Friday, June 26, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON


My girl friend and I listened to Thriller at least three times a day , it seems, while we were in graduate school, and it suffices to say that I don't care to hear the album too soon or too often. Not that I'm tired of the music . I love the memories it brings from some better times during the eighties, and I still think the songs are among best pop-rock tracks ever released. The man had his problems and gross indiscretions, and the charges of child molestation against him will, of course, fire up righteous anger against his very being--famous people seem to get away with vile things more often than the used to--Michael Jackson all the changed pop music in ways that can't be undone. I will let the musicologists make those distinctions. But on the matter of keeping the late singer's music fresh, I do have to say it's the same with the Beatles, as the over saturation of their music over five decades at this point threatens to finally leech whatever spark and jump in my response; I weary of growing bored with the music of John, George, Paul and Ringo, and prefer to pick my moments when I slip on Revolver or Yesterday and Today (two of the great rock and roll guitar albums, by the way). And so it goes with Michael Jackson--bless him, dear man, dear gifted man was a mess, conflicted with more issues than National Geographic. We'll be spending years parsing his life and sifting through the undercurrents of a life that was larger than life, so to speak, and yet thoroughly out of control of the life force that propelled it. The pundits, the critics, the lower level social scientists will take their place among the gossip mongers to harangue a dead man on matters of bad choices, pedophilia, gender confusion, cultural ambiguity, and certainly no consensus will be arrived at, all of which will have Jackson's music blasting as a constant sound track. I remember seeing the Moonwalk for the first time during the fabled Motown television special. It was a marvel to behold, and to reclaim the memory, I am switching cable channels when the old videos come on, changing the radio dial when a song of his hits the rotation, locking my Jackson Five and Michael Jackson cds up for a year until the coming shit storm over his sad death blows over and I can listen to him again as a musician, not a freak and then wonder, what the hell happened to this man, who could have been so much more than even the promise we said he had early on?

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