LOS OLIVOS, CALIFORNIA (Dagbladet): When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, it was as if a whole world of music suddenly remembered how much they loved him all the time.
Billie Jean's flashes began in Stockholm and Hong Kong. "Thriller" rose again to the top of the album lists and the music channels were 24-hour memorials. Even in the state channel, the funeral ceremony was moved directly with studio guests in front and back.
The house with the stranger in
From all over the world, fans also drove to Jackson Neverland's house in the summer of 2009. It was in the charts that Neverland would become the new Graceland, Elvis's house that has attracted many fans since the 1980s and was a millionaire.
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Sycamore Valley Ranch, which Michael Jackson bought in 1987 and became his kingdom Peter Pan, was more than a home. The 11,000-acre land traced the pop icon's desire to recreate a childhood he never had.
Here was the amusement park, zoo and movie theater with free sweets. Playmate Katherine, named after Jackson's mother, transported Jackson and his young companions between activities.
Inside the main house was a mechanical fortune teller, "Power Rangers," human-sized figures and a golden throne.
– Michael Jackson was more than the musical. He also created a visual world, says Richard Lecocq, who has worked for Sony and now heads the MJStreet fan club.
"Neverland was an extension of art.
The road to Neverland is narrow and scanty today. Farms of horses, olive groves and vineyards glide through the window of the car. As the voice of navigation warns that fate is approaching, the maples extend the branches toward each other and form a green corridor to the gate.
The plate with the letters of Neverland is torn, and on the iron mill no giraffe heads or ferris wheels can be glimpsed.
Neverland has been renamed to Sycamore Valley Ranch and is for sale for $ 31 million. A prize-deliverer after homeowner Colony Capital first tried to receive $ 100 million in 2015
A lot of fans are standing at the gate, but the watchdog only wakes up when a Polish fan sticks his nose between the bars. Disarming the tail paws, the dog walks to the wooden gate and splits, sniffing the public front in front of the stone wall. As soon as the odor inspection is done, it stands on the paw. Send a yellow beam to the wall and one of the shelf tails painted on the stones.
Do not forget the charges
In the ten years since his death, new claims have come about Jackson. Last not-so-spoken four-hour documentary, "Leaving Neverland," where two men claim that Jackson was abusing them as children.
In Los Olivos, California, about two hours drive from Los Angeles, where Neverland ranch is, they did not forget the allegations of aggression during the night.
– The trial continued for months in 2005. Media petition gave the city a lot of negative attention. The idea that Neverland would become a new Graceland, therefore, was never well received here. We also have enough tourism as it is, says Kathy Wood, who works at one of the wine restaurants in the small town, which has become a popular destination for wine enthusiasts after the movie "Sideways".
A local action group with the name "Never" was also created in late summer 2009.
"This is a cowboy village with lots of old money. You can not just come here and believe you get what you want. In addition, Los Olivos is not designed for a massive tourist flow. We do not even have a proper sewage system.
From pulling patches to opening wounds
Real estate agent William Etling, who wrote the book "Sideways in Neverland," says he knew from the beginning that Neverland would never be open to the public.
– Land plans are land plans in Santa Barbara County. The Neverland ranch can only be used for agricultural and property purposes. Michael Jackson had to sell large parts of the property in 2008 due to financial problems.
Later, the property company Colony Capital took full control of the property and they renewed the construction stock. Still, no buyer bites the hook.
"They were stupid enough to put the price at $ 100 million." They expected some kind of bullshit to come and go. This bullshit never showed up, and after "Leaving Neverland" celebrity status became an open wound instead of a drawstring, says Etling.
Lack of sadness
MJStreet boss Richard Lecocq is well aware of the land plans that make it difficult for Neverland to become a museum. He calls the life of the estate in the limbo of sad, and says there is huge frustration among fans that there is still no proper memorial.
Several of the things that made Neverland for Neverland now also spread to all the winners. Ferris wheels, carousels and radio cars have been found in the US in the last decade.
Giraffes are in Arizona and Chimpanzee Bubbles enjoys lazy days at a retirement center for showbiz in Florida. The oxygen tank, which Michael Jackson supposedly encapsulated to stop old age, is also not in the Jackson family's possession.
– You probably can not recreate an authentic Neverland, but you have a lot of video documentation about how it looked there and you can build a replica version, maybe a completely different place in the US, says Lecocq.
Lady Gaga tried just that a few years ago, but the initiative was stopped by Michael Jackson Estate. Lecocq expects them to be more significant in the future and believe that it is also possible to create an RV experience.
– The most important thing is that people have the opportunity to come and see who Michael Jackson is and how he lived. Michael Jackson's Neverland played a major role in popular culture regardless of what Michael Jackson thinks.
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