Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson - make of it what you will...

Friday, 26 June 2009

Okay, after much deliberation I have decided it would be churlish of me not to write something about the death, last night, of Michael Jackson. I know the web is going to be flooded with pieces about him, but surely that is because he has touched so many lives ( and I don't

Cover of Cover of Off the Wall

mean that in a mawkish way AT ALL)

Blimey, where to begin - what mixed feelings I have about this, about him.

The Jacksons provided the soundtrack to my youth. I am a child of the seventies, and Motown was the music of choice in our household. My oldest sister, Jo, and I, used to sit in our middle room, huddled next to the record player together, staring at the album sleeves of all of those old classics together. My favourite one to look at was 'Off The Wall' - Little Michael had grown up, and look at that record sleeve - his legs went on forever! Joanne informed me that she was probably going to marry him when she grew up . I was far too young to care about that - I just concentrated on learning all the words so I could impress my Mum, my friends at school and anyone else who would listen to me sing them 'at' them!

Then of course came 'Thriller', and that amazing video. There had been nothing lik

Music videoImage via Wikipedia

e it before! We had the largest tv and video set up, so the viewing party was at our house. It was being shown at about midnight or something so there was no way I was allowed to stay up for it, ( I was only 8 or 9 at the time) but I begged and pleaded until they let me stay and watch it . Of course I had nightmares for a week afterwards - poor Joanne, who had to share a room with me, she can't have had much sleep either. (sorry about that. Love you Jo!)

We all learned the 'Thriller' dance, we sang all the songs - we thought Paul McCartney was the nobody in the 'Say Say Say' video - who? Some old bloke singing with Michael Jackson. Oh...

Then a few years later, a new nose for Michael and a new album 'Bad'.

Cover of Cover of Bad

If I'm honest - by this time I knew that liking Michael Jackson wasn't really 'cool'. I was that bit older, my taste in music had become more discerning but this I do remember very clearly. I bought it because I wanted it and I DIDN'T CARE if it was cool or not.

That was the same year, I am very proud to say, that I went to my first major concert, and it was MJ playing at Wembley Stadium. Thanks to my Mum, who bought me the (much sought after) tickets. I think I had such a humungous strop and 'tweenager fit' about 'needing' to go the poor woman had no choice! My other sister (the 'Janis Ian loving, non leg shaving, going through a hippy phase' One - Tanya) was nominated to come with me. I don't think she was particularly thrilled at the thought, but even she was dancing in the aisles with me at what we still agree was one of the best shows we ever went to. He really was a true 'Show Man'! (shame about Kim Wilde though... never mind...)

Truth is, after that, I lost interest in his music. 'Bad' was the last MJ album I bought - I remember at work having to erect a huge cardboard cut out of him when the His-story album came out, but being thoroughly unimpressed by the giant statue being floated down the Thames. I mean, what was that all about, really? We couldn't give the cardboard cutout away by the end of the campaign for that album, child abuse allegations were looking more and more credible, and really the thought of him left a nasty taste ( what a terrible expression to use, but I really can't think of any other more appropriate - soz!).

Then came the Presley marriage (hmmmm...) Bashir interview (CRINGE!) then came Yuri Gellar spouting on about his friendship with him and how 'normal' he is (noone normal would want to be your friend, Yuri - sorry, but if you think bending a spoon is undeniable proof of psychic ability then you're as weird as MJ) and then strange children with strange names appeared from strange women with strange custody arrangements, the whole time his appearance grew more and more bizarre - OMG! It does my head in just reading about your life, Michael - no wonder you cracked up!

I don't know what I thought of Michael Jackson - or what I think of his death now. We are all cynical these days. We know that the world isn't that 'Sepia tinted Motown themed' place where we accept what we're told by the media any more. We are the media these days - this news has been broken throught the internet - twitter and facebook are alive with opinions, jokes, tributes, conspiracy theories.... I just don't know what to make of any of them. I have no opinion - I think I might be sad. I think I may be glad for him - at 50 i don't think I could face what he was facing (50 nights at the O2 or bankrupcy). I know I'm sad for his kids, but then again I may also be glad for them, for their life can never have been anything close to normal- maybe now they will have slightly more of a chance?

One thing is for sure, his music was FABULOUS.Tomorrow when I see my girl friends we will be sure to put some MJ on and get down. Don't know if it will be called a tribute or not, but we will raise our glasses to him and dance like loons, as we always have done, and I hope that we always will.

Peace x

P.S Have a look at this - the Richard Herring piece about it -He seems to sum it up for me really well .

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