friday share v5 (michael jackson edition)

Friday, June 26, 2009

when i was a very young child i spent hours in my basement making haunted houses. i covered my pool table with blankets making a fort, created obstacles for my childhood friends to go around, recruited my cousins to hide in places to scare my little sister and had the perfect soundtrack, michael jackson's thriller.

i would have the kids that were going through the haunted house wait at the top of the basement stairs as i ran downstairs, turned on the record player to set the mood with vincent price's eerie prelude to the legendary michael jackson song. and i listened to that song over, and over and over again.

i remember thinking how hard it was to line up the record player needle on the vinyl just so perfectly that it started just where i wanted it to.

fast forward a few years - michael jackson had recently released his much anticipated follow up to thriller with
bad but unfortunately this was a time of my life that was pretty hard for me. my parents were going through a slightly messy divorce and i recall one specific instance and memory with my father that will forever be ingrained in my brain.

he had just picked me up from my mom's in his brand new porsche convertible which was ultra cool because it had a CD player in it and he was listening to michael jackson's newest album. i remember my mom and dad were having a disagreement as we were leaving because as we were pulling out of the driveway my father stopped the car dead in its tracks in the middle of the street only a few houses down.

man in the mirror was playing in the background and i could tell my dad was visibly upset. knowing what i know now as an adult i think it was guilt that he was putting his kids through seeing their parents break up. but as the car was stopped he started repeating
the lyrics to man in the mirror to me, telling me that he was going to change, shaking the CD case at me while looking me square in the eye more serious than i had ever seen him.

i will never be able hear that song and not think of that moment, especially because he passed away shortly there after.

on a happier note i still have that same CD of his sitting on a shelf in my childhood bedroom.

i have so many memories of me dancing to PYT while folding jeans at the gap, fist pumping the air to dirty diana and snapping my fingers to beat it.

on this blog alone i have posted about the king of pop here, here and here, and just a few months back i couldn't have been more excited to see a simple michael jackson cover band because the idea of hearing his music live was a dream of me.

it all sounds so cheesy to me reading this, especially because over the last ten years or so how crazy michael jackson actually became. but i choose not to think of him hanging babies named blanket over balconies but in his red pants dancing to thriller.
i guess i didn't realize how sad i would actually be in hearing of his passing.

do you have a favorite michael jackson memory?


  1. My entire childhood is filled with MJ memories. I remember watching his videos, trying to moon walk, thinking how cool he was.

    I feel weird today. Like parts of my childhood are gone. I really never thought I would feel this way about him dying. I'm sad.

  2. ugh... i know... i'm much sadder than i ever thought i would be, too.

    my sister used to torture me with "thriller"... when i would try to play barbies with her and her friend Cindy Snyder in our basement, she'd get super annoyed, put on the song at the Vincent Price part and I would run upstairs, screaming and crying to my mom.


  3. Every Halloween for as long as I can remember, my dad and I would watch the Thriller video over and over again. I loved it! Even though I still have night mares of the flashing eyes at the end...

  4. My god, Thriller rocked my face off...and still does.

  5. I think my favorite memory was seeing him in concert in '01. he only did one song because it was the end of a VERY VERY VERY long festival he put together.

    But it was Man In the Mirror and it was after 9/11 and I may have flipped my wig completely when he was a mere 150 ft away from me, singing that song.

  6. MJ was a big part of my childhood. His songs always made me get up and dance, attempting his moves (without much success).

    I remember once my friend and I wanted to listen to his song "Bad" for like the fiftieth millionth time and the music wouldn't come out from the speakers. We pressed a couple of buttons on her dad's stereo system and OMG, all of a sudden the song came blaring out so loud we had to cover our ears, hoping the house wouldn't crack and fall apart from how loud it was. After a couple of minutes, we got the volume down, but, um, couldn't hear much after that. You know, because we practically destroyed our eardrums.

    Good times.

    RIP Michael.

  7. It's amazing the way a song can bring back a memory like that and actually bring you back to the moment.

    My most salient MJ memories (though certainly not as significant)involve the constant replaying of his CDs underwater at synchronized swimming practices. Listening to Beat It and The Way You Make Me Feel were the only things that kept me going and stopped me from passing out during workout time (also known as swimming the perimeter of the pool underwater.) RIP MJ.

  8. I have so many great childhood memories set to an MJ song. It makes me sad that my younger cousins will never truly appreciate his musical talents like we do.

  9. See the twitpic I posted last nite of myself ironing at age 5 to MJ's PYT with my Grover shirt on.

    Didn't realize the catalyst for your Man in the Mirror obsession. I think of my dad whenever I hear a James Taylor or Neil Diamond song because he loved them so much.

  10. what a great post. i posted my fave mj memories today too, there are just so many.

  11. I don't really have a favorite but I remember trying to moonwalk for hours. I remember how blown away I was by Thriller. How much I loved and still love the song, Billie Jean.

    What a tragic end to such a musically icon man.

  12. He died as a legend. I respect the guy although I was never really a big fan, all nineties kids grew up listening to his hits one way or another. Rest in peace, Mj.

  13. I saw your post in my reader earlier today but didn't have time to read it, so I just clicked on it so it would be up for me to read later.

    I was out last night so I didn't get to watch the tributes to MJ on TV or hear them on the radio. I was so saddened at hearing the news but I feel detached from everything and it hadn't really sunk in.

    I just sat down at my computer, coincidentally downloaded Man in the Mirror on iTunes because it's one of my favorites, I hit play and then read your post and I teared up. This was such a good post.

    It's so true that generations below us can never really understand the impact of his music.

  14. I did a cheerleading routine in 6th grade to Smooth Criminal... and I still remember most of it.

    However, I must say that hearing you belt out MJ songs over that horrid acoustic guy the other nite is now near the top of my fave MJ moments list as well. ;)

  15. I don't think I ever really listened to MJ as a child (sad, I know), but I did a lot of catching up in HS. One of my favorite memories goes along with "Billie Jean." One of my friends performed it in the school talent show, did the moonwalk, and completely rocked out. It surprised everyone because we didn't know he could sing.

  16. Well, now I'm all teary eyed reading your blog, Alexa, and it isn't because of Michael........Love you.

  17. My bf growing up named her vagina Michael Jackson.

    I should probably pick a better memory...

  18. HEY ALEXA!

  19. OH, the record player. I can't count how many times I scratched my parents' records. I remember the Thriller record cover.

    I also used to torture my brother by making him watch the Thriller video. He was always terrified of it! We are talking scary dreams and nightmares that would make my mom question letting her kids watch MTV. I stil did though.

  20. I remember having Thriller on cassette tape and watching him perform Billie Jean on the Grammy's and that moonwalk was electric. It's crazy all the memories tied to that time.

  21. I too blogged about my MJ memories.
    Man in the mirror never fails to bring tears to my eyes. so powerful

  22. A few years ago some friends and I were in New Orleans, absolutely drunk, at some walk up pizza place that was painted BRIGHT yellow inside. The video playing on the TV was Rock With You and we danced like we were being paid. A simple memory, but such a great night. I'm so much more sad than I realized about his passing.

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