • Meglen watched both shows and said it was great. Marcel Avram was the promoter.
  • They both sold half house, he said, which is half of the tickets available. Meglen said they hid he empty seats so it wouldn’t show.
  • Bina asked if Wikipedia was wrong in saying the shows were sold out. “I don’t use Wikipedia as source for my business,” Meglen said.

Quote from the transcript:

History tour 1996, Australia

History tour 1996, Australia. The sea of fans mirrored in his sun-glasses

Q. Before “This Is It”, have you ever worked with Michael Jackson?

A. Once, yes.

Q. In what capacity?

A. As a consultant to a firm in Japan who wished to promote Michael Jackson in Fukuoka, Japan.

.. Q. How many shows did you promote for Mr. Jackson there?

A.Two shows.

Q. What did you do for the shows in Fukuoka?

A. Well, we were not financially at risk. We were hired by a Japanese firm who really had no experience on how to put a concert on, so we were hired and paid a fee to help them contract the show for Michael, and to execute the show, to promote it.

..Q. And were you involved in promoting any other portion of Mr. Jackson’s “History” tour?

A.No, I was not.

Q. So even the other Japanese legs, those were somebody else?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, turning to the Fukuoka shows themselves, did you watch the shows?

A. Yes, I went – I watched both shows?

Q. How were they?

A. They were great.

Q. Now, I read on Wikipedia that the two shows at the Fukuoka dome were sell-outs.

A. That’s far from true.

Q. I was going to ask, is that right?

A. They each sold about half the house.

Q. Half a house. Does that mean after –- half the seats that were for sale, or —

A. Yes.

..Q. Could you see whether or not the houses were full?

A. We curtained off a lot of the empty seats.

Naturally I checked up all sources available to me and found only the information confirming Wiki’s numbers and saying that both concerts at Fukuoka Dome were sold out:

The King of Pop Michael Jackson performed at the stadium four times at his solo career; The first two times, Jackson performed two sold-out concerts during his Dangerous World Tour, in September 10 & 11, 1993, for a total audience of 70,000 fans (35,000 per show); The second and last two times was in 1996, during his subsequent tour, HIStory World Tour, in December 26 and 28, on also two sold-out concerts for 80,000 people (40,000 fans per show);

But since Meglen says he knows better I had to look up the shows before and after Fukuoka to be able to see how successful the History tour was at all.

 January 2, 1996 Honolulu, Hawaii

January 2, 1996 Honolulu, Hawaii

The information found was smashing – three concerts in Tokyo were fully sold out (fortunately they were not promoted by Meglen), and Japan was preceded and followed by Australia and Hawaii.

In both countries the tickets were sold out within hours of beginning the sales – in Australia twice in October and December, so that they had to add three more shows, and in Hawaii also twice – in November 1996 and January 1997. Hawaii is a US territory and the media said that this was the first time its stadium was filled to its full capacity:

Oct. 5, ’96 – Concert tickets sold-out in record time in Australia. Initially, first shows scheduled for Sydney and Melbourne both sold out in under 2 hours, selling over 130,000 tickets combined. Then another record was set: Over 175,000 tickets sold out in just 8 ours. ALL 6 scheduled concerts in Australia are sold out, leaving the possibility for added dates. 3 more concerts were later added to meet the demand. As a direct result of the concerts. HIStory album shot up again on the Australian charts to the #1 spot.

Nov. 16, ’96All 35,000 tickets for Michael Jackson’s Hawaiian Jan. 3, 1997 concert sold out in just 4 hours. A second concert was tentatively scheduled, also immediately selling out. As the ticket outlets opened at 8am, an estimated 20,000 people stood in lines that snaked up and down at Aloha Stadium. Police said only two special duty officers were hired to handle the Aloha Stadium lines — but about 15 officers who worked the previous midnight watch put in overtime during the morning to control the crowds. The scene at the Aloha Soccer Stadium turned into a total chaos, as fans jumped over chain-link fences, overwhelming ticket-sellers. Jim Fulton, an official with promoter Tom Moffatt Productions, said “I have never, ever seen anything like this in Hawaii before. Ever.” 

Dec. 6, ’96 – during his Australian leg of the HIStory tour, Michael performed 9 sold out concerts in 5 different cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth – to at least 334,000 Australians; thousands followed his every move. This makes it Michael’s most successful tour stop in Australia in his career.

Jan. 4, ’97 – Michael Jackson performed to record crowds of 70,000 in Honolulu, Hawaii – his first U.S. tour stop since 1989. The two concerts held on Jan. 3-4 at the 35,000 seat Aloha Stadium made history – no other musical act ever sold out the stadium, and Michael sold out 2 shows in less than 24 hours — a record time. Hawaii promoter, Tom Moffatt said: I’ve never seen anything like it, …..there’s been nothing even close to this–the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Julio Iglesias, the Eagles. . . ”

We haven’t got the footage from the Japan concerts in 1996 but here is the TV buzz accompanying Michael’s arrival on the History tour:

And here is Michael with his Japanese fans at Tower Records in December 1996:


If Meglen had kept his Fukuoka fiasco to himself it would have been only for his own good.  But since he disclosed it, now we know that amid the highly successful History tour one certain promoter from AEG Live did the impossible – he arranged half-full houses for Japanese fans.

Fiascos are actually a pattern with Meglen because after Fukuoka he also described his and other AEG people’s failure to get Michael Jackson interested in cooperation with AEG in the winter-spring period of 2007.


Fan Appreciation Party March 9, 2007. Winners of the Fan Art Contest

Fan Appreciation Party March 9, 2007. Winners of the Fan Art Contest

From the way Meglen describes it AEG began to chase Michael Jackson immediately after he arrived from Ireland in the US.

We know it by the timeline – first they had two meetings with Michael, then they invited him to attend Prince’s show in Las Vegas promoted by AEG (in February 2007), then there was one more meeting and then all their effort ended in nothing. So all of it must have started as early as January 2007.

For This Is It concerts Michael Jackson was actually brought to AEG a year later when Tom Barrack set Michael’s work with AEG as a condition for his buying the foreclosure note on Neverland. Barrack was twisting Michael’s arms and this is probably why Michael had to agree.

The way AEG was chasing Michael in 2007 is actually the only interesting episode in the three days of Meglen’s testimony, so I will put it down in some detail – we really need to know how all of it started.

The AEG courtship of Michael Jackson began when Peter Lopez called AEG in early 2007 and they hurried to Michael Jackson to make a presentation of AEG hoping he would pick them:

ABC tweet say:

  • Meglen said he next met MJ in 2007 with Peter Lopez, MJ’s attorney at the time at the WynnHotel in Las Vegas.
  • The meeting was to let MJ know what AEG was about, Meglen said. Gongaware, Raymone Bain (MJ’s manager), Lopez, MJ were present.
  • MJ recognized Gongaware, Meglen said. He came out of the bedroom, “Whenever I see Paul Gongaware I know everything is going to be all right”
  • Meglen said MJ asked Gongaware about Brigitte, his girlfriend at the time. They wanted MJ to choose them for a comeback tour.


Q. Now, you said Mr. Lopez called and asked you about this meeting. Did he tell you in advance what the meeting was going to be about?

A.Peter, when he called regarding going to meet with Michael in Las Vegas, it was about letting him know what AEG was about.

Q. So you understood it was a time for you to come and make a presentation to Mr. Jackson about AEG Live?
A. Absolutely.

Q. Did he tell you at that point that Mr. Jackson wanted to work live, or was it more open-ended?

A. No, it was more open-ended.

…Q. Who was at that meeting that you recall?

A. It was myself and Paul Gongaware, Peter Lopez, a lady named Raymone Bain, and she had another lady that worked with her, I cannot remember her name.

Q. And did you have an understanding as to Raymone Bain’s role at this time?

A. She introduced herself as Michael’s manager.

…Q. Do you remember any specific projects being discussed besides a King Tut miniseries that Mr. Jackson wanted to work on and a Vegas residency that Mr. Jackson wasn’t interested in?

A. It wasn’t a meeting to talk about, necessarily, specific projects. It was more of a meeting showing Michael who we were as a company.

…I brought three what we call sizzle reels on the company with me, along with kind of company brochure.

Q. And was the goal of this to convince Michael Jackson to hire AEG Live to produce a concert for him?

A. Well, it was to show Michael the breadth of AEG and you know, some of the cool projects that were were involved in and what we did so that, you know, he would – if he did work, that, you know, we hopefully would be the company he’d work with, or he’d think about us.

Q. So is that a yes, you were trying to get him to pick you?

A. Yes.

…Q. Now, one thing I meant to ask you at the beginning, how did Mr. Jackson look to you when you saw him?

A. He looked great. He was full of energy, he seemed taller to me, a firm handshake, and just – he was there, he was – he was very, very excited about everything.

Q. And how long was this first meeting?

A. Maybe two hours, hour and a half to two hours.

Q. Did Mr. Jackson seem in any way under the influence of anything, drugs or alcohol?

A. No.

Q. No signs of that?

A. No.

Japan March, 2007. MJ at the US camp Zama meeting the military and their families

Japan March 10, 2007. MJ at the US camp Zama meeting the military and their families. A confident man full of energy and looking great

Of course there were no signs of it. Look at Michael’s photos of 2007 – despite being older his then looks were much better than in the 2000s, when medications were really a problem for him.

ABC tweets say that almost immediately Gongaware took the lead on the MJ’s This Is It project. This is wrong.

Before Gongaware took the lead there were three more meetings with Michael Jackson which brought AEG nowhere and a full year before their next contact in 2008.

The first meeting was when AEG made a representation of their company. The second meeting in 2007 was solely about making films as Michael was not interested in anything else:

Q. Did you have a follow-up meeting after that first meeting with Mr. Jackson?

A.Yes, our second meeting – a month later, maybe, somewhere in that range, at Turnberry, which is a condo development in Las Vegas, and so we met there.

Q. And how did the second meeting come about?

A. I believe Peter arranged the second meeting, or called us, asked us to go to the second meeting. Could have been Raymone. I don’t remember. But we were asked if we would come and meet with Michael again.

Q. And what, if you recall, was the purpose of this meeting?

A. The majority of that meeting was for the lady who had co-written the King Tut miniseries to take us through that project.

Q. And who was there at the meeting?

A. Myself, Paul Gongaware, Randy Phillips came to that meeting, John Nelson, who runs the day to day in our Vegas operationk a amn named Chris Demoulin who worked for Walden media, and then a number of people –

 Michael’s side had grown from the first meeting.

Q. And was – were Mr. Lopez and Ms. Bain still there?

A. Yes, they were both still there.

Q. And you said Christ Demoulin from Walden media. I think you said Walden media was a film company?

A. Correct.

Q. And so were they brought to discuss this sort of film aspect of this miniseries?

A. Yes, because they were probably – we did not really have any television development organization within AEG. The closest things would have been our film guys.

Q. Were any other projects discussed at this meeting?

A. No.

And the third meeting was to see Prince’s show in Las Vegas which was in February 2007 according to an eye-witness who wrote that it was “NBA ALL -STAR WEEKEND FEB. 2007“:

Q. After those first two meetings, did you ever have a third meeting with Mr. Jackson?

A. Yes. Well, actually, after that meeting, Michael came that night to see Prince. We were at that time producing a – I guess you would call it a residency for Prince at the Rio hotel. It was called 3121. And Michael wanted to come over and see it, so Michael came over that night to watch the Prince show.

Q. Did you talk business at all with him at that meeting – I mean at that Prince show?

A. No. I mean, Michael showed up , I took him downstairs, there were – there was kind of a hospitality room downstairs, I – Michael actually showed up early, I was surprised. And Prince had two background singers. They were these two ladies who were Australian and were twins. And they said they had met Michael before, so I took him in and kind of let them all visit.

Q. And so no business discussions there?

A. No.

Q. Okay. And then did you have another meeting with Mr. Jackson after that?

A. Yes. We had another meeting in New York City with Michael after that.

Q. And do you remember when that was?

A. That was a few months later, quite a few months later, I think; and that meeting was at the Regency hotel in New York.

Q. And do you remember what that meeting was about at all?

A. That one, there were more — there were attorneys and accountants there for Michael. You know, I think at that time Raymone Bain was more pushing for some all-encompassing deal that didn’t really have anything attached to it. It was just —

Q. What do you mean?

…A. Well, I kind of understood what, you know – there was nothing specific attached to it. That’s why it was difficult. You know, when something like that happens, you go, “To do what? I want to do a deal, but to do what?”

…Q. After these first three meetings, did you have any more discussions with Mr. Jackson about anything?

A.No. It pretty much went pretty quiet from there. You know, for quite some time, we – it kind of just kind of – deals have a way of doing that at times. You can work on things; if there isn’t a deal to be made or something to be made, they just kind of go away.

Q. And so this just kind of went away?

A. Yes, this one just kind of went away.

Q. During all of these three meetings in 2007, was there ever a time at any of those meetings that you thought Mr. Jackson  looked like he might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

A. No.

Q. Was there ever a time he seemed anything other than alert?

Tokyo 2007 US camp MJ makes a speech

Japan March 10, 2007. MJ speaks at the US camp Zama

A. No. He seems – he had a lot of energy.

Q. Did he seem happy? Unhappy?

A. Very happy.

Q. But no deal was done at the time?

A. Pardon me?

Q. No deal was done at the time?

A., No, no.

Q. And at some point down the line, do you know whether Mr.Jackson came into contact with AEG Live again?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. When was that?

A. At least a good year later.

Q. And were you involved in that sort of second set of — of meetings, for lack of a better word?

A. No, not really. It was coming in through – through a different person in the company.

So the impression AEG bosses had of Michael when they first met him was:

March 9, 2007  "He was great, full of energy, firm handshake, he was very, very excited"

March 9, 2007 “He was great, full of energy, firm handshake, he was very, very excited”

  • “He was great, full of energy, seem taller, firm handshake, he was there, he was very, very excited.”

Michael indeed looked absolutely great. We can see it in the March 2007 Japan video, and to remember Michael the way he was only two years before his death I’ll post its next episode here too.

What did Tohme and AEG have to do to Michael so that his health terribly deteriorated within so short period of time?


As you remember the ticket for the VIP party was $3,400 which brought the organizers $400,000 and this means that more than a thousand people attended it. Michael got half of it according to Sullivan’s book, though not a single song or dance was performed by MJ there.

The VIP party was followed by a party for the ‘less affluent’ fans where the price of ticket was a more democratic $130, but still much higher than the ticket for AEG performances where he was supposed to toil for three hours on stage. What impressed me most is that at both parties nothing else but a mere handshake was expected of Michael and various artists were actually performing for him and not MJ for them.

Japan 2007, at a VIP party Michael had nothing to do but clap his hands and make a short speech

Japan 2007, at the VIP party Michael had nothing to do but clap his hands and make a short speech

This made me think that Michael did not have to do any AEG shows at all.

With his enormous popularity he could just throw VIP parties all over the world and if he also performed a song or two I have no doubt whatsoever that our oligarchs like Abramovich would pay him millions for a chance to entertain his oligarchy friends.

You can like or dislike them but they are definitely not greedy scrooges like Anschutz, and pay generously for a party they really enjoy. Our oligarch market alone could have provided for Michael a stable multi-million income if he chose to ever stoop down to them.

Here is the next part of the “Fan-deMonium. Chasing Michael Jackson” video from Japan, 2007. In this part Michael makes a speech at the VIP party putting on his spectacles and looking like a professor, and arranges a fan art contest at a fan party the prize for which is having dinner with him:


However we need to get back to our liar Meglen. To the lies already told he now adds that  it is “classics” for the artist to pay for producing the show and he repeats the usual AEG nonsense that profit was to be divided between AEG and Michael at the ratio of 90/10 (90% for MJ and only 10% for AEG):

Q. So when you say “net profits,” you don’t mean what the artists takes home at the end of the day?

A. No, no, The – the – the show net is classically the gross revenue left to be divided between the artist and the promoter, of which the artist then pays his touring expenses out of.

Q. So in this instance, the show net would be to the gross revenues minus what you spent to promote the show at the venue, and then that show net, if I have it right, would be split 90/10?

A. Yes, ma’am.

Q. And then you said there was an artist’s net?

A. The artist net then is you take the – take the share that the artist receives from the show and then the artist then has to pay all of his expenses out of that: trucks, buses, crew, musicians, all of his staffing on the road, all of the things that the artist classically pays for.

Q. And then what was left after that, that’s where AEG Live’s producer’s fee would be calculated?

A. Correct.

Q., So in this instance, the artist – the expenses of production, where do they fall?

A. On the artist’s side.

Ms. Stebbins: Is that good, your honor?

Judge: Yes, Okay. Tomorrow, return at 9:45.

Japan March 2007. MJ is going by a helicopter to the US camp Zama

Japan March 2007. MJ is going by a helicopter to the Camp Zama US Army post. This is how I would like to remember Michael

So he says that the artist is to “classically” pay all the expenses?

But if it is the classics of their business why did all the media in June 2009 lament that it was AEG that was losing millions of dollars and not Michael Jackson?

If it was “classically” the artist’s responsibility they should have lamented that it was Michael Jackson’s Estate that was to lose millions and not AEG, right?

It is time to recall now that for weeks after Michael’s death none of them, even AEG themselves, spoke of those expenses to be covered from Michael’s pocket and of the possibility of production expenses to be charged to the Estate.

At that time AEG and the media were talking solely of the insurance as a means to cover AEG’s losses and not a single mention was made of it being Michael’s responsibility:

AEG Live, the organiser of Michael Jackson’s concerts at the O2 arena, could lose millions from the cancellation of the concerts.

AEG stands to lose a substantial part of its investment if its insurance policy won’t come into play—and that could depend on the cause of Jackson’s death.

More recently, Denver Post article cited a June interview in which AEG Live chief executive Randy Phillips said insurance had been secured for 23 out of fifty “This Is It” dates — certainly better than the ten gigs reported a few months earlier. If that’s the best AEG could manage, however, it could still lose tens of millions of dollars. Losses in that range would hardly bankrupt Anschutz, but they’d certainly give him another (very big) reason to mourn Jackson’s passing.

One of the ways to cover the losses was Randy Phillips’ selling the footage of Michael’s rehearsals, but again not a word was said about production expenses allegedly being Michael’s responsibility:

At the time of his death we’d already spent $33 million on production. No, it’s not the end of the company. Maybe to other companies, but not ours. Our mutual owner is a very wealthy billionaire. People speculated this would be the end, but I knew the value of the content we had. Just didn’t know how to monetize it. I shopped it around to studios and [there was] a bidding war between four studios, Universal, Sony, Paramount and Fox.”

If it had been Michael’s obligation to cover all production expenses AEG would have never hesitated to immediately name the Estate responsible for them – however more than three weeks after Michael’s death AEG themselves were not so sure of it.

