Friday, June 26, 2009

Death of a Legend

It was one of those "where were you when you heard the news that" moments*. News of the death of Michael Jackson was shocking, but in some ways, when you think about it, he was almost destined to die an unexpected death. In some many way, Michael Jackson was the Elvis de nos jours - a fantastic talent that had gone totally off the rails. Like Elvis, you just had to look at him and you knew that something wasn't quite right.

But forget all his personal oddities, Michael Jackson wrote and performed some of the best pop hits of the last thirty years, and it is for those we should remember him with respect and affection. Thriller and Bad were undoubtedly two of the top albums of the 1980s, if not all time. 'Beat it' and 'Billie Jean' and 'Thriller' itself were three of the songs which personified the music of that decade, and in the early years of the pop video, brought a new sense of innovation to the genre. But it was Jackson's talents as a dancer, as well as a singer which conferred legendary status on the two albums.

Jackson's music will live on for decades, and rightly so.

* I was at the entrance of the Bushhill Golf Club in Enfield, having just addressed 70 members of Enfield Southgate Conservatives. And a very nice bunch of people they were too. Where were you when you heard the news of Jackson's death?

110 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weirdest thing last night. This Week announces Jacko's death - then along comes their first guest, General Sir Mike Jackson.

Very Twilight Zone

Anonymous said...

Talkin of Enfield Southgate, have you seen who has resurfaced in a constituency where they prob weigh rather than count the vote!

the face of 97!

www.twigg4westderby.com

Not a sheep said...

In bed when I heard and I still am.

curly15 said...

I was sitting in the pub wondering how our council meeting was ended in just fifteen minutes!

Nicholas Heneghan said...

Where were you when you heard the news of Jackson's death?

Dunno, can't remember.

Jack said...

10pm last night at home

Anonymous said...

I was hoping this would be a "Wacko Jacko" free zone. Come on Iain Jacko was a cast iron plonker!!!

Anonymous said...

I had just stepped out of the shower when SWMBO informed me of the news.

Rex said...

Jackson who?

Pollocks!

trevorsden said...

Oh come on - 'where were you when .... ' he was just a bankrupt pop star. Obsessions tell you all you need to know about obsessives.

Josh said...

I was trying to watch Question Time and my mum kept flicking the channel to my great annoyance.

We don't mourn the deaths of paedophiles in general, what is so special about this plastic faced, hook nosed freak?

Shall we mourn when Ian Huntley dies because of his remarkable resilience to excessive dosages of paracetamol?

Anonymous said...

It must be a sad day for the members of NAMBLA, who just lost their figurehead.

jailhouselawyer said...

Sat in my lounge getting stoned and drunk listening to Viking FM with the telly on mute.

The come back tour will still go ahead, but not a live performance...

The Boiling Frog said...

I agree with you Iain regarding your comments about the music bit, but to dismiss other aspects of Michael Jackson's life as 'personal oddities' is flippant at best.

Black Flag said...

"Where were you when you heard the death of Gary Glitter?"

The difference being about $20m in payoffs... and Gary Glitter not being dead yet.

Anonymous said...

Since when do we celebrate the lives of child molesters ?

Next you will be telling us how great Gary Glitter was.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Who did he play for? I am not a West Ham follower.

On a serious note, since we are discussing someone who has died, I must say that broccoli has had more impact on my life than Michael Jackson.

I like broccoli, which has never been accused of pedophilia.

Dimoto said...

RIP Michael Jackson.
Strange that he now has so many friends crawling out of the woodwork, when, a couple of years ago, only good old Liz Taylor was prepared to stand by him. Ways of the world ...

Isn't the main political news of the day, Brown/Balls' latest version of "triangulation", where they thieve a Tory policy and mess it up so badly that it loses credibility ?
I speak of course, of the latest wheeze of this dying lame-duck regime, to: "hand back power to head teachers and decentralise education".
Balls doesn't get enough press.
He is expensively educated, has never worked for his living, and is the main architect of New Labour's disastrous economic nostrums (Brown being economically illiterate). He is a walking (waddling ?) disaster of a vindictive, talentless, devious, nonentity, at the 'heart of government' (maybe that should be 'at the bowels of government').

