Monday, June 28, 2010

Memories of Michael Jackson

Like most little children, I was afraid of Michael Jackson.
(Not how you’re thinking, though. Hahahaha.)

I remember watching a Michael Jackson concert on TV when I was 9 years old, and I was frightened by all the people who passed out and had to be hauled out of the crowd by security guards.

I am certain I even saw someone in a wheelchair being airlifted out of the crowd (a clip that I doubt is on YouTube).

To this day, I still don’t get why people screamed, cried and passed out when they saw Michael Jackson on stage….Passion? Excitement? Roofies?

The real puzzle, however, was why, and how, I was watching a Michael Jackson concert on HBO in the first place. I can’t imagine the King of Pop being an approved artist by my parents.

Yet, I have a clear memory of watching the concert and I remember it ending with MJ flying away, strapped to a jet pack.

"Michael is going to hurt himself!" I remember saying, and being very concerned, until my dad explained that it was a fake Michael Jackson strapped to the machine, and then I was kind of disappointed.

I was born on the wrong side of 1980 to know Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” years, at least in real time.

My live action Michael Jackson has always been the “new” Michael Jackson, with the funny nose and the yellowy skin.
Still, I thought the music video for “Black or White” was the coolest, coolest thing I had ever seen (and so was Maculky Culkin for that matter.)

Thanks to my older brother, I did see the “Thriller” video, and got scared when MJ sprouts teeth and tries to bite/molest that girl.

I do remember being thankful I watched it later, when I got to be super-cool and identify “Thriller” Halloween costumes that year...or were those Wolfman costumes??

(I have also incorporated “Thriller” dance moves at parties, namely this one. Big crowd pleaser.)

As I got older, Michael Jackson didn’t scare me as much, since he definitely sang the theme song for Free Willy.
I also secretly liked his (pansy) “You Are Not Alone” song, although I would never admit that to ANYONE in middle school.

It wasn’t until I graduated high school (and even a few years into college) before I realized and appreciated Michael Jackson’s full catalog of cool, older songs like Billie Jean, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin Something — even that ABC song.

My lack of Michael Jackson song knowledge was a problem when I studied abroad in Spain and met a local named Lucas, who was absolutely, absolutely obsessed with the King of Pop.
He could — and did — repeat every word from every Michael Jackson song on countless CDs, but had no idea what the words meant.

“Could you translate?” he asked me one day, wide-eyed and hopeful.

“I don’t…actually know all the words to Man in the Mirror,” I told him.

“QUE?!??!?” Lucas yelled, and almost fell out of his chair. I don’t think I’ve ever disappointed anyone more in my entire life.

Not all Americans idolize Michael Jackson, Lucas! I mean, some people don’t even like black shoes and white socks together, OK?

(Man in the Mirror, ironically, now takes the number one spot as my favorite Michael Jackson song of all time. It may have something to do with this performance. He’s really feelin it.)

I stopped “following” Michael Jackson news when I saw his crazy-person outfit that he wore to court one day, which was a blazer and pink pajama bottoms and a surgical mask and umbrella.
It frightened me, like the crazy fans at his concert.

When Michael Jackson died, approximately one year ago, I was at a boy’s house who I no longer talk to, and our relationship died shortly after MJ did.

I remember wondering how Lucas was handling it. Did he die, too? Maybe he just passed out.

Speaking of which, excuse me while I try and find that clip of the wheelchair being lifted out of the crowd.


1 comment:

  1. Tiffany Inzinna used to L-O-V-E Michael Jackson. Maybe as much as Lucas!


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