I'll always remember where I was, and who I was with when I first heard the news about Michael Jackson. Kinda like Elvis, John Lennon and Joe Strummer. A part of my musical life, gone in a flash.
For all intents and purposes, the person-Michael Jackson, has been out of my life for many years. Since leaving radio, I don't need to keep up on his antics. And I like to keep the musician/artist separate from the real life drama. What you do on your own time doesn't really bother me, doesn't affect the way I dig the music, your art. Other than the first night, I've purposely kept away from watching too much of the cable news or reading too much online.
"Off the Wall" from 1979 and "Thriller" in 1982 were truly the albums of my teens. Almost every song on those records were hits, and if not they were still damn good. Many hours were spent with my friends choreographing intricate dance moves to ""Billy Jean", "Rock With You" and a group fave, "PYT" and more. Well, we thought they were cool anyways.
We would pause to listen and sing along to Jackson Family Christmas songs played over and over at the Nursery/Craft store we all worked at during the holidays after school. "She's Out of My Life" was the premiere post break-up song, or at least "the crush doesn't like me" song...the line "damn indecision and cursed pride" seemed to fit the situations.
The scandal that surrounded him was not as important as the music that endured, melodies that reside in my soul as the soundtrack to many many good times.
And then I went from a listener to a player. I remember spinning "Black & White" for the first time in Lima, OH. Featuring Slash from Guns & Roses on guitar it was a tad "controversial" at the time. My Program Director was standing behind me in the studio and said" I don't think this song is going to make it" I said-"It's Michael man, it's gonna be a hit!"
20-30 years later you'll still find these songs on my ipod-an invention never dreamed of when I was spinning vinyl on my Panasonic turntable. "Wanna Be Startin' Something" , "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and other MJ gems are in the middle of my work-out play list, for their distinct motivational force on me. I ALWAYS get my booty moving a little faster when I hear them.
Rest in peace MJ, you certainly brought alot of happiness to this lil' DJ...you deserve a lil for yourself now.