Michael Jackson, Captain EO and the business of conquering the world- Part 7- “Say, say, say”!

By The Last Tear (Lou)

My masters are strange folk with

very little care for music in them.

Johann Sebastian Bach

 

Michael Jackson reached the top of the world during the years 1983-1992 and became a very powerful and popular entertainer. Some people believe that once you have climbed as high as possible, it is time to go down the hill and then disappear. This is not true!

We are not condemned by fatalism and our fate is not predetermined. In fact, we see many famous and successful people who stay on top of their career almost until their death and even beyond. And this should have been the fate of Michael Jackson too. Unfortunately, Jackson was targeted already in late 80’s.

Some people use to say that Jackson was complex and difficult to understand. They wonder how his clever and bright businessman side could get along with his humanitarian and heal the world side. Actually, it is simple; he wished that his talent in business and his wealth to be in the service of his humanitarian goals. He had a vision and wished to build a better world. To reach his goal, he hoped to bring together not only ordinary people but also politicians and other powerful persons.

There is a reason why his millions of fans miss him so much and for many years to come. Because of his enemies, Jackson never got a chance to achieve his goals; he could not show his version of the healed world. It hurts when a strong source of light is so cowardly and unjustly suffocated. The horizon is dark! On the other hand, as long as these millions of people are out there searching and asking, there is hope.  

The main reason behind the allegations against Michael Jackson in 1993 and in 2005 was to slander the good name and the impeccable reputation of the star. His enemies hoped that his career would end and his ability to sell music and art would be destroyed; they supposed that sooner or later he would lose all his assets and become bankrupt. 

“The Girl Is Mine”

Yes, it is about The Beatles, Jackson and the ATV catalog. If you want to know all about this topic and even more, just read the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire written by Brian Southall and Rupert Perry (2006). It is a well written and factual book.

Many of Jackson’s fans have read books/articles or have heard stories which describe in a glorious way how Michael and his team bought the prestigious ATV catalog. It was of course a big success for Jackson, no doubt about it. However, there is another side to this story which we need to not forget; we need also to know that some people were not happy to see Michael as the owner of the catalog.

To refresh your memory, let us repeat some dates:

The Australian businessman Robert Holmes à Court bought relatively cheaply ATV music publishing and Pye records in 1982. Two years later in 1984, he wanted to sell them.

John Branca, Jackson’s attorney informed his client that the catalog was up for sale in September 1984. Michael who liked very much the Beatles music and wanted to own music publishing rights asked his legal team to buy the catalog.

After several months of work, John Branca purchased the catalog on Jackson’s behalf for $47.5 million on August 10, 1985.

Michael Jackson’s note to John Branca during a meeting. “Johnson” is the wealthy African-American John Johnson who was MJ’s advisor. Picture published in the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire.

Michael Jackson’s note to John Branca during a meeting. “Johnson” is the wealthy African-American John Johnson who was MJ’s advisor. Picture published in the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire.

 

 

There is an article about Holmes à Court and how he and Rupert Murdoch were rivals. That also explains why Murdoch and his newspapers despised (still despise) Jackson after he purchased the ATV catalog:

http://www.csmonitor.com/1982/0121/012148.html/(page)/2

A new Australian media tycoon has suddenly arrived on the British scene to join Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of The Times of London.

Skip to next parHe is Robert Holmes A’Court who has taken over the giant Associated Communications Corporation (ACC) and its extensive film and television holdings.

The L7 million ($20 million) deal virtually ends the career of Lord Lew Grade , Britain’s equivalent of Sam Goldwyn, and one of the most colorful people ever to enter the entertainment world.

Into Lord Grade’s shoes steps a soft-spoken millionaire whom many see as determined to displace Murdoch as the most powerful media proprietor in Britain.

Holmes A’Court has extensive mineral interests in his native Australia, and has lately been branching out into newspaper and television ownership. He has just bid L78.5 million ($145 million) for Australia’s Herald group of newspapers.

If he is successful he would have bigger press holdings in Australia than Murdoch. Lord Grade’s ACC has been in trouble for some time. Backer of the famous ”Muppets” and other highly successful television shows, the Russian emigre sank millions into movies, hoping for success in the United States.

One of them, on raising the Titanic, was a financial disaster. Ever since, talk of takeover bids for ACC has been rife. Grade and Holmes A’Court became friendly last year, and both men say they are happy with the outcome.

As well as possessing a cinema and entertainment empire, the corporation also has big holdings in independent (commercial) television in Britain. Holmes A’Court is believed to be especially keen to develop this side of ACC.

Despite his connections with Perth, Western Australia, where last year he launched a newspaper, the Western Mail, Holmes A’Court’s family origins are largely British.

His quaint, heraldic name is inherited from 19th century English landowners. His parents traveled from Britain to Rhodesia between the wars to run a farm and later moved to Australia. Part of Holmes A’Court’s education was at a New Zealand university.

His arrival on the British scene means that three ”outsiders” now hold highly influential positions in the media world here, with Murdoch owning The Times and Sunday Times and ”Tiny Rowling,” chairman of the giant Lonro Corporation, the London Observer. Rowling is of German origin, and Lonro is powerful in Africa.

Special interest is centering on Holmes A’Court because, before his ACC bid, his name was mentioned in attempts to acquire The Times and the Observer. At Fleet Street it is believed he wants to control an influential newspaper to match his newly acquired film and TV holdings.

Associates describe Holmes A’Court as a cool, determined intellectual fond of chess. He is a lawyer by training, and a financier by instinct.

He and Murdoch regard themselves as genial rivals in Australia. The tone of their competition may change now that they both have big holdings in Britain.

Murdoch’s acquisition of The Times is causing him financial problems, although he is reported to be eager to make the paper profitable. Fleet Street insiders say that if Holmes A’Court is looking for a paper to buy, The Times is likely to be the one he tries for.

That would almost certainly produce a major battle between two Australian media tycoons, both notoriously keen on winning takeover struggles.

PMMJMJPM

Who were the unhappy people?

The first group was the Beatles members minus John Lennon who was sadly murdered in 1980. Paul McCartney has repeatedly said that Jackson got the idea of buying the music publishing rights from him. We have already discussed this matter in our blogs. Indeed, Jackson did not need McCartney’s advice because he had other advisers and other examples to follow, particularly Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. Several people have tried to take the credit for “suggesting” to Jackson to buy the ATV catalog but in truth, as we see in the letter above, Michael was the main force behind this acquisition.

The reasons that the Beatles’ members did not buy their own songs were discussed in the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire:

Bad advices given to the young musicians of the band in the 60s; disagreements especially between Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono about the ownership of the Beatles’ songs; McCartney’s hesitation and refusal to buy the songs despite several opportunities which showed up. He said that he did not want to pay so much money for them or he wanted only the “Northern Songs” which was not interesting for Holmes à Court who wanted to sale the whole catalog.

Probably, McCartney hoped that EMI publishing music, the Beatles’ “mother ship”, would buy the songs and keep them close. But EMI had invested their money in other businesses and could not afford to pay several millions to Holmes à Court. As we know, EMI which got later new owners was sold again and has disappeared from the music market.

There is one interesting point that the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire brings to our attention: by the end of the 90’s and during 2003-2005, there were talks about Michael Jackson selling his ATV catalog. McCartney has been asked if he was interested to buy his songs but he was not; once, he had only laughed and left the room. The writers of The True Story … wonder if there was another reason behind McCartney’s refusal to buy his own songs in the 90’s and later on.

Something was for sure: as long as Jackson owned The Beatles catalog, McCartney, the other Beatles, the tabloids and the mainstream media, etc. could always accuse Michael of “neglecting” and “abusing” the songs! They could blame and torment Jackson while McCartney for example used some of his catalog’s songs in commercials!   

The other group of people who disliked Jackson’s ownership of the ATV catalog was a mixture of individuals: ATV and Pye “father” Lew Grade, ATV Music’s boss Peter Phillips and the employees who were fired because of the sale; Simon Carrell who was a finance executive of ACC (Holmes à Court’s company) wondered if Jackson was aware of the value of the catalog! He also said that MJ did not really understand the deal and was pushed by his legal team!

According to the book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire, Carrell was nostalgic and missed the “good old time” when both ATV catalog and Pye records were in the hands of UK people! In the same book, CBS and Coca Cola are mentioned among the people who lost the deal to Jackson. CBS backed off to not compete with their own star, MJ; furthermore, Walter Yetnikoff, the CEO of CBS, did not want to spend so much money!

Other unhappy people: Virgin’s boss Branson, EMI publishing music which bought Capitol in 1955 and worked with and for McCartney and The Beatles.

The last group of the unhappy people was the pair of Charles Koppelman and Martin Bandier who also had Irving Azoff ‘s blessing and money; they put a higher bid than Jackson and Holmes à Court agreed to do business with them. But it appears that Azoff cancelled his involvement in the deal and the catalog was sold to Jackson. Before looking deeper into this conflict, let us see very shortly who these three people are.

Charles Koppelman (from Songwriters, Hall of fame): an American musician, music producer, and business man. By the mid-1970’s he had stepped up to vice president of worldwide publishing for CBS. Also, in 1975, he and his friend Martin Bandier launched The Entertainment Company which administrated, promoted song catalogs and produced music for artists like Barbra Streisand, Cher, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. In 1986, Koppelman, Bandier and their new business partner Stephen Swid formed a new company and bought 250 000 titles owned by CBS. In 1989, EMI bought their business and Koppelman had executive positions at EMI until 2000. Koppelman served at Steve Madden and then at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Currently, he serves as CEO of CAK Entertainment, his own company.

Martin Bandier: from Wikipedia: In 1984, as Bandier and Denise LeFrak divorced, Bandier and Koppelman dissolved their partnership with LeFrak and formed the Entertainment Music Company and the Entertainment Television Company. In 1986, the partners purchased the Combine Music Catalog. That same year, Bandier and Koppelman teamed with financier Stephen Swid to form SBK Entertainment World, Inc. and purchased the 250,000 title CBS songs catalog for the then-record price of $125 million. In 1989, Bandier helped engineer the sale of SBK’s song catalog to EMI Music and the creation of SBK Records. By the end of the first year at EMI, the company was named Billboard Magazine’s number one music publisher.

In 1991, EMI Music Publishing Worldwide, then the world’s largest music publisher, named Bandier – until then its vice chairman – chairman and chief executive. He was also president and chief operating officer of the SBK Records Group, a record label that EMI operated with its parent. In 1990, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2005, Bandier asked EMI to sell him its publishing unit, and when it refused he resigned in 2006. A few months later he took over as head of the music publishing entity Sony/ATV. In 2009, he was chief executive of Sony/ATV.

Irving Azoff: Randy Phillips, the ex CEO of AEG Live, called Azoff in early 2009 for some advices on how to manage TII and Michael Jackson. It was Azoff who said to Phillips: “get insurance” (for TII tour): An Americanpersonal manager, representing recording artists in the music industry such as Christina Aguilera, Journey, Jewel, the Eagles, X Japan, Bush, REO Speedwagon, Seal, David Archuleta, Alter Bridge, Van Halen, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Neil Diamond, New Kids on the Block, Steely Dan and New Edition. Azoff is chairman and founder of Azoff Music Management Group, Inc. In late 2008, he became chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. He was Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment until his resignation on December 31, 2012. He topped Billboard’s2012 Power 100 and was named the most powerful person in the music industry.As of at least 2010, Azoff is also on the board of Clear Channel Communications (from wikipedia).

The reason that Azoff cancelled his involvement in the ATV deal in 1985 has been explained by Fredric Dannen, in his well-known book Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business (page 232). Dannen says that John Branca asked Azoff to back off and instead he hired Azoff as “a consultant” in the Victory tour. Michael Jackson must have approved this business move.

The book The True Story of The Beatles Song Publishing Empire just says that Azoff ended his involvement in the ATV business, nothing more.

The third book which talks about ATV, Azoff, Branca and Jackson is Randall Sullivan’s. Please read Sullivan’s story about this matter and judge it yourself:

sullivan1

During the purchase of the ATV catalog and after that, John Branca explained that Jackson wanted to buy music publishing rights. He named several of them even the Jobete catalog. Two quotes from John Branca about the ATV and other businesses (from The True Story of The Beatles…, pages 191 and 199):

“Michael loves music – he’s a passionate fan of The Beatles, Bread was one of his favourite artists and that’s why we bought the Bread catalogue, he’s a big fan of Elvis and that’s why I bought a host of Elvis songs for him.At the same time, it’s like everything else, great artists make music because they love making music but at the same time they would be foolish to ignore the financial aspects of it. They hire lawyers and accountants to take care of that. “

After using a Beatles’ song in a commercial, McCartney, Harrison and the media criticized Jackson; Branca explained: “It was Michael who licensed the song but it was handled with a lot more sensitivity than the media would have indicated.”

To understand the relationship between Azoff, Branca and Jackson we need to include a third person, David Geffen. In fact, the interactions between Geffen, Azoff, Branca and Jackson should be studied in combination with another group, Yetnikoff, Geffen and Azoff.

Like stranger in Moscow”

Before beginning our study, let us remember that we are in the business world where heavy deals and huge amount of money are involved. We need to open our view to understand what was going on. As usual we will look at the conflicts.

As far as I know, the interactions between the people mentioned above have been studied in several books and articles. I have read or seen these books:

Moneywood: Hollywood in Its Last Age of Excess, by William Stadiem.

Who’s the biggest Hollywood? By Fred Goodman.

Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young …, by Barney Hoskyns.

Sony, by John Nathan.

Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business, by Fredric Dannen.

The Trials of Michael Jackson, by Lynton Guest.

