One of my favorite comments...and, in this blog, I can't quote it exactly...about the downfall of amazing success...comes from Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
Referring to the band's drug-induced decline in the late 1970's, Perry has often said, "We had it all...and we (bleeped) it all away."
Aerosmith, amazingly, got it all back...and then some...by the '90s. The same cannot be said for Michael Jackson.
Jackson's collapse can't be blamed on drugs...at least not the recreational/illegal kind. It's more the result of downright weird behavior.
I wasn't much into music stars (no, not even the Beatles) before Jackson exploded as a solo star in the 1980s. Like millions of others, I was blown away by his performance on the Motown 25th anniversary special in 1983. Within a couple of years, I owned nearly every album he had made currently or previously (if you don't believe me, ask Courtney Rochon...she photographed a few of them for her Jackson story Friday).
But as the decade wore on, I became less and less enthralled by him, largely because of the increasingly common stories about his problems.
At first, I dismissed them as tabloid fodder. But the more you hear about them, the more you wonder if some of them aren't true.
Since the first of the child abuse allegations came out, I have purchased on Jackson album...his greatest hits compilation.
Unlike others, I haven't been spending my money in music stores...or on EBay or Amazon...since the announcement of his death Thursday. I have been listening to the music, as a reminder of what an astonishing career Jackson had...at least before it all came crashing down, both personally and professionally.
Like Elvis Presley, his death might be a financial boon. Elvis (and John Lennon and maybe Curt Cobain) may have a rival in terms of people who are financially worth more dead than they were when they were still alive.
The ONLY good thing about his death...is that it has reminded us about why we cared about Michael Jackson in the first place.