DOUG ELFMAN: Tribute to Jackson set for Saturday

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DOUG ELFMAN: Tribute to Jackson set for Saturday

Messagede StephenB » 28 Sep 2010, 10:40

In the 1970s, The Jackson 5 played two shows a day in Las Vegas. The Jackson kids were too young to hang out in the casino. And video game consoles hadn't been invented yet.

So what did that leave them to do all day and night?

"Room service," Jermaine Jackson says, plus board games and tutoring.

Three decades later, Michael Jackson returned to Vegas to live in a sultan's mansion. He also was a fan of the Luxor's Egyptian theme.

This Saturday, Jermaine returns to Vegas, to Planet Hollywood, to stage a tribute concert to Michael.

Jermaine, amiable and soft-spoken during a lunch break Monday at Rumor, says it's still hard to deal with Michael's death. "Being a brother you grow up with, you (playfully) slapped on, you shared triple-bunk beds. And all of a sudden, he's gone. When I think about it, my mind goes blank," Jermaine says.

Because a swirl of legal drugs was involved in Michael's death at age 50, I ask Jermaine whether his family has thought about doing anti-drug activism.

"We've done some of that stuff in the past. But it is important to catch 'em in their early teens because you hear what's going on -- even with young people in Hollywood," says Jermaine, 55, who insists he doesn't drink (or gamble).

"I don't want to name names, because they're young and they have so much going for themselves. I don't know if they can help it. It is not cool to be like that.

"The way we were taught (in the Jackson family): Don't do nothin' you're not supposed to do," he says. "I wish I could share some of my upbringing in how we were talked to and how we stayed away from that.

"I don't really understand drugs or what drugs are. And I like it like that. I'm very ignorant when it comes to that."

Jermaine, who sang with Michael in those high-pitched Jackson 5 hits, plans to sing Michael songs in the vocal register people are used to.

"It's gonna sound exactly (as) what you've heard," he says.

That will go for "Human Nature," "Beat It," "You Are Not Alone" and other Michael hits, plus Jackson 5 tunes and Jermaine's singles such as "Do What You Do."

"We're just trying to tell a story through the show. I'm sharing some memories," he says. "I talk about being at Neverland (Ranch), and what it was like -- the feeling we all got through the chance to relive our childhood, because it was a place for children to come and have fun, who were terminally ill."

Brother Jackie Jackson still lives in Vegas, and the Jackson patriarch and matriarch have a home here, although sisters have moved from here to Los Angeles, Jermaine says.

Jermaine never saw Vegas as a potential home because of "people walking the streets with beer" hanging around their necks, he says with a laugh.

"This place is like no place in the world. It's amazing. But I'm more low-key. I'm quiet."


Las Vegas' Jay Cutler won his fourth Mr. Olympia title at The Orleans, then went to club Blush on Saturday with 25 people, while another 25 were inside waiting for him. They drank champagne and vodka cocktails as he signed autographs and posed for photos along with bodybuilding champs Ronnie Coleman and Toney Freeman.


I've never seen so many people post the same story on Facebook as they did Monday's story that the owner of the Segway company rolled his way to an ironic death. Which reminds me of Jim Fixx, who made jogging popular, then died at 52 of a heart attack. But here's my real FYI: A new Segway costs $7,000. Kind of a rip.

A huge Fan of Michael Jackson
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