Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Remorse About Michael Jackson (Part 1 of a Series)

So, most of my gradeschool years were spent in a world where top 40 pop music was the only thing around. This wasn't necessarily my fault, I just didn't know well enough to go looking for something better, and up until around 4th or 5th grade, it really was something I enjoyed. 6th grade was a time when things took a major turn for the worse, both musically and socially for me, but more about that later.

As I'm sure every kid my age did, I obtained a copy of "Thriller" by Michael Jackson for Christmas in 1983 (when I was 8). It was on vinyl, of course, because I didn't have my own stereo of any kind yet, and my parents didn't have a tape deck in the house, only a turntable. We played that record a LOT, as I'm sure most kids did once they got their hands on a copy.

"Thriller" became a part of my life not because of MTV (as I'm sure it had with most people) or listening to top 40 radio (lite-rock radio was as far out as we got most of the time in my house), but specifically because of America's Top 40 with Casey Kasem (broadcast, fortunately enough, every Sunday on the lite-rock radio station from noon to 4:00 pm). As soon as I realized that this show existed, I was glued to it every week (starting somewhere, I'm pretty sure, around the fall of 1982). I was introduced to Michael Jackson through this medium, as well as numerous other artists of that time that I still have a great fondness for.

At some point, however, my fondness for Michael Jackson soured, and I jettisoned my prized copy of "Thriller". If I remember correctly, I donated it to a church garage sale some time in high school. I don't have any idea why I did this, except that MJ had fallen out of my own personal graces ("Thriller" was the only album of his I ever owned to begin with) and I was definitely starting to shave off bits of my music collection that I didn't really think I would enjoy long-term.

My remorse about this is clear; I'd really love to have my vinyl copy of "Thriller" back, especially now. It was still in pretty good shape when I got rid of it, too, which means that it would still be in good shape now (I was wise enough by high school to know how to take good care of my records). Perhaps, someday, I'll come across a copy of it in a used vinyl shop and know, in my heart, that it's my copy, waiting to be reclaimed.

1 comment:

Holley Mangham, Class of 92 said...

Great topic!

I had Thriller on cassette. I'm pretty sure my first two cassettes were Thriller and Wham.

Well, once it became not so cool to listen to MJ anymore, I recorded over it. I don't remember what I recorded, probably Casey Kasem's Top 40 one week. Even though I no longer listen to cassettes, I still wish I had that one.

Sadly, I never realized what we had until Michael was dead. The very morning he died, I switched channels on my XM radio when "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" came on. By that afternoon, his music was all I wanted to hear for days.