Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Las Vegas writer who applauded Michael Jackson's death now producing a concert in Michael Jackson's name

The Las Vegas blogger, New York Times stringer, gay guide writer and noted comp queen who led the fight to prevent journalistic investigation of Danny Gans' overdose death has moved quickly to be the first Sin City personality to capitalize on the tragic passing of Michael Jackson.

Steve Friess, who wrote earlier this month in the Las Vegas Weekly that "Michael Jackson’s untimely death was the best thing that could ever have happened to Michael Jackson’s music," is producing and promoting a concert at the Palms Hotel & Casino on August 29th called "Las Vegas Celebrates Michael Jackson."

According to Friess' website, the show at the Pearl concert venue will celebrate "the music of the King of Pop on the occasion of his 51st birthday" and is "a benefit concert to raise money for music education in public schools.

"My partner in this venture, 'Jersey Boys' star Erich Bergen, is really the visionary behind all of this as well as the true MJ die-hard, but I jumped in because it seemed like a terrific, timely and dignified way to use this pop-culture moment to do some real good."

Friess is promoting the show with a separate website and on Facebook. He has not announced ticket prices, talent, or what charities will benefit, though he claims: "Every dime is going to the causes we choose -- VH1's Save the Music Foundation is the leading contender at this point."

I’m just going to come right out and say it:
Michael Jackson’s untimely death
was the best thing that could ever
have happened to Michael Jackson’s music.

--Steve Friess, Las Vegas Weekly

Tabloid Baby has contacted Friess several times in an effort to determine what charities will be benefited by the show, the details of his relationship with the Palms (site of his unofficial marriage to and honeymoon with local TV news executive Miles Smith), and whether he finds it unusual for a New York Times reporter to be sponsoring such an event (especially after his aggressive stand against "exploiting" Danny Gans).

He has not responded, beyond referring to our reporter as a "stalker extraordinaire."

Still unclear is why Friess would want to honor Michael Jackson. Last week, Friess floated a story by Gans' manager Chip Lightman that Jackson's brothers were angling to take over Gans' spot at Steve Wynn's Encore Theatre. Last month, he wrote an astounding column in the Weekly that commended his fellow local journos for avoiding coverage of the mysterious death of Strip headliner Gans, noting that "in Las Vegas, when left to our own devices, we do things a little differently."


Bing said...

I have no good thing but all bad things to say about him. Thanks for sharing. I also found this Michael Jackson comeback book that will surely become a valued collector’s item and might interest you too.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I do believe that Jackson was murdered; the only question is whether or not it was manslaughter or first degree murder. The low life Freiss was essentially citing a motivation for the latter since the Jackson estate was fortuitously saved from financial ruin by Michael's death.

Mother of the year said...

He wasn't murdered. He took too many pain meds & if he did the surgery drug through an IV - I don't think anyone held him down.

Michael was a 50 year old man.