People do odd things at odd times said...

At 6:30 AM this morning using the highly compressed Radio 1 sound feed to set up a semi-pro reel-to-reel tape recorder. Thinking about it rather appropriate, 1970s/80s technology of Jacko's era of a similar quality to the sort that recorded his hits...

Michael Jackson said...

I was in an intensive care unit in a Los Angeles hospital.

JBW said...

Good day for GB to release some bad news...

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Is it true that Jonah Brown said last week that he was looking forward to seeing MJ in concert at the O2 arena?

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I have done my own 'tribute' at my place...

http://tinyurl.com/nkjla9

RW said...

Give us a break, Iain, for God's sake. The tellywelly is wall to wall Jackson the Man, the Miracle, the Messiah, etc ad infinitum. There are already devotees claiming that He's not really dead, He's still alive in another dimension and will care for us all forever. Many American commenters sound completely demented.

Seems he might have died from an injection of Demerol, a morphine related painkiller known to carry a risk of cardiac arrest.

Death of a Legendary Weirdo.

Anonymous said...

FOR SALE

CHIMPANZEE


apply Neverland Enterprises

Anonymous said...

Has Brown contacted Jackson recently? hmmmmm

Squiffy said...

I was hosting a (Christmas) dinner party for friends. We can't spend time together over Christmas so we thought we'd have all the trimmings etc on 25th June (Xmas + 0.5).

Turned on the laptop to checkon some forthcoming holiday details to find Jacko's death. Pretty sad as he did some great music in the early years.

DefendingMichael from haters said...

I'm annoyed at some of the preceding comments.

Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer ever - better, more talented and greater than the Beatles or even Elvis. He was no child molester - maybe stupid but no more.
Show him and his talent some respect and stop hating - what have some of you achieved in your lives?????

Jim Baxter said...

It first hit me that something realy big had happened when I saw Mrs Wislon, our P1 teacher, in tears. Oh, That was JFK. Try again.

I saw it on our grainy Sobell 19" black and white TV. The televison had a crap channel chaneger made of gold plastic that was always breaking. It was on the BBC news with Robert Dougall. I'm pretty sure it was Robert Dougall. Oh, that was the Soviet tanks rolling into Prague.

I was wlking donw Queensferry St in Edinburgh. I'd just got off the train from Aberdeen so my guess it was a Friday. It was cludy, I'm sure of that. There it was on the newstand oursdie a shop. 'Reagan Survives Assassins's Bullet'.

It was a blue afternoon in Glasgow. I was on the green sofa. I had the day off work. I was watching 'Armageddon' on VHS and thought, 'I can't watch this rubbish'. I turned over to the broadcast channels to see the smoke billowing from the North Tower.

Sorry, remind me, what was the question?

Steve said...

The demise of a talentless media creation with a penchant for little boys should be, if anything, a cause for celebration. No doubt that is the line that you will adopt when you regain a sense of proportion.

Mark Reckons said...

I was doing my BBC Question Time Live Chat on my blog when at 10:50pm the following post appeared on the chat:

Mathew Hulbert: Michael Jackson has died. Not joking.

From then on it was a frantic Twitter and web trawl trying to find out if was true. It was officially confirmed a bit after midnight.

The rather mixed feelings it threw up on the chat are recorded for posterity up there (on the "replay" facility) as they happened.

RIP.

Jules said...

I hope we don't now have to suffer a Diana-esque outpouring of faux grief by people who never knew the man/entertainer/freak (delete as appropriate).

However: Jackson 5, two immortal solo albums co-piloted by Quincy Jones, followed by 25 years of exploitation, squandered talent, rubbish output, sexual deviancy, bankruptcy and likely insanity. Shame.

This has suicide overdose stamped all over it. If you bought a ticket for the O2, frame it and keep it. Unique piece of rock n roll morbidia.

Unsworth said...

