When I was eight years old and the Thriller album came out, this was the first album I was completely in love with. Nothing topped it. I remember getting a pair of red parachute pants as a present and thought they were the greatest thing in the world. About a month later I had put holes in the knees of them from constantly sliding across the floor. I lusted for a few years after that to get the red jacket, but it never emerged. I would have still bought one up to a couple years ago – it was never meant to be though.
I was in Greenville at my Godmother’s house and her son staying up and waiting when the Thriller video had it’s world premiere and we thought it was the greatest thing ever made. I think they aired it a few times that night and we watched it everytime – to think this was on MTV back when they actually showed music videos.
Lastly I participated in Hands Across America – Michael was into it and through this chain of millions of people I would be connected with him and everyone else in the world. Even though we lived in Elyria at the time, our place in the “Hands” line was literally about 2-3 miles away from the town we would eventually move it. We were at the Ford Plant on route 6 in Lorain, which is a literal stones throw from Vermilion. I remember thinking that Michael organized the whole thing – I know better now. He was one of the prime reasons I was into it though.
As I remember people were just mulling around, no one wanted to hold hands until it was time. When the correct time happened there was this line of people holding hands as far as I could see to the east and the west. It was a moment in time that struck me even at the age of ten that this was a monumental thing.
Time passed and I can say any fascination with Michael passed out of my life. We’ll skip the controversy years, but slip in that I loved that he owned a monkey. Recently I heard about his gearing up for the London concerts and was hoping that if toured the states that I would get a chance to see him. He is a concert I would have paid 100-200 to see. To capture a bit of that childhood – the memories of the parachute pants and never getting moonwalking down.
Some people have gone so far to say he is our generations Elvis or Lennon. I may give him Elvis, but he was no Lennon. Either way he was a larger then life superstar that did have an impact on me, and it will be with me for the rest of my own life.