Monday, August 1, 2011

Was He Killed for the Catalog or Not?

This was meant to be a short post but became rather lengthy so I decided to post it here, too. It was nothing but a stream of consciousness of thoughts running through my head today. Please pardon any mistakes.

Some people, including LaToya, keep saying that Michael was killed for his music catalog. Well--I say he was killed because they could *not* get his catalog. Here's why:

Do not get me wrong--Sony sucks. Michael said so himself. They make millions off their artists then ditch them when they are not well above par. It is not about music anymore--it is about commercialization and visual appeal, not auditory appeal--and remember, this is music we are talking about, it should only sound good, not look good.

Back to the catalog--according to Lynton Guest who I consider to be a very valuable asset when it comes to understanding the music industry, said that in 2007 Sony basically gained control of the Sony/ATV collection. This was later made clear by Michael's own Estate who has stated in court documents that though the Estate "owns" half the complete control of the catalog lies with Sony. Sony basically got what they wanted from Michael back then. They didn't really need him dead.

Now let's shift to AEG and Tohme Tohme. I see no direct correlation to Sony with AEG (specifically Randy Phillips), Tohme Tohme or Conrad Murray, specifically *before* Michael's death. There could be a connection but I see none thus far. Tohme was in full control of Michael's life since mid-2008 up until, well, we are not sure, he was supposedly fired in March, got his letter of termination in May yet was still around and helping lead a press conference on June 25th as he walked up to UCLA with none other than Randy Phillips, his supposed ex-brother-in-law (which I have never been able to verify, if true wow, if not oh well, doesn't make their relationship any less suspicious). It seems Tohme never really left, even after being fired, even after Michael telling people he was afraid of Tohme, even after Tohme shut Michael's electricity off, even after Tohme tried to sell everything Michael ever owned--he tried to sell his life, basically. Tohme Tohme headed the Colony Capital venture and Randy Phillips headed the AEG venture--both AEG and Colony Capital, thanks to the two men named above, had stake in the "This Is It" tour. These are the two men who brokered the deals--responsibility lie within THEM. If Michael had canceled the tour then AEG thought they would get not just the catalog but everything he owned, per the contract. Tohme would have probably gotten a chunk--after all he was being paid directly by AEG per the contract that was addressed to none other than him. Yes, that CONtract was signed by Randy Phillips and addressed as a LETTER to Tohme Tohme--see this relationship more clearly now? These two are bosom buddies--WHY? Tohme was suppose to be Michael's manager, not Phillips' best friend and business partner. This was not a genuine contract, either, it was not accompanied with a cover letter addressed to a lawyer, hell, not even one of Michael's attorneys was listed anywhere on that pathetic piece of paper that seems to have at least one forged signature.

Anyway, what I am getting at is if "This Is It" failed, as in Michael either did not cancel or did not perform perfectly for 50 shows then specifically Tohme Tohme and Randy Phillips were in deep shit. Tohme had arranged the Colony Capital deal, Randy Phillips the AEG deal (and the ill-fated LA Gear deal so he'd already been burned once with a Michael-related deal). Barrack and Anschutz would not be happy campers. I do not think Tohme and Phillps wanted not only to lose their careers and millions of dollars but to also permanently have this failure attached to their names, either. Do you?

I just put in the exact phrase "desperate acts desperate measures" in Google and guess what pops up? ( Articles claiming Michael Jackson was a desperate man who killed himself. This pisses me off to no end. It is WRONG. Michael was NOT desperate and did NOT kill himself--he was trying his BEST to do what he did BEST besides being a parent--perform and entertain the world with his talent and love. Did you see a desperate man in the video footage taken just hours before he died? NO. What the above searches should say is Randy Phillips and Tohme Tohme were desperate men who needed a man killed to bail their asses out! Murray was in the right place at the right time--or wrong place depending on which side you are on. If it were not for the unbiased coroner's office then Michael's death probably would be listed as an accidental OD or suicide--and this is simply NOT true.

Do you see this battle we have to continue fighting? It makes me sick, literally sick. I will continue to fight, though. Every night when I look into Michael's eyes, I say I am not looking at eyes that are windows to the soul but rather I am looking *into* his soul now. He may not cry anymore but the world does because of what not only was done to him but what is continually being done to him and those who love him. The truth deserves to be heard and heard over all the lies about Michael harming himself and being things he was not.


  1. Here is another rant I did on Phillips the other night:

  2. Nikki said, "It is not about music anymore--it is about commercialization and visual appeal, not auditory appeal--and remember, this is music we are talking about, it should only sound good, not look good."

