This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who Killed Michael Jackson?

Statue of Michael Jackson in Eindhoven, the Ne...
Statue of Michael Jackson in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's better to burn out

Than to fade away

My my, hey hey.

~~Neil Young

      Do you think that Michael Jackson's doctor was responsible for the death of the King of Pop?  Was concert promoter AIG at fault?  Can we blame the fans and the press who pervaded every aspect of his life?  Or is Michael Jackson himself to blame?  Maybe he isn't dead at all and has faded away into seclusion.

       Michael Jackson was one of the greatest talents of the 20th century, but somehow something broke in his life.   If he had played his life shrewdly he could have had the public in his power instead of becoming an object of spectacle to all and ridicule to many.  Then again, maybe the man boy facade was his defense mechanism and he was just a puppet with strings pulled by others.

        If Michael had lived but disappeared from public scrutiny to live a normal quiet life, would he eventually had been forgotten?   After all, some celebrities have become bigger in death than they might have been if they had continued to live.  It's doubtful that Michael Jackson could ever have attained normalcy and seclusion, but one might ponder what could have happened if his life had turned out differently.

I want your love
But I don't want to borrow
To have it today to give it back tomorrow

~~Walter Donaldson / Gus Kahn (from "Love Me or Leave Me)

          You probably remember what happened to Ruth Etting.   Oh-- "Who's she?" most of you are probably thinking.   She made the song "Love Me or Leave Me" a smash hit back in the late 1920's.  For a decade or so she was a huge star on Broadway, in the movies, on records, and on the radio.  Then there was some scandal and she basically disappeared and faded away to die in Colorado Springs in 1978 at age 81.  She was a darling to the public for a period and essentially a non-entity to most of us today.

          Could something similar have happened to Michael Jackson if he'd lived?

The king is dead, the king is dead

Long live the king.

~~Elton John (via Traditional proclamation of succession of monarchies)

          We've seen many idols fall over the years--James Dean, Elvis, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain.   Every generation has its own fallen idols.   Now many memories live on for the most part due to strong marketing and the legacy left behind on film and in recordings.  There is money to made even after a celebrity passes on.  Maybe more money than they would have made if they had lived.  We can only speculate about the potential power these fallen idols could have wielded if they'd played the power game of their puppet masters.  

There's more to the picture

Than meets the eye.

Hey hey, my my.

~~Neil Young

      I'll admit I'm being a bit tricky in this post.   The real point of all this is that it's part of the game I'm playing.  Sure, I'm asking some legitimate questions and raising serious points, but this post is also a ruse to offer some clues for my upcoming Battle of the Bands post.

        My next Battle of the Bands post will appear this Saturday March 1st.  That's a special posting day for this blog and I hope you'll all stop by to hear the song versions I'm competing.  It's more fun when I have more voters.  It's easy.  I give you two versions of one song and you vote for your favorite.

          Today's post is one giant clue to my song choice for the next Battle.   A more specific clue is that none of the artists that I've mentioned or quoted in this current post have song versions in the battle.  This is actually a very tough clue post that I would expect few to catch unless you're a fan of British music of the 60's and then you might just catch what I'm alluding to.   More clues to come in my next post.

         Who do you think is really most responsible for Michael Jackson's death?   Do you think he was a victim of his fame?   What entertainment celebrity who has died do you miss the most?    Are you a Ruth Etting fan?    Do you have any idea what song I've chosen for the next Battle?

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  1. Outside of the Beatles? I'm not a fan, so I'll just stop racking my brain.
    Some stars would live on forever no matter what, like Elvis and Jackson. Others, had they lived, would've faded into obscurity. Like Cobain. Nirvana would've become just a blip on the radar. (Although a big blip since they launched the Grunge Era.)

  2. >>... Who do you think is really most responsible for Michael Jackson's death?

