TAKE2: Are we as wacko as Jacko?

Human beings are weird! I was out watching local country-rock band Jim Neversink on Thursday night when my girlfriend called to tell me that Michael Jackson had died.

As I passed on the news to fellow punters in the bar, most stared at me in disbelief.

The following afternoon I popped into a second-hand record store that I frequent regularly, and the guy behind the counter told me how fans were lined up outside that morning, waiting for the store to open so they could buy Michael Jackson CDs. He only had three in stock and sold out in a matter of minutes.

Similar stories have since drifted in from the rest of South Africa and abroad.

Most music retailers were completely out of stock of all Michael Jackson merchandise by the weekend.

In the United States, Jackson is tipped to go to the top of the Billboard charts next week, with an American music blog, Tampa Calling, stating that industry insiders have said that three Jackson albums—Number Ones, The Essential Michael Jackson and Thriller—each sold 100 000 copies last week.

This would have put all three albums in the top three places in the Billboard 200.

Meanwhile, online the trend continues.

Amazon.com‘s top-25 single-track downloads featured 16 Jackson songs, and Jackson-related albums populated half of the top 20 of the album charts.

On the US iTunes charts on Monday, eight of the 10 best-selling songs on iTunes belonged to Jackson, with Man in the Mirror sitting at number one on a singles chart that also included such hits as The Way You Make Me Feel, Billie Jean, Black or White, Smooth Criminal, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and Thriller.

Jackson would have got a clean sweep if it weren’t for the Black Eyed Peas.

Now all of this brings me to the question, why does an artist have to die for people to realise that they like the artist’s music? Why not buy the albums when the artist is alive and maybe the artist could benefit from the royalties?

Not that Jackson was living like a pauper, but I’m sure there are numerous other artists who are not as well off, and who will go through a surge in record sales once dead that they could have benefited from while still alive.

So get out there and support musicians, buy their music and go to their shows.

Don’t wait until they are dead to express how much you appreciate what they do.

As I stated earlier, humans are weird, which just goes to show that Jackson was one of us—perhaps there is a little Wacko Jacko in all of us.

Disclaimer: Lloyd Gedye owns all of Jim Neversink’s albums

Lloyd Gedye

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