A grease-filled barbeque torpedoed a big party at Michael Jackson
's Neverland Ranch
A large group was there for the shindig, when the staff lit the BBQ to get the coals hot. We're told a grease build-up on the system ignited the hood system and caused some panic.
Three engines from the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. arrived but the blaze had already been put out.
The BBQ was cancelled.
El Pollo Loco anyone?
Hundreds of Michael Jackson
fans made the pilgrimage to Neverland Ranch today to commemorate the anniversary of his death -- even though there was no actual event planned.
We're told some fans camped outside the gates of Neverland on Figueroa Mountain Road last night. The fans show up in waves throughout the day -- gathering for a bit, bringing flowers, holding signs, singing songs ... then they eventually leave.
MJ passed away two years ago today.
With the two-year anniversary of Michael Jackson
's death approaching -- one helicopter company is
giving fans the chance to pay their respects ... by raining flowers down around Neverland ... mid-flight.
The 30-minute Channel Island Helicopter flights are set to take off June 24th and 25th -- exactly two years since Jackson died after a Propofol-induced cardiac arrest.
During the flight, passengers are encouraged to honor the late entertainer by chucking his favorite flower -- a red rose -- out of the helicopter mid-flight ... over nearby Zaca Peak.
A rep for the helicopter company tells us -- fans are super excited for the aerial tour ... saying they feel it will bring them "closer to heaven" ... and closer to Michael.
The owners of the Neverland Ranch
-- the former home of Michael Jackson
-- want to turn the property into a teenage music haven.
TMZ has learned Colony Capital
wants to develop a business plan to turn Neverland into a small music institute -- similar to The Juilliard School in NYC. The plan is to teach teens all aspects of music, including writing and performing.
Colony wants to turn the property into a campus, in which scores of teenagers -- rich and poor -- can learn the trade that made Michael Jackson a legend.
There are two big stumbling blocks. The first is making sure Santa Barbara County will sign off on such a project.
The second -- and bigger issue -- is whether Colony Capital can use Michael Jackson's name to promote such an institute. TMZ has good news for Colony .... sources directly connected with the Michael Jackson Estate tell us, "It's an interesting idea and we'd be open to it."
A company in northern California is in possession of a bunch of Michael Jackson
's amusement park rides from Neverland Ranch
-- and they can be yours for a day, but it'll cost you. Butler Amusements
has six different attractions, but one of them is permanently installed at the California State Fair & Exposition in Sacramento, CA. The other five, however, are totally up for grabs. Click through the gallery
to find out which ones are available and how much they'll set you back. Warning: they ain't cheap.
's Neverland Ranch
"Balloon Samba" ride has turned up in San Jose.
An amusement company bought the ride from Neverland and rents it out to fairs and carnivals around the country.
Now everyone can get a ride ... courtesy of Michael.
The Michael Jackson
estate just laid the smack down on a bunch of Michael Jackson
wannabes -- all over access to Neverland
The wannabes are actually in a Michael Jackson tribute band
named "Neverland" -- a name the MJ estate feels is a violation of its trademark.
Long story short: The MJ estate wrote a scary legal letter demanding the band change its name ... and it did ... to Foreverland.
Here's the catch. "Foreverland" still owns the rights to the domain name neverlandsf.com -- and it's willing to give it back to Camp Jacko ... for a cool $30,000.
In short, the Jackson estate told the band to "beat it" and gave them until February 2011 to begin forwarding all web traffic to the new foreverlandsf.com ... or else.
The band tells us they're currently going over their options.
apparently went around the world trying to make a case against Michael Jackson
for alleged child molestation.
According to documents just released by the FBI, in 1993 the LAPD and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies "Plan to travel to Manila, Philippines... for the purpose of interviewing (names deleted) concerning their knowledge of accusations against Michael Jackson of sexual abuse of young boys."
We know the people sought to be interviewed were a man and woman who had worked at Neverland from 1988 - 1990 and allegedly witnessed molestation.
According to docs, an FBI special agent was involved in the Manila trip.
And another doc states a legal attache for the U.S. Embassy in London was sending information back home regarding sexual misconduct by Jackson in England ... specifically, a phone call to a teenage boy.
A British law firm is the latest to file a creditor's claim against Michael Jackson
's estate, and it involves the "sale of Neverland
There had been rumors Jackson put the ranch up for sale, but they were never confirmed. Now the law firm of Atkins Thomson Solicitors
in London is asking for $209,204.36.
The services the firm claims to have performed involved "General discussions re Michael Jackson, personal and professional situation dealing with Colony Capital, Tohme Tohme
, Frank Dileo
, and Others, Work in Relation to the Sale of Neverland."
The firm also claims to have done work with Jackson's U.S. lawyers and AEG
. The firm also did legal work for the London concerts.
TMZ has learned Michael Jackson
was involved in negotiations to buy a $38 million 15 bedroom, 16.5 bath Bel Air
mansion just before he died, and the deal was 7 years in the making.
Sources connected to the situation tell us MJ
fell in love with the 18,020
square foot estate back in 2001 and actually entered into escrow -- but the deal fell through because Jackson ultimately couldn't afford the place.
But recently, Michael was trying to work out a new deal with the owners in the hopes of coming into enough cash to score the place after his "This Is It
" concert series in England.
A source tells TMZ: "Jackson brought his kids to see the house and they fell in love with it ... They begged him to buy it."
The kids' favorite part? We're told they were all fired up about a secluded area under the house which was nicknamed the "Bat Cave."
Sources say Jackson had hoped to use the land to recreate as much of Neverland as he legally could, but as we all know ... he never got the chance.
TMZ went live with Mike and Charles to talk about why Michael Jackson's Tribute was pushed back -- and what's going to happen to Neverland Ranch.