    I think the butler did it.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. Am I the only person who hasn't forgotten that MJ was a child molester? I don't care if he was allegedly 'vindicated'. He paid off those families to keep quiet. If it was the local guy down the street accused and acquitted, you know damn well the neighbours would continue to whisper and think he got away with it. But b/c of MJ's fame, people are willig to give him the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't fly with me. He was a great entertainer up to the Thriller album, then he turned into a complete mentally ill whack job. Sorry, no love lost here.

  4. JOJO ~
    I agree with you. And aside from that, I really don't think he was nearly as talented as he's always been given credit for being.

    Yeah, he could sing and dance and he scored some really big hits, but lots of people can sing and dance, and have scored big hits. And, in my opinion, Michael Jackson's songs were overproduced and pretty much just superficial, pop fluff.

    I've never understood his huge popularity, and I've never forgotten that he paid money to make those accusations go away, rather than fight them in court to PROVE his "supposed" innocence.

    If anyone accused me of sexually molesting children, knowing I was innocent, I would go to any length to clear my name publicly in a court of law.

    It's unfortunate that Jackson was such a basket case, but I never cared much for his fizzy pop, nor his "off-stage" behavior. So, I am with you on this one, and I would just as soon forget all about the guy.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  5. With all the excuses for his behavior over the years he had, it was he himself who made his choices. When the players stink, you fire the manager. It is a giving of blame to one and a reminder of guilt for the many.

    BTW I never bought a J5 or Michael single or lp. My hands are clean... I guess.

  6. I remember that song, Shine On Harvest Moon! There's no way that I would have known who recorded it though... until now.

    As for MJ - another celebrity whose life got messed up by his fame. He, his managers, doctors, and everyone who profited from him, killed him. People die. The lives of celebrities have no more value than ours, except to those who truly loved them.

    The child molester thing... I suspect guilt; however, you had a messed up adult-MJ, greedy/starstruck and careless parents, and an young innocent victim-the child. Bad combination.

    People will continue to enjoy MJ, though,just as we celebrate politicians (past and present) and other famous people who have given us their best qualities and been excused for their moral behavior and atrocities.

  7. You mention the King, is that a clue to your next song? For me, the King means Elvis, not MJ. I'll be back anyway to find out. . .

    I have to agree with JoJo, didn't care much for Michael, especially after the rumors about Wonderland.

    Money talks but it also silences.

  8. Alex -- But looking at the larger scope of things will Elvis, MJ, and others will live on beyond the machine that markets them. Famed entertainers of 70, 100 or more years ago have essentially been forgotten aside from certain history buffs. Mozart was a famed entertainer in his day, but he lives on because of the great music he wrote and not due to his celebrity status in his time. I question the lasting fame of those we think of as "immortal" today.

    JoJo -- There is a lot of dubious history to MJ's private life as there has been for many celebrities. What causes them to fall and become so corrupt? Lack of moral values, evil influences, and too much money? In this post I'm assessing MJ by his talent in context with other entertainers who had fame and often scandal that led to tainted images in their lifetimes and afterwards. The potential power these people had in their hands, but the unwillingness to wield the power, the fear of doing so, or the corruption of their values because of the power potential they had hanging over them may have been the forces that led to their downfalls.

    StMc -- See above reply to JoJo. I have no doubt that MJ was more talented than the average entertainer. Same with Madonna, but I also think she's certified wacko and evil in her personal existence. Sometimes it becomes so difficult to separate the person from the artist especially when the media is mining for golden dirt. I came to appreciate Michael's talent after he went solo, marvel at his propensity for outlandishly weird behavior, and admonish not only his stupidity, but also that of the media which does a great job at creating such monsters. As I said above I think MJ will become a footnote in history once the marketers can no longer make money from him.

    CW -- I was never a fan of the J5, but I did enjoy some of Michael's solo stuff. Ultimately I think everyone is essentially responsible for their own lives, but outside influence from handlers and puppeteers can probably play a big role in the decisions these people make. I've never been in the shoes of the pampered celebrity so I don't know what it's like and those commenting so far don't either. MJ started in the business very young under a harsh driving father so he was warped early on.


