Goodbye Michael

7 years old and in pyjamas. My cousins, brothers and I were sitting on the floor at my Uncle’s home watching the 1984 Grammy Awards. Our eyes were glued to the TV as we saw Michael Jackson perform Billie Jean. His sequins glittered as his body gracefully pulsed to the music and moonwalked across the stage. Pure magic. I remember my brother watched the performance over and over again so he could learn how to moonwalk.

For those of you who are Gen Xers like I am, you may remember a time when Michael dominated the music charts. His songs became hits, one after the other. No one could perform and thrill like he could. His songs haunted your sub-conscious and his dancing electrified the stage. I read in an article that Michael still maintained a perfectionist ferocious work pace at 50 years of age as he rehearsed for his upcoming tour (S. James Snyder 29 Jun 2009). According to his vocal coach, Dorian Holley: "He'd take the stage with this group of dancers, all in their 20s, but you couldn't take your eyes off him ... Many of his songs have six or seven parts, and he would often come over if we were missing an important note in our mix, and he would sing through all the parts rapid-fire to show us what he wanted. We would just sit there with our jaws open - it was awesome," Holley says. "He could still do everything...”.

The press raised him up in the 80s but relentlessly tore him down in the 90s as he became fodder for the tabloids. A victim of his own fame. I watched as the seemingly never-ending love and adulation that he enjoyed quickly turned into humiliation and scorn. Now in death, they are only singing him praises. We are reminded of the fragility of life and how fickle-minded humans are. Michael Jackson was not perfect. A human being with flaws like the rest of us, and he paid a terrible price for his fame and success.

As for me, I will remember Michael Jackson as an extraordinary musician who gave us more than music. He gave us MAGIC. He made me excited about pop music when I was 7 years old. Thank you God for Michael Jackson.

Back to work

I’m back after a 5-week holiday and ready to get back into rehearsing, songwriting and all the other fun things. We will be auditioning two promising guitarists to fill in our gap in the band and will let you know how things turn out. Also eager to try out some new songs that we’ve written. Learning more about Michael Jackson’s work ethic reminds me that the road to success does not come easily. Even with all his amazing God-given gifts, he still worked tirelessly to perfect them.

Meanwhile, here’s a Youtube of his unforgettable Billie Jean performance:

Thanks for tuning in.