Jul 09

kids these days

FT10 comments • 320 views

So, I’m quite young-ish. Well, sort of. Teenagers still think I’m old and weird but I do qualify for a railcard and that. As a result, I have only really quite dim memories of Michael Jackson before he turned into a really odd person who occasionally bobbed up with a fourteen minute video and generally felt like something I knew was very important but in a similar way to the way in which I know Elvis was very important but ultimately irrelevant to myself.

The news that he’d died was, consequently, sort of sad in a distant way and I feel really bad for his children, with all the ‘OMG HES NOT UR FATHER’ press -sorry dudes, he brought them up, they’ve just lost their dad, even if it’s true then no need to throw that around. Still, I knew it was something I was quite detached from.

Except that this morning I’ve been listening to a 1Xtra tribute show and have realised a) my woeful lack of any kind of knowledge of his back-catalogue beyond a few very big hits and b) exactly how incredibly world-formingly important he was. I It sounds pretty stupid but I had no idea that when people said he invented modern pop music, they actually meant he literally invented modern pop music.

It’s not per se too late but perhaps an inopportune moment to have this revelation, obviously and I’m mostly just horrified that my rockist younger self (taking ‘younger self’ to mean ‘pretty much up until this morning’) never bothered to look into his back catalogue, despite it being at least relevant to my r’n’b interests.

I would add that I did a similar thing with Busted just after they broke up and I was forced to admit that actually I really liked pop music but that seems bad taste. Still; I do wonder how many other people my age (twenty two) or younger are having the revelatory ‘he wrote HOW MANY of these songs?!’ moment.

Or possibly it is just me that somehow managed to embed my head so firmly into the biscuit tin of indie that I completely failed to notice.

Still, belatedly and apologetically: I salute you, Jacko.

Maybe I should do a series where I go back and listen to important musicians: ‘Oh my god, these Beatles chaps are almost as good as McFly!’ etc.


  1. 1
    xyzzzz__ on 6 Jul 2009 #

    I feel I’ve delved into the MJ catalogue by just hearing his voice coming out of passing cars.

  2. 2
    Pete on 6 Jul 2009 #

    You weren’t wrong about Busted! either though (but when you think about it the Busted namecheck of MJ shows how awesome he was – he was the pop pinnacle that in the rebooted Star Trek universe they managed to topple!)


  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 6 Jul 2009 #

    Matt from Busted was reknowned for his MJ obsession, wasn’t he?

  4. 4

    omg alex out of blur was in another band before he was in new order!

  5. 5

    no wai, i lub alexxx from the blurs!

    It was James Busted who was the big MJ fan, if I remember correctly, Matt was only allowed to do The Clash. Not that the Clash are a bad thing, obv.

    I think I maybe will do a series; not sure what to do next tho. Maybe Led blvddy Zeppellin, who I’ve never seen the point of.

  6. 6
    Pete on 7 Jul 2009 #

    Hmm, I think you may continue to not understand ver Zep, I am not sure I ever understood them (except of Immigrant Song OF COURSE).

    As for the Clash, you could do an investigation into if you can work out from the music why so many people (punks) don’t like them.

  7. 7
    Tom on 7 Jul 2009 #

    The longer my beard is the more I like the Zep. There’s a lesson in that.

  8. 8
    Lex on 7 Jul 2009 #

    The lesson being “don’t grow your beard too long” ;)

    I had a similar thing to Moggy w/MJ’s discography a few years ago, I think it’s a natural result of not having been around at the time…I think a lot of people get stuff from their parents’ record collection and from pop generally being around as they were growing up but I didn’t, so everything pre-1990 I’ve had to discover in retrospect.

  9. 9
    Pete Baran on 7 Jul 2009 #

    Teenagers still think I’m old and weird but I do qualify for a railcard and that BTW< I thought you meant a OAP Railcard haha.

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