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A Tribute to Michael from another Gen Xer

UPDATE:  Michael Jackson died after a Demerol Injection (via Gawker).

I know I’ve been out of the loop here at the Confluence, but I came here because this is home to me on the intertubez.

I was 5 years old when Elvis Presley died.  I knew him very little.  My mom had a couple of his records and in her broken English she’d sing to his “Suspicious Ways.”  When Elvis died, I lived on Broomfield St. in Lawrence, Massachusetts and I remember it like yesterday:  I was playing with the neighborhood kids outside in the street.  It was a hot day and my dad had just come home from doing a double shift, and had to go back to work at 11pm – so like every 70s kid, we left the house to go play outside.

Then a huge scream came from one of our neighbor’s house.  “Elvis is dead!”

Now in my 30s, I realize the great impact Elvis Presley had to the Baby Boomer generation.  He was the KING.  Who can forget Elvis in his famous performances gyrating and killing it onstage, to then softly coo into a microphone if you “were lonsesome tonight” – the man was an ARTIST.

Technically speaking, Michael Jackson (like Madonna and Prince) are Baby Boomers, but they were adults in the 1980s and through their brilliance, became symbols of the 80s, the Generation X decade.

And Michael died.

We lost Farrah Fawcett too.  I can remember my Charlie’s Angels lunchbox, bubblegum cards and playing with my cousin.  I was Kelly, she was Jill Monroe.  And a few days from now, we will commemorate the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison – symbols of the 60s – and who died sudden deaths.

Regardless of his personal life, Michael Jackson made SUCH an impact in mine, like in millions of people across the globe.  He was an ambassador of peace and American ingenuity, creativity and brilliance.

I remember when I was about 6-7 yrs old, my older cousin who was the disco dancer of the family, taught me to dance the hustle & we danced in front of the family to “Dancing Machine” from the Jackson 5.   Then when my parents divorced, Michael’s “Off the Wall” song saved me from sadness.  We do have to live life Off the Wall at times to get by the hard times.

So here’s my video montage – there are many songs that I love that I can’t find good enough Youtubing-ness to post here.  But Michael, despite it all, THANK YOU for the music and for the moments you created.  Thank you for inspiring millions around the world.  As much as you suffered in health and in your personal life, just know that you were loved by me.


Got to Be There – please listen to this child’s voice!

Can You Feel It – YES!

Off the Wall

I HAD TO-  from Thriller “Wanna Be Starting Something”

UPDATE: Other Thriller songs like Beat It & Billie Jean are disabled.

Remember the Time (FOR REGENCY!!!)

Embedding disabled – CLICK HERE.

73 Responses

  1. What a day — Farrah & Michael — then a couple days ago Ed McMahan — weird.

  2. May they rest in eternal peace.

    • Yes, RIP, and may his memories hold his children through this very sad time. I so feel for small children and their loss. I hope they know the person who will care for them well, thus making the transition a bit easier. I hope the press is wise and leaves the children alone to adjust and have their privacy.

  3. We lost Elvis, Buddy Holley, the Big Bopper, Richie Valens, Janis Joplin,lJimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Jim Croce, Brian Wilson, Kurt Cobain , and so many others

    • YES. And every one of those artists contributed something so powerful to the world – and then, poof! GONE.

      There are artists that change the cultural landscape forever.

      I completely understand and honor Boomers who hold on to the cultural greats that you mentioned.

      • It’s so good to see you SM! I’m sorry it had to be a sad occasion that brought you back to us, but I’m very glad you thought of us when this news came.

    • chatblu, I ‘m sure that a lot of people will chime in to tell you that Brian Wilson is still very much alive.
      His brothers, Carl and Dennis are, however, dead.

    • John Lennon

      • BRUCE LEE. Tito Puente, Celia Cruz & Selena. Kurt Cobain. Tupac Shakur & Biggie.

        Ack. I swore that when the acid reflux/stress would die down, I’d blog again. Then MICHAEL.

        Good to see you Capt. Spaulding’s Consigliere!

        • Lynyrd Skynyrd, Keith Moon, John Bonham and John Denver

          • FRANK ZAPPA.

            James Brown.

            Dizzie Gillespie.

            Jerry Garcia.

            Ugh. I’m feeling the loss.

            I gotta go to bed to the PT gig in the AM.

            I hope to be posting soon again. Good to you & everyone!

    • Brian Wilson is still alive and performing. In fact, we just discussed him in my Abnormal Psych class yesterday. But Stevie Ray Vaughn was another huge loss.

