Kenny Wizz (or Wizz as he’s known) has done the moonwalk more times than Michael Jackson ever did. As the world’s No. 1 Jackson impersonator, Wizz has performed as Michael since 1984 and done shows all over the world. He estimates he’s done 15,000 shows in Las Vegas alone.
Right now, he’s in the midst of a two-month U.S. tour followed by trips to Australia and Indonesia. Wizz’ tribute “Michael Jackson HIStory” comes to the Saroyan Theatre on Friday. The show is a recreation of what Jackson did live Jackson — a two-hour performance covering 22 songs from pop icon’s catalog of music.
And the Beehive will be giving away tickets to three lucky readers. Enter to win by leaving a comment below. We want to know what’s your favorite Jackson song and why. For my money, you can’t get better than “Dirty Diana,” which probably tells you how old I am. The contest will run through 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 19). Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email. These are actual, physical tickets, so they will need to be picked up at The Fresno Bee office (1226 E. St.) before 5 p.m. Friday.
See the full contest rules (and a video of Wizz) below.
I’m torn. The first time I heard Fresno Yosemite International airport’s latest radio commercial, with a jingle that rips off Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” I shook my head in disgust. As you can hear below, the jingle changed the Jackson classic — one of my favorite of his, btw — to “Come on, Fly Fresno, won’t stop ’til we get you there” and other airplane talk.
I heard the commercial over and over, sometimes more than once a day. I told people about it. Even sang it to them. Then something happened. I started tapping my foot and singing it to myself. Out of nowhere. Without thinking about it. And not the original lyrics. The “Fly Fresno” lyrics. In the interest of fairness, I’ve also been known to randomly blurt out Fresh Beat Band songs, so this could very well be a me-problem.
Or it could mean the jingle is doing its job. It’s getting stuck in my head.
So now, Beehive readers of sound mind and taste, I turn this over to you. Is the “Fly Fresno” jingle a big ol’ bag of WTF or does it FTW so much it deserves a trophy?
WTF = What. The. Fudgesicle. Who thought THAT was a good idea?!?
FTW = For the win. That is a victory for all mankind.
If you have always wanted to own a piece of Hollywood memorabilia, there’s an auction this weekend that could make that wish come true.
Premiere Props will be auctioning Hollywood memorabilia at their “Hollywood Extravaganza V” on Saturday and Sunday at their headquarters in El Segundo. There will be a preview from 9-11 a.m. each day with the live auction beginning at 11 a.m.
In addition to over 1,000 props and costumes from superstars, the auction will feature over 20 cars from film and television including the primer grey Chevelle driven by Vin Diesel in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, the Cadillac Escalade driven by James Gandolfini in “The Sopranos,” that he also signed, multiple vehicles including police cars, construction vehicles and a taxi from “Step Up 4,” and two 1978 Ford Black 150 trucks from the upcoming “Perks of a Wallflower.”
1. BE A BARBARIAN Audie’s Olympic hosts a great lineup of indie rock bands tonight, in what promises to be a packed show. We Barbarians headline, and if you dig bands like Cold War Kids and The Walkmen, you’ll like them. Florida duo ANR, which gets a lot of MGMT comparisons, joins, as does local faves Strange Vine. We Barbarians sold out Audie’s earlier this year. With a new EP getting rave reviews, the show should be even bigger this time around. So get there early. [info]
On Sunday, I went to brunch — yes, brunch — at Veni Vidi Vici. It was a special event called “Soulful Sundays,” organized by the fabulous Devoya Mayo. It was part of an occasional series of themed Sunday brunches. This one was a tribute to Michael Jackson, with San Francisco’s (by way of Fresno) DJ 4 a.m. spinning.
Hi Fresno friends, as you’re reading this I’m sitting around watching a bunch of NFL highlights I already watched yesterday and trying to figure out where to go eat tacos this afternoon. Yes, I’m on vacation this week! But Fresno doesn’t stop being happening just because I’m sitting at home. So here are 13 things that should keep you busy until I return next Monday. See ya then.
Move over, “Glee.” Buchanan High School’s spring choir concert tonight includes a full-fledged tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The 7 p.m. concert is at the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall on the Clovis North High School campus. Tickets are $8, $5 students/seniors. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Here’s a pretty sharp video promo:
As you may have heard, a bunch of singers (and Vince Vaughn) came together to lend their voices and their starpower to a rerecording of “We Are The World” in an effort to raise funds for the rebuilding of Haiti.
Here is their effort:
“We Are The World” was written 25 years ago by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Since its release in 1985, the original single has raised over $63 million for aid in Africa.
So what I’m wondering is, will this recording have the same effect as the original, inspiring people to open up their wallets and give, or have we all become a little too cynical for this kind of thing?
How many of you have purchased or plan to purchase the single, and how many of you would rather pay to never hear this song again?
It was a secret at the time Jackson did the voice and he was credited as John Jay Smith. Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa for two decades, says Jackson showed up at the recording session to work with the cast. She found him to be a rather shy person and a big fan of the show.
What you might not know was that it wasn’t Jackson who sang the birthday song. His record company would not allow him to do the tune.
