We all know when someone special has been around, and it's usually more obvious when they have left. Today, like many, I will think about the life of Michael Jackson.
Like so many on the public stage, no one I ever knew personally, but someone who affected a lot of my life. I remember the thrill of seeing his boyish face with the Jackson 5, and wondering how this boy, a few years younger than me, could be so talented and so at ease in front of massive crowds. I had only recently had to perform in a big stadium and remember how my legs had shaken and how I had sweat. Then I thought about his voice, and its sweet clearness. I had been a choir boy, and the notes I held were good, but this was something else. I thought of the previous black, singing boy wonder, Stevie Wonder, and how great he really was given his blindness. The Michael started to dance. Wow! Such rhythm and style, and the spins. I could hoof, but not dance. I tried the moves in front of a mirror: forget it. The Afro hair do; the hats; the clothes. Too much.
The songs were always there to hum and sing. Then the boy started to grow and he stayed awesomely good looking and I wondered what series of girls he would have on his arm. They never appeared.His brothers were good, but they were always just props. His sisters were very good and had to live in his shadow, and struggled to get out into their own light.
Then he became bizarre, and I don't know why and I don't know how. The change of skin. The change of hair. The antics--the monkey, the masks, the gloves, the marriage, the home, the children, the outfits.He made millions and like so many stars seemed to spend like it would never end: US$ 400 million of debts is a lot for a country let alone one man.
So, from a boy who seemed like a talented freak of nature, we ended up with a man, who had turned into a freak. Yet, he still produced stunning music and danced like no one else.
I cannot go deeply into someone I did not know. Hollywood took over Michael Jackson's life and living in Neverland was a dream that had to end badly because nothing lasts for ever.
I am going to really enjoy a weekend of finding some of my favourite MJ songs. I will continue to hold onto my fear that any child of mine shows exceptional talent and gets onto a roller coaster that seems to end up derailed more often than it gets into happy stations. I wont trash the images and lifestyle of this man, just gone. I know plenty will do that at the drop of a hat. I just hope that whatever demons he had to live with are now laid to rest.
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