It’s been five years since Michael Jackson died. Therefore, it’s also five years since I ended up in the Belfast Telegraph commenting on Michael Jackson’s death!
His death was announced overnight and I found out the next morning on Twitter – remember this is when Twitter wasn’t that big a deal. That morning at work some colleagues snuck out for a cheeky smoke before core time started and they phoned up. Apparently there was a reporter hanging about outside work looking comments.
I jumped out of my seat and went down, with a work chum, for a laugh. I walked about nonchalantly then the journalist asked if I wanted to make a comment. I tried to look surprised and began talking shite.
The abridged version was:
Conor Fearon (24) from Newry said his music will live on more than the scandals that surrounded him.
“I was very shocked when I heard that he’d died this morning. I listened to a lot of his stuff when I was a kid. I had ‘Bad’ on tape but it only worked on one side.
“I think he’ll be remembered for his singing and hopefully not for the tabloid portrayal of him. He was an innovator.”
The innovator line was edited slightly. I was rambling about (not the innovation of music videos) but how he had heavy guitar riffs and Eddie Van Halen play on his songs. I was talking (mostly nonsense) for about 5-10 minutes. They then took my photo as I was on my way. Note: they decided to put “Innovator” beside my name in the photo. Were they implying I was the innovator?
The Bad on tape thing was true. We had it in the car though no one in the family seems to remember it. I’m pretty sure it was Side B as they are the songs I remember and when we got to the end of the tape we had to rewind to the start.
When the paper came out on Friday evening my work chum messaged me to tell me I was in it. I was coming out of the cinema (Possibly seeing Year One) so afterwards drove to Fiveways to get a copy! Sadly there doesn’t seem to be an online copy of it.
The next day my ma woke me up to give off to me. My auntie phoned her to wind her up and spun it as if I said we had to make do with a broken tape deck and she wouldn’t get us a CD. She believed it too and thought I told the world we live grew up in cassette squalor.