Thursday, June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson, Yeah I know it's too soon.
Michael Jackson has died today. He was 50. It came the same day as the beloved Farrah Fawcett. Two pop culture icons in one day. Much like the day both Jim Henson and Sammy Davis Jr. died.
I have to admit that I have a morbid curiosity over the death of notable people. Rock and roll deaths in particular has always fascinated me. One curious quirk is how many rock stars died at the age of 27. Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain are some of the more notable ones who died at the age of 27.
Tragic losses for sure. The main tragedy for fans is how much great music was missed by their early deaths. What would Hendrix have been like in the 70's and 80's? Would the Foo Fighters be better if it was new Nirvana albums with major contributions from David Grohl?
Every once in awhile, I speculate who, if death HAD occurred at the age of 27, would it have been a better career move for them? Especially for their legacy.
Michael Jackson always comes to mind. His career after he turned 27 in 1985 had only one major highlight, and that was the album BAD. His life became a freak show of weirdness, bad plastic surgery, creepy kisses, outrageous spending sprees, and shocking allegations of child molestation. Add the bizarre marriage with Lisa Presley and the second marriage that produced two children clearly not of his DNA.
His music output in the last fifteen years is all but forgettable except for some anti-Semite lyrics from his HIStory album.
Because of the accusations of child molestation he spent much of his time outside the USA, and thus hadn't toured in the continental United States since 1989. So, when it came to Michael Jackson, nothing other than tabloid fodder was to occur for him for the rest of his life. One of the most talented men to ever live was reduced to a joke. There were times I wished he would die and not ruin his legacy any further.
The Martin Bashir interview that aired in 2003 revealed Michael Jackson's life at his Neverland Ranch sealed his fate in my eyes. It showed how Michael never got over the fact he didn't have a normal childhood. He rationalized his behavior with children as being like he was a comrade in arms. I can understand his missing his childhood, I can relate to that, but all of us who had a normal childhood grew out of it by the time we were 16. He spent at least 20 years trying to have a childhood. It didn't help that the kid who was highlighted in the show sued Jackson for child molestation. His second charge.
I believed it this time.
His death is more than sad, especially since it looked like he was making an effort to jump start his career at the age of 50.
His changing appearance alone was embarrassing. He went from being a cute black kid, to a sexy young man, to looking like his sister, to looking like Diana Ross, to looking like Carol Channing in a black wig, to finally looking like the Crypt Keeper....in a black wig.
But I can't help think that if he did die at the age of 27, right after the Jacksons Victory tour, it would have been for the better.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone.