Thursday, June 25, 2009

Death of the Icons

(February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009)

(August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

We grow up with them, we cherish them, we look up to them, we emulate them, we want to meet them, befriend them... we don't imagine losing them.

Today, we lost two from my world; Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Within hours of each other, both gone. Farrah, the 1976 Poster Girl (we all had it or wanted it, we all stared at it - yes, even me - it is still a gorgeous and sexy poster of an extremely beautiful woman) and the original "Charlie's Angel" and Michael, that little boy with the big voice who wowed the world.

My earliest memory of either would be The Jackson 5 Cartoon Show (1971-1973):

After that, I bought my first 'adult' 45 record. It was from a little record shop on Yorktown Road in Hatboro, Pennsylvania - just around the corner from Santarian's Department Store (where we got all of our clothes). It was The Jackson 5's "ABC" (1970). I still love that song to this day. Michael was in and out of my life over the decades... I had the vinyl LP for G.I.T. (Get It Together) in 1973:

Years later, I'd see Michael in "The Wiz" (1978) and then came the albums, "Off the Wall" (1979) and "Thriller" (1982) and he was off. On March 25, 1983, we all watched Michael perform live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever TV special. His performance; that Moonwalk - amazed everyone. That night a superstar was launched higher into the stratosphere.

A few years later, while working in the retail music business, I was invited to an exclusive Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan for a listening party of Michael's new album, "Bad" (1987). Soon after in 1988, from my contacts at CBS Records I received an autographed copy of Michael's autobiography, Moon Walk. The limited edition 3D pop-up CD version of "Dangerous" came in 1991 and then Michael began to fade from my life. Sure, I bought HIStory (1995), but the music had changed and he had changed and has never really returned to my life. He still will be missed but his music will live on.

As for Farrah, besides the aforementioned poster:

Farrah was never in my life except for one incident in Beverly Hills back around 1994.

While driving home from my job at ABC/Kane Productions, I came to a stop sign in Beverly Hills, just before another car did on my right. As I proceeded to go through the intersection, the other car jump out as well and this blond lady leaned out of her driver side window and stuck her hand out shouting, 'It's my turn!' - the hand out evidently to stop my car. In the passenger seat, a slightly over-weight man began to slump down. Seconds later I recognized Farrah and Ryan O'Neal.

That was it.

So what's my point? We all lose our Icons, but once we start losing them, we begin to realize our own mortality. Yes, life is short and we've all been dying since that first breath we took. But when the Icons we've grown up with begin to pass, Life begins feel more fleeting.