Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Thriller is gone

Funny how news travels in 2009. Michael Jackson died today. I found out from some people who use this thing called Twitter. They found out from a Web site called TMZ, which bills itself as "celebrity gossip and entertainment news." TMZ beat the MSM to the story so badly that some of the MSM were relegated to reporting on what a celebrity gossip blog had posted. Several of the Tweeple I follow passed along an apparent comment from MSNBC that, "If the LA Times confirms it, then we believe it; they're a credible source." Sorry, all you "credible" news organizations--TMZ was first and accurate. They kicked your butt.

The other odd thing about the news coverage is that my sweetie, the official scorer, didn't find out about the news until after 9 p.m. when I remarked that I wished we had some MJ tunes on CD for our upcoming road trip. It was apparent she didn't grasp the gravity of the situation and hadn't heard, though she's a totally wired news consumer. As I thought about it this afternoon, I realized that, 90 years ago, none of us would have known about this yet, not until we received our morning newspapers. The news cycle sure is faster these days. Being first and accurate is hard work.

As for Jackson, I'll always remember that his megastardom hit just as I was getting started with my radio career. I was working overnights at KPLZ-FM in Seattle, "The Music Magazine," and was the local producer for the RKO syndicated show "Night Time America." The DJ on the show, Bob Dearborn, really hated the "rap" between Jackson and Paul McCartney at the end of "The Girl is Mine," and so would back-time the song at the end of the hour so he would have to drop the ending! Funny stuff. Thriller is one of the all-time great records (yes, records; I still have it on vinyl!) and Michael Jackson was without doubt the King of Pop, the biggest star of the 80s.

Rest in peace, finally, Michael.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Yesterday was such a weird day. Remember the 1983 moonwalk on that Motown special? I was just blown away by it.