Of course AEG are always AEG and they were already making tentative probes in this direction, so  they did send their report to the Estate sometime in the first part of July 2009. However even now, at this trial, they say that the report was sent NOT with the aim to have them pay for the expenses and was for “information only”.

If production expenses had been Michael Jackson’s responsibility from the start of it do you think that AEG would have hesitated to approach the Estate at once and would have danced around this matter? No, certainly not!

And this means that they decided to shift all production costs onto Michael much later, and initially they were only probing the Estate for such a possibility:

Predicting the financial fall out would be messy as well as expensive, ultimately, AEG may have to file a claim against Jackson’s estate.

The next article clearly says that the production expenses were to be covered only by the insurance sum. Phillips also hoped that another source for compensation would be no need to refund all the tickets. And again there was no talk about taking the money from Michael Jackson’s pocket.

So when Meglen says that those expenses are “classically the artist’s responsibility” he is lying – initially production costs were not Michael Jackson’s responsibility. In the very worst case they were to be split between MJ and AEG:

Jul 6 2009 3:03 PM EDT 

Promoter Of Michael Jackson Concerts Could Erase Losses With Insurance, DVD Sales

AEG CEO Randy Phillips says, ‘I’m heartbroken, but the company is fine.’

By Gil Kaufman

Given that AEG had sunk more than $30 million into the production and is now offering full refunds to the nearly 1 million ticket holders, it would seem that the Los Angeles-based company could be in for some serious financial headaches as a result.

But, according to CEO Randy Phillips, that’s not necessarily the case. Speaking at a news conference last week, Phillips claimed that a combination of savvy insurance planning and a stronger-than-expected demand for the commemorative tickets for the now-canceled shows might help erase some of those potentially crippling losses, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“For the record, this great company I work for is not bankrupt,” Phillips said. “They’re not going out of business and they’re certainly not in trouble. I’m heartbroken, but the company is fine.” While AEG offered full refunds for the tickets beginning last week, Phillips said nearly half the concertgoers who’ve answered so far have opted to hold onto their commemorative tickets, which, if that ratio holds, could help the company break even on ticket sales.

The concert-promotions company might also be able to turn to insurance underwriter Lloyd’s of London to recover some of the production costs, such as salaries for nearly 200 employees, stages, aerial dancers, elaborate illusions and the price of expensive talent such as show director Kenny Ortega and choreographer Travis Payne. AEG reportedly bought a $17.6 million policy that covered the first 23 shows, but Phillips said the insurance payout would depend on the coroner’s final verdict on how Jackson died.

And from one more article we learn that AEG actually did not even need any compensation of their losses. Since half the tickets did not have to be refunded as they were kept by MJ’s fans as memory, the sum of money thus retained by AEG was enough to fully cover all the money spent by AEG on the production.

But our AEG is a very greedy scrooge, so they wanted to have all of it – the money retained from the tickets sold, compensation of $40 mln from the Estate, the intellectual property costing $60mln (the rehearsal footage sold to Sony) and the insurance money for their “losses” to be retrieved from Lloyds as well…. And now they call Katherine Jackson “greedy”?

Regarding refunds, Phillips says AEG is currently seeing a retention rate of about 25% in an offer that runs through Aug. 14. He says 40% retention would allow AEG to recoup its expenses. What ticket retention doesn’t make up, intellectual property should cover costs that AEG has put at about $25 million and others have tagged as high as double that

Later Randy Phillips would admit that at least 40% of all tickets were retained by Michael’s fans.

The next day Meglen’s lies continued:

Tuesday July 23, 2013  DAY 54

  • Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 54, Week 13 of Jackson family vs AEG trial is under way.
  • Katherine Jackson is not present in court today. John Meglen, co-CEo of Concerts West, is back on the stand. Jessica Bina questioning him.
  • Meglen didn’t have involvement in Michael Jackson’s contract. He said after the initial meeting, there was a quiet period.
  • Then they met again in early 2008 and began discussions of what to do and where to go with MJ’s comeback tour.
  • The promoter said they considered London, the biggest market in the world, since it has a new, hot arena.
  • He said the strength of artist’s popularity is based on ticket sales, ticket sales of similar artists, record sales, radio time playing.
  • We did not want to start the tour in North America, Meglen said.
  • Meglen: We weren’t sure what the reaction, ticket sale would be in N America because of the historic stuff Michael had gone before in the US
  • Meglen said the other option was Asia, Japan especially. He has done a number of other tours in Asia.
  • However, Meglen said the economics wasn’t there for Asia, couldn’t get a high enough ticket price in China.
  • He said there are a lot of rich people in China, but a lot people with not as much money.
  • Meglen said MJ had sold stadium shows in London before, had a successful track record there.
  • The promoter said normally they talk about show net, what we call artist gross, is when discussing money.
  • You can’t compare net of artists because they all spend differently on the road, Meglen said.
  • The show net is where you determine the artist gross from, Meglen explained.
  • Meglen said he was not intimately involved in the budget tour and budget production, but has seen them and knows what a budget is.
  • Meglen said he was aware of talks about a worldwide tour with MJ.
  • Meglen: The London shows were the only approved shows from our standpoint at AEG. He explained that the only one that went thru the approval process was the London shows. It was a long way to the completion of the London shows, so Meglen said there was no urgency in figuring out where to go after that.
  • Meglen would have to approve a worldwide budget, he said. And it all depended on the London shows success and their review.

So Meglen says that those “50 shows” were the only approved ones?

This I cannot agree with as after Michael’s death AEG cried crocodile tears over losing more their $450 million from the future three and a half year long contract with Michael. Why did they speak of it to the Time magazine in 2009 if now they say that they never planned it? No, not only did they plan and approve, but they were also sure that all that money was already in their pocket, and it was the loss of it that they were so bitterly missing:

Now that stage will be dismantled — and AEG must deal with the financial aftermath. Jackson’s death means the firm will have to refund $85 million in ticket sales.

The company will also miss out on expected profits of $115 million from VIP packages and merchandising, and it will lose the chance at an additional $450 million from the three-year worldwide tour they hoped would follow the London gigs.,8599,1907404,00.html


From further Meglen’s revelations we find that it is customary for superstars not to rehearse. Celine Dion did not and it also made her director “freak out”, however AEG perfectly survived it:

  • Meglen said Paul Gongaware called Michael Jackson ‘Mikey’ because they knew each other.
  • The promoter said AEG advanced the money for “This Is It” tour.
  • The superstar deals: the selling of tickets is kind of a given, Meglen said. So they get out of guarantee and get profit participation.
  • They are worried about what their shares are as opposed to guarantee, Meglen explained.
  • This is the type of deal for Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, Neal Diamond, Meglen testified.
  • Meglen wasn’t involved in the production of TII. He has never met Dr. Murray and has not seen any draft agreement between AEG and the doctor
  • Meglen said he has been involved in tours where a doctor was part of the production. He named Rolling Stones, Celine Dion, John Denver.
  • Bina: Is it worrisome to have a doctor come on tour?
  • Meglen responded no, not at all.
  • He said you’re dealing with singers, sometimes you have a lot of dancers on shows, so doctors, physical therapists, chefs, not uncommon.
  • Meglen said he had never seen an AEG contract where the artist is required to rehearse.
  • Meglen said Celine Dion’s director was freaking out because she was not showing up for rehearsals.
  • The rehearsal is more for the people around the artist, Meglen said. He said it is very common for artists to use TelePrompTers.
  • Celine Dion, Meglen said, not only uses Teleprompter but has an ear piece with director speaking to her.
  • Meglen said he had one show in Las Vegas that didn’t sell tremendously well and they had to shut down production early. No names mentioned.


  • The promoter said the hotels in Las Vegas would not allow an artist to have a residency show with only 2 and 1/2 shows per week.
  • He said the hotels want customers every night, so resident shows need to have a constant schedule and few days off.
  • A residency show needs more than 2 and 1/2 shows per week to be able to pay expenses and make money, Meglen explained.
  • He said the promoter would be able to survive with only 2 and 1/2 shows per week, but not the artist.
  • Meglen said the average ticket price for a headliner show in Las Vegas currently is $100-$125.
  • An arena is an ambitious step to take the model of a Las Vegas show. Arena fits 50k-60k people, Meglen said.
  • Meglen said he has put together a show idea for Las Vegas involving Michael Jackson, but not a residential show.

The story about the residency show needing more than 2,5 shows per week is probably correct and this is why in 2007/08 Jack Wishna was working on a Las Vegas project where Michael’s show would run continuously but would present other artists for five days a week and Michael would perform just on weekends or four times a month:

The deal called for Jackson to perform only one weekend a month, Wishna said. The rest of the time it would be “Michael Jackson Presents,” with a lineup including major R&B performers like Usher, Jay-Z, Jamie Foxx and others.

This is another proof that in order to get his millions Michael was absolutely not obliged to perform every day for three and a half years as AEG was forcing him to – there were other opportunities open to him which the plaintiff’s expert Arthur Erk did not even include into his estimation (but probably should have).

At this point Meglen again reveals to us that it was AEG’s primary interest to get themselves involved in projects associated with Michael Jackson. After Michael’s death they realized the “urgency of it” and hurried up to approach the Estate before they finalized their deal with Cirque du Soleil.

So previously they chased and courted Michael Jackson and now they are chasing and courting his Estate? Well, at least it puts things in the right perspective – without the Artist the promoter is Nobody – and I am happy that the Estate did not agree to do further business with AEG.

Actually the offer AEG made to the Estate was laughable – it was $60mln for 10 years. Well, even the late Jack Wisha arranged much more lucrative deals. For Wayne Newton, for example, it was $250 mln over 10 years, so the same or even better terms could be very well offered by Jack Wisna to Michael Jackson.

fan party. Japan March 9, 2007ABC tweets continue about the profit AEG was hoping to get out of Michael after his death:

  • Meglen: We proposed to the Estate a Michael Jackson Campus at the Planet Hollywood Hotel. 
  • It’d involve artifacts in MJ exhibit, items from Neverland, 2 restaurants, nightclub and a theatrical show directed by Kenny Ortega.
  • This was after Michael Jackson passed away. Meglen said this was never proposed before he died
  • Bina showed a document with a structural outline with the concept of the Las Vegas show, possible partners and numbers.
  • Meglen said they wanted to take this to another level, creating an entire campus as opposed to just a show and a boutique.
  • Meglen said he became aware the Estate of MJ was in talks with Cirque du Soleil for a show in Vegas, which gave AEG a sense of urgency.
  • The promoter said he got one meeting with the executor of MJ’s Estate, John Branca, but they were already involved with Cirque du Soleil.
  • Meglen: You run 10 years (in a residency show) and you hit a home run.
  • Meglen said they were very interested in a MJ Las Vegas show. He said he made an offer as attractive or better than Cirque’s proposal.
  • Meglen said there was a guarantee of $60 million over 10 years.
  • “The Estate told us they were not interested,” Meglen said.
  • While Michael Jackson was alive, Meglen said the ideal would be to have the artist live as a residency show. But that wasn’t an option.
  • He said tribute shows don’t do well when the artist is alive, since people want to see the actual performer.
  • Meglen said he probably has never proposed an India concert. “Nobody goes to India,” Meglen said.
  • Jacksons attorney objected saying Meglen has no experience in India. Judge sustained.


There is simply not a single point in Meglen’s testimony where he wouldn’t be lying.  It is in AEG interests now to downplay everything connected with MJ as they are desperate to minimize their possible losses. Hence Michael Jackson “is not the best artist”,  the stadiums had fewer seats than Arthur Erk estimated and all the rest of it said with the sole aim to cut the sum to be paid to Katherine Jackson.

Meglen’s next lie concerns the number of tickets sold for Michael Jackson’s shows:

  • Meglen explained the stadiums normally don’t allow sale of full capacity. The stage is big, when you sell all around is called 360 degrees.
  • The projections the Jacksons expert produced is more than that, Meglen said. He estimated they would sell 220 degrees in MJ’s shows.
  • All stadiums and arenas have suites and the promoters and artists don’t get to charge them, Meglen said.
  • People buy the suites on an annual basis and it includes concerts. The building gets the money, not the promoter or artist.
  • Meglen said you can’t put an arena show into a stadium, specially because of the size of the stage and the production.
  • It’s also much more expensive to do a stadium show, Meglen explained.
  • Rolling Stones had 59,000 people, the maximum capacity they could have at The Rose Bowl, Meglen said.
  • The Rose Bowl is one of the biggest stadiums in the country and there is the idea that it fits 100k people, Meglen explained.
  • You’re lucky if you can hit 60 (thousand), Meglen said.
  • Bina shows another exhibit. There’s dispute as to which exhibit has been admitted already or not. Judge sent jury to lunch.
  • Outside the jury presence, Panish complained to the judge that AEG’s attorney Jessica Bina handed over copies of exhibits to the jury.
  • He said the proper procedure is to hand the documents to the clerk or bailiff and let them handle them to the jury.
  • Panish said the attorneys should not have any contact with the jurors whatsoever. Bina said it was not her intention, apologized.
  • Afternoon session is set to resume within 40 minutes.
The tickets sold for MJ's shows and the O2 arena seating capacity

The tickets sold for MJ’s shows and the O2 arena seating capacity.

I cannot believe that AEG is disputing now even the number of the seats sold.

Meglen claims that the seats available for Michael Jackson’s fans made only 220 degress of the arena. Though the number of seats was indeed less than the full circle 220 degrees are actually a big lie –  the screen shots of the arena seats from AEG’s official sources Ticketmaster and Viagogo present a different picture.

To the right is the seating plan for This Is It shows from Ticketmaster published in 2009.

The number of seats is far from the 220 degrees claimed by Meglen – I’ve taken the trouble to calculate (where are my $800 per hour?) and came to the number of the seats offered for sale to be close to 306 degrees.

The calculation is simple:

220 degrees make up approximately 60% of the full 360 degrees (180 degrees would be 50% or a half of all seats). Now look at these screenshots – do you have the impression that the seats sold were slightly over half of the available seats? No, even a brief look shows that it is much more than 60% claimed by Meglen.

Here is a closer look at the official seating plan from the Ticketmaster – my rough estimation of the seats offered at that time is 85-86%.

O2 arena seating capacity (with rough calculations)

O2 arena. For MJ concerts they offered roughly 85-86% of its seating capacity

And below is a seating plan from Viagogo.

It is slightly smaller which is no surprise – Viagogo was offering the VIP seats only which in some cases were not even offered by Ticketmaster (the C2 area, for example, and some sections on the floor area which were taken out of the Ticketmaster plan).

Viagogo seating plan for MJ's concerts. It includes section C2 of premium tickets which are not even offered by Ticketmaster

Viagogo seating plan for MJ’s concerts. It includes section C2 of premium tickets and parts of  floor sections not even offered by Ticketmaster


Meglen told so many lies in his testimony that it is impossible to focus on all of them, so now I will try to single out only the most outrageous ones.

The ABC tweets:

  • John Meglen resumed testimony in the afternoon. Bina showed him plaintiffs’ Highest Grossing Tours chart created by Erk from Wikipedia data.
  • Bina: Which tours you promoted all or portion of tour?
  • 18- Bon Jovi
  • 13- Pink Floyd
  • 12- Eagles
  • 11- Celine Dion
  • 8- Rolling Stones
  • More shows:
  • 38- Paul McCartney
  • 37- Justin Timberlake
  • 35- Bon Jovi
  • 34- Britney Spears
  • 30- Bon Jovi
  • 28- Pink
  • 26- MJ HIStory
  • 20- Bon Jovi
  • Meglen did 7 whole tour, 3 North America and 2-3 did some shows of the highest grossing shows.
  • He said he’s familiar with endorsements and sponsorship deals involving a tour. Meglen worked on two shows of MJ’s HIStory tour.
  • Bina said there was a lot of testimony about the fast pace of sales of tickets. She asked if he has seen any other show sell that fast.
  • Meglen: Yes, Voodoo Lounge, Division Bell we almost sold out immediately, we call instant sell outs
  • Meglen: Those were stadiums tours and when we put them on sale we rolled into multiple stadium dates, that’s about as high as it gets.
  • Rolling dates means opening more dates based on demand, Meglen explained. He said initially 10 shows for TII was sold, then 31, 50.
  • Bina: Was this the best selling show you’ve ever seen in your career?
  • Meglen: No, because it was a relatively lower ticket price. We sold as many tickets on Voodoo Lounge as fast as we sold MJ.
  • In numbers of tickets sold in a day, sure, we have done those kinds of numbers before, Meglen explained.

ALL of it is a big, big LIE. This is how Michael’s shows were selling and this record will never be broken:

Tickets sold at a rate of 11 per second, 657 per minute and nearly 40,000 an hour.

The number of tickets to be sold was actually about a million and not 750,000 as AEG claimed and this alone shows how many seats at the arena were put up on sale. According to Randy Phillips the sale of that tour was a cultural phenomenon never to be repeated: 

They also claimed that one million tickets would be sold in all, a total which they say would set records for “the biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city” and “the most amount of people to attend a series of arena shows”.

Randy Phillips, the president and CEO of AEG Live, which is promoting the concerts, said: “We knew this was showbusiness history, but this is a cultural phenomenon… Not only are these concerts unparalleled, these records will never be broken.”

What’s true is that AEG set the price too low. And the reason for that was not their fear that they would not sell (as they now claim) but their desire to make Michael perform a bigger number of shows.

If Michael performed 10 shows at the price of tickets five times as high he was to generate the same income, but that system would close to AEG the opportunity to sell a huge number of tickets at exorbitant prices on the secondary market.

No, they wanted him to perform 50 shows at minimal prices while they would sell them with a huge surplus over their nominal price. And mind you, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “Michael Jackson’s role, if any, in the markup plan wasn’t clear” .

Thus some 1700 premium tickets were put aside per show for Viagogo via whom AEG was officially selling them. 1700 premium tickets times 50 shows will give us  85,000 premium tickets sold at thousands of dollars, with Michael role still “unclear in the markup plan”:

Tickets to Mr. Jackson’s run at the O2 arena were normally priced at £50 to £75 ($70 to $105). Those seats sold out in five hours, according to AEG, which is owned by billionaire Phil Anschutz’s Anschutz Corp. AEG says it set aside about 10% of the seats, or 1,700 a night, as “official premium” tickets, to be sold for several times those prices.

Mr. Jackson’s role, if any, in the markup plan wasn’t clear. His manager, Tohme Tohme, declined to comment.

The main ticketing Web site for the concert series,, contains a link to Viagogo, where premium tickets are mixed in with resold tickets. The latter are supposed to be offered only by fans, though there is no way to determine whether any given ticket is being resold at a markup, or part of the premium offering. On Sunday, the higher-priced tickets were £145 to £275.

* * *

Daily MailTickets for his extended series of 50 summer shows sold out in record time yesterday with prices of up to a staggering £25,000 being demanded on the resale market….

