Two Icons From My Youth - gone in one day
"Farrah Fawcett is dead". Sadly, this was a statement for which we were prepared and based on reports of her suffering on her last days it came as a relief. But my God, she really was gorgeous...just look at her on "the poster" - the perfect embodiment of the all-American golden girl. Arguably her "talent" was questionable, but really, did it matter?
I remember never missing an episode of "Charlie's Angels" and there she was a vision of teeth, hair and tan. Now, to be honest, Jill wasn't my favorite - we were too different. I could never be her: blonde athletic and gorgeous - even at 13 I knew that just wasn't going to happen.
She embodied an era, she was a powerful symbol of American womanhood and for better or worse a role model or a lust object for millions. Would she have been an icon today? I don't think so - the world has changed and perceptions of women have changed. But for those of my generation - in our collective memory, she'll always be the quintessential all-American golden girl.
May she be at peace...beautiful again with the sun beaming from behind her flowing hair.
A bit later in the day after news of Farrah's passing two or three news alert e-mail messages hit my inbox. "Michael Jackson Suffers Cardiac Arrest!" What? I'm working from home today so I switched to CNN and there was Wolf Blitzer clearly distressed. It was true. CNN had reporters all over the place: the house, the hospital, Sanjay Gupta, some other medical correspondent, all of them talking, all saying the same things - but there was no music. Until later. Once Wolf announced that several outlets were reporting Michael Jackson after being in a coma had died, he said "now let's watch a 10 year old Michael Jackson with his brothers performing "I Want You Back". And there he was, clearly a star even then. I switched to MTV where they're playing back-to-back videos of a grown-up Michael Jackson. "Bad", "Thriller", "Beat It", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "PYT-Pretty Young Thing", and more. So much music...and "We Are The World".
His life became a circus the last few years - weirdness, the rumors, the indiscretions. I hope that's not for what he's remembered. That's not what I'll remember. I'll remember the sweet-faced boy singing "ABC", "I'll Be There", "Dancing Machine" and "Ben". I'll remember his electric performance of "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25th anniversary special - it's almost like the world stopped when he did the moonwalk the first time. I'll remember when I went to see him and his brothers in concert for the Victory tour in the mid 80s.
Today the world lost Farrah - an epitome of beauty and Michael - an epitome of musical genius.
Is today the day "our" music died?