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My meeting with Michael Lee Bush regarding the Julien’s Auction
November 2, 2012 22 Comments
In my 25 years as Michael Jackson supporter I have always admired his costume designer Michael Lee Bush for both his art and his being apparently so loyal to him. At least, until now.
While I still believe he’s been loyal to Michael for most of his life, something has happened in the last months that have completely changed my point of view on this subject.
Since October 2012 part of Michael Jackson’s iconic costumes has been exhibited in Ireland, UK and Japan before they go on auction for Julien’s on December 3rd 2012. Also, MLB has just released a book about these costumes and his life working with Michael Jackson.
While I believe the exhibit represents a good chance for the fans to see some of Michael’s most popular costumes, on the other hand I don’t get two points:
- Why has MLB’s book a foreword by John Branca in it?
- Why aren’t these costumes being exhibited in a museum like MJ would have wanted?
This is exactly what I had the chance to ask personally to MLB on October 31st 2012 when he was in London for the signing of his book at the Getty Images Gallery in Westfield, where the costumes exhibition has been running since October 10th 2012.
First of all I found it ridiculous that, while I had already seen the exhibit earlier, I had to pay again for the admission ticket or they wouldn’t let me talk to Mr. Bush. WOW… that is a super-star treatment. Too bad, the real superstar is dead.
Anyway, since I really wanted to talk to him personally, I bought the ticket and queued (just 6 or 7 people ahead of me, so, no, there was no superstar at all). While queuing, I got asked by the staff more than once whether I was going to buy the book or not. Obviously, I didn’t, as I decided 3 years ago not to buy anything with “Branca” or “Sony” name on it. The staff appeared pretty much “annoyed” by this decision of mine.
Not only. While waiting, I was told that if I wanted to take a picture with MLB I had to pay £5 (on top of the £7.5 I hade already paid for the ticket). A friend of mine then asked if he had to pay the £5 had he taken the photo with his phone. Their reply was that he couldn’t take any photo with MLB unless he paid.
That is what I call “fans’ exploitation”.
After 20 minutes it was my turn to talk to MLB. I was calm, I had no intention to attack him or whatever, and all I wanted to do was asking him the above-mentioned questions. And I did.
He was nervous, slightly aggressive, and sort of defensive. Why being defensive, when all I said was, “I’ve always admired you, but why is John Branca’s name on your book?”
He replied that he “couldn’t have published the book without the Estate authorization and that it was the publisher’s choice to have Branca writing the foreword.” Really? And why doesn’t Bruce Swedien’s book have no “Branca” name on it? He also said that he has nothing to do with the Estate, that it’s not him who put Branca at the control of the Estate and so on. Again, I didn’t mention it, why did he?
He also said that the publisher had suggested him to write a scandal book about Michael and that he had refused because he “has been blessed by Michael” (and his money, I guess).
Regarding the auction, he insisted that “these costumes were given to him by Michael himself.” He also said that “some of those jackets were under his bed” and that he “decided to share them with the world before anything happens to him.”
Then I asked why he chose to sell them through Julien’s auction when it’s clear that Michael wanted them to be displayed into a museum.
At that point, he said that he “has a home, a car, a life”, that he “doesn’t need money and that he’s doing it only for charity.”
After that, he added that John Branca (why on earth, as we had already changed subject?) “is doing his best to keep Michael’s legacy alive” and that “if it wasn’t for Branca who knows where Michael’s legacy would be now.”
That’s exactly when I say that if it wasn’t for him, Michael would be probably alive now. I got no reply to this and his staff called me because “we had run out of time.”
Anyway, the last thing MLB told me before I left, was “accept the fact that Michael is business now.”….
This is how things went.
What I saw yesterday was a man who is nourishing his ego, lost in his glory of being treated by some fans and the staff like the superstar he isn’t.
How funny that I DIDN’T PAY A PENNY TO TAKE A PHOTO WITH MICHAEL JACKSON IN PERSON AND TALK TO HIM FOR OVER 20 MINUTES.
Twelve years later I find myself being told that if I wanted to take a picture with his costume stylistI had to pay £5???
My question is: how comes you have been “blessed” by Michael Jackson for over 25 years and haven’t learned what being humble at heart means yet?
Michael Bush has caused a blizzard on this tour he has been doing in Europe forcing fans to buy his book, comments taken from his facebook page, see here how a 4 year old was treated, mother left crying because she did not want to pay entrance fee, photograph fee, book buying fee..
Similar complaints from Rome, UK, Paris, etc, etc, too many comments to post,,so many Bush deleted, few here
Mr. Bush, yesterday I was coming to the Hard Rock Cafe ‘in Rome to say hello, shake his hand and thank you, but I’ was denied just ’cause I did not buy his book …….. did not think there fans were fans of series A and series B, but if he wanted to, he could do that easily, since there was so ‘great crowd, to deny us, even just a “Thank you” …… I’m very disappointed ….
so it’s right that you can’t bring the book you already bought? And he also won’t sign anything else?
The “big day”, as called here, was THE WORST DAY!!!! You really don’t seem to have learned anything from Michael…who trusted you for over than 25 years!!! Moreover, you’re using the concept of charity only for mere advertising purposes for your book, that is for your wallet!!!! This is what is called MIRROR FOR LARKS!!!!!! I just hope that for the rest of your life you’ll have horrible nightmares with Michael continuously pointing out to your conscience!!!!!
RESPECT is not given, it’s earned…and you’ll never earn MINE, ever!!! As well as my $$$$$$!!!!!
so did anyone already have ordered the book online or elsewhere and brought it to the event and Mr. Bush didn’t sign it and you could not get in?
Is it right that you have to pay extra when you want to take a picture with Mr. Bush? I’ve heard this from a fan who was in London for the book signing. I hope that’s not true.
Nis that right mr.bush.because i have bought your book yesterday because i pre order it already,and when i go to THE HARD ROCK CAFE in amsterdam at the 8th november you will not sign it???,if thats so i dont understand??
wasnt possible to get in without buying a book?
Unfortunately Bush and his team ignore every question regarding the organization of the signing events… I wrote them a message on Friday and never received an answer! Maybe you should learn to deal with criticism in a more polite way! Forcing the people buying another book is a scandal!