Friday, April 14, 2006

Lennon And McCartney Bail Out Jackson

Keeping Neverland Ranch equipped and running was never a modest financial proposition--lemurs, Tilt-A-Whirls, and child-sized tanning beds cost, after all-- and now Michael Jackson is feeling the strain from years of indulging his enchanted lifestyle. After turning off the Neverland carnival lights for good last month, the $300 million-in-the-hole King of Debt must finally put up his cherished song catalog (including over 200 Beatles tunes) to avoid filing Chapter 11:As part of the new agreement, Fortress has agreed to provide a new $300 million loan and reduce the interest payments Mr. Jackson must make. Under the deal he has been negotiating, Mr. Jackson would agree to provide Sony -- which is co-owner of the Sony/ATV Music catalog with him -- with an option to buy half his stake, or about 25 percent of the catalog, at a set price, according to the people briefed on the deal. Aside from the Beatles songs, the venture has a vast archive including "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan...Interestingly enough, the Jackson-owned Dylan composition could be reinterpreted as a cautionary tale about certain highly inappropriate star/fan interactions high atop the Neverland ferris wheel. Though if it's ironic subtext you are looking for, one needn't go further than that other catalog property, "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey."


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