...Hope you are well...
I woke up like the rest of the world to the news that Jacko is no longer part of the plan. What a shocker.
Met him when I was working on The Brits one year - the Jarvis Cocker mooning year. Some of the artists have to work through the night because the rehearsals take so long and this year he was one of them.
It was 2am at Earls Court on the main stage - a closed set so very few people were allowed access. I was (just about) and what I saw was not some goofball with a hanky tied around his mouth, but a guy in jeans and a green t-shirt totally at ease with himself and all those around him, busy putting the kids through their paces of a complicated dance routine. He led by example and made them gasp open mouthed with the way he moved whenever he showed them how to do something, laughing and joking with them to get his point across like all the best teachers.
Was this the same guy who had arrived moments earlier amidst all the usual madness ? Not for a second. There was definitely a game being played here, and he was the one in the driving seat.
The next night when Bob Geldof came on to introduce him as he had requested, Bob had been told specifically he had to use the term King of Pop otherwise there would be a no show - back to the madness.
When Jacko came on to accept his "special award" he did his usual squeaky - I'm so shy I don't know what to do act - presumably because he thought this is what we wanted. If only he felt the world could have seen him as he was the evening before... a real cool dude getting on with his own genius..
When it comes to his private life what he did and didn't do that was wrong I have no idea - none of us ever will - but death is sad in the majority of cases and for someone who brought an extraordinary amount of joy to peoples' lives, I can't help feeling he deserves all the homages and tributes which no doubt will be played on radio and television stations across the world for the next week or so.
And at least with the great expectation of what was about to happen in East London in the next couple of months via his comeback/farewell shows (who knows what his plans were?), he didn't fade away without reminding us to have some regard for his art. The tickets for those shows were the fastest selling tickets in history, and I can't tell you the number of people that have since asked me if there is there any way I could get them in.
His untimely passing has left us all guessing once again as to what might have been - and once again only he will have known the truth - but by all accounts from what I have heard of how the rehearsals were going, he was coming back with the biggest of bangs.
Fifty is no age to leave this mortal coil nowadays but that means it is also no age to be remembered as having ever been old - just maybe older. At least he will now never have to endure the mantle of being The Granddaddy of Pop - something I am sure he would have hated.
See you Monday people.
The second hour of today's All Request Friday is going to be filled with Michael Jackson songs. So, please post your favourites below for us to play.