Even in death, Michael Jackson continues to cast a spell over his fans and beyond. The premiere of Is This It?, footage of his rehearsals for his O2 Tour, hits cinemas worldwide tonight.
Handily, his first (and you’ll note the use of the word first) posthumous single is also called Is This It, even though it was co-written with Paul Anka back in 1983.
Some may think that this will be the last we’ll hear of Michael Jackson for a while. The circumstances surrounding his death seem to have been cleared up and now this footage is about to be shown finally.
And yet, we all know that music legends never really go away, do they? Jimi Hendrix recordings were unearthed long after he shuffled of this mortal coil, MTV Unplugged and the single You Know You’re Right were released after Kurt Cobain’s death and even Nick Drake’s early unheard recordings have been turned into something ‘new’.
Jackson will be no different. There will always be new fans to attract. My six-year-old daughter had never really heard of Michael Jackson before his death. While watching Up in the cinema at the weekend, the trailer for Is This It? came on and she turned to me and said, ‘That’s Michael Jackson. It’s sad that he died,’ before proceeding to sing along to all the songs playing in the background.
I’m not suggesting people should forget him, but let’s face it, we can all be pretty certain that in a year or two or 10, some more ‘new’ recordings will be ‘mysteriously’ discovered.
The Jackson bandwagon will roll on long after his death, because he is still a money-making machine and probably still has a line of creditors longer than your arm, queuing up to claw back some of the money still owed to them. For that reason, and that reason alone, Michael Jackson will never be allowed to die.