  9. I'm torn on this subject. I want to say his life and health were MJ's responsibility. Also think the doctor disregarded a whole code of ethics for profit. The sad part is what he left behind, the children, a family still fighting over his fortune. Sad, all the way around. Yes, he was a victim of his fame, too young for that kind of adulation, as so many who came after him.

    Silvia @

  10. Anita -- Your comment goes along with my previous replies. Thank you for that contribution. We've seen quite a few child stars end up with tragic messed up lives. Those people who reach celebrity status are basically commodities for our consumption and we are often willing to eat them alive when we tire of them and leave them with nothing. It would be interesting to study why some celebrities manage to make it successfully unwacky through life and others don't.

    DG -- Since I mentioned Elvis in this post then he is not part of the Battle match-up though his story might have influenced the background of the song I've chosen. Money talks but it also silences is a great line--so true.


  11. Silvia -- We may never know all of the story or the real truth from the collected stories. And in a few decades most people probably won't care one way or another. There is probably plenty of blame to go around starting from the day MJ was born.


  12. I'll admit that I bought Thriller, while wearing parachute pants, when I was in Kindergarten. It was on cassette, which (supposedly) was waaaaay fancier than records. By first grade I was over MJ having progressed in my musical tastes. I honestly haven't kept up with the news of his death, so I don't have an opinion on what killed him.

    I'm not so into '60s British rock. Now the '70s is a completely different story...

  13. Michael Jackson was doomed, he was on the fast track to destruction for a long time and it is a wonder he lasted as long as he did. I suspect he would rather have the fame than still be alive as a unknown has been.

    He did in his time though do one or two rather amazing music videos.

  14. Agreed! D.G. Hudson's line, "Money talks but it also silences", is an instant classic!

    I want to clarify that I do think Michael Jackson was talented. He was a terrific dancer and apparently he had a lot of charisma to some (not to me, but to plenty others).

    I did not mean to imply that I thought Michael Jackson was a talentless, or mediocre product of marketing. But I strongly feel that the adulation and the praise was well beyond what his talent truly merited.

    I would say the same thing about Blondie, Madonna, and Lady GagGag. These people are all vastly overrated as artists, and I agree that 100 years from now all of them will just be musical footnotes.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  15. Steven --Without the 60's music the 70's music would not have been what it was.

    Rob -- Not only did he put out some great videos, but those videos inspired some wonderful parodies by Weird Al who despite his stage moniker probably was a lot less weird than MJ.

    StMc -- But I strongly feel that the adulation and the praise was well beyond what his talent truly merited.
    This essentially true of all modern celebrities. Celebrity is not born, but created by the media machines. True talent is often obfuscated by celebrity status. Time is the truest judge of greatness.

    To clarify, since this post is mostly pointing toward my upcoming BOTB match-up, the real topic was not intended to be "Michael Jackson" but the circumstances of public perception of celebrity and the manipulation of those celebrities. My song pick is very obscure I realize, but my clues are strong for those who know a lot about British film and music of the 60's.

    The contrast between MJ and Ruth Etting is significant to my clues and to the topic today. Who in culture becomes important to posterity and who disappears and why.


  16. I honestly don't care who did it. Never was a fan anyway.

    Don't know enough about it to even hazard a guess. Totally out of touch with British music anyway. I will wait til you reveal all.

  17. With all the comments about molestation and "clean hands," I am afraid what this group will think when I disclose that the very first record I bought was "Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five."

    I hope the implication here is not that if one owns Michael Jackson music one is a child molester, or supports child molesters. That would trigger a 15 yard penalty under the new NFL rules.

