Friday, June 26, 2009

A Talented Legacy

Lots of deaths this week. In addition to some loss this week in our circle of friends, there was Farrah Fawcett, Jeff Goldblum and Ed Mc Mahon.

But yesterday's news of the untimely death of Michael Jackson was a big one.

You undoubtedly have seen the interviews and the replays of all of his music and videos over the past couple of days. They'll continue until there's another major news event.

Jackson was a part of videography from its infancy.

Of most importance for me, though, is what his music means.

He sang with soul; he was a genius at blending Motown (which I grew up with) with rock; some of his songs have social meaning; he provided escapism and joy; he brought dance and music together with such talent; he had a good heart.

But, primarily, for me, whose job has been heavily dependent upon music, he is quite memorable. Along with the launch of his albums "Bad" and Thriller", there was a launch in style. As aerobic instructors, we were gifted some pretty incredible music to teach to. And good music was pretty difficult to find. The beats were important. The message was important. But the motivating, upbeat sound was key.

Music was and still is in many cases critical to the success of a great cardio workout. We had Talking Heads, Devo, Level 42, Aretha Franklin, Eurythmics and Madonna, to name a few.

So, in the midst of all of the media mayhem, I chose, as a personal trainer, to play Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits in the gym today. Clients responded with where they were when some of the songs/albums were released. Some spoke of how he was acquitted of the crimes he was accused of. But it was overwhelmingly positive in remembering him and his music.

All in all, we look back to a career that many of us relate to in some way. We remember the talent, the gifts he had and the childhood he lost.

With his death he can finally rest in peace. It's my hope that we will let him.

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