Michael Jackson's dead.. after coming a full cycle in life. and his legacy is kindled once again ..probably for the final time.
I remember how I got to know of Michael Jackson as a viewer of the doordarshan videos on how he rose from being a child prodigy to giving hits like Thriller, I am bad, Billie Jean, Remember the time.. and so albums.
And when my dad first took me as a child to the burma bazaar in parrys corner of madras, and curiously made me select my first english songs cassette and I asked for michael jackson. and the shopkeeper himself suggested boney M and those where the first two english cassettes we had at home.. it was the late 80's. And burma bazaar was the only place where you could buy english song cassettes then in madras... they usually came with lyrics of all songs printed in a separate booklet as a default. i cursed the shopkeeper in my mind for years later since he hadnt given the lyrics book with our purchase.
It was MJ's "Dangerous" album that I got.
I wrote MJ with a big sketch pen on the side of the cover.. which I later learnt was the popular nickname for Michael jackson.
Guess what.. i didnt understand a word of the songs in the cassette for a few years though i listened and enjoyed it probably a 1000 odd times.
Those days, you didnt have CD's, cassette players costed 2000 rupees or so, in the economy of today that cost is equivalent to some 20000 rupees.
And obviously there was no internet then .. and music had to grow slowly in your life then. not like you immediately catchup with all popular songs.
I got my own first english cassette, a new boney M when i was at college.. thats when i got to shop myself for my stuff. Thereafter things picked up slowly with interests in music, movies, books, magazines.. my dad introduced me to all of them as habits and especially only english habits.
ah. yes.. i got to understand michael jackson's and many other people's english accents as i started hearing more. and also from lyrics that started to be printed on the cassette covers itself instead of being sold as supplementary booklets.
I am making this post.. to have my observations recorded in the recent days, on news about MJ, the days after his death and the turbulence in the minds of his family, supporters, and everyone thereafter.
As a child MJ turned many heads with his music and flair for fast dance movements. He popularized that genre of dance 'the brake dance' (or break dance.. how do u call it)... and moonwalk.. and many other styles.
Cover of One of MJ's albums.
As a teenager his album 'The Thriller' and its video were blockbusters.. so much a blockbuster that it spread all around the globe without marketing, and even without youtube, or pirate CDs.
King of Pop:
In his twenties, his shows and albums were so much popular that any other musician was considered a hobbyist or an unknown in the industry. He had all the audience and fans to himself.
His fans and probably some new marketing guy in the team started calling him the 'King of Pop' with nobody to dispute him being called so till today.
And there used to be a lot of military personnel (or so dressed up security guys) providing cover and security for him on his shows. especially lining up around the stage or MJ's way on to the stage.. .so much so that people remarked that he was the only one popstar on earth that has a full military company securing him.
His personal life:
As it happens with all people in the entertainment industry, especially the celebrities, Michael Jackson also made weird decisions in his personal life, weird statements to the press to the court on charges, etc.,
He underwent plastic surgeries on his face probably more times than you and I would have in mind.. to personally have memorablia of looks of his love lifes, or just because he thought that look is hot. His nose and chin, and his entire complexion change from being a black to becoming a white, are the most regarded on his list of plastic surgeries or changes.
MJ bought a huge golf course like area, called neverland ranch, and converted it into everything he wanted.. his estate, home, his own private amusement park, with private rail lines to go around the place with rail stations, etc., The area fully developed as a huge estate, had long roads, with circles and fountains, statues and figurines, scenic backyard, all in it.
Lived life king size, had everything he needed brought to him and was occassionally pulling children, crowds of them, as invitees to his house to play around and use the amusement park.
Ironically, the name neverland (not kept by michael jackson) comes from the pied piper stories where the pied piper leads all rats in neverland behind him with his music.. which mj did to people with his music.
His statements, sometimes rejections, sometimes shocking acceptance of guilt on charges against him in courts on child abuse, child molestation, even one involving the Richie Rich / home alone star kid.. sometimes even involving private settlement of the cases with money.... all disappointed and dwindled his fan base, more than how much his 'no-shows for many years' affected it.
Heal the world: Sample his video.
Sample this video in above link, to see his inspiring song for love of children and the world... and you would think twice before discussing whether all those child abuse charges on him were for real.
Sample these videos in the below link to see how his fans enjoyed his music.
this, this, this, this and this.
His Last Days, O2 and Jackson 5:
In his last days, he was rehearsing heavy, all set for a comeback. Called the O2 concerts, or the 'This is it' concerts, 50 of them planned starting october 2009.. with the 'Jackson Five' (Five family members including MJ)
After his death, of what is reported a massive heart attack, there is a lot of news that he died because of drug over dosage.. which was given to him to get him perform during the rehearsals he was undergoing.
Whatever be the cause, MJ is gone, and a face-saving comeback, atleast one of those 50 planned too couldn't happen, which probably will also end chances of his legacy living beyond him for a longer time.
May he RIP.. for having entertained not just a few sections of people.. but an entire world for a lot more time than the time his misgivings or bad news about him disappointed us... and for healing hearts and worldly issues with music like the black-or-white, heal-the-world, you-are-not-alone, etc.,
News is that, they are refunding tickets sold-out for O2 concerts.. and the Jackson-4(instead of 5) may decide about doing one O2 concert as a tribute.