I was in the car on the way to the library. I flipped radio stations and The Mix was playing Billie Jean.
Weird, but cool. So there I am with the windows down and the sun roof open in the 95 degree heat and all summertime happy playing Billie Jean in the car.
Of course, you know by now what happened next. The song ended and Brian the Whipping Boy informed me that Michael Jackson was dead.
Of course, Jackson had gotten so weird and I hadn’t listened to his music in so long. I remember buying the HIStory cds in college. I played them once and didn’t look at them again until I went on my digital storage binge a few months back.
So I parked across the street from the library and headed into the building. There was a Jeep stopped at the light. Windows down, roof open, blaring Beat It.
I had a little moment. Maybe it was just the Gen X time warp back to 1983 when MTV was MTV.
My dad asked me not long ago whether I thought Michael Jackson was a child molester. My answer was something like, “I believe that he believes he is innocent. But clearly, something is not right.”
I think of that now because before I start reading all of the Internet gossip (I admit, when I heard that he was in L.A. at the time, my first thought was a botched plastic surgery), I would like to say that I hope when the drama is over we will all just remember that the music was good, the videos were great and that Michael Jackson was once a very talented young man.
And this is how I would like to remember him (of the things online that will still embed):