Michael Jackson's Stuff Hits The Auction Block Next week in Beverly Hills, more than 2,000 items belonging to pop star Michael Jackson will be sold to the highest bidder. Everything, from Jackson's antique cars to a statue of him as a California Raisin, is up for grabs.
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Michael Jackson's Stuff Hits The Auction Block

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Michael Jackson's Stuff Hits The Auction Block

Michael Jackson's Stuff Hits The Auction Block

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And now, from a thriller of a golf tournament to a thriller of a sale. Two thousand items owned by pop star Michael Jackson are headed for the auction block next week. They provide a rare look into what was Jackson's very private world. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

CARRIE KAHN: Work crews are transforming this once-vacant Beverly Hills department store into a Michael Jackson extravaganza. And Darren Julian, who's running the auction, wastes no time setting the stage.

Mr. DARREN JULIAN: The public, when they come, will work through the entry gates of Neverland.

KAHN: Those are the gold-crusted gates that once hung at the entrance to Jackson's 2,700-acre ranch. Jackson vacated the property after being acquitted of child molestation and later sold it to an investment company. Julian says he tried to recreate Neverland, room-by-room, to give the public a never before glimpse into Jackson's life.

Mr. JULIAN: When you walk into the front of Neverland, this was a table that was to the left - to one of the main dining rooms. There were several dining rooms within Neverland.

KAHN: And bedrooms and guesthouses all furnished with Jackson's unique style.

Mr. JULIAN: Anything over the top I think he was a fan of. Anything larger than life.

KAHN: There's his oversized marble and gold chess set perched on four pillars — bidding starts at $2,000 - and the fleet of Jackson's vehicles, including his tour bus and a 1999 silver Rolls limousine.

(Soundbite of song, "Billie Jean")

KAHN: Plus plenty of Jackson music memorabilia and that famous crystal-encrusted hand wear he donned during the Billie Jean tour.

(Soundbite of song, "Billie Jean")

Mr. MICHAEL JACKSON (Singer): (Singing) She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene, I said don't mind, but what do you mean, I am the one...

Mr. JULIAN: And then in the center we're going to have the holy grail of the entire auction, which is his white glove.

(Soundbite of song, "Billie Jean")

Mr. JACKSON: (Singing) Who will dance, on the floor, in a round...

KAHN: Julian heads down a hallway covered with oversized wall hangings of Jackson in concert, all circa 1980.

Mr. JULIAN: The best is yet to come.

KAHN: We round the corner and head into a replica of Neverland's arcade.

(Soundbite of music)

KAHN: It's filled with more than a hundred games. There's this Simpsons pinball machine and tons of vintage videogames - from Frogger to Ms. Pacman. But the strangest turn of the tour is just around the corner.

Mr. JULIAN: This was in his bedroom, his main bedroom.

KAHN: There we see an eight-foot-tall animated Peter Pan diorama, built just for Jackson by Walt Disney animators.

(Soundbite of music)

KAHN: Right across from the Peter Pan section, this must be the Pinocchio corner, and I'm standing in front of this incredible, glass-enclosed wooden display case. It's from the floor to the ceiling and it depicts a chapter in Pinocchio.

(Soundbite of movie, "Pinocchio")

Ms. EVELYN VENABLE: (as the Blue Fairy) Poor Gepetto, you have given so much happiness to others. You deserve to have your wish come true.

KAHN: The blue fairy waves her magic wand and Pinocchio comes to life.

(Soundbite of movie, "Pinocchio")

Ms. VENABLE: (as the Blue Fairy) Now, look, there's light.

KAHN: And so does a tiny replica of Michael Jackson doing the moon dance on a stool in the corner. Even though Jackson stands to make a lot of money from the auction, he's filed suit to stop the sale. Jackson wants the right to remove some of his most prized possessions. But so far the courts say no.

Julian is hoping to bring in $12 million, with at least $100,000 coming from the sale of that white glove.

(Soundbite of song, "Beat It")

KAHN: Carrie Kahn, NPR News.

(Soundbite of song, "Beat It")

MONTAGNE: You can see the famous white glove and other items featured in the auction at our Web site, NPR.org.

(Soundbite of song, "Beat It")

Mr. JACKSON: (Singing) They told him don't you ever come around here, don't want to see your face, you better disappear, the fire's in their eyes, their words are really clear, so beat it, just...

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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