Sad news today, as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died today from a cardiac arrest. To say MJ had an impact on my life is an understatement. When I was a kid, my next door neighbour, Ann, introduced us to Michael Jackson after we saw Moonwalker in the cinema and were amazed! (In fact we actually went to see Roger Rabbit, but after the film ended my Dad told us to stay low in our seats to see what the next film was, turned out it was Moonwalker. Good parenting!) After that I became a hard-core fan, buying all his albums and learning his dance moves, from which I won a lot of dance competitions at the school discos and still has influenced the way I dance today (without the kicking and ball grabbing of course…)
However, as I grew out of my Michael Jackson phase around the age of 11, my younger sister grew into him, and never grew out of him since! I ended up having to chaperone her to all the UK Michael Jackson fan club parties, which all seemed very political (I’ve never seen so many club members argue so much), and full of what I can only describe as Michael Jackson FREEKS! The funny thing was when I later saw a documentary about Michael Jackson fans, and I realised I’d met all the main characters from the parties with my sister, some of whom were pretty much stalking MJ at the time!
But one day a few years back, Michael Jackson came to the UK and the club actually invited him to come to a party they had organised in his honour. My sister HAD to go, so I HAD to go with her. I ended up standing about a meter from Michael Jackson hanging off the side of an open-top double decker bus going through Soho, as I tried to get a good picture of him for my sister, while being pushed and shoved by loads of screaming Michael Jackson fans! We later ended up in Equinox, in Leicester Square, where everyone bitched about the club managers only meeting Michael and how unfair it was, and Michael sat and watch a show of many of the people in the documentary, doing imitation dances of him to his music. At the end he came on stage and my first thought was “Wow, his balls have finally dropped!”. Turns out his profile high-pitched voice isn’t really like that in real life…
Unfortunately by that time, for me, his music had become crap, nothing compared to his Thriller, Bad and Dangerous albums, and I started to look at him differently, as a bit of a wierdo, or “Wacko-Jacko” as the papers called him, especially with all the child molesting allegations. Surrounded by the MJ fan club fans, made me think the whole MJ scene wasn’t for me, and so until my sister bought me a ticket to go see him in July for the O2 concerts, he was really a relic from my childhood. Sure, every now and again my friends would get me to do my Michael Jackson dance party-trick, I’d listen to his older music, but for me he definitely wasn’t the Michael Jackson I’d been a fan of back in the eighties.
So now that he’s died, while its sad, especially as I was saying it would be cool to go to the O2 arena just to see him live once before he died (I said the same about James Brown a month before he died too – maybe I should stop saying such things!) I don’t feel like this will affect me the way it definitely will affect my sister. Hopefully I’ll restrain from telling her all the jokes I’ve just heard (already) since he died (its like Princess Diana all over again) but probably not…and while I may joke, and not feel that much after all these years for someone who was really just a poster on a wall and an album in my CD collection, I do think he was a legend, and his influence on my childhood and my sister will always stay with me
By the way…I just found out Elton John sang “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” at a party when they heard the news. This guy seems to have a song for every tragic celebrity death, can’t wait to see what he brings out for the next one!