I was a fan of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 back in the 1960’s when I first heard “Want You Back” on the AM radio. I grew up, watching the boys grow up. From their Saturday morning cartoon show, to their television specials I caught them whenever I could. I even had their Christmas album and play it every Christmas. I caught of glimpse of Michael’s charismatic power when I sat a few rows behind him at a Diana Ross concert. Diana was passing the microphone around the celebrites in the front rows. Muhammad Ali sang a few verses of her signature tune “Reach Out and Touch Somebody New.” When Diana passed the microphone to Michael (this was 1981 prior to his “Off The Wall” Album) he kind of stood up slowly in a swoon, rotating his shoulders. I felt an electricity pass throughout the auditorium. He sang just a few words, “Reach out and touch, somebody’s hand, make this world a better place, if you can…” Diana had to yank the mike out of his hands, because in one verse he had taken over the show and stunned everyone with his intensity of spirit. He made the great super-star diva, Diana Ross, look like one of the other Supremes with his power. I turned to my wife and said, “Wow, did you feel that?”
With the release of “Off The Wall” and then his “Thriller” LP’s he was launched into outer space. I took my whole family to see him in Concert in 1985, and then to see the Jackson’s Victory Tour in 1987. Each music video, and each new release was meteoric. I still recall his half-time show at the Superbowl. It has never been topped in my opinion.
Now with Michael’s passing I have a few things to say. This was destiny. Michael was not meant to be over 50 years-old. He IS Peter Pan. He was the spirit and mind of a child, locked in at 9 years-of-age. That time before purberty, that time before maturity. All of his success and all of his failures and mistakes in his life came from the result of giving a 9 year-old millions and millions of dollars. From the creation of Neverland Ranch, to his collection of wild animals, to his zany costumes, and spending sprees at Toys R Us, he lived as a child with adult powers and capabilities. No one can really understand what that was like. To be a child with immense power and influence. It ended up ending his life. When you are a big kid, who can get whatever you want, whether it is good for you or not, this is how it had to end.
I will miss him, but I am not sad he died. It was destiny. He is more alive in his music than most people are in their bodies. Michael is alive, and playing on and on and on. He is a child forever in our minds. He has achieved it, eternal youth. We won’t have memories of an old, and aged Michael. We will always remember him in his prime. It was said that he confided in someone that he didn’t want to go, like his friend Marlon Brando. He wanted to go like his ex-Father-in-Law, Elvis Presley. He did. Now California has its own Grace-Land, and it’s own “King.” When they start doing tours of Neverland Ranch, I’ll be one of the first to buy tickets. He is forever, the “King of Pop.”