The Michael Jackson influence

So there is the overkill of news reporting on this case at a time when there is a growing crisis in/with Iran and the possibility of the Senate approving steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Thats not say the death wasn’t saddening, or that I hadn’t experienced the phenomenon. It did make me think about how he seems like part of my musical background, even though I can’t to any creation and say, yeah this has got the Michael Jacskon Spirit.

I vividly recall as a pre-teen going around my friends house who lived ten houses down from me and planting myself in his living room as he’d managed to video tape Thriller off a Saturday morning kids show, and we watched it incessently. We moved to India shortly afterwards for a few years and Thriller was one of the few albums we had in English, so I listened to it a hell of a lot. As a child it all seemed great apart from the naff ‘Girl Is Mine’ duet with Paul McCartney, that I really tried to like but couldn’t. And I mean I really did want to like it because the rest of the album was so great, but that song was so terrible.

Bad as an album kind of passed me by – I was too busy getting into heavy metal at the time. One fun event was at St Margarets Bus Station in Leicester where our coach for the Donnington Monsters of Rock Festival was in the bay next to the coach for an MJ concert in Manchester, with friendly taunts being hurled in either direction. Though I remember thnking they had better looking girls in their coach, as well as probably not having to worry if that person with long hair was a man or not. It also had some quite rocktastic numbers on that album – Dirty Diana being quite guitared up, but music following was a much more segregated business back then, so it remained a guilty secret hidden from my peers.

I did also have the idea of covering Smooth Criminal, but another band went and did that and made lots of money off it first. It was a worse version than the one I had in my head, but it taught me that I need to run with ideas when they happen, as otherwise you get overtaken. I still maybe don’t act enough on that principle though – from a Karmadillo perspective there’s loads of stuff to try and get out the door, but the whole process seems so slow at the moment.

It was the heavy metal link that made me pay attention to Dangerous as it had Slash from Guns’n’Roses playing on the title track. The rest of the album past me by though the Earth Song from the History – Past, Present And Future – Book I effort really stood out for me. Somewhere in there I think was also the duet with Janet Jackson that took me aback with quite how angsty the song was, as that was very much me at the time. But I never would acknowledge publicly that I thought it was great (I was still being panned by my rock peers for saying I liked Erasure), a fact I, like many others, am trying to rectify now. Don’t expect a similar retrospective and gushing of emotion when Phil Collins pops it though.

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