    I always liked Michael's art and thought he was talented, but did think his "King Of Pop" title was a lot of media hype. As Stephen says, "a lot of people can sings and dance." I would posit that he was better than most, but still always though the title was reaching.

    The Motown days were very much a formula-not much variety from one Motown act to another (although I loved the formula), and his Sony days may have been a little ahead of the curve but were no so different from what was popular at the time. Still, there is no disputing his impact on the MTV era of the 80's and early 90's.

    Sadly, his fame seemed to devour his mind-the more famous he got, the more eccentric he got.

    As for the molestation charges, I do not know if he was guilty or not, and I feel that it's not my place to judge him. He certainly did his best to put himself in situations that only had a down side from a publicity viewpoint.

    I am not sure that even if he was innocent, he would have had the strength to stand trial as Stephen T. would have, nor do I think he had the right people around him to advise him properly.

    Who is to blame for his death?

    Who knows, but sadly, Michael was a troubled soul.

    Was this all about a clue for the BOTB post, or did some media noise prompt this topic?


  18. No idea what your BOTB pick might be.

    With respect to your comment about the public perception of celebrities and the media manipulation of said celebrities... apparently, 'there is no such thing as bad publicity'.

    Often it seems that publicists think keeping someone in the public eye and up for some sort of scrutiny makes them relevant and therefore preserves their celebrity status (even after their death).

    There seem to be a lot of mediocre talent celebrities, kept afloat by constant scandal and tabloid fodder. (Can someone tell me what it is the Kardasians really do other than make headlines?)

    If you really think that Mozart and other 'classical' musical artists were kept in the public eye simply by their talent, pick up a copy of the book, 'Bach, Beethoven and the Boys', it might open your eyes to exactly what these guys were up to in their day. It's not to say that their music did not endure because they were truly talented, but it just might be that their personal escapades elevated them to a certain celebrity status, that allowed them to outshine and outlast other very talented artists of their day. The same might be said about Shakespeare - the bawdy bard of Elizabethan times.

    With respect to Michael Jackson and his guilt or innocence and who is to blame for his lifestyle and death -- each of us will have to be judged one day for our own choices and actions. There really is no excuse for bad behavior. Michael Jackson will be judged just as will Mother Teresa and Adolph Hitler, along with St. Francis of Assisi. I don't think God really cares what our celebrity status might have been on earth, only what we did with the life he gave us to live.

  19. Whatever circumstances Michael Jackson died I think he should be allowed to Rest in peace.

    Although not famous, I wouldn't like it if someone started to ask question how my husband passed away and if someone was responsible.


  20. Jo-- At this point it's all a matter of tabloid speculation. Nothing can be done to change what happened.

    Larry -- I think marketing hype can kill the spirit and impair the judgement. Michael became more product than real human being. This post was totally in response to my reaction when I was thinking of clues for my song. The relationship of the source of the song compares in many ways to the MJ story.

    Faraway -- "no such thing as bad publicity" is undoubtedly a marketer's mantra that reduces people to products. As far as Mozart and all those others, I think it boils down to lasting talent of the ages as opposed to the flash in the pan artist du jour. We've seen so many come and go because most only speak to today whereas the ones who last speak to the ages. It would be ludicrous to put MJ next to Mozart as being essentially equal. Just as people who added to the Beatles to the like of Bach and Beethoven. I guess when things are current ten years seems as good as a hundred, but in reality the true test is time. How can we really equate pop stars to the lasting greats. Also, I think we should separate a person's talents and accomplishments from their morality and behavior. If we went by that test nothing would pass muster. Like you say, we aren't the judge that matters.

    Yvonne -- MJ has been dug up the grave many times and oft paraded through the media scrutiny. As long as people are interested and curious there will be no peace.


  21. LEE ~
    I wrote the following: "But I strongly feel that the adulation and the praise was well beyond what [Michael Jackson's] talent truly merited."

    You replied with: "This is essentially true of all modern celebrities."

    Really? "All"?

