I left RD Towers this morning at 6.10 AM, about five minutes later than usual. I was confident that I'd be able to make up the missing five minutes through the course of the day, it's important not to be too bound by routine.
As I pulled out of the undeground car park and changed the car stereo from Lady Gaga's boppy tones to the radio I heard the words "Jermaine Jackson". For a couple of seconds, as I heard a voice, I thought that Jermaine Jackson had died. I was shocked. Then I heard that it was his press conference announcement, about Michael.
I was truly shocked. I drove into work listening to the radio station telling me how things had unfolded. I'd gone to bed last night blissfully unaware of anything that was going on to do with MJ.
The thing is I'm not and I never have been a Michael Jackson fan. His music was never up my street, his life was never a life that captured and interested me that much. His upcoming tour was something that just didn't cause me to queue for tickets or sell my soul for, although I did contemplate trying to take the girls, just so that they could see the show.
Of course I've got most of his albums, that goes without saying. As a teenager I watched the Thriller video, the Billie Jean one and Beat It. I tried a few moonwalks in my bedroom but dancing was never one of my gifts and I was a wannabe rocker, never one of those soul boy trendies. The sight of me, with my long hair and denim jacket attempting the moonwalk must have been scary, like an out take from some desperate kid doing his own Thriller video for Youtube.
After that his life went all a bit mad anyway, if it wasn't mad before. The plastic sugery and the allegations about all the kids and everything just caused me to totally lose interest in him. His musical genius was beyond doubt, his personal stuff, or alleged personal stuff, turned me off.
What became clear over the years to me, as well as several million other people, was that he was a troubled soul, a person looking for something. He had the money, he had the talent, the fame and all the trappings. He just never appeared to have the contentment, the inner peace that so many people who live a "normal" nine to five life have.
Yet who knows what went on in his head and his world anyway?
Perhaps it was all PR. Maybe he was a normal bloke behind closed Neverland doors, playing with his kids and telling them off for not doing their homework. Maybe he wrote an anonymous blog, perhaps he had a secret Twitter account or a random Facebook page.
My money's on the fact that he was bit mental, genius so often is.
His legacy will last and his music will stay. As a musician I can have total respect for the way his contributions to the world of music actually shaped and changed things. Musically he's one of the greats.
But it's Michael Jackson the young kid in the early Jackson Five songs that I feel sad for.
It's Michael Jackson the father of three that I mourn for.
I hope he finds his peace.
In Conversation: SURESH DE SILVA
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