Friday, June 26, 2009
A Moment of Silence for Jacko...
The inimitable Michael Jackson has left us. I don't own a piece of his music, but that's probably about to change. What I DO know is that ANYTIME I've heard most of his better known songs, I've been movin', dancin' and singin'. 'Thriller' alone was electrifying, and the video itself was a historical event. A couple of memories struck me in the last 24 hours, looking back on Jack-o. The first is learning years ago that the late, and very great Fred Astaire, not long before he died, gave a monumental nod to Michael's dancing skills, describing him as the only person as good as he (Fred) was. Damn! Fred, we were seeing it too.
The other memory I have is of a night around 10 years ago watching TV in a hotel on a business trip. Flipping around, I found Michael Jackson kicking off what might have been (not sure here) his last 'Return Tour'. By then he had no place in my musical consciousness, except 'talented, strange and getting stranger'. Jackson came out onstage, postured completely still, centerstage, with the hat and signature glove, and proceeded to THRILL me for the next hour or so. I'd expected to flip away from the show, not be more than passingly interested, and not want to be gawking at this odd man with almost no bone structure left in his multiple-plastic-surgery-re-arranged face. What I 'saw' instead was a performance that left me cheering alone in my hotel room. The artfulness with which he incorporated the use of his hat to shade his face, in conjunction with clever dance steps to keep him from frontally facing the audience ... ALL THE WHILE dancing and singing with his renowned energy and magic, that I was hypnotized. Later on I found fellow non-pop-music world friends who'd also seen this performance, as overjoyed to see it as I was. I'll never forget it. Jacko, you were a weird and at times sad guy, but you left us a cultural pop legacy that reached around the world. You were part of this great country's stars. Thanks.