Today I’m doing something really, really rare. I’m giving my usual punk post away to a non-punk artist. It’s June 25th, just one year ago today, in a few hours the world changed forever when the King of Pop Michael Jackson suddenly passed away. I still remember the day, and I’ll probably remember it forever. It’s gonna be the “big event” in my life, much like JFK’s death to the older folks. I was watching CNN when the breaking news reports came in that Michael Jackson was being taken to the hospital with a heart attack, they said. So of course I turn to the internet to see what’s going on and at some websites I already see people posting topics “RIP MJ”. No fucking way!!! Turns out the source is TMZ, so of course I remember what a crock they usually are. Sure enough a bit later after an hour or so of inconclusive reports it becomes official: Michael Jackson is dead. Wow. One of the biggest names consistently in the news over the past 30 years or so is gone. And after all that, the speculation and investigation begins. Questioning the doctor, more news about his upcoming return to performing, that video shot a few days earlier where he’s so healthy and active looking. Those next few weeks up to the funeral were like the most TV I’ve watched in awhile. I admit, I became a news junkie. I wanted to know the latest, even watching unlikely shows like Entertainment Tonight and Nancy Grace. Plus it was really nice that MTV decided to air MJ music videos for a few days over that weekend, so I sat up at night and in the day watching music videos, on TV. What a concept!!!!
And then I got to see a different Michael Jackson. Not the one who’s been in the media for the past few years. At least in my lifetime he’s always been the “weird” celebrity in the garbage rags at the supermarket checkouts or else constantly harassed and accused of child molestation. And despite the juries’ verdicts, the the court of public opinion pretty much decided he was guilty, thus becoming the subject of jokes, attacks and other nastiness. Which is sad considering what I saw after his death. Only thing of value Entertainment Tonight ever showed were some ‘home movies’ with Jackson and his kids when they were younger. No way, there’s no way that man did what those people accused him of. Which then made me angry how suddenly that bitch on Entertainment Tonight is acting like Michael Jackson is a saint, after they joined in attacking him just a few years back. Of course, because he’s just a little different and doesn’t live life how others want him to live it. Boy does that sound familiar.
Know what, I take back what I said earlier. I said I was giving this post to a non-punk artist. I was wrong, despite not having the typical attributes of a punk musician or band, in spirit I consider Michael Jackson to indeed be “punk”. First off musically, the man broke huge grounds in the area of popular music. Aside from the creative and different things he did to music(think the “Thriller” video) he also shattered race barriers with album sales and even MTV airplay. Also in the time not too long after the Civil Rights battle in the 1960s a Black man from America rose to the level of “King of ___”, kinda like Elvis. Plus much like the punk pioneers of the 70s (The Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols) and pop punk of the 90s and present time (Green Day, Rancid, The Offspring) Jackson changed music. Brought something new and made it loved by millions. And outside of music, Jackson could be called a “punk”, depending on your definition of the word. He was different, looked down on by some and took heat for being different. Plus he lived how he wanted to. He didn’t live the way others wanted to and didn’t let the haters put him down. We all like to talk about living with “no regrets” at some time or other, yet how many of us can really claim that? I mean, you can say you want to live in an amusement park and have a pet chimp. Well, MJ actually did it!! And really, what a goal to attain. Living your life the way you want, without letting others put you down.
Wow, I’m starting to make a post like hacksaw here, so Imma shut up now and get to the good part, the music part.