"The Arab" is in Utrecht in good hands
Michael Jackson offered an astronomic amount for the street organ
"The Arab". This was in the mid-nineties, when the King of Pop came
to the Netherlands for a concert. On the request of the reception
committee, Leon Perlee stood with "The Arab" at Schiphol airport.
The pop star was on the way to his limousine and was very impressed.
He cried, "I want to have that thing!" But the Perlee family, then
still the owner of the country's most famous street organ, did not
agree -- for no amount of money.
Yet this week "The Arab" was sold along with eleven other splendid
examples from the Amsterdam firm "G. Perlee Draaiorgels". Not to
Michael Jackson, but to the Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot
Pierement in Utrecht.
Tine Perlee, Leon's mother, said, "The twelve street organs are in good
hands in Utrecht. People with passion and love for street organs work
there. And if I need "The Arab" for a competition, then I simply pick
him up. That is the deal."
Robbie Rhodes, MMDigest