Michael Jackson was such an integral part of my childhood. It was 1984. I was 10 years old. After two years in this country, I was finally getting the hang of English and the new American culture. I discovered pop music and the very first song I remember is Beat It.
Up until then, all I really knew was Beethoven, Mozart and other classical music. Beat It was so very different. It made me want to bop my head, wiggle my tushy and break out into a dance. I was awed by the Thriller video, even while watching it behind my hands. I thought he was a great dancer, right up there with Fred Astaire (yeah, I was an oldies geek). And I thought Michael Jackson was so cute! Yes, indeed he was my first pop crush. I don’t think you ever forget your first pop crush.
I have such a clear memory of seeing the Thriller album at a store. Wanting to buy it and not being able to because $17.99 was a lot of money back then for a 10 year old. I never got the album and I was so disappointed. Getting a CD in my teen years just wasn’t the same. I had moved onto other singers and other genres by then. But it was important for my teen self to get that very first album I wanted, even if it just sat on my shelf collecting dust.
Soso asked for her first non-kiddie CD for her birthday and interestingly enough, her request was a Jackson 5 CD. So, Michael Jackson was reintroduced to me as a tween boy through my daughter. Kind of feels like one of those circle back moments, doesn’t it? It’s been fun bopping in the car with her to ABC.
Rest in peace Michael Jackson. You have left an indelible mark on my music soul and hopefully on Soso as well.