Thursday, June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson: 1958-2009
by Larry Simons
June 25, 2009
I was a moderate Michael Jackson fan at best. So moderate that calling me a "fan" might be pushing it. The songs I did not like, I really didn't like. The songs I liked, I really liked. It's the way I felt about his lifetstyle as well. At times, he was a facinating entertainer, other times, I could care less if I heard one word about him. One thing is very clear about Michael Jackson: like him or hate him, he was a superb talent and the likes of him we will never see again.
Jackson died today of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. He was 50 years old. This is perhaps the biggest blow to the music industry since John Lennon was gunned down in NYC in 1980.
I seldom use this blog to write about things outside of lying and fraudulous media figures and politicians, but certain things transcend the format of my blog. Whether they are not so well known people that pass away whose accomplishments have personally touched my life, or iconic figures like Jackson who I moderately admired and profoundly found impressive, they will continue to find their way onto my blog.
Figures like Jackson are unavoidable to talk about. They transcend race, politics, religion and nationality. News of his death today struck me as shocking and yet, not so shocking. Shocking because of his obvious young age and the fact that he did so much in such a short period of time. Not so shocking because of his bizarre, secretive lifestyle and behavior. Not Chris Farley-bizarre, Jim Morrison-bizarre. No shocking news of Jackson was...shocking. His death was just another chapter in the strange/not-so strange world of Michael Jackson.
Jackson was a pioneer. When we first heard RUN-DMC collaborate with Aerosmith on "Walk This Way" in 1986, it was not the first time non-rock and roll black performers merged with rock and roll icons. It was Jackson who set that trend with collaborating with Eddie Van Halen on "Beat It". We had never heard that before. Setting trends was the norm for Jackson, when multitudes of others before him and since either have failed or were too afraid to attempt anything risky. Jackson did it with ease.
No doubt one of my favorite songs by Jackson ever
1988's "Man In The Mirror"