By The Last Tear (Lou)
Updated, please scroll down
While we were writing this blog, we heard about Anderson Cooper from CNN who will interview Conrad Murray on April 2nd in the jail where the felon is detained. No doubt the criminal will use this occasion to spread more lies.
This is indeed a huge disappointment – to see CNN giving a platform to a convict who has only ever spoken lies. CNN has also asked the queen of yellow journalism, Diane Dimond, to talk about the coming trial, KJ vs AEG Live. Another disappointment to see how CNN is blowing air into the mouth of a rotten voice who wishes to be heard again! Let us just ignore her and by doing this, let us show to CNN that she is not important.
Since Judge Palazuelos has allowed the use of the false accusations made against Michael Jackson in 93 and 2005, it is probable that the media will turn this civil trial to a circus like the one we saw in 2005. A few days after Judge Palazuelos allowed Katherine Jackson to proceed with her lawsuit, AEG Live made a petition asking the court of appeal to annul the negligence charge.
Perhaps you remember from the last post that the only charge that Judge Palazuelos agreed to put to trial was that of negligence. As expected, AEG Live’s petition to court of appeal was dismissed. Radar online has published the document. The trial and the selection of the jury will begin on April 2nd. Meanwhile AEG Live’s lawyers have deposed Prince and Paris Jackson and this despite the protest of the minors’ guardians and lawyers.
Since AEG Live’s lawyers gave Prince Jackson who was deposed first a hard time, the children’s guardians and the lawyers forced AEG Live to depose Paris Jackson at the court where the judge could intervene. To save the youngest child having to make a deposition, a doctor’s certificate which prohibited the young one from being interrogated, was presented.
You can read all the disputes about the children’s depositions in these two documents AEG motion to set deposition date for Paris and Plaintiffs opposition to Paris Jackson deposition In the first one, AEG Live’s lawyers describe briefly but accurately their approach: On page 8, a paragraph begins with this menacing phrase: The road of this motion is long and, unfortunately, unnecessarily ugly 
To justify themselves, AEG Live’s lawyers – who express their client’s thoughts – said that the children have sued AEG Live for $10 billion each, they have twitter accounts and hundreds of followers; they have been on TV and they have given interviews. They are celebrities! To be celebrities and to be Michael Jackson’s children, mean that you can be harassed even if you are minor; especially if you have the stomach to defend your father and sue “a giant” like Phillips and Co! We wish all the best of luck to Prince Jackson who will testify during AEG Live trial.
Before going further to more serious subjects, let us review some paragraphs from AEG Live’s petition to court of appeal. In this document, AEG Live’s lawyers use rhetorical reasoning; something like the walls have mice, the mice have ears then the walls have ears. And by the end of their idiomatic talking, AEG Live appears as a “good example of an employer who wishes to fight against unemployment” but apparently Judge Palazuelos’s reasoning and decision are “against” this and this could have a severe consequence at national level!
In the document, the lawyers try hard to stick Murray to Jackson as “his long time physician” which is very debatable; we have shown in other blogs that Murray was not Jackson’s regular physician. Since the star suffered from vitiligo and lupus, he needed someone who was specialized in these areas; and Murray is not. Conrad Murray had mostly treated the children.
By the end of 2008, we see that Murray prescribed sleep medicine to Jackson. It was only three months before Jackson’s death that we see constantly Murray around Jackson. In fact, in this document, AEG Live admits that they knew about Jackson’s “physical issues”. Suddenly Jackson becomes “a fifty year-old artist with a history of medical issues” (page 29).
They say that by “following and accepting” Jackson’s demands – engaging Murray – AEG Live did a service to Jackson! First of all, AEG Live admits it was they engaged Murray; consequently, all the talk about a “not signed contract” or “it was not AEG Live but Jackson who employed Murray” are false. Signed or not signed, they wanted Murray to make Jackson ready for the concerts. Besides, there are two more issues in this statement; firstly, Murray was not a specialist in the areas of medicine that Jackson needed. Jackson of course knew that and that is why he wanted a specialist to join the team.