    You also wrote: "I think it boils down to lasting talent of the ages as opposed to the flash in the pan artist du jour. ... It would be ludicrous to put MJ next to Mozart as being essentially equal. Just as people who added to the Beatles to the likes of Bach and Beethoven."

    Well, by your own standard, "time" will be the judge of a person's real depth of talent. And I basically agree with that.

    But... there has not yet been enough time passed to judge whether or not "ALL modern celebrities" will be forgotten 100 years from now while Bach and Beethoven remain in the minds of The People.

    I have ventured a guess that MJ (and some others named) will eventually become musical footnotes. But if you think "ALL" modern musicians will not stand the test of time, I disagree.

    Bob Dylan, for one, ain't goin' nowhere. He was too big an influence on songwriting to disappear from the public consciousness. I believe The Beatles will also still be well known 100 years from now (although I am not a fan of theirs). Perhaps The Beach Boys, too. Certainly some Jazz musicians like Satchmo and Miles Davis will still be well known a century from now. Beyond that, I wouldn't want to guess.

    As you have already indicated, time will tell. But I do not believe that "ALL" of the performers of our age will be nothing more than musical footnotes 100 years hence.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  22. Michael Jackson wasn't fit enough to do the tours and earn the money he needed. Perhaps he couldn't face up to it.
    My hubby (bless!) is certain Jackson will earn more money 'dead' than doing more tours.
    I thought it was partly suicide; hubby believes he's chilling out somewhere, with a new face!

  23. Although not a fan of MJ. I was saddened at his passing. He will not rest in peace because people keep speculating at what or didn't happened I think it's morbid Lee.

  24. Just wanted to add a thought-while I agree with Stephen that not enough time has passed to make a fair determination, we do see that forty-five years after the Beatles split up, young people who were not alive at the time of John Lennon's death wear his image or the image of the band. Ditto for Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

    There are indications that some of our musical figures will endure in the public consciousness, but even if they do not, does that mean the one-hit wonders produced music without merit?

    I have been working on a post that addresses an article I read that basically blames popular music for many of the ills in the world.

    I always think blanket statements are a bad thing.

    Not all music is bad, not all artists will be relegated to footnotes and there is a lot of music that would qualify as pop fluff that is still worth a listen.

    Go listen to The Jackson Five singing "ABC" and tell me it does not make you smile, or maybe make you feel like a kid again.

    Not everything has to be an eternal classic-I know from our old desert island disc posts that we all have guilty musical pleasures, and that's ok.

    But whether or not they needed the sixties to spring from, the seventies RULED for rock music!


    PS....pun intended

  25. StMc -- Yes it's difficult to say who will last through the years. 100 years? Dylan perhaps, but maybe not as much by popular standards as Mozart is in our time. I think of Stephen Foster. His songs were very popular in the latter 19th century and some are still known, but ask most people and I doubt whether they'd know who Foster was and a good many would not be familiar with his songs. I would also question any lasting interest in modern "serious" composers such as Philip Glass or Steve Reich. What makes them particularly memorable other than the novelty of their work?
    But, yes, time will tell. Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and the like have stood the test of time whereas many others have not and I can't tell you who they are for that very reason. Maybe not "all" modern celebrities will be footnotes, but more like stubbed toes.

    Fanny -- I think he's already making far more money now that toward the end of his life. The tour might have killed him if he hadn't died first.

    Yvonne -- I will remind you that my post actually has more to do with the BOTB song that I picked for Saturday. My Friday post will also reveal another aspect of this. I'm not trying to be morbid, but I'm trying to make a point about the power and influence of celebrities.

  26. Michael Jackson is responsible for his own death. I'm so sick or rich, self-absorbed 'stars' being left off the hook for their failures because they had too much money and success. I never get them a second thought except to wish media wouldn't make such big news of it.