Despite all these studies, there are many unknown or unsaid facts. It seems that some more years are needed before all the information comes up to the surface.

Fredric Dannen calls the trio Yetnikoff, Geffen and Azoff “The Troika” and he adds these lines (pages 137-138):

“Yetnikoff, Azoff, and Geffen were more alike than any of them cared to admit. All three were brilliant, ruthless, and loud. They all had the dealmaker’s philosophy, which is that favors were meant to be traded. They seemed more preoccupied with the accumulation of power than any other label executives in the business. And they recognized in themselves a troika of sorts; at times vicious competitors, at other times shrewd allies.

Walter maintained an odd love-hate relationship with Geffen and Azoff, but the latter two merely hated one another. Geffen said of Azoff, “I don’t wish to have him in my life, even for a second. I set him up in business; I gave him the Eagles to manage. He’s just done so many bad things to so many people, including me, that at one point I said, Enough! Who needs this? [] [] The three-way rivalry of Walter, Irving, and David reached comedic heights in the Boston affair. Boston was a rock group created in the studio by Tom Scholz [] []”.

David Geffen : from  http://www.answers.com/topic/david-geffen

[] Geffen has fondly called himself “just a boy from Brooklyn who wishes he were six feet tall, with blond hair and blue eyes,” as quoted in Vanity Fair. Fantasizing was certainly important to the son of Russian immigrants who grew up in a three-room apartment. Geffen was born on February 21, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, a pattern maker, was often unemployed; his mother, Batya, supported the family by making corsets and brassieres and selling them from her home. Batya was so successful that she was eventually able to buy a building big enough for her store and several other tenants as well. “My mother in her own tiny, little way was entrepreneurial,” Geffen stated in the New York Times Magazine. “Everything that I’ve ever applied in my life I learned hanging around her store. … I grew up learning my mother’s ideas about integrity and business and negotiating. It never occurred to me I’d be anything but a businessman.” []

Early jobs as an usher at the CBS television studios and as a receptionist for a television production company also ended disastrously—Geffen was fired both times. In 1964 he landed a job in the mail room at the William Morris Agency. In order to be considered for the position he had to lie about his college background. He told personnel at William Morris that he had graduated from UCLA. When he discovered that the agency planned to contact UCLA to corroborate his story, the resourceful Geffen kept watch in the mailroom for four months, until he was able to retrieve the college’s reply. He steamed the letter open, took it to a printer, had the letterhead forged, and created his own academic credentials. Geffen told a New York Times reporter: “It was either give William Morris what they wanted or give up my dreams. … I just don’t believe in taking no for an answer.” []

In the early 1970s, when Geffen and partner Elliot Roberts formed a record label, Asylum Records, supported by their own management company. They produced records with such artists as Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, the Eagles, and Linda Ronstadt, all of whom enjoyed great success with the label. In 1971 Geffen sold Asylum to Warner Communications for $7 million but kept his position as director of the company. []

Geffen subsequently founded Geffen Records, an independent label promoted and distributed by Warner Communications. Artists on the starting roster at the company’s founding in 1980 included Donna Summer, Elton John, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. []

In March 1990 Geffen sold his label to MCA [] Eight months later, MCA was sold to a Japanese company, Matsushita, for $6.1 billion. Geffen reaped a $700 million profit on the deal.

Later in the 1990s, David Geffen left the music industry to his followers and got involved in the politics. He was one of the supporters of the ex-president Bill Clinton but later he changed his mind about the Clintons family and supported President Barak Obama. Please read these quotes from a factual article:

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/02/magazine/david-geffen-still-hungry.html?src=pm&pagewanted=1&pagewanted=all

David Geffen, Still Hungry

By Bernard Weinraub; Published: May 2, 1993

[] [] Geffen, who is the richest man in Hollywood [] has now set his sights on a mountain more formidable than Hollywood — Washington, D.C. AT 50, WITH A $1 BILLION FORTUNE, Geffen is hardly seeking a Cabinet job; but he’s looking for an apartment in Washington and probably wouldn’t mind serving on a Presidential commission or two. Asked if he ever saw himself working for the Administration, Geffen says, a little surprisingly: “No one’s asked me. If somebody felt there was a job I could actually do I would consider it — not out of any ambition to be in Washington, but I do want to rise to the occasion of serving there if warranted.” []

Even more surprising is Geffen’s friendship with McLarty, the reserved, buttoned-down Little Rock businessman whose childhood friendship with Clinton led to his appointment as chief of staff. Like a lot of people, McLarty says that he enjoys talking to the Brooklyn-born mogul on the phone.

“We established a relationship at the economic conference in Little Rock,” McLarty says. “It’s a very easy relationship. We call each other. David’s very selective in his calls to me. He’s not aggressive or inappropriately assertive.”

McLarty adds: “When he calls, he wants to know how things are going, how he can be helpful, what are the problems. Mostly David and I talk about the economic and business side. He doesn’t really ask for anything, and doesn’t have an agenda per se. He strikes me as someone who has handled his immense success in a very exemplary manner.” []

On virtually every level, Geffen comparmentalizes his life. There is the Wall Street world of his friends Felix Rohatyn and Herbert Allen Jr. There is the art world of Larry Gagosian, his ambitious dealer, and Castelli, whose Old World elegance dazzles Geffen. There is the music world of Allen Grubman, his lawyer, and other New York buddies who gossip with him on Saturday mornings over bagels at Barney Greengrass on the Upper West Side. There is the gay world of Miami and Fire Island. There is the Malibu world of the movie stars and studio chiefs who come to him for guidance. And now there is the political world of Washington.

[] Even Geffen’s personal life has taken on a monumental public dimension. His announcement that he was gay at an AIDS benefit last November (he had previously announced he was bisexual) suddenly turned him into a spokesman on gay issues, a result he never intended. []

Geffen can also be generous toward employees. Upon her retirement, he gave his longtime secretary 1 percent of the sale of his record company, which made her $5 million. Yet Geffen also has a take-no-enemies side. He has often been singled out for the Machiavellian role he played in the 1990 downfall of the temperamental Walter Yetnikoff, the former head of CBS Records. (Geffen calls the reports “Hollywood silliness.”)

“David will do anything for you if you’re his friend,” says Howard Rosenman, a movie producer and, yes, a friend. “But if you’re his enemy, well, you might as well kill yourself.”

MJDGmjdgm

Let us go back to the 80s where we left our study about “The Troika”!

As we read above about Azoff and Geffen, their relationship became more and more hostile. Azoff got involved in suspicious businesses. His collaboration with Salvator Pisello cost him a lot:

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-01-22/news/mn-1443_1_mca-executive

Prosecutor Benched After Getting His Man : He Convicted Suspected Mob Figure Twice; MCA Said Rudnick Made Unfair Accusations

January 22, 1989

For nearly four years, the case of U.S. vs. Salvatore Pisello went nowhere in the Los Angeles office of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Strike Force.

Pisello, identified by the FBI as a member of New York’s Gambino crime family, was suspected of lying on his 1979 federal income tax return and evading taxes on $50,000 he earned that year as a regional sales representative for Hillshire Farms Sausage.

Except for the organized crime allegation, “it was a run-of-the-mill tax case that had been kicking around the office for several years and that nobody really wanted to pursue,” recalled James L. Waltz, one of a series of strike force attorneys who were assigned to the case but who never followed it through to prosecution..

In the summer of 1984, however, the case was reassigned again, this time to Marvin L. Rudnick, a veteran prosecutor with a reputation for bulldog-like tenacity and a personality to match []

Rudnick did more than that. In the course of successfully prosecuting the tax case, he learned that Pisello had left the sausage company and was now working out of the executive offices of MCA Records, a division of the conglomerate that owns Universal Studios.

Familiar Face at MCA

Though he was not officially an employee of the company and had no experience in the record business, Pisello had become a familiar face around the record company, where he earned a six-figure income acting as a middleman in a series of business transactions with outside firms.

In one 1984 transaction, Rudnick learned, Pisello had arranged the sale of 60 truckloads of so-called “cutout,” or discontinued, recordings to a Philadelphia man who later was allegedly beaten up by another reputed Mafia figure for refusing to pay for the records.

Rudnick obtained Justice Department approval to open a new tax investigation of Pisello, this one probing money he may have received from MCA. [][][]

It appears that the investigation of Pisello and MCA was just stopped later in 89 and the case went never far. However, it seems that Azoff had to leave MCA Records to not harm more its reputation. In fact, Azoff left in September 1989 to be the head of Giant Records; and his departure opened the door for Geffen who sold his recording business to MCA and became the most important shareholder of the company. A few months later, the Japanese Matsushita Electrical Industrial Company bought MCA and made Geffen very rich.

Despite being fierce rivals, the music executives used to help each other to save their industry! The question is if Azoff had a bargain with Geffen when he left MCA. Whatever the case was, after leaving MCA, Azoff became a second hand player in “The Troika” and Geffen won over him.

Before reviewing the conflicts between Yetnikoff and Geffen which were intensified in 1989 and 1990, we need to talk shortly about a well-known phenomenon called the Payola. The Payola is a contraction of the words “pay” and “Victrola”, a LP record player. There are hundreds of pages written about this matter.

When the radio stations were established in the USA, broadcasting songs and music became a high potential business for these stations. Since the competition between the major music recording companies was high, they bribed some disc jockeys and some radio stations and bought their airplays; and “Payola” was born!

In the 80’s, almost all the CEOs of the music industry used the payola system. Actually, at that time it was called the New Payola. Why was that? In the 60’s, when the first cases of payola came up to the light, people were very angry. It became a social and a political matter. Even the White House had to get involved.

During the 70’s, the music industry executives found a way to revive payola in a more hidden way. Gradually, a network of people which was a link between the music industry’s CEOs and the radio stations was founded. The network had 200 members. The identity of these people was not a common knowledge.

Suddenly in 1986, a case of payola against two of the network members, Joe Isgro and Alfred Disipio, came up. Almost all the music industry’s CEOs – who used the service of the network – changed their mind, supported the government and asked for the elimination of the payola system!

Fredric Dannen mentions the name of the music companies in his book Hit Men …:

A&M, Arista, Atlantic, Capitol, Chrysalis, Elektra, Geffen (CEO David Geffen), MCA (CEO Irving Azoff), Motown, PolyGram, RCA, Warner Bros (CEO Mo Ostin). As you see, CBS and Yetnikoff were not among these names. In fact, Yetnikoff and Frank Dileo were friends with Isgro. Dileo testified and defended his friend in the court of law. Once, Isgro was released, Dileo told him to sue the CEOs; Isgro followed his friend’s advice and got some “damages” from the music executives. In early 80’s, Joe Jackson hired Isgro to be Latoya Jackson s’ manager. Isgro left her when Jack Gordon came around.

Isgro was prosecuted and jailed for a while not because of his involvement with Payola but because of tax fraud – but the network and its services survived stronger than before! According to Fredric Dannen, the CEOs’ protest was a double game. Until 86, it was the music companies which paid the payola. After the “protest action”, the CEOs took the money from the artists royalties and charged the entertainers instead! Actually, when CBS and Yetnikoff understood the real purpose of the CEOs’ “protest”, they joined them as well! It appears that the payola system is still alive and active!

It is understandable if artists in general and stars like Michael Jackson in peculiar did/do not like the payola system. Entertainers like Jackson did not need this kind of network and did not wish to pay for their “services”. In fact in 2006 during his deposition in Paris in the case Hackensack (N.J. finance company) vs Michael Jackson, the star criticized strongly the “schmucks” in the music and the entertainment industry: The entertainment industry is full of sharks, charlatans and impostors [] Because there’s a lot of money involved, there’s a bunch of schmucks in there, [] It’s the entertainment world, full of thieves and crooks. That’s not new. Everybody knows that.

Let us now go back to “The Troika” and look at Yetnikoff and Geffen conflicts. Walter Yetnikoff was the most powerful music executive in the 80’s. He had run CBS for several years. During these years he hired many people; some of them – Allen Grubman (lawyer), John Branca, Frank Dileo, Tommy Mottala – were his close collaborators.

Walter yetnikoff : One of the most storied – and controversial – executives in the history of the record industry, Walter Yetnikoff was head of CBS Records from 1975 to 1990. Over the course of his career at CBS, he oversaw an explosive growth in record sales (both by his label group and the industry at large), became embroiled in numerous feuds with artists and rival executives, and presided over the sale of the CBS label group to Sony in 1988. Along the way, he made the careers of a who’s who of modern rock and pop music – Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Billy Joel among them. Today, Yetnikoff runs a small boutique label and is an in-demand public speaker. His memoir, Howling at the Moon: Confessions of a Music Mogul in an Age of Excess, was published in 2004 (Source )

In 1975, CBS (Epic) and Yetnikoff signed The Jacksons and later worked with Michael as a solo artist. He gave Michael high royalties and pushed him up. There are several stories about Yetnikoff and Jackson. No doubt that Yetnikoff liked Michael but he certainly liked more the money MJ brought to CBS. It is true that Yetnikoff pushed MTV to play Billie Jean and helped to break the racial barrier which had blocked the broadcasting of the black artists’ songs and music on TV; but in the dispute with MTV, Yetnikoff’s motive was mostly to gain more money, more power and fame for himself and for CBS.

http://rhythmofthetide.com/tag/walter-yetnikoff/

Walter Yetnikoff, the president of Jackson’s record label, CBS, approached MTV to play the “Billie Jean” video. He became enraged when MTV refused to play the video, and threatened to go public with MTV’s stance on black musicians. “I said to MTV, ‘I’m pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I’m going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy.’” MTV relented and played the “Billie Jean” video in heavy rotation.

There were several conflicts between Yetnikoff and Geffen. Apparently, Michael Jackson was one of them!

