Robert's Random Ravings

Michael Jackson – the King of Pop

Thriller Cover

Thriller Cover

This past week, the world lost a major celebrity. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will be aware that Michael Jackson passed away. The circumstances surrounding his death are still not completely clear and the Los Angeles police are still investigating. An autopsy was performed, but the results of the toxicology tests won’t be known for a number of weeks.

Michael Jackson has been one of the greatest influences on pop music over the last 40 years. As has been said over and over, just about everyone is familiar with his music. Most of us played “Thriller,” “Off The Wall” and “Bad” over and over. I have owned LP, cassette and CD versions of almost all of his albums. Needless to say, I have always been a big fan of his music. It is amazing to me that Thriller can still be so current even after 25 years? I never get tired of listening to it.

Unfortunately, I cannot listen to a story about Michael and his musical legacy without hearing about the darkness that was a constant part of his life. There were allegations of inappropriate conduct with underage boys. There was the drinking and the drugs (pain killers and such). There was the craziness and eccentricity.

Was he a pedophile? I don’t really know. There is so much that seems to point in that direction, but it may be an illusion. This is a man who was never allowed to live his life. Sure, he had what many other people dream of – fame and fortune. But I look at him and I see a sad person. A troubled person. He was in the public eye from a very young age. His father is well known as being a difficult, abusive father. He did not have friends. I heard about an interview where he talked about seeing kids on monkey bars and not being allowed to play on them himself. So I think that it is really possible that he tried to rekindle that lost youth through friendships with other youngsters. Maybe he even thought his sharing a bed with a young boy was appropriate. Obviously, it is not. And whether it was “innocent” or not, it was wrong. But I can’t help the feeling that he might have been a victim in this too.

We have so many examples of childhood stars that have grown up being troubled adults – Liza Minelli, Elizabeth Taylor, to name just a few. Once Michael achieved superstar status, it only got worse. I personally think that he had some serious mental illness issues that were never addressed. The serial surgeries, the pain killers, creating Never Never Land – all of these could easily be just symptoms of his problems.

We will probably never know the extent of these problems. What I do know is that I am very sad about his death. I am sorry that the world will no longer have this gifted artist. Michael – in spite of everything – you were incredibly gifted and your talent touched us all. You are gone, but most certainly will not be forgotten.

I have not been able to stop listening to his music over the last few days. It still touches me to this day. I still am moved by Billie Jean and Beat It and Thriller. Stranger In Moscow, Man in the Mirror and dozens of other songs are also very much a part of my musical journey. He brought black musicians into the mainstream and he touched so many people. As I said before, he will be missed.

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06/29/2009 - Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , ,

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