    Unfortunately, this has been the case for decades so this isn't really a new issue as far as commercialization and visual appeal is concerned. Elvis had to deal with this since he was initially "marketed" as a, forgive the phrase, "pretty boy" singer and was also locked into an extensive below par movie contract that he couldn't wait to get out of. Those movies were essentially long form music videos that were used as a vehicle to market his music and his image which largely benefited the movie studio and the record label. Of course, he transended the "pretty boy" label to become a phenomenon.

    Forgive me, I can't resist, but when you said that music is only supposed to sound good and not look good I sat and thought, "how do I approach this...:-)?" I do agree that the music HAS to come first. If the music is lousy it doesn't matter how good the video is, people aren't gonna' watch it. However, I can think of one very special individual who not only made music that sounded fantastic but also made music LOOK out of this world! I know ya' know who I'm talkin' 'bout...:-)..:-)

    By the way, I was confused about the Sony/ATV issue that you mentioned. My understanding is that Micheal had sold 50% of the ATV catalog to Sony in 1995 for about $90 mill. That's why we know it as Sony/ATV today. I also understand that about 50% of MJ's half was heavily leaveraged as security againt MJ's debt. Is this the 2007 issue Lynton Guest is referencing?

    Speaking of Sony/ATV, I thought I'd add this as an interesting side note. It's the statement that was made by the estate concerning the Sony/ATV catalog:

    "The following statement comes from Michael Jackson’s estate regarding the Michael Jackson catalogue and Sony/ATV music (March 2011):

    Yes, there is a matching right that Michael granted to Sony/ATV but they only get to administer the catalog for a limited term AND only if they agree to unprecedented favorable terms. We will not relinquish ultimate control and ownership to anyone. We have favorably refinanced the loans on Mijac which will be paid off and the catalog WILL absolutely be passed to Michael’s children as long as we have anything to say about it.

    Sony/ATV is a great company and the Estate owns half of it but no one, not even Sony/ATV, will ever own Mijac while John McClain and I remain in charge.

    The current Sony team is the one Michael chose to work with on the Thriller 25 release and they are good partners. As stated in the recent court filings, they worked with us to refinance the burdensome debt that had been placed on Michael’s interest in Sony/ATV to very favorable terms, an important achievement which insures that Mijac and Michael’s masters remain secure for the benefit of Michael’s children for years to come."

    John Branca – Co-Executor
    The Estate Of Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, C


    Blessings to you, Nikki, and love you more!!!

  3. This is why I miss your blog. I value what you say and this pisses me off too. We all miss him so much...
    Thanks Nikki,


  4. Thank you Monica! <3 I am back, I think! :-D

  5. Hey Sandy<3!

    You are right about the music--I think in the 1990s is when it started getting really bad and now? Pfffft. At least in the 1980s people had a chance even if they were not "sexy"--which is so subjective. Even Lady Gaga who is a bit over the top in wardrobe but nonetheless a pretty girl when she is herself was told she didn't have the "look" to be a pop star and was refused a contract. Now, this is someone who got into Julliard, right? What a shame, a true shame!

    ATV--yes, he sold half to Sony in 1995, or rather, his ATV was merged with Sony's catalog but he got paid for the merger since his catalog was worth more, I guess. Now, I don't know if it was only half of his half or the entire 50% that has debt leveraged on it. I was under the assumption it is his entire share. Guest mentioned that Sony had gained some sorts of rights on half of Michael's half--but somehow the wording still exists that Michael's Estate "owns" half. It is one of the documents that the Estate actually admits that Sony maintains control. At least Michael's children will have full rights to MiJac!

    From page 22 of the 51 page document filed by the Estate on September 23rd, 2010:

    b) Sony/ATV. Michael had also pledged his fifty percent interest in Sony/ATV as security for a loan issued by Barclays Capital. At the time of Michael Jackson's death, the balance due on the Sony/ATV Loan was approximately $(marked out). The loan matures on December 3, 2010. The loan is further secured by a guaranty given by Sony Global Treasury. In exchange for securing Sony's guaranty, Michael Jackson was required to give up significant rights to control and/or sell his interest in Sony/ATV as well as granting Sony protections in the event of a default. (Please see the foot note "5" attached to the marked-out numerical sum).

    Definition of a "guaranty"--an agreement by which one person assumes the responsibility of assuring payment or fulfillment of another's debts or obligations. (

    From Lynton Guest's book, page 161:

    "The loans he had taken out would not go away, however, and the singer was forced to enter into an agreement with Sony, under which Sony assumed the debt in return for half of Jackson's shares in Sony ATV. The company also negotiated an option to purchase the remaining shares, an option which they could take up at any time of their choosing. These shares were transferred to a trust of which Jackson was a stakeholder. This convoluted structure enabled the King of Pop to say, with just-about honesty, that he still "owned" his half of Sony ATV. But, in reality the whole company now belonged to Sony. Their desire to have complete control, put into motion years previously by Norio Ohga, was finally fulfilled."

