■Michael’s Irish Hideaway For Sale

The Guinness family’s Irish country estate, Luggala, once used by Michael Jackson as a secret hideaway home, is now listed for around Thirty Million US Dollars.

The former hunting lodge which is snow-white in colour, manor is surrounded by 5,000 acres. Besides Michael, Mick Jagger, U2’s Bono and The Beatles have all stayed there.

The property hit international headlines when it emerged that Michael lived there for three months in 2006, but this information was only released after he’d left.

Part of Luggala’s charm is its secluded location, nestled in a cleft at the bottom of a glacial valley, 40km from Dublin. It is cloaked by dense woodland, lakes and silvery waterfalls, filled with deer and game. The current owner, Garech Browne, adds to the property’s allure.

Browne is the great-great-great grandson of iconic Irish stout maker Arthur Guinness but he also is the founder of Claddagh Records. Since 1960s, he has not only hosted famous artists but also poets and politicians. Now aged seventy-seven he has decided to put the estate up for sale. It is listed at a price of €28 million (US$30 million) through Ireland Sotheby’s International Realty.

Originally built in the 18th century, Luggala was acquired by Ernest Guinness in 1937 as a wedding present for his youngest daughter Oonagh, Garech Browne’s mother. The Gothic Revival, almost castle-like manor has three reception rooms, a drawing room, full office facilities and a formal dining room. There’s also the four-poster bed famously favoured by Michael throughout his stay.

The listing specifies seven bedrooms within the main house, four within a guest lodge and a further sixteen comprised within seven other lodges and cottages throughout the vast estate. Altogether, the accommodation within the estate extends to some 1,802-square-metres of space.

According to The Telegraph, Browne spent €6 million on restoring and renovating the grand home. It now includes a new library, stacked with 8,000 books and an indoor swimming pool. The Guinness heir has called for the state to buy the house to save it for heritage.

Source: Billionaire & MJWN


人気長寿TV番組「ザ・シンプソンズ」でリサ・シンプソンの声を演じているイヤードリー・スミスが、1991年のエピソード「Stark Raving Dad」の収録にマイケル・ジャクソンがやってきた時のことを振り返っている。



そして、マイケルが書いた曲「Lisa It’s Your Birthday」のボーカルのレコーディングにキップ・レノンが来たことを振り返っている。契約の問題でキング・オブ・ポップが自ら歌うことができなかったのだ。そのためレノンは、マイケルの目の前でマイケルの真似をしなければならない羽目になったという。

■Simpsons Star Talks About Michael

Yeardley Smith, who pays Lisa Simpson on the long running hit TV show The Simpsons, has reminisced about the time Michael Jackson came to record for the episode ‘Stark Raving Dad’ in 1991.

Remembering what he looked like, the voice actress said;

“I remember he wore his fedora and he wore his high water pants and his white socks.”

She also spoke about how polite he was and how she was baffled that he turned his light off over his script, yet could still see.

Smith also recalled the moment Kipp Lennon came in to record the vocals for the song ‘Lisa It’s Your Birthday,’ a track penned by Michael but due to contractual issues the King of Pop couldn’t sing himself. Lennon had to therefore imitate Michael right in front of the man himself.

Source: Archive of American Television & MJWN

エステート vs 国税局、トーメ・トーメの証言


















■Tohme Tohme’s Testimony In Tax Trial

The tension between Michael Jackson’s estate and his ex-manager Tohme Tohme was on full display yesterday, as Tohme Tohme took the stand in the current tax trial.

Tohme, a former Colony Capital consultant, began working with Michael in 2008 when he coordinated the buyout of a loan for Neverland Ranch. He says Michael brought him on because of his relationship with Colony CEO Tom Barrack and, as a finder’s fee of sorts, he was to receive ten percent of the total value of the loan. At the time, he says he was receiving $20,000 a month in consulting fees from Colony, plus a share of the deals he was involved in.

The $23 million loan buyout allowed Michael to avoid foreclosure on the ranch and sealed Tohme’s position as his manager. Since 2012 he has been involved in a contentious legal battle with Michael’s estate over his pay.

He was called as a witness by the IRS, presumably, to show that Michael had business suitors in the time leading up to his death. Specifically, he said there had been prospects of a ‘Moonwalker’ shoe deal with Nike and a Broadway musical based on Michael’s songs.

Estate attorney Howard Weitzman pulled no punches during his cross-examination of Tohme.

After going through the potential list of deals Tohme had mentioned and pointing out that none had come to fruition, Mr Weitzman turned his attention to a series of documents that suggest Tohme was terminated in the spring of 2009. Tohme claims he worked with Michael up until his death, but the estate has said he was fired several months before that.

Michael’s ex-manager was known to go bythe name Dr. Tohme, which led Mr Weitzman to ask him about his resume. He asked if he attended medical school and if he had a PhD in economics. Both were answered “No.”

Mr Weitzman then asked why Tohme had said during a deposition in a previous case, in which he was a witness, that he held those degrees.

“You tortured me in the media,” Tohme said, claiming that the estate hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on him and that PI visited a woman he was briefly married to decades ago. “The reasons for these answers is I don’t want you to know. I’m a very highly educated person. I speak many languages. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

The transcripts of that deposition were admitted to the record following an objection from the IRS.

Theater producer James Nederlander then took the stand to discuss a ‘Thriller’ play that never happened then Mr Weitzman called Tohme back to the stand.

Tohme discussed plans to buy the home of Prince Jefri of Brunei and convincing Michael to move back to L.A. from Las Vegas.

Mr Weitzman then asked Tohme about being replaced by Frank DiLeo. Tohme’s angrily responded with; “Who’s on trial here, me or the estate?”

Eventually, Mr Weitzman brought up the estate’s pending litigation with Tohme asking; “Did you ultimately file a lawsuit against the estate?” “Yes,” Tohme replied. He then noted to Weitzman that he’s been seeing him in court for several years and added; “I like your company.” U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes took full advantage of the lighter moment and said; “You’re under oath.”

Chuckles echoed through the courtroom, as they would a few minutes later when Holmes had another burst of wit after Mr Weitzman’s final question.

Weitzman: Why do they call you Doctor?
Tohme: Why do they call me a doctor? You have to ask whoever calls me a doctor.
Weitzman: Is it in the same vein as Dr. J (Julius Erving) or Doc Holliday?
Holmes: Doc Holliday was a real doctor.
Weitzman: You don’t have to answer.
Tohme: decided to leave the matter “for another time.”

After Mr Wietzman finished, IRS attorney Sebastian Voth pointedly asked Tohme about their relationship. “Is it fair to say that you and the estate have a very contentions relationship?” Tohme answered: “Yes.”

Source: Billboard & MJWN

エステート vs 国税局、ジョン・ブランカが証言









マイケルの死後、エステートは未発表のリハーサル映像を使って「This Is It」を製作したが、この作品はコンサート映画としては史上最高収益の一つである。シルク・ドゥ・ソレイユと共同でラスベガスのショーも開演した。ブランカによれば、こうしたことは肖像権の取引とは見なさないという。




証言を終える際、判事はブランカに対し、マイケルの歌詞の一つを説明するよう求めた。「あなたは『Thriller』をよくご存知ですが、『the funk of 40,000 years』とはどういう意味ですか?」


■John Branca Speaks At IRS Trial

John Branca took the stand Monday on the first day of trial in a potentially billion-dollar tax fight between Michael Jackson’s estate and the IRS.

Mr Branca, who has represented Michael on and off for nearly three decades, took the stand after lunch, spending nearly four hours being examined by Michael’s estate attorney Howard Weitzman.

The trial is expected to last three weeks, as attorneys for the estate and the government each work to convince a judge that their value of Michael’s likeness at the time of his death is the correct one.

American Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes, the attorneys and John Branca, routinely cracked jokes amid a very serious conversation about Michael’s financial issues.

The more relaxed atmosphere gave Mr Branca license to be more ex-positional with his answers to Mr Weitzman’s questions, which would have likely been cut off by a judge in a standard civil law courtroom.

Mr. Branca said;

“I’m going to tear up. Michael was a genius. He was a great guy. When I tell these stories, I actually tell them with affection.”

