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Thread: Marcus Miller on Mike

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    Default Marcus Miller on Mike

    I don't think I can remember one person who wasn't amazed by Michael's artistry. Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, some of the greatest artists in the world, all told me how in awe of him they were.
    I come from a musical family but it wasn't until I heard Michael Jackson that I decided to become a musician. The Jackson Five were so exciting and so talented. As a ten year old, I decided to get serious about music because Michael and the Jackson Five had me that excited. Hey, they were my age and they were already professionals, I actually felt like I was late and had some catching up to do!

    In my neighborhood in NY, we dressed like them, wore our hair like them. I'm sure it was the same all over the country. He and his brothers really defined our childhood.

    I never played with him but I never minded that because it allowed me to really stay a fan forever without being concerned with playing the bass or writing songs. I just enjoyed his records like everyone else.

    I eventually went on make music in a more jazz and R&B vein than him but I always felt like I carried that spark that Michael Jackson instilled in me. I used to make Miles listen to Michael Jackson records! He loved "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground"! He said, "Man, that's some bad s**t!!"

    In the eighties, Michael put it all together. In his slender frame, he embodied the entire black entertainment tradition. From the Nicholas Brothers through Sammy Davis Jr., Little Richard, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Smokey Robinson, the Delphonics, Stevie Wonder, and on into the future. Watching MJ was like taking a history lesson and a lesson on the future at the same time.

    If that weren't enough, MJ then went and single-handedly revolutionized music videos. It's amazing that today, some twenty-five years later, everyone who makes a pop music video still feels obligated to include a "group dance" sequence like the one MJ pioneered in "Beat It". That's how influential and ahead of the times he was.

    I truly feel sorry for people who only know the Michael Jackson of the later years. It's unfortunate that they will only see the "out there" Michael Jackson who was very obviously dealing with demons created by a childhood that none of us can ever imagine or understand.

    I feel sorry for people who only know Michael Jackson as "***** *****" - because they've missed witnessing a display of talent that, most likely, the world will never, ever see again.

    Rest In Peace MJ

    Marcus Miller

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    Default I'll Be There / Billie Jean


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