I sit here, a busy afternoon, masked by the lazy vibe of Goa. I find myself jumping from browsing one thing to the other, till I randomly reached an interview of Michael Jackson, where in his shy tone voiceover I watch a video of him meeting Princess Diana before a concert performance. The conversation was about the set list for the show at Wembley where she specifically asked if he was performing ‘Dirty Diana,’ and how he had removed it for the show out of respect for the Royal family attending the concert. His seemingly giddy voiceover elaborated that Lady D loved the song, and had looked forward to watching MJ perform it as part of his show that evening.
I know, it was a LONG explanation, but I love finding these nuggets. And then, I love that I can Google where my mind is going with that.
Have I heard it?
Which album was it?
What year was that album released?
How old was I?
Which songs of this album am I familiar with?
And down that space, I go typing away…getting all the answers.
Yes, I had heard it. Though I didn’t realise it was called ‘Dirty Diana’
It was from BAD
Released in August of 1987
I was 8 years old
I knew 9 songs (not bad)
And now, with BAD playing in the background, I’m inspired to write this post.
I generally do not have any regrets, everything is an experience. It is the reason I don’t shy away from watching LIVE events—music concerts, theatre, and sports. The experience of each is so unique and massively overwhelming to me. I feel SO special to have witnessed that moment, not only to add it to my life milestones, but be part of the timeline of the talent. Invested from the moment it comes onto my radar, till I am floating out of the venue on a cloud of excited mesmerisation, LIVE events are an adrenaline rush for me. And though it might be hot or cold, I might have travelled cities, been stuck in traffic, the lines may be long, and sometimes the audience may be rowdy, but my god, the LIVE event itself is never a let-down.
My love for Michael Jackson’s sheer talent, and the life he created for us, as an audience, is reignited thanks to my wandering on the Internet. I’m not going to spoil my appreciation for, what can only be understood as “God given”, talent by tabloid-ing this post.
The “awe” easily envelopes when listening to his music or watching his song videos, interviews or documentaries, or even watching him at the Grammy’s. I guess, if I were to give it perspective, I was part of the generation where our go-to icon was this ‘King of Pop’. The train had passed the era of the invention of the jazz, blues, rock n’ roll, to rock, going by the famed Armstrong, Holiday, Cole, Fitzgerald, Simone, Sinatra, Ray Charles, and the infamously interesting lives of Presley, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, transitioning to our time genres of new funk, pop, R&B boy bands, to rap, (and loads of ballads thrown in the mix). But Michael, starting young, was the marvellous MICHAEL!! He didn’t evolve a genre, he created POP.
As I move from listening to watching Michael’s NFL half-time performance (excuse me, I took that break, you should catch it as well. And, if you already did, what the heck, go watch it again!) there is one experience I regret not having. I had one opportunity back in 1996, and I didn’t really pay it its due. There were going to be many opportunities, thought the 16-year-old me. And then, just as he announced his last tour, we lost him.
Not only was this artist spectacular and legendary, anyone who had the good fortune to witness a MJ concert, has come out speechless in pure, thrilling, goose-bumpy A-W-E.
MJ is the ultimate timeless performer cause no matter how many times you listen to him or watch him dance, you react with an, “Ohmygod! HOW incredible was that?!?” Setting standards so high that after almost a 5-decade career, he still remains ‘KING’ and is still the biggest influencer to the best names in dance and choreography.
Thank you for the music MJ.
Thank you for the ahead-of-their-time music videos.
Thank you for the dancing. Oh, the dancing.
Thank you for spending your lifetime sharing your talent with the world.
Thank you for making us scream in excitement even today. Whenever your music blares out of a sound system– it automatically becomes a great time spent with friends.
Always grateful, MJ. Love and respect for the life you gave music.