Secondly, by refusing this demand – Paul Gongaware’s refusal had said that there was not enough money for both doctors – one wonders why not choose the specialist over Murray. Doctor Adams was ready to jump in and follow Jackson. A simple comparison between Dr. Adams’s fee and Murray’s will show that Dr. Adams was no more expensive than Murray. Why not choosing him instead of Murray? Suddenly, the fact that Murray had huge debts becomes important.
This is probably why Judge Palazuelos wrote these lines in her rulings: There is a triable issue of act as to whether it was foreseeable that such a physician under strong financial pressure may compromise his Hippocratic Oath and do what was known by AEG Live’s executives to be an unfortunate practice in the entertainment industry for financial gain (page 18). Please read some quotes from AEG Live’ document:
In our last blog Katherine Jackson vs AEG Live (and others in the category Michael Jackson’s passing), we quite rightly gave Paul Gongaware a hard time. Judge Palazuelos also reasoned in a similar way. But is Gongaware really alone in this game? How about Randy Phillips who seems to like to hide behind Gongaware? After all, AEG Live has saved Gongaware from probable bankruptcy by swallowing up his business, Concerts West some years ago.
Gongaware is now one of AEG Live’s executives. Remember how it is in the music industry! It is like a jungle: the powerful eats up the small. Let us take a tour of Randy Phillips world, the world of managers and promoters in the music industry. You might find it instructive. The first thing to notice is that Randy Phillips has probably many friends among tabloids and other media outlets. His private life is well protected and even his professional life is presented under a beautiful limelight. Some months before Jackson’s death, the Telegraph had a long article about Jackson, AEG Live and Randy Phillips who gave us an extremely short autobiography:
CV Background My father was born in Bayswater, so I’m an Anglophile. But I’m from the US First job in music I promoted events at Stanford University, where I studied law, before deciding to go into business Next big tour I would love to get ABBA back together Career highlights Managing Rod Stewart for years, working with Jim Kerr, Bon Jovi, Prince, Britney, Justin, Take That, Lionel Ritchie, Guns’n’Roses
Investing Businessweek.com gives us a little more:
Randy PhillipsMember of Management Board and Member of Advisory Board, FameCast, Inc.
Randy Phillips serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of AEG Live of AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. In this position, Mr. Phillips oversees the nation’s second-largest concert promoter, responsible for Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day tour, the industry’s No. 7 tour; Celine Dion’s “A New Day” show at the Caesars Palace Colossuem in Las Vegas, the top permanent concert; and the touring King Tut exhibit. As deep-pocketed rivals like Live Nation challenge the AEG Ehrlich’s … turf, Mr. Phillips is an artist manager who’s guided the careers of Lionel Ritchie, Rod Stewart and Tony Braxton — has led efforts to complement AEG’s core business with deals like the joint venture with AOL and XM to create and distribute live shows through the Internet, satellite and wireless. Mr. Phillips serves as Member of Management Board and Advisory Board of FameCast, Inc.
On AEG Live Internet site, we get a more detailed list of artists that this company has promoted:
Taylor Swift, The Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Justin Bieber, Leonard Cohen, Wisin & Yandel, Kenny Chesney, P!nk and Paul McCartney. The company is also currently producing productions including Cher at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. AEG Live is also the largest producer of music festivals in North America from the critically acclaimed Coachella Music & Arts Festival to Stagecoach and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Or recently on Hypeboat.com:
Phillips began his career as an Executive Producer for The Rock Palace on NBC Network Television. Since then, he has served as a partner in the management/production company Stiefel-Phillips Entertainment where he managed the careers of artists in both music and film including Rod Stewart, Prince, Guns and Roses and Toni Braxton. Mr Phillips aslo served as President and CEO of Gasoline Alley Music, a joint venture record and publishing company with MCA Records where he was instrumental in the success of hit groups Shai and Sublime, each receiving multi-platinum honors
He joined AEG Live as CEO on February 2002.
