Tuesday, July 7, 2009
News of Michael Jackson’s death came fast and swift with no warning. It was Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. on June 25, 2009 only a few hours after actress Farrah Fawcett passed away after a long illness with cancer. The news of Michael’s death will be one of those times in your life when you will always remember what you were doing when you heard the news. Much the same as the news of the death of Elvis Presley, Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, time seems frozen at those moments when we hear such news. Jackson will not only be remembered as the King of Pop, but as a singer-songwriter, record producer, musical arranger, dancer and so much more, but even if all that never existed maybe his most loved role was as a brother, son, and father. He was an entertainer with a child-like personality and a willingness to please his fans and that’s exactly what he did.
At a time when Billboard countdowns were failing to produce even a top 40 list at the end of the 70’s, Jackson revived the pulse of the music world with a blast as strong as if it were from a doctors heart paddles. Striking out on his own solo career after decades singing with his brothers in the Jackson 5 he debuted with albums, Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995). With hit music videos from these albums, “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and Thriller he would transform the music world and set the stage for all those who would follow his example in modeling their careers after him. He was a brilliant entertainer who became even more memorable with his “moon walk” and “one white glove” and his numerous physical changes throughout the years.
I had a chance to meet Jackson when he visited his young fans at a special needs school in the San Fernando Valley in the early 90’s. He wore his signature white glove and his hair was in the long curls covering most of his right eye. He was soft-spoken and moved fluidly across the room similar to when he moon walked across the stage. He exuded a calmness and in a room with these special needs children where it was very hard to capture any of their attention, all eyes were focused on him.
Jackson’s life was lived in the spotlight, but it was sad and demeaning to watch the news night after night and listen to the accusations and court proceedings from child molestation charges in the 1990s. It was a fiasco and seemed at times that those involved were only in it to claim their piece of the singer’s fortune.
Jackson’s Final Tour
His last mission was to bring more music to his fans and to try to erase some of the 400 million dollars of debt and quite possibly to clear his name of all the bad that had been associated with it for so long. The media claimed he was a perfectionist and with the stress of the tour, the mounting debt and the drugs that he was taking maybe it all just became too much for him.
Michael Joseph Jackson, 8/29/1958 – 6/25/2009
He will be missed but he will live forever in our hearts and memories.