Friday, 26th June 2009 by Alex Turnbull
As we’re sure you’ll have heard by now, Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has died in Los Angeles.
This is the theme park at Neverland – a property which Jackson built here in 1988 at a cost of $17 million. Neverland Ranch was Jackson’s permanent residency from 1988 until 2005, when the main house was eventually closed as a cost-cutting measure in the wake of the star’s declining fortunes.
Despite having been out of the property since 2005, it wasn’t until November 2008 that Jackson finally transferred the title deed to the Sycamore Valley Ranch Company, and in April 2009 a widely reported exhibition of Neverland’s contents opened in advance of all the items going to auction.
In truth however, the Sycamore Valley Ranch Company is a venture that Jackson himself set up1 – and the auction was actually cancelled at the last minute. Meaning that at the time of his death, Michael Jackson still owned at least some proportion of Neverland Ranch itself, as well as all of its contents.
So maybe this isn’t the last we’ll see of Neverland – perhaps one day it will be reborn to become the Graceland of the pop-era.
Goodbye MJ, thank you for the music.