Well, two icons from my youth are gone. Poof!
One we expected: Farrah. Her well-documented illness made us squirm as much from the uncomfortable nature of contemplating colon cancer as how she unblinkingly confronted her sickness, allowing the camera to roll while we watched her life slip away and longtime lover Ryan O’Neal looked on helplessly.
The other we probably could have seen coming: Michael. The boy in the bubble who created a fabulous body of work and then retreated into a fantasy world, a modern day Peter Pan whose quirks proved to be his undoing. With an autopsy pending and (no doubt) the tabloid machine launching into a frenzy, the weirdness (again, no doubt) has just begun.
Farrah launched a thousand snips and made hair stylists rich and famous with her famous blond flip (certain girls in high school during a certain era were referred to as “Farrah” – half compliment, half disparagement). She was the fave Angel for many a teenage boy, though I must admit I kind of favored Jaclyn Smith (You’re welcome, dear).
And there was that poster.
I doubt I’ll get sued for reproducing it here because 1) Its original owner is reportedly bankrupt and long gone and 2) My source for this image has much deeper pockets and is a much more viable source for damages money. Me? I’m broke. For the record, your honor, I am broke. Busted. Zilch. Moths in my pockets.
Michael. Well, what can you say about the guy who elevated music video from cheesy promotion on iffy videotape to an Event, and not just an Event but one that looked and sounded great?
Michael Jackson was already a major star when Thriller came out. That blew everything else away. I wonder if my old roommate has his (still?) unopened vinyl copy of Thriller on eBay yet. Hey Brian Carpenter, you out there??
Things got a little weird from there. Speaking of Weird, Al Yankovich did a pretty tasty parody of the King of Pop, particularly with his video “Fat.”
The bizarre behavior got tiresome, even if the tabloids couldn’t get enough of it. Somebody read that crap, I suppose. But the pet chimpanzee, the Elephant Man bones, the reckless spending that Elton John could only dream of, the accusations of molestation, the marriage to Lisa Marie … I just lost interest after a while, as did most of the Pop Eating World.
The King of Pop had a big comeback tour set in Europe, and there was plenty of buzz about it. Oh, well. As my former “co-colleague” at the Akron Beacon Journal put it, those fans now hold (probably) highly valuable souvenirs. Coming to soon to eBay. Oh, heh-heh. It’s already there.