Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dr Shafer Speaks about Michael Jackson and the Dangers of Propofol in the Wrong Hands

Nice to see Dr Shafer again and still not cutting Murray any slack. This is an article that was posted 0n 3News in New Zealand where Dr Shafer was speaking at a seminar at New Zealand Society of Anaesthesiologist ~ Qbee

Doctor warns about Michael Jackson-killer propofol
By Jane Luscombe Reporter
Monday 24 Feb 2014 6:33p.m.

CLICK to view video 

An expert who testified against Michael Jackson's doctor is visiting Auckland, where he's given an insight into the drug that killed the singer.

Dr Steven Shafer says propofol should only ever be used as a hospital anaesthetic, but some people pay for shots to help them sleep in their beds at night.

The respected anaesthesiologist testified in the trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of killing Jackson by giving him propofol.

"The serious risk from propofol is that you stop breathing," says Dr Shafer.

Propofol is widely used as a general anaesthetic, including for surgery here.

Dr Shafer says it is very safe, but only in the right hands. Jackson was in the wrong hands. Murray had no training in anaesthetics.

"He went into an area that he had no expertise in," says Dr Shafer. "There was absolutely no reason he should be using drugs like propofol."

Worse, he couldn't revive the singer.

"He describes trying to hold MJ between his arms and push. You don't do this. You take a person and put them onto the floor so you have something to push against. You can't just squeeze a person like a hamburger."

So what should Conrad Murray have done?

"'Mr Jackson, I'm appreciative of all the money you are going to offer me and I'm appreciative of the ego boost from being Michael Jackson's doctor. Thank you for those. I don't need those.'"

But Dr Shafer does understand the lure of the drug.

"It's a very pleasant drug to get actually. It's a little bit euphoric. I've had surgery twice in the last year. I can tell you waking up from propofol is almost worth going for surgery."

That is one of the reasons some wealthy people demand it to help them sleep.

"I know of, just anecdotally, hospitals around the world, they will go and patients will pay to get a couple of CCs of propofol at night."

It's a risky business. The lifespan for abusers is just three months. And those most likely to abuse the drug are anaesthetists, who have ready access.

"It's safe when you have someone else giving it to you and watching you. It's a little bit hard to do things like resuscitate yourself."

As for Jackson, Dr Shafer says propofol was more likely to make his sleep problem worse. The help he needed should have come from a sleep clinic.

Source: http://www.3news.co.nz/

Members of MJJCommunity  can join the discussion in the Trials and Tribulation forum

Below is a Fan Q & A  interview  with Dr Shafer from  MJJCommunity




Thursday, February 20, 2014

MICHAEL JACKSON Had a Heart of GOLD Now the world can touch it...Literally !

1st Edition:
Broken Heart Stone
World’s Most Famous Handprint
Michael Jackson - King of Pop
Andrew Wilson

Through a maze of incredible circumstance and chance, and last minute decisions that made this story possible, a historical and photographic journey of the Broken Heart Stone, which remained hidden in a Las Vegas casino basement for over two decades. A twist of fate made it possible for an incredible story that would have otherwise gone un-written in the pages of entertainment history.

Whether coincidence or otherwise, many feel the image of a Broken Heart in Michael's hand print is a powerful and symbolic reminder of Michael Jackson's life ... One might ask: Is this a final message to his family, his friends and his fans? Read the amazing stories behind the Broken Heart Stone.

"To give someone a piece of your heart, is worth more than all the wealth in the world."
~Michael Jackson

Had a heart of GOLD
Now the world can touch it...Literally !

If MJ Fans can’t come to Hollywood…we’ll bring Hollywood to them.
Fans everywhere can now place their hand in Michael’s Broken Heart Palm

1984: Michael Jackson had placed his footprints, hand print, and autograph into wet
cement for the Riviera Hotel. When the city cancelled the Walk-of-Fame project, the
Stone was forgotten in a basement for over 2 decades. The palm of Michael’s hand
print has the shape of a HEART with a profound crack, thus: Broken Heart Stone.

