Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Death of an Icon

I was out at an appointment today, constantly checking email on my cell phone (waiting for a potential guest to get back to me), when I got the first tip that there was trouble in Neverland. The alert read "Michael Jackson Rushed to Hospital in Cardiac Arrest". But somehow it never crossed my mind that, an hour later, we'd be witnessing wall to wall coverage of his death.

The cynical side of me first thinks of Farrah Fawcett, feeling bad that the coverage of her death will be upstaged by the death of "The King of Pop."

In all reality, Michael gave himself that title. Not that he didn't deserve it. But, there was that other side of Michael Jackson... the creepy side. The extreme plastic surgery, his affinity for being surrounded by young boys and, worse, the allegations and stories of child molestation.

Recently, my 10-year old daughter has been using the name "Michael Jackson" as a sort of synonym for weird people. When I realized she had been doing that, I asked her what she knew about Michael Jackson. She responded with something along the lines of "Just that he's really creepy" That's when I pulled out the old Jackson 5 CDs.

Tonight, we'll deal with the death of Michael Jackson. I remember being on the air in Los Angeles the morning that the news broke that Jerry Garcia had died. Because my station was probably the only one that actually played the music of the Grateful Dead, we became the de- facto place to go. I wound up hosting a thrown-together memorial at Griffin Park that evening. In fact, I posted the audio from that morning on my podcast a few years ago, on the 10th anniversary of his passing. (You can hear that aircheck by clicking here.)

My friend, music journalist Chris Willman is out in LA and on assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to write a reaction piece. We'll find him as he drives around Los Angeles getting reaction from grieving fans. I'm working on a few other guests as well. But, in our first hour tonight (11pm ET/8pm PT), I want your reaction. Call in at 866-303-2270.

In the second hour tonight, I had already scheduled another friend, who happens work in the music industry as an artist manager. Ron Stone, president of Gold Mountain Entertainment, and has been an outspoken critic of internet piracy, and has influenced legislation on the issues of digital music, file sharing, and musician's intellectual property distribution rights. We'll talk about all of those things, and more, when Ron joins me on the air tonight.


victoria4500 said...

Dear Ms. Sandler,

I was on the fence about you until you voiced your feelings about Jacko. Thank you for being so frank (even though you were in the entertainment industry). I also like the fact that you weren't sycophantic (unlike Richard Green, who would even kiss the hems of soap opera actresses).

I also admire your entrepreneurial gumption, which makes you my kind of gal.

Just wanted to give credit where credit is due.

Sincerely, Barbara