Now, you can really "rock" with him. Charred strands of Michael Jackson's hair that were salvaged from the shoot of a tragic Pepsi commercial have been sold and will be turned into diamonds.
Jackson's hair caught fire during a sixth take filming the fateful TV spot on Jan. 27, 1984, at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. In the days since Jackson's death, the accident has been pegged by some as the start of the pop star's reliance on painkillers. New video of the accident recently surfaced.
The executive producer of that shoot, Ralph Cohen, was among the first to reach Jackson when his hair ignited. As seen on the video, Cohen threw his jacket over Jackson's head to help extinguish the flames.
Once Jackson was en route to the hospital, Cohen retrieved a charred lock of hair, which remained in his possession until he sold it to collector John Reznikoff, who has assembled a collection of hair from famous figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe.
Reznikoff, in turn, is working with a Chicago-based company, LifeGem, to create a small number of laboratory diamonds that will eventually be sold. Dean VandenBiesen, founder of LifeGem, said in a statement that the company was evaluating the hair sample to determine how many diamonds can be created.
Reznikoff and LifeGem previously collaborated to create diamonds from Beethoven's hair in 2007.
A portion of the hair will remain in Reznikoff's collection.
"The provenance and authenticity of this lock of hair is impeccable, including the highly publicized video showing the original owner of the hair using his Armani jacket to extinguish Jackson's hair," said Reznikoff, who also purchased the jacket used by Cohen to smother the flames.