Jackson wasn't ready for London comeback: father

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 14, 2009 at 4:11 AM EST

The father of Michael Jackson slammed the gruelling 50-date schedule drawn up for his son's comeback, saying the star was not capable of completing the series of sold-out concerts.

In an interview aired by ABC News, Joe Jackson said he had harbored concerns about his son's schedule, which had been due to get underway in London on July 13 until the tragic King of Pop died on June 25.

Jackson, 79, said his son had initially only wanted to perform in 10 concerts before more dates were added.

"Michael only agreed to 10 shows. Then they went and added all these shows," Joe Jackson told ABC News.

"I was worried about his health because all the shows I'm seeing, no artist can do all those shows, back-to-back like that. I knew Michael couldn't do all those shows without a rest in between."

Jackson's misgivings were echoed by his son's financial advisor Leonard Rowe, who also told ABC News that the star was in no condition to make a comeback, describing reports that he was in good shape as "totally untrue."

"Michael Jackson was not ready. He was not fit. If you can call weighing about 110 to 115 pounds fit. Besides that MJ told me himself that he never wanted to do 50 shows he only wanted to do 10," Rowe told ABC.

Randy Phillips, chief of concert promoters AEG Live, told ABC that it had been Michael Jackson's idea to increase the original run of concerts from 31 to 50, saying the singer would have been averaging under three shows a week.

"If that was too many, then one would have been too many," Phillips said.

Jackson's physical condition in the days leading up to his death last month has been the subject of intense debate, with sharply different versions offered by the singer's associates.

Phillips had earlier said Jackson, 50, appeared to be in "fantastic" shape at a concert rehearsal on the eve of his death.

Another member of the rehearsal, magician-comedian Ed Alonzo, said Jackson "looked great and had great energy."

However reports detailing alleged findings from Jackson's autopsy have painted a different picture, with CNN and ABC both reporting the star's body was riddled with needle marks and had several collapsed veins.

Jackson, 50, died on June 25 after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest at his rented mansion in an up-market neighborhood of Los Angeles.




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