Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Los Angeles mourns Michael Jackson

There's a certain irony in the fact that CC's and my planned trip to the Staples Center today for a circus-related event was postponed.

Today Los Angeles is mourning the death of pop legend Michael Jackson, who passed away here June 25. The Staples Center is hosting the memorial service, which has been the subject of so much talk and general hysteria for the past week. First there was the confusion about where the service would be. Then there was the heated fury of trying to get tickets in an online lottery. Next there was the announcement of the lucky 17,000 who could attend, and then the terror of navigating Tuesday traffic downtown -- if you were allowed down there at all.

And today is the day.

I will always remember Michael Jackson from 1983, when I was in third grade and, along with my friend Alana, was totally enamored of his music. I owned his record (yes, record) "Thriller," listened to it religiously and even had the misfortune of trying to moonwalk.

He was talented, fun, adventurous and had effing amazing songs you could rock out to. He was "It," and what he had was magical and infectious.

What happened to Michael Jackson between that golden year (for me) of 1983 and 2009 is a mystery for so many. And I don't think I'll ever wrap my head around it.

I didn't write about his death on June 25 because everything about it seemed to be a, well, circus. And that's too bad. It wasn't the kind of circus I wanted CC to remember.

When another music "King" Elvis Presley died in 1977, I was 2 1/2 -- CC's age. What I know of Elvis is based purely on the breathless memories of others. Forget his downward spiral. Forget the drugs. He was the King.

So, CC, when you're older and discover the truly awesome music of Michael Jackson, I hope you appreciate the good stuff and rock out like your mom did.

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