Sunday, 28 June 2009

A sad tale

Chairman Bill writes that although he liked Michael Jackson's music none of his songs have any great meaning for him in relation to events in his life. I cannot say the same. Michael Jackson was the same age as me and so when he was singing 'Ben' and 'Got to be There' I was a teenager like him. I can remember calling down the stairs at the youth club disco for my friend to come back upstairs as they were playing our favourite Michael Jackson song. Over the years I have continued to listen to his music although have had some ambivalence about his reported lifestyle.

I will always remember where I was when I heard he had died (in bed and just about to drop off to sleep when Radio 4 news reported that it was believed that he had died) just as we can all remember where we were when Diana died and when we we heard about the 9/11 terrorist attack. (Psychologists call this flashbulb memory).

I have heard many opinions about him and his music over the last few days but this sums up my view. The whole situation was very tragic. Even as a young boy his talent was obvious but he was brought up in an abusive home and it seems never had a childhood himself. He then spent the rest of his life making amazing music but also trying to recreate the childhood he never had and getting himself into trouble as he went. After all, two boys sharing a bed together is fine when they are both children but when one is a child and one is a man with the psychology of a child then this becomes something else. He likened himself to Peter Pan, who never grew up. Although you can hide your age when you are 25, 30 and maybe for some at 40, I know for a fact that at 50 whatever you do, it shows! So, whether he died of natural causes, addiction to painkillers or some other more sinister hand, I don't know, but I would guess that he would never have coped with being a child in an old man's body.

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