      I empathize with all of you who loved Michael Jackson, but I never really listened to his music. In the early ’60s, I was listening to the Beach Boys, Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Motown greats like the Supremes, Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. By the late ’60s, when the Jackson 5 started out, I was listening to The Byrds, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, etc.

      After the late ’60s music revolution, I never really paid attention to top ten pop music anymore, so I pretty much missed Michael Jackson, except for hearing about Thriller when it took over the culture for awhile.

  4. God, all this music brings back soooo many memories. Almost thirty years ago I was an Asst. Mgr. at a fast food restaurant. Some nights, after closing, I would get together with a handful of trusted coworkers at one guy’s apartment, fire up a doobie, knock back a cold beer, and dance all night to the “Off The Wall” album. The windows were open, the night air was warm, and the pot was much milder in those days. We would party until the sun came up.

    RIP Michael. The memories are priceless.

  5. UPDATE to post:

    Michael Jackson died after a Demerol Injection (via Gawker).

  6. This is all very Mother Teresa and Princess Diana dying days apart from each other.

  7. ((((((((((SM)))))))) I have missed you, woman.

    • I left you a BIG HUG to you & Rosie in RD’s post below under Simo’s comment. LOVE YOU MY SISTER! ALWAYS.

      • Love you, too. It’s just so good to hear from you. I’ll check out the post below. I’m on vacay in PS now so am a tiny bit out of touch. Send me an email I want to hear how you are doing and how Puma Cub and Mama are doing. We need to catch up.

        • Know that when you return, we will catch up & chat!

          Michael brought me out tonight.

          I can’t believe I’m literally crying over his death.

          • I can’t wait! He was an amazing entertainer. His “moon walk” performace slayed me. Hang in there and get some sleep if you can. I will call you.

  8. Demerol Killed Michael.

    WHO GAVE IT TO HIM!!!!!!!???????

    Is this another Anna Nicole Smith situation?

    I think so.

    Ok, now really going to bed.

    • It’s kind of gruesome, but the media frenzy will probably continue until Michael Jackson’s autopsy is completed and the results known.

  9. I wasn’t MJ’s biggest fan, but I liked several of his songs.

    I hope those stories of criminal behavior were misunderstandings, and that he has found peace.

    “Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens’ claws” –James Douglas Morrison, another one we lost too soon.

  10. Spammy seems to have grabbed my comment, for reasons which escape me.

  11. Nice tribute. I’m a boomer, but a younger one. I was more influenced by The Beatles than Elvis. I wasn’t a big fan of MJ, but I can certainly appreciate the impact he has had. He will be remembered in many ways as kind of a tragic figure – particular the last 10 years of his life.

    • Elvis became a star in the ’50s when older boomers like me were just little kids. Although I love his music now, he wasn’t a big part of my childhood or anything. I was born right after the war, an early boomer. Elvis was still performing when I started listening to rock ‘n roll, but the frenzy over him was over.

      • I was never a big MJ fan but when he did the moonwalk it looked like a special effect or magic.

      • Dr.BB, I love how you set the record straight about who, exactly, is a boomer-like me- and who isn’t a boomer-like,say, Grandma Moses.

      • True enough. We early boomers listened to him in grade school. By high school, we were into The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys (Sorry, Brian), the Stones, Beatles and Motown.

  12. Damn, I know you went to bed but I’ll say it anyway: “HI SM!!!!”

  13. SM77, This Baby boomer knows hardly anything about Elvis. I associate Elvis with my parents who were young partying people in the 50s. I’m three years older than Michael. I grew up with the Jackson 5. It’s people like me that bought their records and went to their concerts.

    I don’t know why you feel the need to say Michael Jackson “belongs” to any particular generation. When Off The Wall and Thriller came out I was still young enough ( 24 and 27 years old) to appreciate and buy music. So while your generation may have come to know and love Michael Jackson, it’s our generation that made him; so don’t get it twisted.

    • I knew Elvis, the early Beatles and Stones and MoTown because of my older boomer siblings and loved their musicl. I liked Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, but was more Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen (now there is someone I really miss – Freddie Mercury), Elton John, David Bowie, etal. U-2 then came on the scene and Prince. What was really weird, I put on a montage of MoTown (Michael Jackson had several songs) and Queen the other day after not listening to either for awhile and spoke with my husband about the tremendous talent of both of these artists and their tragedies.

      Really a shocking death and right after Farrah, who I remember more for her stunning portrayal of the abused wife in “The Burning Bed” then “Charlie’s Angels”.

  14. I was wakened to the bad news this morning. I guess the whole thing happened long after I went to bed.

    Michael Jackson and later Michael Jordan were such a big part of my adolescent years.

