THE BLOG
08/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why I'm Missing the Jackson Memorial

First of all, I wasn't on the mailing list. So I didn't get the chance to go to the parking lot in downtown LA to get my wrist band. If you don't have a wrist band, you're not going to be able to get past the cordon near the Staples Center. The tragic thing is that I am in LA right now, and could have been there if somebody had gotten me my wristband. But they didn't.

I also don't think that the $100,000 price tag for the ticket on eBay is that compelling. In better times, maybe. But the New York Times keeps running stories every day now about various things that are going to "threaten the recovery." One day it's this, next day it's that. Oil prices. Unemployment. Every day something else is going to threaten the recovery. The green shoots are shot, apparently. So I don't think I'm going to be splurging for something that costs $100,000, even something as worthwhile as the Jackson memorial concert.

Frankly, as exciting as the whole Death of Michael Jackson marketing event has been, I'm getting a little tired of it, and it hasn't even been on the racks that long. They're already rolling out old interviews with his mother, for instance. And how many "Jackson insiders" can there be? Not to mention his father, who is a real buzzkill as far as I'm concerned. I just feel sad about it, and not the kind of sad that makes me want to spend money.

Most critical, I think, to the entire strategic plan of the thing, is the fact that they may have timed the big event in the Staples Center one or two days too late. This may not have been the planning team's fault, of course. They had to get all the big entertainers that loved Michael so much to clear their schedules and make it to LA in time to do some pre-publicity.

I'm not trying to be overly negative about the job they're doing, though. In an event like this, nobody is really in charge. We all kind of contribute to play things out while a variety of parties stand by the action to see where the money is going to land. This one is delivering on its potential better than most, maybe because we have some great examples to work from. Elvis, for instance, timed his death perfectly, and is arguably more successful in death than he would have been in what was left of his sorry life. Contrariwise, back in 1980 Yoko completely blew the whole assassination of her husband John. I bet she didn't make a nickel. All those mourners gathered near the apartment building where he died? How was that monetized?

The Jackson people are doing a whole lot better. He has all the top songs on the Billboard charts and this event should start off another great chapter in his career, one that's a whole lot more profitable, in the end, than the upcoming 50 concerts in London would have been, and a lot less fatal to his image.