Friday, June 26, 2009
I have to say, it really shocked me how saddened I was by the passing of Mr. Jackson yesterday. Honestly, I haven't even thought of him or his music for years unless a song randomly showed up on the radio. But watching the news coverage brought back a storm of memories and nostalgia.
I'm a child of the eighties. To my younger readers, that probably makes me sound as old as their Great Grandpa Whitaker runnin' around in his long johns scratchin' himself. But it wasn't THAT long ago if ya think about it.
Anyway, Michael Jackson is my generation's Elvis Presley. (Kids, go google that name. He lived before Zac Efron but after Abraham Lincoln.) Jackson is an icon. His music defined my childhood in many ways. He changed the industry. And to this day I love every single song on the Thriller album.
Do you realize that thing sold 48 MILLION copies? Do you have any idea how staggering that is? In today's world, if an artist sells ONE million they are considered a big success, and if they sell ten million they are an absolute super star. Twenty million would put you in the stratosphere.
Mr. Jackson sold 48 million. Of one album. Wow.
Well, I just wanted to pay a small tribute to him. I loved his music as a kid, and I've loved hearing so much of it the last couple of days as everyone is talking about him and paying respects. Also, the music video world changed forever with THRILLER. Watching that thing was an event for us, let me tell you.
And, ya know, we can all learn a valuable lesson from his later life. None of us will ever know if he did some of the things he was accused of. Maybe he deserves the benefit of the doubt. And yes, he was very eccentric. But the world branded him as a freak and made fun of him. Brutally and cruelly. Imagine if he'd been your son, or your brother, or your father. Shame on you, world. Shame on me.
The world also lost Farrah Fawcett yesterday (another major eighties icon). My wife taught me another valuable lesson. I said something about how unfair it was that Fawcett didn't get any real media tribute because it was the same day as Michael Jackson. My wife responded, "Well, most of us don't."
Posted by James Dashner at 9:45 AM