Monthly Archives: July 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial – Play by Play from Inside Staples Center

I was fortunate enough to be present inside Staples Center during Michael Jackson’s Memorial Services yesterday.  Even now, 24 hours later, I still can’t believe it.  I’ve tried to put it into words over several radio interviews, meetings, conversations, and nothing has worked.

Below is my play by play, both via notes I took and also twitter messages.

-couldnt sleep, finally got to bed at 4am
-woke up late
-still slept in more, finally up and moving at 7:30am
-drove to train station and parked there
-train was packed, everyone looking at my wrist, thought i was going to get mugged
-3 beautiful girls offered to be my date, I was money hungry, planned to sell ticket
-arrived at Staples, surprised how few people were gathered
-police were exceptional, amazing crowd control
-walked around for 15 mins looking to sell ticket
-met people from all over the world just wanting to be a part of this
-started to get second thoughts about selling it, didn’t feel right
-almost sold it, decided to call up the biggest MJ fan I know at 9am
-she cried and I was happy
-she drove 80 all the way. Arrived w/15 mins to spare
-terrible time w/one way streets in downtown
-gleefully skipped into Staples
-lots of empty seats, hope they let others in
-pushed back 30 mins
-they let others in from outside, about 250-300 I heard
-Loudspeaker: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Smokey Robinson” – WOW! 

My view, the vibe was immense.

"We Are The World"... the vibe was immense... we were all singing along.

(For my thoughts during the event, check out my tweets at or just look below, tweets are italicized

waking up for MJ Memorial in about 4 hours, can’t sleep, so excited… in section 301 at Staples Center!!
2:54 AM Jul 7th from web

lots of crying, body just brought in… wow
10:35 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

looks like they filled the empty seats w/people from outside, looks much more packed now!
10:37 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

love how i have to find out via twitter that there was a problem w/audio, we at staples sat in silence for a lonnnng time
10:39 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

mariah carey sounds amazing… chills… wow, staples is lit up w/flash bulbs
10:41 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

crazy to watch Berry Gordy speak about MJ’s passing on the day Berry’s son has his debut album dropping.. (LMFAO’s Red Foo)
10:59 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

mj video tribute being played on the big screens, this staples is ripping with applause/tears
11:04 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

stevie wonder walking up.. amazing/sad i get to see so many of my icons in one place
11:07 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

you can hear shouts of “we love you michael” in between each performance, amazing
11:16 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

the claps around staples right now are seriously unreal… jennifer hudson is nailing each note
11:22 AM Jul 7th from mobile web

taking bets on who does the moonwalk first… Justin Timberlake? Usher? Obama? Me??
12:06 PM Jul 7th from mobile web

id like to hear some music to make us dance… if this is a celebration of life, lets celebrate! i wanna see this place get down!
12:27 PM Jul 7th from mobile web

-walked out and multiple people were wanting to hear music and dance
-very somber mood as people left
-much more lively mood after we got outside, lots of music and dancing
-almost more people waiting outside now than before
-passed by 100 types of MJ shirts and anything else you can imagine
-hopped on packed train where most were at the memorial.
-got back home, turned on CNN, tried to gather my thoughts.


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