Does it seem possible that we are going on three months since Michael Jackson died? It kind of boggles my mind, as it seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were inundated with non-stop coverage of the circus surrounding his death, with all the fixins. It’s easy to forget that the buzz around MJ prior to his early demise was whether his London-based concert would even see the light of day, let alone be turned into a highly-anticipated theatrical release. But through all of the craziness and sadness, there are some key lessons that I’ve been able to identify.
– The circus rolls on, even after you die – This one takes on two meanings in the wake of June 25th, as not only did the media become all-MJ, all the time, but they even reported mysterious MJ sightings, trying to link Michael to Elvis and Tupac. Not only did they report on every crumb of detail they could find out about Jackson’s life, they even tried to find an heir to the throne, as it was briefly reported that Kanye West had already identified himself as the new King of Pop (quickly disproven, but still).
– What you won’t do, do for fame – Dad is pimping side businesses, associates are rushing to publish tell-alls, and other family members are rush-releasing five-year-old recordings (see LeToya) and “tributes” (see Jermaine). I suppose it’s not a knock on anyone, but some of it just comes off a bit desperate. Even alleged son Omer Bhatti, who rumors have apparently floated for years about him being Michael’s love child, surfaced for the memorial service and even sat in the front row with the rest of the family. Tribute tour with all of his offspring is sure to follow.
– Good music evolves with you – I have a lot of Michael Jackson music in my library, but I hadn’t gone out of my way to listen to it specifically for quite a while. The surfacing of “Rock With You” remixed by Freemasons did cause me to revisit a bit of “Off the Wall” about two years ago, including the epic Frankie Knuckles remix of “Rock”, but that was a short-lived theme. Michael’s been pretty prominently in the mix for the past few months, though. There are songs that I have rediscovered (“P.Y.T” was somehow missing from my collection), songs that I have new appreciation for (“Stranger In Moscow”, for one), and songs that I feel vindicated for loving the first time around, regardless of what everyone else thought (“Blood on the Dancefloor”). No matter how deep into the catalog I go, though (“Farewell My Summer Love”, anyone?), nothing can top the pure joy of Knuckles’s interpretation of “Rock With You”.