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All Hail the King

michael

I am totally loving all of the Michael Jackson tributes.  Everyone around the world is celebrating the life of our legend Michael Jackson. 

Beyonce performed in Philly yesterday and did an impromptu rendition of her favorite Michael Jackson song “I Can’t Help It.”

The Game has come together with Diddy, Chris Brown, Usher, Boyz II Men and others to tribute Michael Jackson in the song “Better on the Other Side:”

I came across this article and I just feel for Michael and what he was going through.  I know that everybody is going to try to write tell-alls and come out with statements now that we’ve lost such a great legend but if the below accounts are accurate then more light is shed is on the struggles that Michael Jackson was experiencing. I hope that he now knows that we loved him and always did.

Excerpts:

“During weekends I spent with him on the road during the Jacksons’ “Victory” tour in 1984, I learned that he was so traumatized by events during his late teens — notably the rejection by fans who missed the “little” Michael of the Jackson 5 days — that he relied desperately on fame to protect him from further pain. In the end, that overriding need for celebrity was at the root of his tragedy.

I first met Michael in the early days of the Jackson 5 at the family home in Los Angeles, and the memory that stands out is that Michael, as cute and wide-eyed as an 11-year-old could be, was eager to get through the interview so he could watch cartoons before having to go to bed.

When I caught up with him a decade later, his personality had changed radically. That happy-go-lucky kid was nowhere to be found.

Michael’s sales had fallen off dramatically in the mid-1970s, and by the time he reemerged with the hit “Off the Wall” album in 1979, he was scarred emotionally. There’s often a gap between a performer’s public and private sides, but rarely was it as noticeable as with Michael.

Sitting at the rear of the tour bus after a triumphant concert in St. Louis in 1981, Michael was anxious, frequently bowing his head as he whispered answers to my questions. In contrast to the charismatic, strutting figure on stage, he wrestled with a Bambi-like shyness. Despite the resurgence in his popularity, he complained of feeling alone — almost abandoned. He was 23.

When I asked why he didn’t live on his own like his brothers, rather than at his parents’ house, he said, “Oh, no, I think I’d die on my own. I’d be so lonely. Even at home, I’m lonely. I sit in my room and sometimes cry. It is so hard to make friends, and there are some things you can’t talk to your parents or family about. I sometimes walk around the neighborhood at night, just hoping to find someone to talk to. But I just end up coming home.”

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During our time together, my conversations with Michael sometimes led — once the tape recorder was off — to darker moments from his past. One night when we were going through a stack of old photos, a picture of him in his late teens triggered a sudden openness.

“Ohh, that’s horrible,” he said, recoiling from the picture.

Michael explained that his face was so covered with acne and his nose so large at that time that visitors to the family home in Encino sometimes wouldn’t recognize him. “They would come up, look me straight in the eye and ask if I knew where that ‘cute little Michael’ was.” It was as if the “whole world was saying, ‘How dare you grow up on us.’ ”

Michael said he started looking down at the floor when people approached or would stay in his room when visitors came to the house.

Michael vowed to do whatever it took to make people “love me again.” The rejection fueled his ambition to be the biggest pop star in the world and to try to make his face beautiful. Unfortunately, Michael’s need was so great that no amount of love seemed to be enough.”

Read the rest here.

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