Published August 16, 2006
Michael Jackson is in financial and geographical limbo, sources say, trapped between homes that aren’t his and two members of a royal family.
Jackson long ago turned over his life to Prince Abdullah of Bahrain, moving his family to the Mideast island getaway at the Prince’s expense and putting down roots.
But Jackson is now “traveling” between Ireland and England because, as it happens, the Prince’s father doesn’t like Jackson to hang around the Bahraini capital when his son is not home to host him.
The problem could be that Jackson is closer in age to King Hamad, who is 57, than to the Prince, who is 31 years old. Jackson, who thinks of himself as 12, turns 48 this month.
Apparently, King Hamad is not amused by his son’s continued interest and expense regarding Jackson, especially since in the 14 months that the pop star and entourage have lived off of the Bahraini royal family he’s earned no money.
Currently, Jackson and Prince Abdullah are partners in a record company called 2 Seas, which is supposed to release some kind of Jackson album in the coming year.
But 2 Seas is dormant at the moment, and now I’m told that the Prince has hired a Los Angeles-based entertainment lawyer, Steven Barnes, to handle his partnership with Jackson.
Barnes is the brother of John Barnes, a musician who’s worked on many Jackson records.
It’s hard to imagine why any new attorneys would take Jackson on as a client, considering that nearly all of his former legal reps are now suing him for lack of payment on fees.
At the same time, Jackson’s rep Raymone Bain claims that she has evidence that some of Jackson’s former lawyers corresponded with each other in a proposed conspiracy to force him into involuntary bankruptcy last year.
Jackson, meantime, remains a man without a home. Self-exiled from the now-shuttered Neverland Ranch, he has told friends that he’d like to buy a mansion in the United Kingdom.
Since his financial reorganization in June, Jackson has a limited amount of cash — $10 to $12 million that he may be getting in monthly installments. But his debts, if he chose to pay them, would come close to wiping out that windfall.
Luckily, Jackson is averse to paying any of his accounts receivable, something that Barnes —and any new players in his strange world — should take into account.
Touring this summer has proven to be a bumpy road for my heroes Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.
First they issued a letter to actor Owen Wilson, putting him on notice that they thought his movie, “You, Me and Dupree, was based on or inspired by their song, “Cousin Dupree.”
Now they’ve been moved to address "Rushmore" director Wes Anderson, with whom Wilson has worked. The idea now is that Anderson is played out.
“Your career is suffering from a malaise,” they tell Anderson in a posting on their Web site.
This may be true, but if they really wanted to work with him, wouldn’t it have been easier for Becker and Fagen just to contact Anderson’s agent rather than attack him in public?
Anyway, the pair has apparently each composed a song for Anderson that they propose he use in a new movie.
Fagen’s song is called “Darjeeling Limited, and Becker’s is "Bottlerocket Two,” a title song for an unmade sequel to Anderson’s original film, "Bottle Rocket." Here are the “heavily copyrighted” lyrics to "Bottlerocket Two.":
Real or imagined
People or places
Living or dead
As-if or actual
Characters or circumstance
It's all in your head
Flying out to India
Trying to get into you
It's a very long way
To chase a "bottlerocket" to©
Persons and places
Present or otherwise
Comrades in comedy
Brothers in crime
Hiding out in India
Babycakes they're watching you
This is our latest -
It may be our greatest -
It's called "bottlerocket" too©!
Who pitched the story?
Who built the scenery?
Who raised the money?
Whose movie is it,
[Guitar Solo ]
PS. The best of the Steely Dan-Wes Anderson letter is a reference to their attorney, Michael "Mickey" Shaheen of Howard Beach, N.Y. Of course, there is no such person. They’ve somehow combined the idea of Howard Beach, famous for race crimes, and famed Connecticut criminal defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Sherman.
Let’s hope that tour wraps up soon!