Sunday, July 13, 2014

Neverland 2014

I waited awhile to write this blog.  When I came back from my trip, there were so many pictures of beautiful Michael tributes, that I waited in the hope that the readers would look in depth at the pictures I took.  This is of course, the sign of Figueroa Mountain Road, the street that has the entrance to Neverland.  In the bushes behind the sign, there is a deer who lives there but she is quite shy with people.

We visited Neverland on 6/23/14.  I booked a flight over Neverland for later on in the day.  We drove over 400 miles that day alone!  We drove westward, past Calabasas, until we hit Ventura and Santa Barbara.  It was quite foggy in the morning, but here is a picture of the coastline.


This is highway 101, and it runs all the way up/down the coast of California. 


Then we drove up through San Marcos Pass (Hwy 54).  Below are photos of the stunning area going up the pass to Neverland.  We ended up having to drive up and down twice (but that's another story) and both times I thought, I can see why Michael chose to live up here.  So peaceful, beautiful and serene.

This is a small bridge that cars have to pass over to get to Neverland.

This is what it looks like from a side view to travel the road to Neverland.

Finally, we're here.  It was such an emotional moment.  I have not been here since Michael was alive.  There were a few fans outside of the gates, and a biking tour with around 10 bikers and a tour guide.  He said very nice things about Michael, how incredible Neverland was, and how much Michael believed in helping children.  He also misinformed the tourists, and told them that Michael did not own Neverland any more, that Colony Capital/Tom Barrack did.  So I politely informed the tourists that Michael does still have a stake in Neverland, and that most fans believe the Estate is waiting for Michael's children to decide what they want to do with the property.

I also spoke with the guards behind the gates.  One did not seem to understand Michael at all, and when I told him how envious the fans would be that he was allowed to see Neverland, he warmed up.  He told me that Neverland was very brown, a fact I would see myself, but that the main grounds, the house, the lake and the train station area were very well maintained.
There is writing on every place you can imagine, in every language.  Some dates back to 2009, others are more recent. 
 
 
 
This single rose for Michael touched my heart.
 
 
Candles left for Michael from Germany
 
 
Fan love from Australia
 
 
And France
 
 
The guard shack from behind
 
 
Trees to the right of the guard shack
 
 
Another fan thanking Michael, from Argentina
 
And then it was time to leave.  I was very sad but excited because in a matter of hours, we would be flying in a helicopter over Neverland!  Channel Island Flights pilots could not have been nicer!
 
 
This is Kevin, our pilot.  I am scared of heights, and so I was somewhat nervous (ok terrified) but once we took off, I no longer feared anything.  Like I stated above, Neverland looked very brown.  However, Willa told us that there is a water shortage in all of California, and especially near Neverland.
 
 
This is Lake Chumash, 6 miles away from Neverland.  Lake Chumash is the reservoir that provides water to Neverland and the surrounding areas.  As you can see, the water levels are very, very low.
 
 
At first I was very upset because as you can see, Neverland from above looks very brown.  However, once I realize that the was a severe water shortage, I realized that nothing can be done to utilize water for Neverland until the water supplies raise.  California needs rain desperately.
 
 
These are the hills right before we flew over Neverland.
 
 
 
 
You can see the tennis court from this shot.
 
 
 
 
 


 
The pink haze is a reflection of my sweatshirt from the helicopter glass, but a better picture of the tennis court.
 
 
Again, pink haze but a shot of the lake as well.
 
 
Train tracks
 
 
Better view of the lake
 
 
The thirty minute ride felt like 5 minutes, even though I know it was 30 minutes because I timed it (lol).  I wish I could have taken better pictures for fans who wanted to see what Neverland looks like.  I plan on making this an annual event with a better camera for next year.
 
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Writings on the Wall at Neverland






There really are no words to describe Neverland, so this blog will be a day in pictures with captions.  This is the turnoff to Neverland, on Figueroa Road. 

                                                             Gates of Neverland

Writings on rocks are everywhere, from fans
all over the world.
 
 
A single rose place in the gate
 
Candles from German fans
 
Keep The Faith rock
 
Be God's Glow rock
 
French fan's writing on the wall
 

Fans love Michael endlessly
 
Closer image of the gates
 
Helicopter pilot over Neverland
 
Helicopter took us over Neverland
 
An incredible experience, once in a lifetime.  We love you more, Michael.
                                                     

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Celebrations of Love for Michael Jackson on June 25

Today marks the 59th month since Michael Jackson has passed.  With only one month away from the five year anniversary of his death, here are some fan tributes that everyone should be aware of.

 

1.  One Rose for Michael J. Jackson

For the fifth consecutive year, the group One Rose For Michael J. Jackson has collected donations that are sent DIRECTLY to the rose growers, and placed them at Michael's final resting place, Forest Lawn in Glendale, on June 25th.  Roses are $3 apiece.  Last year, One Rose placed an amazing 13,447 roses outside of Holly Terrace.  Fans can buy their roses here.

In the spirit of Michael, on 6/26, some of the roses are left for Michael.  Some are moved to the area of the cemetery where children are laid to rest.  Others are distributed to hospitals, nursing homes and other places, spreading joy to others as Michael did in life.


