Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Victory Tour Debacle

The story about the Victory Tour is so complicated, so many things and people involved, circumstances and situations, it's hard to put it all down. But it's enough to say that the experience was not a positive for Michael, his family, nor the fans.
One thing is for sure, Michael, after years of putting out the image of the happy and wholesome Jackson family, was now being manipulated by his family and other unsavory people. Though that was not her intention, Michael's mother, in convincing him to tour for the sake of his brothers, despite his feelings against it. Don King, for making the promotion and tour a side show experience. His brothers, who only wanted to make a quick dollar, and lots of it, with little care, or concern, for the details. Lawyers, representing all sides, making an easy buck.
What was the real deal about the ticket debacle? Joe Jackson, Don King, and Chuck Sullivan, who was the head of Stadium Management Corporation, and who's family owned Foxboro Stadium, came up with this "brilliant" idea. Tickets for the tour would be $30 each, but you had to buy lots of four tickets. When you ordered the tickets, names would be chosen at random by a computer drawing using coupons cut out of newspaper ads. People had to send a $120 postal money order, plus a $2 service charge for each ticket, and the coupon, in a "standard Number Ten envelope" to the ticket printed in the advertisement. WHEW! BUT, that didn't guarantee you would get the tickets. See why people were upset? While acts like the Rolling Stones' and Bruce Springsteen were selling $16 ticket, Michael felt that their should have been $20, but he was outvoted. The tickets were too high for white middle-class kids, let alone kids from the inner cities.
If you got the tickets, you didn't know which show you were going to, until two days before the concert, and that's if there was not a delay in the mail. If there was, you could get the tickets after the concert.
Michael was besides himself. "We got to get as much as possible for the tickets," one of the brothers said. "The sky's the limit."
"No, " Michael argued. "That's not the way to do it. There is going to be a backlash. The ticket shouldn't be more than twenty bucks each. And the mail order idea is terrible."
The media, rightfully had a field day, though they didn't know what was happening behind the scenes.
Frank Dileo told Michael about his brothers, "Their only concern is their present. To make as much as they can, while they can. You have a career that's going to be longer than this tour. They probably won't."
But it was a letter, published in the Dallas Morning News that really struck Michael hard. Eleven-year-old Ladonna Jones wrote that she had been saving her pennies to see Michael's show, but she couldn't afford the four tickets. "How could you, of all people, be so selfish?"
"That does it." Michael said. He called a meeting with Joe, Don King, and Chuck Sullivan. "Change the ticket policy. It's a rip-off. You know it. I know it. Now change it. Or I won't tour."
They made plans to change the system.
There later was a press conference which Michael announced that the ticket system was wrong and would be changed. He also was going to donate the money that he made from the tour to charity, and two thousand tickets in each city would be donated to disadvantaged youths.
Michael said, "We've worked a long time to make this show the best it can be. But we know a lot of kids are having trouble getting tickets. The other day I got a letter from a girl in Texas named Ladonna Jones. She'd been saving her money from odd jobs to buy a ticket, but with the current tour system, she'd have to buy four tickets and she could,'t afford that. So, I've asked our promoter to work out a new way of distributing tickets- a way that no longer requests a $120 money order. There has been a lot of talk about the promoter holding money for tickets that didn't sell. I've asked our promoter to end the mail-order ticket system as soon as possible so that no one will pay money unless they get a ticket." This was implemented by the tour's third stop in Jacksonville.
Why did he decide to donate all his money to charity?" one reporter asked Frank Dileo.
"Because he's a nice guy," Frank replied.
Thank you J. Randy Taraborrelli "Michael Jackson- The Magic and the Madness" pages 364-368.