Michael Jackson RIP

Whatever negative press Michael Jackson has received over the years – most notably his child sex abuse allegations – there is no doubt that as a performer he was the best. Jackson’s best years were 1978-1986 where he produced three great albums: Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad.

Thriller is when Michael Jackson’s status as being cool among youth peaked. I lost count of the amount of red leather jackets that were worn by young men in London during 1983. Such was the impact of his video Thriller.

His music during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s were a big influence on me as a kid.

It’s rare that someone famous has had an impact on my life. When I was 11 years old, Thriller did, it directed my music tastes and got me through the 1983-84 season, which was one of Arsenal’s worst.

Bad was released the same year that George Graham was appointed Arsenal’s new manager. Graham brought the glory days back to Arsenal, something which I never thought could happen. But Graham has something in common with Michael Jackson. I held both in high esteem.

Then in 1993, Jackson was accused of child abuse and settled out of court. His aura was never the same and his music suffered.

In 1995, George Graham was fired by Arsenal for stealing 250,000 pounds from the club. His teams had become predictable, boring, and finished mid-table. Then in 1998 he became the manager of Spurs. I suddenly found myself hating a man that I once viewed as a legend.

I have never hated Michael Jackson. If anything I pitied him, especially after he was cleared of another child abuse allegation in June 2005. The man, who was once an idol for so many, was now a laughing stock.

It’s a shame when that happens, but people should never forget that Michael Jackson was a genius when it came to music.



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