When you realize that I was a high schooler at the peak of his explosive solo career, finding those who, like me, aren't listing their favorite five MJ songs on Facebook is going to be difficult. Sure, I watched the videos, but it was more out of the mindset of 'well, that's what MTV is playing' than thinking it was cool that the long version of Thriller was on this time.
When Giggles and I had the chance to do one of those Record a Song things at Opryland years ago, the song chosen was not "Beat It", but the Weird Al parody "Eat It." (Besides, Giggle's ad libs were much more suited to Al's song.) It probably speaks to where he ranked in our musical tastes.
Artists are eccentric, so I can't begrudge him that. However, in his case, the weirdness overshadowed the music. The fascination with hanging out with pre pubescent boys, that glove and the obsession with plastic surgery creeped me out, even as a young adult.
Years ago, he took the advice of then-friend Paul McCartney on how to wisely invest his millions. McCartney pointed him towards buying the rights to music catalogs, thereby earning the royalties when others wanted to do covers, use them in movies, play them on the radio or wanted to use the tunes in commercials.
When the Beatle's catalog came up for grabs, Michael got his hands on it before Paul did-and minutes later, you could hear Beatle's tunes used to hawk everything from sneakers to diapers. Not exactly what I think John or Paul had in mind for their music. It turned my stomach a bit, to know that John's widow and his writing partner had no say say say in the matter.
Yes, the man made significant contributions to pop music and inspired many other musicians. No, I'm not devastated by his passing. The two can be mutually exclusive, can't they?
Let's just say I'm happy the only stations my car radio gets right now are country stations...