In an interview, David Geffen has described how he saw his relationship with Jackson; Dannen has also added his view: “ [] Geffen certainly had set the stage for making a pass at the singer. For more than a decade, Geffen had served as an unpaid business adviser to Jackson. When a reporter tried to compliment him for schmoozing Jackson in this manner, his reply was pure Geffen: “Well, wait a second, I don’t know if that’s exactly the right way to look at it. You mean, Michael Jackson’s managed to get one of the smartest guys in the entertainment business to give him free advice – it’s not exactly my schmoozing him, he’s probably schmoozing me. I’m doing him a favor, he’s not doing me a favor.” (Hit men … , page 338).

It appears that Jackson got advice from Geffen and the latter probably expected that Michael would return his favors with favors. Actually, in the relationship Geffen-Jackson, we do not know what Geffen thought about the ATV catalog. Was he among the people who advised Jackson to buy ATV? Did he want to counsel Jackson on how to manage the ATV catalog? After purchasing ATV, Jackson seemed to want to manage it himself with the help of John Branca. It has been said that Geffen and Branca disliked strongly each other. Did Jackson’s “in and out moves” between these two people, disappointed Geffen?

In 1990, Geffen asked Jackson to write a song for his film Days of Thunder. Michael refused to do so. Geffen asked instead to use one of the Beatles songs in the film. Dannen says (Hit Men …, p. 337) that Yetnikoff did not agree with that and he delivered the message in an extremely crude way to Geffen. After this incident, the two music executives were in open fight.

In his book Sony, John Nathan has given another version of this story. He says that it was Jackson who did not want Geffen to use The Beatles’ song in his film (p. 243):

sony-John Nathan 2001 p 243

 

After this incident, Geffen advised Jackson to leave CBS which had been bought by Sony at that time; Geffen wanted to manage MJ’s businesses. Dannen has given a detailed description of this event (Hit Men …, pages 338-340).

Apparently, in mid-1990, Geffen told Jackson that Yetnikoff and CBS had taken advantage of him; while Jackson had lost $16 million in making the video Moonwalker, CBS had made money. He also advised Jackson to dismiss Branca because he was too close to Yetnikoff. Jackson agreed and fired his lawyer in mid June 1990 and “moved” under Geffen’s management; he got Sandy Gallin – Geffen’s close friend – as manager, Lee Phillips and Bert fields – Geffen’s lawyers – as attorneys. But “the move” did not end well.

Under California’s seven-year law (see the part 6- “The Unfree Masters”) Jackson could leave CBS but he had to deliver four more albums to Sony or pay damages that would recover the loss of the albums. “The moving plan” to Geffen Records simply crashed and Jackson hired back some of his staff but maintained some of Geffen’s.

Being “one of the smartest guys in the entertainment business” – as Geffen described himself – also a music executive who knew the laws, it is hard to believe that Geffen could not foresee the failure of Jackson’s moving plan. One wonders if “the moving plan” was Geffen’s way to give “a lesson” to Jackson. We do not know what Jackson exactly thought about his interaction with Geffen. Did MJ feel that he was used by Geffen to get Yetnikoff? Since Geffen and Jackson never collaborated and not even spoke with each other later, it appears that their “break” was a hurtful one.

Whatever it was, Sony which was afraid to lose Jackson offered him a very advantageous deal in 1991. Perhaps, this success soured even more between Jackson and Geffen. Not to mention, this contract made some people nervous and some very jealous.

Furthermore, Michael hired back John Branca who had built his own law firm and worked for other artists. Jackson fought ardently to purchase the Jobete catalog (see the part 5- Jobete). On the other hand, he kept some of Geffen’s staff and shared the management of ATV catalog outside of the US with MCA and EMI to show to the music executives his willingness to collaborate. But that was not enough! It seems that the industry’s bosses wanted to block his way. Having already the ATV catalog and the advantageous Sony contract, he could not get the Jobete catalog!

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-03-21/news/mn-654_1_michael-jackson

Michael Jackson Agrees to Huge Contract With Sony: Entertainment: Singer is guaranteed unprecedented share of album profits and a shot at movie stardom.

March 21, 1991|ALAN CITRON and CHUCK PHILIPS | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

In a thriller of a deal, pop icon Michael Jackson has signed a long-term contract with Sony Corp. that guarantees him an unprecedented share of the profits from his next six albums, his own record label, a role in developing video software products and a shot at movie stardom.

The contract, the biggest ever awarded an entertainer, is expected to return hundreds of millions of dollars to Jackson. It also cements Sony’s relationship with its biggest star, who reportedly had threatened to move to another label in a contract dispute last year.

“We’re married to him now,” Sony Software President Michael P. Schulhof said Wednesday.

Sony, which inherited Jackson when it bought CBS Records for $2 billion in 1988, declined to discuss specific terms of the deal. But sources close to the talks said the agreement makes Jackson a significant partner in all business ventures with the Japanese electronics giant.

Jackson, 32, reportedly could receive more than $120 million per album if sales match the 40-million-plus level of his smash mid-’80s album “Thriller.” Two sources close to the talks said the reclusive singer is guaranteed an advance payment of $5 million per record plus a 25% royalty from each album based on retail sales.

“If he continues to sell records like he has in the past, he will earn more money than any other person in the history of the record business,” said one person familiar with the deal.[] [] []

The agreement gives Jackson full authority to sign acts to the label. Sony executives predicted that “new and established artists” would become part of Nation Records. “Michael Jackson is not exactly a bad magnet for attracting these people,” said Sony Music President Tommy Mottola.

Jackson is not the first star to get his own record label. Frank Sinatra started Reprise before selling it to Warner Bros. The Beatles had Apple Records, and more recently labels have been established by such performers as Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and M.C. Hammer. More often than not, the results have been disappointing.

Unlike those acts, Jackson will remain on Sony’s Epic Records label. He will also remain a ubiquitous music video presence, since the Sony deal stipulates that such acclaimed directors as Sir Richard Attenborough, David Lynch and Tim Burton will make long-form videos based on songs from Jackson’s next album. Jackson will also own 70% of the video rights.

The deal further assures that Jackson will star in his first feature since the 1978 flop “The Wiz.” People close to the talks said he will be paid at least $5 million to appear in a musical action adventure based on his own idea.

The movie deal is largely the result of Jackson’s friendship with Columbia Pictures Co-Chairman Jon Peters and his partner, Peter Guber. Company officials said further films may follow if the first, set for a 1992 release, is a success. Jackson is also supposed to be given offices on Columbia’s Culver City lot.

“The intention is that we will all live happily ever after,” said Columbia Executive Vice President Sid Ganis.

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“Michael is the pilot”

Some month ago, on September 8, 2013, John Branca had an interview with 60 minutes CBS. Please read the transcripts:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/michael-jacksons-marketing-genius/

Pop icon Michael Jackson fired his entire team during the making of the album “Thriller,” says John Branca, an executor of Michael Jackson’s estate. Why’d he do it?

John Branca: [] [] and then in a classic Michael fashion, as soon as the second single was released, Beat It, he let everybody go from his team. There was no manager, no agent, no press agent. It was Michael and he would give me business directive to encore the label. Promotion director … 

The reporter: He fired everybody?

John Branca: Everybody.

The reporter: Why?

John Branca:  He just felt he wanted to sort of run this business himself, yah, with the help of myself and couple of others. I never forget, I got a call from Quincy Jones who said Branca we have a 747 here and there is no pilot. And I said: Quincy, Michael is the pilot and it was true. Michael had a marketing genius that sometimes people don’t understand.

On January 31, 2014, Raymone Bain who was Michael Jackson’s manager and spokesperson in the 2000s had an interview with CNN about Justin Bieber; during her talk, she shared also some information about MJ: Source

[] [] Michael Jackson was about business. He always wanted to be the best. He wanted to be the most successful. He wanted to break the records. He wanted to leave a legacy [] [] Jackson was surrounded by a team who supported him, but, as Bain asserts, he also encouraged them to tell him when he was wrong. “There is a misconception. Michael Jackson didn’t like ‘yes-men’. When we would sit at the table with him he would get angry when we did not tell him what we really thought, he really would.”

While pondering on Mrs. Bain and Mr. Branca’s talk, I saw a post published by Bob Lofsetz on November 2012. We do not have to agree with everything Bob Lefsetz has written of course but I found two passages interesting; it is almost like he gives an answer to John Branca. Lefsetz wrote his blog after seeing the film “Inventing David Geffen”. Please read first the entire article and then the two quotes:

http://wendyday.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/the-geffen-documentary-by-bob-lefsetz/

The Geffen Documentary

By, Bob Lefsetz Posted on November 21, 2012

The artists will fuck you. But without them you’re nothing.

That’s the story of Laura Nyro. That’s who made David Geffen his first million. David didn’t make Laura any more talented, but he paved the way for her to make it. He encouraged her, he believed in her, he argued for her, he made things exactly the way she wanted them to be. And in return, she fucked him.

That’s what you’ve got to know about artists. They’re desperate. They’ve only got one chance, one career, if they screw it up, they’re toast. Just ask Billy Squier…But just like the artists, David Geffen has dreams. How is he going to make them come true?

By lying, cheating and cunning. By utilizing his gifts of intelligence and negotiation to get close to people and do things for them. This is how they all do it. Geffen’s just more successful than most. If you can see his flaws, just know that those of the others are hidden. They need it. They’ll do whatever it takes to make it. Just like the artists.

Not that will is a skill. It may be necessary, along with ambition, but that’s not enough. Geffen was smart enough to align himself with Laura Nyro. It’s almost impossible to find legendary talent, it’s equally difficult to sign it. Geffen did both.

And despite his belief, her album didn’t hit. But he didn’t give up. Like a great running back, he found another hole. Cover records. Not that this was a new idea. That’s how Albert Grossman broke Dylan.

But Albert was older than the acts. He was just as ruthless as Geffen, but was not one of them. Geffen came from the same generation. He understood his acts. He knew how good they were and what they wanted. He made it happen. And I won’t say they were ungrateful, but great artists believe they can make it on their own, that they need nobody’s help, and this is patently untrue.

You not only need someone smart, you need someone with relationships. Whether it be Ahmet, Mo or even Tom Freston, who’s given credit for breaking Guns N’ Roses in this documentary. You need someone with a Rolodex, who can make things happen.

Most people can’t. But it was a different era back then. You had to listen to the music to know which way the wind blew. Top Forty radio was the Mac of its time. FM its iPod. Everybody paid attention. One record could change the world. Musicians were the most powerful people in the universe. They are no longer.

Watching Laura Nyro you think of no one so much as Lady Gaga… But she hasn’t written one track as good as “Poverty Train,” never mind “Wedding Bell Blues” or “Save The Country.” You see Gaga has the chops, but she focuses on the trappings. Once upon a time, the chops were paramount. Assuming you had a David Geffen in your corner.

And most people did not. The fat cats wanted to be in the movie business. And although the late sixties and early seventies were a legendary time in the picture business, it was music that was driving the culture. You see movies are made by committee. Music, when done right, is the vision of one soul, or a band of them. Execs cannot make the records, they can make the movies.

And one reason music took a dump is because the execs started to believe they were the acts. They got paid like them, but the more they got involved, the worse the music became. Hell, those out there Neil Young albums from the eighties, the ones Geffen sued over, they look positively mainstream today. Neil Young was a twenty first century artist thirty years ago. He realized your only hope is to follow your muse. Which is why Neil still does boffo at the b.o. And most of his contemporaries who sold out are struggling.

And I love that they point out that Geffen speaks his mind and had to learn how to be diplomatic. Dealing with people, especially those more powerful than yourself…is not something you’re born with. If you’re not learning every day, you’re dying on the vine, you’re taking yourself out of the game.

And Geffen has done great things since the seventies. Geffen Records, DreamWorks, charity… But his heyday was the seventies. When he was frustratingly subservient to the artists. Once he became the artist himself, it wasn’t so good. Ironically, Geffen needs the tension, he needs to be subsidiary to somebody, he needs to work the system, the role of king does not fit him so well. But kingmaker? That fits him like a glove. This documentary was far from three-dimensional. If you want to know more about the real Geffen, read Tom King’s “The Operator.”

But that book will never give you a feel for how it once was. When musicians were as rich as corporate titans, with even more power, while being beholden to no one. Geffen may be a billionaire, but he’s poor compared to the Wall Street fat cats. Like David Bonderman, who just paid Paul McCartney and John Fogerty to play at his seventieth birthday party? (http://nyti.ms/UD2f6n) Paul McCartney? Shouldn’t he be king? Shouldn’t he have all the money? That’s how far we’ve come.

But give Geffen credit. He straddles two worlds. He likes his fine living, but he knows the power of a t-shirt, of being a scrapper, of beating the man at his own game. This documentary fell apart when it hit the late eighties. There was no mention of the war with Robert Towne over “Personal Best.” Everyone kept saying Geffen doesn’t lose, but you never heard one of those whose every move in Hollywood was blocked by the man…and that happened. Then again, Geffen showed his vulnerability by quoting Patrick Goldstein.

You see at the end of the day, it’s still the artist who has all the power. One song, one sentence, one album, one article…can infect and change the entire world. Which is why we’re drawn to these people. Why we want to get closer. Geffen played it as well as anybody. But don’t think you can replicate his success. The hunger comes from having a non-working father, being gay, a whole soup of elements that made him him. You can only be yourself.

And this is especially true if you’re an artist. But what you really need is to be yourself and have Geffen, or his modern day equivalent, on your side. Because we all want to be taken down to the paradise city…

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/inventing-david-geffen/2146/

And the two quotes:

[] great artists believe they can make it on their own, that they need nobody’s help, and this is patently untrue.

