Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

If you grew up in the 80's, and love good pop music, you probably have a mixed thoughts about Michael Jackson. On one hand, he was responsible for some of the most amazing and inventive music of our generation. On the other hand, he was widely suspected of committing some of the worst crimes you can think of.

Let's deal with the first one first. I don't know how you explain it to people who weren't around when he exploded onto the national consciousness with his performance of Billie Jean on the Motown 25 special back in 1983. Off The Wall had already been released and was a huge hit, but Thriller, and that performance in particular, turned him into the type of superstar that hadn't been seen since The Beatles, and has not been seen since (and most likely probably never will). Everyone was a Michael Jackson fan, when the Thriller music video was release on VHS (when I was nine), they actually took all of us out of class so we could all watch it at school. How did that happen? I have no idea, I just know I was caught along with it. I wanted a sparkly glove, just like Michael! So did everyone I know, and probably everyone you know that was conscious during that time.

But once that superstardom faded away, we were left with the music. Two perfect albums (and one that was pretty damn great), I still have my battered vinyl copies of all three of those (though only one is the original one that my Brother bought at Musicland at Orland Mall) and I'll be honest, I've really wanted to upgrade and get some nice CD's of all of them. And that's where the second part of Michael Jackson's legacy comes in. He was one weird motherfucker, and there was no denying it, really there wasn't a damn thing you couldn't accuse him of that you couldn't see being true, so when the pedophile allegations came out, no one had trouble believing it, and that's why I just couldn't drop any cash that could find its way into his pockets, much like the difficulties I have with other troubled pop genius/bat-shit crazy mofo Phil Spector.

So what am I trying to say here? Hell if I know, but it sucks that Michael Jackson didn't make more great music, and it sucks that his own ego/fucked up up-bringing/crazy-asssedness got in the way of that. But we still have the great music did make, and maybe his death will allow us to appreciate that a little bit more.


Bill said...

You are absolutely dead-on regarding that Motown 25th Anniversary show; in fact I just got done watching it on Youtube and one forgets that that fucker could really move. Just mind-blowing to anyone who had even the smallest bid of soul in them. I'm sure my age played a role as well and that I hadn't yet developed the cynicism that I nowadays carry with me in regards to the music business but there's always been something about his music that made it alright for my head and/or toe to tap along to.

lonelypond said...

there was some great music...