Neverland Graceland? Never!

Neighbors of Neverland are organizing against any move to turn Michael Jackson's former home into a tourist destination that could disturb the area's rural tranquility. Read more
Garrett Kent

Santa Barbara, CA

#1 Jul 21, 2009
There is no doubt that a Neverland Graceland would be a huge attraction, but to the severe detriment of the peaceful environment of one of coastal California’s few remaining rural areas, the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
Other than the fact that both Memphis and Los Olivos were once homes to music industry icons, they have very little in common. Los Olivos is a quiet little town of about 1000 residents, serviced by a two lane country highway and narrow, rustic roads. It is easily overwhelmed by bicycle races, festivals and other special events. Conversely, the greater Memphis metropolitan area, where Elvis Presley’s Graceland is located, has a population of over 1.2 million. As the second largest metro area in Tennessee, Memphis is supported by a huge infrastructure of freeways, boulevards and city streets. It can handle the over 600,000 visitors that flock to Graceland each year, but not without its troubles. In 2005, Memphis was ranked as the second most dangerous U.S. city.
People enjoy the Santa Ynez Valley because of its friendly people, natural beauty and slow paced lifestyle. Indeed, Michael fell in love with the area in the early eighties while filming the Say, Say, Say music video, for these same attributes… attributes that a Neverland Graceland will destroy.
In 2005, shortly after his child molestation trial, Michael left Neverland and fervently stated that, because of all the "bad memories”, he will never return. He never did. If Michael Jackson's fans and family truly care about him, why not honor his wishes never to return to Neverland? Sadly, developing Neverland into a shrine is not about honoring Michael, it’s all about the money.

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