Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodbye Michael Jackson

We woke up to a different world today - A world without Michael Jackson, the KING OF POP. A world where we will never get to hear that magical voice singing new tunes or the legend moonwalking on stage. I feel like I have lost a piece of my own childhood! MJ's songs were the ones that initiated me into the world of MTV. I remember listening to 'Beat it', 'Bad', and 'Thriller' over and over. I more vividly remember losing my heart to Dangerous. In fact, that was one album I had heard over and over, at least a 100 times!! And for good reason. Well, we have to hand it to him, that he was one musician who endured over the decades, with great music.

MJ was unique in a lot of ways. His music was his USP of course, but he was the first one to link music and brilliant dance to the music to generate the whole genre of pop. Second, he really was not this amazing looker, who could generate the oomph appeal, much like an Enrique Iglesias or an Elvis Presley. But quoting his own words - 'there was something about him baby....' . Another aspect was that he was the first African American to break the bounds of jazz and enter the world of popular music or pop. So for all the African Americans out there, he was a sign of the power of talent and will. The part I loved the most about his music was his innovation in tunes. 'Heal the world', 'Will you be there', were the gentle, mellow numbers, while 'BAD', 'Smooth Criminal' and and 'Beat it', were typical dance floor numbers. At the same time, he could make soul stirrers like 'Who is it' and 'Give in to me'. Clubbed with his voice, his dance and such a diverse portfolio of musical expressions, he managed to be the only player in such a unique segment - A complete portfolio, if you will.

Everyone had a thing or two to say about his personal life and his epithet of 'Wacko Jacko'. Be it the rumored multiple cosmetic surgeries, the molestation charges, dangling his kid from his hotel room, or his weird dressing sense towards the decline period of his illustrious career. All I say in return is - tell me who does not have a quirky side? Celebrity does weird things to normal people. I'd put in a post in 2008, on this topic, relating to Britney Spears, talking about how we fail to treat our celebrities as humans. The post is here. But then again, somewhere, the celebrities wish to be exalted and treated like Gods. They love the adulation, the scrutiny, but somewhere someone crosses the line. The world keeps watching your every move, and you like this adulation, and miss it when competition eats into your fan base's air time. So what do you do? The power of what you are missing has the potential to actually drive you over the edge. MJ's behavior to some extent, therefore, can be declared understandable. And even for the wacky side, I ask, whether he let his 'wackiness' get to his music making ability? Well, it added a touch or two of genius if at all. But he is adored for his music and his talents and the rest of him is completely irrelevant to what we love him for.

Another sudden loss to the musical fraternity. Reminds me of two other youth icons - Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain. Similarities in circumstances, somehow strike me as being really odd. Presley and MJ - linked in more ways than one, cult following, the fan base, and ethereal music, with MJ briefly marrying Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' daughter. Of course MJ and Cobain cannot be compared on grounds of music, fan base or achievements, but each of the three has left behind a gaping hole in the world of music, and all three left a huge fan base feeling incomplete. And again, each has a conspiracy theory or two surrounding their sudden deaths. What pains me more is the fact that such talent did not quit while it was winning. There was a precipitous rise to fame and an even more precipitous decline. But, MJ was due to stage a comeback next month, to make good all his monetary losses and prove to the world that he is still very much alive and very much capable of making the Michael Magic again. Alas, that was not to be. But the world would remember him as the King of Pop, who gladdened a million hearts, mine included. He was the BAD Dangerous, Smooth Criminal, who could indeed Heal the World. Goodbye Michael Jackson, we sure will miss you..............

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