Phillips began his manager’s life at Stanford University where he was a law student. There is an article in Billboard September 9, 1974 about Larry Seidman and Phillips who organized Eric Clapton’s concert at Stanford. A quote from this article:
Hard Rock Triumphs At Stanford U. By Jack McDonough  “This concert was a watershed for us”, says Randy Phillips and Larry Seidman, who head up special events. “People are talking to us now. People are answering their phones and returning calls. They realize we’re not just little college kids trying to put on a show. We have a thoroughly professional operation here and we have a lot to offer to any act that is interested.”  Special events also control its own finances. “We close out all our accounts quickly. We have a computerized finance system and our money does not have to go through the university.” They are also proud of their security system .
It appears that Randy Phillips understood fully the benefit of being celebrities’ manager and promoter. In early 80’s, he joined Arnold Stiefel, a good friend of David Geffen, who was an influential person inside the industry. Together, Stiefeld and Phillips, managed several artists, produced movies and made a fortune:
Arnold Stiefel, Chairman and CEO of Stiefel Entertainment, enjoys a career which spans music, films and books. Stiefel has managed Rod Stewart for more than 20 years. During that time he also co-founded Gasoline Alley records which is still home to the legendary band Sublime. Stiefel has also guided the careers of many other artists, including Prince, Guns ￢ﾀﾘn Roses, Toni Braxton, The Bangles, Morrissey, Missing Persons, Simple Minds, movie director Jonathan Demme, and actors Matthew Broderick.
- profession: Film producer
- films produced:
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
- About Last Night…
- nomination: 1990 – nominated to Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture – “Graffiti Bridge”, with Randy Phillips, Craig Rice, Warner Bros. Entertainment
by John Kenneth Muir Produced by: Randy Phillips, Arnold Stiefel. Directed by: Prince. M.P.A.A. Rating: PG-13. Running time: 95 minutes. It’s “The Kid” versus Morris Day and Jerome: Part II (The Armageddon…) in this dire, unofficial sequel to the classic film Purple …
And more from this personal page on Linkedin:
STIEFEL PHILLIPS ENTERTAINMENT January 1984 – September 1994 (10 years 9 months) Los Angeles, CA Personal management and motion picture development firm guiding the careers of notable artists in the music and film industries, such as Rod Stewart, Prince, Toni Braxton, Morrissey, Susannah Hoffs, Matthew Broderick, director Jonathan Demme and many more. • Coordinated/maintained all office administrative duties including travel, phone records and monitoring, expense reports, correspondence. • Hired, trained and supervised support staff. • Personal representative of Arnold Stiefel in dealings between Stiefel and all contracted artists on issues pertaining to professional and personal (often confidential) situations requiring the utmost discretion and careful judgment. • Liaised with all departments within various record companies including Warner Bros., Geffen, Capitol and MCA on behalf of management and artists, facilitating smooth operations for all recordings, publicity events, international issues, creative processes, sales and promotion. • Interfaced with artists’ attorneys, business managers, public relations representatives, publishing companies and personal staffs. • Interfaced with Arnold Stiefel’s attorneys, business managers, corporate public relations representatives, and household staff. • Sought, hired and worked with numerous vendors, providing services for management’s and artists’ professional and personal lives. • Conceived, planned and organized special events, including birthday parties, networking gatherings and luncheons. • Assisted Arnold Stiefel in the process of acquiring motion picture properties such as the bestseller, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, directed by Clint Eastwood.
