A number of unreleased tracks or song lyrics made by Michael Jackson were kept in a storage unit by Joe Jackson, the international star’s father, according to various online sources. There may have been between 250-300 works by Michael, though they have never been officially made public.
Reportedly, his father missed payments for the storage space containing the tracks, along with thousands of photos of Michael. Missing a payment, or more than one, can be grounds for termination of a storage contract, so the contents
of the unit were put up for auction.
A Canadian businessman named Howard Mann was named in a number of news stories as the co-owner of the Jackson memorabilia, and took possession of the items, with a business partner, Henry Vaccaro.
Some of the online news stories seem questionable in that they don’t cite sources and they repeat the same information, however, there are more reputable sources, like CNN. For example in 2012, a settlement was reached over copyright infringement which required a very large payment to the Jackson estate.
In 2004, it had been reported that various Jackson family items were acquired after Vaccaro paid $65,000 in storage and shipping fees to a storage facility in Oxnard, California, which is on the coast, north of Los Angeles.
Considering that a large storage unit typically costs less than $300 month, it might have taken quite a while to incur such hefty fees.
In 2014, a news article reported that more Jackson memorabilia which was possibly linked to the storage unit would be sold at auction.
The contents include 56 master reel-to-reel tapes of Jackson 5 recordings, though the copyrights were intact, so the buyer could not make copies for sale to the public. Doing so, would very likely result in a lawsuit. So, if you ever find any Michael Jackson tracks in a storage unit, don’t assume you can sell them online or otherwise.
Though it may seem odd to consider someone like Michael Jackson having some of his possessions in a storage space, it shows how common self storage in America has become. Michael Jackson storage are generally not words that seem to go together, because very wealthy people would not seem to need storage space, but anyone in American might have one these days.
His situation is also a good cautionary tale about storing high-value items in self storage and not making payments, because you may very lose those them.
Personal, professional and family photos can be very upsetting to lose, so it might be better to keep them separate from typical self storage items like furniture, appliances and clothing. Sometimes personal diaries are kept in self storage too, but if they are sold in auctions that means strangers might wind up reading them.
Image Credit: Public Domain