Friday, June 26, 2009

Do you recall the day the music died?

Today has been one in which news has been dominated by an event directly related to music. When I heard the news of the sudden death of Michael Jackson this morning two things suddenly sprung in to my mind:
The first was the (pre-digital age) response to the assassination of John Lennon but the soundtrack to it wasn't Lennon at all - it was Don Mclean's 'American Pie'. I have no doubt that in the digital world of downloads this week's charts will be full of Jackson's songs and indeed, if that were not true it would be surprising.
While Don Mclean has been careful never to unequivocally confirm or deny that the song was, at least in part, inspired by hearing of the death of Buddy Holly (in the year after Jackson's birth) and the complex and largely unfathomable lyric seems fitting to Jackson, who as much as he was a pioneer of new musical format as spectacularly demonstrated by the video to 'Billie Jean' amongst others, has remained a staple of gossip and speculation concerning his lifestyle and behaviour. Not without reason did the UK tabloid press coin the phrase "Wacko Jacko" at least two decades ago.

In addition there are some hundreds of thousands of ticket-holders for a massive series of come-back gigs at the O2 arena in London and for them in particular this
couplet might sum up the current situation pretty accurately:

I knew that I was out of luck
The day the music died.

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