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June 26, 2009

FarrahWow, what a weird day.

So first, Farrah Fawcett dies, and even though I knew it was coming (when Ryan O’Neal started talking to the press a few days ago about trying yet again to get her to marry him, I figured the end was nigh), I guess I hadn’t thought it was going to happen quite so soon.

As a lot of my readers are in their late 30s or 40s, I know a lot of you all are as familiar with the two celebrities who died today from as far back as I am. They were two people who defined a ’70s childhood.

I grew up with Charlie’s Angels front and center on my radar, but more importantly, I –
like every other little girl back then – wanted her hair. Of course, our mothers gave us cuts inspired by celebrities whose hair we HATED instead; The Tenneille and the Hamill.

But we dreamed, secretly or not so, of long, feathered, curled, sprayed blond hair.

TV Theme – Charlie’s Angels
R.I.P., Farrah.

And a few hours later, an almost totally unexpected death; Michael Jackson.

I have a short list of songs I consider absolutely perfect pop songs, and on it is this, the first Jackson 5 hit, from 1969:
I Want You Back.
I’ve heard various covers and remixes, and like or even love them all; it’s just a damn good song, with good bones, and I’m not sure it’d even be possible to screw it up. Barring completely removing the guitar part, of course.

Another favorite from the J5 era (I’m keeping myself to two per era or this’ll never get posted, and I could lose my electricity at any moment) is The Love You Save.

On to Off the Wall, which is and has been, my favorite of his solo albums. Thriller was amazing, a phenomenon, to be sure, but man, Off the Wall was just plain excellent. The two biggest hits from it:
Off the Wall
Rock With You
Then, of course, Thriller. The biggest thing ever. People are still doing parodies of the title video at weddings and prisons, or they were just a few years ago, and the thing came out in ’83 or ’84. By the time it came out, I was a huge huge fan; I was 13, had been a fan of his for a while, and was plastering my walls with posters of him. As I save posting “Thriller” itself for Halloween, here are two other tracks from it – I like the vaguely eerie sound of Billie Jean and I think Wanna Be Startin’ Something doesn’t get played into the ground anymore these days, so here it is.
Of the Paul McCartney duets (and ohh… let’s not get me started on the Beatles catalog rights issue … it was the first thing I remember thinking ill of MJ for), Say, Say, Say was my favorite. And finally, the last song he released that I liked, from Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel. After that, I was pretty much done with Michael Jackson going forward. But I’m willing to go backward and listen to the old stuff forever.

R.I.P. to you too, Michael.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. SkipFish Music permalink
    June 26, 2009 3:58 am

    Quite amazing. Farrah was really not prolific by any means, but somehow she shot to icon status from a poster (which is also a long ago ended fad…the kind you bought in the back of a novelty shop really) and a cheesy TV show. Ryan O’Neal was only keen in my eyes for the brilliant “Barry Lyndon” (as I am a diehard Kubrick fan), but a tragic end to an era.

    As for Jacko…I was into Van Halen so naturally I bought “Thriller” at the time for Eddie’s solo on “Beat It”. One of his later songs I admit to always liking was “Man In The Mirror”. Sort of a hippy sentiment in there that gets me I guess. Plus lest we forget “We Are The World”. Even though his time had long since past…sort of sad to see it end so darkly.

    And for the older folk…don’t forget Ed McMahon. TV icon for many years as well.

    Rough week. Sorry to drone on…but so much to cover. Thought I would share. Curious though…Do you think Paul will go to the memorial?

  2. halfhearteddude permalink
    June 26, 2009 8:45 am

    I always liked MJ's version of Elton John's "Don't Let Your Son Go Down On Me"……..

    Seriously, my favourite pre-funkdom MJ song is "I Wanna Be Where You Are". And his version of "Ain't No Sunshine" is brilliant. Funkified Jacko: "Rock With You".

  3. bomobob permalink
    June 27, 2009 12:03 am

    I'm really, really sad that FF's death was overshadowed by that of the little freak. I don't even want to get started on a grown man who liked to have children in his bed. I mean, hello? Law and Order SVU?

    Farrah had some kinda talent, she did, as well as incredible strength and poise.

  4. Dane permalink
    June 29, 2009 3:09 am

    Todd: He hadn't said anything yet at the time you left the comment above, but as he has since made a very nice statement, I think it's possible we might see Paul at a memorial service. And I agree; when I watch a video for "I Want You Back" I have a hard time reconciling that sweet, sunny kid with everything he became after say, 1990.

    Major: I love "I Wanna Be Where You Are"! Haven't thought of it in years.

    Bob: I honestly never saw her in much but I hear she was great in Small Sacrifices; I'm going to try to put it on my Netflix queue.

  5. bomobob permalink
    June 30, 2009 1:47 am

    "The Burning Bed". Oh.My.God!
    Hard to believe she wasted all that time on Charlie's Angels. She was brilliant in this.

  6. Eartha Kitsch permalink
    July 2, 2009 5:48 pm

    Oh lord – the Hamill cut! I had that one too – repeatedly and without apologies.

    So many incredible people have passed away in the past week. It kind of blows my mind. I think that we have reached the age when we are going to see a lot of our generation's idols pass away. It's going to be really weird.

  7. Dane permalink
    July 6, 2009 3:02 am

    They Hamilled you? I was Tenneiled. 😦

    I know … it's already starting to feel weird.

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