Posted on June 29, 2009
Something about Michael Jackson’s death disturbs me in that his fans seem to be out buying his albums by the millions, is that not a bit odd? I never really rated Michael Jackson, I thought he was all a bit manufactured (musically not physically) and a victim of being a cute little black boy with a bullying and oppressive Father that left him exposed to the sinister world of the Multi Million pound record industry at an incredibly young age. But even if I was Michael Jackson’s greatest fan, surely I would have all his CD’s already wouldn’t I?
I was a massive fan of The Clash, and when Joe Strummer died I must admit it moved me a bit, as my youth was surrounded by music by The Clash, The Jam and The Sex Pistols, and lot of Joe Strummer’s songs seemed to echo my life, my friends lives, and my resentment to the Thatcher era that cared little for schools, hospitals and youth employment, whilst having a hawkish taste for a good old pointless wars be it in The Falklands, or Belfast. But when Strummer died I didn’t go out and buy London Calling or Sandanista because I already owned them, and I certainly didn’t go in to some sort of bizarre mourning like Michael Jackson fans have. What is the point? Is it me who is wrong? Should have I gone to Strummers Cornish cottage with a big banner saying “Strummer, The Legend Lives On.”
In my opinion Michael Jackson was incredibly over-rated, most of his music was written and produced by others, and lacked any depth or meaning. I have always been of the opinion that a Michael Jackson album belongs in a record collection that includes Queen, Tina Turna, Genesis and Gloria Estevan. It is pop music for people who don’t really like music, just something inoffensive to tap your foot to. I didn’t hate Michael Jackson, he did nothing wrong to me, but I strongly believe that he is a classic example of how hype works. If you are told enough times someone/something is great you will believe it. Just look at all the people who eat Macdonalds and drink John Smiths bitter, by sheer force of hype and advertising, they happily consume mediocre products in the belief they are great when they are not.
The same applies to the music industry, and not just Michael Jackson, bands like Boyzone, Blue, and Take That, are portrayed as artists, when they are not, they are good looking lads with decent voices who can deliver manufactured catchy tunes with well synchronised dance moves. Nothing wrong with that, there is a time and a place for it, but don’t try to tell me they are artists, or musicians, or a band, that’s what insults me.
The Beatles were a band because they played instruments and wrote songs, The Kinks, The Jam, The Smiths, The Clash, and latterly Blur wrote songs about life. Blue, Five and Take That are not bands, they are a good cabaret act. Black people should be insulted that Jackson has been hailed as a great black musical icon, that is a gross injustice to the likes of Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye to mention but a few.
Motown and Northern Soul were the hub of black music, not Michael Jackson. I can remember being curious as to what The thriller video would be like in 83/84, and when I saw it I thought it was a load of old shit really. Personally as far a black artists go I would put Michael Jackson right up there with Colonel Abrams and Oran Juice Jones and no further, if he is the most talented black artist ever, then Lenny Henry is the funniest comedian.
RIP Michael Jackson, thank fuck you will never perform again