Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Jackson memorial gig is shaping up to be quite, quite special

Jermaine Jackson has been in London today, pushing a wonderful live music event. Oh, yeah, in memory of thingumabob. But mostly the event.

Where to start? First, perhaps, with the news that Chris Brown is hoping to take part:

"Chris Brown is working out some situations but he definitely expressed to us that he wants to be here," Jackson said at a press conference in London.

"It's just up to what he's going through with his court case right now - but he's definitely going to work that out and be here."

Ah, yes, "some situations" - or "he's receiving a light punishment for beating a woman's face in" as you might choose to describe it if you were less generous.
Jackson said that, despite the negative publicity surrounding Brown's court case, he was happy for the singer to take part.

"People make mistakes and he's a wonderful performer and during these times people need support and that's really important," he said.

I'm not even sure - if pressed - Celebrity Big Brother's (and, of course, the celebrity's big brother) Jermaine could explain exactly what he means by that. It sounds like he's saying 'well, whoops-a-daisy, he smashed a woman's face, but who hasn't? Besides, we could all do with a dance to cheer ourselves up."

It also sounds a little like JJ is implying that - somehow - the painkillery death of Michael is of a piece with the credit crisis, the war in Afghanistan, the continued provision of a public platform to Glenn Beck and the many other ailments of a planet. That the death horseman was only interested in Jacko and now his job is done.

And that must be what Jermaine meant - for if by "during these times" he simply means the cancellation of a lucrative fifty-night run at the O2 arena, then surely not even Chris Brown - even if he was a musical genius, and not merely a thuggish label confection - would be able to fill that hole.

In fact, it's as if Jermaine has had that thought anyway. For he knows that the only celebrity with the power to fill the gap left by Michael (assuming Oprah and Martha Stewart can't sort out a cover of I Know Him So Well in time) is... well, Jackson.

Simply because Michael is dead isn't going to stop him turning up at his own memorial. Disappointingly, the current plan is not for him to hang around at the back in an unlikely beard claiming to be called Martin Wellborn, but instead he'll "appear" onstage.

God alone knows. A projector of some sort? Some "previously unseen footage"? All we do know is that this reanimated Jacko will be singing along with Jermaine.

It's what Michael would have wanted. Although not so much he invited Jermaine to duet with him when he was alive.

Channel 4 News was reporting that this misbegotten event is going to take place in Vienna because Michael "loved castles and The Sound Of Music". And not, then, because Jermaine fancied a trip to Austria.

Did Jacko love The Sound Of Music? You could understand the appeal of a story about a family of singing kids where it was the father who got forced to perform because of an overbearing presence, but I'm not sure I've ever heard of him doing Lonely Goatherd as an encore. A quick Google brings up a discussion which suggests Charmain Carr, who played Liesl Von Trapp, did some interior design for him in the past (without a happy ending) but that's hardly a conenction that would persuade most families to hold their gentle farewells in a different continent.


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