Whenever Rock You — Monday, Today

It began as “Sunday Rock You,” but I’ve not been consistent. Well, first, I don’t want to publish anything unless I’m feeling something. That doesn’t always happen. it just comes to me.

But now, I am. And you’ll probably be surprised, counting my previous Rock Youz.

This has been going on since Saturday afternoon when my wife, Beatrice, dragged me — kicking and screaming — to see This is It, MJ — Michael Jackson — in the last weeks of his brightly burning life.

Well, I could write two books, one about the errors of his ways, the other about the folly of LA county prosecutors. They never proved it to me — not without physical evidence and credible testimony. They proved naïveté and a sheltered and weird, unusual life beyond belief. Not a crime, in my book. Moreover, if someone is going to put “The People” as plaintiff on a criminal complaint, I expect to have free reign to judge the evidence for myself. But, it’s not like we live in the Paleolithic, where one would surely risk death to expropriate another’s tacit approval without his prior say-so.

And yet, I’ve never, ever been a real fan. Maybe this is a good time to talk about my iTunes library of well over 3,000 songs, of which I am immensely proud. I can not tell you the number of times I’ve had people over who have been utterly mesmerized. It’s like nothing you would ever hear on the radio. Sure, I have my albums: Rush, Zep, Clapton, and a dozen or so others; Otherwise: discrimination. Here’s a clue: I have not a single Beatles track anywhere; and yet, I have some Gregorian chants, opera, plenty of classical — and let’s not forget Ella & Louis. …And I haven’t even brought up Willie or Johnny — or Sinéad, for that matter. I could even talk about a few choice punks and waves. And, oh, I could go on. Enough. People, uniformly, love my highly eclectic library, and I almost always put it on shuffle, just so they know how very eclectic it is.

I have one single Michael Jackson track. We’ll get to that, in a moment.

What did I think of the movie? Loved it, and here’s why. There’s no doubt in the world it shows a side of MJ nobody has ever seen, at least fans and lurkers. But that’s not important. It shows how very hard he works to produce, when he produces. While he’s in the top 1% of producers in terms of hard work, that doesn’t really matter either…because what’s important are the values he’s pursuing, and there was my love for the film.

What I saw was a consummate perfectionist, one that to this degree is very rare. It’s so easy in life to settle, and in fact, it’s a very good get-by strategy. What’s harder than Michael’s hard work is the unwillingness to compromise, and I saw that top to bottom in that film; wall to wall, and I just had to pause, and appreciate. There’s more: he was clearly in charge, and he got everyone to give heart & soul by being uncompromising and pro but always, always, speaking softly, even apologetically, at times. There’s a whole business management course in that film. Sure, he had advantages. And he exploited them. He did it right, at least here.

I guess I’ll have to miss him.

The single track in my collection? My favorite: Dirty Diana. Be sure to go HQ once it starts.

Correction from Dr. Eades: It was the Santa Barbara county DA that went after Jackson, not LA county.

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  1. Michael on November 3, 2009 at 00:09

    I had the opportunity as a very little bitty boy of seeing Michael Jackson in concert. What an amazing performance. From that day forward I was a Michael Jackson fan and have remained a fan even through all the incredible weirdness.

    I look at him the same way I look at some of the great professional athletes I have seen over the years. Between the lines they do and perform in ways that are phenomenal, to stay the least. Outside the lines, or in this case, the stage, I simply ignore them. For what they do, I’m very grateful. For everything else…well its their life, not mine.

    Are you a fan of Edwin Starr? Here is my tribute to him:

    Charlie Hatcher, RIP

    • Richard Nikoley on November 3, 2009 at 09:36

      While I don’t have any of his stuff in my library, yet, I’m working on it. “War” will probably have to top the list of what goes in first.

  2. Aaron Blaisdell on November 3, 2009 at 11:02

    Yup, Michael Jackson is right up there with the other obsessive working perfectionists such as Prince and James Brown. All could tie for title of “Hardest working man in show business.”

  3. Trish on November 3, 2009 at 18:35

    Ah, “Dirty Diana.” \,,/ The only MJ songs I have in my library are that and “Beat It.” I won’t deny his talent, but his music was never really my cup of tea even though everyone I knew owned “Thriller” when I was in high school.

  4. David on December 7, 2009 at 18:21

    I just saw the film and felt the same way (before I always thought he was simply a giant studio effect). What also really struck me was his overwhelming desire to please his fans. I wish more corporations felt that way about their customers.

  5. Don't Expect Much | Free The Animal on November 18, 2011 at 07:43

    […] after his sad and tragic death, I blogged about my favorite song & performance of his, Dirty Diana. Just now, it's Earth Song which I was reminded of today and perhaps my second favorite but all the […]

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