Saturday, February 18, 2006


We always love finding emails from Jim McCabe as they're usually going to lead us to a topnotch story; and this morning he's outdone himself. "I think you might find this interesting" he suggested, pointing us as at report from ABC news that Michael Jackson's legendary Katrina benefit might still be a going concern:

In a telephone interview from Dubai last week, Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the son of Bahrain's king, told The Associated Press, "The record is coming along great. We've been taking our time to perfect it and mix it."

See? If only Bob and Midge had brought that sense of professionalism to Do They Know Its Christmas? Sure, they might have had to leave Ethiopia to starve for a few months longer as they made Phil Collins do drum track after drum track until it was spot on, but we've always found when people are suffering and in desperate need to immediate help and relief, they'd much rather it comes through a pefectly mixed single. After all, if you're hungry, the last thing you want to think of is somebody having to put up with a bit of a flutter in his 5.1 stereo surround sound system while you're eating.

It seems that some of the people who have done their bit for the project had started to feel a bit like those marks who actually expect the guy to return with the bottle of vodka and their sixteen quid change. The O'Jays manager, Andy Gibson, was delighted to hear the song is still coming: "We were wondering whether or not it was ever coming out. They recorded their part of it two or three months ago."

But it seems the delays haven't been caused by the whole project falling to pieces in any way shape or form, oh no: it's been a victim of its own success:

The prince said the release has been delayed because additional artists wanted to contribute. But he declined to name those artists "I'd like to keep that as a surprise" or to name the company he claimed to have secured to sell the song via CDs and the Internet.

Prince, Prince, the very appearance of the bloody single after so long will be such a surprise, there's no guest appearance that will top that.

He said the song, which Jackson wrote, "is a message of peace and help and caring. It's a song of total oneness."

Asked if the song's release was a harbinger of a new Jackson album, Prince Abdullah laughed and said, "I will just say we've been very busy."

"This is a raindrop before the thunderstorm,' he said. "He's getting ready to come out with a lot of bells and whistles. He's so energized. It's explosive."

Well, we know that the Sun and the News of the World will be interested at the idea that Michael Jackson will be going around with bells and whistles - we're surprised that Wapping hasn't come up with the idea of making people who get too close to children wear some sort of audible warning round their neck.

Nobody seemed to want to ask the good sheik exactly what the money will be going towards now.