Friday, June 26, 2009

A Melancholy Happy Trails to Michael Jackson

As anyone who grew up during the eighties, Michael Jackson was a huge part of that. It all started with Thriller, the album and the song. Or more specifically the music video. No one did appointment video premieres like Michael Jackson and that started with Thriller, which should be considered more of a short film than a music video. And that continued with the premieres of Bad, Black or White, and Remember the Time all of which attracted A-list talent. He would even release legitimate short films with Moonwalker and Captain Emo.

As a kid in grade school at the time, we all tried to emulate Michael’s moves especially the Moonwalker. Jackson was even nice enough to put the steps of some of his moves in the liner notes for Bad. Even going into high school, I was excited when my choir picked Will You Be There to perform and I even volunteered to recite closing monologue as I knew it by heart despite it be erroneously missing from the sheet music. Unfortunately the choir didn’t take me up on this offer.

Sadly kids of today do not fully understand how popular Michael Jackson was during the eighties. There hasn’t been a bigger star in the world since and his popularity may only be rivaled by The Beatles during their heyday. Jackson truly earned his moniker, the King of Pop. Mostly today’s youth just know him as a tabloid fodder who, along with O.J. Simpson created the popularity of twenty-four hour cable news. Certainly brought some of that attention on himself with some questionable behavior that pretty much derailed his career since the mid-nineties along with some lingering health problems that kept him from performing for many year. Those health problems looked to have done him in just as he was about to launch one last concert string in London.

Michael Jackson was fifty years old. Below is a live version of Will You Be There circa the Dangerous tour:

In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair. Will you still care? Will you be there? In my trials and my tribulations, through our doubts and frustrations. In my violence, in my turbulence, through my fear and my confessions, in my anguish and my pain. Through my joy and my sorrow, in the promise of another tomorrow. I'll never let you part for you're always in my heart.

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