Sunday, 28 June 2009

Tribute to a childhood hero

Knowing that pretty much the whole world would be talking about this on Friday I refrained from jumping on the bandwagon - an entire generation of twitterers, myspacers, facebookers, beboers and so on was paying their own tributes - but...it's hard not to comment on this event. As a matter of fact I'd always wondered what the day would be like - however weird that sounds -, the day when you find out that someone like Michael Jackson is dead...no longer. I know it sounds strange but whenever I'd be watching documentaries about iconic figures say like John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Marylin Monroe...no matter how tragic their story was to hear I could never really be affected because I wasn't alive when these people were making history. So I would watch with interest and that's about it... But Michael Jackson's records have been the soundtrack of my childhood, I remember how basically obsessed I was with the man...the dance moves which of course I knew and tried to emulate...I even had dreams about him and thought he was the greatest human being alive. Then I grew up of course and the fanatic admiration quietly subsided but I'd be instantly transported back in time whenever I'd listen to the old favourites...in fact I have the same reaction to a lot of songs from that time in my life but the MJ collection is different. Having spent pretty much the whole weekend ransacking the net, looking on youtube and reading comments left by people from all over the world I can't help at feeling part of a bigger picture and in a weird way quite special...To be part of something that strangers from every little corner of this world have been affected by in a more or less significant way is not something that happens everyday. Sure there are many aspects of his entire dimension which I won't even pretend I understand; the infamous Bashir interview is cringe worthy at the best of times...but when you take away all of that and you're left with the music is easy to see that it will be a while until someone with this level of magnitude and impact will come along...if ever! The old hits have a new meaning now, they sound better, their force amplified and as I listen to them over and over again it all seems unreal and sad that basically this is it. No more MJ...just the records and an entire legacy which unfortunately will forever be tinged with bittersweet notes of a highly creative but desperately misunderstood soul. But as evidence from this weekend's Glastonbury Festival suggests, tributes, outpourings of love and admiration, everyone is only thinking about the music now, the only thing that really mattered anyway and that's no mean feat at all. Below, my all time favourite Michael Jackson song....words will never be enough.

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