At the risk of slowing the internet down even further by tagging this blog with the name ‘Michael Jackson’, I felt compelled to write a little bit about this tragic man. A task made difficult by the current media frenzy surrounding his death. Indeed, I’m sure anyone who’s reached this page by mistake will be reaching for the little X at the top right of their screen. Bear with me, though.
A child of the 80s, I grew up to the sound of Thriller and Bad and I was introduced to the digital age of music when my dad bought his first CD player and a copy of Dangerous to ‘test it out’ (we did a lot of ‘testing’ back then – I’m not entirely sure why, this is something usually undertaken by the manufacturer). Unlike many lads of my age, I didn’t want to be Jackson, more I wanted to be a part of the MJ Bandwagon. Kick out Slash, Van Halen or Jennifer Batten and let me bash out that Beat It solo next to him on stage. Get rid of those backing dancers in the Thriller video and let me have a go.
Of course, I wasn’t up to task for either of those jobs and attempting the latter would almost certainly have earned me a punch from one of my peers, but such was the spectacle of the Michael Jackson era, I simply couldn’t resist dreaming. The huge concerts, the self indulgent solo dances at the beginning of videos, the grated wind tunnels he stood on at Wembley… he was seriously cool.
It all got a bit weird after that. Resembling something of a wax work doll and putting out odd naked videos featuring his fake wife, I quickly lost interest, as did the majority of the non-hardcore fans. Later, kiddy fiddling accusations helped little as did that ‘spoon bending motherfucker’ Uri Geller who inexplicably began to follow him around like a particularly uncomfortable child abuse case.
I’m not an emotional man and I’m not from across the Atlantic, therefore I won’t gush about how he was a part me and how that part has now died as a result… No, I’ve realised the sole reason I’ve felt a tinge of sadness this week is because of the music. It really was a massive part of my growing up and we won’t ever return to pop of that brilliant kind ever again.