Breakfast. Quite put me off my kedgeree - and the devilled kidneys were completely unpalatable. Had to resort to Finnan Haddie. Felt so much better after the second bottle was opened.

I understand Brown has telephoned the White House to offer his condolences on the sad departure to Obama. The President will, naturally, have been delighted to receive this (very) early morning call from his good friend Gordon.

Innocent until.. oh, what the hell, idiots don't care and will rue the day they decided not to think said...

Argh! Please, please stop this story creeping all over everything. I'm staying at home from now until Monday evening, at least, and not watching any news whatsoever. One quick trip to the offie and I'm all set for a weekend of ignoring this twaddle, listening to anything but tedious pop. I can honestly say that I felt not a flutter of any kind when I heard the news, above and beyond the normal "oh, something happened on the news" feelings.

Having said that, I don't think he was convicted of any sexual offenses, was he? No, I thought not. And it seems that all the people who come on here moaning about Labour's "presumed guilt" laws and the intrusion of the state are too damned stupid to realise that these laws were enacted in precisely because Labour knew that ignorant finger-pointing cretins are in the majority: they knew their marks alright. Utter, utter idiots and fools who in fact assist creeping totalitarianism. Yes, all of you on here with your "one less nonce" shtick. Fools. Evry last one of you.

Richard Abbot said...

Chamoon mofo. Heeeeheeeee.
(Bo Selecta)

Anonymous said...

For Heaven's sake! There has been nothing else on TV or radio news all morning. This affects me how?

Anonymous said...

'oddities' - if he'd paid off a potential witness in a criminal trial here in the UK he'd have done serious time for perverting the course of justice.

And it's more than odd if an adult invites a child for a sleepover - whatever may or may not have happened in the bedroom.

Personally I need to have some time get through the revulsion before appreciating the genius. Maybe if anyone is still singing his songs in 30 years or so.

Rush-is-Right said...

Michael Jackson died on 30 August 2007.

Link.

Newmania said...

You should never wake up a woman unless

A Celebrity has died
or
B Its snowing

If he had died while it was snowing you could probably have got away with waking her up a quick shag and no tea. Not today , I tried .

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim Baxter, the voice of sanity.

Newmania said...

Did anyone notice how like a scooby doo villain he became , ending his days wandering around a fairground in a mask.

and he`d have got away with it if.......

DominicJ said...

Being a kiddie fidler is not "personal oddities".

As for found out, when my phones txt not answered alert finaly angered me enough to roll over and check it at 6am to txt's of "he's dead, I cant believe it", I was curious how my girlfriend new one of hamsters had snuffed it during the night.

Luckily, she replied "No Michael Jackson" and my dead hamster bit me and angrily ran off.

I dont know why it was sleeping on its back with its legs stiffly pointed in the air.

Kiki said...

he probably heard how much tax he was going to have to pay after his 02 concerts.

Glyn H said...

All that occurred to me over the demise of this piece of musical detritus was ‘ what did he mean by that’? Was it overindulgence in narcotics or skin whitening cream, again, or was he in a dead funk over yet again trying to rescue his ‘career’. What are the insurance aspects over his on/off forthcoming ‘tour’?

Thats News said...

I was on a bulletin board based in the States. At first they could not believe it, but then confirmation came through. And I went back to updating my news blogs.

Paul Burgin said...

Had just watched the dark comedy Psychoville on BBC2, and was flicking channels when I caught the news report that he was in hospital having had a massive heart attack and that there were rumours that he had died.

neil craig said...

Before his trial I said that I did not believe he was a "kiddie fiddler" & indeed no real evidence of such emerged. All we saw was greedy parents attempting to extort money from a public figure on the assumption that it would be easier for him to pay than to defend.

I believe Jackson was a true innocent, which is why he liked children. He clearly did have other problems about his own self image, not helped by having to live his life on public view, but it says nothing good about our society that it has no place for such innocence.

Sven The Hen said...

... was watching Newsnight... some minor stuff about Iran or something

Anonymous said...

Apparently they are not burying him - just standing him up in Madame Tussauds...

Barnsley Bill said...

