I grew up watching the incredible performances of the Jackson 5 and watched the Jackson Five Cartoon on Saturday Mornings ("Man Alive its the Jackson Five.) Wasn't that big of a fan of the song or the movie Ben, but realized the incredible talent when I was in High School and all the girls wanted to dance to MJ music. I was appalled by all the things about the man that were comically and tragically ugly, but on the day of Michael Jackson's death, I most remember the moment I was on the phone with my girlfriend and just loud enough to hear was the Motown 25 celebration, and when Michael Jackson did the moonwalk, I just sat right up and was astonished at how great that was.
I remember We Are The World ...getting everyone together to sing and "check their ego"'s at the door. Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Ray Charles and everyone who was anyone singing on that song....HIS song.
And I remember this more than anything. There was this thing that was getting alot of Buzz called MTV. We didn't yet get MTV on our cable ...but I remember the fuss was that MTV was getting HUGE and that they did NOT play any black artists....probably not because of racism, but because they were leaning on ROCK and ROLL as their forte. Well, MJ had this great album, and a song on it featured Eddie Van Halen, one of the many that Michael always surrounded himself with ..the best of the best. MTV played Beat It because it had a ROCKER, Eddie Van Halen . That opened the door for them to take a chance on playing another song we know now so well ... Billie Jean. Wow .. how it all exploded from there. And ended tragically today.