Thursday, June 25, 2009

Holy Crap, What A Day!

Lordy, what a day huh? First, Farrah Fawcett has succumbed to her battle with cancer, sending almost every male over the age of 35 into deep, deep mourning. I was too young to truly experience the Charlie's Angels phenomenon, but Farrah's style certainly hung on through the 1980s. My older sister had a most fabulous Farrah hair-style, and no I will not post photographic evidence because she has pictures of me sporting some pretty horrific perms. I'm no fool.

Then I was coming back from my lunch break today to learn that TMZ was reporting that Michael Jackson had died. Micheal Frackin' Jackson! Since then, the L.A. Times and other sources have confirmed.

Given the child molestation charges, and his increasingly bizarre behavior in recent years, it's easy to forget what a massive, huge, colossal superstar Michael Jackson was. I'm a child of the 1980s, and Michael Jackson's sheer famous-ness during that decade is something almost unfathomable today. He. Was. A. Star. Everything he did was new, exciting and a trend. He saved Top 40 radio from the quagmire that was the 1970s (awful beyond words). Before MJ music videos were cheap-looking novelties. Enter stage left, Michael Jackson and John Landis and we get Thriller. Suddenly, music videos can be "short films." He changed the way we dressed, he changed the way we danced, he completely changed everything.

But what was truly amazing about Jackson was his ability to cut across all demographics. Black, white, Asian, little green men, we all loved him. Children loved his music, teenagers loved his music, Baby Boomers loved his music. Hell, my Dad owns both Off The Wall and Thriller on vinyl. Which makes him a most awesome Dad because every single one of his daughters raided his vinyl collection at one time or another.

Michael Jackson died today, but I think I've been mourning him for the last several years. The Jackson 5 Michael. The Motown 25 Michael. The Thriller Michael. Not the Sleeping In The Same Bed With Young Boys and Dancing On Roof Of Car Outside Courthouse Michael. Seriously. Messed. Up.

So in honor of the Michael that I'm going to miss, I give you the "ABC" dance montage from the movie Clerks II. Oh, and it's a Kevin Smith movie - so of course we have some "naughty" words in the beginning.

12 comments:

Barbara said...

It's been a terribly sad day :(

Phyl said...

What you said.

As Brian Williams noted on the news tonight, we lost 2 significant icons in American culture today. An eerie cosmic coincidence. I loved "Charlie's Angels" when I was a teen. And I own "Thriller" on vinyl, too. When I watch that video and see the sheer joy on MJ's face I find it hard to believe who he turned into.

All around very sad.

jmc said...

That is sad. In the Celebritology chat this afternoon on the Washington Post's website, the host said something about bad things in threes (Ed McMahon, Farrah, and ?). She was hoping it wouldn't be Patrick Swayze; MJ never crossed any of the chatters' minds.

I think we had Thriller on vinyl; Mom wasn't a big music fan, though, so I'm sure it's long gone.


The Jackson 5 is still influencing music: The Cab's "That 70s Song" seems J5ish to me.

Kate R said...

I like this article by Ebert everyone's been tweeting about.... The boy who never grew up. http://is.gd/1dHlK

Cheryl St.John said...

I am sad abaout both of them.

Lori said...

You know, just to lighten it up a little, Bob's reaction when I told him about both (he was teaching today and didn't know) was, "Poor Farrah. Any other day and she'd have been huge news." And you know, because it's LA, we've had literally nonstop coverage of the mob outside UCLA, the mob outside his house, the mob at his star, the hysterical fans, everything. And the media. Oy - only in LA would they compare a 50 yo who had a huge impact on music 20 years ago to James Dean. Jeff's reaction? "The kids can walk the streets again." Bless my child's heart. He really doesn't have any idea of the impact of Jackson on music, but still. Someone had to say it, LOL.

We pulled out Bob's old Farrah poster from the depths of the garage to show the kids. Now THAT was something the boys could get behind. That was a truly sd and tragic story. Nobody should die that way. Cancer is just horrid.

BigDaddy said...

I have many opinions about MJ's troubled life and over time it will slowly fade away. Yet his music will always remind us happier times. Baby Boomers remember happy and easier times through our oldies and rock and roll. We remember where we were and who we were with when certain rock songs are played. I am sure with the people of MJ's generations the same will be said and remembered. I loved his music and consider him brillant in his music, arrangements and videos. I love my Beatles, Beach Boys, Stones and many others rockers, male and females of my generation but my vinyls of MJ I would never give up. An earlier comment made by the Super Librarian about Dad's vinyl explains how they developed scratches on them.

Wendy said...

Lori: God bless L.A. If they can't turn it into a circus, it ain't worth doing. What I find so incredibly sad is how easy Michael made it for us to forget what a huge star he was. Like you said, kids today have no concept of the impact of Michael's musical career. The only Michael they know is "the creepy guy."

Big Daddy: I blame Big Sis for any scratches on the Beatles vinyl collection.

I don't think I'll ever see anything like Beatlemania in my lifetime - but Michael Jackson during the Thriller years? Probably the closest I'll ever come. And I still think the tracks laid down by the Jackson 5 are some of the best pop songs ever recorded.

Cathy in AK said...

Yeah, childhood memories took a beating this week. My best friend and I used to play "Charlie's Angels." They were the first kick-ass women I can recall watching on television. Them and The Bionic Woman.

MJ was an amazing, innovative artist. My friends and I listened to the Thriller album over and over again. It was disturbing when MJ went off track in his personal life, but his music was always incredible. I was also mourning the loss of the man years ago.

RIP Farrah and Michael.

Big Sis said...

I listened to Off The Wall a LOT. I can't say if the scratches are my fault or not...
If they are, seems I made up for them by giving him two beautiful grandchildren. ;)

Wendy said...

Big Sis: There you go again. Hiding behind the beautiful grandchildren.

Jennifer B. said...

I learned of Jackson's death from my husband, via cell phone, just minutes before walking into Dairy Queen with my 6-year-old Little Leaguer...who instantly went to tears upon hearing the news. Why? At 6 years old? Because his Dad JUST introduced him to The Jackson Five...those are awesome songs for kids...made us feel the loss in yet another, different way...