Thursday, 24 June 2010

Where were you when... & what did he mean to you?

Where were you when Michael Jackson died? I was on a pirate ship type-of-boat at some Dutch ad agency's party just off the coast of the south of France. I started getting texts from my friends in England with the news. I didn't believe it, or thought it was a hoax until the boat moored and we were able to find a TV. The TVs were all in French though, so I could only make out little bits of what they were saying about it. At that point he was in the hospital and I wondered if those O2 shows were going to go ahead. It didn't occur to me then that he might not be okay in the long run. So then American Tony blagged us in to some beach party and I didn't give it much thought until the DJs started playing some extended mix of Billy Jean and people went crazy... Dancing and crying and hugging each other on the dance floor and then I knew he didn't make it and I shed a little tear myself.

Some people have mixed feelings about Michael. For me, I have a fondness for his music. He made such an impression on me when I was just a kid living with my grandparents in Wisconsin and every Saturday me and my cousin would go roller skating. I had never heard music like the music they played when we were skating and Michael Jackson's Thriller album had just come out that year. Every song on that record is brilliant and I learned all the words. Having really only listened to Christian rock and old-fashioned music (like Doris Day), Michael represented this whole new sound, this modern, shiny, secular world. He was pop perfect. So what did he mean to you?

And where were you when it happened?


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