Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye



Sitting in a Mexican cafe and hearing the news that Michael Jackson was dead, my first reaction was disbelief. Just another silly rumor, there was no way that the King of Pop was dead. But stories from AP, Reuters and BBC were produced and I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. As Americans away from home, we stared blankly at each other, unable to digest how an American icon could be gone without warning. I arrived back and slowly absorbed the reality of Michael Jackson's death.

Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Michael Jackson was like a neighborhood friend. His image, voice and moves were everywhere throughout my youth.No boy could be described as attractive unless he had a Michael Jackson 'fro. Nobody could be called a good dancer unless they had perfected the cool, precise, Michael Jackson spin. Anybody with the last name of Jackson automatically claimed a relation to Michael Jackson. Anybody who journeyed to Michael's nearby home state of Indiana always declared a Michael sighting or visit with the family. "ABC", Dancing Machine" and "I'll Be There" were on the soundtrack of every block party, sleepover and birthday celebration. By the time I was in my teens, Michael was as much a constant in my life as my best friends who lived across the street.

But you grow up and things change. People drift apart, they develop interests that you don't share. Michael emerged as a lost, confused soul. I always felt sorry for him, it's like he was pushed into the spotlight so early that he never had a chance. But there's no denying his brilliance. The nuance of his singing, the electricity of his dancing, the sparkle of his presence will live on.

14 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

The early video of the Jackson 5 shows how he could have been later on. Surrounded with drugs and hangers on, sadly, it was inevitable, just like Elvis.

Fly Girl said...

Jean-Luc, Michael was always talented from the very beginning. I don't even know if it was drugs and hangers on, he just lost his way...

Amanda said...

great post. I'm sad I'll never get to see him in concert...

A Cuban In London said...

Absolutely agree with you. His brilliance as a dancer and singer can never be taken away. Sad news this was. Many thanks for your tribute.

Greetings from London.

Mary and Sean said...

My mom was a huge Michael Jackson fan, and was outraged by all the negative media attention in the past few years... as for me, I sometimes think stars like him are larger than life. They seem to usually die tragically young and leave a huge legacy and following. We're lucky to have lived in his lifetime too, don't you think?

I often consider other great artists in history (Mozart, Michelangelo, etc...) Do you think MJ will stand the test of time like those people?

Fly Girl said...

Amanda, Michael in concert was something that you'd never forget.

Cubano, thanks.

Mary and Sean, Yes we were very lucky. Yes, I think his legacy will definitely stand the test of time. We've already seen his influence on people like Justin Timberlake, Usher and Chris Brown.

Ebony Intuition said...

His music will never be forgotten.

Heather Dugan (Footsteps) said...

So sad. What made him such an appealing talent also made him a vulnerable soul.

Fly Girl said...

Ebony, his music will always live.

Heather, that's a really pertinent point. I think you're right.

Pa Ibou said...

A great artist. R.I.P.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I agree with. He was talented from the start; he just needed guidance and protection from others.

marina villatoro said...

I heard the news at the costa rica airport the day i moved to guatemala. i had to stop in my tracks because this is so crazy!!!
without a doubt one of the best entertainers ever.

you wanna here something funny, when I was 11 me and my best friend used to fight over who would marry michael jackson. i had life size posters of him in my room and stare at him for hours while listening and singing his songs!

Lake Travis Condos said...

His All album is memorable.

My fav song is dangerous.

Fly Girl said...

Marina, I think a lot of little girls dreamed of marrying Michael!

Lake Travis, I think Dangerous is one of his more adventurous tunes.