Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Growing Up In The 80's

I don't want to write another mega post on MJ, although I still have thoughts about him - in fact, I was telling my friend earlier today, I might be obsessing over his death. But let's not talk about him dead.

I thought it'd be nice to just remember some moments in my life in which MJ was somehow involved. And it pretty much started since I was born.

My mom is the oldest of 5. The 2 youngest aunts were teenagers when I was born, so I remember spending lots of time in my grandma's, and my aunts listening to music on the radio while cleaning the house. Thriller and Billie Jean were obvious hits, as well as Ricky Astley and Crowded House, among others.

When the second youngest Aunt got married, I used to sleep over a lot. They got my grandparents old house as a wedding gift, so we just kept hanging out there. I remember staying up late with Aunt and Uncle watching movies like "Clash of the Titans" and being totally ok with it (except for the Medusa part, I had nightmares with her), but everytime I watched the videoclip for "Thriller" I'd get totally freaked out.

In late childhood and early teenagehood I started with the boyband fever. So pretty much all I cared about was NKOTB, then Take That, then ultimately, the BSB.
But in between, I did listen to a lot of "Bad", "Dangerous" and "Black or White", that video clip was amazing, I recorded it on VCR and I could watch it and rewind it and watch it again for hours, just to see Macaulay Culkin and those morphing faces. It really was amazing.

I also remember as a kid wishing I'd be invited to the Ranch. I'd think "Aren't those kids lucky? Not only do they get to spend some vacation time in an amazing place with lots of luxury, but they do it with Michael Jackson!"
At the time, I thought only star kids would go (like Culkin), and I knew I'd never ever be picked.

In Portugal there was a tv show on channel 1 at lunch time that showed video clips. I watched it every single day before going to school, it was right after Tom Sawyer. It was kinda like a top ten chart, but the weirdest thing is, they played old songs all the time. So for a really long time, every single day I would watch the clip to "Billie Jean" while I was having lunch. That was right before they released "Black or White", by the way.

There was this girl in my class, her name was Ines. While me and pretty much all the other girls my age were digging the boy bands, she was a huge fan of Madonna and Michael Jackson. I thought that was very odd, but I owe it partially to her for having these 2 pop icons very present in my teenage years. She even taught me some of the choreography, but I'm just too uncoordinated to do it.
The other person I owe this to is a guy called Tiago. He wasn't in my class, but he was one of the school's hottie and a very good friend of mine. And also my highschool sweetheart's best friend.

Ever since I was a kid, I heard all sorts of rumors about MJ. He slept in a bubble whatever, he bleached his skin, he had a pact with whoever, he was an alien, he was immortal, yatta yatta yatta. Even today I hear absurd things about him. I read on a website that he was seen alive in London, and there was a "picture" to prove it. And another site said he was seen crossing the border to Mexico a few moments before they announced him dead.

Just like it happened with Elvis, he's the King, people are in denial and there will be all sorts of theories about this, for years to come.

When I was about 15, a friend of my brother's - who was actually a friend of the whole family -, commited suicide. I was the one who got the call about it, and I was the one who had to tell my brother about it. He got pissed, he called me a liar, among other more unpleasant things. He called our friend's house and no one answered, so he decided to go there personally and prove me wrong.

I knew there was no reason for someone to call me lying about it, but I was still waiting for my brother to come back and prove me wrong.
I waited and waited... I decided to turn on the tv to get distracted, I liked the German music channel Viva.
There are 2 videoclips that remind me of this moment. The moment my brother arrived, devastated, and I knew time had stopped, I could describe every detail in the room in those long silent minutes... and in the background, Michael and Janet singing. I do love this clip, but it does bring me sad memories.

As for his trial days... I was on a long vacation in Portugal, at my parents house. SNL was all about MJ and his trial at that time.
I used to watch it and I thought it was an OK show... until there was one sketch about Michael leaving Neverland or something like that... can't really remember, I remember they put a fake Michael inside a fence and they had helicopters over him... it was just a very distasteful sketch in my opinion, in light of the events at that time. That was the last time I ever watched SNL.

And I remember talking to my sister online one day, and she'd tell me "Why can't they leave him alone? He's innocent! Leave him alone!"

So yeah, let's just leave him alone... if that was at all possible.


  1. I feel so sorry for you...
    I can tell MJ meant a lot to you!!!
    But then again... we still have his music!


  2. i enjoyed reading your blog- born in '76 here, i was the kid brother of the 80's teenager sister. I vividly recall getting a red "thriller jacket" and glitter glove at the mall, wearing multiple swatches, kissing girls with hubba bubba watermelon tasting kisses, sporting banana hair clips, crimped hair, wearing pegged jeans and airwalks or checkered vans. Pee Wees playhouse, Max Headroom, the movies.....These are the things that make me so happy to have lived in that time. Thanks for sharing with us-


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