I hope this issue finds you well.
I guess it's possible you didn't know who Michael Jackson was, and you may not have heard that he died, so in case you were in outer space, Michael Jackson died 2 weeks ago.
It certainly was, and still is, a big news story, mainly due to the sudden turn of events, similar to when Elvis died.
I was 11 when Elvis pegged it, and can still remember the wall to wall coverage, the Jackon coverage just used different media, with the intermet at the forefront.
The Jackson story has lots of contradicitons on the goal achievement front, some quotes say that he had told 'close sources' he would never die like Elvis, and yet other quotes have 'close sources' saying he had told them he would die just like Elvis. As good an example as any to show that you couldn't believe everything you read.
Some things seem clear.
He started at a very young age, being pushed by his father to the point of abuse.
He develop any talent he had with pure hard work, and hour after hour of it, day after day, week after...you get the idea.
This action and hard work led to success, meteoric success in fact, and from that point on it could be argued that Jackon never touched based with reality again.
The Jackson 5 had great success, and then Michael teamed up with Quincy Jones to create Off The Wall and then Thriller.
Thriller is still the best selling album, and at that point he was on top of his game, with a string of massvie hits to his name, and the iconic moonwalk and image to hang onto.
A long break saw him return, and I remember my wife and I seeing him in London in the late 80s on the Bad Tour. To be honest I could have done without the crotch grabbing, yelps and hiccups, and the fake tears (that was just from my wife!).
It was a great spectacle of a show though, and then just as the 2009 London shows, he had a young rocking blonde on geetar,which always helps.
The press over here had got their teeth into him as a nutcase, and the allegations of impropriety with children changed his image permanently.
The plastic surgery and skin whitening had left him looking not normal to say the least, and it seems clear that his mental state was not normal either.
When his London comeback shows were announced, it was immediately gossiped that he could never cope with 50 gruelling shows.
2 weeks on from his death it seems that the drug cocktail in his body is still unkown, but there was almost certainly a lot of substances that he was taking.
So although the Michael Jackson story shows what can be acheived with lots of very hard work, it's also a salutory tale of caution, showing what can happen if you let things get out of hand.
The outpouring of grief has been a bit strange, people blubbing in the street. If you asked them to name one track from his last album they might be struggling, and I suspect the media is using his story as much in death as in his life to make sales.
I'd be hard pushed to name my fave Jackon track, he sure recorded some corkers - you can go from I Want You Back, to One Day In Your Life, through Beat It, on to Black Or White and Earth Song.
Ok, that's it for this week, I'm off to dig out some Jackons tracks that haven't been played ad nauseum for the last fortnight.
'Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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