Michael Jackson turns fifth (50) years old today and what this means is that if you were renting the Thiller video in Betamax when it came out, or you remember when Michael’s hair was burned off while making that Pepsi commercial, then you are at roughly the age of consent for reading this blog. Congratulations!
I once purchased a silver, glittery glove from the sale bin at a local Fred Meyer, and by purchased it, I mean I tried it on and begged my mother to get it for me and she said no, repeatedly, and then made me wait in the car while she finished her shopping. I never could do the moonwalk. I didn’t own a red leather zipper jacket. I was never really a Michael Jackson fan when it was entirely appropriate to be one: before the surgeries, his friendship with Macaulay Culkin and all that crazy. In fact, I think that one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs was You Are Not Alone, the one where he thinks it’s hot to bare his pasty bag of bones chest while Lisa Marie Presley pretends to laugh at his jokes.
When I was working at a music store many years ago, Michael Jackson came in one afternoon prior to a concert he was performing. He entered wearing jeans, white tennis shoes, a t-shirt and a black leather fanny pack and was followed by a long-haired gentleman. They walked right over to his CD’s and rifled through them, whispering quietly as they flipped through the stack. I pushed a disk into the overhead player and faded in to one of his songs. He stopped, looked up and laughed sarcastically, “Ha ha, very funny!” Then he picked out the new Spice Girls album and came to the register. As my friend was ringing him up, I noticed he was balding in the back and, in fact, he wasn’t actually Michael Jackson, he was John Tesh.