    So, how many still think Michael Jackson still owned, at the time of his death, his full rights/control of his 50% share of Sony/ATV? This should be enough to at least have everyone question that 50% share/control that went from having Michael in board meetings and being a integral part of decision-making to him drowning in debt and destitute years later. Who do you think is to blame for that?

  6. Hi Nikki, so glad you are back to your enlightening blogging. As to your question, "So, how many still think Michael Jackson still owned ... his full rights/control of his 50% share of Sony/ATV.?" I wish I had an informed opinion on this, not having an informed opinion, I must pass.

    I did want to put in my two cents concerning Tohme/Phillips'/AEG's role in vying for the catalog per that abominable contract (IMO, letter of intent) with Michael. To this day I cannot believe this January 26, 2009 letter of intent was the vehicle which bound Michael to the TII tour. No adequate notice provisions to the artist, no legal representation for the artist, seemingly missing and/or stamped, forged signatures of the artist, etc. And Michael Jackson basically signing over his rights to his catalog and any/all other monetary possessions to this gang of thieves upon AEG's definitions of artist "default"?? It makes no more sense than it did a year ago, or two years ago, or on whatever date it was signed; if it was ever completely signed.

    I recently re-read Ortega's testimony from the prelim. Is it really possible that he was brought aboard TII as late in the game as April, 2009, as he says? And Michael supposedly signed this "contract" with AEG in January 2009? What happened between January and April, 2009 with "no director"? Will there ever be clarity with these dates? I guess one question just leads to another. Your blogs are very valuable and need to be widely disseminated.

  7. So, how many still think Michael Jackson still owned, at the time of his death, his full rights/control of his 50% share of Sony/ATV? This should be enough to at least have everyone question that 50% share/control that went from having Michael in board meetings and being a integral part of decision-making to him drowning in debt and destitute years later. Who do you think is to blame for that?

    I don't understand the question?
     If mj did not own 50% of ATV publishing, why would Sony or Anyone kill him for it?
     According to  (From Lynton Guest's book, page 161) it's only a front that mj own 25%, and Sony has secure that 25% by paying off mj debt on it, so I ask the question again why would AEG and Sony need to kill MJ if they got what they wanted all along?
    After reading the estate declaration to the court MJ own 50% all Sony did was 
    guaranty the loan (saying if MJ default we will pay) and by them doing that MJ give them  more board room privilege  without him.
    And those loan MJ have are business loan that he must have been paying with his profit from Sony/ATV,  mjjack was under loan too so there lies mj 
    problem of having no personal cash to carryon his daily life. so come the tours this would have give mj the cash he need to sort out his day to day life.

        After reading countless views and blogs and court paper this what I think,

  8. Nikki said, "So, how many still think Michael Jackson still owned, at the time of his death, his full rights/control of his 50% share of Sony/ATV? This should be enough to at least have everyone question that 50% share/control that went from having Michael in board meetings and being a integral part of decision-making to him drowning in debt and destitute years later. Who do you think is to blame for that?"

    I wish I had an answer to this but certainly seeds of this were planted with the ugly Chandler episode from the early 90's...:-(

    Yes, June, I totally agree. What happened between January and April 2009 indeed! I remember that Karen Faye has tweeted in the past that the concerts had a rushed quality to them. She mentioned that at the time of Michael's passing, essentially 2 weeks before opening night, many of the performers costumes were don't yet. Also, the costumes that had been made for Michael weren't "dance ready" according to KF. As we all know Bush/Tompkins was the team that MJ typically used to make his show clothes. They were involved but another designer, Zaldy, was also brought in. Although his designs were very striking, they couldn't be danced in. Anyway, the point being that there were still loose ends that should have already been tied up.

    Interesting video from Access Hollywood showing some of the Zaldy concepts:

  9. MJ still owned 50% Sony had the 25% 1st option to buy. Sony were never involved in his death it has always been AEG and Colony Capital.

    It was Barrack who had Michael put his percentage of Neverland as collateral if concerts failed. Barrack also had full access to Michael's finances.

  10. Hi June,

    It is at least pretty certain that as far I know that when it comes to control of the Sony/ATV catalog that is in Sony's control.

    I think Anonymous is correct--MJ still owned his 50% but he did have to negotiate with Sony and give them the option to purchase the 25%--in other words allowing them first dibs. Sick, huh?

    As for the letter of intent/CONtract I cannot agree more--sad thing is--who is here to say "hey, this is not the contract I signed!" Michael is gone and everyone else named on that contract is likely corrupt. No legal representation for Michael is listed and how that supposedly happened I have NO clue. I have mentioned to people before I find it suspicious that there is no initialing on the documents provided by AEG. How do we know that those documents are what Michael actually saw? We don't--it is all based on the word of Randy Phillips since he signed it--Tohme isn't talking and I have my doubts Hawk or Jorrie even looked at them or want to add their two cents.

