Well, today came the announcement that Michael Jackson died. His album, Thriller, was number one the year I graduated high school, and if there were a soundtrack to my senior year, several songs from the album would be on it. My favorite songs were Billy Jean and Beat It. The videos to these two songs were the first ones on MTV that weren't boring to watch after the first couple of times. Since MTV was still fairly new and they stilled showed music videos, Michael's videos were shown a lot.
Here are some of my memories connected to Michael Jackson songs:
- I remember gathering at a friend's house for the video debut of the song Thriller. That was probably one of the coolest things I'd seen up to that point in my life, and the next day at school, everyone was talking about it. By today's standards, it's pretty tame, but back then, it was a bit scary, especially the part where he transforms into the werewolf.
- At the school dances, everyone tried to incorporate Michael Jackson's moves. I tried learning the moonwalk. In my mind, I remember being pretty successful at it, but I'm glad there is no video to prove me wrong. If I tried it today, Chloe would die of embarrassment. (I just can't wait till she has a teenager.)
- During my senior year, I was a teacher's assistant for the art teacher at a junior high nearby. I drove to the school in my 1965 Ford Mercury Comet, nicknamed the Big Blue Bomb. In the car, I played a mixtape a friend gave me. When Beat It came on, I would blast it and sing at the top of my lungs. However, I never could understand what Michael was singing, and we didn't have internet to look up the lyrics. It wasn't until many years later when I finally read the lyrics. I also totally didn't get the meaning of the song Billy Jean. I just couldn't figure out what he was singing--plus, I was very naive. I wish I could remember the lyrics I substituted for both these songs.
Michael Jackson was the Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, or Beatles of my generation. It's just interesting that I never actually purchased any of his music. Maybe to pay tribute, I'll download a couple songs from iTunes.