Truth be told, I haven’t thought about Michael Jackson much in the last 10-15 years. With all his oddities and dicey situations, he faded into obscurity for me (well, as much as the King of Pop can).
So the news of his death was sort of a shocking/not shocking thing. Do all musical icons die young? Because it does seem that way.
Anyway, when I went upstairs to remove my makeup and get into my comfy jammies, I turned on the radio.. and of course, playing on every station… an MJ marathon.
I was instantly catapulted back to my youth. Each song held a vivid memory.
Listening to “Rock With You” in the car on our first family trip to Hollywood, CA in, was it ’79-’80? We were looking for the stars houses (and the stars… AS IF they just HANG OUT at the end of their gated driveway on Mulholland Drive), but the soundtrack to our trip was Michael Jackson… “Off the Wall.” While we were scoping out the Farmers Market and Hamburger Hamlet for Johnny Carson we heard nothing but MJ as our background music.
My brother singing “Beat It” while sporting a red leather zippered jacket with a white glove. The same brother watching a VCR copy (DVD’s not invented yet) of “Thriller” over and over and over again. So much so that my parents could do the zombie dance themselves. “Shake you head to the RIGHT! Mom!”
My school dance, dancing to “PYT” with my BFF, Nancy. She had a massive crush on MJ in high school. If she’s reading this, I know she’s laughing.
Spring Break trip to Bahamas my sophomore year of college… and that wacky little sports bar that had the only 52″ widescreen TV on the whole island (hey, it was 1988, come on!). They also only had one music video playing on it.. “Man in the Mirror”.
Yep, if we are being truthful, I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson. If anything, I am mostly conflicted.
But looking back, his music was the soundtrack of my childhood and early adulthood.
So today, I am wistfully thinking that even though I had nearly forgotten about Michael Jackson lately, I am reminded that his music will be something I talk about until I am old and grey.
Love him or hate him, his impact will remain.