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Remember the Time June 26, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Celebrities, Experience, Fam Damily, Music, Youth.

This is more a tribute to what kind of man my dad was than Michael Jackson. Because as soon as I heard the news yesterday, this is what I thought of.

I had what you might call a crazy, insane, irrational mild obsession with Michael Jackson. I realize I’m not unique with regard to this. But whatever; he was my Elvis, my Beatles, my everything (before I discovered long-haired, skinny sweaty white boy rockers). My bedroom walls were not visible under all the posters. I got in trouble in class for arguing with this dude over which was the better album: Thriller or Bark at the Moon. (And hey, Tracy, wherever you are, I do now appreciate Ozzy much more than I did then, but which one is now the greatest selling album of all time? Yeah, I win.)

One of the great things about my dad and one of the things I miss most is how interested and supportive he was with whatever stuff I liked. He was a child of the 50’s, so he was too old to be part of the hippie generation and was fairly conservative with his tastes and views. As my MJ obsession grew, my parents were forced to sit through more and more videos, specials, awards shows – not just Thriller, but The Making of Thriller. While they had no interest in the music, they couldn’t help but notice his dancing and insane level of showmanship. You know, along with the rest of the world. He was definitely not my dad’s taste, but by pure osmosis, started growing on him a little.

So it came to be in the Summer before 9th grade, the Jacksons decided to go on tour (the Pepsi-sponsored Victory Tour 1983) and were playing large stadiums around the country, one of which would be in Jacksonville, FL.  They made it into a thing with all the Jackson Five, but it was obvious the tour was to support Thriller. Because of the mania, you could not simply buy tickets, but had to enter into a lottery for a block of four of them. Conveniently we had four people in my family, which convinced me it was Fate. The catch was the price. $180 is a lot of money now, let alone twenty-six years ago. Jacksonville is a three and a half hour drive from Inverness, where we lived. My dad had just bought a small golf course that left him with a very small cash flow and any and all extra money went back into the business, so there was little room for any luxuries. He had set it up so that the golf membership dues were paid in August in order that they would always have money for back-to-school clothes for us. *Sniff*

I presented my case to Dad. I professionally outlined all the reasons why I had to see this show, the most important one being I doubted I could go on to lead a happy, productive life if I didn’t. We were having this discussion in the kitchen and while I was talking, I grabbed my toothbrush and started scrubbing the kitchen floor with it. I told him I’d clean the whole house like that if he wanted me to. For the next ten years of my life. My dad didn’t enjoy seeing my psychosis so nakedly exposed like that, so he told me to stop being a turkey-ass and agreed to whatever he needed to do to try and win the chance to buy the tickets. Which obviously he did, or I wouldn’t be telling this story. Or leading a happy, productive life.

My family took our motorhome for the trip to Jacksonville, during which I spent the entire time in the bathroom. (Nothing’s really changed there). I don’t remember how many people attended that show, except that the stadium was filled to capacity, with families just like mine, old people, little kids, etc. Most people were dressed in true MJ form, with gloves, sunglasses and tight leather clothes in the Florida Summer sun. I don’t think my parents realized until then how big this guy really was. When he came out onto the stage, my mother had to grab onto me to keep me from tipping forward onto the person in front of me and was fairly frightened that I was going to pass out. After hundreds of concerts, that show remains high up there for great memories, but I think that also comes from the fun my family had together that day. 

I guarantee if Dad happens to bump into MJ now, he’ll tell him how much we all enjoyed that show and what a psycho his daughter was over him.

And that opened up some kind of door, because my parents would go on to take us to see Prince, Eddie Murphy and George Michael (though that was just my sister; I was out of state at the time). Sometimes they saw the concerts with us (Eddie), sometimes they comfortably camped outside in the parking lot and had cocktails and watched TV while they waited for us to come back out, exhilarated, loud and sweaty in our stylish 80’s clothes.

All kids should have dads like my dad.



1. iamheatherjo - June 26, 2009

Awww! And, yes, all kids should have a Daddy like yours. 😀

Like I told you earlier, I think the ‘Thriller’ video is still the best video EVER. The album was the nail in the coffin of anything popular for me, however.

“Who’s Loving You” by the Jackson 5 is on of my favorite songs.

As far as the best selling album of all time thing…just because an album sells, doesn’t make it better. Hee! 😉

Kimmothy - June 26, 2009

Well, true. But in this case it does!
You’ve got me wanting to dig up my Jackson Five Greatest Hits tape (yes I said tape) in a bad way!!

2. Laura - June 26, 2009

I’m so jealous that you got to see MJ in concert! Did you have the red leather jacket with all the zippers (I did)? Did you have your grandmother make you a white glove with sequins sewed all over it (I did)?

Also, note to self, when a blog friend changes her URL, it’s helpful to change said URL in your feed reader. Yeesh. Sorry I missed so much, I’m going to make up for that now!

Kimmothy - June 26, 2009

I almost had the red leather jacket. While school clothes shopping, my parents gave my sister and I two hundred bucks apiece and let us loose in the mall. I decided a great idea would be to spend ninety dollars of that on the jacket. I mean, right? What more would I need than a leather jacket to wear in Florida. In August. When they did the inspection outside the mall afterwards, I was immediately forced to return the jacket and almost didn’t get to spend the money on anything else, they were so pissed!
I still wish I had it.

3. LL Cool Joe - June 26, 2009

Cool story!

Thriller wasn’t my favourite album. I was into “Bad” in a big way. But wow so many classic records!

I really love the Jackson Five stuff too.

My favourite video is “Smooth Criminal”.

Kimmothy - June 26, 2009

Now I’ll be singing THAT the rest of the day!
I swear, I still can’t really believe this has happened.

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