RIP Michael Jackson

By Jon Sandys

Fri 26th Jun 2009

Not really film-related, but being a child of the 80's (I even saw Moonwalker in the cinema - there's your movie angle), Michael Jackson was a major pop culture presence in my adolescence, so felt I should post a quick something.

Regardless of any founded and unfounded weird tabloid stories and allegations, the man just made fantastic music, and was an exceptional performer - I managed to see him live twice when I was younger, during the Bad and Dangerous tours, and now feel all the more privileged to have done so.

While he'd slipped from the public eye a bit, and hadn't really done much musically of late, the upcoming gigs in London were reminding everyone quite what a huge name he still was, and no doubt will forever be. Very sad that he's gone so suddenly, for all of his family, friends, and fans.

Although running this site somehow doesn't get me in with celebrities (I know, shocking), I've got one tenuously Michael Jackson-related story, which is to do with John Landis, director of various classic movies, but most relevantly in this case, he also directed the video for "Thriller". A few years back I occasionally popped up on morning TV in the UK pointing out mistakes in the latest DVD releases, and had the good fortune to meet him.

I say "good fortune" - for some reason he didn't take particularly kindly to me nitpicking his movies, and while remaining cheerful on the surface he was definitely unimpressed, having a bit of a go and asking me "don't you have a job?" I answered "yes, this", which got a laugh from the presenters and fit the bill at the time.

Only later did I think I should have said "well, at least I've never been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment" [he was, after an actor and two children died on the set of a film he directed]. Possibly a bit harsh, and probably would have ended my stint on that show, but it probably would have made a headline or two when he punched me in the face on live TV.

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