Rewind the clock twenty years or so…
May 1983… You see a little -=e=- getting ready to graduate high school. The end of the year talent show, had me and a GROUP of guys FROM the school band calling ourselves “The Jazzy Gents” on stage…
The program had us doing a run of the mill, Glenn Miller “In the mood”-type jazz progression, the inner-city crowd, subjected to a rather lackluster night, restrained by an old-fashioned teacher running it, were finally content…
Suddenly, the music stopped.
The drummer breaks INTO a solo, followed by a modern drum beat. I played an all-too-familiar bass line… the crowd was on their feet.
We decided “Fuck it… we’re playing Billie Jean!!!”. If we were leaving the school, we were going out in style. Two break dancers joined us on either side, recreating “The Gloved One”s electrifying performance on “Motown 25”, just weeks earlier.
The crowd went fucking wild!
Yeah… we planned the rebellion all along. ;0)
It was as if a riot was going to break out at any second… the guys handling the lights decided to get extra creative, we were instrumental, so the audience sang every word to the #1 song in the country, danced in the aisles, despite the terrified teachers ordering everyone to stay seated. The steam coming out of the teacher’s ears, over the change in program, provided one hell of a smoke machine effect. :0)
The coordinator of the SHOW finally got tired of us defying her, the back stage crew ignoring her orders to close the curtains on us… she finally unplugged our amplifiers when we were halfway through “Beat it“.
As a child of the 80’s, I couldn’t think of anyone that *WASN’T* a Michael Jackson fan. Ever see the scene in “Beverly Hills Cop” where Eddie Murphy chuckles at the white couple with the Jheri Curls and the “Thriller” Jackets?.
That might as well had been me. I had my hair permed twice, and paid $150 bucks for a silk “Thriller” jacket in 1984 (shut up.). I’d get off of elevators in Manhattan to a chuckling receptionist watching me in their monitors: “Hey, your spins are really improving! *snicker*”
It was truly Michael Jackson’s world in those days. We were only living in it. Being born and raised in the entertainment biz, his music and moves were pure magic.
20 years later, I watched in horror at the price the man paid to become “The King of Pop” on 20/20 tonight.
He seemed more defensive about his plastic surgery, than his hanging an infant over a balcony in Germany. He twitches when his father is mentioned. And honestly thinks nothing is wrong with his kids saying they “have no mother”.
Most disturbing of all, is how he just doesn’t get how inapropriate his contact with children is… sleeping in his bed with him. Calling parents who have a problem with it “whacky”. (!!!)
I can’t even begin to figure out what has fucked him up. Was it the torment and abuse of his father? The fact that he never had a childhood? HAVING his head filled with Jehovah’s Witness doctrine? The fact that he’s spent his entire life in the spotlight, surrounded by people telling him anything he wanted to hear?
Is it all of the above?
Or is it a deliberate move to get back in the spotlight, as it’s the only life he’s ever known?
Ask anyone in the entertainment biz. There’s no such thing as “bad press”.
In other news, some guy named Phil Spector shot and killed a woman in his home.
Oh. I’m sorry… back to Michael Jackson and all his surgeries…
I can’t express the sadness and pity I have for the man these days.