This has been a tough week for those of us boomers who grew up and came into our own in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. First, it was reported that Ed McMahon passed away. His presence on late night TV with Johnny Carson and on annual MDA Telethons was always a source of joy.
Then, word came early today that Farrah Fawcett had lost her battle with cancer. From "Charlie's Angels" to "The Burning Bed," Fawcett showed versatility, and acting chops. And even I bought that famous poster and Playboy issue.
This morning, I repeated to a friend of mine one of those old adages: "They say that famous people die in threes. Ed, Farrah... jeez... guess we should expect another one."
Late this afternoon, I found out that Michael Jackson passed away.
I can't even begin to communicate how stunned and saddened I was to hear this. We were roughly the same age, and I grew up on his music, from his early Motown years with the Jackson Five to his remarkable solo career; I danced to his beats, marvelled at his raw talent, and was fortunate enough to see him three times in concert: once on the Victory Tour, in the wake of his unbelievably successful album, Thriller (one of my favorite albums of all time); a second time on the Bad World Tour; and finally, on the Dangerous World Tour. Soft spoken in interviews, the man became a moonwalking lion on stage. I've never seen anyone like him in live performance ... before or since.
Unfortunately, in later years, so much of this magnificent talent was overshadowed by tabloid stories, sordid scandals, trials, and tribulations. None of it erased, in my mind, the talent of this entertainer, or the happiness his music, groundbreaking videos, and electrifying performances brought me.
Ed, Farrah, and Michael. All gone too soon.