    Sad thing is when AEG sold those 50 shows out--MJ had no option but to do them. AEG knew he would not back out of the shows. MJ would not do that to his fans nor would he want to anger anyone, either, nor would AEG probably let him get out of it, either. They had full control of everything. They baited and switched as far as I am concerned.

    Ortega's testimony--I hope to get to this tomorrow. I think it is possible. Ortega seems to be a busy man. I have heard dancers were not even hired until May--seriously, for a show set to begin in July and to tour for three years? Are they serious? A show that elaborate? That is partly why I say AEG had no plans to ever do these shows. They never planned on their being a tour--from the beginning, though I won't say death was option number one, but it certainly must have been option number two, from my view.

  11. Hi Bridgett,

    I do not think Sony wanted to harm Michael physically. Financially? Yes--and they did so. But most of the damage had been done--they had already won in my book and that is why I say to these people who say Sony killed Michael--I think they should rethink their statement.

    You would think with a tour MJ would have had the cash he needed to pay off his loans but sadly this was not true--the AEG contract claimed MJ would get 90% of the profits but that was only after AEG got everything they needed for "advancements". They already had racked up $40 million by June 25th without really having done anything--anything MJ made would go to them first--then he would get his 90% share which would likely never have happened as there would always be costs that AEG would claim needed to be covered.

  12. Hi Sandy--

    You know--there is such a combination of factors that hurt Michael financially I could do a series of blogs on it. Now, who hurt him on purpose for their own gain versus who may have hurt him to aid Sony--I have no idea and sadly I do not think any of us know. I have read accounts were people think the Arvizos were actually asked to do what they did on behalf of Sony but where is the proof? Sounds logical but wow, trying to prove that is tough. Sadly, MJ was what I call a "greed magnet"--yet he did not have a greedy bone in his body. Competitive, yes, but he shared so much of his wealth with people who were not even deserving of it like the Arvizos and Chandlers, etc. etc. etc.

    Speaking of Zaldy--why was he there? He had SIX assistants. Remember folks--MJ was having to pay for Zaldy and his assistants though he had Michael Lee Bush there, his trusted costume designer there. See where AEG was going with this? I wonder if they paid Zaldy.

  13. Anonymous--thank you for the information.

    Do you really feel it is Colony Capital and AEG or moreover Tohme Tohme and Randy Phillips, rather than Anschutz and Barrack who had anything to do with this?

  14. Tohme and Phillips are the pawns like Murray. AEG's deal is blow for blow the same idea Barrack had other than it was worldwide not Las Vegas.
    Thiller Movie/casino, 3 year plan he got in touch with Anschutz because he knew he would do as he wanted.
    Murray and Tohme were on Colonys side and Phillips for AEG.
    If certain people did the research and stopped saying there is no connection between AEG and Murray to fit their story they would realise they are looking at the wrong promoter.

    Tom Barrack owns Sunrise colony company that is where Murrays house up for closure was.
    Barrack also has 75% ownership of staions Casinos.
    Stations Casinos have development sites in Nevada are gaming-entitled. This means without any special approvals a Casino can be built on those locations one of those locations is.
    Flamengo Rd at clark county 215.

    1 of Dr Conrad Murray's addresses 2110 Flamengo Rd, Global Cardio Associates, Suite 301, Las Vegas,NV 89119

    Barrack owned the company that was over seeing his foreclosure and another company that could possibly take away his and his wifes practice. Why would Murray kill Michael what did he have to gain? What did he have to lose if he didn't?

    Jermaine really needs to come out and tell every1 how Tohme came into the picture already.

    1 other thing I will leave you with Anshutz didn't want anything to do with MJ... Neither did Barrack.
    Was Michael's intersts ever there concern???

  15. Hi Nikki,
    Thank you so much for your response...:-)

    By the way, when referencing Zaldy and his assistance and whether he was paid by AEG you said, "See where AEG was going with this?"

    Forgive my ignorance but could you clarify please?

  16. Karen Faye posted this today in regard to the Zaldy issue:

    Karen Faye (@wingheart)
    Posted Sunday 7th August 2011 from TweetList

    "No...Zaldy was Travis Payne, KO, and AEG's choice. Michael asked Michael Bush to start making his costumes without their knowledge, because he did not like what Zaldy was doing. Also NONE of Zaldy's creations were any where near being completed before Michael died. They were all completed after his death so they could go on display and suck more money from Michael's fans. Michael never wore or planned to wear any of it. RT @BenSCR: @wingheart Was MJ going to wear Zaldy's costumes for This Is It. I only liked his Billie Jean design that lit up in the dark."