L.A. TimesThere’s still plenty of tix available, at least for those willing to pay. On the second night of the tour, you can get a pair for $4,217. The ticket prices on the secondary market drop substantially as the run continues, however. If you have faith that Jackson will perform all 50 of his dates (and why would anyone be skeptical?), then you can commit about $700 to see him in February 2010.

* * *

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. The company previously said in a statement: “In an effort to ensure fans are able to purchase premium tickets and exchange tickets directly with other fans, AEG Live has entered into an agreement with Viagogo. The online site allows people to buy and sell live event tickets in a safe and guaranteed way.”

A source close to AEG Live said: “This is the hottest ticket of the decade. To suggest that there won’t be a premium market is unrealistic. We want to make sure it is done properly and fans are not buying the tickets in some dodgy back alley. This is only a small minority of tickets.

Fans who signed up for ticket updates received an email last night saying: “We have now sold out of the presale ticket allocation for 30 shows. Michael Jackson has agreed to add more shows.” It is understood that the O2 has set aside 50 dates for Jackson if the demand exists.

* * *

Phillips defended the Viagogo deal, saying making a premium on such a small number of tickets allowed more tickets to be sold for £75.

“If it’s £100 for Tina Turner and £160 for Madonna, what should it be for the comeback shows of the biggest pop and rock star the world’s ever seen?” he said, adding he believes he could have sold 200 Jackson shows at the O2.

So Randy Phillips believed that they could sell 200 Jackson shows in London alone? And now their Meglen and Eric Briggs are telling us nonsense about their plans being no more than 50 shows? Who do they take us for?


It is even boring to analyze the rest of Meglen’s stories – that MJ is not the greatest artist, that it is okay for organizers to call him a freak if they speak in private or email to each other, that we should not believe the official numbers of the tickets sold (which they themselves advise to the media) or that we are to believe that everything is going fine for the AEG as Phil Anschutz says.

I leave the rest of it for you to form an opinion of your own:

  • Japan March 2007 Fans gathered early for the evening party to start

    Japan March 2007 Fans gathered early for the evening party to start

    Meglen said he negotiated a number of tour deals, from Beach Boys to Sunkist, Good Vibration deals.

  • Sponsor puts a name in an event, Meglen said. Endorsement is when product/company associates name with an artist, artist does commercials.
  • Meglen said the Rolling Stones sponsorship with Citibank was $2.5 million, which is not near 42% of the gross revenue.
  • Bina: Was sponsorship 42%?
  • Meglen: No, there’s no correlation, I’ve never heard anything like it
  • Meglen said there were no endorsements deal for the This Is It tour. Bina said she had no more questions at this time.
  • Panish, in re-cross, asked: Is Paul Gongaware truthful?
  • Meglen: Very truthful
  • P: And Randy Phillips?
  • M: Yes
  • Panish: Do you agree with your boss’ Phillips and Gongaware MJ was the greatest artist of all time?
  • Meglen: I don’t know what their opinion was. I believe that they believe that.
  • Panish: Do I believe MJ was the biggest artist of all time?
  • Meglen: No, I do not
  • Panish: Who is?
  • Meglen: I think Michael is big in pop world, but in my opinion Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin — “I’m a rocker”


Lawyer: “Mr. Jackson was one of the biggest artists ever worldwide, right?”
Meglin: “Eh, even some Canadian artists are bigger. Celine Dion. Justin Bieber. That group that sang ‘Afternoon Delight’.”
Lawyer: “Starland Vocal Band wasn’t from Canada.”
Meglin: “Oh.”

  • Meglen and Dion have been working together for 12 years. He’s familiar with a lot of her shows.
  • Panish: Is Celine Dion honest?
  • Meglen: Yes
  • Panish: What did you testify was the maximum capacity of stadium in France?
  • Meglen: I don’t believe it is 80,000
  • Meglen: Generally, 30% of the numbers that your expert project you have to take out because it gets you to the salable number.
  • Panish: So what’s the maximum seating capacity for that stadium in Paris?
  • Meglen: I don’t know exactly, I’d say 60 to 70,000
  • Panish: Isn’t it true Celine Dion sold 90,000 tickets at that stadium in 1999?
  • Meglen: I don’t know if that’s true, didn’t promote that show. It sounds like too big a number to me, Meglen said.
  • Panish said it was 180,000 people for two shows.
  • Exhibit: Rose Bowl Cap Rolling Stones VooDoo Lounge, 2 shows
  • Plaintiff’s Stated Capacity: 92,542
  • Actual Capacity: 59,570
  • Difference: 32,972
  • Meglen said he met with his attorney 5 days to prepare for his testimony. He was subpoenaed at lunch time and Bina said they will respond.
  • The maximum capacity of shows I’ve done at the Rose Bowl was 59,570, Meglen testified.
  • Panish: Isn’t it true U2 had 97,000 people attend at the Rose Bowl?
  • Meglen: That’s not true
  • Fan Appreciation party, Japan March 9, 2007

    Fan Appreciation party, Japan March 9, 2007

    Panish: It was reported on Billboard Magazine

  • Meglen: I wouldn’t believe it
  • Panish showed Meglen the Billboard Magazine article. He asked how many tickets were sold at U2 performed in Oct 2009 at the Rose Bowl?
  • Meglen: It looks like they (Billboard) reported 97,000.
  • Meglen: I have done Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones, we try to sell as much as we can, we got to roughly 60,000.
  • Panish: Are you an expert in stadium?
  • Meglen: I think I am pretty much an expert in the field.
  • Meglen said that to him, the biggest stadium cap he played was in Columbus, Ohio for a concert and he got in over 60,000.
  • Meglen: You assume I believe and agree with those numbers because they are on Billboard magazine. Those numbers are often inflated.
  • Panish asked if Meglen will do anything he can to protect AEG. “I’m here to tell the truth,” Meglen said.
  • Defendants’ objected, said it has nothing to do with this case.
  • Panish: How much do you get paid by AEG?
  • Panish argued this goes to show a bias. He said he’s under a 5 year contract with discretionary bonus.
  • Judge sustained it. Panish asked if Meglen gets paid a lot by AEG. He said a lot to one person is not a lot to another.
  • Panish asked what’s a lot. Meglen said a million/year. Then Panish asked if Meglen gets paid a lot. “I’m not paid a million dollars a year”
  • Panish asked about Meglen’s reference to work with animals. “I told you yesterday that the people I worked are like animals,” Meglen said.
  • I still work with animals. He said he was referring to crews and guys who work with him assembling shows and taking them down in hours.
  • Panish asked if Meglen respects artists. He answered yes. He then asked if it is ok for AEG to refer to an artist as freak or creepy.
  • People will use terms about an artist that people have used before, Meglen answered.
  • Panish asked if it’s appropriate for AEG to call artist a freak. Meglen said no.
  • Panish asked if Meglen thought it was appropriate for your lawyers to refer as freaks or creepy?
  • Meglen: I don’t believe it is yes or no answer. I believe if people are communicating in a personal level is different from being in public. It would not be a appropriate is it was in a public fashion, Meglen opined.
  • Meglen said he doesn’t believe it’s a yes or no answer.
  • Panish: But in private it’s ok?
  • I think when someone is having a private conversation and later if that becomes public, that can change things, Meglen said.
  • Meglen: Freak had been used numerous times prior, I don’t believe it was appropriate term for him to use but term that had been used before.
  • Japan March 2007 At a VIP party

    Japan March 2007 The VIP party

    I think creepy” is not that bad of a word,” Meglen said. He told Panish he’s sure they both have been called creepy behind their back.

  • Meglen said they always want to do what’s best for the artist. He had some disagreements with his old boss.
  • Panish asked Meglen to assume Gongaware wrote an email and said tell Murray, remind him it’s AEG, not MJ, paying his salary.
  • Panish showed Gongaware’s email to Meglen. He said he’s seen the email on the newspaper.
  • Panish: You told me “who’s paying your salary” is “where your bread is being buttered.”
  • Meglen: I said Mr. Ferrell told me ‘you know where your bread is buttered.’
  • Panish asked if it’s appropriate for one of AEG’s executive to call an artist “freak” and “creepy.”
  • In the context of this email, I’d be only speculating what Paul was doing, Meglen said.
  • Panish asked if AEG hired Celine Dion’s doctor. Meglen said no. Celine’s company pays her doctor.
  • Meglen said they did not negotiate Dion’s doctor’s contract and cannot terminate him.
  • Meglen: No, it was negotiated by their tour producer
  • Panish: Did AEG negotiate the doctor’s contract for Rolling Stones?
  • Panish asked if it’s true the producer generally negotiates the contract with doctors, physical therapists, etc.
  • Meglen: It can be producer’s responsibility to hire the doctor if there is a doctor on the tour, if artist requests them to do that
  • In a video deposition, shown to the jury, Meglen said it’s the producer’s responsibility, many times.
  • AEG Live was the producer for MJ’s This Is It tour.
  • It can only be done with the approval of the artist, Meglen said. “You can’t hire people in these positions without the artist approval.”
  • Meglen said he was told Michael wanted to bring his doctor on tour. He was not involved in negotiating the contract with Dr. Murray.
  • Meglen said he had heard of some of the doctor’s request in their executive meeting.
  • I don’t know who was negotiating, I had simply heard the doctor requested money, Meglen said.
  • Meglen: During one of our executive meetings, it was brought to our attention that Murray was asking for $5 million.
  • Gongaware was the one who brought it up. Meglen said it was kind of understood the amount was excessive and it was not going to happen.
  • Panish: Isn’t true Celine Dion’s doctor is paid for out of show production budget?
  • Meglen: I pay Celine Dion an amount of money, to which she pays the doctor out of that money.
  • Meglen: I asked if Michael was interested in doing a Celine-type show and he said no
  • Panish: You never proposed a MJ show when he was alive?
  • Our policy is we do not have a deal until we have a signed contract, Meglen explained.
  • We do not consider a deal done until there’s an executed contract, Meglen said.
  • He said just because Murray agreed to money offer by MJ via Gongaware does not mean a deal was consummated.
  • Meglen: No, that’s not common
  • Panish: Is it common at the executive committee to talk about the artist’s doctor?
  • That probably never happened, Meglen said.
  • Panish asked when was the last time the committee discussed an artist’s doctor.
  • Only Rolling Stones and Celine Dion have had doctors on tour under AEG.
  • AEG did not have a contract with Celine’s doctor, Meglen said. They did not negotiate the doctor’s payment, could not fire the doctor.
  • Meglen said he does not know if Dion’s doctor set her schedule up.
  • AEG paid the per-show operating expense to CDA production who in turn paid the doctor, Meglen said about Celine Dion.
  • Regarding the Rolling Stones, Meglen said the doctor worked for the band, which means worked for principals and band members.
  • Meglen said AEG did not negotiate the contract with the doctor for the Rolling Stones.
  • Meglen: Yes
  • Panish: AEG give money to the Rolling Stones?
  • Panish asked if it was $18 million. Meglen said there was advance/other securities, doesn’t know if the Rolling Stones have to pay it back.
  • Meglen: We did not produce the Rolling Stones show, we only promoted the Rolling Stones tour.
  • Celine Dion’s doctor was on the original operation budget by AEG for her show. He was listed to be paid out of the weekly operation expense
  • Meglen said Dion’s doctor was her responsibility to pay.
  • AEG does not pay doctors, Meglen said. “We do not hire doctors, we could advance on behalf of artists.”
  • I know we don’t hire doctors, Meglen said. He was not involved in a day-to-day details.
  • Japan. March 2007 People waiting in line to get to a fan appreciation party

    Japan. March 2007 People waiting in line to get to a fan appreciation party

    Panish asked if Meglen spoke with Mr. Anschutz about the trial. Meglen said he asked what he thought about the trial.

  • I think it’s going fine, we have not presented our case yet, Meglen said Anschutz responded.
  • Meglen: He looks skinny, he looks skinner than when I saw him. That’s all.
  • Panish showed the picture of MJ in June 2009.
  • I’m not a doctor. It’s not for me to decide whether being slander is healthy or not healthy, Meglen explained.
  • Panish asked about the meeting with MJ in 2007. “I’m very proud of the assets of AEG, but I don’t think I was bragging about it.”
  • Meglen said he would not go in a meeting about movies since he is not in the movie business.
  • He said he showed the company’s movie sizzle reel to MJ because he wanted to show the quality of their work.
  • How would I know what MJ wanted to do? Meglen said.
  • Judge adjourned session and jury is ordered back at 10 am PT tomorrow. Attorneys ordered at 9:30 am PT.
  • Next AEG’s witness is Eric Briggs, a retained expert in projections and evaluation in the entertainment business (to counter what Erk said).
  • We hope to see you here tomorrow. For all the latest watch @ABC7 and go to Have a good night everyone!


I don’t know how the poor jurors listened to Meglen for the third day running and all his lies rehashed once again. Meglen denied even the most obvious things – for example, the fact that it was never Michael’s obligation to attend rehearsals.

He said he ‘didn’t know if it was his contractual obligation”, however he never reviewed the contract either, never met MJ’s people, did not take part in negotiations, never saw emails to AEG showing that Michael’s health was deteriorating – in short what does this person know at all?

If you want to omit what Meglen doesn’t know anyway I suggest you skip the third day of his testimony and go straight to the end of the post to see the last part of the “Fan deMonium” video showing Michael visit the US Camp Zama in Japan.  Michael met thousands of military there and their families screaming and greeting him as usual.

It will be much more interesting than the lies of this sad Meglen clown.

Wednesday July 24 DAY 55

  • Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 55 of Jackson family vs AEG trial is under way.
  • Katherine Jackson is back in court today. This is the first time she came to court after taking the stand.
  • John Meglen resumed cross examination. Brian Panish, attorney for the Jackson, did the questioning.
  • Panish showed the Rose Bowl chart defendants created and asked what’s the maximum seating capacity in the Rose Bowl?
  • I believe the seating capacity for a football game is 100,000, Meglen said.
  • Meglen: There are many factors that go into that
  • Panish: For a music concert?
  • Meglen: You’ll need to tell me the size of the production in order to tell you
  • Meglen: U2 Concert was called 360, so I’m assuming it sold 360 degrees.
  • Meglen said he was at the Rose Bowl but didn’t watch the U2 concert. Panish asked if 97,000 people sounds right.
  • Meglen: No, I’m not aware of that because I was not involved in the show
  • Panish asked if Meglen was saying the Rose Bowl can’t fit 97,000.
  • I’m not trying to tell you that, it depends on the size of the production. Michael was a stage end production, Meglen opined.
  • Meglen: If you have a center stage, 360 in the round with a small stage in the middle, you could probably get 97,000, yes.
  • Panish asked if Billboard Magazine was wrong about U2 having 97K people.
  • “I told you I do not believe the numbers on Billboard” Meglen said


Meglin: “The Rose Bowl would only seat 60,000.”
Lawyer: “But Billboard reported that U2 performed there for 97,000.”
Meglin: “My gut tells me those numbers can be manipulated.”
Lawyer: “98,000 were there the last time Mr. Jackson performed at the Rose Bowl.”
Meglin: “Oh.”

  • Panish showed picture of U2 concert at the Rose Bowl. Meglen said the floor is not completely filled up.
  • Panish asked how many seats are in the Rose Bowl. Meglen said the stadium is around 100,000 people.
  • Panish: You told us yesterday you spoke with the promoters of U2. Who did you speak with?
  • Meglen: Jerry Barae — he’s in Chicago
  • Meglen: I never disputed what U2 sold at Rose Bowl. I cannot tell you how much are paid tickets, how much are what we call ‘paper ticket’
  • VooDoo Lounge, 180-200 degrees, you can sell 60,000 seats, Meglen said.
  • Panish asked if Meglen spoke with someone promoting the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl and that there were only 60,000 people there.
  • Meglen said that was not true.
  • Panish: If you testified to that it is a lie, then?
  • Meglen: I don’t believe that’s what I testified to
  • I said that I don’t believe it, Meglen said, “and I still believe that’s not true. My answer said it is not true they had 97,000.”
  • Meglen: When I talk about ticket sales, we talk about paid tickets. We don’t really care about people who don’t pay tickets
  • No one from U2’s group told me that 97,000 people did not attend the Rose Bowl, Meglen said.
  • Meglen explained he based his opinion on his experience promoting and producing stadium shows for 35 years.
  • Meglen smiled at Panish.
  • Panish: Is it funny Mr. Meglen?
  • Michael Jackson in Japan March 2007

    Michael Jackson in Japan March 2007

    Judge: Mr. Panish, don’t argue — she shook her head

  • Meglen said he’s been working with Gongaware for 35 years.
  • Panish asked if Meglen agrees with Gongaware that the sale of MJ’s tickets was the fastest ever in the industry.
  • Meglen: I don’t think I agree with that statement, but I think that’s what Paul thought.
  • Panish: Do you agree or disagree this is the most amazing ticket sales Mr. Gongaware has ever seen?
  • Meglen: I agree that’s the most that Paul had seen
  • Meglen said he has done tours for 35 years, probably hundreds of tours.
  • Panish: Do you agree with Randy Phillips, the CEO of AEG, believe Mr. Jackson had an obligation to attend rehearsal?
  • Meglen: I don’t know the context of which this question was asked. You are asking me to opine on what Randy was thinking
  • Meglen: I don’t know if Michael had a contractual obligation. Randy may have felt Michael was obligated, but don’t know it was contractually obligated, Meglen said.
  • Meglen: I agree that an artist should go to some of the rehearsals, yes
  • Panish: Do you agree with Randy Phillips that MJ was a bigger artist than Celine Dion, yes or no?
  • Meglen: I do, myself, personally believe that that is not true In my opinion Celine is right up there with Michael Jackson and is bigger, Meglen said.

Celine Dion is an absolutely outstanding singer, but I doubt if any fan will be paying $3,400 for a mere chance to see her and shake her hand.  This probably answers the question of “who is bigger”. The TMZ conducted a public opinion poll:

Celine Dion Bigger Than Michael So Claims AEG

It’s Billie Jean vs. Titanic, and AEG claims the ship wins hands down. Translation — AEG is trying to convince the Michael Jackson jury that Celine Dion is bigger than MJ.

AEG exec John Meglin is on the stand in the wrongful death case, scoffing at the Jackson family’s claim that Michael would have earned $1.5 billion had he lived.

Meglin told the jury it’s his opinion Celine is a bigger star and therefore more bankable than MJ ever would have been. Yet according to reports, Celine is worth a measly $400 mil.

Fun facts: Jackson ranks #3 in most albums sold worldwide — more than a billion (behind the Beatles and Elvis) . Celine ranks #9 at 200 million albums.