[] But what you really need is to be yourself and have Geffen, or his modern day equivalent, on your side. Because we all want to be taken down to the paradise city…

Let us see if Lefsetz’ advice makes sense in MJ’s case. According to the first quote, we could conclude that Michael Jackson was “wrong” to believe that he could make it alone! He should have known better! He should have kept “the industry’s moguls” on his side!

And the second quote makes us wonder and ask questions like these: Did Jackson “have learnt his lesson” on the Christmas Eve of 2006, when he went back to the US? Did he know that he had to find the “modern day equivalent” of Geffen and to do business with him? If that was the case, who could this “modern day equivalent” had been? Perhaps Randy Phillips!?

Unfortunately, there was not any “paradise city” for Jackson. Why is that? Perhaps because MJ – as Lefsetz suggested – was himself, the same “headstrong stubborn” who wanted to take control of his life.  

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The years 91- 93 were difficult. “The alienation” of Latoya Jackson began at that time and it ended in her disastrous interviews on December 93; Jermaine and Michael had conflicts in 91. It was the Dangerous era and Jackson had a very busy schedule. The Black or White video was criticized and Michael had to edit it. Jackson was in a lot of pain because of his scar surgeries. Jackson sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. The Chandlers ‘accusations came at the surface; an alliance between some tabloid journalists, a suspicious individual called Victor Gutierrez and Evan and Ray Chandler was born. Later, in 94 and beyond, Gutierrez, Diane Dimond and other tabloids turned gradually Jackson to a “living target”. More on this, in the next part!

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IRS vs Estate: A study

By The Last Tear (Lou)

After Michael Jackson’s untimely death, some people hoped that his Estate which was in debt would sell the star’s assets. As we know, this did not happen. The Estate’s executors managed to pay most of the debts and consequently secured the music catalogues and other possessions. However, recently, the interaction between the Estate and the IRS has become heated. As usual several media “ have explain” this matter in a biased and one-sided way.

Still, there is an article which sees the both sides of the fight. Erin K. Mai has published an informative study in the Estate Law Journal on February 28, 2013. This is a copy of the article. You find the original file here: http://www.estatelawjournal.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Mai.pdf

or here: http://www.estatelawjournal.org/site/2013/02/

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Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter and Advance Publications

By The Last Tear (Lou)

One of our goals on NonLocal Universe is to show how the tabloids, the half tabloids and the mainstream media and their owners who are usually rich and powerful people have targeted Michael Jackson during his life but also after his untimely death.

We have talked long about the Rolling Stone Magazine and The National Enquirer in this blog  Michael Jackson, Captain EO and the business of conquering the world – Part 4- RS

“The Mirror” were discussed in More about the “Mirror” tabloids

We also found out that the big company Goldman Sachs which owns among other things Channel Nine Australia – the channel that interviewed Conrad Murray once he was released from jail – pushed Jackson to sell his ATV catalog and gave him a very bad deal in 2002-03 (read here The”55 minutes thinking” – Part 3- Conrad Murray aka … ).

In another blog, we reviewed the tabloid film “Autopsy: Michael Jackson’s Last Hours” which was aired on Channel 5 UK in January 2014 (read here The”55 minutes …” – Part 4 – The scenario) The owner of Channel 5 UK, Richard Desmond owns also the publishing group Northern & Shell. He has competed fiercely with the News Corp and other media & publishing groups in the UK and the USA and now he wants to sell Channel 5:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jan/02/richard-desmond-sale-channel-5

 Richard Desmond appoints Barclays to explore sale of Channel 5

Mark Sweney

The Guardian, Thursday 2 January 2014 11.48 GMT

Richard Desmond has appointed Barclays to advise on a possible sale of Channel 5, after turning the loss making Big Brother broadcaster into a profitable operation.

The process is understood to be at a very early stage with Barclays, which was involved in evaluating the potential value of Desmond’s magazines including flagship title OK! in 2011, not yet thought to have approached potential buyers.

The most obvious buyer which would gain the biggest strategic synergy would be ITV. However, ITV, by some distance the UK’s biggest advertiser-funded broadcaster, would almost certainly run into competition issues. BSkyB could be another potential buyer, although Rupert Murdoch has in the past ruled out out bidding for the free-to-air broadcaster.

Channel 5 could be a target for a foreign buyer, such as NBC Universal or Time Warner subsidiary Turner Broadcasting, although its previous owner RTL, majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, found it difficult to turn a profit from the UK’s smallest terrestrial broadcaster.

The move follows Desmond taking “soundings” among rivals, including ITV, about the potential appetite to buy Channel 5 last spring.

Desmond added Channel 5 to his Northern & Shell media empire, which includes the Express and Star national titles, in 2010 buying it from RTL for £103.5m.

Heavy cost-cutting, rejuvenating Channel 5′s TV ad sales operation, and securing Big Brother have moved the business from a £48m loss at the time of the acquisition to a £20.6m profit in the six months to the end of August last year [] [].

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In this blog, we will review Vanity Fair magazine, its editor Graydon Carter and the publishing group which owns the magazine, Advance Publications. We will also see that when it comes to Michael Jackson, some editors, TV channel’s owners, publishing groups’ owners and some “moguls” in different industries follow “a standard procedure”. This procedure consists of bashing the star, alive or dead, by using the false molestation accusations, mocking his physical appearances which were caused by vitiligo, lupus, and accidents and describing him as “an addict”.    

Advance Publications

It began with Condé Montrose Nast, an ambitious New Yorker who was a lawyer but did not want practice the law; he worked (1898-1907) as advertising manager for the magazine Collier’s Weekly which was owned by one of his classmates, Robert Collier. After a decade of successful work, Collier left but Nast stayed in the business and bought the men’s fashion magazine Dress in 1913 and renamed it Dress and Vanity Fair. Later he also bought Vogue and The New Yorker. He transformed them into America’s premier fashion and modern art magazines. Nast published books too. His publication group was born. But the Great Depression in 1930s almost ruined him.

Several years later, in 1981, the owners of Advance Publications, the Newhouse family who also owned Condé Nast publication, revived Vanity Fair and the other Nast’s magazines.

There is a page on Pop History about the Newhouse family and their publications businesses:

http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=samuel-i-newhouse-sr

“Empire Newhouse”
1920s-2012


If you read Wired magazine, The New Yorker, or Vanity Fair, you’re reading material produced by a company named Advance Publications.  And if you read Parade, the largest circulation Sunday supplement magazine in the U.S., or Golf Digest, or Glamour, these magazines are also published by Advance – as are Vogue, The Sporting News, Architectural Digest, and several others.  Advance owns newspapers as well, found in more than twenty-five American cities, including Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; and Syracuse, New York.  Another 40 weekly titles are published by Advance through its American City Business Journals.  Cable television outlets owned by Advance serve 2.4 million customers in Florida, California, Michigan, Indiana and Alabama.  On the web, Advance Internet operates more than 100 websites, most of which serve and extend the company’s print and cable operations.  Reddit.com, the popular user-generated “social news” website, is one of Advance Internet’s properties.

Advance Publications was formed and is owned by the Newhouse family of Long Island, New York.  In recent years the Newhouse /Advance empire has ranked among the 50 largest private companies in the U.S.  The company dates to the early 1920s, and grew to fame in the heyday of the newspaper business when its founder, Samuel I. Newhouse – “Sam” – steadily went about acquiring all manner of America newspapers during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.  Today, as of September 2012, Advance Publications is run at the corporate level by Sam’s two sons — S.I. Newhouse, Jr. (84), known as “Si,” and brother Donald Newhouse (81).  Assorted other Newhouse family members assist in the management of various divisions and subsidiaries.  Si and Donald will soon turn over control of the company to the next generation of Newhouse executives.

Yet, some say the Newhouse empire is “yesterday’s media company,” and will succumb to the albatross and high-cost of print in a digital age.  Others believe the Newhouse empire will not only survive, but will thrive, continuing to be a dominant cultural force and contemporary story teller, setting trends in fashion, literature, and style as it goes. [] []

Hard Times at Newhouse

Unknown 

In June 2009, New York magazine published a cover story titled, “The Last Old-Media Tycoon,” alluding to changes then assaulting the Newhouse empire.  The piece, written by Steve Fishman, focused mostly on the trendy magazine side of the business, referring to it as “Si Newhouse’s Dream Factory,” further elaborating with a subtitle that explained: “Condé Nast’s own stars compare their glossy empire to the MGM of Old Hollywood. But no one would wish it the same fate.”

Yet hard times were taking a toll on the Newhouse publications and the family fortune.  In the first three months of 2009, The New Yorker’s ad pages were down 36 percent, and at Vogue and Vanity Fair, around 30 percent.  Wired’s  were down by almost 60 percent.  Between 2007 and 2009 Newhouse had closed nearly a dozen magazines, among them: Jane, House & Garden, Men’s Vogue, Golf for Women, Domino, Portfolio, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, and Cookie.  Some of these, however, retained an on-line presence.  Fishman’s New York piece explained how Si Newhouse had grown up in the magazine business and loved magazines, and how it pained him personally to close them down.  But the nature of the Newhouse business was changing, as Fishman;s piece explained.  Some 40 percent of the family fortune now came from its stake in Discovery Communications, which ran cable and satellite TV networks with programs such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC.

SI Newhouse, the man in the background in the picture, was ranked the 47th richest American by Forbes in 2011. His net worth has been estimated $6.6 billion. He is also an art collector who owned one of the most valuable Jackson Pollock drip painting. According to New York Times, SI Newhouse sold this painting to David Geffen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/02/arts/design/02drip.html?_r=0

A Pollock Is Sold, Possibly for a Record Price

 By CAROL VOGEL

Published: November 2, 2006

The Hollywood entertainment magnate David Geffen has sold a classic drip painting by Jackson Pollock for about $140 million, art experts with knowledge of the transaction said yesterday.Skip to next paragraph

That price, if officially confirmed, would be the highest sum ever known to have been paid for a painting, exceeding the $135 million that the cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder paid in June for Gustav Klimt’s “Adele Bloch-Bauer I.”

The experts spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to be perceived as betraying the confidence of the seller or the buyer of the Pollock, “No. 5, 1948,” or jeopardize future business.

Reached by telephone, Mr. Geffen declined to comment on whether he sold the painting. Tobias Meyer of Sotheby’s is said to have brokered the deal.

The art-world experts identified the buyer as David Martinez, the Mexican financier who bought a two-floor apartment in the south building of the Time Warner Center for $54.7 million recently.

Mr. Martinez did not return calls seeking comment. Obsessively private, he has emerged as a megabuyer in modern and contemporary art in recent years, snapping up works by masters like de Kooning and Rothko both privately and at auction.

Just last month Mr. Geffen sold two other 20th-century paintings — a Jasper Johns and a Willem de Kooning — for a total of $143.5 million. Given that he is among many business figures who has expressed interest in buying The Los Angeles Times, media industry analysts speculated that he was trying to raise cash for a potential bid.

The Pollock, a densely tangled composition in browns and yellows, is unusually large, measuring about 4 by 8 feet, and was painted on fiberboard.

Like much else in Mr. Geffen’s collection, it comes with a pristine provenance. Previous owners include the painter Alfonso A. Ossorio, a major Pollock collector from East Hampton, N.Y., and S. I. Newhouse Jr., the publishing magnate, who sold it to Mr. Geffen. 

To be a “publishing magnate” means that you are a powerful person because you are capable of influencing and shaping the public opinion about any person and any subject. In the case of Newhouse family, this power went to its extreme because the family owns also a school of journalism and produces journalists and reporters. This is from the Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._I._Newhouse_School_of_Public_Communications

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is the communications school at Syracuse University. It has programs in print and broadcast journalism; advertising; public relations; and television and film.

The school was named for publishing magnate Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr., who provided the founding gift in 1964. The Newhouse family, now led by sons S.I. Newhouse Jr. and Donald, chairman and president, respectively, of Advance Publications, continues to support the school, most recently (in 2003) with a $15 million gift for the construction of Newhouse 3, the third building in the Newhouse School’s three-building complex [].

Wikipedia gives us a list of notable Newhouse alumni. I could not check every name on the list but two names looked familiar and both in relation to Michael Jackson! They are Jeanne Moos (CNN) and Contessa Brewer (MSNBC) who have slandered Jackson and his children in several occasions. I do not give links which will promote their pages but if you are curious, do a Google search and you will see it for yourself.

However, in the case of Contessa Brewer who “graduated magna cum laude (with high honors) from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism in 1996” I have to add the very stupid mistake she made in 2009. Even the NY Daily News laughed at her!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/contessa-brewer-mixes-reverends-msnbc-introducing-jesse-jackson-al-sharpton-article-1.383601

Contessa Brewer mixes up her reverends on MSNBC, introducing Jesse Jackson as Al Sharpton

By Eitan Gavish / DAILY NEWS WRITER

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 11:10 AM

MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer needs to study up on her Civil Rights leaders after mistaking the Rev. Jesse Jackson for the Rev. Al Sharpton on live television.

Brewer made the slip up during a segment on homelessness that aired Wednesday, and even fired a question after the boneheaded introduction.

The unperturbed Jackson stared calmly into the Burbank, Calif. studio camera, and said “I’m Rev. Jesse Jackson.”    

Brewer immediately apologized after Jackson corrected her, blaming the teleprompter for supplying a misleading script, which said to introduce “the Rev. Al Sharpton.”

“We all know who you are, Rev. Jackson,” the anchor said. “I’m so sorry.” 

You do realize how easy the powerful people who did /do not like Michael Jackson and wished to destroy his name and reputation could gather an army of “journalists” and “reporters” doing the job! We remember the trio Diane Dimon, Maureen Orth and Victor Gutierrez in 93-96 and later the gang of Dimon, Bashir, Gutierrez, Orth, Grace, etc.

Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair

As we found out, Vanity Fair is an old magazine and has had several editors. In 1992, SI Newhouse asked Graydon Carter to take the editor job and he is still running the magazine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3624687/A-party-throwing-Bush-bashing-dandy.html

A party-throwing, Bush-bashing dandy

28 Sep 2004

[] Born in 1949, in a middle-class suburb of Ottawa, Canada, Edward Graydon Carter always dreamt of becoming a big shot in New York City. Though he has described both his parents as rather “Barbara Pym-ish, the sort of people who wore tartan jackets for cocktails”, he paints a wonderfully anarchic portrait of his father, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, who died in 1991.

“There was this small movie theatre in Toronto, where they were courting back in the early Forties,” he says. “One night, the movie hadn’t quite started and, suddenly, my father farted. It was so loud – he was, like, the Toscanini of farting. So he stood up, turned to my mother and said, ‘Oh, Margaret, how could you?’ and started moving away from her. It was the cruellest, funniest thing. It was a miracle they ever got married.”

After a series of blue-collar jobs, including grave-digging, working as a lineman on the railroad and stock-checking at a local department store – and also a brief marriage to a pretty French-Canadian museum worker – 28-year-old Carter finally moved to New York in 1978.

With not one useful contact, save “an uncle in Buffalo”, he spent a month wandering around the streets of Manhattan, scrabbling for change for the subway and marveling at the skyscrapers. Eventually, he managed to get a job at Time magazine and got “invited to all these parties where nobody would talk to us, but where we could eat and drink for free”.

Four years later, he met Cynthia Williamson, a legal assistant at a law firm, and, within three weeks, had proposed. They separated in the summer of 2000 [].

His big break came in 1986 when he was invited to edit the hugely popular satirical magazine Spy. He remembers with fondness one of the magazine’s most popular stunts – mailing out 64-cent cheques to the wealthiest people in New York to find out who would actually cash them. “To the people who did cash them, we then sent out cheques for 32 cents. To the people who cashed those, we sent out cheques for 16 cents. Two of the people who cashed those cheques were Adnan Khashoggi and Donald Trump.”[] []

After his second divorce, Carter was briefly involved with Samantha Boardman and then in 2005 he married Anna Scott.

During his few years in Spy and at the beginning of his job in Vanity Fair, Carter met several people and forged many friendships; one of them was Jan Wenner the owner of the Rolling Stones Magazine and several “moguls” like Barry Diller, David Geffen, and Ron Perelman.

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-12-25/entertainment/ca-1133_1_e-graydon-carter

Taste Makers : E. Graydon Carter

December 25, 1988|BILL STEIGERWALD

[]  Along with the Spy map (a regular guide to such things as famous New York corruption sites or never-built public-works boondoggles), there are Big-Apple-o-centric features like the “The Times,” a column devoted solely to sniping at the personal foibles and purported journalistic indiscretions of the editors and owners of the New York Times. It’s Spy’s best idea, Carter said, even if it did come from his pal Jann Wenner.

http://gawker.com/5562625/graydon-carter

[] Carter is one of the highest paid editors at Condé Nast; he’s rumored to make more than $2 million a year. (Of course the perks are impossible to quantify.) While Condé Nast pays for a car and driver for Carter, sadly the gig does not come with access to a private jet. Fortunately his mogul pals, like Barry Diller, David Geffen, and Ron Perelman, are more than happy to help out: During the Christmas holidays Perelman regularly gives Carter a lift down to St. Barts aboard one of his two Gulfstreams.

In 2011, Carter and Richard Desmond have been seen in the same parties.

Vanity Fair articles targeting Michael Jackson has begun in 1984 after the 93 case. Most of them have been written by Maureen Orth. Actually, they are the most hideous, illogical and absurd of all.

This is no surprise and no coincidence that the editor of Vanity Fair has always allowed the publication of anti Michael Jackson articles. Carter did /do not wish to displease and to disappoint people who are his friends and who despise Jackson!

Some people who do not like Carter, describe him as an opportunist and a hypocrite who forged a good name for himself while he was in Spy and then as soon as he became the editor of Vanity Fair, he sold his soul and pen to the same people he criticized harshly!

Two more points before ending this blog!

If you have read the blog carefully, you must have noticed that by 2013 Advance Publications hold 31% stake in the cable entertainment company Discovery Communications. As far as I know, Aphrodite Jones works for Discovery Communications. Could this be the reason behind Jones change of mind about Jackson? Did Aphrodite Jones want to please her new boss?

If you do not know what Jones has said, let us enlighten you; Aphrodite Jones had an interview on Jordan’s radio in November 2013; while she was still confident about Jackson’s innocence in 2005, she said that she did not know about the Chandlers case. She added that June Chandler’s testimony in 2005 was “persuasive” and that made her to believe that something was “wrong”; she needs to do her own research and until then she cannot know.  However in her book, Michael Jackson Conspiracy, she does not judge June Chandler’s testimony believable. We will get back to this topic later in other blogs.

And the last one; as we read above, the Newhouse Empire like many other publication houses and the media in general suffers crises. Several Newhouse magazines have disappeared and even Vogue and Vanity Fair has issues. The Internet has been identified as one of the reasons behind the crises; nevertheless it is also used as a survival tool by all the suffering media. Graydon Carter has his own “rescue plan”:

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2009/07/graydon200907

July 2009 Editor’s Letter

The Paper Chase

by Graydon Carter

Goodness knows, I’m not one to complain, and I’m sure you’re not the sort to, either, but aren’t you growing just a bit tired of reading about the demise of newspapers—in the papers themselves? It’s no wonder readership is down. Who has the patience to hear endless whining about someone else’s misfortune when your own fortunes are rickety? This is not to say that the health and vigor of the nation’s dailies are not vital to the intellectual health and vigor of the commonwealth as a whole, or that newspapers aren’t an essential force in keeping a watchful eye on corrupt politicians and venal corporate overlords—neither of which are in short supply these days. I would also hope you feel that the loss or even weakening of the nation’s principal daily, The New York Times, would mark an end to life as we know it. The Internet is partly to blame for all of this, and perhaps micro-pricing or gated content will be part of the solution. “Youthing” down a paper to attract 21-year-olds isn’t the answer: the only way you’re ever going to get the average 21-year-old to read a daily newspaper is to wait 9 years until he’s 30. My suggestion to newspapers everywhere is to give the public a reason to read them again. So here’s an idea: get on a big story with widespread public appeal, devote your best resources to it, say a quiet prayer, and swing for the fences [] []

Even though Carter tries hard to express his thought in an intellectual and clever way, bottom line he talks about scandals. It is enough to check out some of Vanity Fai’s moves to see that it uses the same old tricks as any tabloid: Michael Jackson “big stories”, Mike Myers case, Miley Cyrus story, Lindsy Lohan, Janet Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc. Vanity Fair’s article on B.J. Novak published on February 5, 2014, was knowingly written in a provocative way to enrage Jackson’s fans and to force them to visit VF’s site. All the traffic on the site and the comments for and against the article, were exactly what Carter was looking for. 

Posted in Media, Tabloids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The”55 minutes …” – Part 4 – The scenario

By The Last tear (Lou)

Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction?

Fiction, after all, has to make sense.

Mark Twain

 

My friend and I were talking the other day. We were saying that we had to postpone for a short time the MJ-EO part 7 because we were not hundred percent ready. We wondered if we could have a part 4 in The “55 minutes …” series. And then we just talked and brainstormed. Take a look for yourself!

Some other lights and shadows

Do you remember what happened on June 21, 2009?  It was Father’s day and Michael Jackson and his children spent some times with their friends. In the afternoon, Jackson felt sick and asked his assistant to call Cherilyn Lee – the holistic nurse who treated him for some months until mid April 2009. Jackson who was obviously worried about his health asked Lee why half of his body was cold and the other half warm. Lee could not answer the question; also, she was not in town and told MJ to go to hospital. You do realize that 4 days later, Jackson died or we should say was murdered.

Questions:

  • Why did Jackson want to talk to Lee and not Murray? Obviously, Murray was his “doctor” and had given him medications which caused those symptoms! Did not Jackson trust Murray? Could this also mean that Murray gave Jackson medications without telling to the patient?
  • We do remember that on June 20th, Jackson was still looking for an anesthesiologist because he called Dr. Klein’s office and asked them if they knew one. Also, on June 24th, when Murray wanted to send Jackson’s medical report to the insurance company, MJ did not allow him to do so. Could Jackson’s refusal and his search for another doctor mean that the star had doubts about Murray?    

Before the event on Father’s day, there were issues on June 19th and 20th when Jackson was too sick at the rehearsals. In her blog, ConradMurray, THE MAN WHO KILLED MICHAEL JACKSON. Part 4. The shock of Versed the blogger VMJ writes that Murray administrated Versed to his patient instead of Propofol days before MJ’s death. One of her reasons which back up her theory is a quote from a conversation with Doctor Shafer:

Question:  During his conversation with Nurse Cherilyn Lee in April 2009, Lee explained these side effects to MJ. On June 19 and 20 when Michael was sick at the rehearsals, he called Cherilyn Lee. He asked her why half of his body was cold and the other half was warm. He wondered what was happening to him [].

Dr. Shafer:  That wouldn’t be a side effect of propofol. I don’t know what makes half your body warm, and half cold, but propofol doesn’t do that. It could be that he simply had a virus. There are some symptoms of withdrawal from sedatives. Withdrawal from propofol has not been described, []  “Side effects” of propofol are things like low blood pressure and decreased breathing. Patients are usually asleep, and thus blissfully ignorant of these side effects. You can be confident that his blood pressure and breathing both decreased when he got propofol previously, because that happens with everybody. Propofol has very few “side effects” that are unpleasant to the awake patient. There is some drowsiness after awakening up from propofol, but that is expected. Other than that, there isn’t much in the way of side effects that the awake patient will experience.

First of all, I want to assure you that this is really Dr. Shaffer’s answer; and the reason I know this, is because it was I who had this email conversation with the doctor. After Murray’s trial, Dr. Shaffer agreed to answer the fans’ questions; he also agreed to answer mine.

Please notice that Dr. Shaffer said that the withdrawal from Propofol had not been described. Until 2011, the doctors used to say that Propofol was not addictive but during 2012 and especially 2013, we have heard the opposite. Still it seems that addiction to Propofol is limited to the medical personal which is in daily contact with the anesthetic.

VMJ’s theory about Versed reconfirms what we have said in the part one of The “55 minutes …” – Part 1  We said that MJ did not trust Murray because the “doctor” did not know how to use Propofol. Besides, Murray did not have a minimum of medical equipments for resuscitation. We came to the conclusion that “the 60 nights’ infusion of Propofol” was a tale fabricated by Murray himself; in truth, it was 2 nights of Propofol infusion. This must have happened on June 22 and 23, 2009 because the star had a miraculous recovery and had good rehearsals on June 23th and 24th.

Fiction vs. Truth

By fiction we are referring to a tabloid film called “Autopsy: Michael Jackson’s Last Hours” which was aired on Channel 5 during January 2014. We will not share a link but if you wish, you can read the transcript of the show here http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/autopsy-michael-jacksons-last-hours-transcript-of-the-false-show-on-british-tv/

Apart from the barfing tabloid trio of Desborough-Halperin-Pfieffer and the mediocre counselor-psychologist Kenny, there are two other figures in this masquerade: Dr. Shepherd and the music promoter Terry Harvey. Let us leave the barfing trio at the bottom of the garbage can where it belongs and look at the symbolism of the film by observing the doctor and the music promoter.

Terry Harvey, an African-American cigar smoker music promoter, symbolizes Berry Gordy but also people like Frank Dileo, the music moguls of the 80s and the 90s but also Randy Phillips and AEG Live. Since Harvey wants us to see him as the “ultimate boss” of the music industry, he also wants us to believe him. He tells us that all artists and performers – Jackson is included – are “liars”.   

How about Dr. Shepherd? By definition, a medical doctor is someone who is knowledgeable in medicine, can help lay people to understand health issues and should be able to cure them. Dr. Shepherd uses this general belief and wants us to trust him and his medical knowledge; he wants us to believe that he knows “the truth” and wish to share it with us! By reviewing Jackson’s health issues, he also identifies himself with all the doctors who had treated the artist – Conrad Murray is included.

During the show, Dr. Shepherd is harsh towards Dr. Klein but he keeps a softer tone towards Murray. By the way, in the film, the actor playing Murray acts like “a sheep” who “serves obediently” his patient!

But not even Dr. Shepherd can deny that Jackson was in good health! He admits it during the show. However, he needs to put the blame on Jackson and convinces the viewers that the artist caused his own death; to achieve this goal, the filmmakers and Dr. Shepherd use several tricks.

The first one: the camera shows a page of a tabloid referring to the false molestation accusations. It stays on it for several minutes. It is like “a warning” or a “Wanted” poster that we see in Hollywood Western films! Although, the camera does not show Jackson’s acquittal and vindication in 2005!

The second one: The narrator and Dr. Shepherd mention Jackson’s vitiligo and a clip of MJ’s interview with the Queen of Darkness, Oprah Winfrey is shown. On the video clip, Jackson ambushed by Winfrey, talks about his vitiligo for the first time but he denies receiving any treatment for that. The narrator calls the star “a liar” because he did not say that “he bleached his skin”! In fact, Jackson did not have to say anything about his medical conditions. It was the mean manners of his interrogator, OW which made him to talk about vitiligo. Being an African-American and a talk show host, it is hard to believe that Winfrey had never heard about vitiligo and its treatment before her interview with Jackson. Obviously, she wanted to humiliate the man!

