Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Day My Music Died

It's been nearly a year since the unthinkable happened:  the King of Pop proved he was, in fact, a mere mortal.  It was the day my music died.

Say what you will about Michael Jackson; his quirks, his looks, his financial status.  But let's be honest; the man was an amazing entertainer and the undisputed King of Pop.  Michael Jackson completely transformed the music world, from bridging the gap between racism in music, to showing the world how a music video should be done.  There are few arenas of music that this man didn't touch during his lifetime, and I, for one, am still recovering from the shock and sadness of his passing.

I have been in the mobile DJ business for just over nine years, and I can literally count on two hands the number of events I have played music at that didn't have a Michael Jackson song in the lineup.  No matter what type of gathering I was at, his music transcended age, gender, and race.

It always amazes me to see how many junior high and high school age kids can sing along to every word of "Beat It;" how many wedding parties learn the entire "Thriller" dance and show it off during their wedding reception; and regardless of what they are doing, how many people stop and begin to cheer and attempt their version of the moonwalk when the opening beats of "Billie Jean" are heard through the sound system.  The man was a legend, and lucky for us his music will always live on.  My favorite MJ song?  "Wanna Be Startin' Something."  I will never hear it the same way again.

I ran into an older acquaintance of mine the day after Jackson died, and this gentleman said a few things that stuck with me.  "This is your generation's Elvis," he told me.  "You will never forget where you were when you heard the news.  I can still remember exactly where I was when Elvis died.  There are only a few moments like that in your lifetime."  And he is exactly right.  I will never forget my drive home from work that day as I listened to the news.  At first, like many others, I thought it was some kind of joke or prank, but once I realized how true the story was, I couldn't get my brain to believe it.  With an amazing world tour on the horizon, a tour that could have easily rebooted his career and reminded the world exactly why he was a megastar, Michael Jackson died of cardic arrest.  Unbelieveable.

My generation has truly lost its King.  It is a moment I will never forget.

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