Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goodbye to the King of Pop

You know how sometimes you remember exactly where you were when you learn something big? I was standing in Subway the other day, waiting for the nice lady to make my sandwich, when I hear the news over the radio. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop has died. While I'm digesting the news and thinking he wasn't that old, I have a flashback to my childhood. I remember clearly being a little kid standing in the kitchen of my babysitter Mary. I am waiting for her to make my sandwich, when I hear the news over the radio. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n' Roll had died. For some reason, this just strikes me as strange to have heard of both of these deaths of these two musical Kings on the radio while waiting for a nice lady to make sandwich. Yes, I realize that is totally random, but I found it odd, and after all, it's my blog, so I'm writing about it.
Thinking back on the life of Michael Jackson, I prefer to remember him before all the plastic surgeries, before the personal, emotional and mental problems became public, back when he was a cute boy with his original nose and a big ole' afro who could sing and dance. His music was the background for so many memories. I remember playing hand clap games to “Rockin Robin” and staying up until midnight to watch the debut of the “Thriller” video back when MTV was new. I remember my 7th grade cheerleading squad choreographing our halftime routine to “Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'” and singing "Bad" thinking we were so darn cool. (In hindsight, we weren't.) I remember getting teary eyed watching “We are the World” and thinking of all the starving kids in Africa (probably while eating a bag of chips.) At some point, it seemed pretty clear that Michael Jackson was a troubled soul. It's a prime example of the fact that being a child star, and having lots of fame and money do not buy happiness or peace. It makes me feel really sad for him. He was an entertainer like no other, and history won't forget him, that's for sure. The other day, someone on NPR said that Michael Jackson's music is the soundtrack for much of our lives. It's true that hearing his songs will always bring back memories- they are playing in the background of my mind as I recall chunks of my growing up. Millions of people around the world have the same experience; different memories, but with the same songs. I sure hope Michael can rest peace now.