  27. Larry -- And to add to your list of images on shirts, etc we see Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevarra. Maybe 50 years from now kids will think the Obama "Hope and Change" shirts are still cool. Actually 50 years is not all that long, but if we wait for a couple of generations to pass those iconic images may be forgotten for the most part. As for pop music being responsible for the ills of the world, I don't think we can blame the music as much as the spirit and thought movement behind the music.

    Susan GK -- Celebrity is less an intended destination than it is a shaping by marketers and media. I don't know MJ's mind, but from what I've heard about him he remained a troubled child who never really grew up and had way too much money than was good for him.


  28. >>... Dylan perhaps, but maybe not as much by popular standards as Mozart is in our time.

    I'm a bit tired of people putting the Classical composers on a high-rise pedestal.

    Surely you realize that the Classical composers were simply the "Pop music-makers" of their own time.

    Why has their music endured so long? Because it was rich, complex, great, innovative... for its time.

    The same sort of "Pop" music of our own era will endure for the very same reasons.

    When it comes to song lyrics, NO ONE was more "revolutionary" than Bob Dylan. There isn't a single songwriter alive today whose influence can't be traced back to Bob Dylan (whether directly or indirectly).

    Again, time will tell, but I assure you that when the topic is "lyrics", Dylan will be as well known 200 years from now (assuming the world as we know it survives that long) as Bach and Beethoven are known today for their musical compositions.

    And the Jazz greats from our very own era (e.g., Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, etc.) were every bit as musically rich, complex and innovative as ANY Classical composer from that bygone time.

    The musical geniuses will carry on and be remembered through all time. The popular (in their era) but more pedestrian performers - such as Stephen Foster - may only be remembered by a very small segment of the people.

    I know very well who Stephen Foster was, and I could name several of the songs he wrote. They were "Pop" in his day, but there was nothing about Foster, that I know of, that would indicate he was a musical genius. He just happened to write some melodies that people enjoyed and which have been remembered long after his passing.

    I mean, seriously,... Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Armstrong, Davis, Brubeck, Dylan, Foster... find the name that least belongs in that grouping.

    Future generations will know the answers to the questions we are now axing, but I strongly felt that your general dismissal of our current age of musicians was a bit short-sighted.

    Don't forget that OUR era's musicians were inspired by and built upon the musical legacy that was left to them. To think that they weren't able to create any lasting works with so much richness that came before them is... I dunno... not giving enough credit to our own very best musical artists.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  29. StMc-- I've qualified my statement about Mozart with a "maybe" because we don't really know yet. I'm just speculatin'. I may plan to still be around 100 years from now but I don't know what will happen then.

    It's really a moot point I guess.

    Stephen Foster has been called the "Father of American Music" and he's the first American composer I can think of though I know there were more. His legacy probably goes down the line to Woodie Guthrie and Bob Dylan. I'm not going to knock Foster cause I've been a fan since I was a kid. How many kids today will say that. And after Dylan dies will kids be counting themselves as Dylan or Beatles fans.

    I'm not dismissing modern music. You probably know from what I've written in my blogs that I'm well acquainted with much modern music and have a deep love and appreciation for a lot of it including screeching artists like Lisa Dalbello.

    There's also a matter of something called taste and preference involved. We may have difference opinions on certain kinds of music but that doesn't make any of it necessarily inferior to any other. Well, except for rap and a few other genres.

    The indisputable fact is that the music of old dead European guys has withstood the test of time and are still held in pretty high regard.

    In the meantime, I still like my jazz, rock, show tunes, or whatever I like and I'll keep listening to what I like for as long as I can hear. Or not. We'll see what happens down the road if the road doesn't end soon.

    Bottom line is that you can give your opinion and I can give mine but neither of us really knows. But I enjoy the discussion.


  30. I don't think we'll ever know the whole story behind Michael Jackson's death. I like to think of him more from his Jackson Five days. Regardless of the rumors, I feel badly for his children.


