Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thank you, Michael.

Michael Jackson passed away 9 days ago. As expected, there was massive "mourning," and opportunists took advantage of his death.

I am one of the millions (perhaps, even billions) followers of Michael Jackson's music. I first heard of his voice when I was about 6 years old. The film BEN was being shown then in 1 or 2 of the big theaters in my hometown. People instantly fell in love with the song. Radios were constantly playing it. I also fell in love with the melody. Even at that very tender age, I was already drawn to the voice.

Years later, we sang GIVE LOVE ON CHRISTMAS DAY in school. My seatmate, Jocelyn, volunteered to show the class how the melody goes. Jocelyn, however, could barely pronounce the words correctly. I could still hear her voice in my head, "why don't you gi-be love, on Christmas day.... on Christmas day oh... even the man in the street with a couple of prist, would be so happy if you would bring him love on Christmas day." lol I was 12 then. And Jocelyn,... well... she is not a native English speaker but she has a good voice.

Then came April 1984. I was staying with our relatives in Manila when Thriller and Beat It became BIG hits. Kids, teenagers and young adults were all wearing black leather jackets screaming with metallic designs, and tight, hanging jeans. (I believe this manner of dressing up was later called punk.) Everyone was imitating Michael Jackson..... dancing and singing like he did. Some were brave enough to wear his famous signature: gloves and hat. I thought they were being silly.

Then I saw the MTV. I sat there in awe ... full of admiration.... amazed..! I didn't even know, till that moment, how Michael Jackson looked like. I thought to myself, hey, he's really good! And boy, how he danced. It looked like every fibre of his being was pulsating with melody and rhythm.

That same year, I started the university as a piano major student. We were instructed to focus more on the classics. As our music professor put it, you can not serve two masters at one time; therefore there is no room for popular music in my class. I was 16 then. Very impressionable. I took everything at heart. I did not question her. I simply followed what I was told.

But even then, I had time to appreciate Heal the World, Ebony and Ivory, Bad,... just to name a few, whenever the radios on UP IKOT jeepneys were blasting out those songs.

And now, he's gone. I actually feel sad. What I can say? The man is a genius. He's our modern-day Mozart. We are blessed to have heard and seen the man perform. Although I must admit that I have only seen him on TV.

I know, many will raise their eyebrows if they hear me compare him with Mozart because as my husband has pointed out to me, Michael had a staff behind him. The same staff who created his image and choreographed his dances, public appearances, his life. One can only speculate.

But for me, he truly is our Mozart. Like Mozart, he came from a family of musician. His father, his mentor and manager. His music showcased melodies and rhythmic patterns that are way too delicate, delicious even for our taste buds. He tried and was rather successful in incorporating world's musics into his own music. That makes him a visionary. He set the trend, and others followed. Just like Mozart.

Michael Jackson started performing at a very young age. He, too, loved his baby sister dearly. He had a strained relationship with his father. And like Wolfie, he loved beautiful women...... was envied by many...... and consumed by his genius.

Someone said on CNN that Michael Jackson's death should be celebrated because he is A Celebrity... and as such, we should celebrate him. Meaning, partying and getting horribly drunk. His death being a good excuse to misbehave (?). To "celebrate" him.

I don't think I can do that. It's true that his music will live in our hearts but let's face it, we lost a music genius. He is irreplaceable and yes, it will be difficult to fill that void. Noone even comes close. Not in this time.... perhaps not even in the years to come.

So to borrow ABBA's lyrics: "Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing. Thanks for all the joy they're bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty. What would life be? Without the songs and the dance, what are we? So I say, thank you for the music... for giving it to me"

Thank you, Mr. Michael Jackson.


cherie said...

nagkita kami ni ningning san concert niya sa paranaque (amo baya?)... at least now, he's in peace...

Droomvla said...

Mayad ka pa kay nakita siya magperform. Ako, puro lang sa tv. hehehehe