I was afraid to write about Michael Jackson right after he died, because so many people were doing it to the point that facebook and twitter shut down. And I just didn’t know what to say. I was so shocked by the news I didn’t even know what to think. Then the rumours about his death started to fly around and I decided to wait until I knew something better, because I wanted to write something that shows something meaninful without sounding like I was part of the frenzy which I’m probably still part of.
Well basically I was raised on Michael Jackson. My brother didn’t really want to listen to anyone else. We have the moonwalker vid and everything. I liked Michael Jackson, but I don’t think I was exactly crazy about him even though I did think he was awesome, but he was an important part of my childhood. But I remember trying to do the lean from smooth criminal a lot, unsuccessfully. When I see videos like Leave Me Alone and Jam, smooth criminal, bad, and remember the time or anything from Moonwalker, remember that rabbit?, they remind me of my childhood which I think was a good one so they make me happy to see. Sure I was born in ’87, the year Bad came out, but that was the music played in my house for some years later. I remember watching Leave me alone and not knowing who Elizabeth Taylor was or that she was in the video. And the dog in the vid was similar to dogs that seemed popular in the late 80s and early 90s. And the things at the gate at :58 remind me of the hamburger helper glove. In general the whole kookiness of the video reminds me of my childhood, like the jumbled up and sporadic memories of children.
I was one of those people that started listening to music of my own in high school, but especially in college. It was then that I rediscovered MJ. This time I appreciated the excellence of his music and performances and watched the videos because they were good and interesting, not just because it was something on at my house.
And in college I had friends who totally obessessed over him like he was a new fad or something. One did thriller all the time and one wanted to film a scene from bad and have everyone dress up as Michael through his different phrases, because we were all of different backgrounds . And they even drew pictures of him and posted it in public and watched too many videos. One time I had a three hour one and they watched it until they had headaches. And on the end of that tape, because it was old, was when Michael released stranger in moscow, which I found to be one of his best whether or not it was popular didn’t matter. I think the song is absolutely amazing, but I think that like Leave Me Alone was too true to life for people to want to listen to. Oh and how he came in on a jet pack for a concert for his dangerous tour that was the craziest and best thing I’ve seen an artist do to date. I think it was then that I fell into the Michael Jackson craze. I found Who is it, Give in to me, Earth Song and scream, watched those crazy little pop up music vids, and just started listening to his music alot.
When I started playing the guitar that of course got me more interested in guitarists and guitars in songs. Then I found out that Michael Jackson had Van Halen for beat it, Slash for Give in to me and Black or White, and Billy Idol’s guitaritist for Smooth Criminal. All of who are amazing.
And it helped that I went to William and Mary and joined the group of 242 to beat the record of thriller. I think the senior class was all crazy about him. Where ever the class prez went thriller was played. I was once walking to see a friend and had to pass a whole bunch of people doing thriller. It was great.
Then not too long after I graduated Michael Jackson died. Then everyone suddenly loved him when only a little while before they kept calling him a child molester and crazy. Suddenly hundreds of people gathered to do thriller to pay tribute to the king. People wanted to walk around with one glove and do the moonwalk again.
I find it sad that Michael who was such a part of my childhood died so soon after I became a legitimate adult. And that his death was treated with such a fiasco.
For someone who as a child didn’t have a childhood he contributed greatly to the childhoods of millions of children. And I feel that he is the Mozart of our era. The muscian other muscians look up to, but who had difficulties in their personal lives, and died from illness on the verge of a come back.