Michael Jackson would have turned 53 today. Let’s concentrate on the good things–there’s enough bad stuff to keep everyone arguing for a long time. I have no doubt that fighting among fans who “know” it all will turn particularly vicious later this fall when books by Michael’s friend, Frank Cascio, and a muckracker named Randall Sullivan, are published. Also, Jermaine Jackson’s book is on its way.
And then there’s the much dreaded MJ tribute concert planned for Cardiff, Wales–a disaster in the making. Somewhere out there David Gest, who knows how to make a buck off all things Jackson, has his “documentary” that will also tell the “real story.” Let’s not forget that Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, continues to invent new money making schemes that just go pfft once they’re revealed.
We won’t even get into Drs. Murray and Klein.
What do Michael Jackson fans want to celebrate on this occasion? His extraordinary contribution to pop music culture and the canon of songs. From “Off the Wall” through the “Michael” album, as well as the Jackson 5 and Michael’s early solo stuff like “Got to Be There,” the legacy is enormous. There isn’t a club in the world that isn’t playing “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” every single hour of every day.
No matter who wrote, produced or directed a particular song, they are all Michael Jackson. His gorgeous voice is unmistakable, as his sense of rythym and pacing. No matter what you think of the “This Is It” movie, you can see what made Michael tick. Especially in the dancing, it’s all genius. And of course, in the end, that’s the tragedy.
So happy birthday Michael. Listening to the tracks from “Michael,” and hoping that London would have been a success, it does seem like so much more was possible.