Thursday, June 30, 2011

Michael Jackson and the Jackson Family in the San Fernando Valley

With Michael Jackson's 2 year anniversary death just passed by, I thought I jump on the bandwagon of all the media outlets to post something about MJ too, obviously with respect to the San Fernando Valley. When it comes to Michael Jackson, it seems like people either hate him with much disgust or think he is the greatest performer. There is no middle ground and people fall into either of the two sides. If you are British, its safe to assume that you love MJ. So this post will only talk about Michael Jackson and his family's existence in the San Fernando Valley. We are not going to talk about the music, relationships, lawsuits, children, beatings, money, Beatles, etc. If you would like to learn more about MJ, I recommend visiting the extensive and thorough article at Wikipedia

So what can Michael Jackson and his family possibly have to do with the San Fernando Valley? Surprisingly, there is a lot of MJ history in the San Fernando Valley which is still visible today. I was inspired by the MilitantAngeleno who complied a map of MJ in the greater Los Angeles area which I recommend visiting. So I created a similar map but focusing on the San Fernando Valley only. So lets dig into the facts: (click on "Jackson Family in the SFV" title below if map is not centered or misplaced)

View Jackson Family in the SFV in a full screen map
  1. (A) Joseph and Katherine Jackson purchase a 2 acre estate at 4641 Hayvenhurst Ave (near Ventura Blvd) Encino, CA on May 5, 1971 for $250,000. This estate had 6 Beds/5 Baths, Olympic-size swimming pool, a basketball half-court, a badminton court, and an archery range. In order to purchase this property, Joe Jackson had to put down $100,000 (40% of the loan) due to his bad credit which he obtained from Berry Gordy based on the Jackson 5's future earnings. The Jackson's home phone number was routinely changed to protect against fans constantly calling which didn't last long. The house was nicknamed the 'Big House' because it felt like a prison at times for the younger Jacksons. (pg. 81 - 84, Taraborrelli) (Property Records which also list Latoya as an owner which is odd) This property was eventually purchased by MJ for $500,000 for a 50% stake and then later a 25% stake with the other 25% owned by Katherine due to Joe's financial difficulties in the 80's (pg. 229, Taraborrelli) and was remodelled (which led to #4 below). You can view pictures of the Encino house after the renovation here. And there is also an article from the Daily Beast here describing the home in 2009. 
  2. (B) In 1973 and 1974, Michael Jackson attended the exclusive Montclair College Preparatory School at 8071 Sepulveda Blvd Van Nuys CA for his 9th and 10th grade years. "He was always making jokes; he wanted to be like everyone else. He seemed happy back then. As soon as he left the school walls he went back to being the superstar." Tuition at the time cost $5,000, today it costs $16,000 for one year. Several other notable alumni include Cher, Nicole Richie, and Paul Thomas Anderson amongst others. (The Toronto Sun, He was a Super Kid, Sun Media's Parent goes back to Michael Jackson's School by Marie Joelle Parent) Check out yearbook pics here.
  3. (C) In 1976, Michael Jackson attended the California Preparatory High School in Encino (School no longer exists, location unknown). In the Yearbook, he was voted "most creative, shyest, and best dressed. Ironically, he was not voted most likely to succeed.  
  4. (D) In February 1981, Michael Jackson  purchases a 3 Bed/3 Bath condo at 5420 Lindley Ave Unit# 9 (near the 101 freeway)  Encino, CA for $210,000. You can view pictures of MJ posing at his condo here and read a lengthy and excellent article from the condo by Rolling Stones here. "He paid $175,000 in cash. The balance - $35,000 - came from Katherine. In exchange, Michael gave her equity in the condo as sole and separate property, meaning she did not have to share it with Joseph as community property. It was his way of giving her a bit of freedom, as well. Certainly, Michael didn't need her to contribute $35,000. No doubt, she wanted to pay for the possibility of having her own freedom, just like her son. 'Now, if you can't stand him for another second,' Michael said, speaking of Joseph, 'you can move here. It will be great. We could live here together, imagine that! And without him.' In the end, Micheal could not go through it; he couldn't move out especially since Katherine didn't want to go, either. 'I just don't feel it's time for me to move away from home yet,' he said. 'If I moved out now, I'd die of loneliness. Most people who move out go to discos every night. They party every night. They invite friends over, and I don't do any of those things.' (In a couple of years, Michael would move into the condo temporarily , along with other family members, when the Encino home was remodelled. He still owns the condo today; it has been used as a haven for his brothers when they have had marital difficulties.) (pg. 207 - 208, Taraborrelli) (Property Records, cached) Side note, Ice Cube (real name, Oshea Jackson also owns a condo in the same building at Unit#4 (Property Records, cached which also list Latoya as an owner which is odd)
  5. (E) During the 80's and into the early 2000's, Katherine Jackson would drag along MJ and the rest of the family to the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at 20600 Ventura Blvd Woodland Hills CA which I discussed in the Back To The Future Series
  6. (F) Jermaine Jackson lived at 4640 Gloria Avenue Encino, CA during the 1990's (according to The Movieland Directory). I looked up this property on the map and its a parking lot structure. I dont know if this home was torn down to make way for the parking structure or this info is inaccurate.
  7. (G) Tito Jackson lived at 15255 Del Gado Drive Sherman Oaks CA during the 1990's (according to The Movieland Directory). Dont have much factual information but the property was foreclosed in 1995, not sure if Tito was foreclosed upon at the time. Property Records, Redfin Listing.