An official documentary of the Immortalization of Michael Jackson; how the Broken
Heart Stone, a 300 lb piece of cement, went from the forgotten shadows of obscurity
to Hollywood’s Eternal Mecca for celebrities, the forecourt of the Chinese Theater? 
(Portion of proceeds from book going to Cancer Research: CollMed.org)

Whether coincidence or otherwise, the Broken Heart Stone is a tasteful, powerful,
and symbolic reminder of Michael’s life. Here is an amazing historical and
photo-graphical journey of how something so precious was almost lost until a twist
of fate changed everything for Michael’s fans. We now have a lasting tribute to the
greatest entertainer of all time...and MJ fans can now place their hand in his.

Available in Spanish & English worldwide on Amazon, Nook, Kindle & soon, iTunes.
Hard Copy of the book is available from the publishers’ website: 
www.BrokenHeartStone.com.  A large 10" X 10" coffee table book: 154 pages, over 180
Historical & Exclusive photos. Limited 1st Edition, numbered, hand signed by author,
and relic granules of the Stone's excavation along with a numbered Certificate of
Authenticity will accompany the book. CD included in the Hard-Copy book with 2
tribute songs to Michael. iTunes will also have 2 songs w/book.

Pat Rivers, an Independent book reviewer, gives the author 2 thumbs up: " Wilson
delivers a captivating story of incredible chance, and perseverance to rescue a
forgotten piece of entertainment history. The photos tell a story all its own. The
musical CD can move one to tears. Definitely World’s Most Famous Hand Print."  (Pat

The Michael Jackson Estate Financial Report Reveals How Money is Spent

From Radar Online today: Details on the Estates financial report. "At the time of Michael’s death, he was  500 Million in debt named in more than half a dozen lawsuits, and 65 creditors’ claims were filed after he died."   They have resolved them all favorably all but 7 pending creditor claims (Including the IRS debt) Looks like they are doing a great job and Katherine and Michael's children are living very comfortable. Lets hope the others claims can be resolved in their favor. Also Because of the pending claims they are asking 1 year extension for probate not to be closed yet. That means they will still be overseen by the probate court. From what I understand, after the debt is cleared  and they are removed from probate they will be able to disburse more money into the Children's Trusts and the charity Trust as well. ~ Qbee

Revealed: Court Filings Detail How The Michael Jackson Estate Is Spending Its Fortune

"At the time of Michael Jackson‘s death in 2009, the singer was $500 million in debt, but court documents reveal that three years later, the estate had generated more than $600 million and his mother Katherine had received $1.3 million in her yearly allowance and a $6 million loan.

Court documents — filed by estate executors and obtained exclusively by RadarOnline.com – expose the financial windfall that has been generated since his tragic death and provides insights as to the cost of raising the King of Pop’s three kids.

In 2012, according to financial records reviewed by Radar, the estate paid $564,301.57 for bodyguards and security for Katherine and her three grandchildren, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket. (Radar has chosen not to disclose the names of the companies, due to privacy concerns.)

The matriarch of the Jackson family, 83, was paid $1.386 million in allowance from her late son’s estate in 2012 and was also loaned more than $6 million from the estate, which also doled out more than $3 million in allowance to Michael’s three children for education and $10,000 in orthodontics.

The family has been living in a $26,000 rental house in Calabasas, while the Hayvenhurst house continues to be renovated.

The monthly electric bill for the Calabasas mansion is $2,500 and the cost for living (including utilities) in the rental for in 2012 was $418,013.69.

Renovations for the Encino mansion were $154,323.53 in 2012, including a $12,000 home theater renovation project, $3,225 studio repair and pond keeper services for $814.43.

Even though no one was living at the house in 2012, utilities including phone, gas, and electricity totaled $35,842.05. Storage and moving fees for 2012 added up to a whopping $806,872.52.

The co-executors, John Branca and John McClain, under the law in California, are required to submit detailed financial records of the execution of Michael Jackson’s estate while it’s still in probate court.

