What can I say? It's been a hell of a week for dying icons: first Ed McMahon two days ago, then Farrah Fawcett this morning and finally Michael Jackson this afternoon. The most shocking death was MJ, of course. I mean, Ed was in his 80s and was in failing health and Farrah had been fighting cancer for years so their passings were not really surprising.
A couple of girls came into my job today and said,"We just heard Michael Jackson died!" My coworkers and I all said,"No way!" We thought it was a hoax, even after we saw the news on the TMZ website. As soon as I got home, I turned on Entertainment Tonight to see if it was true. Apparently, when the show was taped, the news hadn't been confirmed and the episode focused on Farrah. However, they did show the picture of MJ in the ambulance, and then I realized that it was probably true, as incomprehensible as it was (is).
A lot is going to being written about Jackson in the coming days and weeks about his family, his idiosyncracies, his physical changes, and his influence on music and dance. I remember watching the debut of the moonwalk when I was small and replicating the move on the tiled kitchen floor with my friends. One could say that he is my generation's Elvis as far as his impact on music and popular culture (there's also the Lisa Marie connection). It will be interesting to see what people will eventually say about Jackson, as the shock of his death is so far bringing, from what I can tell, only glowing accolades and calls for prayers for his family and his soul's peace.
All I can say, personally, is that last week I was compelled to repeatedly listen to the song "This Place Hotel" that he wrote and performed with The Jacksons. I've always found the lyrics and the instrumentation of the tune to be fascinating, not to mention the fact that the song says "heartbreak hotel" rather than "this place hotel." Turns out, he was going to call it "Heartbreak Hotel" before he found out about that other tune with the same name, sung by his future father-in-law.
Hi-yo Ed! Farewell Farrah! Godspeed MJ!