It is now a week since the sudden death of Micheal Jackson, the king of pop. I was watching the tribute shows on TV with a mild interest. People were devastated at the sudden loss of a musical icon, they were worried for the fate of his children, they were sad that he will not be making any more new music. What bugged me most was the fact that where were these people when he was accused of being over-friendly with little boys? Where were they when he was accused of endangering his child by dangling him on a balcony in front of thousands of people?
Anyway, we shall leave the present day for the moment.
My earliest memory of Michael Jackson involved me seeing him in a music video - Thriller to be exact and watching an interesting conversation (friendly argument) between my aunt and *potato uncle, whereby he declared that MJ was a lady and not a man as we all thought he was. My aunt was adamant that he was indeed a man, but I was too young (probably 3 yrs old) to recall what her argument was. Come to think of it, if I had been more vocal at that time instead of staring open mouthed at the zombies and creatures on the screen, even I could have argued that he was a man.
It was many years later when I rediscovered him, first through Black or White which fascinated the 12 year old me and later mainly for school purposes - especially since some of the societies I was in had to prepare performances for teacher's day and other such things... there was one year where a friend and I who were in charge of coming up with the performance for one of the societies, edited the intro of Heal the World and combined it with Will you be there which became quite a hit , (we managed to train everyone to hit the high notes without any help from any music teacher!! - there weren't any in our school, actually) although it confused one of my friends (who doesn't listen much to English music) because she told her cousin that it was one song and not two. And her cousin tried to convince her otherwise! I told her we modified it and recorded it ourselves using the double decked cassette players which was slowly losing fame then and she looked a bit horrified. I thought it was funny.
As the years passed by, his music took a backseat, while his private life was scrutinised from every angle... and it remained so till the day he died.
*potato uncle is a family friend whose wife was informally adopted as a daughter by my grandmother. They lived just across the street from my grandparents at that time and seemed to come over rather often. Potato uncle was nicknamed Potato because that was how he called me when I was a kid- mostly to antagonise me. I have no idea what his real name is, but as I grew older I realised his major hobby was to antagonise little kids with constant teasing. Come to think of it, maybe he did enjoy antagonising adults as well - my aunt should have been around 28 at that time.
Edit: So, I read the post again, and I think I need to make it clear that I did like MJ's music. Not a rabid, faint at the concert kind of fan, but I can say that his songs always made an impact of some sort, be it the meaning, or the videos, and yes, even those dance moves!