The executors reveal that “they have made significant progress in resolving creditors’ claims and pending litigation reducing the estate’s debt, and solidifying and establishing the MJJ Business as a lucrative and powerful entity in the entertainment industry, the estate is not yet in the condition to be closed.

“The executors have not yet resolved all of the creditors’ claims. There is litigation pending and there is an ongoing tax audit. Therefore, executors request that the time for administration of the estate be extended for one year after the court enters its’ order settling the account.”

At the time of Michael’s death, he was named in more than half a dozen lawsuits, and 65 creditors’ claims were filed after he died.

There are “currently seven active litigation matters in the United States which the executors and their legal team are defending. All other litigation has been resolved favorably for the estate either by court disposition or settlement for less than the amount demanded,” the court docs state."

Source: Jen Heger http://radaronline.com

Members of MJJCommunity  can discuss this with other fans in the "Trials and Tribulations" Forum

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

John Branca Interview (Bud Scoopa Exclusive) Feb 2014

This is a very Interesting  Interview of John Branca by Bud Scoppa from Hits Daily Double.  Lots of musical history and details of different projects he has been involved in, his Law firm and and some interesting facts about his and John McClain's position as co executors of the Michael Jackson estate. I think He look very dapper in his Tuxedo and top hat  but I prefer to see Branca  in Jeans :)  ~ Qbee

Exclusive Q&A:  All-Star Attorney John Branca 
Interviewed by Bud Scoppa

Marty Bandier called John Branca "the #1 publishing lawyer in the country." 60 Minutes described the work we he’s done for the Michael Jackson Estate as "the most remarkable financial and image resurrection in pop culture history." Jackson himself hailed his longtime advisor as "the greatest lawyer of our time." And in the eyes of Berry Gordy, Branca is "the Smoky Robinson of deal making." When reminded of the effusive praise he’s received, Branca laughs uneasily. "It’s a wonder I have such a small ego," he quips. The fact that Branca, a partner in the firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, reps or has repped 29 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts further demands on his attempts to keep his head from swelling to the size of a basketball.

With all these accolades being heaped on him, and all these all-star clients, you might expect to see Branca sitting among the Hollywood fat cats sitting courtside at Staples Center for Lakers games—he could certainly afford it. But this proud UCLA alumnus prefers to be on the floor at Pauley Pavilion, which he helped renovate, to watch his beloved Bruins ball. Our own Bud Scoppa recently challenged Branca to a game of one on one and was wowed by the attorney’s ability to score from all over the court, including his deft inside moves; what follows is the play by play.

You’ve been involved with the music business since the 1970s, and from a relatively objective vantage point. During that time, how has the economic landscape of the business changed?

It has changed substantially. When I got started, the primary delivery system for music was 33 RPM LP records that retailed for $7.98, $8.98 and $9.98, and touring was a way to help promote the records. With the introduction of CDs, technology actually helped increase dollar volume from record sales. The labels were charging $17.98 and $18.98 for the same albums they previously had charged half that price for. So, for record royalties and record sales for both labels and artists, it was a boom time. I can recall a period in my own practice before prevalent technological piracy where we had multiple artists who were selling over 10 million albums in the U.S. and 20 million worldwide, such as Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Carlos Santana with Supernatural, The Backstreet Boys, TLC and Usher.

Adele is the one exception, and look, there have been artists recently—Justin Timberlake, Nickelback and Michael Jackson, among our clients, and Katy Perry and Taylor Swift—who still sell a lot of records, but record sales are not what they used to be. Obviously, revenue is now moving into streaming and other delivery systems. The other thing that has changed dramatically is that where tours were once a way to promote records, it’s now the other way around for artists. Records are now an advertising tool to sell concert tickets and merchandise. I laugh, because when I represented Michael and the Jacksons on the Victory Tour, there was outrage at $28 ticket prices. If Michael were to go out today, it would not be surprising to see ticket prices in the $500 to $1000 range, so the revenue potential has expanded dramatically for artists in touring and in merchandising, while it has shrunk with record sales.

