Friday, June 26, 2009

Annie Are You Ok?

I once owned parachute pants.  I had a black jacket covered in zippers.  I did the Moonwalk-- whenever I had a chance.  (I had them more than you might think.)  When Michael Jackson was on the cover of Time magazine (1984?)--I harassed my mother until she went out and got it for me.  Then, I read the article about him over and over and over.  

When I got to college, I found out he'd done an album before Thriller.  Every few weeks or so, during my senior year, some friends of mine would clear out their living room of furniture, hang up a disco ball, and play Off The Wall over and over and over.  Disco Dance Party Nights, we called it.  When I started dating my wife, we used to paint together at my apartment; there were only two albums we ever listened to while we worked--There's A Riot Going On, and Off The Wall.  When I got married, I insisted that "Billie Jean" be one of the first songs our DJ played--not for the crowd, but for me.

What he had was joy.  Skill and musicality and moves--sure.  But it was more than that.  Michael Jackson made ME want to dance--a gangly, suburban white dude.  More than that: he made me think I could.

He probably went crazy in the end.  But on the way, he made some f***** incredible music.  

The world today is a little less funky.  


JMW said...

Well said.

And nice choice of clip. I like "Smooth Criminal." Some people -- they will go unnamed -- would like me to apologize for this. I refuse.

ANCIANT said...

"Smooth Criminal" is one of his best. The dancing in this video is incredible: the move he does at around the 1:35 mark (at the end of the fake craps game) blows my mind every time I see it.

For me, MJ is just as much about dancing as singing. That was what I wanted when I was 8--not to sing like Michael, but to dance like Michael.

One of my new favorite shows is "So You Think You Can Dance." I'm hoping that next week will feature some kind of tribute. It sure as hell should, I'll tell you that.

Cartooniste said...

L and I were wondering if the death of the first video star somehow is the final, real end of the twentieth century. The world is not only a little less funky - it has seen the end of a defining moment.

Also - I loved "Off the Wall" too.