Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sorry to end my blogging silence on a sad note, but I am feeling weirdly affected by the death of Michael Jackson and I just want to talk about it a little bit. Share some of my Michael Jackson memories. I'm in the middle of downloading a bunch of MJ and J5 songs to put together a mix for the Quiet Storm tomorrow. I wasn't even paying attention to how many or how much they are going to cost. (yes, I pay for my downloaded music. Amazon mostly) Oh well, I have hardly spent any money in the past two weeks.

Anyway, memory one is sitting in my kitchen in my Greenfield apartment. This is probably 1987 or 88. I've got the radion on...hard to say what station it might have been. I usually listened to WXXP but it most likely was a more pop oriented station. They played some Michael Jackson song---I think it was "Rock With You" but it might have been something (not Thriller) from Thriller. My apartment mate came in the kitchen and sat down at the table with me. There was an uncomfortable silence for about half the song, and finally one of us (I can't say for sure which) blurted out "I love this song!" and the other one immediately said "Oh me TOO!" this was a major bonding moment for us. We never mentioned it again.

Memory #2 is really a series of memories, for it seems like this happened at every dance party I either had or attended througout the end of the 90s until now. What this is, is, dirty dancing to something off of Thriller (PYT most of the time) with Jim Mueller. I remember one party in particular (at Julie Chill's Regent Square place) where the dancing got really dirty. In general, I don't think I've ever had or attended a dance party where some MJ jam didn't bring everyone to the dance floor.

Memory #3 goes all the way back to childhood. My sister and I had the J5 album above (Lookin Through the Windows) and we listened to it almost as much as the Donny and Marie album. I am listening to some of those songs right now and they are the ones that are really making me tear up. I'm pretty sure that record got cracked...but I replaced it at a yard sale recently.

I don't have a memory of watching the iconic "Billie Jean" performance (in 1983 I was begining my new wave odyssey and I probably wouldn't be caught dead watching Michael Jackson with anything but disdain.) I was definitely in the camp of being totally pissed off at Eddie Van Halen for performing with him on "Beat It." It took me quite a while to get over the hipster snobbishness to realize that dance music is IMPORTANT. Getting people to move their bodies and have a good time is important. No body did it like Michael.

I'm not going to say anything about the weirdness. Except the Lisa Marie Presley thing. That was weirdness that kind of affected me. The rest of it...I don't look forward to the merciless dissection of his personal life that is inevitable in our celebrity obsessed culture. I kind of want to hide under a rock till it blows over.

But mostly, I want to dance around my kitchen to "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough."
That's what I'll be doing tomorrow.


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