The third one: Dr. Shepherd talks several minutes about Jackson’s lungs! He explains that the lungs were “in bad condition” but he cannot explain why. He wants us to believe that Jackson’s “long dependency on medications” was the cause of “the damages”; at the same time, he wonders if Jackson’s lupus was the reason behind the lungs’ condition. But not even Dr. Shepherd dares to say definitely what had caused the lungs damages.

Dr. Shepherd does not discuss if the resuscitation (CPR) could have damaged Michael’s lungs. On June 25, 2009, the paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home and then at the hospital several doctors tried hard to bring him back to life. There is a section in the autopsy report about the diagnosis, on page 14/3: 

pic1

If I am not wrong, it says that alveolar hemorrhage in the lung was caused by the resuscitation attempts. According to the page published by California Coalition for Compassionate Care, CPR/DNR causes complications:

http://coalitionccc.org/_pdf/nursing-homes/CPR-guide-decision-making.pdf

ARE THERE ANY COMPLICATIONS FROM CPR?

On TV CPR looks fast and uncomplicated. It is different in real life situations. Serious complications are likely. The most common complications are rib fractures that have been documented in up to 97% of CPR attempts, and breastbone fractures documented in up to 43% of cases. The risk of these fractures increases with age as does the chance for multiple fractures. This may be due to a decrease in muscle mass and an increased rate of osteoporosis with age. Approximately 59% of those who have CPR will have bruising of the chest and about 30% may have burns from the defibrillator. Permanent brain damage may occur from lack of oxygen in up to 50% of those who have CPR attempted. Other less frequent complications of CPR that have been identified include bleeding in the chest (0-18%), damage to the trachea or esophagus (0-20%), damage to abdominal organs (0-31%), lung damage (0-13%), and damage to lips and teeth ( 0-8%).

We know that Michael had multiple fractures, several bruises and puncture marks all over his body because of the resuscitation attempts. Apparently, it also produced some injuries in the lung(s) and the stomach. We do not know how many percent of the damages seen in Jackson’s lungs were caused by CPR and how much was there before he was killed. I wonder if any medical doctor would be able to give a scientific estimation in this matter. But it would be difficult to ignore the lung injury which was caused by CPR.

Let us say that some of the damages were in Michael’s lungs before his death. This could mean that these injuries were there for some time. Perhaps you remember that on March 26, 2007 Murray treated Jackson for cough, chills, pleuritic phlegm, and chest pain. A X-ray is mentioned which seems to be related to the lungs. Please look at the slide below. This means that in March 2007, Conrad Murray could have seen the damages in Jackson’s lungs. People with weak/damaged lungs who are exposed to opiates, benzodiazepines and anesthetic substances are in greater danger than patients with normal lungs because the apnea (the respiratory arrest) would occur faster.

datesevents1-2pics-5If Murray had seen these damages in 2007, why did he expose his patient in May and June 2009 (especially on June 25th) to so many medications which cause respiratory arrest? He must have known that his patient was more vulnerable than the others while using these medications.

It appears that the line between a voluntary and an involuntary manslaughter could be very thin!

As we said before, Murray looks like “a sheep” in the tabloid film. However, the show ends in an unexpected way. The narrator says that during Murray’s criminal trial, the prosecution had one theory and Murray’s lawyers another. The latter tried to prove that the victim killed himself; the former explained that a big bottle of propofol with pierced rubber gum was added to the saline bag which went to the victim’s body and caused his death. Doctor Shaffer demonstrated in the court how this could have happened. In the film, the actor playing the role of Murray uses a big knife to pierce the rubber gum of the propofol bottle! Then he puts the bottle in the saline bag. Suddenly, “the sheep” becomes “the butcher”! And the film ends showing the presume murder weapon: the empty saline bag containing the empty bottle of propofol! It seems that the filmmakers admire in a disgusting way Murray’s actions.

“A sheep” but in truth “a butcher” was exactly the kind of “doctor” that Randy Phillips and AEG Live would like to hire and they did hire him. Murray obeyed them without hesitation. You do realize that all the fights to put “the doctor” in charge of Jackson’s day to day life and Randy Phillips refusal to let another therapist to join in, were also attempts to push Jackson to take propofol and other medications from Murray!

And our scenario?

“TII” was not a real project and it could not happen because it would help Jackson to pay his debts (all or part of it) and it would save his assets, especially the ATV catalog.

 “TII” was a trap. MJ was pressured and humiliated during the rehearsals and the preparation for the shows. Everybody knew that he would suffer from insomnia and would need medication. Murray was there and administrated all the poisons he could find to weaken the artist’s body and mind. Sooner or later, MJ would give up the shows; AEG Live would sue him for breach of the “contract”; MJ would have to sale his assets to be able to pay back not only AEG which had invested on him but also the others. The precious ATV catalog would be at last on the market!

But MJ did not give up because he probably knew what was going on. Since he was a fighter, he decided to resist. His body, weak and tired, recovered somewhat after two nights cure; he was about to take “the reins”; he had gathered his old team, the one who helped him in the 80s and the beginning of the 90s.

But “taking the reins and the control of his life” was not supposed to happen to Jackson! When this option seemed to be probable, it was time to finish him off. And this is what Murray (alone or with the help of someone else) did on June 25, 2009. 

Posted in Michael's Passing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The”55 minutes thinking” – Part 3- Conrad Murray aka …

Look up to the sky

You’ll never find rainbows

If you’re looking down.

Swing High Little Girl, Charles Chaplin, 1969

 

UPDATED please scroll down

By The Last tear (Lou)

The work of destroying Michael Jackson’s reputation and life has begun in the last years of the 80’s and it continues even now, several years after his death. In the 80’s, his enemies knew that the task was difficult because of Jackson’s astronomical popularity and wealth of course. Several measures had to be taken in order to sully his name and destroy his business capacity.

In 1993, the first attempt to demolish Jackson’s business took place through the Chandlers’ case. At that time, Jackson had bought the ATV catalogue and with the help of John Branca and associate, he was trying to buy another famous catalogue, Jobete. And we know how that ended; although Jackson was open to share the management of ATV catalogue with some heavy people in the music industry especially with David Geffen, he still failed and had to walk away (Please read parts 1-3 and 5 of Michael Jackson, Captain EO and the business of conquering the world).

After “the 93 case”, it was obvious that the star was targeted and to save him from his adversaries, something had to be done. At that time (from the end of the 80’s to mid 90’s), the American music industry was about to change; new actors- the big foreign companies especially Japanese – had bought or were about to buy the music companies. Jackson who had already signed a mega deal with Sony in 1991, followed John Branca’s advice and merged his ATV catalogue with Sony’s songs and publishing rights in 1995. The merge gave enough power to Jackson to remain in the business and it shielded him for a while. During the second half of the 90’s and the beginning of the 2000’s, Jackson fought valiantly to protect his reputation and to expand his businesses while his opponents and their media used “the 93 case” and the false accusations to sabotage every step Jackson took to develop his business.

Despite all the destructive attempts used against Jackson, he did not give in. “To finish him up”, his opponents invaded his life using other methods. Several greedy people with questionable past surrounded Jackson and used Michael’s wish to develop his business to their advantage; they pushed the star to agree to suspicious and / or false deals and when Jackson found out the true nature of the deals and withdrew, they sued him. The myriad of “managers and advisors” and the growing number of the lawsuits against the star gave more food to the tabloids and the media; they tried hard to forge Jackson as “an unreliable and unstable person” who should be abandoned. And of course Martin Bashir’s treachery and the 2003 trial should be added to this list.

Besides Jackson himself, his adversaries had also targeted the successful collaboration between Jackson and John Branca not only in the 80’s and the 90’s but also in the 2000’s. Obviously, as long as the pair Jackson-Branca was operating, anything could happen: another catalogue acquisition, another mega merge or another gigantic deal. Jackson could not be destroyed! 

Recently, the blogger VMJ (Helena) has published a well researched post, Defending John Branca ,with some examples which illustrate what I said above, about the methods used by Jackson’s enemies.

In Helena’s blog, Goldman Sachs, a big American company and their plan to acquire the ATV catalogue in 2002-03 is exposed. Goldman Sachs hoped to push Jackson to sell his catalogue by giving him a bad deal; they said that they would turn Jackson to the “next Bill Gates”. Probably Jackson did not buy entirely their “proposition” and after consulting Branca who was against the deal, Michael did not sell his catalogue.

Additional information about Goldman Sachs: Among all the assets owned by Goldman Sachs, we have seen their shares in the Australian Channel 9 which recently has broadcasted Conrad Murray’s interview with 60 minutes:

http://www.smh.com.au/business/channel-nine-on-brink-as-banks-circle-20120925-26jpx.html

Channel Nine on brink as banks circle

Business National TV and Radio

Date September 26, 2012

[][] Nine’s heads are believed to have met with representatives of the key creditors - Steven Sher of Goldman Sachs, distressed debt specialists Ken Liang and Edgar Lee representing hedge fund Oaktree, and Asia Pacific head of hedge fund Apollo, Steve Martinez, along with his colleague, Kevin Crowe []

 http://www.news.com.au/business/companies/goldman-sachs-agrees-to-nine-debt-deal/story-fnda1bsz-1226492902495

Goldman Sachs agrees to Nine debt deal

  • by: John Dagge  October 10, 2012 2:35PM

CHANNEL Nine’s junior lender Goldman Sachs has accepted a debt restructuring proposal, a move which boosts the broadcaster’s chances of staying out of receivership.

Goldman has agreed to accept a 7.5 per cent shareholding in the company, a further 12.5 per cent equity parcel if the broadcaster is sold for more than $2.3 billion, and up to $1 billion in debt.

Goldman, which had previously asked for a 30 per cent shareholding, said it was accepting the deal in order to keep Nine out of receivership.

The deal must also be signed off on by US hedge funds Apollo Capital and Oaktree Global Management, which hold more than $1 billion of senior debt in Nine.

Both have said Nine is not worth $2.3 billion and insist on taking full control of the company []

http://theconversation.com/debt-deal-saves-channel-nine-for-now-10214

18 October 2012, 5.43am BST

Debt deal saves Channel Nine — for now

[][] The major lenders will convert loans to a dominant shareholding, owning a 95.5% stake in Nine. The Goldman Sachs-led second-tier lenders would get a 4.5% share, or about $100 million —a tenth of what they had initially invested []

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As we know, after Goldman Sachs came other “savers” who wanted to “revive” Jackson’s business. We have mentioned several of them in our blog Some Dates and Names- Review 3- the Return of the King:  The Bahraini Prince, Tohme Tohme and Tom Barrack of Colony Capital, Tom Burckle, Philip Anschutz, Paul Gongaware, Randy Phillips, … . 

In the final parts of Michael Jackson, Captain EO and the business of conquering the world which will be posted during this month and the next one, we will study again the 80’s to understand the heart of the issue but also the 90’s and the 2000’s to see more examples on how Jackson was sabotaged and pressured to sell his assets and go away.

And what about Conrad Murray?

Two days after Michael Jackson’s death, Conrad Murray and his lawyer went to the police in Los Angeles to answer some questions. Nobody knew who he was and what he had done to Jackson. Soon after June 27th, people began to talk about Murray and more knowledge about this man came up.

It was during the manslaughter trial that we discovered most of the truth. The prosecutors called several doctors and specialists in the witness stand; they explained to the world how Murray killed Jackson. Every move of the felon was discussed and some of his tricks were revealed. Several of the doctors in the witness stand were in uproar because of Murray’s actions which had sullied the name of the medicine.

In fact, we have gathered here some pieces (from different sources) and have created Murray’s biography. Please, review this puzzle. The paragraphs in light blue are the acts that ordinary people could do in their lives. The dark red paragraphs show Murray’s troubles. The clear red paragraphs are related to the dark red parts:

Conrad Robert Murray was born on February 19, 1953, in St. Andrews, Grenada. His mother Milta spent most of her time in Trinidad and Tobago in search of better paying work; Murray lived with his maternal grandparents, two Grenadian farmers.

Conrad’s father, Rawle Andrews, was a Houston area physician who died in 2001. It has been said that Andrews focused his career on offering medical services to the poor. Conrad didn’t meet his dad until he was 25.

After high school Murray volunteered as an elementary school teacher in Trinidad, an experience he followed with work as a customs clerk and an insurance underwriter.

At the age of 19 he bought his first house, and then later sold it for a decent profit to support his university tuition in the United States.

1978 his first visit in US

1980 second visit in US and he met his father for the first time.

First marriage: 1984-1988

Second marriage: 1989 (we don’t know if he divorced his second wife)

1980-1999: he studied at Texas Southern University, African-American Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Murray enrolled for additional training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and then completed his residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. Other training stints followed; he studied at the University of Arizona on a Cardiology Fellowship, and landed back in California, where he eventually worked as the associate director for the interventional cardiology fellowship-training program at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

1992: He filed for bankruptcy in California and had a string of tax liens in California and Arizona between 1993 and 2003.

1994: he was arrested for domestic violence against Janice Adams, who also mothered two daughters with him, while he was a cardiologist working at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 

In 1999, Murray fought at the court over child support. Nenita M. (another of his women he has child with) won but Murray never paid for the child.

In 1999, Murray left California for a second time and struck out on his own, opening up a private practice in Las Vegas.

2003: for the first time, Murray met Bridgette Morgan a stripper from Cheetah’s (the club is ranked as $$$ = pricey) in Las Vegas. Their relationship continued until 2009. She was one the girls Murray called on June 25th while Jackson was dying in the bedroom.