2.  Lanterns of Love

This is the first year for Lanterns of Love.  Held on 6/26 from 8 pm to 11:30 pm on the Santa Monica pier, fans buy a lantern of love in honor of Michael Jackson.  Lanterns are $5 apiece.  You can buy a lantern here.  It is not necessary to buy a lantern to attend.  Show your love for Michael Jackson and celebrate his life and legacy with other fans in Santa Monica.


3.  Hope Chest 2.0 for Michael Jackson

Four years ago, fan Willa Borchers designed a hope chest and asked fans to fill it with photos and letters to Michael.  She then delivered it to the Hayvenhurst home while the family was still living there.  This year, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Michael's passing, Willa is asking fans to send her letters/emails that describe how Michael encouraged them to "make that change".  You can find the information on this event here

These are just three of the many amazing tributes that will be held around the world for Michael on June 25th, 2014.  If you would like your tribute featured here, please send a link with all information to MJJXScape@yahoo.com


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Does XScape Extend Michael Jackson's Legacy? Part 1

This blog addresses Charles Thomson's recent piece, XScape: Would Michael Jackson Approve?  I highly disagree with this article, and believe that it is irresponsible journalism.  To be fair, Thomson has written some of the best pieces on Michael Jackson I have ever read.  One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History, written by Thomson in 2010, was published on the fifth anniversary of Jackson's 2005 acquittal, and sparked conversations between fans and the public alike, on the media's unfair portrayal of the events surrounding the trial.

Thomson argues that Michael Jackson would not approve of the recent release of XScape due to the "contemporized" versions.  He buffers his argument by using a 1998 interview with Black or White Magazine.  Jackson was asked if he liked remixes, and he stated, "The least I can say is that I don't like them.  I don't like it that they come in and change my songs completely. But Sony says that the kids love remixes." 

What Thomson does not mention is that Jackson, in a 2002 interview with Vibe Magazine, had apparently changed his mind about remixes.  When asked why he chose to use Jay Z in the remix of You Rock My World from the Invincible album, Jackson stated, "He's hip, and he's with the kids today.  They like his work.  He's tapped into the nerve of popular culture.  It just made good sense."

In addition, when asked how he chose the posthumous rap feature in the song Unbreakable, Jackson replied, "It wasn’t my idea, actually. It was Rodney Jerkins’, one of the writer/producers working on the album. It was my idea to put a rap part on the song, and he said, “I know just the perfect on — Biggie.” He put it in, and it worked perfectly."

Four years later, in an Access Hollywood interview in 2006, when asked about a Thriller remix, Jackson states, "No I haven't really thought about it in that way but I would give it more thought. We haven't really discussed it yet, on that level, but I'm sure at some point we will. But it's a great thought."  And of course, as we all know, Thriller 25 was released in 2008, with remixes featuring will.i.am, Fergie, Akon and Kanye West.  Therefore, it is clear that although Jackson stated in 1998 that he did not approve of remixes, by 2002 he did.  This MJ fans, provides a more reasonable and less biased history of Jackson's beliefs in remixes.  Stay tuned for part 2.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gifting Never Felt So Good


As all Michael Jackson fans know by now, his second posthumous album XScape is being released on May 13, 2014.  Love Never Felt So Good, the lead single from the album, is off to a good start according to Billboard.  Billboard estimates, according to sales so far, that the duet between Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, will enter the Top 100 in the "lower half."  While this might sound "good" to Billboard, Michael Jackson fans have much higher expectations.

Today, XScape is charting on iTunes at #24 on album sales.  While this would be acceptable for another artist, it is not for Michael Jackson.  We have come up with an idea that might help sales and fans at the same time. 

If you are able to gift an album to another fan, please email MJJXScape@yahoo.com.  Please consider that sales of this album are crucial to Michael's legacy, and there are fans who simply struggle to buy it.

We also urge you to buy the album for your friends outside the community.  We, as Michael Jackson fans, owe it to him to promote his artistry as much as possible.  Feel free to leave comments below. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

MJ Fans United in Support of XScape



Michael Jackson fans around the world wish to express their excitement and extend their support for the upcoming album Xscape, due to be released May 13, 2014. The unprecedented worldwide charting at #2 on iTunes from pre-ordering in a mere two days after the announcement from Epic Records, clearly demonstrates that the power of Michael’s music has not diminished in his absence. We are thrilled that Michael’s magical artistry is once again at the forefront of cutting edge music and wait with eager anticipation for never before heard demos, as well as the finished songs by some of his most ardent admirers and musicians. Fans certainly recognize that these previously unreleased tracks will serve as an introduction to a new generation of fans, and also a reminder to veteran fans of the unparalleled body of musical genius Michael has left behind. Our continued love and support is also extended to Michael’s beloved children, Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson. It is through his children and posthumous releases such as Xscape, that Michael Jackson’s legacy will live forever.

If you own a blog or fan site, and would like to add your logo in support of Michael's upcoming album, XScape, send your logos to mjjxscape@yahoo.com.  We will add your logos as fast as we can.