"There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother." - John Densmore
Today the 26th of June sees the 3 year anniversary of the death of the King of Pop, 25 years since the release of ‘ Bad’ and 23 years since I received a ‘limited edition bath towel with full length, soul glowing, side profile spectacular! ‘Bad’ cover shot in linen for my 8th birthday.
Walking around the changing rooms at junior school I was filled with immense pride. It was great for a rub down and a security blanket and statement of intent , visually saying to any passing bullies ready to go for the towel whip that, “I’m Giving You On Count Of Three, To Show Your Stuff, Or Let It Be… I’m Telling You, Just Watch Your Mouth, I Know Your Game, What You’re About.
I’d often imagine dealing with the scenarios above like the kids in the video below -
The towel vanished after the summer of 89 which I originally thought was a snatch and grab by Henry Jones (Sorry for calling you a thief and a poo face and I was the one who ripped your Bobby Brown poster). The loss was probably a good thing as if I had kept it through secondary school, I may not be here writing to you now! It was only recently discovered again by my mum in the back of the ironing cupboard, and when I was informed of a possible reunion, I experienced a mix of contempt and nostalgia and very recently when a rare MJ B-side called Don’t Be Messing Around was unearthed I felt exactly the same.
But pondering this on the day of his death, I will pin my colours to the proverbial mast, and hang my towel to the changing room peg.
I could play my bullshit card and say I only ever listen to Pink Floyd and obscure Latvian punk nowadays because I’m so cool. Though honestly, In my eyes he’s still the King, the first single I bought was Leave Me Alone, first album was Bad , I cried when there were no copies left of Moonwalker to rent at the video shop and after watching it I bought the computer game, I still listen to Dangerous on a regular basis, especially Who Is It? I still listen to Bad and Speed Demon is still one of the funkiest bass lines I have ever heard, I know the Black and White rap and wish I’d gone to Neverland!… His name seems to be a dirty word, and when was the last time you heard someone meet up with you and say ‘I’ve been listening to the Bad album this morning!’ or cranking out Just Good Friends in the car!, it only seems acceptable to enjoy Billie Jean when drunk at weddings and parties! He may not be considered ‘cool’ anymore but the man has epic hit after epic hit and next time my iPod shuffles onto a obscure track, I’ll immediately turn it up not down!!
Look… One day he may be replaced by a new King of Pop but Usher, Beiber, Timberlake?… I wouldn’t even use them as face cloths!!