“Michael hand picked the person to sing the song. It was this skinny little white guy who sounded just like him. Imagine the pressure of singing like Michael Jackson in front of Michael Jackson,” Smith said during breakfast. She had traveled to Pasadena to talk with TV critics about the 20th anniversary of her series.
For me, it was a weekend of regional sports rivals and family visiting from the Bay Area. Where did your weekend adventures lead you? Tell us in the comments.
In Central Valley grudge match #1: I Saw the Grizzlies duke it out with Sacramento. It was a close one (much like the entire series), but the Griz came up a little short in the end, 4-3. Overall, Sac took the five-game series, 3-2. Boo.
Stopped by ever so briefly at the Ms. Soulflower Michael Jackson tribute at Palomino’s. It was packed with people sweating it up on the dancefloor.
Who knew you can’t go bowling on a Saturday afternoon in Fresno? Both Sierra Lanes and Cedar Lanes had waits of at least an hour to get a lane.
NoTown Roller Derby went up against Bakersfield’s Diamond Divas, in another Valley grudge match. Fresno clobbered Bako 143-90. The bout had been pretty close, 87-79, before the NoTown ladies turned it up in the third period.
1. HAIL THE KING (AND QUEEN): Say goodbye once more to Michael Jackson tonight at Palomino’s, as the popular Ms. Soulflower monthly tribute series also comes to an end. We already miss King of Pop and now we’ll miss Fresno’s Queen of the Tribute too.
The scene: lunchtime today at Mr. Sushi in the Tower District. I’m meeting two colleagues for a business lunch/interview. When I walk in, they’re already seated, and I notice that the big-screen television behind the bar is turned to the live Michael Jackson memorial service.
The sound: the TV is turned up to an astonishing volume, with the voice of the speaker on the podium pounding out with something close to sonic-boom enthusiasm.
The problem: I say hello to my colleague sitting directly across the table, and when she replies, I catch about 15% of what she says. We raise our own voices, and pretty soon it sounds as if we’re in a shouting match.
The request: When the server asks for our drink order, I ask, “Do you think you can turn the TV down a little? It’s too loud and we can’t even hear each other talk.” She gives me a vague look and a barely commital nod.
The result: The sound is turned up even more.
The outcome: We leave and go to Irene’s across the street. As we head toward the door, I tell the server, “It’s just too loud.” She looks at us as if we’ve just proposed a law against moonwalking.
The snippy comment: Isn’t the “All Michael Jackson All the Time” onslaught today going just a little too far?
Today I’m trying, with a limited degree of success thus far, to avoid reading anything on the Internets about the ridiculous circus masquerading as Michael Jackson’s memorial. Still, I couldn’t resist checking out Buzzfeed’s “Best Facebook Updates from Michael Jackson’s Memorial.”
Click here to read the post — there are some pretty good updates in the comments section worth checking out. And by good, I mean sad sad sad.
There’s a Michael Jackson tribute night scheduled at Aldo’s, compete with MJ dance contest and a request to dress like the King of Pop.
Now here’s the question: How long before MJ tributes are played out? I was kinda thinking if you didn’t do it last weekend, then there’s no reason. I have a feeling, though, we’re going to be seeing these for a few weeks to come.
Although he’d essentially become a walking punchline in recent years, there was a time when everyone loved Michael Jackson. Everyone.
If you were a kid in the 80s, you worshiped the guy, and no matter what scandalous stories came out in later years, or how much his appearance changed, it most likely didn’t diminish your love for his early music.
For example, I go stupid whenever I hear “Billie Jean” to this day. I stop whatever it is I am doing, and start singing and jerking around (normal people call it “dancing,” but that doesn’t accurately describe my awkward moves) until the song is over. Every time.
So sound off. In your opinion, what song/s represent the best of MJ?
Those PR folks work fast. At 3:33 p.m., just minutes after major media outlets started reporting that Michael Jackson had indeed died, I received this email from Legacy.com:
Legacy.com, the world’s most timely and comprehensive resource for online obituaries and the undisputed leader in Web-based memorialization, has created a feature-rich online memorial, with a Guest Book, for Michael Jackson. Individuals can visit www.legacy.com to find the Guest Book and share their thoughts and express their condolences. Jackson’s Guest Book will remain on the site indefinitely. People can order printed versions of the Guest Books for commemorative keepsakes.
UPDATE 6/26: Although the autopsy has yet to be performed, and results won’t be ready for weeks, the rumor is that Jackson was a drug addict, and that a fatal dose of Demoral Demerol caused the cardiac arrest. Still just a rumor, though, so take it with a grain of salt …
And speaking of the kids, Peoplehas some ideas on who will be their new guardian.
UPDATE:According to TMZ, Michael Jackson, 50, has died. He is survived by his three kids: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.
LOS ANGELES — Pop star Michael Jackson has been taken to UCLA Medical Center by ambulance suffering from cardiac arrest, fire officials confirm.
Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a 911 call at Jackson’s home around 12:26 p.m. He was not breathing when they arrived. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda says.
It’s unclear what he was being treated for or what his current condition may be.