Despite a letter to neighbors pleading with them to accept a huge memorial, the Michael Jackson funeral service will probably not take place at Neverland.
As of midnight last night, sources said that the big public service for Michael Jackson would probably take place on Monday, July 6th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It makes sense: the Staples Center is operated by AEG Live, the company that was producing Jackson’s London shows.
The Neverland plan, as I wrote earlier this week, was not sound. The little town of Los Olivos wasn’t equipped for it. Neverland itself is on a narrow, two lane country road. The sudden influx of private cars, buses, security, and media would have been too much.
Earlier yesterday Thomas Barrack Jr., owner of Colony Capital LLC and Michael’s partner in Neverland after a recent refinancing, sent a letter to locals in the Santa Ynez Valley. The valiant effort was initiated to convince them to accept a Jackson memorial service. But the olive branch was said to not have been accepted.
In case the Jacksons don’t know it, here are some names of Michael’s friends who should be in VIP sections of the Staples Center whenever the service takes place: the Cascio family of New Jersey, Evvy Tavasci, Karen Faye, Deborah Dannelly, Scott Schaeffer, Joe Marcus, Tom Mesereau, Violet Silva, Mark Lester, Miko Brando, Omer Bhatti and his family, David Rothenberg (the boy ‘ now young man ‘ who was burned by his father and lived for years at Neverland as Michael’s guest), the Schleiter family of Germany, and Ryan White’s mom, Lynn. And, of course, Debbie Rowe, the mother of his two eldest children.