Friday, June 26, 2009

You, me and everyone we know?

I wasn't a particular fan, I thought the odd song was nice, like Got To Be There and Rockin' Robin, but I was never fond of the Thriller and beyond stuff. I thought it was over-produced. I don't much care for disco, R n' B or, ahem, hip-hop. In later years I was in agreement with everyone else (who's sane) that he was a freak and a probable paedophile. Let's face it, the man was a bit of a nutcase. His death didn't come as a huge shock - he was very frail after all. But it's a surprise nonetheless. I hope you didn't buy concert tickets!

But love him or hate him, he's touched all our lives. Terry Wogan played Ben to kick off his show this morning, and I felt rather moved. Anyhoo, when I think of Michael Jackson, this is what comes to mind:

1. Our neighbour had a small poster of the Jackson Five in her kitchen. I thought that was terribly racy, and up until that point, I'd never heard of them.

2. I've never seen Willard, the film from which Ben came.

3. I once worked at a central London bookshop. Late in the day one time, the manager asked our floor if we'd stay behind, as a special guest wanted to shop in private. I had to dash off and couldn't stay, but I was convinced it was going to be Princess Diana. But it was Jacko himself. He bought loads of kids books.

4. I bought I'll Be There from a junk shop in the early 80s. I'd never heard it before, but loved - and still love - its harpsichord (or dulcimer or whatever) intro.

5. My brother loved the Van Halen guitar solo on Beat It.

6. Billie Jean will always remind me of the school common room, c1983. It was never off the 'sound system'.

7. Ebony & Ivory reminds me of a sixth form disco that played this as its last song and which finished when it was still light.

8. My cousin played Off The Wall to death. I liked the cover.

9. A work colleague who died suddenly, had You Are Not Alone played at the crematorium. I remember sitting there thinking it was an appropriate choice.

10. Er, that's it...


Planet Mondo said...

I love his Jackson 5 era material..(and must revisit the cartoon series)

Bought Off The Wall on cassette from a market in 82 - three for a fiver I think. Plainly a pirate copy, naturally it was muddy, wobbly and close to unlistenable..

And during Jacko's eighties reign always preferred Prince - whatever's been said and/or done I can't help feeling sorry for him really

Company Clothing said...
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Dan W said...

I like the guitar solo from Eat It the Weird Al Yankovic parody.

I've oft proclaimed: no song in the history of music will get people on to a dance floor more than that menancing hussle baseline that brings in Billie Jean. It is also responsible for some of the worst dancing ever attempted.

Graham Kibble-White said...

I claim my fiver for spotting your deliberate mistake. Because, of course, Ebony & Ivory was multiples of Macca (going by the video, anyway) and Stevie Wonder.