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.

Pop