So that means the superstar artist is getting more money relative to the label, which has always been dependent on record sales. How does the traditional music business survive in the midst of present-day economic reality and the technological revolution?

It adapts and takes advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves, like streaming. It’s interesting, but every technological change underscores the value of great artists, great catalogs and great songs. Having worked with Michael, the Elvis Presley Estate, The Rolling Stones, Santana, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, The Doors and others, the value of those brands and those catalogs never goes away, so it’s just a matter of repositioning.

Given the critical importance of touring as a revenue stream, where do you stand on the labels’ attempts to strike 360 deals?

The issue and the problem with label 360 deals is expertise. Most labels, without significant additional staffing and investment, do not have expertise outside of the record area. They certainly don’t have expertise in touring. They’ve acquired expertise in merchandising by acquiring merchandising companies. They may have the leverage at the beginning of an artist’s career to be involved with touring income, but, by and large, they don’t have the ability to add value and to deliver on those rights.

That’s where Live Nation has a leg up on the labels in terms of the high-end artists.?

Yes, both Live Nation and AEG from the artist’s point of view, which is where I sit. I was involved with The Rolling Stones in helping to bring in Michael Cohl, who then pioneered the model of when an act went on tour, they would sell multiple rights to one promoter and, in The Rolling Stones’ case, that involved tour sponsorships, merchandising, advertising, etc. That was the Steel Wheels tour. We did the same with Korn with EMI, with a record label. Then we did that with Nickelback and Shakira in their Live Nation deals. Those deals are not perpetuating. I think 360 deals are now rare, certainly at the top level of the business.

These days, you’re best known as the executor of the Jackson estate. What does that job entail, and what have you accomplished?

I’m co-executor with my good friend and brother, John McClain. We started as co-executors, but the Probate Court appointed us as co-managers, so John and I are the managers of Michael Jackson and the Michael Jackson brand. That encompasses everything from making business decisions on which projects to pursue, and creative decisions on the content of those projects, as well as overseeing the financial arrangements of the Estate. I think John and I are most proud of several things. First, we co-produced the movie This Is It, which has become the largest-grossing documentary and largest-grossing concert film in history. We’re very proud of the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour, which has grossed approximately $350 million and is now coming back to North America, and it’s certified as one of the biggest grossing tours in history. And now, we’ve got a brand new show in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay, which has been met with critical reviews and incredible box office success. Those are just the projects. What we’re most proud of is the passion that we have for Michael. We both had intimate relationships with Michael, and to be able to both help perpetuate Michael’s legacy and introduce him to a new generation of fans has been perhaps the most exciting part of the job.

You’ve done that, to a large extent, in conjunction with Epic, I assume, or with Sony, as a whole?

Yes, certainly on the record side. I think the key to managing any artist or any brand is picking the right partners. Certainly, in the record area, Sony and Epic have been an outstanding partner, as Sony Pictures was on This is It andCirque de Soleil is on the two shows. Also, on the Jackson Estate, we’ve been fortunate in being able to work with many great individuals, including Karen Langford, Howard Weitzman, Joel Katz and Dave Dunn, who help to make us look good.

Branca with his two idols, longtime client Michael Jackson and the Wizard
 of Westwood, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden

How and when did you become involved with Michael Jackson, and how did that relationship evolve?

Michael and I started working together in January of 1980. It was just after the release of Off the Wall and he had just turned 21. Over time, it evolved to the point where, on the Thriller album, I was able to assist him on many projects, including making the "Thriller" video and buying the Beatles catalog, among other things.

In retrospect, it’s mind-boggling that the Beatles’ catalog was even on the block. Back in the 1960s, The Beatles had participated in a corporate structure to minimize taxes that resulted in them losing control of their copyrights. Over the years, those copyrights were bought and sold and, ultimately, were owned by ATV, which was an English company controlled by an Australian millionaire named Robert Holmes à Court. When he decided to sell the catalog, it was marketed widely, and when I found out it was for sale, Michael and I talked about it We were, at that time, embarking on a campaign to purchase copyrights. We had already bought the Sly and the Family Stone catalog, for example. Michael had me check with both Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono to see if they were bidding and they were not, so we went after it, and we ultimately got it.

