MICHAEL JACKSON URGED CONCERT PROMOTER TO COLLECT SHOWBIZ SOUVENIRS
Born into a well-to-do family in Southern California, David Gest grew up in the entertainment industry.
In the early 1970s, his family was living in Encino, and their neighbors happened to be the Jackson family. So it was natural that he developed a friendship with Michael. Gest would go on to work as a concert promoter and television producer, while Jackson and his music career, of course, took the world by storm.
“Michael Jackson and I had become the best of friends,” Gest writes in his 2007 autobiography Simply the Gest. “Even though we came from very different backgrounds, in many ways we had a lot in common.” In a 2002 Vanity Fair interview, Jackson recalled how the two “spent a lot of our childhood in a car, driving around, looking for old records, memorabilia, antiques and hidden treasures.”
Over the years, Gest acquired a treasure trove of memorabilia, says Heritage Auctions entertainment specialist Garry Shrum. “Mr. Gest handled the careers of people like Tom Jones, the Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top and Al Green,” Shrum says. “And he launched the American Cinema Awards, which attracted stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Dennis Hopper. He moved in circles most of us can’t imagine, collecting memorabilia along the way.”
Items from the David Gest Memorabilia Collection are being offered at Heritage’s entertainment auction scheduled for March 18, 2017.
In 2001, Gest reunited the Jackson 5 for a TV special to mark 30 years since their first hit. A year later, he married Liza Minnelli, with their wedding and reception attended by Taylor and Diana Ross. Gest died in London in April 2016. He was 62.
Gest passionately curated his collection over a 30-year period, Shrum says. “So it’s special that today, these items can be shared with people who appreciate pop culture as much as he did.”