Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King (Of Pop) Is Dead

Long live the king!  Unfortunately I don't know who that would be since packaging has replaced talent in the last fifteen years.

My father adored that song and believed that more people should look in the mirror.  I haven't hurt like this since Princess Diana died.  And I'm crying almost as much.  And for the same reasons.  Neither money, talent, or popularity will spare you from the Grim Reaper.

I remember The Jackson Five performing on American Bandstand and watching Michael Jackson and realizing that nothing I ever did would make me as famous, talented or as popular as he was.  The fact that he was younger than me didn't help.  I remember watching old videos of him as a child and seeing the fan reaction (people literally ripping the clothes from his body) and realizing that he was never going to be normal.  And he wasn't, but then those of great talent rarely are.

My favorite celebrity quote came from someone I wasn't expecting but it nails how I felt about his talent.
From Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who helmed Jackson's "Bad" video:
"Michael Jackson was extraordinary. When we worked together on "Bad," I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times, and — it really goes without saying — a true artist. It will be a while before I can get used to the idea that he's no longer with us."
When I wrote about Farrah Fawcett's passing I was going to put in a line about who would be next since famous deaths usually occur in threes, but decided to pass since I thought I could include David Carradine along with Ed McMahon.  Obviously I was mistaken.  The entertainment world has taken some severe hits in the last two weeks but this one has really rocked me.

Does sort of put life in perspective, doesn't it?  Michael, rest in peace and thank you for everything.  No matter what they say in the next few days, I will always remember you fondly.  Not fondling.



  1. I will always remember you fondly. Not fondling.

    Hmmm... Not me. Though, perhaps, he doesn't deserve to head to the great beyond before his time, fewer musicians are lower in my estimation that the so-called 'King of Schlock'. U2, Madonna, The B-52's? ... Yeah! Prince... Hell Yeah! All contemporaries, but each contributed more to the biz than MJ. I swear that if I hear one more talking head say, "...he defined the music of our generation," I'm going to puke!

  2. I'm sorry you feel that way but my memories of him are different than yours. Madonna makes me puke, I can tolerate one or two songs by U2 or the B--52's and Prince, well he's no angel.

    For those of us forced to watch Lawrence Welk and the King family, The Osmonds or the alternatives of Jimi Hendrix and the psychedelic generation, the Jackson Five were a breath of fresh air. They were fun and they were talented. Michael radiated star power at 11. My baby brother used to play "Ben" every Saturday morning, at full blast. On Sundays he would play the "Battle of the Green Beret" and then Ben. When "Off The Wall" came out my husband and I got the album and didn't get "The Wall" by my favorite group, Pink Floyd.

    MTV was dying before the Billie Jean video came along and my dad used to say that Michael saved MTV. Now the only time they play music videos nonstop is when...MJ died.

    Whatever his faults they were mostly fame and family induced, but I can tell you that every, and I mean every, time I was in Fry's and they had one of his videos playing to demonstrate their sound system there was a crowd of very mixed people bopping to the music. He made a difference in music and a significant one at that. Plus, he could dance.

    Also, after the first allegations why in the world would any parent let their child stay with him under those circumstances? I find the parents as culpable as he was. He was a child who never grew up, they had no excuse except pursuit of his fame and part of his fortune.

    I wasn't interested in his later music but had a few favorites on the ol pod. When 'I want you back" came on yesterday it made me tear up. The world is missing a great talent. And like 9/11, I stopped watching the news after the shock wore off, there are 6 billion other beings on this earth and as Blue Oyster Cult pointed out, 40,000 men and women every day meet the reaper.

    He heavily influenced 20 years of music and that is considered a generation.

  3. It is just plain denial to try to say that Michael Jackson's influence wasn't pervasive. "Thriller" wasn't just a big album; it also basically saved the music industry at the time, as another Republican recession had delivered hammer blows to sales.

    You can dislike him, or not. But it is just silly to try to deny that his influence overshadowed everything else in his era, and to a large degree beyond it (unfortunately Michael Jackson stands as the transition artist that took us from real talent to marketing.)