Nice one. What did you pay for that?

$47,500,000, and we sold off Bruton Music, a background music library, to Clive Calder for about $6 million, so Michael’s net price was $41,500,000. That was in 1985. We merged it with Sony in 1995, creating Sony/ATV Music, which Michael owns half of. Then, last year, I was fortunate enough to represent and consult Sony and Marty Bandier in the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, which created the biggest music publishing conglomerate in history.

Was that a complicated set of maneuvers?

It was very complicated. A lot of credit goes to Rob Wiesenthal, as well as Marty Bandier. Rob was one of the financial engineers of that transaction.

In your practice, you wear several different hats. Can you describe the various roles that you play in terms of specific clients and undertakings?

Well, one of the things that I enjoy most is helping to buy and sell assets, and I don’t do this in a traditional sense. We are not traditional lawyers at our law firm, in the sense that if somebody has made a deal and they want somebody to paper it, we’re not the right guys for that. We’re proactive in helping our clients strategize their business and maximize their income opportunities not just in music, but in motion pictures, television and the digital space as well. So I’m often brought in to help engineer the purchase of assets like EMI Music, and the sale of assets like Virgin Music or Elvis Presley Enterprises last year. That’s one of the things I enjoy the most. Over the years, we were involved in the formation and sale of Interscope Records, for example, and we were consultants to Vivendi in the acquisition of Universal Music. Also, we work side by side with the best personal managers, in terms of strategizing a client’s brand and business opportunities, so we’re often brought in as lawyers and co-members of the management team, as we did with Michael and The Rolling Stones, and as my partner David Lande does with Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. These are the kinds of things that we enjoy over and above our traditional role as music lawyers.

Can you explain the value of having cross-disciplinary team?

It is critical in this day and age to be able to cross boundaries and assemble a great team. Our firm is known as being preeminent in all areas of entertainment, with such outstanding attorneys as David Lande, Skip Brittenham, Ken Ziffren, Sam Fischer and Matt Johnson, among others. Thus we have been at the forefront of deal making in many areas. We helped form and sell Pixar for Steve Jobs, for example. We helped spin off DreamWorks Animation, also, and we represent DreamWorks. We represent Oprah Winfrey in strategizing her TV business. We represent A-listAcademy Award-winning actors and filmmakers, like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock and Tyler Perry. We’re involved with Simon Cowell, and we represent American Idol. We’re involved in all areas and all facets of entertainment business.

Wow, you’ve been in the thick of a lot of the most significant moves of the last several decades. That’s remarkable. To a certain extent, that is a marketing gig, right?

Yes. For example, I was hired by the Rodgers & Hammerstein organization a couple years ago to sell Rodgers & Hammerstein. Something like that is especially exciting to me, because I grew up loving musicals like The Sound of Music, so we’re brought in not just to do the paperwork, but actually to help put together the offering materials and the marketing of the company to the financial marketplace, just as we assisted Apollo, Core Media and the Raine Group last year in selling Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Can you explain the Grammy nominating process, which has puzzled a lot of people during the last couple of months? What’s your involvement with that ball of wax?

I do not have direct involvement with the Grammy nominations, but I was the Chairman of MusiCares and the MusiCares fundraising campaign and in that position was able to work closely with Neil Portnow and Ken Ehrlich. And knowing Neiland his whole team, they are very conscientious and to do the very best job. I have noticed a proliferation in Grammy categories over the years, and it almost seems like it’s getting more and more specialized. People who might have an expertise in country music may not really have an expertise in the latest rap artists.

