Thursday, June 25, 2009


Years ago -- this was probably the early '90s -- a group of us decided to each come up with the 100 greatest songs of all time. We had lots of different tastes in music so we ended up with lots of different lists -- this wasn't a "Stairway to Heaven" crowd, but I seem to remember "Born to Run" being at the top of one list, somebody else had something by the Smiths, somebody else had Sinatra. It's a great way to start an argument.

In my mind there was no argument. This was, and still is, the greatest single of all time. There's a lame Bill Cosby bit at the beginning but skip ahead to about 1:20.

We all know what Michael Jackson became -- he's the greatest test of all for those of us who struggle to separate the artist from the art. I can't even begin to articulate what his life was all about -- it was too tangled and weird to understand, and I'm sure he didn't understand himself either. About all I understand tonight is that this is one hell of a record. And what I want to do right now is play it over again.


Mark Kemp said...

The best, funkiest, one-note guitar line in the history of pop.

Unknown said...

So glad you are back, Tommy! We keep playing his albums tonight. Yes, albums, on a turntable and everything. He was so talented and will be missed.

Anonymous said...

So very, very happy you're back! It's great that you both had such a great opportunity, but I missed your perspective. On such a wierd day, at least this one thing is back to (my version of) normal.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, were missed. I travel with MJ and the Jackson 5 cd's with me on long car trips...singing along helps keep me alert and I know all the words.

Anonymous said...

I missed your columns Tommy! Welcome back. Looks like Harvard was good to you. You look great!!!

Kate2 said...

Tommy, welcome home! The place hasn't been the same without you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Tommy. You have been greatly missed.

Lynne Stevenson said...

Thank God something finally knocked that pompous jerk Mark Sanford and the Jon and Kate debacle out of the headlines for a split second. I am so sorry that it had to be Mr. Jackson's and Ms. Fawcett's deaths! Welcome back, Tommy! You have been greatly missed...The beard looks great, but I seriously doubt you will keep it now that you are back in Podunk with the 105 degree heat and 99% humidity. Once again, welcome home..

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

TO: Anonymous @ 8:46am

So unnecessary!

Anonymous said...

Yep, if only Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Jeffrey Dahmer ... heck, even John Edwards and Mark Sanford ...had just had a couple of big music hits, we'd be missing their talent right now, too!

Music to sooth the savage beast by numbing their brains.

Anonymous said...

I remember loving the "Thriller" album, then sometime in '84 getting so sick of it, but I was right there buying "Bad" when it came out in '87. "Dangerous" had good songs and some good messages too. He will be missed.

Anon 8:46 and 11:57 - if you don't like Michael Jackson's music, fine. Just don't involve yourself in the discussion. 8:46 - you obviously have forgotten he was ACQUITTED.

Now is not the time for your vile trash. Have you no respect for the loss of human life? Crawl back into your spider hole and shut up.

Anonymous said...

J, Have you forgotten that he settled out of court with one accuser? Why would an innocent person settle out of court, especially for $20-22 million?

Even his own sister once said that his questionable behavior with children had gone on long enough: During a 1993 news conference in Tel Aviv, LaToya Jackson publicly spoke out against Michael, accusing the Thriller singer of child molestation. She made the allegations as she said she could no longer remain a "silent collaborator" in her brother's "crimes against small, innocent children".

If it looks like a pedophile, talks like a pedophile and acts like a pedophile - it's probably a pedophile.

And now you and others are busy elevating Michael "Moe" Jackson to sainthood. Fortunately, there are still those of us in this nation of idol worshipers who have control of our common senses.

Get a life.

Anonymous said...

GOOD RIDDENCE. The children of the world are safer today ... Pedophiles are a menace to the world.

Jackson was a piece of perverted skin bleached mixed up sicko gender bender trash plain and simple. Molesting young white kids was his "thang" and now the media is putting this perverted weirdo freak back on a pedistle like nothing happened.

We dont care if this zillionaire paid off the judge and lawyers to get him off the hook. He lied. He was guilty. He paid the first kid 25 million to close the case. How many 1000s of children did he sleep with or molest who said nothing? We saw the same thing with ther pedophile priests worldwide sickos.

OJ Simpson paid his way out of beheading 2 people didnt he with his rigged black jury?

Thank you GOD for TCB before he was resurrected his image with the new 50 concerts to molest more kids. Inmates are also very harsh and deadly on child molestors.

Sometimes there is truly is divine intervention to take care of business ... and look where OJ is now too.

Anonymous said...

Billboard Top 40 crossover hits go back 75 years with the Big Band era and Duke Ellington.

MJ didnt create "diversity". This is a load of crap. Crossover variety of Big Band R&B Funk Soul Motown Do-wop Gospel Jazz Disco etc goes back ages before the J5 hit the scene 1970. Most of his music was simple and meaningless. He could dance but copied James Brown.

James Brown, Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Sly Stone, Teddy Pendergras, Marvin Gay, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Butler, Four Tops, Temptations, OJays, Earth Wind Fire, Spinners, Wilson Pickett, Kool and the Gang, and so many others put MJ and his J5 to shame ... No contest, not even close.

Anonymous said...


Farrah Fawcett died and went to heaven God gave her 1 wish. She asked Him to keep the children safe, so he took Michael Jackson.


Michael Jackson will not be cremated because he is 99% plastic. they are going to melt him down and turn him into legos so the kids can play with him for once!!