Thoughts on Michael Jackson

It seems funny now,  but it’s nearly impossible to overstate how big Michael Jackson was in the early 1980s.

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Everyone – I mean EVERYONE – dug MJ’s music. Plenty of white kids who had never bought an album by a black person bought Off The Wall – including me. And many more bought Thriller.

I recall in 1982, as I set off for my freshman year at the University of Missouri, I had the sleeves jammed up on my jacket, just like him.

When the Thriller video debuted, a bunch of the guys in my frat house – all white – sat around the big TV in the living room to watch, spellbound.

And I have especially good memories of “Beat it,” with that rockin’ guitar line. It was a real crossover hit, a sign that music’s divisions could be broken down with a clever mashup of styles.

This is the Michael Jackson I will remember, not the freak show version that eclipsed the complicated man and his brilliant music. RIP MJ.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on Michael Jackson”

  1. Aisha Says:

    I know, Chris. I remember the dance competitions my cousins and I would have…each of taking a different song from the Thriller album.
    I had a poster of him in my bedroom when I was young.
    I hated the freakshow he had become, but he was a part of my childhood. The entire world is going to mourn not just his death, but who he had been in his prime. RIP, MJ.

  2. Marilyn K Says:

    I totally agree…loved his music and he was a lovely man who only tried to do good.

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