Michael Jackson: Never Can Say Good Bye


By Marilyn Ferdinand

No freak show speculations or gawking at the face that changed strangely through the years. Only admiration for the wonderful music, my music, the music of my adolescence and young adulthood. The Jackson 5 were all over the airwaves when I was growing up. My dance studio played the first copy of “Thriller” I ever heard, and I was one of the “early adopters” of that album. I outgrew his music, even as he never grew up. But I’ll never stop loving it. Here’s a ubiquitous song from 1972 that was the first one I thought of when I heard the news. Only Michael Jackson could have made such a corny song this vital:

  • Sanjeewa spoke:
    26th/06/2009 to 12:40 am

    Good Bye Jacko…………
    Never can say good bye 2 u…
    But u ve gone…………………….

  • fox spoke:
    26th/06/2009 to 9:26 am

    I guess a lot of the memorials today will talk about the freakshow – and a comprehensive look at MJ should – but you’re right that the music is a separate thing, and I’d still argue that Thriller is a fantastic studio creation up there with Pet Sounds.
    On individual songs, I could say a lot, I’m a fan, but I’ve been thinking of “She’s Out of My Life” a lot today simply b/c that song can make me cry if it catches me in the right (wrong?) mood.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    26th/06/2009 to 9:48 am

    Fox – Very shortly after I heard the news, I was already seeing the jokes on Facebook from people I like and respect. It is my firm belief that Michael Jackson suffered from physical and sexual abuse as a child – not to mention the pressures of being the front “man” of the Jackson 5. His serial plastic surgeries are strong evidence of that, as well as the confessions of such abuse by his siblings. I can’t make fun of someone who suffered such deep pain. In a way, I’m glad it’s over for him at last.

  • fox spoke:
    26th/06/2009 to 10:33 am

    The belief that he was abused himself is something that I think should be delved into more. I’m sure the Jackson family has handlers that would never let that happen (remember when LaToya came out awhile back alleging such things and she was quickly silenced?), but I think it might at least give people perspective.
    Of course, that doesn’t excuse MJ’s alleged behaviors towards children himself, but it gives us a fuller picture. His life really does follow a tragic trajectory. And it’s sadly poetic how he slowly, physically fell apart and withered away up until his death.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    26th/06/2009 to 10:40 am

    The hubby doesn’t believe he actually had sex with those children, only that he was a very lonely man who wanted a childhood and tried to make it happen by creating Neverland and bringing children into his life. I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure how far he went, but that theory at least seems possible.

  • Pat spoke:
    27th/06/2009 to 9:43 am

    Marilyn –
    Nice tribute. Like you, I was a huge Jackson 5 fan in my younger days. At 12, I was the odd girl out in my crowd because I preferred Michael Jackson to Donny Osmond. I loved “Off the Wall” and “Thriller,” and can only feel sad about Jackson’s decline in recent years.

  • Ryan Kelly spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 9:40 am

    Marilyn, you’re so right, it’s borderline cruel to pick on someone who had such an awful, awful life. However, I don’t think it’s worth letting the jokes get you down, because all the jokes (and there sure are a lot of them, aren’t there?) just speak to what an icon he was and will remain.
    The press, in spite of their constant vilification of the man (and being born in ’88, all I remember is Jackson-the-Freakazoid, the sideshow attraction), really owes him a big hearty “Thank you” for creating a circus with everything he said or did ever since the ’90s. Including, and maybe especially, his death. And the blame game with respect to his death has already started— though rather than holding the doctor who gave him the drugs he wanted accountable, how about we hold AEG and his bankers accountable for forcing a 50 year old, withering man who was in a wheel-chair half the time to do 50 shows straight. He probably couldn’t have done that even if he was a completely healthy 50 year old which, clearly, he was not. Who was controlling him? I would bet this impending comeback tour was a large factor in his death.
    The sad life that led up to the passing is more tragic than the passing itself, I think. Like you, I’m almost glad his suffering is over.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 9:47 am

    That’s very compassionate, Ryan, and I’m sorry you never saw the Michael Jackson from earlier eras. He was truly a joy to millions. The press? I don’t swear, but fuck ’em. His handlers and “family”? Vultures. I say keep his mother as far away from his estate as possible – she deserves nothing, particularly not control.

  • Daniel spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 11:32 am

    Very nice sentiments, Marilyn. I’ve been touched by his music over the years as well, really getting into it between the Bad and Dangerous albums. But I did catch up on the Jackson 5 and always considered MJ to be the greatest pop icon of my life. A person could go into a state of deep depression thinking about the decline of pop music in the last decade. And I agree with your husband that he was a victim of stunted, abused development, which did not necessarily make him a pedophile. I actually have more thoughts on this in a post I’m writing.
    A tragic end, to be sure, but some consolation is that he didn’t pass in his prime. We really saw the best he had to offer – I’m just bummed I never got to do so in person.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 1:44 pm

    I look forward to reading that, Daniel. As you’ll see, I just posted Rod’s appreciation for 80s music videos, of which MJ’s were the most influential. I never saw him live, either, I wasn’t that kind of fan. I had a chance to see Stevie Wonder in my high school gymnasium, believe it or not, but I had no idea who he was. That’s one I’ll always regret.

  • Daniel spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 4:12 pm

    Yes, I look forward to digging into Rod’s essay there. I certainly enjoyed revisiting a lot of his videos over the weekend.
    Stevie Wonder – wow! It took me until I was older to develop an appreciation for his music, but that’s a chance I likely wouldn’t pass up these days.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    30th/06/2009 to 4:19 pm

    As they say, if I knew then what I know now. I do have a picture of him performing in my high school yearbook.

  • Melissa spoke:
    21st/07/2009 to 2:22 pm

    Michael Jackson was wonderful and amazing, bottom line.

  • Felicity spoke:
    23rd/07/2009 to 12:08 pm

    I’m deeply touched by Michael Jackson’s passing

  • Felicity spoke:
    23rd/07/2009 to 12:12 pm

    I heard the news in the beginning of july, around my birthday :'[

  • Felicity spoke:
    23rd/07/2009 to 12:16 pm

    and yes he was amazing Melissa

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