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Stebbing, Great Dunmow, Essex, United Kingdom
The occasional blog of an Anglican priest in rural Essex

Friday, 26 June 2009

They're out to get you, better leave while you can


There were 65,500,000 hits on google for Michael Jackson this morning. The entire Internet will soon be overloaded with stuff about his death. It is literally unbelievable, but we said that about Elvis, Lennon, Kurt, Freddie, Bon, the list goes on. I'm sure there will be conspiracy theories hatching even now. It's just a shame that this will distract us from Iran, Afghanistan, Darfur, etc. One death gets lots of attention, other go unnoticed.

I'm not normally one to take celebrity death to heart, and was going to do an "EJ Thribb" for Farah Fawcett today. However, Michael Jackson was such an icon, and he did have quite an influence on me in the early 80's.

I was 16 the year "Thriller" came out. I didn't buy it, but I didn't have to - everywhere you went, every radio station, every TV music show, every disco for most of the 80's would play something by Michael Jackson. At that time I really only listened to rock music played by blokes with long hair wearing denim and leather, and I listened to it very loud. Dance music was not in my repertoire, and I wasn't alone. There were many youth club or school disco's (apostrophe for abbreviation, Lynn Truss fans) at which the girls all danced to one type of music, the boys to another (well, danced is a bit of an exaggeration).
then This happened:



"Beat it" provided dance music for the girls, and rock guitar for the boys. Ironically I guess Michael Jackson is almost solely responsible therefore for my discovery of the opposite sex.

"Thriller" also opened my mind to a much wider variety of music, which enriched my social life no end. It should be an interesting Glastonbury for cover versions.

I was a youth worker in the early 90's when the allegations of inappropriate behaviour against him started, and it was weird to be responding to young people's prayer requests - please pray for Michael Jackson ...

Moving seamlessly from nostalgia to cynicism, like Princess Diana before him, there will now be a sustained period of hysteria, conjecture and then eventually exploitation of the brand name. Poor bloke. At least the suicide rate will dip.

If I shed a tear it is more for my own youth that is past, than for the death of a talented but flawed musician. I should think his funeral will knock Diana's into a cocked hat.


My top 5 Michael Jackson Songs?

Beat it - see above

I want you back - what a bassline
Earth Song even if only because of Jarvis Cocker's moon


Don't stop til you get enough - almost the title of this post.

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