This morning we got the news that at the age of 50 Micheal Jackson had passed away.
Today I have listened to lots of comments from ordinary people I work with, from friends online, from folks making one liners on facebook, from the media, from on the radio. Some comments were tributes, some thought of the man's family who are left behind, some were jokes, you knowm those tasteless ones which are typical of the stuff we say to comprehend and make sense of things that seem senseless.
I was never a particular MJ fan, although some of his tracks and stuff he did when with his brothers in the Jackson 5 I love, Rockin' robin starts me singing Thriller just makes me want to start dancing, Billy Joe makes me cringe, and Ben makes me cry.
For me, it marks the end of an era (aside from the fact he was only a year younger than me and makes mortality stare me in the face). Love him or hate him he was a huge part of my growing up years. In my day music and the charts were so different to what they are today. We had very few one-hit-wonders, only one or two manufactured bands (The Monkeys and the Partridge family spring to mind but its hard to think of any others), musicians actually had to be able to perform on stage without resorting to electronic enhancement of their live voices (and they had to be pretty good at miming too LOL) and their chart position of any released single was oh so important. As teenagers we knew from only a few bars of a song the title, the artist, the chart position that week, the record label and who wrote the song alongside every member of the band's name. Whoa betide anyone that hadnt sat up on Sunday listing to Caroline's chart show, when they got into school on Monday!!
And a big part of all that were The Jacksons, or Michael on his own. There were very few weeks when one or the other were not in the charts. So love him or hate him, he was part of all that, his songs were being played everywhere, he was strutting his stuff on TOTP's nearly every week.
Today, in much the same way the death of Maurice Gibb a few years back marked the end of part of the disco era of the 70's so today's news marks another era passing. And despite any media hype, I for one feel a little sad that another part of my youth can never be experienced by myself or others again. To me its a huge huge chunk of my life (in terms of music, mood, era) that has gone. Yeah it was gone anyway but Michael's death makes its real somehow. Alot of us 'wrinklies' who can recall his first ever time on TOTP's will feel the same.
As for him as a person and his lifestyle - well remember we only ever got the media show's version of all events and how much of that was hype, publicity stunts, exagerated, madness, following ill advisers? or the truth? I dont think we will ever know the truth but I suspect that over the next few weeks/months/years a lot more is going to hit the fan which is a real shame for his family. Sad as it is, the media being what it is, we will all soon get really tired of hearing obout him.
I hope he is finally at peace where ever he may be now. RIP.