I’m a bit conflicted about Michael Jackson’s passing. You see, as I’ve told everyone and anyone who would listen, MJ’s “Bad” tour, back in 1988, was my first major concert. I was 12 years old and my little brother was 9. My brother won tickets to the show in a local delicatessen lottery. My mother had to work that day, so she sent us with two chaperones, old friends of hers. The show was phenomenal, and not at all tainted by nostalgia. Just the other day I was telling a friend that that show in ’88 was the best show I had ever seen, counting shows in recent years. With today’s technology, still, nothing has yet to top The Bad Tour.
I grew up listening to MJ’s music. My mother was a fan of many different styles, and if I’m not mistaken, “Thriller” on vynil was my first record ever, purchased for me and my brother by mom. I memorized the dance moves to both “Beat It” and “Thriller”, and proudly to this day, I can still pull the moves off. But I won’t.
Later on in his career, growing whiter and weirder by the day, due to a claim of vitiligo and lupus, (none of which I know enough to comment on), I started feeling weird about the guy. Then came the allegations of pedophilia, the confessions of sleeping with other people’s kids, and the subsequent payoffs to keep the kids and their pimp-moms from further pursuing legal punishment; the marriage and divorce to Lisa Marie Presley, the marriage (never consumated) and divorce to the nurse who bore his first two kids, and the dangling of “Blanket” from a balcony, much to the enjoyment of the piranhas below (READ: reporters).
Preliminary reports on his passing, as you all know by now, indicate he popped pills, and like many troubled stars, had his own personal doctor prescribing who-knows-what on demand. Mix that with the supreme eccentric he was known to be, and you have a very deadly combination. Practically a cliche.
I’ll miss the ol’ MJ performing magic, and I guess I’ll leave it at that, to end on a not-so-negative note.
My condolences to his family.