I have a few memories in my life that define pure, unadulterated happiness. As expected, most are from my childhood. These chunks of perfection are not defining moments but people, places and experiences.
My memory of Michael Jackson is one of them.
My musical love affair began at the age of five. I listened constantly to his songs and watched his videos, and don’t even get me started on my imitations of those dance moves.
When I found out I was moving to America, I promptly requested that my mom purchase a cassette of his. To me, Michael was America. He could have been the president for all I knew. Interestingly enough, his 1992 live concert in my hometown of Bucharest was legendary because of its special effects and the crowd’s wild hysteria.
He was the first of many artists who made me fall in love with music. Everyone knows you never forget your first love, and pop music was mine. I’ve since had other loves, but nothing’s as pure in my heart as pop.
Michael set the standard, hence his title as the King of Pop.
Nowadays, a mainstream musician is lucky to have one to two hits in a lifetime. With Michael, nearly every song on his albums is a golden nugget.
Since the late 1960s, his music would define decades while simultaneously becoming timeless.
His lavish and intricate videos, which seemed more like short films, kicked MTV’s significance a notch up. The day he died, the now mostly irrelevant channel streamed his videos, as did BET and I’m sure many others.
When the Michael allegations and backlash commenced, I couldn’t be a part of it. I don’t think we’ll ever know whether or not any of it was true.
But I know his mistakes could never change my love for his music.
As expected, I’ve grown very cynical and jaded since I was five. But not towards him. I always want to remember my childhood, which is obviously somewhat synonymous with MJ. This goes with millions of people in spanned generations.
This is a way to remember a much simpler time, and my innocence.
And for that I will forever be grateful to the boy from Gary.