The Passing of Legends
As I get older I find myself reflecting more and more. Some days a trickle, today a cascade. If you are over the age of 30 the passing of two legends today has to bring something to mind. Lets start with Farah Fawcett: Males anywhere near my age remember Farah. You have to remember Farah, very well!. How could you not?. I especially remember the red bathing suit poster. One of the biggest selling posters ever. I wasn't allowed to have it. Some of my friends did. I found myself at their homes a lot more often than my friends who didn't.
Time Magazine had a layout of the new sex symbols back in 1977. Cheryl Tiegs, Farah Fawcett and the rest of Charlie's Angels were prominently displayed. Word spread quickly once that magazine hit the library magazine rack. I had never seen lines at the rack before. One magazine, a school full of guys.You know that magazine didn't have a very long shelf life. I'm told somebody lifted it after only three days. I hate to think were it ended up.
Besides her sex appeal who can forget Farah's feathered hair ? It seemed like almost every girl at Victoria High had their hair parted down the middle and feathered back. Lots of guys did too. And you should have seen me! Blond hair, parted down the middle and yes feathered!!!!
About that time a new king would emerge. Michael Jackson was quickly becoming the new king. Elvis had died a few years earlier, and the crown had been passed on to Michael Jackson. (Some may argue one was the King, one the King of Pop) Even before that, I remember my first 45 was the Jackson's A-B-C. I remember as a kid thinking, that kid Michael Jackson is destined for greatness. I had no idea! One of my first album's was Jackson's Off The Wall. While I remember his music, it was his dance moves that were all the rage. What you don't realize is my South Texas high school was country, geographically and musically. Two step, polka and a cumbia or two were the moves of the day. So for us to be talking about and imitating his dances ( or trying to) was something quite remarkable. And though I tried, I could never quite do the moon walk. Few could do it like him.
Years later and two albums later Michael Jackson and his family would take off on an international concert tour. It was the Victory Tour. I got to go to it. It was one of my first concerts. It was at Cowboy Stadium and it was packed. We were so far back you could barely make out which Jackson was which. There was no mistaking though which one was Michael Jackson. While the concert was all about MJ, the hi-light I remember the most was the surprise guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen. (Eddie had a solo in Michael's "Beat it." ) Van Halen was playing at Cowboy stadium the following night and Eddie agreed to pop in.
As I grew up my memories of Michael are less and less favorable. I would often shake my head in disbelief every time I would see him. Michael and his plastic surgeons would embark on changing his face forever. His facial evolution was taking place in front of everyone. He became a caricature of himself. He was looking more and more like a freak. Then came the charges of child molestation, over and over again. No jury, no judge would ever convict him. But in the court of public opinion he had been found guilty. He was a freak! Regardless of my feelings about him. I had hoped his career would be re-borne. Despite all of his personal problems, Michael Jackson was brilliant. Plus everybody needs a 2nd chance. Secretly, I would have rooted for him. That 2nd chance would have begun next month in London.
Although I no longer have that Jackson single or the "Off The Wall" LP, I do have "A-B-C" and "Beat it" on my I-pod at work. The newsroom will hear those song a few times on Friday. Then and Now