Among all these stars that Randy Phillips has managed, the story of Toni Braxton is very interesting. In a quote from the book She Bop Ii, The definitive history of women in rock, pop and soul by Lucy O’Brien we found out that the great R&B singer, Toni Braxton fired both her managers Stiefel and Phillips in 1997 (page 311):
 Soul diva Toni Braxton found this to her cost. The woman who once turned down a £25 million record deal because it wasn’t enough, went bankrupt in 1997. It was reported that she was planning to sue her record label Arista for allegedly trying to “cheat” her out of royalties. Despite selling more than ten million copies of her 1993 self-titled debut and having a massive worldwide hit with “Unbreak My heart” on the follow-up album Secrets, the Grammy Award singer discovered huge debts when she fired her managers Arnold Stiefel and Randy Phillips and took control of her business affairs 
In April 4, 1998, Billboard published another article about Braxton and her battles:
Braxton Asks Court To Label Her Contract “Unenforceable” By Chris Morris Los Angeles- Vocalist Toni Braxton has filed a complaint with U.S. Bankruptcy Court here, seeking a judicial declaration that her contract with Arista Records and LaFace Records is unenforceable  Braxton’s new complaint is noteworthy for its sharp wording – it refers repeatedly to the singer’s “betrayal” at the hands of the labels. It also presents a litany of heretofore-unstated allegations about the singer’s former business advisers – attorney Joel Katz, business manager Bert Padell, and personal managers Arnold Stiefel and Randy Phillips. However, none of the advisers, who are also all bankruptcy creditors, are named as defendants  According to the complaint, LaFace partner Antonio “L.A.” Reid recommended Katz to Braxton, though the lawyer had a conflict of interest because he represented Reid and LaFace. Stiefel and Phillips are described in the filing as being “allied” with the labels,  The action alleges that Katz did not negotiate the best possible amendment to Braxton’s 1991 solo contract with LaFace. It also claims that Katz, Padell, Stiefel, and Phillips never sought an audit of the labels’ books; made no effort to monitor”improper and excessive costs and expenses” charged to Braxton; and allowed the vocalist’s tours to be structured as “economic disasters.”
There is more to read about Braxton suing Arista and LaFace here As you perhaps know, Toni Braxton who suffers from lupus has retired from performing. She talked about her illness in her TV shows. Even though Mrs. Braxton has not followed her battles, more research is needed in this matter. We believe there is far more truth to discover about Randy Phillips.
The Toni Braxton story led us to another aspect of the promoters’ life in the industry that of the White vs the Black promoters. There is an article in Billboard issue June 21, 1997, Black Promoters Says They’re Exluded From Top R&B Gigs. Please read it yourself to have an opinion about the matter. In short, the Black promoters in the industry complain that the White ones do not let them manage the Black R&B stars who rightfully should go to them. Toni Braxton is named of course; there are two quotations from Randy Phillips in the article. In the first one, Phillips sounds like a Black promoter’s “defender” but in the second one he deceives himself:
“I did not feel that [black promoters] were given sufficient opportunity to bid for shows and wanted to make sure that Toni’s core R&B audience was adequately aware of her shows,” says Phillips ” “Just because a promoter is black doesn’t mean they’ll automatically get a Toni Braxton date,” he says. ”
For some of you who wish to read more, we would suggest reading an email correspondence between Randy Phillips and Bob Lefsetz published on June 26, 2007 on his wordpress.com blog The Lefsetz Letter A quote from this email conversation:
Randy Phillips Responds From: Randy Phillips Subject: Re: Kenny Chesney Date: June 26, 2007 6:03 PM PDTBob, only you can ruin my high from opening the greatest arena in the world, London, England’s The O2, this week. Here I sit in my hotel room at 1:30am and I foolishly open your blog, or whatever it is. Both Kenny Chesney and Justin Timberlake are AEG Live touring clients. Kenny through our wholly owned subsidiary The Messina Group and JT through our touring division Concerts West. I admire and respect Kenny’s immeasurable talent and love for his fans and am honored to be in business with him. At the same time, I am very close to Justin and have believed and bet on him since he left ‘NSYNC. Team JT (the artist, his mom and dad and their management partner Johnny Wright, agent David Zedeck at CAA, lawyer, and business manager, have repaid my early belief with tremendous loyalty. This young man is respectful, talented beyond belief, and a brilliant and seasoned business savvy artist, whose acumen makes you forget how damn young he still is.The irony of you slagging Justin and praising Kenny is that I know them both and, if you did also, you would realize how similar they are in their humility in handling their fans and success, their ability to genre-bend while achieving mythical commercial and creative plateaus, their laser like attention to detail in the decisions that have promulgated their careers, and how wisely they have chosen the people around them.Bob, I have ignored your shots at AEG Live, the amazing company I am privileged to run which, according to Billboard’s mid-year chart, has produced 3 of the top 5 tours this year, however, I cannot ignore your most recent mean spirited attack on a close friend and client. It is inaccurate and misguided. Hopefully I have let off enough steam in this email I am typing with my aching thumbs on this damn Blackberry to get to sleep.Respectfully submitted,Randy Phillips President & CEO AEG LiveFrom: Bob Lefsetz Subject: Re: Kenny Chesney Date: June 26, 2007 6:27 PM PDTYou’re a great BlackBerry typist! But come on, don’t take it so personally… I thought Justin was good in ‘N Sync, but I don’t cotton to those beat-driven records. The point about Chesney is it’s more akin to rock, singalong, memories, longevity! As for constantly slagging AEG… Shit, you’d have to show me. I’m an equal opportunity offender, and I think I’ve been much worse on LiveNation. As for Bon Jovi… I’m actually somewhat of a fan, but to tie in the album sales, in pre-sales no less, to get a high SoundScan debut is heinous, it’s taking the business in the wrong direction. I’m gonna stand up to that all day long. And have certainly let TicketMaster know my feelings. You’re in business with these people, but fans don’t react to you so much as the acts. And I’m reacting to the acts. And I don’t like JT’s humble/I’m white but black act ANYWAY!
