New Heathens

Only Trying To Help

The whole world is in a tizzy over Michael Jackson's death but perhaps no company more so than concert promoters AEG Live. The company, which booked Jackson to play 50 concerts at London's 02 Arena, now stands to lose hundreds of millions unless they find another act to play Jackson's dates.

This is where I thought I could be of some help. Hence, an open letter to AEG Live:

Dear AEG Live,

Allow me to first offer my condolences for the untimely demise of your marquee attraction and hoped for cash cow, Michael Jackson.

I understand you are facing financial ruin due to your investment in his upcoming concert appearances in London. Please let me be the first to humbly offer my services to you as musician and performer. I can fill all or some of the dates that have come open due to Mr. Jackson's unexpected death.

I would perform either as a solo artist or, for a slightly larger fee, with a rock ensemble of my choosing. (The latter would free me up to do more dance moves, an approximation of but by no means a duplication of Jackson's own.)

On the subject of fees, I'm sure you will find mine very consistent with your newly compromised budget. Though my draw would likely be (exponentially?) less than Jackson's, so would my salary.

Additionally, unlike Mr. Jackson, I would not require you to keep on retainer top-notch defense lawyers, cooks, masseuses, backup dancers, primate veterinarians, handlers, child-care specialists, plastic surgeons, therapists, an entourage, Elizabeth Taylor or Tito Jackson. My only requirements would be transatlantic airfare, lodging and a per diem for meals.

Did I mention that I should have a new album coming out this fall? I expect that to boost my concert attendance by an average of .2 persons per show or approximately one whole additional paying customer every ten shows!

I know you are in a bind and being of a certain political persuasion, I cannot help but feel empathy at any major corporation in financial distress.

If you would find it advantageous to substitute me for the late Michael Jackson, please do not hesitate to call or write.

Should you desire to see and hear my performance before booking me for such a high-profile series of shows, I will be playing happy hour at Banjo Jim's on the corner of East 9th Street and Avenue C in New York City every Friday in the month of July from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission to Banjo Jim's is free which, if I'm scheduled to play London's O2 Arena, will be the last time for quite a while anyone will be able to see me for that price!

I sincerely look forward to working with you.

Yours truly,
Nate Schweber

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