As for Grammys, MJ also has her beat with 13 Grammys to her 5.
So we gotta ask … Bigger:

MJ – 83%
CD – 17%

Total Votes: 33,834

  • Panish played Meglen’s deposition, where he was asked when he recalled the negotiations with MJ started. Meglen said Summer or Fall 2008.
  • Panish: Is that the truth or not, sir? Or you don’t know the truth?
  • Meglen: It’s the truth, but I’m not good with dates, need to look at my calendar
  • Meglen said he was not at the table during the negotiation, he would be at the office doing his work.
  • Meglen: I was not personally involved, face to face, with MJ’s people
  • Meglen said that the negotiation is not only the contract, but various internal conversations about the tour.
  • As CEO of Concerts West, it’s my job to review any negotiations people are having regarding tour, Meglen said.
  • Meglen explained he was involved in the internal discussions, in conversations with Gongaware and Phillips.
  • He never reviewed the contract as was being drafted, Meglen said.
  • Meglen said he was not involved in “This Is It” movie. Panish said he was credited as co-producer of the movie.
  • Japan March 9, 2007 Fan Appreciation party

    Japan March 9, 2007 Fan Appreciation party

    Meglen said he was a co-producer of the show not the movie.

  • Meglen explained Gongaware has not been involved in Celine Dion’s tour, but they give each other credit.
  • The exec said he gave input in ticket prices, scaling and places to have the show.
  • Panish played video deposition, where Meglen said he doesn’t recall if he was involved in the forecast for MJ tour.
  • Timm Wooley is friends of Meglen. They haven’t discussed the trial. The last time they saw each other was in London for Rolling Stones show.
  • Wooley doesn’t work for AEG, but to Rolling Stones now. Hougdahl “Bugzee” is working for Shania Twain.
  • Panish showed an email from Gongaware about MJ first draft of worldwide tour projection. It lists “net to Mikey $132 million.”
  • Email: It’s a big number, but this is not a number MJ will want to hear. He thinks he is so much bigger than that. If we use show income, it’s over a quarter of a billion dollars. His net share works out to be 50% after local venue and advertising costs, which is quite good. His gross will approach $ half a billion. Maybe gross is a better number to throw around, if we need to use numbers with Mikey listening.
  • Panish: Isn’t Paul Gongaware suggesting to lie to Michael Jackson?
  • Meglen: No he is not

This email by Gongaware is a vivid example of the way AEG were deceiving Michael Jackson.

First, when speaking to him they used gross sums instead of his net income. And second, look at these figures – the gross sum was about half a billion, but the net was to be only $132 million, so the rest of it (roughly $350 million) was to be put into AEG’s pocket, and this was twice as much as the sum earned by the artist!

No, no matter which way we calculate it we always come to no less than two thirds of profit for AEG and only one third of it for Michael Jackson.  And despite all that AEG keeps repeating their mantra about a 90/10 division of profit?

Are you as sick and tired of AEG lies as I am?

  • Panish asked Meglen is he knows Dr. Finkelstein. He said he asked which tour he was in with Michael Jackson.
  • Meglen said he saw Dr. Finkelstein at the Coachella festival. He got tickets from AEG.
  • Meglen spoke with Gongaware about previous MJ’s tour. He knows that Michael canceled a tour because MJ entered rehab.
  • Panish showed email Gongaware sent with the attachment of the worldwide MJ tour and cc’d to Meglen.
  • It lists cities, the amount of shows and weeks in Europe, South Africa, Asia (and Middle East), India and US.
  • Panish: You told us yesterday no one goes to India
  • Meglen: Not that many do. Again, I told you very few people, no one as in few people
  • Panish: Is Beyonce no one?
  • Meglen: No, she’s a very popular
  • Meglen said he thinks MJ did one or two shows in India.
  • Panish: Do you know she went to India?
  • Meglen: I have not idea
  • Japan March 2007. At a US camp Zama "Thank you!"

    Japan March 2007. At the US camp Zama Michael Jackson greeted Americans and thanked them

    Panish also named Shakira, Akon, 50 Cent that went to India. The email projection shows 3 shows in India plus one private for MJ.

  • Meglen said he does not believe MJ could sell 200 shows in London. Panish said Randy Phillips said that.
  • My opinion is no, that he he could not have done 200 shows in London, Meglen testified.
  • Panish showed an email from Phillips saying “We could have done 200+ shows based on demand.”
  • Meglen said he does not believe that is true. “He believed that, I don’t believe that.”


Lawyer: “Your boss said the demand in England could sell out 200 shows.”
Meglin: “He believed that. I don’t believe that.”
Lawyer: “But all 750,000 tickets for the first 31 sold out in two hours, and buyers were already registered to sell out another 100 shows.”
Meglin: “Oh.”

  • No one has a crystal ball in our business, Meglen said. “He could’ve done 200 shows is purely speculation on his behalf.”
  • Panish asked if Phillips was more hands on than he was in “This Is It” tour. He said yes.
  • I don’t know if I agree there were 525,000 people in the queue, Meglan opined.
  • Everybody exaggerates, and when something is hot everyone wants to take it to the moon, Meglen said.
  • Panish asked Meglen to assume Randy Phillips told the truth. “I know it’s a big assumption,” Panish said.
  • Defendants’ attorney objected, judge sustained it and asked to go to sidebar to talk to attorneys.
  • Attorneys went to judge’s chamber and talked for about 10 minutes. They came back and judge broke session for lunch.
  • Panish corrected himself about number of people living in India. Earlier he said several billion people live there, but should be millions.
  • I understand you are mistaken, Meglen said. “It doesn’t mean you are a liar.” Panish said he would not respond to Meglen’s comment.
  • Regarding India, Meglen explained: “I don’t think it’s a small market, I think it’s an under developed market.”
  • Meglen said he knows that Michael played in India, heard from Panish that Beyonce went to India.
  • Panish: When you testified yesterday, you didn’t know anyone that had gone to India, correct?
  • Meglen: No, that’s not correct.


Lawyer: “Mr. Jackson would have taken his tour to India for at least three shows.”
Meglin: “Why? It’s not a very big market.”
Lawyer: “India is home to about 1.25 billion people.”
Meglin: “Nobody goes to India.”
Lawyer: “But didn’t Michael perform there during his last tour?”
Meglin: “Oh yeah.”

Wiki says that India is the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.21 billion people (2011 census). Its economy is the ninth-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity.

This gives me no doubt that in 2009 the capacity of the entertainment market in India was surely much bigger than in 1996 when MJ went there on the History tour and was a huge success there. And “no one goes to India” is a gross understatement which hurts only AEG and AEG alone. As to how Indian people greeted Michael you can see it for yourself:

  • Panish: Are there a lot of stadiums in the world that hold more than 60,000?
  • Meglen: Yes, there are a lot of soccer stadiums in the world
  • Meglen said he does not recall how many times MJ sold out in London.
  • Panish: In Australia?
  • Meglen: Yes
  • Leonard Cohen — AEG promoted and produced worldwide tour, Meglen said.
  • Panish: Did you hire a doctor for Leonard Cohen?
  • Meglen: We do not hire doctors
  • Panish asked if Meglen has had experience where the CEO is involved in doing an intervention with an artist.
  • Meglen said he’s aware of it happening before in the early 80s, not at AEG. He was involved minimally in the intervention.
  • Meglen said he has not had emails from show managers at AEG saying the artist was deteriorating.
  • I’ve had situation where the production manager had emails about the artist’s behavior, Meglen testified.
  • I’ve had situations where artists had been sick before, yes, Meglen said.
  • Panish: Have you ever called the doctor for 30 minutes to discuss the artist’s condition?
  • Meglen: No
  • Panish asked if Meglen had ever seen an email saying AEG wanted to remind the doctor they are paying the bill. The exec said no.
  • Meglen: I’m aware of us checking people out.
  • We don’t hire doctors, if the artist wants his doctor there, the way we check that out we go to the artist, Meglen said.
  • If I’m asking the artist if that’s his doctor, that’s throughly checking him out, Meglen explained.
  • Meglen: I asked MJ if he was performing this and he told me he did not want to do (a residency show in Las Vegas).
  • I think MJ would have to do over 2.5 shows a week or you couldn’t have such a deal, Meglen said.
  • In re-direct, Jessica Bina asked about the proposal for the Las Vegas show in 2010 with MJ’s Estate.
  • There are numbers for per week, per year for the first 5 performance years, then next 5 performance years, Meglen explained.
  • Meglen said he became aware Cirque du Soleil was anxious to get a deal done with the Estate to have a MJ show.
  • Meglen said his argument was that there was something better to do.
  • Meglen: We don’t have a crystal ball (on whether show would be successful or not)
  • Bina asked if artist is in the middle of stadium with microphone if there are reasons the show couldn’t be filled to capacity. Meglan said no.
  • Bina: But does it happen very often?
  • Meglen: No.
  • Meglen: Artist has to be comfortable with all around stage, production becomes very challenging and incredibly expensive as well as sales
  • This Is It was not set to be a 360 degree show, Meglen said. He noted it was quite the opposite. MJ’s production was $26-$27 million.
  • Meglen said for TII to become 360 degree tour, there would be cost associated with it. “Pretty much, it would have to be a new production.”
  • Meglen explained 180-240 degrees in front of the stage is the standard in the business.
  • Meglen said if he could sell more tickets for TII he would have. “It’s nothing but profit at that point.”
  • The executive said there was never a conversation about making TII show 360 degree.
  • Meglen said again he doesn’t agree with Phillips’ opinion that there were 200+ more shows to be done in London.
  • Meglen said putting 13 million tickets on sale was not on his mind. He expected the London shows to do well.
  • The executive said when MJ said “This is It” people thought that was it. But if he went to other cities, this was not it after all.
  • Meglen said that at the time MJ died there were only 50 shows agreed upon between MJ and AEG.
  • Meglen said that for lower ticket price TII was a great sale.

Well, first of all Michael did not agree to 50 shows and they are not mentioned anywhere in the contract or any written document between AEG and Michael Jackson, and second, not only cheap tickets sold extremely well but premium tickets as well. Actually from the AEG own budget we gathered that premium tickets brought AEG one fifth of all the money collected. The media confirmed it:

JULY 3, 2009

It is understood that tens of thousands of tickets were sold on Viagogo with the bulk of them at prices ranging from £300 ($492) to £400 ($656) each.

Viagogo’s official VIP packages for the Jackson shows [… ] cost between £700 ($1,150) and £800 ($1,300).

  • Panish: Were Paul Gongaware and Randy Phillips more involved in TII than you?
  • Meglen: Yes
  • The executive said he never told Gongaware and Phillips the projection was bad, only that he thought it was a long ways to get to the end.
  • Meglen said Beatles’ “Love” and Cirque du Soleil “O” are two of the most successful conceptional shows.
  • Bina showed Gongaware’s email again: Here’s the first-draft look at a worldwide tour… you can’t pin this down now… too many variables.
  • Meglen said it’s not possible to see the Beatles anymore, since some members are dead.
  • Meglen: If Michael was still alive and touring, I would not be interested in doing a MJ conceptional show.
  • Panish asked if MJ wanted to go worldwide, AEG would’ve been able to make that happen. Meglen said he could’ve set up the arrangements. I cannot tell you how many more Michael Jackson tours he could’ve done it, it’s pure speculation, Meglen said.
  • Panish: Did you know MJ told his children they would go on a world tour?
  • Meglen: I have no idea
  • Meglen was excused.

Oh, my God – I almost lost hope that this torture would ever end! When Meglen said he was to set up arrangements for Michael’s world tour I was tempted to say “No, thank you – we still remember how you were selling tickets to the Fukuoka Dome”. With promoters like Meglen of AEG Live even one show would be a pure speculation, not to mention a whole tour…

I know that all of it was enduring so now we deserve to enjoy ourselves with the last part of “Fan DeMonium” video from Japan 2007. This part starts with Michael at the Fan appreciation party where he picked up winners of the fans art contest, and continues with his visit to the US military camp.

This film is how I would like to remember Michael.  If it were not for AEG even today Michael would feel, look and be the same.

What did they do to him to make this vigorous and great-looking man meet his death only two years later?

The video ended with great words of wisdom about the way we perceived Michael Jackson.

He was simply the mirror we saw ourselves in. We saw him the way we are:

We don't see things as they are, We see things as we are ANAIS NIN

“We don’t see things as they are,
We see things as we are”

Transcripts of Meglen’s lies were obtained by TeamMichaelJackson:

54 Comments leave one →
  1. Nan permalink
    August 10, 2013 9:28 am

    Thank you Sina, you put it very clearly.
    One way or another, either side would pig pile on him , when opportunity came

    If it was praising him or condemning him didnt seem to matter

    They were on the side that made them the most money..
    When he was beaten like a ragdoll, very few stood by him , but when he started to gain strength and momentum, they were back in spades..
    You can kind of feel it yourself, even as just a fan,
    The manipulation of people trying to make a buck off you , because you are his fan , and they know the money his fans can generate for an individual.

    Vindicate, I agree with your assessment of Sullivans book.
    Although, it was very hard to read, he does just mirror all the different sycophants surrounding MJ,
    Sullivan doesnt know who is telling the truth or who to trust either.
    Small wonder MJ didnt either


  2. August 10, 2013 7:57 am

    “Interesting that Jorrie did not send Murrays contract to Murrays nor Michaels representatives. While on june 20 2009 in John Branca‘s mail to RP which was in response to RPs reporting on the ‘fantastic ‘doctor (intervention) and at the same time rejecting Joe Jacksons involvement, he explicitly says :
    “ Randy thanks for the encouraging report. He should not sign anything that is not reviewed by Joel ( Katz) and me “ John.
    Assuming the contract was not sent to Branca, the question is why was this particular contract not sent to Branca for a review if they had orders that anything should be reviewed before signing. The contract would have cost Michael about 1.8 million or more as of May 09 ,not including housing for Murray and family in London and it was for the most important of the whole deal: Michaels health and wellbeing” – Sina

    Sina, it is a very interesting observation, especially in combination with the orders from Branca that Michael should not sign anything before he sees it.

    But Tohme explicitly said it to Randall Sullivan that the expenses on Conrad Murray were AEG’s BUSINESS. Up till now this has not been revealed at the trial as this is AEG’s most closely guarded secret, but the fact that Tohme did say it to Sullivan should never be overlooked.

    The drawbacks of Sullivan’s book are simultaneously its biggest advantage – Sullivan never did his own research and repeated everything as he was told. This is why his chapters about the 2005 trial prompted by Thomas Mesereau are good, while those prompted by someone like Ray Chandler are horrendous.

    In short Sullivan does not express the opinion of his own and just repeats what others said. He never tried to distinguish the truth from lies and reported everything as he heard it. But this very feature turns absolutely invaluable when it comes to Tohme.

    And Tohme said it pointblank – Conrad Murray was fully AEG’s responsibility. In every respect, including money. His salary was to be paid by AEG and this is the real reason why AEG thought they had the full right to guide Murray in everything he did towards Michael.

    Now I also understand why some people in the MJ community read the full book and devoted a lot of their precious time to rip the book into shreds – some of them are dedicated AEG’s advocates and their main idea was to compromise Sullivan so that no one listens to his stories about Tohme.

    My opinion about the book was no good either, but exactly for the reason that Sullivan is absolutely indiscriminate towards what he hears. He is like a mirror that reflects everything – good and bad alike, thus confusing people about the truth.

    But for the same reason that he is a mere parrot who repeats everything as he hears it his piece about Tohme’s revelations is invaluable!


  3. Sina permalink
    August 10, 2013 5:16 am

    @Nan, Bruce said so himself in an interview. If I find it I will post it.
    I think much was going on behind the scenes in 2004-5 with the lawyers, managers, PR people and hangers on. The same as in 1993 with ETs lawyers on one side, Michaels on the other, PI s. PRs , the industry, big monies at stake ,some who wanted to settle and others who wanted to fight.
    That is the irony of Michaels life that when he had money he had a huge entourage. When he was down you saw nobody except some adventure seekers and amateurs. Then when he went into the AEG deal suddenly he had manager after manager, family requests, lawyer after lawyer and all with unclear status. But no real representative or else he would not have signed a promissory note for a million dollar contract that could be expanded to AEGs liking and with his most valuable assets as collateral.
    After Michael passed away everyone became his friend. It was almost hilarious that every witness who took the stand said that Michael was their friend and trusted them. Makes you wonder how come with so many best friends he felt so alone.

    Interesting that Jorrie did not send Murrays contract to Murrays nor Michaels representatives. While on june 20 2009 in John Branca‘s mail to RP which was in response to RPs reporting on the ‘fantastic ‘doctor (intervention) and at the same time rejecting Joe Jacksons involvement, he explicitly says :
    “ Randy thanks for the encouraging report. He should not sign anything that is not reviewed by Joel ( Katz) and me “ John.

    Assuming the contract was not sent to Branca, the question is why was this particular contract not sent to Branca for a review if they had orders that anything should be reviewed before signing.
    The contract would have cost Michael about 1.8 million or more as of May 09 ,not including housing for Murray and family in London and it was for the most important of the whole deal: Michaels health and wellbeing. I think AEG knew very well that it was a very unusual not to say conflicting arrangement to have a 3 parties contract for personal medical services and also basically a violation of doctor patient confidentiality.
    Any other lawyer would have advised against it, except AEG’s.


  4. August 9, 2013 5:57 pm

    Marsha,the reason is that Thome Thome is an expert psychopath.Not all people who do bad things are psychopaths. And many psychopaths are successful on society. That is those who are intelligent, can easyly “read” other people,and thefore are master manipulators.

    The defining characteristic feature is a lack of emphathy, something they know how to disguise when it serves their need. There is also something called psychopathic charm. A part of the manipulativness. He may have seemed like a real good guy to Michael at first. Many of these kind of psychopaths can be successful in business as they are ruthless and have no qualms of the damage they cause other people. And often may just and just remain formally legal in their activities. It may have taken a bit of time before Michael understood that T T is a devious and evil person.

    Remember he cursed the Jackson family pretty much with blood and murder when he was fired by Michael. Still around the time of MJ`s death he was declaring his great love for Michael and uttering all kinds of flattering things. Thome Thome was the master in setting the trap for Michael. Still he spoke at the official announcement of Michaels death.(In the hospital to the press).

    TT and Jermaine embraced after Thome had stated that only Jermaine will be the spokeperson for the family. As it was TT`s business to decide that. And sure there were other psychopaths as well in this story.It is plausible that they wanted Michael to fail. To get the Beatles songs and more.


  5. Nan permalink
    August 9, 2013 9:38 am

    Hi Sina..
    I was just wondering where you read that Bruce Swedien refused to come in ant testify for MJ..
    I hadnt seen that
    know Mesereau said that the people who were on Larry King, saying how much they loved MJ ,right after he died, wouldnt help. during trial..They turned their back on him.
    I hope Ramone does name names in her book.
    And I am very interested to hear what she has to say..
    Not because I believe everything I read , but I want as many perspectives as I can get ..
    Mesereau seem to think Bain was setting Mj up to be a martyr , regarding racism ,aligning him with Jesse Jackson during that trial.