In 2004: Murray bought the 5,268-square-foot home in October 2004 for $1.1 million. It has four bedrooms, three fireplaces and a pool, a luxury home at 2426 Grassy Spring Place in the Red Rock Country Club.

Probably in 2005: he met Nicole Alvarez stripper from Crazy Horse Too club (the club is ranked as a $$ = moderate) in Las Vegas. Alvarez started dating the doctor after giving him a private lap dance in her strip club’s VIP lounge. Her close friend Ben Harris said she later showed him a check worth $4,000 Murray had given her and said: ‘I’ve hit the jackpot.’  

Until 2009, Murray paid $2,564 / month for Alvarez’s flat in Santa Monica, California while he lived with his second wife Blanche. During her testimony on day 6 People vs CM, Alvarez said they had lived together for 3 or 4 years in Santa Monica. Their son was born in March 2009.

In 2005-2006: John Thomas, distributor of a drink called Pit Bull, said that in 2005 and 2006 Murray had the rights to distribute the product in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean island nation where Murray lived and worked before coming to the United States in the 1980s to study medicine.

In 2005: Murray took several “girls” to Trinidad to do commercial for Pit Bull. About this trip, Geraldo Rivera said on his show: Murray as cavorting with Las Vegas models he flew to Trinidad to help him promote “a very unhealthy” energy drink. One of the models was Karen Chacon. For more information, search her on the Internet.

3717578

The drink never gained popularity in Trinidad. Murray paid his bill for a first shipment, then didn’t pay for three subsequent shipments said Murray’s business partner, John Thomas. [Thomas] claimed Murray owed him $68,000. 

In 2006, Murray expanded his scope and returned to the city where his father had made a name for himself to open the Acres Homes Heart and Vascular Institute.

In 2007, Murray was sentenced to 25 days imprisonment.

Jeffrey Adams, a security guard who testified at Katherine Jackson vs AEG Live trial (August 21th, 2013) described how Jackson and Murray met the first time:

At the beginning of 2007: Murray’s friend, Jeffrey Adams, who had a security company and had coordinated some of MJ’s body guards, heard from Basheier Muhammad, one of MJ’s guards who knew Adams, that MJ needed a doctor for his children who were sick. The name of Murray came up and the body guards assured Jackson that “the Doctor was reliable”.

Adams’ testimony concurs with what we have written in our blog MJ’s Timeline Reloaded-2006 where we said that Murray could not have met Jackson in 2006 because the star lived outside of the US. Consequently, we came to the conclusion that Murray must have falsified several “medical documents” for AEG Live which was after getting insurance for the TII shows. Please read also Some dates and names: Review 1- Conrad Murray and more During his testimony, Adams explained that he met Murray in the 90’s through mutual friends. Occasionally, Murray treated him and his father. After Jackson’s death, Adams moved to LA and lived almost two years with Murray to protect him until the end of the trial when Murray went to prison.

In February 2008: Murray met Michelle Belle a stripper from Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club (this club is ranked as $$$ = Pricey).

In 2009: Murray could evade prison and eventually paid up Nenita M. She claims that Murray [] is way behind in child support payments. Nenita, who now lives in the … area, obtained a judgment last month in San Jose, Calif., for $13,311.47 from Murray.

In 2009:

In May, [] Murray’s bleak financial picture threatened to worsen. He was under court orders to pay more than $363,000 for equipment for his heart clinic.

In April he was ordered to repay $71,000 in student loans dating to the 1980s.

Two lawsuits claiming he owes $240,000 more for unpaid equipment are pending in Nevada courts.

Murray’s 5,268-square-foot home near the 18th hole of a golf course is in “pre-foreclosure” after he failed to make payments on his $1.66 million loan, records show. He stopped paying the $15,000-per-month mortgage in December [2008].

In Feb. 2009 Murray saw Sade Anding, a cocktail waitress who worked at Sullivan Steak House. Murray gave her his telephone number. They met and phoned and text messaged each other after that. In May 2009, Murray was in Houston and had dinner with her.

Once, Murray gave Sade a $110 tip for a $11 drink. ‘He told me he was very successful. He said the song ‘I’m Coming Up’ is the theme of his life – that he came up from nothing to where he was now. But he said nothing about a girlfriend and all these children.’ She said he later gave her a cash gift of $400 and a check for $480 on their nights out together. ‘Looking back I think he was hoping I’d join him on the bed but I said I had to go,’ she added. 

Looking closer to this strange biography, it seems that we talk about two different persons. It appears that Murray has lived a double life; one – the paragraphs in light blue: “the Doctor and his clinics”- is only a cover to hide the other life, the red parts: the business of “topless girls”, the abandon of wives, lovers and all his children and other troubles! In truth, being doctor brought never the big bucks to the mediocre Murray. He had to do other things with bigger chance to get rich like investing in energy drinks and “the topless girls”.

When Murray met Jackson in 2007, he appeared with his false face of course: “his clinics for the rich and the poor patients”, his luxury home and his pregnant girlfriend Alvarez. During her testimony in Murray’s trial, Alvarez said how Murray showed her to Jackson who loved children. She added when the child was born, Murray and she showed the baby to the star to make Jackson believe their fake face.

Please let us take you to the world of the gentlemen’s clubs which was/ is Murray’s favorite place. Although these clubs have had different stories and owners, almost all of the tales go back to one person, Jack Galardi:

http://www.strip-magazine.com/jack_galardi

[] Jack Galardi grew up in Trinidad, Colo. [] He joined the Navy, then moved to California, tended bar and found his calling. [] 1967 through 1972, Galardi was either on the move or cooling behind bars.

He promoted an all-girl rock band on military bases across Vietnam (his one-word explanation: “Divorce”); opened a club in Alaska; and was convicted of stealing blank money orders from two U.S. post offices in California. The money orders were cashed, through someone else, for more than $160,000 on the black market in South Vietnam.

[] Galardi moved to Las Vegas with a new wife and stepson and continued bar building. He got into strip clubs when he bought one that had been owned by a former nightclub partner of his in California [] Galardi learned “that if you had booze and you had naked women, you could get more business,” says “Buffalo” Jim Barrier, a Las Vegas wrestling promoter and auto repair shop owner. His success swelled beyond the skin trade [] []

http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/night-clubs/topless-club-mogul-jack-galardi-dead-81

December 3, 2012 – 5:58pm

Topless club mogul Jack Galardi dead at 81

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Strip club mogul Jack Galardi survived scrapes with the law to build an empire of flesh that stretched from Las Vegas to Miami.

The owner of Cheetahs and eight other clubs nationwide died Saturday at his ranch in Georgia. He was 81.

Galardi was already an elder statesmen of Las Vegas topless bars when his adopted son, Michael, took the family name to prison and a whole new level of fame.[]

Galardi took over as the owner of the Crazy Horse on Paradise Road after the violent death of the club’s previous owner, Tony Albanese, in May 1981 [] [] At one time, Galardi owned 30 topless cabarets across the country. He eventually moved the center of his operations from Las Vegas to Georgia and other Southern states [] 

Jeffrey Adams owns a security company called Knockout Security. We found a Knockout Security in Las Vegas and another one in Texas but the name of the owner of the latter is not Jeffrey Adams. The one in Las Vegas works in multiple branches and the “Gentelmen’s club” is one of them. Several of the clubs mentioned on their website are the ones where Murray used to spend his time and which were owned once by Garaldi. We believe that “the mutual friends” who connected Murray to Jeffrey Adams, were some of the club owners.

In 2004 or 2005, Murray told Alvarez that he had “hit the jackpot”. What did he mean by that? In fact between 2004 and2006, Murray invested on the energy drink, opened his heart clinic, and bought his luxurious home. He borrowed heavily to do all of these things. Who had had his back? And what is the whole story between the security guard, the club owners and Murray? 

In 2003-2006, did someone who was in entourage of Michael Jackson (close or far entourage) see / know Conrad Murray? In such case, did this person think that one day Murray could be useful?

481117_525747887493093_706995447_nAs we said before, several facts about Murray came to the light during his criminal trial and even after that. Let us talk now about Katherine Jackson vs AEG trial. How was Murray described during this trial? Which side of him, the false one or the cover was presented to the jury? Almost none of the facts that we mentioned about Murray was said during the trial. On the contrary, AEG Live’s lawyers blamed the victim for causing his own death and consequently, they shielded Conrad Murray.

Unfortunately, Katherine Jackson’s lawyers failed to demonstrate to the jury the kind of “doctor” Murray was. Even if the judge forbade talking about the clubs and the topless girls, the finds from the criminal trial could be used in the civil trial. While the jury saw the evidence on how AEG Live hired Murray, they could not see enough of his criminal and unauthorized practice of medicine.

Why did AEG/AEG Live choose to blame the victim rather than his killer? Why did AEG associate itself with Murray, a criminal? Why Murray was/is a better ally than Katherine Jackson? Obviously, AEG wanted to win the case and not pay damages to the plaintiffs; additionally, the plaintiffs have to pay the trial costs (Putnam and Co have filled paper demanding the plaintiffs pay them $1, 2 million); finally, AEG wanted to clear its name and reputation.

As we know, Randy Phillips was recently replaced by someone else. Obviously, Anschutz was not very happy with Phillips’ behavior in the both trials. In the second one, he acted like a clown! We do not know what Phillips’ future plans are; he will probably keep a low profile for a while and then reappear somewhere.

About the new people in charge at AEG Live, Billboard says:

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/executive-turntable/5800756/randy-phillips-out-at-aeg-live-jay-marciano-named-chairman?utm_source=twitter

The Company said in a statement that it is “restructuring the management of that live entertainment subsidiary” and that Jay Marciano, Chief Operating Officer of AEG, has been appointed Chairman of AEG Live and will assume a more active role in the management of that division. In his new role, Marciano will oversee an LA-based executive team led by Paul Tollett, John Meglen, Shawn Trell and Rick Mueller. 

Tollett was named CEO and President of Goldenvoice; Meglen as named President of Global Touring for AEG Live; and Trell has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer, AEG Live, taking over for Tom Miserendino who recently relocated to London to assume the role of President and CEO, AEG Europe. 

We do recognize these names: John Meglen, Shawn Trell and Rick Mueller. Meglen was the one who during his testimony laughed at Jackson, compared him to Celine Dion and said that “Dion was bigger than Jackson”. Clearly, Anschutz is happy with Meglen’s behavior in Court! We know of course why Meglen and his kind use to say things like that! It’s the old trick!

Surely, you do remember Shawn Trell and Rick Mueller! They are the people who called Jackson “a freak”! That is how you can get promotion! Apparently, Trell who “was suffering” from “the amnesia” during his testimony played smarter than the other AEG people during the trial!

But all of these are one side of the coin. The fact that AEG found in Murray a natural ally and the fact that both of them deny any responsibility in the death of Michael Jackson say a lot. And what is that? Can you answer this question? We have already answered it in one of our blogs “A cry for help”-“Where‘s my house?” 

Imagine that Michael Jackson did not die on June 25, 2009, that he survived miraculously Conrad Murray and “his treatment”. What could have happened next? Jackson would probably have taken the reins! His team, especially John Branca would have helped him to put things straight between the star and AEG-Colony; Murray would have to leave and destroy the secret tape(s) he made in fear of being sued by the star and his legal team; Jackson would have made a lot of money, paid his debts, bought a home for his children and lived his life quietly; he could have done some films and written some music if he had wished to!

But would his adversaries let him achieve his goals this time? Would they let him be and live his life?

998604_505178536216695_621765979_nAPPENDIX

http://www.newswire.net/newsroom/pr/00077485-insurers-breath-a-sigh.html#.UlxDbk1c_yU.twitter

Insurers Breath A Sigh Of Relief After Jackson Verdict

Carl Cristie October 14, 2013

Insurers were expecting to receive claims of up to $US500 million from Anschutz Entertainment Group Live ‘AEG Live’ had Michael Jackson’s family been successful in their lawsuit against the tour promoter over his 2009 death.

(Newswire.net – October 14, 2013) Brisbane, QLD – Insurers were expecting to receive claims of up to $US500 million from Anschutz Entertainment Group Live ‘AEG Live’ had Michael Jackson’s family been successful in their lawsuit against the tour promoter over his 2009 death.

The Jacksons wanted AEG Live to pay $US85 million ($A90.9 million) to each of the star’s three children for emotional loss, and an unspecified amount for economic losses, estimated at up to $US1 billion ($A1.067 billion).

Tim Kelly of RGIB Insurance Broking said “Insurers have already paid out more than $US50 million to refund tickets and losses of deposits paid to venues and service providers booked for the Michael Jackson concerts, so a hit to the market of that magnitude might have led to an increase in ticket prices worldwide”.

Special Event insurance is dominated by Lloyds of London with annual premiums of expected to reach $US1 billion ($A1.067 billion) by the end of 2013.

Pre sales of tickets months ahead of a tour puts the tour promoter at risk if something goes wrong and the tour can’t proceed. With huge infrastructure costs paid in advance, the tour promoter rarely has sufficient funds left to refund tickets hence their reliance on insurance.

Some bands are notorious for their unreliability whereas the Rolling Stones have never failed to play a concert in their almost 50 years of performing but, as one international underwriter recently quipped at an RGIB conference on special event insurance, “Mr Jagger isn’t getting any younger, something has to give”.

One of the busiest artists in the world Andre Rieu takes a massive entourage of leading performance artists with him all over the world which presents a unique set of risks for insurance underwriters; especially in circumstances where a concert is held outdoors and subject to the whims of whether.

Pluvious insurance (rain insurance) is one of the oldest forms of cover for the entertainment industry; and with open air concerts planned for the summer months anything can go wrong and spectacularly so.

