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Michael Jackson is Famous!

In college, I heard a guy on the radio and absolutely loved his rollicking piano sound. His name was Keith Green. Yes, he had big hair, but I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s. And, back* then, we didn’t have things called internet or cell phone or iPad or even laptops, so I couldn’t learn every little thing about him like BieberFeverFreaks can.

*For the record, I’m not THAT old, but lived in a limited-technology bubble. I wrote school papers on an old manual typewriter my freshman year. Yikes.

Go ahead and laugh if you like (I just did…wow, the hair). I loved the music and got my hands on a tape. Exuberant, I burst into study group waving the cassette.

“Look! This guy is amazing on a piano. Have you heard of him? I want to find out if he’s going to be in concert near here sometime soon.”

My friends looked at each other, then at me.

“I don’t think he’s going to be in concert anytime soon. Definitely not around here.”

Confused, I asked, “Why? What’s wrong with here?”

With a wry smile, my buddy said, “Well…he died in a plane crash in 1982. I hear once you get to heaven, you don’t really want to come back. Not even for a concert.”

I was stunned.

How could this guy sound so alive on the radio? (Yes, I understood the concept of a recording. It was just a shock.)

***

My son’s face at dinner revived this memory. (No, he does not have similar hair, nor beard.)

Our boy waved his spoon. “Did you know there is a guy named Michael Jackson?”

Hubby and I exchanged a glance. “Yes…”

Michael Jackson is a really great new musician. He’s very famous and he has some cool songs!

our little guy enthused about his new find.

“Are you learning a song in music?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “we’re learning about him for Black History Month at school. Do you like his music?”

I didn’t really want to break it to him. Hubby eased into it. “His music has been around for a long time. I used to listen to him when I was your age.”

Shock crossed our son’s face. “Really?”

I agreed. “Yep. He’s not new, just new to you. I was eight the first time I heard him sing ‘Beat It’ with one of my friends. And…unfortunately, he passed away.”

I watched a look flit across his features, one I recognized. “Oh.”

As he went back to shoveling food into his hollow leg, I watched him for a few moments.

He seemed okay. For a kid who’s lost so much, maybe this was just another mild disappointment. He didn’t seem anywhere near as devastated as I’d been about my “new” artist.

That’s probably just because he hasn’t seen Thriller yet.

On second thought…we’ll probably wait a few years to show him that one. No need to start the night terrors again.

***

My tastes have changed considerably, but I still like guys with cool hair. I wrote about a couple of my favorites here.

Who’s your favorite singer?

 

 

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