  6. Sina permalink
    August 9, 2013 4:44 am

    I definitely want to hear from Raymone Bain and read her book because there are always more sides to a story than what we hear from the media and the rumors, I am very skeptical of 2nd hand reports , a lesson of Michaels lifestory. She was with Michael in a critical time of his last years and was privy to alot of what was going on that we don’t know of.
    This was a time when people like Bruce Swedien, now praised to high heaven , when called by Mesereau as a character witness refused because he ‘could not vouch for Michaels character.’ After working with him for 25 years! And there were more who refused , who Mesereau did not want to name. I am sure Bain will answer many questions about that time leading to Colony Capital/Tohme and AEG taking over Michaels life. Before that Michael looked good, confident and composed and this was right after the grueling trial. The minute CC -Tohme came in it went downhill.
    With her story another piece of the puzzle of Michaels last decade will be covered.

    Yesterday I checked out AEGs website looking for a comment section . I wanted to send them a poll of pop songs of the last decade and Michael and Celine Dion’s scores.
    It is not that serious, but I just wanted them to know . 🙂

    Michael Jackson – ‘You Rock My World’ 41.03% (40,903 votes)
    Celine Dion – ‘A New Day Has Come’ 1.11% (1,105 votes)

    The AEG website looks very slick . They boast on their versatility in entertainment , live music and sports and their charities . If you do not know what goes on behind the facade you would think this is the best company in the world.
    I see why some cannot understand that a company like that could harm their own artist.
    But it did happen. Maybe not because they meant to, but because of greed , ruthless
    competitiveness and an unethical business attitude.
    It cost a mans life, which was totally avoidable as there were so many alarm bells and even the fear of him dying came up.
    They didn’t literally kill him, though he felt that way, but they surely did not prevent it and actively contributed to the circumstances.
    It takes a very brave person to go against this mogul and to be in court almost daily at 83 years old to look them in the eyes.
    People who are bashing her are the same ones who are orgasmic of excitement to see Randy Jacksons deposition. How out of touch of reality and inhumane must you be to enjoy seeing someone testify in his brothers wrongful death trial.


  7. Marsha permalink
    August 8, 2013 11:35 pm

    Does it seem strange that Raymone Bain seems to have been eliminated from Michaels inner circle just before he got involved with AEG, And I am talking just months before he started the This Is it rehearsals, and to my knowledge he was in good health and spirits while out of the US with her. And I think that she is the only on of the managers etc. that was not reimbursed for her services. I think that she protected him from some of the evil influences in the Biz while she was with him. It seems that AEG wanted him to fail so that they could get the Beatles catalog. And that this is probably why Briggs put such a low value on the catalog. So that Michaels debts would seem to be so much more than the catalog was worth and therefore they could force him to work for slave labor. A nd if he did not perform they would just take the catalog alone with the almost three thousand acre Neverland. I have often said that Michaels did not have to do fifty concerts. He could have done just one concert like he did in Bucharest. and sell it as pay for view, actually he had many options available to him. Who put such fear into him was it indeed Thome Thome, Perhaps it is so . Why are they not playing the tape of Michael telling a spiritual adviser that he was indeed afraid of Thome and that Thome was taking over his life and money and that he was mean.


  8. August 2, 2013 1:48 pm

    @ Helena,

    “Kaarin, I have no love lost for them either – they are as far away from us ordinary people like the Moon. But from what I learn of billionaires like AEG’s owners and the way they grab almost all the money earned for them by artists I really see no difference now between Anschutz and our oligarchs.”

    Who is Daniel Loeb?


  9. Nan permalink
    August 1, 2013 11:54 pm

    Hi Alice.
    I think the Camp Zuma visit was March of 2007, and it is one of my favorites too.
    Michael was all class..and so sincere.
    A world wide ambassador of good will.
    Unfortunately, just like we see in the trial taking place, yet again, in Ca, in the States , they want to diminish all his accomplishments and write the man off as a failure.
    This was the pattern in 2005 also.
    Big business fingerprints are all over it .
    Sometimes due to media and the size of the United States, people forget about opinions that come from outside our borders , so I am glad to see Mr Pannish reminding the jury that they rest of the world , other than tabloids , was still having a love affair with MJ, and you can see it in that video , that even our soldiers were crazy for him..
    And the US Army considered it a real feather in their cap , to have MJ ENDORSE them..and say their ARMY PROUD phrase..
    That is the US govt recognizing MJ endorsement power..after 2005 , I might add…
    He was perfectly capable of showing up at wealthy patrons parties and giving a wave and making a bundle , or a number of other things.
    Seems to me, MJ didnt have any representation , that couldnt get their head turned , by what they could make on the side.
    Frank Cascio mentioned that in his book also,
    Plus , Mesereau said the people around him liked to keep him off center and frightened , so he would think they needed him..Rescuing him from things they set up themselves to get in his good graces.
    Like AEG was doing , along with Thomme , imo..way too cozy
    Even Murray
    If he did the right thing, before AEG signed the contract, he would have been putting himself out of a job
    Had to get him to rehearsals .do their bidding..satisfy their demands, also…You dont order all that propaful, with the intention of getting someone the real help they need to sleep.
    For that matter, I think they had the right to terminate him at any time, so even if he got MJ off that stuff in England, he still would have had no security and could have been let go.
    A recipe for disaster and if that isnt controlling someone, I dont know what is..
    So they had Murray out on a ledge too.
    And if something is happening that somebody is making that kind of money., for it.
    I dont see how they didnt realize it couldnt have been good.
    They either didnt want to give him a contract because they thought MJ might not make the concerts ,and they didnt want to get stuck paying him, or they hoped what ever Murray was doing , would end and they would no longer need his services.
    So they were going to screw Murray over anyway.
    When MJ died , they figured they better circle the wagons imo

    Interesting NOBODY called this testify..He was at the hospital walking in with Phillips and he was supposed to have been fired, …I thought for sure the Jacksons would call him


  10. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 8:41 pm

    Exactly right, Kaarin. The larger point here is that no matter whether Fournier was told or not told about the implant before that procedure years ago, Michael wanted to beat his dependency. The idea that testimony from a nurse who had not treated Michael in more than five years to his death is somehow relevant to the case at trial now is preposterous. Shows how desperate AEG are to build a case on nothing but charaction assasination and speculation. I just find discovering the differences between countries and their medical advice interesting, and how a drug can be affected or changed when mixed with another – buprenorphine combined with naloxene in a tablet or film capsule to stop opioid addiction being one approved option here, yet when Naloxene is administered on its own in an implant form it is considered more potent than Naltrexone. I also found it interesting that Demerol is not even used here at all.
    I am also very sorry to hear of your father’s passing in those circumstances. Thankyou for sharing your story and such important information.
    Your notes on T Barracks business methods are enlightening too.
    There have been a few articles written about his method of ‘investing in troubled stars’ as a business method. He works with actor and his friend Rob Lowe intimately on these projects. Barrack and Lowe are modelling themselves as innovators in the investment field. But the way they talk is nothng short of chilling.
    You know what would be better? If businessmen invested in third world countries and struggling minorities. Gave them the money to prosper, the means to do it, and then took a percentage from their GDP at the end of each financial year for a period of say ten years. That would also keep them accountable. Or, in a perfect world, they would do what Michael did. Give selflessly.


  11. August 1, 2013 6:20 pm

    The fact that Michael had those implants shows that he was serious in his wish rto overcome his dependency (or as some like to say-his addiction)


  12. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 9:25 am

    From what I can see, implants for both naloxone and naltrexone exist.
    So it is hard to know which one Michael had.
    Fournier is correct that the two are different but they still both are similar. He specifies that Naloxone can cause heart attacks, shock, etc. he neglects to mention that Naltrexone can also, under the right circumstances.
    Naloxene is used for extreme opioid overdoses – an emergency method to immediately attack the opioides present. Naltrexone is preferred for slightly longer periods of time. But implants for both exist. Neither are recommended or fully approved in Australia due to their links with mortality.
    But still, Fournier is not in a position to tell us what the implant was, nor condemn Michael for not disclosing it. He can only speculate. And that is not evidence.
    In all likelihood, Michael probably told Dr Klein ‘i want something that will help me beat dependence on demerol.’ So klein implants him. Michael sees other doctors for surgery thinking the implant only inhibits Demerol, not all opioids. Does not disclose the implant because he knows he has already said no Demerol – believes anything else will be fine.
    Then Fournier administers drugs more than four times as potent – not sure if this is when Michel still has implant – like Fentanyl.
    Something else I picked up in my reading that reminded me of the song Morphine is that Morphine is stronger than Demerol.
    A little side story to illustrate – I had major surgery myself few years ago, two massive operations in quick succesion, and was put on a morphine drip that only my nurse controlled. Coming off that morphine in the end was like an agony I have never experienced before in my life. I remember screaming that I wanted to die, so loudly that patients down the hall could hear me. It was so awful that I cannot physically recall how my body felt at the time. Only the fact it felt like I was crawling through a tunnel in my mind towards death. Fun!

    Here is some interesting research from a state in Australia on naltrexone:

    And a general forum discussion on both by users:



  13. August 1, 2013 9:12 am

    Hi Kaarin,
    Sorry to hear about your Dad. Thanks for sharing. He did not have any cravings for the drug once home but unfortunately since he passed away, may be it is difficult to say whether or not he may have had it in future. I guess Heroin is different from Demerol- Heroin is natural in its composition but Demerol is synthetic. Ofcourse the same drug can have different effects on different people.


  14. August 1, 2013 9:04 am

    Thanks Alice. Yes, I agree with you on the song- you have put forward the two possible interpretations very well. I would go with the second one- that Demerol is what “burns at the heart of the piece” , (to put it in your own words) and as you rightly pointed out- these lines were totally unexpected and catches one unawares. They are so different from the rest of the piece. I guess given the soulful person that MJ was, he wanted to highlight more the agony bit about Demerol. As the lyrics go in the song- Demerol is” just another drug” in the dark cosmos of other drugs such as morphine. So the overall tempo of the song seems to be depicting this wider cosmos with the tender interlude around Demerol which was more personal. But there are differences between the two drugs. Most importantly- Morphine comes from poppies, the same as Heroin, and Demerol is a synthetic, or man made drug. Hence they differ in their composition- but both are used as pain relievers and are addictive. However as mentioned in the following website : , Demerol is to be prescribed for short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is generally believed that morphine is stronger when it comes to pain. Check out where it is stated that “Demerol has been around since the 1930s, and it is the granddaddy of opioid painkiller prescription addictions. Even as late as the mid-1980s, it was still one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers because it was supposed to be safer and less addictive than morphine. That turned out to be wrong. By the 1950s, many in the medical community were addicted to Demerol “.


  15. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 5:48 am

    I’ve also been doing a bit of reading in a few drug forums (and by drug forums I mean addicts and seekers) who discuss their reactions to various painkillers (yes, such places on the internet exist).
    Many say that Demerol did little for their pain, caused an exciting high, but ONLY WHEN INJECTED. Many agreed that the oral version was useless – for both purposes.
    If he was actually addicted to it for the purposes of getting high, Michael would probably have had to employ someone to inject him with it constantly. On a daily basis. I’m taking a guess but he would have died years ago, probably, if this had been the case.

    Demerol (referred to as Pethidine often here) is not even available in Australia because of, essentially, what a useless, dangerous and rubbish drug it is. Toxic byproducts also build up in the system from it.

    Here’s a definition of Demerol from one of our newspapers:
    “The nearest Australian equivalent is pethidine, a painkiller used in childbirth.
    In the U.S., Demerol is a controlled drug, monitored by enforcement authorities.
    Doctors are supposed to prescribe it for limited periods, either as injections, tablets or oral solution.
    This is because it may be habit-forming and has a high potential for abuse, which can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence.
    Demerol is also highly toxic and side-effects, such as depressed breathing, can lead to respiratory arrest, shock or cardiac arrest.”

    And here’s a definition of Naloxone – something which contradicts Fournier’s opinion of what it does.
    “Naloxone (Narcan ®) is a schedule 4 opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Naloxone is widely used in Australia and internationally by paramedics and emergency room staff in cases of suspected opioid overdose. It has no psychoactive effect, is not a drug of dependence, and therefore, is not a substance which is likely to be diverted or misused.”
    Now I just need to find what on earth Fournier ‘corrected’ Panish to when he said the implant medication was not Naloxone.
    From this definition, Naloxone probably WAS what was in the implant.
    But then, I’m not a doctor. I can’t say for sure.
    And this is precisely the point – Fournier is not a doctor either. So he can’t say so, either.
    But he did. And in front of the jury. And I don’t think it has been corrected or verified since.


  16. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 5:31 am

    Hey guys,

    Just a little ps to my last post.

    I’ve taken a closer look at the Aus government site and ascertained this.
    Here in my country the government has approved three forms of Bupren for the subsidy recovery program (still using my abbreviated name for it, remember):
    A straight tablet
    A buprenorphine–naloxone tablet, and a buprenorphine-naloxone tablet with a sublingual fillm to make it easier to dissolve.

    The sublingual film formulation of buprenorphine with naloxone is intended to make dosing of buprenorphine easier to supervise and so deter misuse of the drug.

    I still can’t quite make out why there are two versions with naloxone and one without.

    Or indeed, why naloxone was re-defined as NOT the medication used in Michael’s implant.

    I need to go back and find that correction during court – I think it was with Nurse Fournier – where he told Panish it wasn’t naloxone, but the other one that I can’t recall the spelling of – Naltroxene or something like that.

    Cautions included on the Aus government website for all forms of Bupren include these:
    “Do not take buprenorphine-with-naloxone sublingual film too close to other opioids, as it can cause withdrawal symptoms. Wait 6 hours or more after short-acting opioids (e.g. heroin, morphine, oxycodone) and wait 24 hours or more after methadone before taking buprenorphine with naloxone.
    Buprenorphine-with-naloxone sublingual film can cause drowsiness, which is made worse by drinking alcohol or taking sedatives or anti-anxiety medicines.”

    Very interesting stuff, particularly if Saunders was actually administering both Demerol AND buprenorphine at the same time. Even though Michael only wanted the latter.


  17. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 5:17 am

    Hey everyone,

    Something interesting I just drew out of a small correction mentioned in Team Michael Jackson’s recent post from June 30 court happenings.

    “Updates of court hearing July 30th, 2013, Court started at 1.30pm.
    Eric Briggs was back on the stand. Sabrina Strong finished direct examination.
    Katherine Jackson was present in court.
    Before testimony resumed, AEG’s Kathryn Cahan said last week, when Dr. Saunders’ video deposition was played, they didn’t read a correction.
    She said when Dr. Saunders said the only two drugs he know of were Demerol and Morphine – it should be buprenorphine instead of Morphine.”

    I came across buprenorphine on the Australian government medical subsidy board website (we have a program here implemented by the government that helps people overcome opiate addiction with financial support to buy the appropriate drugs to help recovery). They define buprenorphine as follows – & please note it is also one of the drugs on the list here considered suitable for usage in recovering from a dependency on opioides.

    “Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist with a high affinity for the µ-receptor. It reduces craving and diminishes the effects of heroin or other full opioid agonists by blocking them from binding to the µ-receptor.”

    Now, while this is very interesting, as clearly Morphine is the complete opposite of buprenorphine (in fact, I found the Aus government site’s information on it purely because I was looking up morphine and found this to be used to assist in recovery from opioid and morphine dependency instead), I’m still trying to find the exact circumstance in the testimony where it was incorrectly stated.

    So… from what I can read, there’s a section where Saunders recalls using Bupren (for the sake of quick typing and me spelling it wrong I’m going to call it this from now on haha) in an injectable form on Michael. Michael asks him specifically for it.
    Yet earlier in the testimony it’s stated that Bupren is “in the same class as an opiate medication” – but it’s not. It’s an opiod agonist that reduces the effect and craving for opioids. Clearly why Michael asked for it.

    AEG attorney Hunt then follows this line of questioning to ask if Michael received ‘other’ opiate medications from anyone, to which Saunders answers yes.
    The way this section of the testimony plays out (by using the word ‘other’) implies that Michael was seeking opioids, when he wasn’t. According to my interpretation and our government’s approval of straight Bupren for opioid recovery, he was asking for exactly the opposite. If he lived in Australia, our government would have reimbursed him for the cost of that drug purely because they approve of it in line with the patient’s desire to negate relapse.

    As a side note, I think Demerol was the wrong kind of drug to be prescribing to Michael anyway for any of his injuries and surgeries. It has a short yet powerful timespan that only works in bursts before it needs to be increased – so when injuries that take as long to heal as his foot, scalp, etc, are acquired, these require a sustainable long-lasting pain relief. One that does not wear off or is easily susceptible to immunity. One that may have resulted in less likelihood for a dependency.

    There’s also a point in his testimony where Saunders tries to pass blame to the other doctors at the hospital – when in the hospital records it testified that Saunders approved to more Demerol use. But both he and the hospital doctors at the time of Michael’s foot injury are to blame. It’s in the records and in Saunders own testimony that Michael said he did not want Demerol, did not want too much. Yet he was STILL given it. And he still asked Saunders for Bupren.

    And now, at last, I’ve found the part that the correction actually refers to.

    “Hunt: What medication was he on?
    Dr Saunders: The only two I knew of were Demerol and Morphine. And I think I gave him oral pain medication, Vicodin type of thing. But [Michael] asked to use buprenorphine instead of Demerol.”

    And yet Saunders still clears usage of Demerol by other doctors and still continues to administer it himself?? What?? If Michael was still also asking for Bupren, we could suppose that it would also inhibit the effectiveness of Demerol, thus causing Michael more pain and needing more relief. Saunders then says he doesn’t know if Michael kept getting Demerol administered after leaving him. If he did, it is entirely Saunders’ fault.

    For those who want to see our Australian government site on Bupren and it’s different forms, side effects and uses in the recovery subsidy program we run here, this is the link:

    It also mentions a hybrid form of Bupren and naloxone, which was initially referred to in the trial as the naloxone implant but later corrected to a different name: my spelling will be incorrect, but I know it was something like naltroxene or something like that. If someone a little better at interpreting medical jargon can make sense of this, I’d greatly appreciate it.

    The link to Team Michael Jackson’s initial coverage of the Saunders testimony is here:

    The link to the update on the correction is here:

    Love to hear everyone’s thoughts.


  18. August 1, 2013 5:07 am

    One last thing on Demerol.My fater died from pancreatic cancer and was hospitalised.I flew over from NYC to be with him,At that time he was given Demerol for pain. Once I was there I had the opportunity to share his 2 bed hospital room til they got another pt needing it.Once at home and with me and my mother around he did not once ask for Demerol.I stayed for a week+,but had to return for work ,but returned back after my father died within 5 days,.
    Also during wwII my country had the most, the largest consumption of Heroin given to soldiers.Still after the war there was no epidemic, just a handful who became dependent and robbed pharmacies.


