June 27, 2010

Michael Jackson Remembered

by Xanadu Murphy June 25, 2010
(http://twitter.com/xanadumurphy), Texas, USA.

When word came about Michael Jackson being pronounced dead after having been transported to the Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center on June 25, 2009 I was in shock. It seemed unreal that someone who was only 50 years old and about to embark on an almost year long, 50-date, series of concerts could suddenly be dead. But there is was on CNN and all the other news outlets: The King of Pop is gone. I never got to see Michael in person or attend one of his concerts. I only saw him on television or in videos. Yet I knew he was an extraordinary artist who had pretty much saved the music industry with his innovative music videos and his intricately staged concerts.

To be truthful I hadn’t really thought about Michael very much since the trial ended in 2005. However, even without any new music or concerts for several years, it was clear that a superstar, a creative and performing genius, a supernova suddenly had been ripped from our firmament. Genius rarely has it easy and is frequently quirky or eccentric. Michael enjoyed great success professionally and he worked hard to make what he did look easy. I doubt we will see another in our lifetimes with so much talent and the desire to work at his art.

On learning of Michael’s death I immediately thought of his three young children and of the day when he was acquitted of all charges in the 2005 trial. In talking about it with friends on that day I said that although he hadn’t gone to prison the case had surely ruined his life and his career and possibly his health. And so it seemed, until the announcement of his series of 50 concerts at the O2 arena. Were 50 concerts reasonable? Perhaps, since he would be in residence instead of traveling from place to place. After seeing “This Is It” I felt like he still had it in him to dazzle and electrify an audience; that he could still reign as The King of Pop. But the sad truth is we will never see the show this master entertainer had envisioned and seeing a glimpse of what could have been was bitter sweet.

It was only after his death that people who worked with Michael and who never believed he was a child molester or pedophile found they could communicate with others via blogs, podcasts and forums on the Internet to tell what a wonderful person Michael was and how great it was to work with him; how humble and gentle he was and how generous. Several individuals told the same story over and over…when they were contacted by the media during the trial and they did not have anything negative to say about Michael the media ignored what they said or quit asking them for comments. Others such as Aphrodite Jones and Charles Thomson did the research that clearly showed the mass media, printed and electronic, were biased against Michael and persecuted and maligned him.

After Michael’s death I set about rediscovering his music and his dance. I loved his early, solo albums; the first three with Quincy Jones are definitely classics in my opinion and are instant trips down memory lane. However, I find now that his later albums, HIStory (disc 2) and Invincible, and to a slightly lesser extent Dangerous, are the ones that I play most often. I think this is because there is so much more to the mature Michael in these albums. There is joy, pain, and longing, a desire to retire from fame and the public, and a gritty desire to get back at a certain individual who, it seemed, was out to “get him.”

Some of the melodies are elegant, even exquisite…”Stranger in Moscow,” “Break of Dawn,” “Butterflies,” “Speechless,” “Earth Song;” while others reflect an anguished, tormented soul…”Scream,” “D.S.,” ”Privacy,” “Tabloid Junkie.” For myself, I’ll listen more to the elegant and exquisite melodies and less to the strident ones. I hate to think of how his fame contributed to his anguish and how his fans, whose love he appreciated and willingly reciprocated, could not help also being a contributing factor.

It will probably be several years before Michael Jackson’s works are more fully studied, debated and appreciated by scholars. We know there are more songs that Michael created and which will probably be released in coming years. It’s a really too bad he passed at such a young age. He seemed to get better as he matured. He could have continued to give us new music as a composer, producer or singer for years to come. Or, he could have dazzled us with film and videos. However, even without any additional creative output his accomplishments and music seem to have a permanent place in our culture. So Michael, please rest in peace and privacy that you could never achieve while living. We know you did it all for love, L.O.V.E. and because of that we love you more.

It's All for L.O.V.E. blog would like to thank you  for your contribution and your support.


doublebeee said...

Thank you so much Xanadu!!! Your words were soothing my soul. Truely amazing post!

Thank you for capturing the MJ magic. L.O.V.E.!

Cassarah said...

...there is nothing to add to doublebee´s comment - but one more THANK YOU for your words from me.

Xanadu said...

I am humbled by and grateful for your kind words. --Xan

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