Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Michael Jackson Taking Opinions On Career"

from - by Roger Friedman

Michael Jackson has been soliciting opinions about his dying career from strangers in the music business.

Sources over at the luxe and private Chinese eatery Mr. K's on Lexington Avenue in New York report that Jackson and his lawyer Peter Lopez have been meeting with various executives trying to figure out how to restart his dead career.

Sources at the fancy boite say that Jackson and Lopez had at least one meeting at Mr. K's on Oct. 26, the same day this column broke the news that the singer had defaulted on a $23 million loan secured by his Neverland Ranch. Despite proclamations to the contrary, the default is still in effect today.

Jackson, even though his financial world was crumbling, seemed just fine, insiders say.

At the meetings, Jackson has expressed interest, I am told, in doing business with Starbucks' Hear Music as no regular record company wants to work with him.

"He said, My friend Paul McCartney did that," says a source, and dropped names of other rock stars who'd be surprised to hear themselves described thusly.

McCartney, especially, despises Jackson for buying the Beatles song catalog out from underneath him 20 years ago.

One curious thing that came up in the talks: Jackson may not be proceeding with the "Thriller" 25th anniversary album featuring Kanye West, Akon and that Sony is expecting from him, but thinking of using tracks done by those producers as the basis for a new album.

A fly in that ointment: the pending lawsuit brought against by Prince Abdullah of Bahrain, who claims that Jackson owes him two record albums for which he was already paid $7 million.

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