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Jackson’s problems began during the “Dangerous” tour of 1993-93, as he canceled 19 of his first 43 dates, and subsequently ended the tour months before the final North American leg was to commence.
I.B. BAD SURVEYS MICHAEL JACKSON’S CHECKERED HIStory
Co-Starring Randy Phillips, Marcel Avram, Londell McMillan, Joel Katz, John Branca and John McCain; With Cameos From Kelly Curtis, Cory Ondrejka and Big Jon Platt
The odds against AEG collecting the $17.5m payout on the policy it took out from Lloyds of London to protect itself against the cancellation of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” run increased dramatically with the news that the completed autopsy results won’t be made public until the conclusion of the police investigation. The decision to withhold the results strongly suggests that Jackson did indeed suffer a lethal overdose, which would render the policy worthless. Meanwhile, Randy Phillips (a.k.a. Mr. Veracity) continues to deny he knew about Michael’s drug problem. This was the one glaring area of exposure for Phillips, who believed the policy guarded AEG against every conceivable aspect of Jackson’s longstanding pattern of unreliability… The artist’s problems began during the “Dangerous” tour of 1993-93, as he canceled 19 of his first 43 dates, and subsequently ended the tour months before the final North American leg was to commence. The cancellations began to snowball in August of ’93, just days after the first allegations of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced. In a foreshadowing of recent events, tour promoter Marcel Avram sued Jackson, accusing his advisors of providing him with a supply of drugs and misrepresenting the artist’s health issues as Avram obtained a policy from Lloyds of London. Jackson then admitted the stress had caused him to increase his intake of a prescribed pain medication. As Jackson’s financial problems worsened, so did his failure to honor commitments. Even now, a Korean promoter is trying to recover the $8m he had advanced to Jackson’s parents a few years ago after they promised to deliver Michael for a concert. As a result of all these cancellations, Jackson faced the pressure of getting through his first series of dates since the “HIStory” tour, which concluded in 1997, when he was 38… On the legal front, attorney Londell McMillan, who represents the interests of Katherine Jackson’s 40% and the children’s 40% of the estate, has been so critical—some would say obstructive—of the efforts of co-executors John Branca and John McClain that the judge decided to appoint a legal guardian to represent the children, hoping to bring a more objective voice to the proceedings. This move is viewed as a major blow to the family. While Randy Jackson has played an active role on the family’s behalf, Jermaine is reportedly on the outs with his mother and siblings for insisting that they scrupulously adhere to Michael’s will. Generally overlooked in media coverage of the proceedings is Joel Katz. The highly regarded attorney continues to be an integral part of the legal team, which has bought in more than $100m for the estate… In its first project outside the major label system, Pearl Jam has made a big-box deal with Target for Backspacer, the band’s self-released Sept. 20 album, while also making the LP available through indie retail in a characteristically populist gesture. The band is also rumored to be making its first video in ages. It’s an eye-opener that first single “The Fixer” is burning up at radio without a major‘s clout behind it, hitting Top 5 Alternative and Top 10 at both Triple A and Active Rock. Kelly Curtis is in his 18th year as the band’s manager… With the remastered Beatles catalog streeting Sept. 9, all eyes are on SoundScan, which has refused to list Michael Jackson titles on its U.S. Top 200, while including the albums on its primary album charts in all other territories. Most expect the service to continue its boneheaded policy with the Beatles, relegating the most significant reissue program in industry annals to its secondary chart… The prevailing belief is that Cash Money’s Drake, the year’s most fiercely sought-after artist, will wind up on one of two UMG labels: Monte Lipman’s Universal Republic or Sylvia Rhone’s Universal Motown. EMI Music Publishing’s Big Jon Platt has already secured Drak e’s publishing... With the departure of Cory Ondrejka, EMI is 0 for 2 in its hiring of digital chiefs, with some attributing these exits to a longstanding inability of outsiders to grasp the complexities of the music business. Others point to the major labels’ ongoing inability to grasp the digital landscape… Warner Music gained marketshare but still managed to lose $37m in its last quarter. These results caused some to note how astounding it is that WMG has once again failed to turn a profit despite a thriving online business, in which most of the costs are eliminated… Names in the Rumor Mill: Irving Azoff, Don Passman, Slim & Baby, Michele Anthony, Rob McDermott, Frank DiLeo and LaToya Jackson.

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