Surfing at Matauri Bay, Northland New Zealand.
Well, sitting in the 4wd shivering wondering why we had thought it was a good idea to go surfing the night before.

Anonymous said...

Get back to what you're good at Iain.

He made a couple of good albums and then went freaky.

I have a small amount of pity for him thru his upbringing. I feel glad that his kids dont have to put up with blankets over their heads or being held out of a window any more.

Let's look at what the government are announving to day and not get carried away with schmalzy celeb bullshit.

never knew him, he's dead, get on with it.

canvas said...

Michael Jackson had great talent. He lived a weird life but he was a brilliant artist - who lost his way. RIP.

Barnsley Bill said...

Jules, you summed it up quite well.
We are in for another period of sustained public mournsturbation.
Personally I am saddened at the death of Farrah Fawcett. I am of an age where THAT poster took pride of place on my bedroom wall growing up in Baldock.
It is still a matter of wonderment to me that I failed to pull my guts right out.

chuffer said...

Eh? I thought Rod Temperton (ex Heatwave) wrote most of Thriller.

Keep well away from the cramation, what with all that glue.

Anonymous said...

Thought it was amusing on Andrew Neil's programme last night that his first guest was General Mick Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Forget all his personal oddities!?!?That must rank as one of the most bizarre blog statements of all time!

sockpuppet said...

I have never seen such a juxtaposition of media frenzy combined with and a public response of "meh".

If he'd died in the 80s, yes. If in the 90s, probably yes. Now? Meh.

thebluelawnmower said...

Sadly Farrah Fawcett passed away yesterday after losing a long battle with cancer. Sadly this has largely been ignored by the media

Patrick said...

Five live.

A legend. But he has not done anything good since 1991.

Jabba the Cat said...

"It was one of those "where were you when you heard the news that" moments."

Wtf?

Lexander said...

This subject has provoked some of the best comments in recent months. Well done all you clever buggers. I particularly liked the comment from Jackson in intensive care. Pure genius!

Dave said...

Good dancer. Good singer. end.

the genius was/is Quincy Jones

jailhouselawyer said...

McCanns saddened by death of Michael Jackson

Anonymous said...

Funny how so many people here are complaining about all of the coverage. If so then why are you spending your time reading blog posts about it and then actually commenting on them???
If you aren't interested in MJ then don't read this post and read something else.
Iain has every right to pay hommage to a truly great entertainer the likes of which we have not seen before and will probably never see again.
He was a legend.
RIP MJ.

Philipa said...

Anyone's death is a sad event.

I can't say I'm in agreement with this idolotry though. He wasn't a 'musical genius' as some MSM are depicting him. Let's consider musical talent. If you say Mozart was a musical genius then when you get to Micheal Jackson, who looked such a sweet little boy and had such a great voice as a child, as others have, you kind of run out of superlatives and settle on 'great child pop singer, catchy tunes, really weird adult'.

There are people around who have never heard of 'Thriller' you know. But they've heard of Mozart.

Philipa said...

Catching up on comments I think Newmanias takes the prize: June 26, 2009 11:28 AM

PS: try a slow shag and then coffee. Always works for me.

John M Ward said...

Where was I?

I had just returned home from an evening with the excellent Julian Brazier MP, turned on the telly to find out the news and weather, and there it was.

Little Red Riding Hood said...

"Next you will be telling us how great Gary Glitter was."

Funnily enough, I overheard Guido saying exactly that the other day...

Anonymous said...

LRRH

The 'Guido's a kiddie-fiddler' meme is neither big nor clever. Give it a rest. Same goes to all the others trying to spread it over the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

There's a wicked skit on the Daily Mash website.

ramp said...

the genius was/is Quincy Jones

June 26, 2009 1:07 PM

he's shit as well.

neil craig said...

Just had Uri eller on the radio as his "friend". Now he is a self publicising shit.

As for Farah - maybe I'm biased cos she was a bit skinny & her hair a bit plastic for me but I don't think she really counts as a major talent.

Anonymous said...