  8. (H) Tito Jackson purchased at 21645 Medina Estates Dr Woodland Hills CA in 1998 (according to The Movieland Directory) with a purchase price of $437,000 which he still currently owns. Property Records, Redfin Listing
  9. (I) Janet Jackson lived at 18729 Hillsboro Rd Northridge, CA during the 1990's with Rene Elizondo  (according to The Movieland Directory) whom Janet was briefly married to. Rene is best known for being the one to cover Janet's breasts for the cover of the September 1993 issue of Rolling Stones Magazine. Based on the records, it appears that Rene purchased the property in 1990 for $790,000. Oddly, it also appears that he sold the property back to himself in 2009 for $750,000. Something doesnt add up here. Property RecordsRedfin Listing.
  10. (J) Janet Jackson lived at 9010 Tobias Avenue in Sherman Oaks, CA during the 1990s (according to The Movieland Directory). This property is actually located in Panorama City and its a large apartment building bordering Van Nuys Blvd. I doubt Janet lived here so this is probably an error but I am presenting what I found. Redfin Listing
  11. (K) Tito Jackson purchased at 4301 Willow Glen St Calabasas CA in 1998 for $280,000 and sold to his brother, Jermaine,  in 2004 for $550,000 (according to VirtualGlobeTrottingProperty RecordsRedfin Listing
  12. (L) Jermaine Jackson is currently renting a house at 25481 Prado De Azul Calabasas CA which was facing foreclosure in late 2010 but is now in a pending status as a short sale. Property Records
  13. (M) Katherine Jackson and all of the grandchildren moved out of the Hayvenhurst compound sometime in late 2010 or early 2011 in order to remodel the Hayvenhurst house. They moved to a rental in The Estates at the Oaks of Calabasas at 25345 Prado De La Felicidad Calabasas CA. This property was for sale off and on again since 2007 with the last listed price at $10,995,000 prior to being leased by Mrs. Jackson which the MJ estate is paying $26,000/month. The property has 7 Bed/10 Baths on 12,670 sqft. which includes a Loft/Game Room, Elevator, Guesthouse, Custom Theatre, Putting Green, Sparkling Pool and everything else your heart would desire. You can check out a video tour here, I highly recommend it. Property Records, Redfin Listing. When the Hayvenhurst House is completed, the family will be moving back except for Alejandra Jackson's kids (from Jermaine and Randy Jackson, yes they both had kids with the same woman). Katherine reportedly offered MJ's condo on Lindley to Alejandra but she apparently refused it and wanted more. How cool would it be to live in MJ's old condo? I am assuming that the Hayvenhurst property will be completed in the next couple of months which means the Calabasas property will become available and who knows what drama will occur at the old Hayvenhurst property with Alejandra. Its possible that the Hayvenhurst property becomes available for sale. I will keep you posted of any new developments.
  14. (N). In 2010, MJ's kids Prince and Paris attend the Buckley School at 3900 Stansbury Ave Sherman Oaks CA. The school's famous alums include Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian amongst others. 
Wow, I wasn't anticipating this list to be 14 locations long. I originally started off with the Hayvenhurst and Lindley properties and just started to grow as I researched more and more and started to include the rest of the family. I tried to keep this list very specific and defined as I am sure the Jackson's have been spotted or had some interactions in numerous locations around the San Fernando Valley. This is by no means a definitive list so I tried to document what I could find. Its possible that I missed something. For instance:
  1. In Katherine's book, "My Family", she describes an incident where MJ gets pulled over driving his Rolls Royce by a Van Nuys Police Officer mistakenly thinking that MJ had stolen it (keep in mind this was the 80's, we have progressed since then, I think). The Police Officer ran a check on the car and found an outstanding ticket which landed MJ in jail (I believe the Van Nuys Jail, but not sure) with his Security Guard bailing him out. 
  2. In an article from the HuffPost, Natalia Rose writes about living down the street and hanging out with MJ.
  3. Casting Director, Megan Foley, describes in her bio waiting on MJ several times at the Red Onion in Canoga Park during her collegiate year. 
  4. MJ "continued door-to-door" proselytizing for the Jehovah's Witness Faith, 'twice a week, maybe for an hour or two,' according to Katherine......wearing a moustache, hat, and glasses - and a tie and sweater, and holding a copy of Watchtower, Michael stood at the door of an apartment in suburban Thousand Oaks, California, one morning in early 1984. 'I'm here to talk to you about God's word,'he told the young girl who answered the bell." (pg. 269, Taraborrelli).
  5. Tito Jackson was a baseball coach at the Encino Little League on Hayvenurst for his sons. I remember seeing it in a Little League Yearbook listed for sale on eBay. Also, check here AOLTV (in comments) and People Magazine, Tour De Force, May 17, 1984 by Peter Carlson, Roger Wolmuth.
  6. MJ rode the racecars at the Malibu Grand Prix in Northridge (I truly miss that place). His "drivers license" can be found the MJsite.com website.
  7. MJ with his llama on Hayvenhurst near Libbett. Just hanging out in broad daylight ,from Facebook. 
And the list goes on and on. As you have noticed, the Jackson family has had and still continue to make the San Fernando Valley their home. Some of the other brothers and sisters have moved on to other states probably to get away from all of the drama. Being a San Fernando Valley fan, I sometimes wonder if the Valley has somehow influenced MJ and his family with the success and stardom. MJ's two biggest albums, Off the Wall and Thriller were produced while living in Encino? Is it a coincidence, that his fame and success decreased after he left the Valley? Do you have any stories of the SFV and MJ to share?

