I had no sooner completed posting my semi-regularly scheduled Thursday Morning Blog last week, when my eldest daughter Tejai rang me up with the terrible news. While at that exact moment there was no confirmation, it soon turned out to be true. The eerie irony was that I had just took “America” from “Around The World In A Day” off the turntable, because it was just too funky to blog to.
I was a 13 year old dreamer when I stumbled upon the “For You” album at my aunt’s home in Houston where I spent the summer that year. Absolutely Everything Changed. Something way deep down inside me knew that this was the way Artistry was meant to be. MJ was tight, but he didn’t write all his own songs; he didn’t play all of these instruments and (until “Off The Wall“) he didn’t sound like a Free Man. This naked, afro-haired, almost white dude (on the inside cover) holding his guitar was very free!
A euphemistic mixture of Little Richard/Sly Stone/James Brown, his music scared, challenged, seduced, coerced, inspired, encouraged, engaged & empowered me. This Fearless Explorer was as close as I had come to ultimate idol-worship until a decade later my personal faith convicted me into respecting his genius for its worth alone.
Although I never dressed or tried to wear my hair like his, I did skip two days of my high school junior year dissecting the “1999” album. And I would fight anyone who said anything negative about him in any way! I was among the true few who felt that (although grateful the rest of the world had finally caught on), “Purple Rain” was not his best work and had it not been for the opening guitar sequence of “When Doves Cry” (with that sadistic groan) the public at large wouldn’t recognize his brilliance.
Beyond the astounding music, bizarre antics, incredible live show, mystique, exceptional songwriting and strikingly beautiful women was a stubbornness that every single EntreMusician on planet earth needs to reconsider and incorporate into his/her own branding.
While Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello, Nikki Sixx, Katy Perry and other stars rail against YouTube, Spotify and other Streaming Services for fair pay, this Original EntreMusician fought for his rights, stood his ground, recouped his masters and then pulled all of his music off sites he deemed inappropriate before his final curtain call. A Gangster to the end. Thorough Originality from the first note.
Who fills the Void? Will it Take Another Century or Will You Take Over?
I’m listening to his fantastic Eponymous LP now…