Sunday, 19 May 2024

CyberSoulMan: Remembering the King of Pop

T. Watts at the KPFZ microphone. Courtesy photo.



I was broadcasting on Internet radio when I received a text message that Michael Jackson had died. I thought it was a gag. Then I lost my Internet connection and my phones started ringing. It was true. On the heels of Farrah Fawcett this morning. Wow. My business day was effectively terminated at that point.

When my Internet connection returned, I noticed it was saturated with the agony and ecstasy of the Michael Jackson legend. I’m glad that I don’t have cable television. Aural stimulation is plenty for me.

As I write this I’m listening to the Jackson 5’s second album, “ABC,” and I’m getting a good visual of the young, exuberant MJ.

I’ve called several friends and colleagues to get their take on the phenomenon, Michael Jackson.

M says: “My earliest memory of Michael Jackson was him at about the age of 8 on television singing with his brothers. I just thought he was the cutest little something that could be. I had no idea he would develop into the icon he became. Even though I’m older than him, he made me feel younger than him as I grew up. I just adored him and when I heard it on television today, I just went down to the floor. What I’m having a problem with is how the media can’t separate what he allegedly did in his personal life from his sheer artistic genius. We are all human and subject to error … I’ve been meaning to purchase the 25th anniversary edition of “Thriller” and “We Are The World.” I called Barnes and Noble almost immediately and they were already sold out. I had to order them …”

A says: “It’s a devastating thing to lose two icons in one day. Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. I was in the military during the Vietnam War era when Michael Jackson came out with “ABC.” We marked time with him. It’s like when you’re a child and your parents mark the door frame or the wall to indicate how tall you were. Then to know that he had a painful childhood and the ridicule he endured as an adult because he was different, not perfect enough for some people. His music, though, moved the spirit of people. I don’t care what you say about him, he had a global effect on people. Tonight, a whole ocean of tears will fall. People were married and made love on Michael Jackson music, babies were conceived …”

R says: “The comparison to Presley is almost frightening. When you go that far you have no where else to go. Celine Dion says it the best. She says how you continue to try to beat yourself? You have no one else to out do so you try to out do yourself. Once you reach that pinnacle of success you have to learn how to coast through it. Celine went to Las Vegas and relaxed. Hendrix and others blasted themselves right out of here. Michael’s exit was slower. They are saying he was pretty sick. They also just reported that his will stipulates the Beatles catalog goes back to Paul. That he regretted losing Paul’s friendship.”

And so the saturation continues. CNN reported on the story well into the night. Well, into the ocean of tears that A refers to above.

Me? I agree with Michael’s intonation at the beginning of “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”:

You know I was, I was wonderin’, you know, if we could keep on

because, the force has got a lot of power and

it make me feel like

it make me feel like … Oooh.”

I believe the King of Pop has returned to the force from whence he sprang.

Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts.


Upcoming cool events:

Bill Noteman & The Rockets play the Lakeport Summer Concerts at Library Park, 200 Park St., on Friday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m.

The Neville Brothers, Jeffrey Osborne, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Eric Bibb, Elvin Bishop, Denise Lasalle and more at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival from Friday, June 26, through Sunday, June 28, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey, CA. Telephone, 831-394-2652 or online .

Smokey Robinson in concert, 7:15 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa, 8727 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville. Telephone, 800-660-LAKE, or online at .

The Four Tops in Concert, 9 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Cache Creek Casino Resort, 14455 Highway 16, Brooks. Telephone, 888-77-CACHE, or online at .

T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. Visit his Web site at .

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