“Reminder to photographers: If you get out of your seat, you'll get kicked out,” warned the flack at the Beverly Hills Hotel, shortly before the arrival of five Jacksons and three white guys, there to announce the details of the big Michael Jackson tribute concert.

Only, they really didn't announce anything, other than the location — Millennium Stadium, which is in Cardiff, which is in Wales — and the date, October 8th. Some charities were also namedropped, one having to do with the Princess of Wales, naturally, and the AIDS Project Los Angeles. In fact, La Toya ceded the floor to a representative from that org, only to be told that he wasn't here because he'd been in a car accident on the way over. (I will sort of resist the urge to make a joke about La Toya's face freezing upon hearing the news.)

As for the performers, well, those will be rolled out as slowly as first week sales of 20 Y.O., starting tomorrow. There will be more press conferences and video feeds to hype up the event but, even if they have more fresh blackberries, chocolate croissants and a piano player doing “Rock with You” I won't be back.


Credit: Ben Westhoff

Credit: Ben Westhoff

It's not that the Jacksons didn't look great; in fact, they're all aging spectacularly. La Toya, dressed in a shoulder-less black jacket with golden leaves overlaid with, um, gold leaf, has somehow lapped Janet in the looks Olympics. Otherwise, their aesthetic appeals can be best conveyed quantitatively.

Number of Jacksons Wearing Sunglasses: Two, Jackie and Marlon.

Number of Jacksons Wearing Hats: One, Tito.

Style of Tito's Hat: Bowling.

Marlon noted that the press had taken shots at the family before (wha?!), but that the warmth in the room right now made up for it. This was shortly after a guy screamed at me for raising my arms to take a cameraphone picture.

Jackson Who Talks Most Like Michael: Jackie. “It's gonna be one of the biggest concerts ever,” he said in a near-whisper.

Jackson Who Looks Most Like Michael: La Toya, duh.

She added that Michael was in the Guinness Book for giving to the most charities, which I'm willing to believe. My nominee for the book? Chris Hunt, from Global Live Events, the folks putting on this extravaganza, which is by the way called the Michael Forever Tribute. His Record? Most Disingenuous Charitable Donation in History, by way of the $100,000 trust fund he announced for Prince, Paris, and Blanket, which will mature when they turn 21. Katherine proceeded to accept a check or a promissory note or something from him, further cementing the myth that this event wasn't mainly about making each of these panelists wealthier.

I shouldn't complain, though, considering I got something myself.

A free T-shirt!

Credit: Rebecca Haithcoat

Credit: Rebecca Haithcoat

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