  19. August 1, 2013 4:53 am

    There is something called rapid detox. The patient is anestetized, then give a calculated dose of Naltroxene(an antidote to opioids) and it will clean out all of those without physical side effects..Naturally an implant does the same on a long term basis.After all if Michael would have had any traces they could have gotten rid of them fast.Murray ,a non-thingking guy did not consider that,though “he was Michaels personal physician for 3 years”,what bs.


  20. August 1, 2013 4:43 am

    I start to believe they, just take a guess,were afraid of Michael.So much did not fit their view of the world.


  21. August 1, 2013 4:38 am

    Thank you Nan for the video. It will remind all that Michael was a great humanitarian, just his songs, “we are the world. Earth song.,They dont care about us ,his care for orpans all over the world. the sick children,the poor.I don´t know what oligarchs would have thought of those songs, but he was also the best entertainer.I just hope these newly baked multi millionair entertainers will follow his .lead in donating at leat 50% to the same causes as Michael.There are many uber rich people in US as well.


  22. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 4:24 am

    Hey Suparna,

    Wow, amazing stuff about Demerol and it’s nature as an addictive drug for anyone, thanks!
    I find this para to be particularly illustrative;
    “If you know someone who is already addicted to Demerol, help him or her by talking to therapists and counselors. These days you can easily find treatments for Demerol addiction. There are many health institutions that provide support, therapy, and treatment for Demerol addiction or abuse. Do not wait until the addiction becomes worse.”
    It’s like addiction is expected if you take it!
    I like your analysis of Morphine, too.
    It’s like the driving, industrial sensory experience of the song is trying to suffocate and squash out that haunting demerol part that hangs there, fragile and delicate right there in the centre of the song. And sandwiched either side of it is the relentless grind and brutality of the rest of the piece, the ‘morphine’ sections.
    I wonder what the difference is between the two drugs and what Michael’s own comparative experience of the two was – whether his musical expression of both drugs is meant to be a literal interpretation of it? If so, what can we interpret from our own experience of the song as a whole? What is worse – the hard grind of Morphine which overpowers the song, or the agony of Demerol? What can we say by the amount of time dedicated to each section in the piece? Is the Demerol part meant to be almost ironic – like he is saying ‘why be worried about this insignificant drug when Morphine is surrounding you’ – or is the Demerol part meant to be the interlude that burns at the heart of the piece – the bit you weren’t expecting. The bit that hurts the most?
    What I love about the song, is the way Michael manages to conjure something that does exactly what he says it won’t at the very beginning – ‘this won’t hurt a bit’.
    And then it does.


  23. August 1, 2013 4:16 am

    TB advices : exploitation of inefficiencies, also Value added management, and included intensive management.I wouls guess that he tutored TT..


  24. August 1, 2013 4:08 am

    Why did my comment not get through?


  25. alice permalink
    August 1, 2013 4:01 am

    Hey Nan,

    I love the video, thankyou so much for posting!
    It’s fantastic having legitimate evidence like this showing how Michael had the opportunity to earn so much – even though he either wouldn’t have taken it or instead used it for good and to help others.
    Do you happen to know what year & date this visit and video happened?
    It looks quite close to 2009 to me, though I am just guessing that by a superficial guess of his weight.
    I love seeing footage like this, though. It’s so heartwarming, especially after I watched This Is It for the first time this week(on youtube, I don’t want to pay for it and give money to AEG et al). I was in tears for almost all of it, and since have found myself eagerly re-watching my favourite videos of him afterwards, to lighten the darkness with other moments of beauty in his life. It was so difficult seeing him sick in the TII footage and knowing nothing was being done to help him while the very footage was being filmed, yet simultaneously so beautiful to hear him work and explain sounds, lighting, movement, everything. I don’t think I will watch it again for a very, very long time. The feelings it ignited within me are not what someone should feel when watching a documentary or an honest tribute to someone.
    Anger, sympathy, awe, and despair? No. No matter how carefully the piece was edited, you could still feel, sense, ascertain Michael’s friction against the situation. It didn’t feel right.
    Not to mention that I almost wanted to vomit every time I saw Randy Phillips pop up and speak in the behind the scenes footage.
    One thing I did get out of it, though, was that I would like to believe Kenny Ortega did have Michael’s interests at heart – and particularly for the good of the show. He just did not act upon them enough – and by enough, I mean enough in the circumstances of dealing with AEG. I think another of Ortega’s failings was always consulting with AEG when he thought Michael was having troubles – not Michael himself.
    This exacerbated things, although in Ortega’s mind he was only following the procedure he thought to be correct under AEG’s dictatorship.
    I also think Ortega’s desire to make the show perfect (which complemented Michael’s own need) was making him feel pressured to continue insisting Michael attend rehearsals (although there was no obligation for him to). As we know, every moment in a Michael show bounces off Michael. On some level, I can empathise with Ortega’s argument because of the fact we know how little time was actually given to the team by AEG, compounded by when they decided to blow the dates up to 50 instead of 10.
    But I also think a lot of the ideas were so extravagant and yet so badly prepared by the production team (in terms of being ready in time, not in quality) that they were left clutching at straws – they were working on too much with too little time and became desperate.
    The problem is, they should have already gotten that stuff organised, cut, polished and finished way before the end of June. If Michael gives an instruction, explains an idea, you take it, you remember it, he shouldn’t have to tell it again.
    And he most certainly shouldn’t need to be dragged in for the entire day, even to watch, unless he wants to of his own accord.
    It’s laughable to expect him to still be there, coming in every day, weeks and months after the initial conception, to babystep them through everything by being up on stage dancing around and singing that late in the schedule.
    These people are meant to be professionals, aren’t they? Oh, that’s right, I forgot, it’s run by AEG by the people they hired to put together what, their second event of this size?
    We can see in earlier footage (able to tell because the quality of camera differs from the two expensive hi-def ones brought in for those final few days) that Michael would have given them all his ideas early on.
    From there, it should have just been a process of tweaking a little here and there.
    The fact that short films like Smooth Criminal and Thriller were still being worked on is appalling, not to mention that the Light Man costume was not even finished.
    They should have been the first things gotten out of the way.
    And that MJAir plane at the end – still a computer simulation! The whole thing smacked of disorganisation – and Michael was stuck in the middle trying his best to do their job for them, all the while battling insomnia, bullying, and medical malpractice.
    Why they were demanding he be there so close to the opening date is disgusting and unprofessional. The lack of preparation speaks volumes to AEG’s inability to pull off such a huge scale production and promotional piece as this. They weren’t good or big enough.
    So perhaps what it also comes down to in terms of how Ortega and others in the team (aside from AEG) kept insisting Michael come to rehearsal was because SO LITTLE necessary time and SO LITTLE necessary resources were actually allocated to production and rehearsals. Compounded by a lack of respect, understanding or compassion on AEG’s part. Not to mention where the entire circus started – with Colony Capital, Tom Barrack, Fortress, Goldman Sachs, etc. This list goes on, as we sadly know.
    Perhaps it just got to the point where Ortega and the others involved on-set cared more about the show than about Michael. Something that struck me was how everyone was more disappointed that the show didn’t happen. Not that he died.
    Phrases like ‘oh it’s such a shame it happened before we got to do just the first show’. Um, what? Like it would have been okay for you if he died afterwards? Sickening.
    And you know, one last thing that struck me was how anyone familiar to Michael was so clearly sidelined in favour of ‘hot new talent’. Ie, Zaldy brought in to ‘collaborate’ with Michael Bush – yet we hear no interviews from Bush.
    Everyone had become too fixated about creating the greatest show ever.
    Too hungry for the money.
    And you know, there was one point where Michael asks Travis Payne to stand in for him onstage so he can get an idea of what it will look like from in the audience. And at that point, the thought almost forms itself – “there is so much preoccupation with everyone else here and what’s going on that they might as well do it without him.”
    Everyone was so desperate to do everything right that they ended up forgetting he was a person. They forgot to care about the most important thing in the room – the artist.


  26. August 1, 2013 4:00 am

    The burn incident goes to show how intense and how adrenalin saturated his performances were.Anybody who has suffered even a moderately severe sports injury or injury in an accident knows that initially you do not feel the pain. That will indeed come later
    Had Michael just waited and not landed in the hands of these fraudsters and a doctor with no ethics he would be alive. What I have a difficulty with is that( and this because of his persistent insomnia ,which I do not was only due to nose).the Jackson family get the top specialist for trials, but never a thought re chronic insomnia and treatment for that.He is said to have sleep problems from a very young age. No wonder when a father comes out a window masked as a monster in the midfdle of the night.
    Another factor is that Michael was not only an entertainer.He had serious messages for the world.The Oligarchs are raping mother earth.And some body has hired killers.
    Check out T. Barracks business methods. You will or should find them under Colomy Capital.


  27. Nan permalink
    August 1, 2013 2:09 am

    I am glad you wrote this entry Helena , because I had wondered about all those parties where a celebrity shows up and they get paid….And according to this army soldier at camp Zuma, after the 2 minute mark, she was right there when MJ was offered 2 separate deals , both over 2 million dollars and he turned them down , because he wanted to be with the military , that day,and show his appreciation for what they do,
    He said if they want me, they will do it another day.
    Even the money he would have supposedly made with this tour , he told Murray he would use for a hospital.
    Money didnt seem to be his priority , it was AEG priority.
    I am just disgusted , that he could have made tons of money and not be tortured , with all these AEG people, but I think one of the carrots they were holding over him , was the opportunity to do films and direct, because he could have made millions in his sleep, he was so popular.
    they looked at him like he had debt and used it as an opportunity to bully the poor man into submission.
    When I think of randy Phillips striking Michael , I could scream..They all try to act like they were doing this out of charity toward the man , when it was all pure greed.


  28. August 1, 2013 1:46 am

    Thanks Helena. Yes I was thrilled to come across the article myself. MJ did not have a ‘problem’ with Demerol, the drug itself is a problem for anyone who may be taking it for whatever reasons. Yes, a write up on Demerol would be great. As for the Morphine song- it has hissing sounds akin to that of a snake- and is simply brilliant even in its poignancy. MJ was trapped unwittingly- yet again, this time by a drug which he so never wanted to take. Even then, he never abused it or got addicted by it. Just became physically dependent upon it like so many others. But because he was Michael Jackson- the fingers pointed at HIM and HIM alone. And he fought hard to get over the dependency as we all know- quite the reverse of what people think of him. I can understand just right after the head burns, the doctors had prescribed this drug to him. But given the prolonged nature of his treatment, any doctor in his right mind should have provided a different medicine! The doctors surely knew how a prolonged use of this medicine almost inevitably leads to a dependency upon it! That is the worst side effect of the drug, among so many others.


  29. alice permalink
    July 31, 2013 7:09 pm

    Hey everyone,

    Hope you are all well. Some amazing material coming through here, but I just wanted to let you all know something that I’ve experienced now.
    I’ve just spent approximately 20 minutes writing a response to someone on a CNN news story about the case, correcting their inaccuracies etc, and after pressing ‘post’, was told my comment would be moderated.
    “That’s weird,” I thought. Weird, but not uncommon. Perhaps everyone’s comments are moderated.
    I copy-pasted my comment so I could keep it in case I needed to repost, and moved further down the board to see if anyone else needed correcting. I subsequently commented twice on one other post – this time about a different matter. Both of these quotes instantly appeared and did not need to be ‘moderated’. They were instantly visible.
    “Curioser and curioser,” I thought.
    Then I considered the size difference in comments.
    I decided to break up my original comment into smaller pieces, so that they would not need to be moderated (and perhaps not appear). I figured there was probably a certain word limit that would automatically stop comments larger than a set amount to instantly appear.
    So I broke it up into four sections.
    The first section posted immediately without needing to be ‘moderated’.
    “Wonderful,” I thought. “Now for the next three pieces.”
    It was here I hit a brick wall.
    No matter how small I broke up the comments in the following part of the post – they were not instantly approved. I ended up cutting it down so much that it leads me to believe that any mention of Colony Capital and Tom Barrack instantly meant my comment would be ‘moderated’.
    As it stands, my full post is still awaiting moderation.
    While my other comments, for a different matter, were instantly cleared.
    Just something I thought could be useful in framing how we understand the kind of power these companies have over democracy and the public right to truth.


  30. July 31, 2013 2:37 pm

    Great post, great comments here. Thank you for everybody’s input.
    It was always known to us how much Michael was esteemed in other countries than the US, but these obstinate American business men and business “experts” have no idea how Michael was seen and cherished in other parts of the world. They never got it what a precious ambassador they had and what they destroyed. Shame on them!


  31. Sina permalink
    July 31, 2013 10:15 am

    @ rebelj : indeed life expectancy CAN be shortened because of drug ABUSE, though 70 year old heavy drugabusing Rollingstone members still alive and touring defies your theory.
    However life expectancy is higher when you have a healthy constitution as the autopsy showed and a 150k doctor who is supposed to take care of you, his only patient. And even you Rebelj will know that a doctor is supposed to FIRST DO NO HARM. So may I remind you that Michaels death was a homicide and Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter= killing Michael Jackson. How many doctors you know were ever convicted for such a crime.
    Your hateful rhetoric tells me you do not give a damn about Michaels or anyone’s life . What bothers you is not life expectancy but earning and damage expectancy, the money as always with your kind of people . Michael Jackson means nothing to you but to us he was a good man who deserves to be treated with the same dignity as any other human being.

    As for earning capacity , the money Michael generated for his estate in the past 4 years ,without setting a foot on a stage is proof of it. He had many business opportunities , only his managers failed to see them or sabotaged him. Every single project that came out after he passed away was from his own business plan.
    From the Opus, a biography ( that I will trust no one with now), Bad 25(the follow up of thriller 25), a new album which he was working on for years, the making of This is it( like the Making of Thriller) and even cirque which we know he had discussed with Wishna and others . Most of the Beatle members are still alive yet they had a cirque tribute show, so why couldnt MJ have one. Thriller live is a tribute show that Michael approved, its been on stage for maybe 10 years without MJs input. . He could do shows together with other artists that you see a lot now, since most artists have to tour due to low music sales. He could be a guest on their show( and blow away the main act) or make guest appearances on tv programs and get paid for it.
    He could do motivational readings, which is how most former US presidents and people like Opra Winfrey make a living. ( Bill Clinton charges up to 500k for a 45 minutes speech) .
    He could be a mentor for upcoming artists , a consultant for an honest record company and he could have exclusive merchandise with designers whose clothes he wore and promoted. The 10 shows he had agreed to do would have a spinoff of new opportunities.
    I wouldn’t mind him performing for the oligarchs( not the dictators)as it seems they treat the artists better than AEG who couldn’t even provide an artist like Prince with quality sound in their own venue. Considering AEGs business attitude and ethics or lack there of, I prefer the oligarchs.

    Forbes Zack O Malley is writing a book about Michaels businesses “Michael Jackson inc”
    “‘Jackson, Inc. will tell the story of the rise, fall and rise of a billion-dollar empire, focusing on how Jackson’s own underrated business savvy helped him build one of the most impressive realms in the history of entertainment. Yes, Jackson died with hundreds of
    millions of dollars in debt. But he also left behind at least $1 billion in assets, the result of shrewd decision-making by himself and those who guided him in the 1980s.’
    The inspiration for this book couldn’t have been more organic. I’ve been covering the business of Michael Jackson at Forbeds for years, watching as his estate racked up roughly a billion in the three years since his death , more than any single living musician ever earned over the same period of time . And over and over, many of my sources—in some cases, lawyers who ended up on the opposite side of the table from Jackson—kept telling me that much of Jacksons posthumous succes had to do with smart business decisions he made earlier in his career.”


  32. July 31, 2013 9:48 am,,20087044,00.html -Suparna

    Oh, Suparna, what a precious find! I will surely use it in the next post about the drugs which I needed to write anyway in order to catch up with the rest of week 13. But not to keep anyone waiting here is the full of it complete with the rarest of the photos – Michael is released from hospital with a fedora covering the bandages:

    February 13, 1984
    • Vol. 21
    • No. 6

    Thriller Chiller
    By Carl Arlington

    Pop Sensation Michael Jackson Survives a Fiery Brush with Serious Injury and Plans a Memoir with Jackie O

    Michael Jackson had been shot. That was the first reaction of those nearby when he grabbed the back of his head and screamed. It was not a bullet wound that made him scream, though it was almost as bad: Jackson’s head was on fire.

    This live thriller unfolded last week before thousands of stunned fans at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, where Michael, 25, and his musical brothers were filming a Pepsi commercial. It happened during one of the last scenes after four hectic days of shooting under the direction of video wizard Bob Giraldi. Giraldi had ordered another take of the flashy gala opening sequence. Amid brilliant illumination, Michael appeared at the top of a stairway and began his dazzling dancing descent to the floor, where the remaining Jacksons were lined up.

    About halfway down, he felt something hot but figured it was just the klieg lights. Pyrotechnical special effects were flashing around him as he pirouetted to a fizzy version of Billie Jean. Suddenly there was a jolt of pain and he cried out. The first to respond was Miko Brando, 22, Marlon’s son and a Jackson security aide. “I tore out, hugged him, tackled him and ran my hands through his hair,” reports Brando, who burned his own fingers in the process. Within seconds the fire was extinguished and Michael was surrounded by a crowd of bodyguards, Jacksons and technicians. A quick-thinking fan grabbed a handful of ice, borrowed a T-shirt to make a cold compress and applied it to the wound. A few minutes later paramedics arrived and whisked Michael away to the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

    The accident occurred just after 6 p.m. and early bulletins on the local news reported that Jackson had been “severely burned and was in serious condition.” In fact, thanks to the emergency ice treatment, he was alert enough to tell the ambulance attendants that he wanted to keep his trademark jeweled glove on when he was wheeled into the hospital. The medical staff checked his vital signs and inspected the wound. The fire had scorched a palm-sized second-degree burn on his crown which surrounded a third-degree burn about the size of the hole in a 45-rpm record. An antiseptic cream (silver sulfadiazine) was applied, and Jackson was offered a painkiller, which he at first refused because of his disdain for narcotics. He later accepted an analgesic.

    Word of the accident quickly reached Dr. Steven Hoefflin, Jackson’s personal physician and plastic surgeon, who rushed to Cedars-Sinai. “It was quite a shock for Michael, and when I got there he was in a daze,” reports Hoefflin. “After I examined him and told him he would be fine, he felt a lot better.” Hoefflin, who once cosmetically reshaped Jackson’s nose, decided to move his famous patient across town for treatment at the Burn Center of the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City. Accompanied by his parents, his brother Randy, two bodyguards and Hoefflin, Michael arrived at about 8:15 p.m. Once settled in room 3307, he became the patient of nurse Kathy McGrath, 29, who recalls that “he was still pretty shaken up and cold, so we put about five blankets on him.”

    Soon fans began congregating at the hospital and crowding into the emergency room waiting area. Switch-boards were flooded with calls and six staff volunteers handled the jammed phone lines. Security throughout the hospital was beefed up and a guard placed at every entrance to the burn unit. “Practically everybody who works in the hospital found some excuse to visit the floor,” says Burn Center supervisor Pat Lavalas.

