Friday, June 26, 2009

We Interrupt This Program

"We Interrupt Our Regular Broadcasting for the Following Special Report"
Can you imagine your mother and father, with bullwhips in hand, forcing you at the age of 4 to learn routines and to beat you into a genius who by five was a genius and was a entertainment puppet with his father's hand up his ass working the works. Michael Jackson was that puppet. Old Man Jackson's Pinocchio son, the family nestegg. Bullwhipping the five Jackson brothers into a world-class group, a prodigy group, with little Michael as the star, a star from the time he was born into the Gary, Indiana, Jackson clan. Jimmy Reed, the blues man, used to work in the steel mills of Gary in order to make a living so he could spin a new American music on the world, right there in Gary, Indiana, in the bars and slugfest joints near the steel mills; so did Eddie Taylor and Hounddog Taylor, and Muddy Waters, and Willie Dixon, and all those Chicago transplated Mississippi, Tennessee, and Saint Louis motherfuckers who turned American music upsidedown. Out of them came the Jackson Five. Jesus Christ, folks, they came out of these bluesmen who worked the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, where Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five were born and raised and heard the music on the radio or live in the joints, jukes, and clubs, heard Jimmy Reed singing how he'd found true love and how the boll weevil was wearing the overalls down in Mississippi while Jimmy and Hounddog and Eddie and Lefty Bates and Muddy and Willie and all of them were working their asses off in the steel mills and playing the juke joints at night, drinking that whiskey and gin, wearing them red suits and playing those Jimmy Reed Model Thin Twin Kay guitars, guitars made in Chicago, sunbursts, solid bodies, sweet-sounding guitars.
A 1957 Kay-made Sears & Roebuck Silvertone Jimmy Reed Model Thin Twin Gitbox
The Absolutely Genius American Music Inventor Jimmy Reed Playing His Kay Jimmy Reed Model Thin Twin Guitar--a Blonde One--Look at That Pick Guard!

You know Michael Jackson's old man made the boys listen to Jimmy Reed. I mean, come on, Jimmy Reed's music gave rise to The Push, and Michael Jackson is simply doing the Push when he's gliding--James Brown took the glide and added all those rocket-to-the-moon steps--watch James Brown and Michael Jackson when they're dancin' their asses off, they're always keepin' time with one heel, while manipulating the 1st, 4th, and 8th steps of the sequences. We used to do the North Texas Push--and shit, a good Pusher could double-step and glide and slide all over the slick floor. I watch Michael Jackson and yes I see James Brown but I also see Jimmy Reed and Houndog Taylor and houserockers all over in Texas and Detroit and Chicago and Lawsbanana and Alabanana and Memfast, Tennessee, and on the Mississippi at Saint Louie and East Saint Louie and up the river to Chitown, Sweet Home Chicago, and across Lake Michigan and into Detroit City, the Motor City, Motown--and then there were all those cool Detroit bluesmen like John Lee Hooker who Michael and the Boyz had to have heard...or maybe the great Clarence Carter--man, the boyz had to have heard Clarence Carter.

The Great Clarence Carter "Strokin' It"

Damn right I dug Michael Jackson. He was the epitome of Black-American music in this country; where OUR original blues led us--and Michael had jazz in him, too. I mean, come on, Quincy Jones loved this dude. When you were dealing with the future of American music you had to deal with Michael Jackson. Unlike a lot of the other Motown phenoms, Michael didn't rest on his laurels. I mean, come on, this dude wrote some of the greatest tunes ever written. I mean, listen to "Human Nature." What a fucking song. Miles did it it was so great. And, hell, Michael wrote the filmscore to "Ben," the great rat movie. Michael wrote that great "Centipede" that his sweet sister Rebbie recorded. That's a hell of a tune.

Sure Michael was weird. You'd be weird, too, if you were a celebrity at five, a millionaire at 12, and later so big time, you bailed the Beatles out of debt by buying all their music. That he was 500 million in debt at his death--who cares! Look at how that son of a bitch lived! The cards were stacked against him! I mean, come on, a rock star dying of a drug overdose! That's normal. At least he died in the business, rehearsing for a big Last Chance tour, which would have cleared up all his debts. [It's too bad President Obama couldn't bail out our national institutions like Michael Jackson instead of the criminal (child-abusers deluxe) banks and financial institutions--those who contribute nothing but detriment to our culture. Those who eventually wipe out great geniuses like Michael Jackson, take over his life, a life of body guards, accountants, lawyers, agents, parasites, all sucking the life out of the Queen Bee.]

I once saw a very good docudrama on Michael where he goes back to Alabama to the roots of his family and he walks around among shacks and sallow cottonfields and mud and ruts and unpainted frame shacks with sagging porches--and I saw the little son of a bitch actually start shedding tears as he walked up to a Jackson auntie or granny cabin to meet one of his ancient Jackson elders. Jesus, that was real. What wasn't real was Michael Jackson being mechanized into a commercial property. That's what kills all our Amurican geniuses. Elvis Presley, love him or hate him, was a masterer of the American blues/rock idiom, a black idiom, a blues idiom, a high-valued stylist who was remade and jerked around and PR'd to the point of zombieism--and Elvis died with his head in a toilet puking the drugs out of his dead system.

