Thursday, July 9, 2009
Seriously Chapter 31: Buttoning Up My Friend Michael Jackson
Seriously is a sports guy but has received countless e-mails asking for comments on the Michael Jackson Memorial Service which he attended Tuesday as a guest of the Jackson family. I've known Katherine, Joe and the family for going on two decades and, sadly, I've never seen them so united as one. It took several minutes for all of us to file in and then a few minutes more to bring in Michael. After my dear friend Smokey Robinson opened with reading the D. Ross and Mandela messages, there was a 30 minute pause which was more us sitting with Michael for one last time versus the networks having lost their audio feed. From there, the celebration proceeded without a glitch. We stood, we clapped, we laughed, we cried and we said our amens. And even though we've watched Michael's moves for decades, seeing them in such sublime montage and hearing all the music once more only reminded us of the man's phenomenal artistry and how great this loss has been. I won't single out the performers, most of them are friends, but it was truly wonderful to bump into my old friend, Stevie Wonder, who was somehow in the brightest of spirits before the ceremony and yet so vintage Stevie in his sweetly somber musical homage. I can't go much further than that, it really was too personal to relate. Let me just say that I cried.