    So long Michael, RIP.

    Good to see you again sm77.

  15. sm, yours is the first tribute that made me cry.

  16. Glad to see this tribute here and who posted it. Miss reading you SM.
    For some reason the death of both Farrah and MJ have really rocked me. It’s like my youth is dying or something.
    Had my Farrah doll and wore Thriller out my senior year. RIP to both.

  17. Jackson and Fawcett certainly did have a big impact on Generation X. But most Xers were too young to have felt the full effect of these two legends. These two are fundamentally icons of Generation Jones—-born 1954 to 1965, between the Boomers and GenXers. Jackson was a classic GenJoneser himself (like Madonna and Prince), and Jonesers–not Xers–were mainly the teens in the 1970s who had her classic poster on their walls. Most Xers were just being born, or still little kids, then.

    If you’re not familiar with the term yet, google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s recently gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. The Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

    Here’s a page with a good overview of recent stuff about GenJones:

    • I was born in 66 and I consider myself GenX pretty firmly. We come in two waves — Atari and Nintendo. 🙂

      Seriously — if you played with an Atari plugged into your TV set, you’re early GenX. Nintendo, later.

    • Haruhi damn it, I REFUSE TO BE CALLED A PUNK-@$$ NAME LIKE “GENERATION JONES”!!!!!!!!!😡 😡 😡


      “Boomer” is a cool name, as is “Gen X”.”Generation Jones” is so NOT a cool name!!! 😡

      *imagines cooldown hug from Mikuru-chan* :mrgreen:

      Ahem. I was born in 1963, and did not have a bright future waiting for me when I turned 18, so I think of myself as “X”.

      I would define, roughly, “Boomers” as people born between the end of WW2 and the election of JFK, and “X” as people born between the election of JFK and the resignation of Nixon.

      • You’ve got to be kidding. Boomer is a cool name?! I see it as about as uncool a name as it gets. Even worse the way it’s usually said: “Baby Boomer”. So uncool.

        I’m a Joneser and grateful that we ended up with a cool name, as opposed to the many uncool generation names. I see Generation Jones as way cool: it’s got the sexy/gritty/edgy “jonesin'” slang connotation, along with the generic cool and anonymity of “Jones”. I’ve had numerous conversations with others about this, and virtually everyone I’ve talked to likes the GenJones name. Moot point anyway, since this name has caught on already in such a big way, it doesn’t really matter at this point whether you or I happen to like it…it’s here to stay.

        • Wow!!!
          Generation Jones is a cool edgy name?

          This is from the same Wikipedia articles you seem to cite:

          The name “Generation Jones” has several connotations, including a large anonymous generation, and a “Keeping up with the Joneses” competitiveness borne from this generation’s populous birth years. The connotation, however, which is perhaps best known stems from the slang word “jones” or “jonesing”, which means a yearning or craving. Jonesers were the people who as teens in the 1970s made this slang word popular[7], but beyond this historical claim, many believe the concept of jonesing is among this generation’s key collective personality traits.[8][9][10][11] Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the 1960s, and then confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the 1970s, leaving them with a certain unrequited, jonesing quality.

          Could that be greed?

          This age group became politically active in the United States during the Presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, who was extremely popular among people of this age group.[12] “The turn toward the Republicans was based very much on how the young felt about Ronald Reagan’s performance in office,” said Helmut Norpoth, a political scientist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

          Probably why BO likes to identify with it.

          • BTW “Keeping up with the Joneses”, was a sixties London catch phrase. The Joneses in question being Princess Margaret and her husband, Tony-Armstrong Jones. It was probably a Spike Milligan phrase or something like that.

        • That’s good. I’m quite happy to be uncool, especially since these days Obama is considered cool. Ugh! I’d much rather be square then.

      • I was born in 1960 and I’ve always considered myself a Baby Boomer. That was what we were always called until recently.

        I notice that this whole “generation jones” bullsnot hit high gear last year when the Failbots wanted to claim that Obama was NOT a Boomer.

        I’m a Boomer and so is he.

      • News flash: Jonesing was a ghetto term that I often heard in the late ’60s, but it was around long before that.

    • You’re kinda full of yourself, aren’t you? New here too.

  18. So the Baby Boomers are from 1946 to 1954? That’s not much of a boom and a new one on me.

    • Depends on which Baby Boomers you are referring to. There is the demographic used by advertisers who claim all children born to WWII aged parents are the BBoomers (spans a good 15-20 years), and there is the absolute babyboomers, which are those children born within 9 months following the returning of the troops. That demographic spans only from around 1944-47.

