Michael Jackson was the same age as me. That’s about all we had in common.
While he was singing “ABC” and “I’ll Be There”, I was on the playground, maybe mowing the lawn, and starting my paper route.
When my parents came into my room, they said goodnight. When Michael’s father came into his, there was terror.
I wasn’t big into music when I was a kid. I think my first recollection of Michael Jackson was from school dances. While his music was in the background, I was trying to be cool.
Over the years, Jackson continually broke new ground in entertainment. MTV basically became relevant because of his changing of the music video from performance of the band, to a massive dance production with plot and theme.
I’ll always feel sorry for Michael Jackson. A guy whose childhood was stolen from him, he seemed to try to grasp those missing pieces in adulthood with his Neverland Ranch and association with children.
I doubt he ever had a playmate as a child. The lyrics from “Ben”, about a relationship with a rat, become more haunting in reflection.
As a sort of real life Benjamin Button, Jackson got more childlike over the years. Starting out as a child sensation, people couldn’t believe the talent and maturity coming from that child. As he aged, they couldn’t believe the childlike nature of that man.
A tragedy? I guess. A part of me wonders how his life would have turned out without all of the fame, fortune, then lost fortune. A part of me wonders if this star was destined to burn brightly and then flame out in the end, with the creativity completely used up.
Society and hangers on pushed and pulled and stole the essence and creativity of this musical prodigy. One could argue Jackson was our generation’s Mozart.
The torture of his life is over. Rest in peace, Michael.