End of an Era

To say I was surprised by Michael Jackson’s death would be a discredit to the word gobsmacked. I thought it must be wrong, that they must have prematurely reported he was dead when he was only in the hospital. He’s not that old! I said. He’s only 50! My sister said. (Funny how when we were kids I’m sure 50 seemed old to us; now that I’m in my 30’s? Not so much – of course, to most children mucus is an edible substance, so what do they know?)
I wouldn’t say I was a fan in the last couple decades – the last song I was aware of when it came out was Black or White – but he was a huge part of my childhood.  I remember playing in a mud puddle while one of his pre-Thriller solo songs* played and not having any idea what he was singing, but liking the song anyway.  My other sister and I must have played the Thriller album and danced to it hundreds of times.  We watched The Wiz in school.  Beat It was the first song I requested at a school dance and the DJ kept playing Billie Jean instead.  When Leave Me Alone (Bad) came out, there was a Friday Night Video MJ special with his most popular videos and I recorded it all and watched that tape nearly as much as we had listened to Thriller years before. I learned the lyrics to all the Weird Al parodies as well as the real songs.

When I stopped listening, it was more about my changing musical preference, but I stayed away because of the surgery more than the scandals – I never believed they were true, though only 3 people really know for sure.

I am sad, and shocked, but mostly I feel relief that he is free of that circus he was stuck in for the last several decades.

*I have just looked it up and it was “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”

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