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Goodbye Michael… This Is It

“Don’t be nervous, this is an adventure. I love you guys… Save the world.”

Michael Jackson
Speech given during his last rehearsal for his This Is It London show

mjthisisit28octIt has begun – the wild and desperate scheme to hype up This Is It, a documentary film made by Kenny Ortega, director of what was to be Michael Jackson’s last ever concert. Columbia Pictures and Sony Music has sunk its claws into the documentary and the soundtrack respectively, and will not let go until they have made enough money from exclusive content that was to have been made private. Yes, footages from This Is It documentary was supposed to belong in Jackson’s private library of contents until he died on June 25th 2009.

While I feel anger for the loss of privacy of Michael – my music hero – and his family, I am simultaneously honored to have been able to share in the last rehearsal moments of the King of Pop. The documentary basically underlined Michael’s perfectionist streak, his interesting eccentricity, his professionalism for the stage, and his love for all his dancers, musicians and backstage crew. What surprised me was the way the film was edited, because it was apparent to me that Ortega often talked down to Michael during rehearsals, patronized him like a child, and tried to get into his good books by praising him a little too often than necessary. Perhaps Ortega didn’t mind placing himself in a nasty light. But that’s just me.

This Is It documentary consists of a list of rehearsed songs which include “Thriller”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Billie Jean”, “Man In The Mirror” and other fan favourites. It was like having backstage access into Michael’s rehearsals, and I felt like I was watching from the sidelines as he practiced his routines and his vocals with his team. He seemed pretty oblivious of the hovering cameras as he hemmed and honed his vocals, and it was truly an insight into his complex personality.

His perfectionism for the stage and his music shined through like a glaring light for most part of the film. At one point, he stopped singing suddenly and started wringing his hands in the air, crying out in distress, “No, no, no!” He then turned to his music director and stressed earnestly, “you must let the music simmer.” And he hummed melodies as he tried to explain how he felt.

All the documentary showed me was that Michael was a man who lived and breathed music, and that his every breath and movement was a musical note. This was the same man who once declared at an interview (eons ago) that he saw “colour in music”. Music to him was physical, and not merely auditory. This belief was expressed when he moved his hands to different heights (with different strengths in his stressed movements) when he sang.

Shedding a tear for what might have been, my heart goes out to all the dancers, musicians and backstage crew who joined because they loved Michael and what he stood for. For me, Michael stood for creativity, genius, and good eccentricity. Without him, the world is now a fucking boring place to live in.

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29/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Leaked Online

This Is It

Yeah right, as if MJ’s newest track is actually ‘leaked’, which by definition gives us a sense that it’s all accidental. News here.

It’s only a matter of time before ‘leaks’ become simply a marketing strategy in the digital market. At the same time, it’s heartening to see the labels using this’ as a strategy to generate hype. That only goes to show the amount of importance everyone’s putting on digital content, more and more.

We shall all be waiting to see more ‘leaks’ for future A-list releases.

13/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment