What does it mean when you hear people say, I grew up with Michael Jackson? I'll tell you.
It means your bedroom walls were plastered in Michael Jackson pin-up posters; you collected all his 45s which cost $1.15 each back then and stencilled your initials on the labels; you sketched his face; you played Rockin' Robin endlessly and watched Ed Sullivan appearances with awe and excitement. Later you made clothes sporting his name or The Jacksons and paraded them up town on Friday night; you danced alone or with friends or crooned along with tracks from the best ever album, Off The Wall.
It would all seem a long time ago until you have a daughter who is genetically programmed to react the very same way. The albums are hauled out. A needle sought for the disused stylus and after much searching, located at a specialist hi-fi shop. We watch the Ed Sullivan shows on DVD; the many Carol Burnett show appearances on YouTube. She sings, dances, mimics Michael - up on the table, tilting her hat, bending the knee and pointing the toe. So many hats she collects that match his different styles at different times. She adores him. Just the way I had.
She came home from school yesterday and said a friend had said she was glad Michael Jackson was dead because she didn't like him. Why? Because her mum didn't like him. All that weird stuff, you know.
Give me my sweet pea's pleasure over the cynic's pain any day.
So my girl and me put on the Bucharest Tour DVD last night and marvelled together all over again. Marvellous, magical, over-the-top, pushing-it-to-the max, Michael. Thank you.