Michael Jackson died today. When I was growing up, there was no bigger star than Michael. He was the end-all, be-all of pop music, everyone liked him. Unlike many (in my opinion) of today's stars, he was a genuinely, unbelievably, talented performer. Michael was an absolute superstar, and worked his ass off to get there.

His reputation was not quite the same in later years, but I'm not going to talk about that, not today. Today I will just remember him as I did in the 80's. By the way, I was lucky enough to have a Michael Jackson impersonator for one of my birthdays - it was awesome.

If you feel so inclined, read what I wrote about Thriller last October, citing it as one of my favorite Halloween subjects. God that video scared me as a kid - and it's still great today.

The two things that remind me most of MJ from my childhood:

1) This yellow sweater picture (I definitely had it on a Trapper Keeper, and I think I had the poster too) [picture is from an eBay auction] (funny enough, this columnist remembers the exact same thing - and she actually found her old poster!).

2) Seeing him on the Motown 25, doing the Moonwalk, for the first time. Magic.

Update: Two more videos I wanted to share.

Off The Wall is probably my favorite MJ song, the whole album is brilliant.

Is that Ken Nordine in the intro to Can You Feel It? It's GOT to be (though I can't easily seem to find any attribution)... I never realized that until now.

RIP, Michael.