Disclaimer:  The addresses listed above are for educational and reference purposes only. Please respect the privacy of others so don't try to do anything stupid.

Sources:
Wikipedia - MJ Article
MilitantAngeleno - blog showcasing map of MJ's greater Los Angeles locations
Daily Beast - 2009 article describing the Hayvenhurst house
MJ-777 site - info regarding Montclair College Preparatory High School
Montclair College Prep Alumni Page
The Toronto Sun - 2009 article describing Montclair College Prep
MJ-777 site - info regarding California Prep
Chris Walters Rock Images - photos from Lindley Condo
Rolling Stones - 1983 article with reference to Lindley Condo
Wikipedia - Rene Elizondo
VirtualGlobeTrotting - Jermaine Jackson purchasing Calabasas home from Tito Jackson
Foreclosure Blog - blog post about Jermaine's rented home under foreclosure
Realestalker - blog post about Katherine Jackson and the grandkids moving out of Hayvenhurst
TMZ - article about Katherine not allowing Alejandra's kids into the renovated Hayvenhurst house
TMZ - article about MJ's kids, Paris and Prince attending Buckley School
The MJ Place site - reference to Katherine Jackson's book, "My Family"
HuffPost - article by Natalia Rose who was a neighbor to MJ at Hayvenhurst
Megan Foley Casting - description of waiting on MJ at Red Onion
Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958 - 2009. J. Randy Taraborrelli
Tour De ForceMay 17, 1984 by Peter Carlson, Roger Wolmuth, People Magazine
Redfin
Zillow
Blockshopper
Movieland Directory

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