Since learning of Michael Jackson's death, I have been thinking of the Michael Jackson we all knew and loved during the 1970s and 1980s. That is the way I want to remember him. However, I realized that my teenage sons and most of Gen Y, never knew that Michael Jackson.
To me, Michael Jackson was an extremely talented young man. To my kids, he was a weird androgynous person whose skin color changed and who allegedly molested young boys. They do appreciate the genius of Billy Jean and Beat It, but never made an effort to learn the rest of his music.
I have such memories of listening to the Jackson 5 during my tween years. I loved every single song they came out with. We were both approximately the same age, so when Off the Wall came out, it seemed the perfect music for that time in my life.
Then came Thriller. I still remember the first time I saw the music video of Thriller and was just as scared as if I was watching a horror movie. I remember the first time he performed his moon walk live on a Motown special. During the mid 1980s, the Thriller years, Michael Jackson really was the King of Pop.
Do you remember We are the World? The song for this charitable music video was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and Michael was one of the key performers:
That is the Michael Jackson I am going to remember. And I am going to try to share those memories with my teenage sons. I want them to see the huge talent and genius that Michael Jackson was.