My Father taught me how to moonwalk when I was eight (no light task for a man who claimed he couldn’t dance and was wearing crocheted slippers at the time). I swiped my Mother’s “Thriller” cassette shortly after she opened the insert to point out how ‘cool’ Michael looked with his tiger next to him. I bought “Thriller” on CD when I was sixteen. Years later, I purchased “Thriller” on vinyl. I have always been very proud to own this album on three mediums-three being my lucky number.
One of my best chums, Erin, and I discovered Off the Wall and ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ & ‘Rock With You’ continue to top my charts of favourite songs by the King of Pop. For a birthday, a couple of years ago, my Mum & another friend treated me to the “Thriller” special souped-up CD and Michael’s CD of “Number Ones”.
On the special album of Thriller is the B song ‘Carousel’, which I believe is one of Michael’s most beautiful and innocent songs. It proposes the fantasy of a candy-coated life in which true love between a man and a woman (indicating in my mind, ultimately, for all humans) is possible for more than a short period of time. ‘Carousel’ is a perfect compliment to my favourite Michael Jackson song, ‘Human Nature’. (‘Human Nature’ was/is my Mum’s best Michael song and also the first tune I learned to play on the piano.)
Aside from sparking my interest in all things shiny, Michael Jackson was a H.U.G.E. part of my life growing up. (That sounds so corny, but it’s absolutely true.) Listening to ‘Human Nature’ for the first time haunted me, that beautiful melody, listening to the message behind the notes, then learning the song and making it my own was pure magic. And that’s what Michael is to me, pure magic.
Michael personifies a life without boundaries, racism, judgement, and a thirst (however unquenchable it may have appeared to some) for people to care for each other and about each other. I grew up in a town where so many where judged for their gender, race, dress, and culture. Through music, and a great deal of that stemming from Michael, I learned to shut out boundaries and stereotypes. I adore the softness of ‘Human Nature’ & ‘Carousel’ more so now, at 32, for their gentleness’ in unfolding the tale of a Boy from Gary, Indiana, who worked his way towards stardom, loved humans so much that he crafted our race into his medium, and who proposed and fought for a goal of ultimate love.