      I was born in 1949 and, as a child, grew up knowing I was just outside the group known as the baby boomers.

    • When I was in high school in the early 1960s, the first baby boomers were born in 1945. When did we drop a year off the beginning of the boom?

  19. I remember being a kid and not understanding why so many people were so distraught when Elvis Presley died. I knew he was a big name, but that was it. I think it was because I didn’t remember music before him, and because as a young kid, I had no sense of ownership over that music in a generational sense.

    Now that I’m older, I’m starting to understand what those women were all mourning when they wept over his death. Not just him, but the passage of time, mortality in general, the fact that even watershed shifts like that ultimately become mired in the past. Jackson was a game-changer.

    I start to understand why people are still a little silly over Maria Callas, too. And why my dad was always so morose over Cass Elliot and Sam Cooke. There’s a few musical icons I love that I dread hearing about their death because I’m probvably going otm ake just as much of a huge idiot out of myself over it as those women did over Elvis. And I guess they weren’t idiots, were they?

  20. He was a good man.

    I was so happy when he was acquitted of all charges at that trial. I have this picture h/t SUGAR on my desktop.


    • I had a cassette of Thriller. Didn’t we all? I’m going to download it on itunes when I get some cash.

      • I got the album!

        He became addicted to Demoral in 2005 when he was falsely accused of child sex abuse:

        The People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California, two years after Jackson was originally charged. During this period the singer became dependent on morphine and Demerol, a dependency which he subsequently overcame. He also suffered from stress-related illnesses and severe weight loss, that would alter his appearance. The trial lasted five months, until the end of May 2005, he was acquitted on all counts. Jackson then relocated to the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain as a guest of Sheikh Abdullah.

  21. The United States Census Bureau defines the demographic birth boom as between 1946 and 1964, so Michael Jackson was a Baby Boomer, right?

    • Wrong. The Census Bureau has absolutely nothing to do with defining generations. They do however, define demographic issues, which is what the 1946-1964 bulge on birth charts is about.

      It is important to distinguish between this post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

      DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
      Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
      Generation Jones: 1954-1965
      Generation X: 1966-1978

      • Again from the article in wiki which you cite without linking-(it has been flagged for disputed neutrality BTW):

        As of 1998, it was reported that as a generation boomers had tended to avoid discussions and planning for their demise and avoided much long term planning.[11] However, beginning at least as early as that year, there has been a growing dialogue on how to manage aging and end of life issues as the generation ages.[12] In particular, a number of commentators have argued that Baby Boomers are in a state of denial regarding their own aging and death and are leaving an undue economic burden on their children for their retirement and care.[13][14][15] Research on memory loss has indicated that the Baby Boom generation has been confronted with increasing loss of memory due to the agitated life they lead, which requires that attention is put on many different things at a time. Since older generations were not faced with this rapid life style, and newer generations have lived with this society all their lives, it is said that the Baby Boom generation was the most damaged one in terms of memory loss due to age. [16]</blockquote)

        I remember that as a generation, we felt that it was right to contribute to pension schemes that would keep the generations that had come before us in a decent way. It was part of the way things should be. This may have been a result of the war.

      • “Many experts”

        “Some say”

        “Everybody knows”

        Just cuz you say it like you know what you’re talking about don’t mean nothing.

  22. No more than a few days before his death I saw a photo of MJ and his son in a celebrity magazine and said to my daughter: I sure hope he’s not abusing that child. MJ was a pop star and a very rich man. I don’t wish ill on anyone but, honestly, like John Couey I could care less when or how he meets his maker.

    And, dd, MJ was acquitted of all charges because, like OJ, he was a rich man. They were more than two boys who accused him of molestation. It’s more than mere coincidence or money grubbing that he was accused by that many boys.

    As far as I’m concerned: May his victims, now, have some peace.

    • He was abused, strange and had boys around because he was a child himself. It was just my personal opinion from studying him, his family, friends, life, music during the trial.

    • I find that a very sad judgment for you to make. He was acquitted because there was not enough to convict him on.

      Several boys’ families made the effort to extort from MJ and backed off telling the truth they had been coerced. MJ was so vulnerable and childlike that he was the perfect target for gold-diggers.

      Ever wonder what kind of parent would allow their young sons to have such unconventional relationships?

      Many young celebrity boys were very close friends of MJ. They all testified in his defense. What causes you to think you KNOW something about MJ that you were nowhere near close enough to him to have such insights?

      Perhaps his “victims” (as you call them) have even less peace now. It could be pretty difficult to know you participated in something so stressful on a person and never had a chance to apologize. Just another angle to look at this from since none of us really knows the truth.

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