25 Jun, 2009
Michael Jackson’s Death
Here at the beach this afternoon, just 30 miles from Michael Jackson’s rented home where he passed, life seems somehwat surreal. Radio programs such KTWV are playing Michael’s songs exclusively this afternoon and evening long. The DJ is taking calls from people touched by the singer and his life’s contributions. Most say they have shed at least one tear.
Yet on the Seal Beach pier, fishermen and young children have radios tuned to stations without mention of Jackson.
I went into Eddie Montana’s Seal Beach Music store on Main to get a quote from him. But Eddie was teaching a guitar lesson.
All in all there was little talk about Jackson’s sudden death. Back at home with CNN turned on, I saw the tributes, groups gathered outside his home and information about his life. Off the Wall, Thriller, and features such as Captain EO at Disneyland starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, with executive-produced by George Lucas, have been nearly forgotten till now.
Known for his recluse ways, my neighbors were invited twice to parties at Michael’s Neverland Ranch. Hosting these celebrations for his parents, Jackson never appeared at the events, but did make attendees sign waivers before entering the ranch and attending. Once there, they were free to roam and enjoy the theater, carnival rides, and other attractions.
Jackson had to sell off part of Neverland Ranch because of his debts (over $20 million) in lawsuits for various charges. He married Lisa Marie Presley 1994 - 1996; had two kids with Debbie Rose; a third child with another woman; and was accused of endangering his third child when he the baby dangled over the balcony to show the adoring audience. In 2004 a large trial at Santa Maria Courthouse in Santa Barbara County was a media circus. 130 people testified, and Jackson was acquitted of charges of inappropriate sexual behavior with a child of a staff member working at his ranch. He became a recluse afterward and was just recently preparing for a new world tour, thanks to several financiers.
Michael Jackson’s death shocked the world much like Princess Diana’s death which was so sudden and unexpected. News of his passing is swamping the various social network forums.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor was one of Michael Jackson’s closest friends and is “too devastated by the passing to issue a statement at this time,” her rep says.