Thursday, June 25, 2009
R.I.P.: Michael Jackson: (1958-2009)
First a ‘70s icon goes the way of all flesh, now an ‘80s icon takes a final bow. Michael Jackson has served as a human punchline for so long, it may be hard for some folks to remember what a sensationally exciting pop star (and music video innovator) he was in his heyday two decades ago. And that, frankly, is how I would prefer to remember him. Well, OK, I’d also like to remember some of the Jackson 5 stuff, too -- there was a time in my life, I'm not ashamed to admit, when "Never Can Say Goodbye" had the potent Pavlovian power to make me weep on cue -- along with his part in the “Brand New Day” number from The Wiz (smartly re-purposed as a Barack Obama anthem during the last election). And, yeah, there’s always…. “Ben.” The sweetest song ever inspired by a movie about a killer rat.