You'll see. Same thing in the case of Michael. A Doctor Nick (Elvis's pill-pushing dealer-doctor--with a license to kill by prescribing) is in Michael's life. A Doctor with a spike full of Heaven on Earth will be responsible for shooting Michael to death--shooting him up to death.

Yes, I made fun of Michael Jackson the freak, though he was no more a freak than Reggie Jackson or Jesse Jackson. I mean come on, can you imagine the expectations of you after "Thriller" becomes the greatest selling album of music ever recorded? Michael Jackson after that, and he wrote and produced "Thriller," too, was commercialized into a zombie. That's when his insecurities overtook him and he tried to become White like his handlers were telling him he had to become. "The White audience, Michael, that's your audience, not those darkie-ages Blacks--they're taking us back to the jungle, Michael, we need you, Great White Hunter, to lead us out of the jungle and into the White suburbs, where the money is."

And soon there was Liz Taylor, and Elvis's fucked-up daughter, and Madonna ("Come on, Mikey, don't you want to fuck me like all the other men in the world do?"), and all of 'em tried to climb on board. Plus he had to deal with supporting his whole otherside worthless family--his weird mother and even-weirder father; all his semi-talented brothers and no-talented sisters--where the hell would Janet Jackson be if Michael hadn't of paved the way? And the neurotic La Toya--posing nude in Playboy in order to divorce herself from moralistic Michael--even Janet later showing her hairy pussy in order to prove she was not infected with the Jackson bigendernaturality.

Michael Jackson was plasticized until he finally suffocated from the pressures of parasite handlers. Michael was smothered to death by fame and illfortune. If Michael had of been White? Go ahead, you figure it out.
Michael Jackson in the Glory Days

With high respect for an American genius,

for The Daily Growler

A Mural in the Lobby of the Texas & Pacific RR Station in Albany, Texas, Circa 1935.


Language said...

Yeah, it's too bad his genius is overshadowed in the popular mind by all the bullshit. In the US, anyway; I just saw a quote from some guy in Egypt saying "he symbolized Western music and culture for us." I guarantee you that guy doesn't care about, and probably never heard of, MJ's drug use, sexual preferences, and excessive whitening. He cares about the music.

Marybeth said...

I have an infinity of things to say about Michael Jackson, but most of all, that I loved him absolutely.

That he had too many plastic surgeries was not all that freaky. It's common enough in the celebrity world. That he had a proclivity for 13 year old boys is a little freaky, but unfortunately not all that uncommon. What WAS truly freaky about Michael Jackson was his music and his dancing which were about 40 standard deviations out from the norm. That was what was freaky about Michael. He was a rarified genius even in the realm of geniuses.

I played his "Thriller" album to death, but never killed it. I can still listen to any and all of those songs with relish ESPECIALLY Human Nature, which I think is one of the best songs of all time. It was not, however, written by Michael. It was composed by Steve Porcaro with lyrics by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis. Michael's delivery is the best in the world though, trumping even Miles's cover-- and God knows I adore Miles.

The videos of Michael doing Human Nature are so sweet. Michael's voice is surreal in its beauty and the poignancy of his delivery is achingly sweet. I could never get enough of him doing that song.

I always loved him even after the world drove him to isolation and strangeness. This world always kills its most beautiful because it doesn't understand them. Michael Jackson was too beautiful for this ugly world of assholes. His story is a sad one. His music and dancing lift me up still, and I'm so sorry that life wasn't kinder to him.

And thanks for your tribute. It was, as always with you, very informative. Curiously, I was on West 31st Street in NYC when heard he was dead. I was walking from the Frick on 70th and 5th down to the Staten Island Ferry and had just passed the junction of 5th and Broadway. Your neck of the woods. See, I could have passed you on the street. Who knows? Maybe the same bird echoed through both of us separate in the evening (to quote Rilke).

The Daily Growler said...


In defense of our self-admitted invincible Wolf Man, he does not say Michael wrote "Human Nature"--the sentence before he mentions "Human Nature" he did flat-out say Jackson wrote some of the greatest tunes ever written, but that period ends that statement. His contention would be Miles did the tune because of Michael's version and not because Steve Porcaro wrote it.

You see why the Wolf Man has put you as a character, a divine character, on his parallel line, as adjacent to him in terms of mind, body, and charm (what you might call spirit) (it's actually Debbie Harry's theory) a character of like character in terms of everyday people (Sly Stone) and how they like those proverbial ships passing in the night are closer and nearer as long as they are characters in the continuing present than they think or know. It's a fascinating theory if you get involved in its novel use as implied on this blog. Yes, you were in Wolf Man territory where you were, the bellybutton (the disconnected umbilical) of Manhattan as he calls it, and, yes, you could have passed the Wolf Man, stared right into his eyes, though wouldn't you have known it if you had?--but be glad you didn't--it's much more romantic this way, isn't it?--but then according to the theory, you are always on a parallel line with the Wolf Man even when you are back on the Other Coast. Like we said, fascinating isn't it?

We producing laborers (ignoble workers) here at the Growler are jealous of your continuing status with the Wolf Man, a status we're too real to ever get to enjoy.

the Growler staff

Marybeth said...

I guess I'll just have to accept divine character status. Could be worse.

love, twtp, Mb