    Michael, meanwhile, was making a fast recovery. Within a few hours he was asking for a videotape player. Because staffers did not have the key to the cabinet where the hospital video equipment was kept, they broke the padlock to get the machine and found an assortment of about 10 tapes for Jackson. He selectedClose Encounters of the Third Kind, directed by his friend Steven Spielberg, and stayed awake watching it until 1 a.m. Then, after being given a sleeping pill, he had a restful night.

    Michael awoke to a breakfast of fruit and juice and a tidal wave of messages from friends and fans. Diana Ross called. So did Liza Minnelli. Jackson’s favorite among the hundreds of telegrams was one from a girl that said, “I heard you were hot, Michael, but this is ridiculous.”

    By the time Hoefflin arrived the next day, Jackson had watched American Bandstand on TV and, according to one nurse, “was bebopping in bed while the doctors examined him.”

    Instead of a typical hospital gown, he had adorned himself in a turquoise scrub outfit. The nurses also fashioned a head bandage that could be camouflaged with a macramé hat. “You’re going to start a new wave here in 1984—the net look,” nurse Jan Virgil told Michael. “He laughed and said he wanted to look French.”

    Jackson had been to the Burn Center previously, visiting patients there on two occasions. Only last month, in fact, Jackson called on Keith Perry, a 23-year-old mechanic who had suffered third-degree burns on 95 percent of his body. Perry had just undergone his 14th operation when Michael arrived and was placed in an adjoining room. Another severely burned patient with whom he had been in frequent contact was 41-year-old seamstress Bessie Henderson. “Bessie had gone through many operations and was very depressed,” reports Hoefflin, who is also her plastic surgeon. “When Michael started calling she turned around and now she is doing a lot better.”

    Some of the patients were unaware they had a celebrity in their midst until Michael, wearing white socks and a single white sequined glove, made his rounds, visiting Keith, Bessie and the other six patients in the burn unit. One of the patients could not believe that he had actually been visited by Michael Jackson, so the singer returned to prove that it wasn’t just a dream. Another patient wanted to know why Jackson wore the glove. “This way,” he explained, “I am never offstage.” With the consent of his doctor, Michael decided after less than a day to check out of the hospital and continue treatment as an outpatient.

    Accompanied by his entourage and sporting a black fedora and hospital whites over street clothes, Michael was taken to a private car in a wheelchair. On his way, he stopped to have his picture taken with several visitors. “He’s going to be bigger than Elvis Presley,” said a woman in her 50s. “Bigger than who?” chirped one of the preteens who had flocked around.

    Nearly all of the Burn Center staff got their souvenirs, as their famous patient posed for snapshots and signed cassettes, Thriller albums and 8 x 10 glossies. And though Jackson did not dance, Hoefflin knew that wouldn’t last for long. “Telling Michael not to dance,” said the surgeon, “is like telling him not to breathe.”

    Jackson plans to attend the mega-party that CBS and Epic Records are throwing in his honor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York this week, and he ought to be back in full gear by the time the Grammy awards (he’s nominated for a dozen) roll around Feb. 28. “Michael is healthy and in good shape,” says Hoefflin. “That will make for a speedy recovery.” It’s too early to judge if he will need any reconstructive surgery.

    The exact cause of the accident at the Shrine Auditorium has yet to be determined. Eyewitnesses say it was a spark from one of the special lighting effects that ignited his hair. “Michael was exhausted when it happened,” says Hoefflin. “It came at the end of a week when he was trying to film the commercial, make plans for a major national tour and finish an album with his brothers.”

    So far there has been no lawsuit, though the Jacksons and Pepsi executives have been carefully reviewing the film of the incident to determine if there was negligence. The sponsorship deal with Pepsi for two commercials is reportedly the most lucrative celebrity endorsement deal in history, guaranteeing the Jacksons at least $5 million. The family had to be nudged into the deal because, according to one insider, endorsing a product “isn’t a decision every artist could be comfortable with immediately.”

    Although it will be a decidedly less lucrative undertaking, Michael also plans an autobiography. And for this, he will have the help of the most celebrated editor in publishing: Jackie Onassis. Mrs. O was first introduced to Mr. J several years ago at a Kennedy function in New York; both Caroline and John Jr. have been fans since the singer’s Jackson Five days. Jackie and Michael met again last October in California—this time, says Jackson aide Steve Manning, “to really get to know each other.”

    Two weeks ago Jackie’s firm, Doubleday, announced a $300,000-plus deal with Jackson—and named Jackie as his editor. Michael’s memoirs, which will contain around 200 photos from his private collection, is due out in the spring of 1985. Jackson is also set to star in a new film of Peter Pan with Spielberg directing. The tour, meanwhile, is scheduled to begin this May with the kick-off possibly in the Jacksons’ old hometown, Gary, Ind. The concert may be broadcast internationally.

    Not that Jackson needs the extra exposure. The Guinness Book of World Records recently stopped the presses on its latest paperback edition to cite Michael’s 23-million-copy Thriller as the biggest-selling solo LP of all time. He also continues to break sales records with his sixth single, Thriller’s title cut, and his “Say Say Say” duet with Paul McCartney remains at the top of the charts. All of this is mere statistical evidence of Michael’s extraordinary fan appeal, a mystique now enhanced by a near tragedy. “I would be willing to break my arm,” said 14-year-old Tyrone Davis, one of the faithful who kept vigil outside the hospital, “just to be in the emergency room with Michael.” Not to be outdone, Davis’ sidekick, John Thomas, 13, boasted, “That’s nothing. I would break my neck.”,,20087044,00.html


  33. July 31, 2013 8:40 am

    Here is the article I was talking about:

    When reading it once again i found not only the information about that meeting in Sony’s office but other precious pieces saying that initially AEG did NOT expect Michael or his Estate to cover production.

    1) But first this is how AEG was selling the TII footage to Sony:

    The Inside Story: Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’
    Oct 30, 2009
    -By Ray Waddell

    Four studios bid on “This Is It”: Universal, Fox, Paramount and Sony, which submitted the winning bid of $65 million, including $5 million for AEG’s editing costs, according to Phillips.

    The driving force behind the film negotiations with Sony was Jackson’s estate—represented by Branca and McLain—which had to grant permission; Branca’s firm, Ziffren Brittenham, negotiated the deal, in consultation with Phillips. Sony Music controls Jackson’s catalog, but AEG executives were also impressed by Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal, who was relentless in her pursuit of “This Is It.” “She had a great vision,” Phillips says. “She pursued it hard and she called everybody, all the time. She had to have this movie.”

    One particular meeting stands out for Phillips. “The first marketing meeting I had at Sony Pictures, there were about 40 people in this conference room, and what blew my mind was the fact that this little movie, this HD footage of Michael Jackson, was getting the attention of a whole studio. They just absolutely stopped to focus on this project,” he says. “And I was thinking to myself just how much Michael would have loved this, because it was so over the top.”

    On Aug. 10, Los Angeles Superior Court approved a deal that Jackson’s estate would get 90% of the film’s net revenue, with the remainder going to AEG. (AEG will also receive revenue from the soundtrack.) That’s a small percentage, considering that AEG put up the investment. “I’m sure some would argue that this is a small percentage to take for that much risk and that much work,” Leiweke says, “but we didn’t want there to be any doubt as to our priorities here, which is to try and protect the best interests of the estate.”

    Let us calculate what AEG got out of the TII footage alone:
    – $60 mln for the footage plus $5 mln for their “editing costs”
    – 10% of the film’s NET revenue. Once the gross sum was collected from showing the film worldwide and all the expenses deducted from it, AEG was to get 10% of the net sum though they had already sold the footage for $60mln. It is the same as selling the house but still receiving 10% from the new owners who will be renting it out for years after that.
    – AEG was also to receive revenue for the soundtrack in the film.

    How much does all of it make? It is even impossible to calculate it.

    2) And the next peice is about the production costs which were presented as fully AEG’s investment and about the rehearsal footage “saving” AEG from a financial disaster:

    For “This Is It,” Michael Jackson’s planned 50-concert residency at London’s O2 Arena, the star’s sudden, tragic death really could have been it, with millions of dollars lost for producer/promoter AEG Live and the star’s vision never realized. Instead, the movie and music divisions of Sony have a film and soundtrack to sell, and AEG will share in the proceeds. But neither would have happened if the companies hadn’t had fire-drill-paced meetings to turn a human tragedy into what is already being described as a creative and financial triumph.

    …Conceptually, Leiweke says the production was “all Michael’s” vision—and that vision was expensive. “It was budgeted to be $12 million, but Michael had big dreams and big vision,” Leiweke says. “By the time we were ready to go to London we were at $35 million.”

    … Jackson died on a Thursday, which meant AEG executives in London and the company’s Los Angeles headquarters had a marathon meeting. Amid their grief, AEG executives started trying to figure out what to do about their investment, even as the words “financial disaster” started to creep into news reports.

    “We weren’t thinking that way,” Leiweke says. “We knew we were in a bad spot and dealing with a crisis, but we believed eventually we’d work our way out of this. Needless to say, those were really difficult, long days—bad days—but I don’t think we ever panicked. We had faith that we would eventually find a way to come out of this and recoup the investment.

    The decision that saved “This Is It”—as both AEG’s investment and Jackson’s legacy—had been made weeks before. Rehearsals had been filmed, and it is that edited footage that became the Sony Pictures film.

    “I said, ‘We’ve got to archive your comeback because this is going to be historical,’ and [Jackson] agreed,” Phillips says. “We never expected it to be a movie. This was really for his personal archives—and also to be B-roll and behind-the-scenes footage that probably would have been a DVD concert film.”

    So again no word was said about production costs being Michael’s responsibility! It was only later that they made the Estate pay them $40 mln and these millions were added to the earlier mentioned $65 mln for TII, plus all that percentage from running it.

    Now add to it some $40mln (or more?) from the tickets retained by Michael’s fans and also the $17,5 mln they wanted (but failed) to get from Lloyds, and you will see that AEG’S GREED HAS NO LIMITS.


  34. July 31, 2013 8:27 am

    A bit of poetry.:When intent on his prey
    the clever hunter moves silently and hidden
    And he who wants to do evil is not eager
    that the evil in his heart be seen.

    L´empro crede contal..=
    The villain believes that with fraud
    He can hide his wickedness
    Don Giovanni-Mozart

    Lastly for Murray.
    Signor dottore
    Che si ´puo fare
    Honored doctor
    What can be done—–confatti tutte-Mozart


  35. July 31, 2013 8:22 am

    In connection with MJ’s Demerol usage, I came across this article going back to the 80’s, just after he suffered the severe burns on his scalp and face during the Pepsi commercial shoot. I am posting the link here.,,20087044,00.html

    Note that in the article the journalist mentions:

    “ … Jackson was offered a painkiller, which he at first refused because of his disdain for narcotics. He later accepted an analgesic.”

    I heard the song Morphine- and there is a line there “Demerol, Demerol, Oh God he is taking Demerol…” If you hear the song you will notice this line which is repeated only a couple of times – stands out from the general tempo of the song. These two lines are uttered with a sense of helplessness and disbelief- and in pain- MJ’s sounds emotional- and the music becomes very soft and intriguing, as if to raise an alarm. Given the fact that MJ would pen down his deepest concerns and anguish in the lyrics of his songs- this perhaps brings out his own dismay to the fact that he had to take Demerol.

    I looked up about this drug- and it seems that it has now become a bit of old school, though still being used. See these links for more about the drug :

    From the article “The worst thing that can happen is that this drug can make you physically dependent.” It connotes that just about ANYONE can become dependent upon it- given the nature of the drug ITSELF, its pain relieving capacity- combined with a sense of euphoria and sedation that it imparts to the patients. Hence a hospital in L.A has banned this drug :

    In the following article : , Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, said in an interview that Demerol should be banned along with Propoxyphene. Just like Propofol, (which creates an illusion that it is inducing a person to sleep, when the reality is that the brain does not sleep at all) Demerol merely creates the illusion that the source of the pain has been removed or altered. The situation of pain remains unaltered in reality, the medication merely creates a sensation of relief. I feel that MJ should never have been given Demerol to start with. He did not want to take it either. But I guess there were not many options available back in those days.

    See how the drug actually works and why it is no longer being favoured :


  36. July 31, 2013 7:41 am

    Hi Helena,

    This is the link to the article :


  37. July 31, 2013 7:33 am

    “No other performer had Michael Jackson’s star power in Japan,” says Archie Meguro, senior VP of Sony Music Japan International. “He was so loved for his talent, his music, his dance and his gentle soul.”

    Suparna, so the Japanese fans appreciated Michael not only for his music and art, but for his gentle nature and human being he was. This gravity of love is what makes the Japanese fans so special.

    Curious, but it is striking me only now that Sony is also Japanese and its bosses I hear had much respect and a special affection for Michael. And even despite that story with Mottola Sony could have never mistreated Michael the way AEG did because their own countrymen would have never forgiven them for it.

    In this connection I recollect that when Randy Phillips was shopping around with the rehearsal footage of This Is It, he was struck that firstly, Sony was absolutely determined to get that footage (and was therefore ready to pay the highest bid) and secondly, when the footage was shown at Sony everyone dropped whatever they were doing and crammed into the room where it was shown. It was not a simple deal for Sony – they were genuinely affected by emotion.

    I will try to find this article now.


  38. July 31, 2013 7:18 am

    “I think you wanna add, over 100 million copies were sold in Japan where the population in Japan is only 127 million people. Amazing . . . Everybody except 0-3 year old babies bought MJ’s CD at least one”. – Dialdancer

    Dial, yes, the Japanese fans are indeed amazing. Simply the best. And Michael appreciated them very much and said that Japan was one of his favorite places in the world:

    “I love Japan,” he said at the time. “It is one of my favorite places in the entire world.”,2933,256479,00.html


  39. July 31, 2013 6:43 am

    “Had Michael just cut off from AEg and known of those oligarch opportunities he would do well today. No love lost on the oligarchs though.” – kaarin

    Kaarin, I have no love lost for them either – they are as far away from us ordinary people like the Moon. But from what I learn of billionaires like AEG’s owners and the way they grab almost all the money earned for them by artists I really see no difference now between Anschutz and our oligarchs.

    They grabbed our natural resources and put them in their pocket as if they were theirs, but they are definitely not exploiting people to their death and those who work in their companies live like in earthly paradise.

    And AEG mistreated Michael in the worst possible manner – they set 50 concerts for him at minimal prices, hoping to derive all the multimillion profit for themselves only and exploiting him literally to his death. They mistreated and humiliated, bullied and intimidated him – in fact they treated him not as a human being at all, but as a machine mercilessly used and discarded after it was predicably to break down.

    I repeat – I am absolutely no fan of our oligarchs, but firstly, they would never have treated MJ in the same manner, and secondly, if we assess the real income possibilities for MJ they could have provided to him boundless opportunities. Look at how much they pay to others and you can imagine how much they could pay to MJ. And it isn’t to flaunt their money into other people’s eyes as everyone thinks – it is simple generosity which is (unfortunately) in our nature.

    P.S. And the more I look the more I see that lots of top international stars are engaged in this type of private entertainment, so it would have been nothing shameful for MJ to do the same. The audience usually includes other stars, so it is stars entertaining other stars.


  40. July 31, 2013 5:45 am

    While AEG’s Eric Briggs is discussing the scarce possibilities Michael Jackson had in the US I realize that the world had much more to offer to Michael than this scrooge Phil Anschutz and his stingy company.

    Let me make my own projection of the opportunities for Michael in the years to come:

    – he could live in Ireland, enjoying every minute of his life among the warm and friendly Irish people

    – he could give sell-out concerts in Japan to millions of his true and dedicated fans there to get the old feel of what it is like to be admired for his art and adored for who he was

    – and he could earn tens of millions of dollars by attending corporate or private parties of the appreciative Russian magnates who would send their planes for him and provide him with 50 guards for guarding his and their privacy cherished by both parties in equal measure.

    While we sit here not knowing anything I’ve found that top international stars have long been entertaining our billionaires.

    You’ve seen the articles about Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, George Michael, Elton John, Bruce Willis, Amy Winehouse attending corporate parties of the filthy rich. And now comes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyoncé, Gwen Steffani and Prince.

    I am not saying that MJ would have agreed too but it seems that big money has irresistible charm almost for everyone:

    Roman Abramovich hires Red Hot Chili Peppers for exclusive £5m News Year’s Eve party

    By Amy Willis, in Los Angeles
    6:28AM GMT 28 Dec 2011

    This year Roman Abramovich, the billionaire Russian oligarch, plans to eclipse his previous New Year’s Eve celebrations by spending more than £5 million on his 300 guests.
    Rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers will play at the exclusive event, held at the Chelsea football club owner’s £58 million estate on the Caribbean island of St Barts.
    The estate near Gouverneur beach was previously owned by US banking tycoons the Rockefellers and has a number of swimming pools, pavilions and beach bungalows.
    Guests have been told to wear “island chic” at the event, which will run from 10pm until 4am, with partygoers retiring to a fleet of super-yachts in the marina at the end of the evening.
    Last year, Demi Moore, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Stephanie Seymour, Ellen DeGeneres and Star Wars creator George Lucas were among dozens of famous names on the invitation list.
    And in 2009, Kanye West and Orlando Bloom were treated to a £3 million party with Beyoncé, Gwen Steffani and Prince singing at the event.
    Mr Abramovich and his 30-year-old model girlfriend Dasha Zhukova have been spending their Christmas holidays on the island with their two-year-old son Aaron.

    The 45 year-old has a £300 million super-yacht moored at the island, the 543ft Eclipse, which has an on-board cinema, library, restaurant and accommodation for 12 guests and five bodyguards.
    The nine-deck vessel is reportedly armed with infra-red lasers to protect the family from any prying paparazzi photographers.
    The party marks the end of a troublesome year for the billionaire, having spent several weeks battling fellow oligarch Boris Berezosky in a £3.7 billion High Court case in London.


  41. July 31, 2013 5:30 am

    HI rebeljenne,

    You need to do a lot of catching up on Jackson’s life and have fortunately come across the right blog site where you can source your information about him. To sum up the cause of MJ’s death- overdose of Propofol administered by Conrad Murray on the night when MJ passed away. Also, the doctor had been infusing this drug into MJ’s body for 60 days at a stretch which was totally criminal and unacceptable by any medical standards. This drug is an anaesthetic. All MJ wanted to was get some sleep as he had a long history of chronic insomnia. MJ thought that this drug was helping him sleep so would not mind taking it. He trusted Murray completely. The sleep expert during the AEG trial has of course commented that Propofol does not actually induce any real sleep. Look up the AEG trial materials on this blog for the details. NO recreational drugs, opiates or alcohol was found in MJ’s body according to the autopsy report. It is the doctor who killed him by administering the wrong drug to MJ all in the name of sleep. Domerol did not kill MJ. The autopsy report proved that MJ was healthy in all aspects. Happy reading of the blog !


