First off. The conversion van. What the hell was Michael Jackson doing with this? I hope that maybe it was his incognito Burger- King-run car. The catalog estimated that I could pick this baby up for $2000.
My other favorite MJ fleet vehicle was this sweet pimped-out golf cart with MJ as Peter Pan airbrushed onto the hood.
Now on the the real goods, the objets d'art.
Now there's a hell of a lot going on here - Monkeys, children, angels, a fucking fierce looking parrot, the damn space shuttle and some weirdo Illuminati-style iconography. I was ready to go to the mat against any Johnny-come-lately Arab-oil-shiek-variety MJ fan for this one. To me, it's the jewel of the collection.
Above is one of MANY paintings in the collection by Santa Fe artist David Nordahl, the unofficial court painter of Neverland. If you can't make out the inscription in the center panel, it's atributed to Michael Jackson and reads, "I am the thinker, the thinking, the thought. I am the seeker, the seeking, the sought. I am the dewdrop, the sunshine, the storm. I am the phenomenon, the field, the form. I am the desert, the ocean, the sky. I am the Primeval Self in you and I." Holy shit. What else can I say? The very definition of fine-ass art.
And then there are a whole bunch of creepy paintings of MJ hanging out with kids. Some in the Norman Rockwell Style, some straight-up Mao-Tse-Tung-Happy-Family-style that reek of some sort of sinister kiddie mind control.
Last but not least were the seemingly hundreds of life-size statues that must have been tucked in every nook and cranny of Neverland, at least the crannies that didn't already house one of his dozen-or-so Dance Dance Revolution machines. The first batch I was drawn to was the weird stoic old people collection. The lady in the pink bathrobe is carrying a copy of "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus," and the geriatric glassy-eyed chef is wearing a novelty carrot hat. Not one of them do I understand MJ ever acquiring, but he is clearly a more complex man than I previously assumed.
These were probably all out of my price range, but I still wanted to give it a go. All are life-size statues of MJ in the various phases of his career and some of the worst likenesses I've ever seen. The 4th MJ is the spitting image of Lou Reed, MJ #3 looks more like Bob Saget than the king of pop and "Thriller" MJ has a certain John Stamos quality to him. The first two are clearly street-walking transvestites.
Needless to say, I'm a little depressed to have missed out on all this loot. I'm still going to LA, but now just to eat noodles and buy T-shirts. Screw you Michael Jackson. I'm setting a reminder on my phone for April 15 and for the rest of my life, I will frown at you on this day.