Jackson, Entwistle , Moon and The Dark Industry: Part One
"The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy. The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow. After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret. Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation. At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now."
-Lisa Marie Presley
Michael Jackson's shocking death reminds me greatly of two of my most favorite people who are now in Rock n' Roll Heaven: John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Like Jackson, on the eve of his death, John was starting a tour that he needed to do for money, that he'd been warned against attempting due to a weak heart and which he would have not missed for anything in the universe. A human beat box and impeccable, fanciful dresser in his own right, John loved to spend, spend, spend money just like Jackson. He loved to party as well. Jackson had huge hands as did Entwistle, when I shook them at The Fillmore in 1996, it was an out of body experience, like greeting a congenial human scale version of Ray Harryhausen's Talos.
Like Jackson's icon, Peter Pan, Keith Moon never wanted to grow up and never did to the point where his life becoming a raucous non-stop B-movie carnival fantasy with a first rate soundtrack. Perhaps more so than any other performer to date, Moon embodied the Peter Pan spirit that Jackson coveted, albeit tragically. Only one biographer ever caught the fact that he even knocked one year off his age so he could appear perennially as the "baby" of The Who. He died at age 31 or 32 , depending on which biography you consult. Like Michael, he'd been under the care of a doctor who was administering drugs (in Moon's case Clomethiazole aka Heminevrin , an alcohol withdrawal sedative) that are specifically contraindicated for unsupervised home use. Moon also had a recklessly impulsive nature and long history of alcohol and prescription drug abuse, another aspect that his doctor (who was never cautioned following his death) neglected to "look into." Ironically the most physically self destructive of the three (Moon) had the best hope of kicking his addiction and had been obsessed with getting clean, but it was sadly not to be. All three men were unique, living musical legends without equal but most importantly all died looking forward to something wonderful in their lives that was around the corner, they left when they were really on a huge "up" so to speak. Hugely important if you believe in reincarnation, resurrection or even just the positivity of the human spirit.
I bring them up in juxtaposition to Jackson because, while I loved Jackson's music and the fact that he flickered subliminally throughout my entire life, I'm surprised at how much his death has effected my idea of celebrity and the entertainment industry and how much sadness I feel. In some ways its the last straw, I sincerely believe that the industry and its endless parade of hangers on, enablers and lawyers, consciously destroys the greatest artists via indulgence, ostracism, ass kissing and thievery, while feting and rewarding the mediocre ones who have few personal complexities. I'm also disgusted by how there are those who, even after and during this unprecedented global mourning for Micheal Jackson, seem to think that world leaders and religious figures actually 'matter more' to the peoples of the world than entertainers.
For all the entities and good people that did try to save Michael Jackson's life, there was one person who sealed his doom while simultaneously siphoning off as much of his celebrity status that he could and still can: Martin Bashir. Martin Bashir reminds me of a type of personality you occasionally meet in the South London "Yummy Mummy & Daddy sect". A self conscious, non-indigenous stock Brit that is silently killing to blend in with this type of affected old school, water tight middle class British attitude that is mostly as dead as the Dodo. More pointedly someone who is, "trying really hard to be white". Martin Bashir's wife is white and he's accusing someone else of having "light kids?"
Ironically the very thing Bashir accused Jackson of doing in his now infamous documentary "Living With Michael Jackson."
To be continued