According to statistics Michael Jackson’s death has been a wake up call for tour operators with the number of operators seeking special event insurance more than doubling since 2009.

RGIB Insurance Broking is one of Australasia’s leading insurance brokers for special events handling everything from local tours to international concert events. Tim Kelly says’ “the trend is to ensure policies cover ‘consequential losses’ in case something pops up down the track like it has in the Jackson matter.

UPDATE March 5, 2014

Before finding information about apparent connection between Jack Galardi and Conrad Murray in the business of clubs and women, I found several articles about Terry Gordon called Las Vegas ex king of sex, who is Jack Gordon’s brother. Yes, Jack Gordon or Latoya Jackson’s ex husband and one of Michael’s attackers. It is indeed an alarming mixture of people who were seemingly in touch.    

http://www.stripclubreview.com/news.htm

1/3/99 Crazy Horse Saloon Closes Doors

The Crazy Horse Saloon, the ‘not quite a historical landmark’ strip club, which was located at 4034 Paradise Road by Flamingo, closed it’s doors officially January 3, 1999. Although the club was considered an eyesore to some, it was definitely a local’s spot with a lot of character and individuality. Rich in history and home to countless stories, we’re sure the memories will live on with the hundreds of thousands of visitors it must have had over the last twenty years. We’ll miss the ol’ Crazy Horse, and wish all of the dancers and management good luck wherever they may go.

The Crazy Horse Saloon was owned by the same owners as Cheetahs, however the building was leased from none other than Terry Gordon, an icon or dictator of Las Vegas adult businesses depending who you talk to. There will not be another strip club opening at that location, since the city code will not permit re-naming or re-opening another club at the location once the original tenants moved or closed. Their license and permits, which were non-transferable, had all been grandfathered since new laws were passed regarding zoning for adult clubs.

Currently, the city is only issuing permits for strip clubs in commercial zones, and has not allowed another topless club which serves alcohol to officially open since Club Paradise. Although Play It Again Sam’s, a topless supper club which serves alcohol, owned by the same owner’s as Kiefer’s on top of Carriage House, has opened recently, it has skirted the standard rules most of the other clubs need to follow by operating as an adult dinner theater rather than a topless strip club with an alcohol license. What’s the difference? We’re not sure, but the Spearmint Rhino, another club which has been open for over a year, is still having a hard time getting their alcohol permits approved, and thus is still operating as a nude soda/juice club.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1999/Sep-19-Sun-1999/news/11972987.html

Sunday, September 19, 1999
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal COLUMN: John L. Smith

`Terrible’ Terry car bomb message clear, messenger uncertain

When a firebomb barbecued “Terrible” Terry Gordon’s late-model Thunderbird in the driveway of his Las Vegas home around sunrise on Nov. 29, 1998, there was no shortage of potential suspects.

Terrible Terry is a man with enemies. Open the phone book to any page, and you might find a person angry enough with the exiled king of the Las Vegas sex-tease racket to roast his flashy Ford. 

The Thunderbird did not rise from the ashes, but Gordon was unharmed. He had been sent a message, but from whom? It’s a question neither the cops nor Clark County Fire Department arson investigators appeared motivated to answer, so Gordon hired his own expert to attempt to solve the mystery. The private investigator quickly discovered that the firebomb was not some slipshod Molotov cocktail but a relatively sophisticated device.

“We discovered that it was not something that the average guy on the street or even the average guy who would do car bombs would know how to do,” Gordon attorney Allen Lichtenstein says. “It was not designed to harm anyone.” Just to scare someone stiff.

It turns out the device was one favored by professionals often associated with organized crime. (Insert “Goodfellas” soundtrack here.) Probably just a coincidence, but it made me wonder whether there were other bombs, bullets or threats to life in the West Coast adult racket in the past year. Turns out there were. It also makes me wonder whether the FBI is intrigued by Terrible Terry’s auto arson.

Alas, research only narrowed Gordon’s list of suspects to half the Yellow Pages.
As an operator of massage parlors and jiggle joints, Gordon survived some of the most treacherous years in Las Vegas history. He once operated carnival midway games at Circus Circus when Anthony Spilotro ran a gift shop there and Jay Sarno paid homage to the Chicago Outfit.

In the 1970s, Gordon’s ownership of a Lincoln County brothel was secretly influenced by Palm Springs mobster Jimmy Caci, currently under federal indictment. Could Caci or one of his friends have misplaced Gordon’s phone number and decided to send a message another way?

Recent events have made it clear that adult businesses in Southern Nevada have become anything but tame in the corporate ’90s. Not with hitmen flying from Florida and driving from California to complete contracts on outcall service operators. Not with wise guys such as Vinny Faraci slumming in close proximity to local topless cabarets.

Gordon’s expert was probably right. Jilted ex-employees and legions of frustrated customers, their credit cards maxed over minimal sex, were unlikely suspects. The deputy district attorney and Metro detectives who despised him had already beaten him in court.
It was a mystery, to be sure.

Closer to home, Gordon was waging a pitched legal battle with longtime real estate developer Renate Schiff over building space located at 3344 S. Highland Drive. The landlord-tenant dispute manifested itself in a slander and contract interference lawsuit filed in April on Gordon’s behalf by attorney Dominic Gentile.

Gordon claims he has a valid lease contract for the location, which he has maintained since March 1989. Until recently, he also operated his adult novelty Night Gallery Shop there. Schiff claims he forged the contract, according to court documents.

The location is now the home of the Spearmint Rhino adult cabaret, which takes up doors 3344 and 3346. The Rhino maintains an adult cabaret license through K Kel Inc. and lists owners as attorney Kevin Kelly, Thomas Nabarrette and Mumtaz Ali. All of which might lead some skeptics to question whether separate and distinct adult business licensees claiming the same address violates the county’s much-politicized 500-foot separation rule. But while county commissioners gnash their teeth over expanding the 500-foot rule to 1,500 feet — an obvious attempt to prevent adult business zoning from being approved for the Sporting House on Industrial Road — it appears two adult business licenses exist just inches apart on Highland Drive.

Given the circumstances, litigation appears to be the least of Gordon’s worries.
After all these years in the neon love racket, someone is really carrying a torch for “Terrible” Terry Gordon.

http://www.lasvegasmercury.com/2003/MERC-Nov-06-Thu-2003/22517521.html

LV sex czar weighs

It’s been a few years since Terry Gordon has made any news in these parts, but for decades he was considered the sex king of Las Vegas. Gordon has owned swingers clubs, sex tease clubs, you name it. More recently, he was pursuing a deal to buy the venerable Palomino Club in North Las Vegas, a totally nude jiggle joint of some repute.

Gordon called Knappster the other day to relate a not-so-funny story about his attempted purchase. It seems that bad luck plagued the deal before it could be consummated. One of Gordon’s partners turned up dead. A second partner disappeared, he says. And then Gordon received an ominous phone call in which he was told to get out of the deal or else he could expect “a visit.” Chances are it wasn’t the first such threat he’s ever received, but considering the circumstances he took this one seriously.

While Gordon has long been viewed with suspicion by law enforcement folks, he didn’t hesitate to take this information to the FBI. He also brought it up in a legal action he’s filed, alleging a breach of contract. He is also vowing to open a huge, stinking can of worms concerning longstanding cozy relationships between the Palomino and various officials in North Las Vegas, past and present. (He tells an interesting tale about how he’s been received by licensing officials, for example.) If anyone can ferret out the dirt, it’s Terry Gordon.

http://archive.is/KF8sS

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

JANE ANN MORRISON: Gordon’s family leaves the skeletons in his closet and out of his obit

Jack Gordon’s obituary would have been easy to miss.

The name isn’t distinctive. There was no photo. On the first quick read, I wasn’t sure it was “that Jack Gordon.”

Gordon, who died at 66, was described vaguely as “a retired entrepreneur in various industries.”

Nowhere did it say he was once married to LaToya Jackson, whose brother is on trial on child molestation charges and whose sister is renowned for her Super Bowl flash. Also missing was how, in 1978, Gordon tried to bribe Harry Reid, then the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, now the Senate minority leader.

But when the obituary listed his brother as Terry Gordon, onetime king of tease, I knew it was the same Jack Gordon. Terry Gordon’s claim to fame was that girls in his Las Vegas clubs suggested that sex would be forthcoming with the purchase of overpriced nonalcoholic drinks. Patrons, usually unsuspecting tourists, were 86′d if they dared complain.

At the time he tried to bribe Reid, Jack Gordon and another man were seeking approval of new gaming devices, Flip-A-Winna and Penny Falls, two games reminiscent of Gordon’s origins in carnival life.

During his three-week trial in federal court in 1979, which it was my pleasure to cover as a reporter, Gordon boasted that in two years, he’d be making $116 million on the games. To get licensed, he offered a paltry $12,000 to Reid.

We know this because Reid promptly went to the FBI and reported the bribe and agreed to be videotaped during the payoff.

Knowing he was being videotaped, after FBI agents moved in for the arrest, the usually mild-mannered Reid yelled, “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me.” Then he tried to choke Gordon before agents stopped him.

When he testified on his own behalf, Gordon said the truth was that Reid had solicited the bribe and that he actually gave Reid marked bills and was going to report Reid, not to the FBI, but to the most notable criminal defense attorney of the day, Oscar Goodman. Gordon hadn’t bothered to tell the FBI about his crime-fighting plan and, when he was arrested, initially told the FBI that he had paid Reid $12,000 for legal advice.

When federal prosecutor Larry Leavitt (now a federal magistrate) tried to get him to admit he lied about hiring Reid, Gordon offered this memorable explanation: “I can’t say I lied. I can’t say I told the truth. I can’t recall making the statement.”

The jury didn’t believe him and, despite the best efforts of Gordon’s defense attorney, Richard Wright, convicted Gordon and his co-defendant, Joe Daly, of conspiracy. They received six-month prison sentences.

Wright spoke to Gordon not long ago. His client was writing a book about his life and wanted to check some dates for accuracy. “He was an eternal optimist,” Wright said. “You couldn’t keep him down. He was effervescent and a nice guy to be around.”

Wright remembered visiting Gordon in a jail in San Diego where Las Vegas prisoners were kept because of overcrowding. As he was escorted in, the guard was exceptionally courteous and friendly, asking if Wright wanted water and ending, “Will that be all, sir?” When Gordon entered, Wright mentioned the guard’s behavior.

“Jack rubs his thumb against his finger, indicating he was giving him money. I went ballistic,” Wright said. “You’re telling me you’re taking care of the guards in here? Knock this shit off!”

After he served his time, a slimmed-down Jack Gordon returned to Wright and asked for the gold jewelry he’d left in his attorney’s care. Gordon unbuttoned his shirt, put on the gold and was ready to return to the life of the opportunistic promoter.

He met LaToya Jackson, became her manager and, in 1991, married her in Reno. When she filed for divorce in 1996, she accused him of beating her to force her to dance topless.

The lesson here is that when a family writes the obit, there are things they quite rightfully don’t want to remember. Obviously LaToya Jackson and Harry Reid are among the names Gordon’s family wants to forget. Reid and Jackson probably would like to forget his name as well. But one wonders how they are portrayed in his book.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/videos/sets/2008/jul/31/face-face-king-sex-tease/

By Dana Gentry

Thu, Jul 31, 2008 (5:30 p.m.)

He was the king of Las Vegas sex clubs until the feds pounced in the 1990s. Now, Terry Gordon makes his living as the landlord of the local sex scene. With Clark County cracking down on the industry, are his days numbered? [] []

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/adult-club-fights-its-license

Posted  July 13, 2008

Adult club fights for its license

[] []The Libertine’s situation is made more complicated because its landlords are Biloxi Investments and Terry Gordon, the reputed “king of tease.” Gordon also is the landlord for the Green Door. His brother, Jack Gordon, notoriously tried to bribe Reid’s father, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, in 1978 when Harry Reid was the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Terry Gordon said businesses like the Libertine are easy targets for county officials because sex-oriented businesses are generally unpopular. Gordon is also named in the county’s complaint.

He said the county is engaging in harassment. What consenting adults do in private shouldn’t be the government’s business, he argued. [] []

 

 

Posted in Michael's Passing | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

R.I.P Nelson Mandela! We Love You!

By Emmy and Lou

There are thousands of people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence — against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people. And I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences at this day at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate.

Nelson Mandela, Interview (1961)

220px-Young_Mandela

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Nelson Mandela, Statement in the Rivonia Trial, Pretoria Supreme Court (20 April 1964)

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Friends, Comrades and fellow South Africans. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

Nelson Mandela, Speech on the day of his release, Cape Town (11 February 1990)

220px-Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1995)

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401342_330782010295543_100000912399184_1025258_1120269798_nMJ Executors Pay Tribute To Nelson Mandela

December 05, 2013

Michael Jackson was proud to call Nelson Mandela his friend. Like millions of admirers around the world Michael drew inspiration from President Mandela’s courage, his fight for human dignity and his commitment to peace. During his visits to South Africa Michael met often with President Mandela, who described Michael as “a close member of our family.” Our hearts go out to President Mandela’s family and to his beloved South Africans as they mourn their incalculable loss.

- John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors The Estate of Michael Jackson

Posted in Tributes, Charity&humanitarian works | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cease And Desist Letter To Conrad Murray From The Estate Of Michael Jackson

Originally posted on ALL THINGS MICHAEL! ♥:

Source: MJ-Upbeat

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Click Link Below To Read Letter From Michael Jackson Estate To Conrad Murray.

LettertoConradMurray11.26.2013

Source: MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™ / MJ-Upbeat.com

http://home.mj-upbeat.com/2013/11/28/letter-to-conrad-murray-from-the-estate-of-michael-jackson/

Yes!!!!!!!

View original

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