Hate to be the one to point this out: I read the Guardian and thought 'typical, death of an icon brings out the sourness of socialists'. Sad to see that the comments here or even sourer.

Expat said...

He was a great entertainer and a real odd ball - but it is not a "where were you moment". I know that circulation equals advertising revenue, but lets not get tabloid. Do you think that you will ask this question in 6 months?

Eye Roller said...

If the people behind some of the comments on here are supporters of the Conservative Party then I'm ashamed to say the 'nasty party' moniker still applies.

Jackson's record sales and worldwide support speaks for itself. He clearly had many issues in his life - not least the abuse he received as a child - which clearly affected him into adulthood. He has not been found guilty of molestation charges or otherwise. So he was a bit weird but then geniuses usually are.

A lot of people around the world are in mourning today. Show some respect.

Richard B said...

To all of you slating MJ as a child molester - fuck off. Point me to anything other than MSM innuendo and parents of kids trying to make money. MJ was a gentle soul, cursed with a peter pan syndrome as a result of his own failed childhood. That you can all make such personal vindictive comments shows that you are all (and many of you post anonymously) internet cracker barrel philosopher arseholes.

MJ was a good song writer and a good dancer. He was an eccentric individual, no more. He was not so great that we need to "Lady Di" the situation, but he was a great deal more talented than any of you fuckwitts posting garbage about him.

ramp said...

A lot of people around the world are in mourning today. Show some respect.

June 26, 2009 3:05 PM

get stuffed.

Anonymous said...

Jackson's been dead for years - you didn't think that ghastly, animatronic wax effigy was real did you?

neil craig said...

Well said Richard. I suspect some of the scum who made "kiddie fiddler" remarks would object if somebody posted such allegations against them though the evidence against each of them is greater than against Jackson. Much greater.

Anonymous said...

and another thing: his death stopped the internet - google, twitter, newspaper websites went into siege mode. Think of that! For clubkids and ex-clubkids in LA, NY & throughout Europe, this is a Diana moment.

anon@2:33

Expat said...

Richard B 3:08 pm

Jackson was at least as relevant as "Lady Di" - indeed I am not sure what her relevance actually was.

However, neither of them were that important in the run of things. Diana's life and death was similar to Eva Peron in many ways (except Diana started to sleep around once she had made it rather than to make it) - however, there is not make a smash musical or film about Diana.

Terry said...

I've never been a participant of mournfests but jacko was always good for a laugh.
I hear McDonalds are doing a burger in honour of him. Apparently it's a fifty-year-old piece of meat between two ten-year-old buns.

Shamik said...

A great, great man. Heard a report he'd been taken to hospital on FiveLive about half ten, on Newsnight they said he'd been rushed to hospital, that was about 10:50, switched over to News 24 and almost had a heart attack myself! They showed a screengrab of some US Entertainment website - tmz.com - which proclaimed "World Exclusive: Michael Jackson is dead".

A shor time later the LA Times said he was in a coma, then about 11:15 I think the confirmation came. Spent half the night flicking between News 24, Sky News and CNN, then fell asleep listening to 5live.

This is my tribute; rest in peace Michael.

Anonymous said...

don't forget he was a kiddy fidler

neil craig said...

And don't forget the lying scum like 4:06 won't give their names.

A society that has no room for innocents is very sick as such scum prove.

Henry Mayhew said...

In Ronnie Scott's listening to Natalie Williams sing. She started her set with: 'Michael Jackson is dead'.

Philipa said...

Shamik, June 26, 2009 4:00 PM, says Micheal Jackson was "A great, great man".

Please, define 'a great man'.

What does one have to do to earn that accolade? And is this a judgement of character or record sales?

I assume it's character as MJ is not in the top 20 of best selling singles of all time and before his death his thriller album did not sell as many as The Eagles Greatest Hits album, so I believe.

So, did you meet him then? What was so great about him? Please do share this rare insight.

Shamik said...

Funny how all the haters are anonymous, hide behind pseudonyms or block access to their profiles...

What a bunch of pathetic, nasty little nobodies.

Cowards.

frankie said...

