Yup. I grew up in the 80’s back when Michael Jackson was huge. So, essentially, you could say I grew up with Michael Jackson. The first song I remember was Billy Jean. I was in grade 8. After that we heard him at school dances, on the radio, and especially on those hour long video shows on TV. I never bought one of his albums and I never considered myself a fan, but I always enjoyed his songs when I heard them.
I personally think the guy was an entertainment genius, regardless of my distaste for so much of his eccentric behaviour. I think he revolutionized the music video and dance in the 80’s. Thriller was one of the most impressive videos of the time – it was more like a movie, really, and the special effects were quite impressive. After that, however, I don’t remember much of what he did.
Once I left highschool and MJ seemed to get weirder by the week, I lost interest. In some ways I felt badly – he seemed to be one of those people for whom fame and fortune is almost a curse. His eccentricities overwhelmed him and took him away from his ability to tap into his genius. It was either that or his genius made it impossible for him to function within the confines of society. Who really knows but to me his life appears tragic rather than successful.
It is clear, however, in the wake of his death, he was a true music icon with millions of fans. So he did succeed remarkably in that capacity. And so, as a small tribute to his music, I’ve added a video to this post. If asked for my favourite MJ song…this would be it. Dirty Diana was one I’d never heard before until my brother-in-law introduced it to me this past fall. The video actually gave me goosebumps…this is MJ as I want to remember him – in top form. Enjoy.
Rest in peace, Michael.