  42. July 31, 2013 4:27 am

    Hi Helena,

    $800/ hour is too less for all the hard work and sincerity that you put in your blogs. We cannot thank you enough for all you do to bring out the facts about MJ. This is priceless.
    I have looked up several websites to see of we could get more information about the History tour stats in Japan and have come up with the following links :

    They all refer to the fact that the Fukuoka concerts during the History tour were a total sell out.
    I really liked an article on the reuters website :
    I have just pasting some lines from there in my earlier post- the one just before this.


  43. July 31, 2013 4:25 am


    The news of Michael Jackson’s death caused such a stir in Japanese society that three Cabinet ministers took the unusual step of commenting on his passing.

    Fans ranging from teenagers to 50-somethings — many dressed in Jackson’s trademark outfits — staged an impromptu candlelit memorial June 27 in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. While some showed off dance moves and sang songs, others wept openly and prayed at makeshift altars.

    “It’s funny,” one attendee said. “The gathering at (Harlem’s) Apollo Theater was like a celebration of his life, but Japanese people go straight into mourning.”

    Jackson won over Japan like few Western stars before or since. Famous in the country since the release of “Off the Wall,” he became even bigger in 1987, when he started his “Bad” world tour at the Tokyo Dome. He sold out 14 shows, drawing about 450,000 fans and taking in an estimated 5 billion yen ($52 million). Hundreds of screaming girls greeted his arrival at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, which was covered by 1,000 journalists; another 300 covered the arrival of Bubbles, Jackson’s chimp, who came on a separate flight.

    “No other performer had Michael Jackson’s star power in Japan,” says Archie Meguro, senior VP of Sony Music Japan International. “He was so loved for his talent, his music, his dance and his gentle soul.”

    Sony reports career album sales of at least 4.9 million for Jackson in Japan, making him one of the top-selling international artists. “Thriller” alone sold 2.5 million copies. But his impact went beyond sales. His 1987 tour helped reshape J-pop’s choreography, as performers tried to appropriate his moves.

    Sales of Jackson’s catalog have spiked, and six of his albums made SoundScan Japan’s Top 200 Albums chart. By the morning of June 27, Tower Records’ seven-story flagship store in Shibuya had three displays of his albums and DVDs. Jackson had attended an event there in 1996, presided over by then-Tower Records Japan president Keith Cahoon. “The fan club members who attended were mostly young girls who shrieked ‘Michael!’ in incredibly loud and high-pitched voices,” he recalls, “and Michael replied in a soft voice that was nearly as high.”

    “Michael is the biggest entertainment influence on the Japanese people after the Beatles,” says Ken Ohtake, president of Sony Music Publishing Japan. “He will always remain in the hearts of the Japanese people as an extraordinary and unparalleled artist.”


  44. July 31, 2013 2:50 am

    Had Michael just cut off from AEg and known of those oligarch opportunities he would do well today.No love lost on the oligarchs though.I recall your comment Helena, what on earth did they do to MJ from 2007 to 6/25 2009..He came back to the states from Ireland in good condition.
    No momey can compensate for loss ife.


  45. July 31, 2013 1:50 am

    Found in my saved files what I think is very apropos.


    “Fan Adds Important Amendment To Article”

    “Fan Yukiko Kanda wrote to the MJFC to add this very interesting amendment to the article dated May 25th, titled “Michael To Visit Japan To Receive Award”:

    “I think you wanna add, over 100 million copies were sold in Japan where the population in Japan is only 127 million people.

    Amazing . . . Everybody except 0-3 year old babies bought MJ’s CD at least one”.


  46. July 30, 2013 5:56 pm

    And now I learn that “it is not uncommon” to pay $1 mln. to a top international star performing at our “corporate parties”. Corporate parties are always arranged at the end of the year or on anniversaries of big and small companies. I cannot even imagine what fee could be paid to Michael if he agreed to attend a corporate party at some big company involved in selling gas or oil, for example – IF he agreed to attend it of course (of which I am not sure).

    From what I read about it performers don’t talk about such parties as they do it purely for the sake of money and are probably somewhat ashamed about this practice, but the ‘corporate parties’ business is stable and a lot of performers do it – including big international stars.

    I hope you understand that I am writing about it not to promote this practice but explain that Michael Jackson had a boundless potential in this respect. It wouldn’t have brought him any new fame, but it would have provided him with a good source of income and that’s for sure.

    He didn’t have to do those 50 concerts for AEG, putting all the money into their pocket. He had other opportunities. Considering the oligarchs’ ways it may be disputed whether he would choose them but the opportunities were there.

    Moskovsky beat
    © MN
    Spreading cheer while cashing in
    by Vladimir Kozlov at 22/12/2011 19:41

    December is probably the most lucrative month for the lion’s share of Russian artists, who may make more money from corporate end-of-year parties than from all other shows they played earlier in the year, combined. Plus, playing for a small crowd of drunk people is much easier than holding the attention of a crowd at a bigger venue.

    The Russian word for this pre-New Year concert activity is “chyos,” which could be loosely translated as “raking it in.” About 15 years ago, it primarily referred to shows played by domestic pop artists at popular seaside resorts during the summer holiday season, but when corporate end-of-year parties became an indispensable part of office life here, that kind of show quickly outdid summer concerts.

    For years now, companies have been driving up artists’ price tags as they compete to get the hottest acts to perform at their “New Year” celebrations (as end-of-year office parties are called locally, even though they’re usually not held on New Year’s Eve). Although there was a decline in corporate party budgets a few years ago due to the economic downturn, now everything seems to be back to what it was in the fat pre-crisis years.

    This year, hiring a high-profile act or a hot newcomer like Nyusha, Yolka or the band Gradusy to perform at a corporate party will set a company back €10,000 to €20,000. Heavyweights like Nikolai Baskov or the band Moralny Kodeks charge between €40,000 and €50,000.

    Certainly, not all companies can afford to part with that sort of money, and a bunch of acts ready to perform for a fraction of that amount are always available. Incidentally, even one-hit wonders seem to never be completely out of circulation here. If a company’s owner or boss happened to like that one hit in their youth, the artist, long forgotten by the general public, may still happily play a few corporate gigs every New Year’s season, the only disadvantage being that on some occasions, the artist may have to perform the same song 10 times in a row.

    Similarly, foreign acts that at some point were popular here are doing their best cashing in on Russian corporate parties. Boney M, a Germany-based disco band featuring Jamaican singers, is one of the champions: every year, when New Year approaches, they pack up their suitcases and come to Russia to spend a few weeks here playing corporate gigs. They are far from being hot, but there are many company bosses and owners who are nostalgic for the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Boney M was hugely popular in the Soviet Union due to the lack of a better alternative.

    Meanwhile, cases in which oligarchs pay $1 million or more to a top-level international star to perform at their corporate (or private) New Year’s party are not uncommon, either.

    Ask an artist what they feel about playing corporate parties, and many would say that they hate it. But that would be hypocrisy: you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. But the money is good, and corporate gigs are not that demanding – drunk and happy office crowds couldn’t care less about the quality of the performance, as long as the hits they would like to hear are played. And, similarly, they don’t care if the artist genuinely sings or just does lip-synching.

    At first sight, there is nothing wrong with artists getting paid top dollar for corporate gigs. But when an artist refuses to perform outside Moscow for a fee less than what they were paid for a corporate New Year’s gig, this is a problem. And when a foreign star charges an unrealistic fee that some oligarch earlier paid them on a whim for a corporate party, to come to Russia and perform a regular show for thousands of dedicated fans, this is a problem, too.


  47. July 30, 2013 5:55 pm

    Well, judging by what I am reading now Michael Jackson could have given 1 (one) concert for Russian oligarchs and he would have got the same sum as the one promised to him by AEG for 50 shows. Look at the article below – Madonna for example, is selling her concert to oligarchs for $30 mln. It is not clear whether anyone has paid her this sum yet but the article says she already received a lot just for sitting and smiling (and not performing) at some party.

    These guys are crazy but if they paid Michael tens of millions I would understand and even welcome it. Of all people on the planet he was the only one who really deserved it.

    Russian oligarchs spoil Western stars

    May 18, 2008
    They’re paid huge wages to play private concerts in Russia. It makes performing concerts for ordinary people simply uninteresting.

    Most people thought Moscow couldn’t be wowed by the wages it offers foreign stars after George Michael’s $3-million New Year’s performance. But another international favorite has recently beaten his record — Sir Elton John. KP has learned the musician will perform this fall at the opening of a private hotel in Rublevka. Rumor goes he’s the hotel mistress’ favorite performer and she negotiated with him herself. Initially Sir Elton’s management was against the idea, but the $5-million prize proved too tempting to turn down.

    Sir Elton will visit Moscow for one day only. He’ll be taken to his hotel accompanied by security. After an hour-long concert he’ll head back home to England.

    Several years ago, the talented bespectacled Romantic charged 200,000 euro per stadium concert in Europe. In Russia he asked twice the sum at 400,000 euro. He’s also performed at a casino in Las Vegas for a relatively modest amount. But after the high-end bids he received to perform in Rostov-on-Don in honor of the region’s 70th anniversary and the opening of a metallurgical factory, few will be able to afford the music mogul.

    Madonna sells for $30 million.

    It was a strange spectacle. Very wealthy and equally tasteless Russians offer stars deals that are bad for their reputation — such as performances at laundry mats. The only justification for the celebrity accepting the offer is the fat check. They’re people, too. Who would refuse?

    In a recent interview, Madonna admitted she would no longer sing old hits like «Holiday» or «Like a Virgin.» She was tired of singing the same songs over and over again. But she said she would be willing to remember the glory days for the right price.
    «If they pay me $30 million, I’ll do it. Maybe some rich Russian will invite me to sing at his wedding with a 17-year-old girl. You know what I mean.»

    It’s entirely possible. Madonna knows what she’s talking about. Two years ago, Madame Richie attended the corporate party of a large company at Moscow’s Forum Hall as an honorary guest. She didn’t even sing. She just sat there and smiled. She received a round sum for her efforts. Later she asked an astronomical amount for her concert at Luzhniky.

    Easy Russian money has also spoiled George Michael. After attending a New Year’s party for $3 million, Michael shocked SAV Entertainment (ed. Main supplier of international celebrities to Russia) by asking an enormous amount for a concert at Olympic Stadium.

    Aleksandr Gafin, vice president of the bank that sponsored Michael, was up in arms: «We were talking about one million dollars in Europe. But after he was paid $3 million for a simple visit, we had a hard time negotiating. I don’t like companies that don’t know anything about this business and exaggerate the prices. After getting three times more than what they can in Europe, celebrities are less enthusiastic about reasonable offers in Russia.”

    You’d think a performer would have to go all-out for such a big check. But that’s just not true. Remember Jennifer Lopez‘s visit to Telman Ismaylov’s birthday party. She sang 20 minutes instead of the agreed upon 40. Then she hung around like a restaurant performer and sang orders amounting to $2,100,000. She was also given a golden microphone covered in precious gems worth half a million dollars.

    Celebrities are less embarrassed to head to Russia after realizing what prices are being paid. For example, Bruce Willis first came to Moscow to sing with his group at a corporate party for $50,000. His next clients offered $500,000. Who’d refuse? It’s logical to assume that Willis won’t come now for any less. That’s why promoters will have to start booking stadium concerts at a higher price as opposed to private parties.

    «First off, the viewers suffer from the larger prices,» said Vladimir Zubitskiy, head of the promotion company Russian Show Center. (ed. They brought Paul McCartney and other stars to Russia.) «You have to increase the ticket price to maintain the profit. And who’s going to buy tickets at a dance parterre for $1,000? When celebrities or their managements ask too much, we just refuse to work with them. It’s a half-empty hall guarantee. Tickets are almost inaccessible at the price. Not long ago Rihanna performed at a similar venue in Moscow. There’s just no way she’s worth one million bucks. But Kylie Minogue who’ll perform in Moscow on June 16 asked an adequate price similar to what she’d receive in Europe. By the way, the younger pop groups and their managements are usually interested in increasing prices. It’s not the inveterate performers. They’re more concerned with their art and viewers.»

    Who else spoils the stars?

    Prince Azim of Brunei invited Michael Jackson to his 25th birthday and paid him 5 million pounds sterling.
    Ramzan Kadyrov [President of Chechnya] gave Sergey Zverev a watch that cost $100,000 for attending his event. He gave Dima Bilan and Yana Rudkovska each a Porsche.

    Pricelist (Euro)
    West ————————- Moscow
    Thomas Anders 30 000 ——- 100 000
    Joe Cocker 200 000 ——- 400 000
    Christina Aguilera 370 000 —- 1 500 000
    Pink 360 000 —— 600 000 (concert), 1 500 000 (corporate party)
    Rihanna 200 000 —— 550 000 (concert), 1 300 000 (corporate party)
    Whitney Houstоn 350 000 —— 500 000
    Bob Dylan 250 000 —— 400 000
    Cost Breakdown:
    Payment for celebrity and team;
    Technical equipment transport. Madonna had 63 cargo trucks with equipment;
    Living costs for the whole team at a hotel

    Should I inform Brian Panish of a huge potential for Michael Jackson’s earnings on this market?


  48. July 30, 2013 5:54 pm

    Guys, it turns out that I wasn’t even exaggerating when I assumed that Michael Jackson could easily make millions on the still unexplored (by him) market of Russian oligarchs. Amy Winehouse performed for some unnamed oligarch and his friends for 40 minutes and got $1 mln for that. I think that Michael Jackson could get several millions for a similar 40 min. concert.

    And these beasts from AEG were going to pay Michael for 50 dates some $22 million as they say it now themselves! And all the rest of the huge money earned for them by Michael was to go into their pockets!

    Here is an article about Amy Winehouse – laugh or cry at it, but this seems to be a reality:

    Amy Winehouse plays oligarch’s gig in Moscow
    Amy Winehouse has performed at a Russian oligarch’s annual corporate party in Moscow for a reported fee of just under £1 million.

    Amy Winehouse was paid a reported £1 million
    Photo: Bryan Adams
    By Andrew Osborn, Moscow3:01PM GMT 20 Dec 2010
    The 27-year-old singer was flown into Moscow on the unnamed oligarch’s private jet last Thursday and put up in one of the Russian capital’s best hotels ahead of her performance the following evening.
    She sung a selection of her most famous songs which were hand-picked by the publicity-shy oligarch to entertain his VIP guests who included other tycoons and stars of Russian showbusiness.
    Her performance, on the closed-off top floor of a central Moscow shopping centre, went down well with the audience though the Russian media claimed she appeared withdrawn.
    Miss Winehouse, who has previously sung for billionaire Roman Abramovich and his girlfriend for a similar fee, is said to be a favourite among Russia’s super rich. Her performance on Friday lasted around forty minutes, meaning she earned just under £25,000 a minute.
    Wealthy Russian businessmen often like to fly in American and British celebrity singers to perform at private functions for hefty fees. The Daily Telegraph understands that the oligarch who flew in Miss Winehouse is estimated to be worth more than £3 billion, making him one of Russia’s richest men. Anxious to guard his privacy, he ensured that security at the event was tight, reportedly assigning fifty bodyguards to Miss Winehouse.


  49. July 30, 2013 4:26 pm

    Panish speaks


  50. July 30, 2013 9:37 am

    Quality of life massively impaired by inordinate length of wrongful use of propofol damaging brain fuction. Life finally snuffed off as resullty of huge dose of above substance .


  51. alice permalink
    July 30, 2013 9:12 am

    Hey Rebel,

    Did you get a chance to come up with some answers & evidence to my concerns regarding your previous post?

    Negating to answer is of course your prerogative, yet if your desire is to cement your claims then such clarification will only stand to benefit you.

    In regards to your new comment, I find the phrase drug ‘abuse’ to be somewhat contradictory to and, indeed, ignorant of the strongest conclusion that can most easily be drawn from the evidence thus far. Your word ‘Abuse’ suggests addiction. And addiction is exactly what, it has been clearly testified, Michael did NOT have at this time.

    Witnesses (in the multiple) have already confirmed that Michael had a drug DEPENDENCY in his earlier years. And one that was fully justified. He sought to recover from this justified dependency for treatment and surgery from severe burns, inserting of implants between his skull and skin to ‘heal’ the burns, and subsequent surgery to this to have them removed, the scar repaired, etc. All while suffering lupus which hinders the healing of scars. Yet once he was fit and able, Michael wanted to get off his justified dependency of painkillers. In spite of the media cyclone following this, he did so publicly and honestly.

    We can say that a drug may have been part of what killed Michael. So was stress, pressure, exhaustion, anxiety, and an inhumane amount of time without sleep (genuine sleep – sleep under anaesthesia is NOT real, as has been testified). Most of which was heaped upon him by those with an interest solely in making a profit off him.

    But this ‘drug’ of Propofol which we can say was part of what killed him? Does it show he was a drug abuser or addict? No. Because it was not a drug he administered or had history of asking for. It was a drug that was administered to him over a shockingly unrecommended amount of time by a doctor who was not qualified to do so, without the correct equipment or dosage and, most importantly, it was done in an act of gross malpractice that was NOT (unlike his previous use of painkillers for his burns and surgery) justified. At all.

    Why the events from 2007 to 2009 culminated in this, is what we are finding out through the trial. But you know, Rebel, it’s like that darling cliche saying – ‘guns don’t kill people, people do.’

    A series of events, a combination of egos, an intense amount of pressure, a lack of understand, a preoccupation for money and priority for power were all the the firing powder behind the ‘shot’ that killed him.

    It’s in this case and the subsequent evidence that we are still uncovering just how far back that shot goes. Behind the bullet. Behind the barrel. Behind the trigger.

    Show me your proof for your claims, both now and in the last post, and then we might start considering your thoughts as something beyond the realms of obscenity and, forgive me, saddening negativity that could be said to reflect the same within your soul.
    I look forward to you showing me wrong, though. Any legitimate evidence is welcome.
    Thanks 🙂


  52. July 30, 2013 1:55 am

    “Life expectancy short be because of drug abuse…plain and simple:!!” – rebeljenne

    Until Tohme and AEG came into Michael Jackson’s life his life expectancy was longer than yours or mine. Look at the pictures from the Japanese parties.



  53. permalink
    July 30, 2013 1:17 am

    Life expectancy short be because of drug abuse…plain and simple:!!

    Sent from my HTC One™ S on T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network.



  1. Soul of Sydney TV: Full Concert – Michael Jackson – HIstory World Tour (Munich, Germany 1997) | FULL CONCERT, FULL VIDEO, RARE SHOW | ♫♥ SOUL OF SYDNEY: SOUL | JAZZ | FUNK | AFRO-BEAT | BOOGIE | DISCO | LATIN | HIPHOP | DEEP HOUSE Vibes

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