After several years of not working together, Mr Branca met with Michael a little more than a week before his death. During the meeting he brought with him a list of potential ideas which included a ‘Thriller’ film, play and haunted house attraction, as well as album and DVD re-releases, but none of his ideas involved licensing Michael’s name or likeness.

Mr Weitzman asked if musicians make a lot of money in general merchandising, which he described as licensing an artist’s name and image for merchandise. “No,” replied Mr Branca. “That income for most musicians is dwarfed compared to the money they make from recordings, their songs and especially the tours. Putting out a record is not a name and likeness right.”

Since Michael’s death, the estate has used unreleased rehearsal footage to make ‘This Is It,’ which is one of the biggest-grossing concert films ever. They also launched a lucrative Las Vegas show in partnership with Cirque du Soleil. Mr Branca said neither of those qualify as likeness deals.

After two clothing line licensing attempts during the course of his living career, the one likeness deal that shows potential after Michael’s death is with a teen clothing company called Supreme. Mr Branca explained that kids are “crazy” for the company’s shirts and the deal is an effort to re-brand Michael’s image with a younger audience.

“We make no money from it, but maybe someday we’ll get new fans,” he said.

The IRS attorneys declined to cross-examine Mr Branca in favour of calling him back to testify when they present their case.

Before letting him leave the stand, the judge took the opportunity to ask him to explain one of Michael’s lyrics. “You’re familiar with ‘Thriller,’ ” said Judge Holmes. “What exactly does ‘the funk of 40,000 years’ mean?”

“Karma,” answered Mr Branca.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter & MJWN













ファンクによれば、ジャクソンはそのムーヴをシャラマーのメンバーだったジェフリー・ダニエルから教わったという。ダニエルは英国のテレビ番組「Top of the Pops」でこれを披露していた。彼は単にバックスライドと呼んでいた。





「マイケルは世界を変えようとしていました。彼は何の気なしに『We are the World』や『Man in the Mirror』を作ったわけではありません。彼が音楽を作っていたのは人々にインパクトを与えたかったからなんです」とファンクは言う。




While millions around the world know Michael Jackson as the King of Pop, a local photographer was able to see a different side of the icon as his personal photographer for 30 years.

Harrison Funk watched as Jackson evolved from teen idol to a bona fide superstar. Jackson became known as a perfectionist whose personality was very complex.

"What genius isn't complex?" Funk asked. "I would put him up there with Da Vinci and Michelangelo and Beethoven and Picasso."

Funk was the man tasked with documenting the life of the legendary pop singer. Funk said Jackson would ask him every night if he had "made magic."

"He couldn't wait to see the pictures because he wanted to see the magic," Funk recalled.

Looking over albums of photographs, Funk pointed to the moments in which Jackson performed in concerts with massive crowds.

"That was his overwhelming drive," Funk explained. "To perform for people. His show was absolute perfection."

Funk said that Jackson always maintained a sense of wonder.

"He knew the child within and he never wanted to lose that," he said. "That was part of the magic."

Jackson received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. Funk said it was a huge day for Jackson as he was at the height of his career.

But a defining moment in Jackson's career came when he did the moonwalk on stage at Wembley Stadium in England.

Funk said Jackson actually learned the move from Jeffrey Daniel, who was in the group Shalamar. Daniel had performed it on the British show "Top of the Pops," only he called it the backslide.

Jackson learned it, perfected it and re-branded it as the moonwalk.

"When Michael came out with it, people were just blown away," Funk said. "I've never seen any other artist that got that response."

Another big moment for Jackson was when he met Nelson Mandela. But, according to Funk, it was equally as big a moment for the world leader, who brought his entire family from South Africa just to meet Jackson.

Jackson and Mandela met in a penthouse in Beverly Hills along with actress Elizabeth Taylor. Funk said by the end of the day his photograph of the three icons appeared in more than 200 newspapers.

"Michael was looking to change the world. He didn't just record 'We are the World' or 'Man in the Mirror.' He recorded music because he wanted to make an impact on people," Funk said.

When Michael died on June 25, 2009, Funk said it was hard to grasp that he was gone.

"It's hard to articulate," he said. "I think the whole world changed. It was the end of an era."

Source: abc7.com

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