A Masterton man owns a genuine piece of pop culture history he’s hoping to sell to the right buyer.
Jamie Olsen has a fedora that was worn by the late, great – and controversial – ‘King of Pop” Michael Jackon at his HIStory World Tour concert in Auckland in 1996.
Olsen’s brother Danny Gay, who was a big Jackson fan, caught the hat at the concert after the internationally renowned entertainer flung it into the crowd while performing his hit ‘Billie Jean’ [the moment can be viewed at the 10 minute 45 second mark of a YouTube clip titled “Michael Jackson Billie Jean Live Auckland 1996”].
Olsen inherited the item of memorabilia after his brother died from cancer at 29, leaving behind two children who are now in their early 20s.
If the hat is sold, Olsen wants to split the funds to support his brother’s kids, his siblings, and himself.
He said an auction house in the United States confirmed the hat’s authenticity through photographs in 2012, and Olsen has previously tried to auction it online.
Twelve years ago, he was offered $30,000 but turned it down after another bidder on Trademe said they’d pay $45,000 in what turned out to be a cruel prank.
After becoming disillusioned with the online marketplace, Olsen put the hat away in storage, confident it would only increase in value, although his mum has encouraged him to sell it sooner rather than later, citing the possibility of something starting to nibble on it.
Now Olsen is seeking someone willing to pay what he considers a fair price through non-online networks.
He is currently waiting to hear back from a South Island auctioneer who has wealthy US clients who may be interested in the fedora.
Olsen has also contacted the band from The Michael Jackson HIStory Show, which will be playing in Carterton in late February, to see if they want to buy it.
“How cool would that be – to actually be wearing Michael Jackson’s hat when he does the show?”