Daily Archives: June 25, 2011

Remembering MJ

My first ever MTV video!

Two years ago, the world was shocked to learn of the passing of Michael Jackson. I remember how we as a David fan community were able to blog about it together. And in the wake of the mourning, commemorations, and celebrations, this is what I had to say on Soul David:

I remember getting that magical feeling the first time I had a chance to watch MTV on the cable TV at my babysitter’s house when I was around 9 or 10 years old.  I didn’t have regular cable at my own home, so this was definitely a treat, and as an only child, I was able to watch my very first music video in the company of my babysitter’s six children, two of whom were around my age and who became my regular playmates.  We were all just in complete awe when we saw Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean air on MTV.  Without realizing the racial breakthrough Michael made on a TV station like MTV, which up until that time focused almost exclusively on rock music, we were just glued to the TV set and imagined that we were watching a magician in his high-water pants and saddle shoes, whose every step and touch shed light and made the world a better place.  Every dance move seemed mind-blowingly out of this world.  And keep in mind this was even before he unleashed his moonwalk onto the world!

This pop icon was no mere regular guy.  He was already legend.  And it didn’t matter, after watching that video, whether we understood the lyrics to the song.  With “Billie Jean,” we not only heard the song, we saw the song.  And, yes, I and my playmates and everyone else of my generation believed in magic.

Little did I know that, 25 years later, I would experience magic again on my TV set.  This time, the spectacle was far more subtle but just as deeply moving.  A cute and sweet kid by the name of David Archuleta sang a song from my childhood, Bryan Adams’ “Heaven,” so that I could “understand” the song and hear it for the first time.  And boy, did I ever!

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