You have certainly heard Phillips talking proudly about AEG Live organizing Prince’s concerts in different years and cities. But what many of us have not heard is how Prince acted on March 28, 2009 in LA. The article is posted on another blog Now It’s On:
February 27, 2012
Bootleg Review: Prince “L.A. Confidential”
 The show kicks off with a couple of instrumentals before Prince takes the stage. The band runs through “Under The Cherry Moon” and “Dreamin’ About U” before Prince appears for “When Eye Lay My Hands On U”. It’s one of the few songs on the night where Prince plays guitar, and it’s always a treat to hear this song done live. A couple of major surprises follow as the rarely performed ‘Emancipation’ outtake “Journey 2 The Center Of Your Heart” is next. Prince’s version was never released, but the song was recorded by Chaka Khan on her 1998 NPG Records release ‘Come 2 My House’. The second half of the over eight minute performance features Prince’s best guitar work of the night. A smoothed out version of “The Sun, The Moon And Stars” is yet another rarity in the set. Prince leaves the stage for another band instrumental, this time on “Sometimes It Snows In April”, before returning for a twelve minute workout on “When The Lights Go Down”. He then literally asks for the lights to go down and the crowd to be as silent as possible for a performance of “Eye Love U, But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore”. It must be said at this point, Prince was unhappy with the sound quality throughout the evening. All three shows were marred by technical problems, feedback and poor sound systems. By the time this show was in motion he had enough. During the early part of this set he asked for adjustments to the sound several times. Before the next song, he launched into an epic rant from the stage, directed at AEG who he had been working with for a number of years on his tours, including the massively successful Musicology Tour of 2004. AEG oversees the entire L.A. Live complex and Prince started naming names, specifically calling out AEG Live President and CEO Randy Phillips and AEG’s President and CEO Tim Leiweke from the stage in a 90 second public lambasting. “Before we play this, Randy Phillips, Tim Leiweke, they run AEG. And, uh, this is their building so the buzzes you hear you can talk to them about it. I’m gonna play through it, I’m gonna do my best. Now feel me, they spent a lot of money on the seats, and the lights are beautiful. But I done told them several times, let’s work on that sound. I came to see Alicia Keys here and it was the worst sound I ever heard. But Alicia is a genius, bar none. She is music and she deserves the best, alright? So we’re all in this together. So if we fix the sound, I’ll be here every night. This is what I do. And I’ll do it for free, I won’t charge ’em. But now I got to go back to my three million a night!” Prince then kicks into “She Spoke 2 Me” by shouting sarcastically “It’s alright Tim and Randy, we love ya!”, then during the performance gets the crowd to chant ‘AEG, AEG’ over and over. I cannot emphasize enough what a monumental night this then became. AEG made Prince a ton of money helping him make his 3121 shows in Las Vegas and his 21 Nights in London a reality. He planned to do a similar 21 night stand in L.A., but in one onstage rant, he called out the highest executives of the company by name, publicly embarrassed them and burned yet another bridge in the entertainment industry. His relationship with AEG, again a company that made Prince millions of dollars, was over and he blew it up right in front of about 2,500 fans. The fact we now get to see it on video is priceless. Prince closes the performance of “She Spoke 2 Me” by introducing the band then getting one last shot in at AEG by declaring, “And my name is Randy Phillips. Thank you, goodnight.” Prince and the band return for the first ever live performance of the unreleased “In A Large Room With No Light”, before he breaks into that famous guitar line that kicks off “Sweet Thing” and special guest Chaka Khan makes her way to the stage. The performance is just Chaka on vocals and Prince on guitar while the audience helps by singing along. A very cool version that, in some strange way proves Prince’s point, by ending in a big burst of feedback from Khan’s microphone causing her to voice in agreement, “This ain’t no joke! You were not kidding about the sound”, as Prince chuckles and shouts, “What?? Told ya! Told ya!” I can’t imagine the uncomfortableness in the room for those in attendance but this is gold to watch on video 
