Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael, you will be missed.

Last night I was in bed watching the news of Michael Jackson's death, tears were rolling down my cheeks as I sat in disbelief. I felt strange because I've never really taken the death of an artist or celebrity so personally before. Amidst my sadness, I realized that this was probably because I was not only mourning the passing of a true legend and gifted individual, but a piece of my childhood as well.

I gather from the text messages, twitter updates and facebook updates I've received, that I'm not the only one that feels like a part of their childhood is gone. Michael Jackson was one of the first musical influences of my youth and to this day continues to be one of my favorite artists.

I can vividly remember singing Beat It on the play ground and trying (unsuccessfully) over and over again to replicate his dance moves on my living room floor. The first time I saw him do the moonwalk on TV gave me goosebumps and that red jacket and glove will forever live in my memories. I would force my poor little brother to watch my Moonwalker video over and over again (so much so that he ended up loving MJ too). I thought he looked so cute in the Bad video and I practically rubbed out the video cassette on the Smooth Criminal song from rewinding and playing it so much because I was trying to figure out how he did the leaning over thing (I still love that song and choreographed it for my final in modern dance class a couple of years ago). Recently, when I went looking for my Moonwalker video tape and noticed it was gone, I bought another copy on eBay, my brother wanted to borrow it of course.

My first copy of the Thriller album was literally a copy. It was a cassette that my parents got for me. They had a friend that had the Thriller record (yes, record) and they had it dubbed for me. I can't tell you how many times I played that cassette tape. I think we finally had to throw it away from repeated exposure (don't worry, I have since bought my own, real, Thriller CD).

For my senior year in high school I used one of his songs for my final presentation. Whenever I hear it, I remember how nervous I was sitting in front of the class. I had to give an oral presentation and the boy I was obsessed with liked was but 10 feet away. For Halloween (OK fine, not only during Halloween) my ring tone is the Thriller song (the video of which probably planted the seed for my love of all things scary) and let's not forget about my obsession with Thriller in general. I love those videos of people doing the dance at their weddings and such and I've always wanted to learn the dance and do it in full costume.

It's strange because on Wednesday as I was driving home I had been thinking about Michael Jackson because they were playing that song that goes "mamasay mamasay mamasacusa" and I thought to myself...what the heck is a mamasacusa? which led me to I wonder if I should do Thrill the World this year? (I was going to do it last year, but then I realized that a pregnant Thriller wouldn't work out quite so well). Perhaps this will be the impetus I need to get my neglected project going again.

And just like these, there have been many moments where his songs are interwoven with events in my life.

I am also sad because of a very selfish reason. I never got to see him in concert. I was too young to go to his crazy concerts when people were passing out and all that hoopla. I always said that if he toured again (in the US) I would go see him and now I'll never get the chance.
The next couple of days of endless tributes on TV and radio are going to be hard. I'll enjoy listening to his songs on the radio, but gosh darn it, I'll probably cry again like I did this morning in the car (thanks alot Power 96 for that tear wrenching tribute).

Rest in peace, MJ. You've touched the people of this world in innumerable ways, you will be missed and never forgotten.

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