Source: Exclusive Q&A By Bud Scoppa  February 18, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toy Fair 2014: New Michael Jackson "Smooth Criminal" S.H. Figuarts

For those interested in  Michael Jackson collectables , it looks like we will have a new "smooth Criminal"  figure from Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts line. I wasn't familiar so I looked up a description.- S.H. Figuarts  is a new standard in action figures representing the state of the art of Bandai's design technology. Designed to perfectly mimic the range of motion of the human body, the series name (SH) is a contraction of the concepts of "Simple Style" and "Heroic Action." Standing roughly 14cm tall, the highly posable SH Figuarts figures are designed to feel like little treasures. ~ Qbee

Toy Fair 2014: S.H. Figuarts Naruto, Batman And Michael Jackson

Toy Fair 2014 S.H. Figuarts Naruto Michael Jackson Batman

Having spent enough to support a small child on Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts action figure line, I was a bit relieved to see that Bluefin Tamashii Nations’ Toy Fair 2014 booth was relatively relaxed in terms of never-before-seen figures. My relief didn’t last too long, however, as I took in the big items from the show. Not only did we get a second, more fleshed-out look at the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman, we also got to scope out a Shippuden-style Naruto and an articulated Michael Jackson in his Moonwalker getup.

According to signage the die-cast/composite resin Batman figure will arrive in the fall of 2014. Earlier reports suggested that the figure would come with a swappable fully-helmeted head evocative of Japanese superheroes like Kamen Rider, but it wasn’t shown in the display. A huge batarang accessory was, though.

The Naruto and Michael Jackson figuarts are a little mysterious at the moment, with pricing and availability information still TBD. What we can see, however, is that MJ will come with a Moonwalker shadow base and Naruto will come with swappable hands and at least one energy effect part.

Sidenote: I know Moonwalker was a movie, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who will choose to see this toy as a version of Jackson from the Moonwalker video game tie-ins.

by Caleb Goellner February 16, 2014 9:12 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Michael Jackson fans win damages for 'emotional suffering' from star's death

I'm not sure what my initial response was when I first learned about about the fans who filed this law suite a few years ago. I know I must have felt it was a lost cause. But now that I see the outcome, I'm very proud the fans stood their ground and won their case, even if the monetary  award is just symbolic. I know I and other fans can relate first hand about the Great emotional harm and suffering we went through over the death of our dear Michael. So I hope we can all look on this as a win for all of us that the court has recognised our grief and suffering through these fans. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson fans win damages for
 'emotional suffering' from star's death

Fans in L.A. grieve outside the home of Michael Jackson after his death at the age of 50 
in 2009 from a drug overdose administered by his Doctor . Photo Mark Ralston/AFP/Gett

Court in Orléans rules that five fans of the late musician had been caused emotional damage by Jackson's death 

Five Michael Jackson fans have won symbolic damages of €1 each as a French court agreed that they had suffered "emotional damage" from the pop star's death.

Played out in a court in the city of Orléans, the unusual case saw 34 fans suing Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, who was jailed in 2011 over the singer's death from an overdose, for the suffering they said they had endured.

The court ruled on Tuesday that five of the plaintiffs – two from France, two from Switzerland and one from Belgium – had proven emotional suffering from Jackson's death.

Their lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, told AFP: "As far as I know, this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised."

He praised the plaintiffs for "going through with the process despite the sneers" it had aroused. He said they had proven their suffering "with the help of witness statements and medical certificates".

The case was brought by a group known as the "Michael Jackson Community" based near Orléans in central France.

Ludot said the damages were symbolic and the plaintiffs would not be seeking to claim the €1 each from Murray, who was released in October after serving two years of his four-year sentence.

But he said they hoped their status as recognised victims would help them gain access to Jackson's grave site in Los Angeles, which is closed to the public.

Philippe Brun, a law professor at Savoy University, said the decision was unprecedented and would be difficult to uphold on appeal.

"If this ruling is appealed, I doubt it could withstand scrutiny because there is a contradiction between suffering emotional damage and the symbolic nature of the allocated sum," he said.

Jackson died in 2009 from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol while under Murray's care, as the "King of Pop" rehearsed in Los Angeles for a series of comeback concerts in London.