Mar. 5: Chris Brown is seen during his arraignment on charges of assault in downtown Los Angeles.
Michael Jackson announces a series of London tour dates on Thursday March 5, 2009.
It took Chris Brown nine days to apologize to girlfriend Rihanna for allegedly beating and biting her.
That stunning account comes from the LAPD officer's notes about what happened between the two pop stars on the night of February 8th. According to the report released on Thursday, Rihanna’s assistant received a text message from Brown on February 17th apologizing for what he’d done and saying he was going to "get help."
What either one of them did for the interceding nine days is unknown. But the report of what the police feel happened on February 8th is clear. If the charges are true, not only should Rihanna not be with Brown, but he needs more than "help." He needs punishment.
According to the police report, Brown not only "lost it" with Rihanna, but became what can only be termed enraged and psychotic. It’s impossible to imagine Rihanna, who only an hour before this happened had been the belle of Clive Davis’s Grammy ball, ducking and trying to protect her face as Brown mercilessly beat her inside a car.
The initial assault was prompted by Rihanna objecting to Brown receiving a three page text message from a former lover. (Sources still insist to this column that Paris Hilton was the sender. There’s still no confirmation of that.)
Brown didn’t care for Rihanna’s opinion, and tried to push her out of the car. When that didn’t work, Brown, according to Rihanna, "took his right hand and shoved her head against the passenger window … causing an approximate one inch raised circular contusion. He then started punching her with his right hand as he drove. "The assault caused [Rihanna’s] mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and and the interior of the vehicle."
Stop right there. Even though Brown’s assault continued, painfully, for some time until Rihanna was able to grab his car keys and get out, that’s enough. No matter how many hit records she has, or fleeting fame, it’s now her parents’ and family’s responsibility to make this young woman come to terms with what happened.
Rihanna is a role model for young people. She gave this statement to the police. Pictures of her bruised and bloodied have been widely disseminated. If she doesn’t testify against Brown, put him in jail, and show a sense of self-respect, then she deserves to lose her career and the power that comes with it. For her own sake, and for the millions of girls who look up to her, this is a pivotal moment.
And the nine days? Disgusting.
Seeing Michael Jackson’s new face prompted some watercolor memories yesterday from a source who worked on his albums in the 1980s.
At his press conference in London yesterday, Jackson sported what seemed to be a new cleft chin implant, perhaps refreshed cheeks and a new mouth.
One former Jacko insider who worked on the album, "Bad," caught the press conference on TV. Later, the source told me: "We had already shot the cover of "Bad" and printed five hundred thousand copies. We were ready to go. Then suddenly Michael walks into the office with a brand new chin. We said, ‘What have you done?’ He said, ‘Now I have a cleft.’ We didn’t even know what that was. We couldn’t put out the album with that cover. The whole thing had to be re-shot. All the covers were junked. And Michael had to pay for it."
That was about 22 years ago, and nothing’s changed. Jackson’s continued to spend and waste money like there’s no tomorrow. I’m told that Jackson’s lawsuit to suddenly stop the planned auction of his memorabilia is all about money, too. The real reason for this hasty change of mind should surface in the next few days — and it’s a doozy, even for Michael!
You always wondered: what would it be that brought the remaining Beatles together for a concert? Would they raise money for hunger, music education, homelessness, AIDS?
The answer is surprising but maybe not so much. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are going to play in a concert together on April 4th at Radio City Music Hall to raise money so that children can learn to meditate. The idea is that this will calm them down — the kids, not Paul and Ringo — so they won’t need Ritalin or psychiatrists.
It’s almost perfect synchronicity: back in the 1960s, the Beatles went to India and learned all about meditation. Now they’re coming together for movie director David Lynch’s private foundation which has been funding the Transcendental Meditation movement in the US for the last few years.
Unfortunately, little is known about the details of the David Lynch Foundation because its last three federal tax filings leave out a lot of information. Where the money goes from the David Lynch Foundation is more than a little vague. For the last three years the tax filings only say it goes to creating "Consciousness based educational initiatives" at public and private schools. But which schools or what kind of programs remains a mystery. With current assets of $1.8 million, the Foundation claims to have given away $1.7 million in 2008, $1.3 million in 2007, and $437,500 in 2006. All together, it’s handed out $6.2 million to some people, somewhere, to get all peaceful.
The money seems to have gone to the Maharashi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. The books are kept in Fairfield, and most of the directors of the Foundation are listed as living there as well. MUM, as it is referred to — as in, keep "mum" — is the headquarters for the Transcendental Meditation movement, or TM, in the U.S. It’s basically about mantras and chanting. TM was famously lampooned during its heyday in the mid 1970s by Woody Allen in Annie Hall when Jeff Goldblum, playing a partygoer, is overheard saying into a phone, "Hello? I forgot my mantra."
TM and MUM were founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who died in February 2008 at age 80. The Beatles met him in 1967 and visited him the following year in India with a big contingent including Mia Farrow and the singer Donovan — who is also on the April 4th bill. Huge chunks of their music following that experience —The White Album, Hey Jude, Abbey Road, and Let it Be — were influenced by this experience. The beautiful chant in "Across the Universe"— Jai guru deva om—was a tribute to the Maharishi.
The price of meditation is not cheap. Tickets for the show — which also features Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Betty LaVette, Ben Harper, and Moby — range from a low of $1,250 to a VIP package that costs $100,000. You’ll be happy to know the deductible part of that ticket is $93,625.
The VIP packages include a "celebratory brunch" and a post concert party at the Four Seasons restaurant hosted by Lynch and his long time benefactor, quirky Bridgewater hedge fund self made billionaire Ray Dalio. Married to a descendant of the Whitney-Vanderbilt fortunes, 58 year old Dalio has a net worth of $4 billion according to Forbes. And even though he gives millions to Lynch, Dalio lists on his website that he hunts and kills the food he eats with a bow and arrow. Someone should tell him there’s a Whole Foods now in Greenwich.
And here’s something to meditate on: April 4th is an odd choice for the Lynch concert. At the exact same moment, in Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — whose mantra is a symbol — the dollar sign — will be inducting its new members including Little Anthony & the Imperials, Jeff Beck, Metallica, Run-DMC, Wanda Jackson, Spooner Oldham, and Bobby Womack.