Michael Jackson: Gone Too Soon

I will never forget the movie Moonwalker, where Michael Jackson was shown performing Man In The Mirror in one of his awe-inspiring concerts. The number of people defied belief, and they were singing, dancing, clapping, shouting, jumping, cheering, screaming, celebrating their experience with a true legend. Michael Jackson is the greatest musical artist of all time, at least for me; and I’ve been saying that even during his lifetime, when it seemed everybody else was calling him Jacko the Wacko, and even pedophiles were condemning him to hell. All my friends know that I’m a true-blue Jackson fan, and now I want to share that the soundtrack of my life will never be complete with him. My favorite adult Michael Jackson of all time is Man In The Mirror: “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change…” My favorite young Michael Jackson song of all time is Music & Me, which he recorded while still barely out of puberty, but already possessing that one-in-a-million voice and magntic stage presence: “We’ve been…together…for such a long time, the music…music…and me…” My favorite American Christmas song of all time is Someday At Christmas. Next is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, the Jackson 5 version. In fact, they dominate my Top 10, with the infectious Up On A House Top, their version of The Christmas Song, and Give Love On Christmas Day. Christmas, after all, is the season of hope: “Someday at Christmas, men won’t be boys…playing with bombs like kids play with toys…one warm December our hearts will see…a world where men are free…” Another Michael Jackson song that has a very special place in my heart is One Day In Your Life. He was a teenager in the early 70s when he recorded it, and I was a teenager in the early 90s when I made it my own: “One day in your life…you’ll remember the love you found here…you’ll remember me somehow…though you don’t need me now…I will stay in your heart…and when things fall apart…you’ll remember one day…” I remember singing Gone Too Soon while walking along the shore of a Cavite beach. I’ve already dried myself and was just strolling knee-deep in the water, looking up at the starry, starry night sky, waiting for dinner. It just so happens that I was in a very sentimental mood at that time, but it was magic. When I first experienced being heart-broken, She’s Our Of My Life became one my repertoire in my existential teen angst. I was still in high school but the song was already a classic: “So I’ve learned, that love is not a possession…and I’ve learned that love won’t wait…Now I learned that love needs expression, but I learned…too late…” When I was a kid, I was a good dancer, if I may say so myself. I can do those retro maneuvers Break and Strut; and even before YouTube, I can do the moves in Beat It, Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, my dance favorite Rock With You, and of course, Billie Jean – but there’s only one who can moonwalk that that. As a songwriter, I think the most beautiful songs ever written are those that bring out our inherent nobility and greatness of the human spirit. Here’s a double whammy – the formidable combination of a songwriting masterpiece and the greatest recording artist in the history of music – Heal The World and Michael Jackson: “Heal the world…make it a better place…for you and for me and the entire human race…There are people dying…if you care enough for the living, make a better place for and for me…” Whenever somebody asks for advice, I remember always taking Michael as an example – a talented person with a successful career but a lonely life – showing that loneliness does not make you a lesser person. It is not realistic to expect perfect happiness in this world, but we can take pride in who we are and share our talents to bring joy and inspiration to others – like Michael Jackson. Michael suffered so much. He never experienced a normal childhood and the simple joys or ordinary people – always being hounded by opportunists and extortionists – and for that, I grieve for him. But I also thank God for the unequaled artistry – and unparalled musical legacy – that he gave us all. “Shiny and sparkly…and splendidly bright…here one day…gone one night…Like the loss of sunlight, on a cloudy afternoon…gone too soon….”
Photo courtesy of JenkinYat.com. This story also appeared in AllVoices.com You comments and blog links are welcome.

Comments

Zeeshan Amjad said…
I like MJ and now i am in too much sorrow :(


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Lydia said…
This is an excellent article and it flows with love, Jonathan. You were not just a fan, but you felt his soul.

I followed the link to where the article was also published and watched the video there just now. How astonishing it is to see that one human being on stage with the throngs of fans in the audience. He'll never be forgotten, and will, I'm sure, far surpass Elvis in adoration as the years go by.

Tuesday's funeral in L.A. ought to be amazing. I hope it will be safe, that the service/show will -- beginning-to-end -- be a joyful and peaceful remembrance. I'll watch it, most definitely, and I'll think of you watching it too.

Thriller came out during a really tough year in my life. I lived in Portland, Oregon, in an apartment and had a series of bad jobs. It was the only album I'd bought for years, and I really couldn't even afford it, but I had to have it. I danced with my cats and dog, and wrote a poem about how the music made me feel. One warm day all the six little apartments that faced an open courtyard had their doors open to let in air. I stood there and smiled to realize that every one of us was playing Thriller...
JonathanAquino said…
To you, Zeeshan: In his song "Music and Me," Michael sings, "There have been others, but never two lovers, my music...and me..." Music is part of my life, and Michael Jackson will always have this special place in my life -- indeed, in the lives of all the people whose lives he touched through his music. Thank you Zeeshan for writing.
JonathanAquino said…
To you, Lydia: There will be comparisons with Elvis, that much is sure; unfortunately, they will tend to focus on the prescription stuff. I guess this is what mainstream media editors think their readers want to see. I, for one, do not! What I DO want to see is a video of YOU dancing "Thriller" with your cats and dog in Oregon. Gotcha! You think I'll go sentimental all the way?! Thank you Lydia, for your posts; you have no idea how much I appreciate them.
aa said…
Hi Jonathan. Thanks for writing this. I've been meaning for a long time to write about MJ but I can't because everytime I try to do so, I'd come across someone's writing, expressing the same things I have in mind. Today, is no diffrent when I stumbled into your blog. Thanks. - angelo a.
JonathanAquino said…
To you, Angelo: Thank you for your comment, and thank you for your visit. I hope you come back again and again. "Show them how funky and strong is your fight, it doesn't matter who's wrong or right, just beat it..."