Both Financially and In Spirit
A Michael Jackson estate spokesman draws similarities between the two icons
A spokesman from the Michael Jackson estate, who says the star didn’t surf but followed the magazine, couldn’t help but mention the coincidence while delving into Jackson’s archive of Surfer.
Reaching toward a 50th birthday this year, Surfer magazine and its parent company filed for bankruptcy—a situation Jackson had also been teetering on for many months. But it was the magazine’s moral incontinence and lack of loyalty to fans that caused the Jackson estate spokesman to comment publicly. At the media conference, increasing similarities came to light; like the fact that the two icons went through young people to such an untenable extent, that in later years, both were forced to rely on interns and foreign labor.
Sadly, both Jackson and Surfer tried unsuccessfully to reverse course in their final days. In an effort to shore up his finances, Jackson scheduled a series of concerts in London he was clearly unfit to perform. For its part, Surfer forced its staff to take two weeks of unpaid leave and 20-year contributing photographer Tom Servais was dismissed simply because the magazine owed him money it didn’t want to pay. These actions, the spokesman claimed, reveal the nature of the magazine’s decline—examples, he said, of deadbeat practices much like Jackson’s hundred thousand dollar pharmacy bill left unpaid.
One of the world’s greatest performers in his prime, to the credit of his later years, Jackson held enough dignity to die when his star had faded to such a weak glimmer.
Questions of Surfer’s longevity remain.