1. ‘Thriller’ was the first record that I bought/asked for (I earlier stole a Lionel Richie record from one of my dad’s friends, so that doesn’t count). That gatefold! I will always remember the two veins popping out of his wrist from the arm he was holding the tiger with–those two veins made him human to me. Michael Jackson is a real person!
2. I panicked when my dad told me the news of how badly MJ was hurt during the shooting of his mega-huge Pepsi commercial. He was badly burned and I worried so – what if he wasn’t as beautiful? What if he were disfigured forever? A sad and anxious day for me…
3. My stepbrother, in attempts to get me to actually eat toast (as I preferred un-toasted bread), told me: ‘Michael Jackson loves his bread toasted.’ I have loved toast ever since.
4. My stepmother gave me a homemade white glove kit one year for Christmas: a pair of white gloves and a glitter kit. Wearing my black parachute pants, I eschewed one glove and rocked the handmade glittered glove before the glue had even dried.
5. The night of the King of Pop’s death, as I traveled home on the subway, I read this passage in Bret Easton Ellis’ 1994 book, The Informers: ‘By the giraffes, lighting another cigarette, making a wisecrack about Michael Jackson, Bruce says, “Don’t leave me.”‘ It resonated with me and showed me just how huge he was. RIP Michael.
1. Mariola’s birthday at Japas karaoke bar, probably 8 years ago. Dan has the mic and is singing ‘Billie Jean is not my lover,’ but instead it’s ‘Judy Minn is not my lover.’
2. Mariela and brother Jorge are probably in third and fourth grade, respectively, at their neighbors and carpool partners Rachel and David’s house. Parents in the other room while the kids rehearse. Parents are asked to enter to watch the kids put on their very best ‘Thriller’ performance.
3. That beautiful ‘Thriller’ album that opened to show MJ with a baby tiger. I play that record until it skipped to high heaven.
4. Our Lady of Lourdes High School charity fashion show. Bea is in the slick menswear inspired group with fedoras and a tan three piece. She models to ‘Billie Jean.’ We all throw around her fedora later.
5. Sixth grade homework assignment – write and design a newspaper showing off what you think the future will bring. Besides another Disney World park built entirely around the planets, I predicted Michael Jackson and Madonna would tie the knot. Instead, it was Lisa Marie. Oh well.
1. ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’: Still my favorite dance song, even if I have been told that it doesn’t really qualify as a ‘dance song.’ (Editor’s note: It’s totally a dance song.)
2. ‘Want to Be Starting Something’: I think I even like Akon’s new mix as much as the original. That is one of the great things about MJ’s music — the remixes, the renditions, the covers, the inspirations only add to the original and make it that much better.
3. ‘I’ve been Talking to the Man in the Mirror’
4. ‘Billie Jean’
5. Goodbye, Michael… Goodbye.
Posted by: Autumn.