Friday, June 26, 2009

A Rocker Remembers Jacko

In the summer of 1973 I attended my first concert, Grand Funk Railroad at the old Colloseum in El Paso. My ears rang for three days, they were fantasic. If you wanted to hang with me and my friends it was Rock & Roll, the heavier the better. If an acoustic guitar was involved Jimmy Page or Neil Young better be playing it for it to be considered"cool". Pop, Funk and my gosh, Disco, that was music you didn't admit listen to. If I was going to listen to genres other than hard rock/metal I had to be by myself in the car driving home late at night. And that's what I did, and you know, I found out that it was ok to broaden my musical horizons. Bob Marley? Dang the man was talented, so what if wasn't really rock? Ohio Players? Now that was funky. So how does this relate to Michael Jackson? Jacko made music you didn't admit to your rocker friends that you were listening to, because he wasn't considered "cool". But I have to admit, many of his biggest hits had an infectious rhythm and some really great musicianship. He really was a master at what he did, and that was pure Pop. Remember, this is from a hard core rocker that would get to an 8:00 pm show at 9:00 am to get the best seats to see Black Sabbath or Judas Priest and fondly remembers seeing AC/DC in '77 or '78 with Bon Scott, their original singer. We had long hair and banged heads before "hair bands" gained prominence, but as the 80's settled in and "Billie Jean" came on the radio I found it was easy to admire the musicianship and songcraft of Michael Jackson.

Does his brilliance as a Pop Star erase his odd behavior or mitigate what were certainly true allegations of his improper involment with children? No. The man was an odd duck and perhaps even a criminal although he was acquitted of molestation charges once and paid off another "victim" in the 90's. Those transgressions are now refueling hate and negative feeling for the man, and to those people that feel that way, I get it and thats your right and priviledge, but for now I'm looking past that sordid part of his life.

He was a towering talent, born to entertain and he did it well for four decades. His premature death at age 50 thrusts him in to the upper strata of "Pop Culture Icons". He has joined Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean as an American Pop legend and he earned it the American way, with hard work and immense talent. We can dissect his life and criticize him another day, for now R.I.P. Michael Jackson. That's what I think, Thank You...


Individualist said...
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Individualist said...

Benedict Arnold was wounded I believe in Ticonderoga in the leg. It has been stated by Historians that had that bullet struck higher to his heart he would be remembered as the most brilliant General of the American Revolution.

In that sense I think that MJ would have been better off to die in a plane crash around 1988. I remember I was a college freshman when Billy Jean came out. At the frat before the Sorority girls arrived we state no one would play that "Prissy" music. When the girls arrived though, we play his music because they would all want to dance.

I can't say I have good feelings about MJ's like. The whole "kids" thing was too much. I can feel sorry for him, but that is about it.

Auguste Ballz said...

I dont mourn his passing. He can longer hurt himself, and thankfully can no longer hurt anyone else.

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