There is Elvis and than there is Michael Jackson. They are the kings. They broke convention and reinvented America in the process. But now that Michael is dead there is a hole left in the world that will not be filled for some time to come. I didn’t think the man could be killed. He seemed invincible gated off from the world. It is just now that I realize what a loss it is to have lost Michael Jackson.
My brother came clamoring though the front door. He asked if I had heard that Michael Jackson had died. I didn’t believe him yet there it was on the local news. The King of Pop was dead. I had grown up always being told that he was the King. I just took it for granted. Fine he’s the King of Pop I would think. But now that he is dead the gravity of the situation is hitting me. Will there be another artist to hit such heights ever again? We have cookie cutters of the mold that he created, but there is only one M.J. Thriller will never be too old to listen to. The Moon Walk will always be cool, and his singing will never be matched.
As a musician Michael Jackson has no parallel. His pop sensibility has made his entire catalogue timeless. The world boogied alongside him as he sang with the Jackson 5. He was this cute little kid that seemed so likable with his afro and stylish threads. Than came the 1979 and we get this new sound with the album Off the Wall. It had the great bass lines that the Motown sound was known for, but then there was this unique voice punching through. It has the familiar falsetto sound of a group like the Bee Gees, yet it has so much soul. I can see why it cut through racial divides. How could you not dance to the music?
But as amazing as Michael was at writing music it was his flair that made him mythic. At first his style was fairly tame but as the 80s unrolled his style was off the charts. His style kept getting more and more daring with each passing day. His Thriller jacket alone is the 80s. I don’t think there is a single soul on this planet that doesn’t think of Michael when they hear the word Moonwalk. The man might as well be from the moon. His dancing was unearthly, and we loved him for it. He danced differently, sang differently, and looked different. His music videos are unmatched. The scale and size of these videos puts everyone to shame. To this day people are still dancing to thriller. His title as the king of pop is extremely appropriate. There is something about his music that spoke to us. I am still not certain as to what it is?
Unfortunately the Michael Jackson that I saw was the one climbing trees and hanging out with a chimpanzee named Bubbles. Long after all the scandals of child molestation are gone I am not quite sure what legacy will be left. Will it be his music that we remember? Elvis is remembered as a fat man in a jumpsuit that has a quivery lip. It most certainly does not do him justice. Will Michael forever be remembered as a masked pale man running around hanging babies out of windows? Only time will tell but I hope it does him justice. It is a shame he didn’t get this final tour to finally show the world once again why he is the king.