  31. LEE ~
    Yes, I too enjoyed this discussion. And to think I nearly didn't even come here to read the blog bit. Seeing the title in my Dashboard and having no real interest in Michael Jackson, I was planning to pass on this one. Later though I thought: Well, what the heck, I'll pop in to see what folks are saying. Glad I did.

    Yak later, Boidman.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  32. Julie -- Yeah, I hope his kids turn out better than Dad.

    StMc -- I'm glad you did too. Remember, my titles are often come-ons to lure more readers. The post turned out to be more about MJ than I had intended, but he seemed like an example more people could relate to. My post tomorrow might clarify a lot. Then again it might be a whole new nest of fire ants. I think you may appreciate it though.


  33. I believe that these extremely talented musicians/actors/painters/etc. are living on the edge throughout their lives. Tortured souls, who can't give anymore.

  34. I'm torn about Michael Jackson. I believe he was a victim of his own circumstances but he always had a choice. A person knows right from wrong. He made some decisions in the course of his life. But, his music was still good.

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  35. It's a tough call if you look at all the facts. I still maintain that his doctor was more responsible because his negligence and lax response time when Michael Jackson was going under prevented him from getting the care that could have saved his life. And how the Hippocratic Oath says "Thou Shall Not Do Harm." However drug-addled he was at the time, Dr. Murray should have showcased the judgement in not fulfilling his wishes.

    At the same time, though, Michael is partially responsible because he got so addicted that it became impossible for him to sleep without medication. If he hadn't gotten to that point, we wouldn't be in the situation.

    But more often than not, I will give celebrities whose lives are cut short due to overdoses the benefit of the doubt. Unless they impress to me that they're vindictive in saying in that mindset. I think of Charlie Sheen when I say this, but I don't know for sure if he was high when he had that blow-up in early 2011 or just high on his own ego.

  36. Susan Kane -- In many cases I think you're right.

    Elsie -- I wonder how far his capacity for decision-making and good judgment went from his childhood. He was in a circumstance few of us could ever understand.

    Jackie B-- I'm sure there is plenty of blame to pass around in MJ's case. Charlie Sheen probably should have known better.


  37. Clueless about the clue, Lee--but I like the sound of that Battle post on Saturday! I'll be sure to come vote--and find out what the song is so I can (maybe) go "Of COURSE! How could I miss that?"

    I wasn't a huge fan of Michael Jackson, but I respected him as a musician and performer, and I thought his death (if death it was) was a tragedy. You're right--there's been so many of these "kings" and "queens" of pop culture that die (or disappear) and leave us wondering what their lives might've been like if things had been different. It's a little like the chicken and the egg, isn't it? If things had been different, would they have gone on to greater greatness? Or was it their very greatness that caused their downfall?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today, Lee, and for all the support to #TeamDamyanti. We love being part of the A-to-Z minion team, and I hope whatever we're doing makes a difference in workload for you awesome co-hosts.

    Have a lovely evening!
    Guilie @ Making History: join the #AZchat!

  38. Guilie -- I'm not sure that many readers will be saying "Of course" about my song pick. It is rather obscure.

    You've and your teammates have been doing a spectacular job promoting A to Z. Just what we need!



  39. Wow-neither Lee or McCarthy touched my blanket statement line...

    You guys must be slipping!


  40. I guess I was just taking the statement literally.

    Who do you think I am anyway? The Prince of Puns?

    Besides I think the other commenters adequately "covered" Michael's relationships with kids. I didn't want to milk the issue any more than was needed. I think we Ben there and done that enough times.

    Now I think I'll take a Wiz and go to bad---er, I mean bed.


  41. Interesting post Lee! I never thought about it, but you are right most of these idols become victims of their success and fame. The ones who stay out of the limelight are best equipped to live a close to normal life. That's almost like having your cake and eating it too. Easier said than done.

  42. Buck -- Hard to stay out of the public eye when so many eyes are following your every move.



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