You will be surprised to find out that Randy Phillips thinks very much like Thomas Barrack whom we described on the blog Some dates and names: Review 2. Barrack used to make big money in the real estate business; Phillips also seems to be good at it. In 2011, he sold his home in Beverly Hills for 3 times more than the buying price. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/randy-phillips-beverly-hills-residence-272034 AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips Unloads Beverly Hills Residence for $15.5 Million 9:19 AM PST 12/10/2011 by Bryan W. Logan AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips has sold his Hal Levitt-designed house for $15.5 million in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, according to Blockshopper Los Angeles. The sale is triple what he paid for it: a reported $4.63 million in 2004  We also find out that Phillips is a collector of modern furniture
There is an article in Billboard issue September 13, 2003 Real Estate Thrives In Music Capitals we read: Although the music industry is mired in the doldrums, the demand for luxury real estate in such major music centers as New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Miami shows no sign of fizzling, according to brokers, bankers and music-industry executives.  In Los Angeles, where luxury properties start at around $2.5 million and rise quickly, “successful musicians and actors and actresses are looking for architecturally significant homes,” says Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live in Los Angeles. Phillips indulges his own passion for mid-century architecture by buying and restoring homes designed by, or in the manner of, architects Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler and A. Quincy Jones  In New York, the price of real estate is a perennial topic of conversation, Liebman says. For example, she cites the sale by longtime Sony Music Entertainment head and new Casablanca Records honcho Thomas D. Mottala is said to have paid DreamWorks principal David Geffen $13.3 million for the property in 1999  “As people made money, they tended to buy on the West Side, and it became the hip place to live as people’s careers took off,” Phillips says. “Now, there’s a movement east.” The Hollywood Hills remains as popular as ever. Phillips says he recently sold a house there to Benny Medina, head of management firm Handprint Entertainment. Phillips has now turned his attention to a three-bedroom condo on the …  “But that shows you the inflation and the extra value attributed to these kinds of houses – and mostly it’s generated because young, successful acts, whether they’re actors or musicians, want to live in these kinds of dwellings.”
Having worked all his life with artists and performers, Randy Phillips knows all their “ups” and “downs”. The secret of his “success” is that he is there in all these moments to collect $$$. As he said himself, he was there for example when Rod Stewart was “about as unfashionable as can be at the time” in America; also when Usher “was going through a difficult time and had hit a bit of a lull in his career”. It appears that Phillips likes this formula: Happiness at the expense of others misery. As we also mentioned about Barrack in the blog Some dates and names: Review 2. For someone who was already familiar with Michael Jackson’s career in the 80’s, Phillips has shown “patience” for reappearing in Jackson’s life. He came along at a moment when the star was more vulnerable than ever before. Phillips was lucky that Barrack, one of Anschutz’s “pals” and Tohme had already opened a door into Jackson’s life.
Dear reader, we will leave temporarily the 80’s to review some facts concerning Michael Jackson’s last years. Hopefully, we will soon post a blog about it. We will later finish the 80’s and then the 90’s to complete MJ-EO series.