Five years ago, Michael Jackson died.
I was at the Haymarket T station, boarding a green line train, going towards Davis Square, scrolling through Twitter when I found out. I started silently freaking out - and then I put on whatever MJ songs I had on my iPod and listened to him the whole ride. (For whatever reason, it was only "You Are Not Alone" and "Billie Jean.")
I know Michael Jackson is a controversial man, that's for sure, but I'll say this: he was (and still is) the most talented man in show business. For so many reasons. He had a hard upbringing and I know it's hard to feel bad for him because he was basically always rich and famous (until he was broke and hooked on pain medication) but he didn't ask for it. Whatever. Personal opinions aside, thank God he found Quincy Jones, thank God he got started at such a young age, because what on Earth would we do without his music? There'd be so much less dancing and so much less random-breaking-out-into-the-Thriller-dance! And if you haven't had the experience of listening to the Thriller album on vinyl, then I suggest you do so because it's great. It sounds just like it does on a CD or coming out of your computer but it's on a record player so it's cooler.
(Here is a sound clip of Michael presenting the idea for the beat/arrangement in "Beat It" using only his voice. He put it together the night before pitching it.)
He was a smart, dedicated, passionate and sincere musical genius. He was a little weird, he was a little F'd up, but he knew what he was doing creatively. All geniuses are basically whack jobs anyway! He knew how to dance, how to move, how to sing, how to put songs together, how to write (no matter how crazy his lyrics are) and how to produce killer records and shows. And maybe, just maybe, he was inappropriate with children, but whatever, if McCauley Culkin defends him, then so do I! And there's nothing weird about McCauley Culkin. Oh, wait...
Basically, I love Michael Jackson. I always will. And you should go listen to "I Hear A Symphony" and "Who's Loving You"... right now.