The Michael Jackson phenomena has been the talk of the internet for the past 24 hours. Any time someone of his stature dies there is going to be a big reaction, the fact that he died so young, had such troubled life and also so much talent just seems to heighten the buzz.
In recent years Jackson was accused of pedophilia, suffered financially and had some significant health problems which I’m sure we will hear all about in the coming days and weeks. The last 15 years of his life have been a downward spiral that can’t be ignored and nor can the molestation allegations be totally ignored … any pedophile is despicable beyond words.
Like all of us there were many different sides to his persona … in his heyday was Jackson the entertainer, Jackson the child prodigy, Jackson the superstar and these are the Michael Jackson characters that I want to remember.
I grew up in Liverpool, England and I’m about the same vintage as Michael Jackson (OK I’m a couple of years older). Back then it appeared that all the kids I knew were either followers of Rock & Roll or followers of Motown. I was a Motown fan. Isn’t it amazing to have such influence over people who are not just thousands of miles away, but also living in such a different world?
I don’t dwell in the past much, but I do believe that we are the sum of our experiences … and as we go through life we shape the person that are to be become. So, following that logic Motown played a big part during my formative years .. listening to the Four Tops, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and many others including of course the Jackson Five. The people I “hung out” with were like me, my influences might have been different with a different crowd … and maybe my life would have taken a different youth. Michael Jackson was a part of my life.
When the icons of your youth start to pass away it makes you think about a lot of things … mortality, the things you regret in your life, the journey life has taken thus far, perhaps relief that its not YOU that has passed on! Some of this thinking happens when a friend or relative dies but somehow when a celebrity of “your time” dies there seems to be additional “baggage”.
I always say that I don’t want to be lying on my deathbed with regrets for the things I didn’t do during my life here on earth. I’m pretty sure that Michael Jackson may regret some of the situations he found himself in, but he probably would not have to regret missed opportunities … he was a superstar who had a profound affect on many people and a whole genre of music.
He had his demons, but my memories and impressions of Michael Jackson remember him as the soft spoken, quiet, almost shy musical genius who maybe lost his youth to his career … but who entertained and affected more than just my generation with his talent.
RIP Michael Jackson … I hope you are singing and dancing with the angels!