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Neverland Burial For Michael Jackson Still a Possibility

July 10, 2009 9:32 AM ET

Michael Jackson's burial may be allowed to take place at Neverland, pending an application process and the approval of Santa Barbara county officials, CNN reports. While the Jackson family has not yet approached country officials about the request, CNN writes that a Jackson family lawyer contacted officials about the possibility of burying the singer at his famed Neverland Ranch. Under California law, it is illegal to bury a body at a private residence. However, by filling out a two-page application and paying a $400 fee, the law can be circumvented pending the approval of county officials.

It was previously believed that Jackson's family was planning to bury the singer at Hollywood Hills' Forest Lawn Cemetery, but instead that was just the site of Jackson's private memorial service and open casket viewing. CNN reports that while Jermaine Jackson wants to bury his brother at Neverland, father Joe Jackson is against it. There is some precedent in a private land burial, thanks to a former President: California native Ronald Reagan was buried at his Presidential Library in Venture County. However, a request to be buried on private land has never been filed in Santa Barbara County.

As Rock Daily previously noted in our examination of Neverland's life after Jackson, even if the family elected to bury Jackson at his former home, the quiet county of Santa Barbara might be reluctant to allow the Ranch to be turned into a tourist destination like a West Coast version of Elvis Presley's Graceland. Also, there's the question of who really controls Neverland now, since Jackson signed the deed of the Ranch over to billionaire Tom Barrack Jr. as the singer struggled with debt. According to CNN, Barrack said the property's future would be discussed at a later date.

The mayor of Gary, Indiana, the Jackson 5's hometown, has already opened the door and publicly lobbied for the Jacksons to make Michael's resting place in the Indiana city. Mayor Rudy Clay's plan would also include the construction of a Jackson family museum in Gary, as well as a performance arts center. According to Yahoo, Gary, Indiana will be the site of a memorial service for Michael Jackson at the city's Steel Yard baseball park. Clay says that father Joe Jackson will attend the event.

Related Stories:
Michael Jackson's Neverland: What Should Happen to the Superstar's Ranch?
Michael Jackson's Family Makes Funeral Plans as Fans Clamor for Tickets to L.A. Memorial
Michael Jackson's Legacy Includes Tangled Financial Web

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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