I think it's sad when anyone relatively young dies. Love him or be entirely indifferent to him, he was a unique talent, of that there is no doubt. And I for one felt very sorry for him when he was alive, as he was clearly f***ed up, I mean you wouldn't do that to your face if you weren't!

David Lindsay said...

The word verification is "popsilly".

Was it bad of me to laugh uproariously when, last night of all nights, Andrew Neil interviewed General Sir Mike Jackson? Was it? Was it really?

Twenty minutes into The World At One, and they were still talking about Michael Jackson. They had even played Blame It On The Boogie! On Radio Four! On the news!

Much comment about how odd he was. But in fact his two divorces, for example, were quite typical of his generation. And there is nothing unusual about a man of 50’s death from a heart attack because he insisted on attempting to keep up the workload of a man of 30 or younger.

Still, I hope that it will all have quietened down by next Thursday. Question Time is to feature Jarvis Cocker…

Noelinho said...

I was just coming back from Sheffield Speedway, having just seen the Tigers beat Scunthorpe...

Anonymous said...

Health and safety banned the cremation due to the risk of chemical explosion.

jamestheless said...

Only posting because the word verification is "wastest"...

A talented performer, certainly, but not really exceptional in my book. Perhaps, like Diana, the real reason for his popularity is his narcissism, the personality defect of our age. Though he took it much further than she did.

I haven't really followed his life story, but I get the impression he was at heart a deeply unhappy man who never managed to come to terms with either the legacy of his childhood or the demands of adult life.

It's always tragic to see someone die young, but I have to admit I had a strange feeling of inevitability when I saw the news.

May he rest in peace!

Anonymous said...

Walking through the Inca Market in Lima, Peru looking for a rug when I had to go through a crowd gathered around a tv - it was CNN Espanol reporting his death.

James said...

I am incandescent. This evening, Westcountry ITV News, a local station, spent over 15 minutes on the death of this pathetic celebrity. It then spent only three minutes to record the repatriation of the body of a gallant Major killed in Afghanistan. Moreover, the Prime Minister, and unbelievably David Cameron, have published their condolences to the Jackson clan. All that is left is for this to be mentioned in Parliament next week for me to give up. Stop it!

disillusioned Dale blog reader said...

Who is this Michael Jackson fellow? Was he a dancer or something?

Anonymous said...

@Shamlik

Cowards? Just prudent. Too many spiteful rat-minded cretins out there who want to know too much about you so that they can stalk you when you rubbish the famous fantasy friinds that they live their sad lives through.

Obama BLeach said...

Lets not forget Jacko was a PAEDO. He bought his way outta trouble by bribes.

RIP Farrah Fawcett

Gary Glitter said...

I am available for bookings...
Especially O2 venues...

Philipa said...

Shamik - it seems you have nothing much to share but abuse. And you admire Micheal Jackson, obviously.

Iain Dale's Ravaged Anus said...

Iain and Wacko Jacko share a common bond: they're both chemically imbalanced nonces.. although at least Jacko's was brought on by child abuse

Houdini said...

But forget all his personal oddities,

No, let's not, the same as we shouldn't forget Paul Gadds.

Unless you suggest we should?

liz said...

On the way back from a BB King concert.... 83 and still amazing.

Anonymous said...

I was at a house in LA giving an ageing pop star his daily dose of Pethidine.

King Athelstan said...

Funny really, I seem to remember Jackson being aquitted of all charges. Possibly because the entire prosecution case was a series of increasingly outlandish and uncorroborated allegations, some from people with an axe togrind who suddenly "remembered things". I,m no fan of his but the case was a joke.

Philipa said...

Steyn has the full story:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/2196/28/

Tub said...

Who is this Michael Jackson fellow? Has he found a cure for cancer or resolved the world's economic crisis or something?

Anonymous said...

Only in America Can a poor black boy die a rich white woman! RIP Mike!

neil craig said...

No Tub you are right he hasn't (nor has anybody else) but I think he has done orders of magnitude more than Diana.

The Jackson Four said...

I bet his Chimpanzee breathed a huge sigh of relief.