Throwback Thursday: My Earliest Memories of Michael Jackson

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Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 55th birthday.  I don’t really believe in saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to someone who is no longer here, because I just don’t see how it could be ‘happy’ for them if they’re dead.  That’s just my personal belief though, so you’re welcome to disagree.  I prefer to remember them, so that’s what I’m gonna do.  In conjunction with it being a Throwback Thursday, I’m going to recall my earliest memory of him.

I was five years old and living in Guyana, South America.  There were no television stations there at the time, so I remember my parents used to play a lot of music (and this is where my love of Soca music began).  One of the albums they had was the Thriller album, and I don’t remember whether it was one of their favourites or if it was played so often to keep me occupied, but I know I absolutely loved it.  I used to sit with my ear to the big speaker we had in the sitting room, because I thought Michael Jackson was in there, singing.

Of course the whole album is just a masterpiece, but I distinctly remember having an opinion on three of the songs back then.  The first one was Wanna Be Startin Somethin.  It was a BIG deal to me that I knew when the “Hee hee hee ha!” bit came in the instrumental break.  I think my mum had laughed and commended me one time, because she was surprised that I knew when it came, and this made me feel like a genius or something.

The second song was The Girl Is Mine.  I didn’t have a clue who Paul McCartney was, I just knew I didn’t like him because he was trying to fight with Michael Jackson and take his girl.  There was no way the girl was Paul’s!  Not over Michael Jackson.  No way!  Horrible man.  Leave Michael Jackson alone, he told you he’s a lover not a fighter!

(Notice I have to say Michael Jackson’s full name, because back then no one ever referred to him as just Michael.  He was Michael Jackson.)

TheGirlIsMine

The third song I had thoughts on was Lady In My Life.  It was the part when he sings “Stay with me/I want you to stay with meeeeee…”  Five year-old Wendy felt so sorry for him!  (Yes – ‘Wendy’.  I started spelling it with an ‘i’ when I was 12).  Why didn’t she want to stay with him??  Why would Michael Jackson have to ask you to stay with him??  Why was everyone being horrible to Michael Jackson? 😦

One thing that baffled me was… scroll up to the photo at the top of this post… Can you see the way he has two very prominent veins sticking out of his wrist area?  How??  I didn’t understand it and it made me study my own wrist trying to figure it out.

It wasn’t until we came back to live in London that I saw the Thriller video, and I became a walking contradiction.  The video scared the sh*te out of me, but I loved it.  My cousins had The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller on video, and on my orders we had to watch it every single time we went to their house.  But I loved Michael Jackson and was scared of him in equal measures, because I thought that every time he appeared on TV he would turn into a werewolf.  I have a memory of watching him perform Human Nature (I think) on Top Of The Pops, and watching it while hiding behind my hands…  The good ole days, eh?

I’ve always said that no man has ever created excitement for me the way Michael Jackson did, so all I can do is thank him for his creativity.

RIP Michael Jackson x

5 Dance Routines I Want To Master

I have always been into dance routines.  Not every type of dance, mind you, because ballet and salsa have never held my interest, but more like streetdance fused with other types.  I used to be part of a ‘dance kartel’ called Syze Nyne, which I absolutely loved, and I performed in shows a few times.  When I was young I was definitely the girl you’d find in front of the TV trying to copy the routines from my favourite music videos, and if I’m honest, I think I probably mastered them quite well… except because I was facing the TV, my moves would be in the opposite direction if I were to perform on stage with the artists.  But I tried!

Here are some routines I would love to learn PROPERLY and perform on stage one day… even if I’m 60!  They’re on my Bucket List.  In no particular order:

‘Dangerous’, 1995 MTV Video Music Awards performance – Michael Jackson

You shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve started off with Michael Jackson.  I love him, so I love all his routines, but this one excited me immensely the first time I saw it.  I love it, it’s full of “swagger”, it’s tight, it’s just BAD (pun intended).  Since ‘Dangerous’ wasn’t officially released as a single with a video, it was exciting to see what was done with it.  Kudos to the choreographer Travis Payne.

‘Single Ladies’ – Beyonce

I know, I know, you’re probably tired of hearing this song, because it was so huge that it was rinsed everywhere, but if you’re a woman you must admit that this routine is a good one to know just for the sake of knowing it.  It’s sexy and fierce – who doesn’t want to be sexy and fierce??!  Kudos to the choreographer Jonte Moaning.

‘Give It To You’ – Jordan Knight

I was a massive New Kids On The Block fan, and I was in love with Jordan (I actually couldn’t believe someone could be that good looking), so when he released his first solo song, I was just so happy that it was such a tune.  I even purchased the dance instruction video of his choreographer (Darrin Henson)… yes I did.  Kudos to him.

‘Are You That Somebody’ – Aaliyah

This came out in the height of my dancing days, so you can imagine how much I wanted to be one of Aaliyah’s dancers back then!  I even had my hair in long, single braided extensions, and tried to emulate the style she has in this video.  The dancing definitely made me appreciate the song even more, even though it was already a ‘choon’.  Kudos to the choreographer Fatima Robinson.

‘Rhythm Nation’ – Janet

Janet Jackson gave birth to all these other female artists who feature choreographed dance routines as part of their act.  Nuff said.  Kudos to the choreographer Anthony Thomas.

Click this for the actual music video.

Are there any dancers/wannabe dancers among you?  Which routine would you want to learn?