Sunday, August 23, 2009

Money questions haunt the “Michael Jackson’s Untimely Death Was The Best Thing That Could Ever Have Happened To Michael Jackson’s Music Show" in Vegas

With Las Vegas columnist Norm Clarke confirming that Michael Jackson's father Joe Jackson "has committed to attending" the controversial “Michael Jackson’s Untimely Death Was The Best Thing That Could Ever Have Happened To Michael Jackson’s Music Show" at the Palms on Saturday afternoon, new questions are being raised about the "costs" of the concert and what the pre-net money is being spent on.

The show's producer and promoter, Las Vegas blogger, New York Times stringer, Gay Vegas author and comp queen Steve Friess, promises in a recent press release that "100% of the proceeds after costs benefit music education programming in Clark County Public Schools" --while at the same time "raising funds to help kids across the U.S."

As more local entertainers are joining the afternoon lineup on August 29th-- Jacko's birthday-- it's unclear how much money is being spent on the show and "after party"-- and whether anyone is being paid for appearing. The involvement of Joe Jackson brings the issue to a head, in light of reports that he was paid by the city of Gary, Indiana to appear at a Jacko tribute there.

Friess, who had celebrated Jackson's June 25th death as "the best thing that could ever have happened to Michael Jackson's music" and led the media coverup in reporting the prescription painkiller death of local superstar Danny Gans, was among the first in the nation to rush to capitalize on Jackson's death by scheduling the tribute show for a "tribute" show that he has pointedly insisted "will commemorate and celebrate Jackson’s art" and not his life.

Friess has claimed that he hopes to "to raise $100,000 for public schools music programs," but he has not revealed how much he hopes to raise through ticket ales and donations.

On Monday, August 17th, Friess wrote on his blogsite about his meeting with Joe Jackson at the Palms, and while he did not go into specifics about what it took to get Jackson to "promise to get to the Palms for at least the end of our show" and "the after-party," he did admit to blurring his roles as journalist and concert producer by selling to the New York Daily News the personal information Joe Jackson revealed during the negotiations.

The afternoon event at the Palms Hotel & Casino has grown in scope as it is being bunched with other local tributes, including the declaration of "Michael Jackson Day" in Las Vegas and the appearance of Joe Jackson and former manager Frank Dileo a special celebrity star tribute at a theatre at the Palms.

Friess has raised eyebrows as he covers the Las Vegas angle of the Jackson story for The New York Times while doing business with Joe Jackson and other members of the Jackson family. He recently criticized ABC News for stationing a stringer outside the home of Dr. Conrad Murray, who's being investigated in Jackson's death.

We've reached out to Steve Friess for comment, but he has not responded.

No comments: