This little guy was milking the cameras with his MJ moves!
On Saturday at 5:30 pm, 169 Zombies gathered at Studio One Art Center in Oakland, California to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." They were joined at the exact same time by 300 other locations around the world in an attempt to break last year's record set in Guinness Book of World Records 4,179 dancers from 10 nations. This year, it is already reported that there were 6,000 fans in Los Angeles alone and that 37 countries participated.
Zombies, young and old, had a blast learning the dance and participating in the event in Oakland yesterday. From 3-5pm there was dance instruction out on the Studio One plaza. At 5:30 sharp, the "Thriller" dance commenced in front of many on-lookers. It ended with the crowd chanting "Michael! Michael! Michael!" and doing it all over again just for fun. Zombies then invaded the Kona Club on Piedmont, many of them ordered the drink "the Zombie." (I did, it was tasty!)
I just wanted to point out that there are two people that have been yelling at each other on one of my Michael Jackson vs. Beatles articles from last month and continue to do so.
I don't even know what they're arguing about anymore. But just yesterday one of them admitted to being from Canada and then the other one started to lay into him for that. He even brought up "Blame Canada" from South Park. It's pretty funny.
I thought about stepping in at pointing out how ridiculous they are being, but then it might stop. And this is just too fun.
She has posted a second rebuttal, basically saying that while the Beatles were popular in many parts of the world, in some parts, such as Third World nations, Michael Jackson was more well known.
Here's a good question: How many cover albums of Michael Jackson songs are out there? A quick search on Amazon.com for "Michael Jackson tribute" brings up less than 10. Search for "Beatles tribute" and you come up with 156. And those are the ones still in print.
And the styles on Beatle cover albums available range from symphonic to reggae to bossa nova to bluegrass to acapella to soul to blues to classical guitar to jazz to pan pipes and even to church pipe organ. Given that range of styles, would you say the Beatles weren't known everywhere and much more so?
As Jamie said, she respects the Beatles and we, in turn, respect Michael Jackson and wish his family the best. .
But there will never be anything like the Beatles. Michael Jackson was certainly a dynamic talent to be reckoned with, no question.
I've heard many fantastic opinions and facts commenting on whether Michael Jackson was more popular worldwide than The Beatles. I guess Elvis and, as one smart lady suggested, Frank Sinatra are out of the running. Really, this is a ridiculous comparison since you can't compare the world music industry of the 80s to that of the 60s. The world is a different place, record distribution and radio/television is different and music is itself, of course, totally different.
My response to Beatles Examiner Steve Marinucci is this: you, and many others, have spent a lot of time quoting record sales and musical influence; unfortunately record sales equals popularity in this world of music we live in. I personally don't own any Michael Jackson records (I'm a much bigger Beatles fan by the way) and I know all of his hits. All of them, word by word.
What's so funny about this to me is that it was just a theory I had. I'm a HUGE Beatles fan. Anyone who knows me or has read my blog for a little bit knows this. I've taken University classes, I've written and given papers at conferences, I have lots of books and posters... hell, I've got a blog (and hopefully a book eventually) inspired by The Beatles. I wrote my freaking undergraduate THESIS on The Beatles.
I love me some MJ, but not like I love me some John, Paul, George and Ringo. No way.
The comparison of MJ's popularity to The Beatles or Elvis (or Sinatra) is ridiculous. You can't compare the music industry of the 50s/60s to that of the 80s. Although many of you have brought up some terrific points.
My point was really that in the third world, where folks don't have the financial means to buy records, there is really no way to account for "fandom" and "popularity." So what is popularity if it's not based on numbers? Like I said you don't need to own any MJ to know his music, the same can be said about The Beatles. Their music permeates every corner of our world.
Here are some of the comments I've gotten on the topic on facebook, check out examiner.com for other (more colorful responses):
Michael *was* more popular. Past tense. That hasn't been true in almost 20 years, though.
I actually really agree with you. Or at least I scoff at the knee-jerk orthodoxy of the opposition. The fact is, the Beatles are much more hallowed among 1) older music critics and 2) white people. The rest of the world, I call it a wash.
Didn't MJ transform the 80s into HIS decade?
The other writer makes a big deal about MJ fading in his later period both in musical output and personal troubles, but post-heyday repertoire from former Beatles was often lackluster as well, and who gives a damn about his scandals? Or, is it all the more telling that we celebrate him so in spite of them?
I think, Jamie, for those born after 1970, Michael was almost unquestionably bigger. for the boomers, The Beatles were bigger. I do believe it's a generational thing.
I once read a story (and now the image is left in my memory) of a man somewhere in the world on a camel with a huge boombox blasting some MJ. I wish I could remember where I read that.
I also heard a story on NPR yesterday that a reporter was at a party with people who were too cool to dance. The DJ, desperate to get the party started, played an MJ track and everyone started dancing. Then he played another and another and another and worked the crowd into a frenzy.
You know, something like this...
Even if you don't own any MJ, you will know it.
Please let me know what you think of this theory. Especially if you do not live in the Western/first world. I'm interested to know.
One thing is for sure, the guy led a tough and misunderstood existence. But he brought the world some amazing music and will be greatly missed.
Thanks for the grooves Michael!
Please share any stories that you might have of being far away from Motown and seeing or hearing some Michael Jackson in a unexpected place. I'd like to know.
So after I posted the original article on Examiner.com, the Beatles Examiner posted this rebuttal. What I noticed about all of the folks who disagreed with me is that no one really understood what I was saying: record sales, money, music industry stuff and ratings prove NOTHING when we're talking about third world and non-western countries. But folks kept quoting numbers and charts.
So I wrote this counter-rebuttal and then the Beatles examiner wrote this second rebuttal. It was fun. My post received a lot of hits and many many of people yelling at me and each other.
I still hold true that Michael Jackson is the most well loved entertainer in the world at this moment. We can look at this topic again in ten years and re-evaluate.