Friday, July 03, 2009

The Day Pop Music Died

Yeah, this is going to be another Michael Jackson post. You can add it to the million Michael Jackson posts you have probably read. I was, and still am, a huge fan of his music, so suck it.

When I was a kid, I loved Michael Jackson. LOVED him. I remember when I brought the Thriller album home. I would spend hours listening to that album, gazing at the album cover. In fact, I even had the Michael Jackson doll.

That's how far back I go.

For my generation, also known as Generation X, Michael Jackson's music was the sound track to our lives. He was the King of Pop long before the genre of pop became a punchline.

So, imagine my shock when I flipped on CNN last week to hear them talk about him being rushed to the hospital with cardiac arrest. My tingly nurse-sense told me that the outcome wasn't going to be good...but it was still stunning when it was announced that he died.

I never did buy into the molestation stories. So many things just didn't add up. But this post isn't about whether he did or didn't. Hell, I'm not even going to get into his apparent self-loathing, he inability to emotionally evolve into a mature adult, or even go into the fact that I think Joe Jackson ought to do humanity a favor and drive himself off a cliff.

This post is about the fact that so much of my young life was woven with his music that had nothing to do with how much money he made, what he drove, the bling he wore, and how many bitches he had. His music usually had a good message, and he didn't come off like a complete douche bag when he sang it.

To this day, his songs take me back to those days where I holed myself up in my room, reading books, writing stories, and daydreaming...all the while Thriller played on an old record player my parents gave me for Christmas.

To say that when he died my childhood died, would be a disservice because I left my childhood behind me a long time ago, and am painfully reminded of my adulthood every time I make my mortgage payment. But his death, to me, does make me remember the innocent girl I used to be, before horrible things happened...and when those horrible things did happen, I was always able to seek the safe confines of music for comfort. Michael Jackson was one of those safe outlets.
So yeah, I'm a fan of his music for a lot of reasons. And for those reasons, I do mourn his passing. Yes, he may have died a drug addict, but most celebs are shooting up something anyway, and no celebrity should be looked upon as something to aspire to. At least this guy actually contributed something other than beaver shots and bad reality television. It is possible to admire the music, yet pity the man who created it.

He died as strangely as he lived. His death proving to be every bit a circus that his life was, and it makes me glad I live in relative obscurity.

Hopefully he can find in death, what he could not find in life.


bobbie said...

7th/8th grade... "I'll be there" The first single I ever bought.

Weirdness aside, his brilliance and innovation changed the musical world forever.

He gave a damn, and did something about it.

And now, as usual, the media is making a travesty of his sad life & death.

Peace, Michael. Peace

ConnectingTheDots said...

Jackson certainly did have a big impact on Generation X. But most Xers were too young to have felt the full effect of this legend. He is fundamentally an icon of Generation Jones—-born 1954 to 1965, between the Boomers and GenXers. Jackson--born in 1958-- was a classic GenJoneser himself.

If you’re not familiar with the term yet, google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s recently gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. The Associated Press' annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

Here's a page with a good overview of recent stuff about GenJones:

Radioman KC said...

I dont' think pop music has died... but yes, we mourn his loss. he hasnt been generating any pop music lately. I expect his next concert series woudl have just been to sk8 on his laurels and get out of debt.

this not at all to diminish what he's given us. I too was a great fan.

He didnt' own pop music anymore than John Lennon or Elvis did. They just contributed to what pop music was and is.

I'm sorry he had so many distractions that he couldn't keep dazzling us with new material, but he didn't. Sadly supersuccess and his weirdisms distracted him from what those things did NOT do to Paul McCartney who has continued to produce new pop wonders.

Another great pop star was Barry Manilow but a male dominated radio industry has cut his creativity short... he's no longer cool by their definition, compared to the overly machismo but less talented groups like 'green day' and so many others.

We're in a bit of a lull just now in pop music, but it'll be back, even without MJ. He did his thing, he offered his contribution. lets love him for it, but no, pop music isn't dead... we're just waiting for the next genius... a small club to which MJ surely belonged!

Beckle the Freckle said...

A Michael DOLL!?! I'm so freakin' jealous! I would have killed for that! (You don't still have it, do you?)

I have been a fan for as long as I can remember and have so many fond memories of growing up to his music. I even went to Disneyland back in the mid 90's just to see Captain EO in the magic eye theater before they shelved it.

When I'm down I listen to Human Nature, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough and Shake Your Body with the sound turned all the way up.

Rock on, Michael. I will miss you.