Ik hoop dat jullie het mij zullen vergeven dat ik dit eerste post in het engels doe, maar ik heb het voor een andere website geschreven, en om het helemaal in het nederlands te vertalen vraagt net te veel dan ik op het moment op kan brengen.
I think I may well have been one of the last people in the 'developed' world to learn of Michael Jackson's death. We were in Amsterdam the last couple day's with Gerard's parents - for their birthdays (which are quite close together) we always take them on some sort of fun, multi-day jaunt. When the news started spreading, were were having a nightcap on the balcony of their hotel room after the opera, and we went to our own room and bed afterwards without turning the TV on. Slept rather late too, because it had been such a late night. Got up and clicked on CNN while Gerard was in the shower and, when it came up, was suddenly in the middle of a compilation clip of Jackson performing over the years. I knew immediately that he must have died. It's funny. I felt shock - but absolutey no surprise - at the same time.
Michael Jackson was an integral part of the soundtrack of my childhood and young adulthood. He was, after all, barely four months older than me. The Christmas when I was 11, my â€˜bigâ€™ present was a (for then) state-of-the-art portable radio and cassette player. With it, I got two cassettes â€“ â€˜ABCâ€™ from the Jackson 5, and â€˜Close To Youâ€™ from the Carpenters. I played them until they started shredding. And later bought the â€˜Third Albumâ€™, â€˜Maybe Tomorrowâ€™ and â€˜Going Back to Indiana' with my own allowance. â€˜Thrillerâ€™ hit the world when I was doing the exchange program in Holland. When I think of my earliest years here, they are utterly interwoven with the music of Michael Jackson and Prince. â€˜Badâ€™ kept the locomotive going full speed for a while (we braved the crowds in the record stores to buy it the day it came out). I think we also bought Dangerous, but by then our musical tastes were changing a bit and, without Quincy Jones, he wasnâ€™t being as suprising and groundbreaking as he was before.
Even though I wasnâ€™t as big a fan anymore, I read/watched stuff about him over the following years with interest and increasing concern. Through all the reports about Neverland and the chimpanzee and the oxygen capsule and the molestation accusations and the baby dangling, I never just completely dismissed him with the thought, â€˜Wow, did he turn into a frigginâ€™ weirdo, or what?â€™ No, I always felt what Deepak Chopra described in his column about Michael. This truly was a â€˜Little Boy Lostâ€™. How I wish he could have done what he so wanted and was attempting to do with those upcoming concerts â€“ to re-establish the status he had once had as an artist. But it seems the attempt to do so demanded more of his relatively fragile constitution than it could stand.