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Friday, June 26, 2009

He Was Zombie When Zombie Wasn't Cool

A lot is going to be written about Michael Jackson, his life, his music, his bizarre personal life, his legacy. It will be interesting to read and absorb -- just as, last night, the radio station I had on in the car was interesting in that they played back to back Jackson songs all night -- and not once did they have to repeat anything, and not once did they play a song that wasn't great.

It was in listening to his music that it hit me. He was gone. But he left an incredible wave of music in his wake.

Like Elvis and The Beatles, he had a huge impact on the music industry, adding volumes of different songs to the playlists over his many decades as a musician.

My strongest memories are how his music videos, like "Thriller" ushered in a whole new realm of appreciation for music in the shiny new MTV world of the 80's. I remember sitting captivated and watching the mini-movie video for Thriller and, with the rest of the world, marveling at the story being told within that 13 or 14 minutes of short film.

And yes, I know, there are all kinds of stories about his personal life. But right now, I'm more interested in the music. Yes, there is no disputing the fact that Michael Jackson was a complex man -- but sometimes, the message of his music was simple and powerful.
"I'm starting with the man in the mirror.
I'm asking him to change his ways.

And no message could have been any clearer.

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and make a change."
- "Man in the Mirror" - 1988
The King of Pop is dead. Long live the King.

1 comment:

lime said...

well said. i am not looking forward to the media freakshow that is sure to rage for weeks. what a sad tie for his family.