Say what you will about Michael Jackson.  Yes, he definitely had inappropriate relationships with young children – the details of those relationships, however are still questionable.  The last two decades certainly didn’t treat him well with his face nearly falling off, and his trials, and financial issues. 

The Michael Jackson I will always remember fondly, though was the Michael Jackson of the early 1980’s.  I remember hearing my babysitter screaming to my brother and me from the living room – “Sammy, Danny, Trillah!”  She was Israeli.  She was trying to tell us the Thriller video was on MTV.  By the time we got to the living room it was over.  We went back to playing with our toys disappointed. 

There’s a photo of me at about 6 or 7 years old, red Members Only jacket with the sleeves rolled up to my elbows, and my brother pretending to play guitar.  We were surely listening to MJ.  My mom blasted the Thriller album throughout the house constantly.  Michael could do no wrong.

I’ll admit I stayed up to watch the world video premiers of Bad & Black and White.  Was I still a huge fan at the time?  No.  But I did believe the hype.  Plus, Slash played on Black & White.  How could it be bad if he was playing guitar?

If nothing else I was able to appreciate his music, and his contributions and influence over other pop artists over the past three decades.  He will be missed by his fans, friends, and family. 
Michael Jackson 1958-2009