McNaboe on MJ

 Over the weekend, we got the following message from local musician Tony McNaboe. It seemed worth sharing, which we are doing here with Tony's permission:

....This is surreal... Last night on the way back from NH the band and I played Off the wall, Thriller and Bad in their entirety and celebrated Mike's life. We had several hours to take it all in and more than a couple times I fought backs tears. Still, that couldnt have prepared me for the overwhelming response that I woke up to on my television. 

As I watched MTV's coverage, listened to many of his fans and peers come unglued and ultimately had to confront the "Man in the Mirror" video, I began sobbing. It occured to me what had truly happened... I had lost a childhood and lifelong friend... we all have.

I Sure am gonna miss Mike. I had big hopes for his "comeback" next month. He's probably the single biggest reason that I ever started singing and dancing as a little kid and in turn, one of the biggest impact roles in my musical journey. F all the "freak show" BS in much of the major media right now. The rest of us will remember him for being an individual capable of entertaining, inspiring, moving, captivating and bringing to tears millions and millions of us in one collective moment in time. Over and over and over again throughout his life SINCE AGE 6... 
Nothing about that is "normal".. why then did the world insist that HE should be. I'm deeply saddened today that he passed just a short time before he would have had an opportunity to potentially redeem himself in the eyes of the world. Instead he had to leave here as the ostracized, socially inept monster that this insolent, unforgiving and media driven culture of ours had turned him into. I keep thinking about the way I felt at the end of "The Elephant Man". The way you come to realize the profound beauty of John Marrack's heart and the strength of his spirit. Nonetheless, he dies... sad, misunderstood and alone. With almost nobody on earth ever having seen beyond his glaring physical imperfections to marvel at his character as a human being.
Mike never outgrew childhood. He lived a naive, deeply affectionate, limitless and outrages life. The way a child would with a billion dollars and no one watching over him. This, as everyone knows, kept him in the company of like-minded people. F'd up? definitely.. His insecurity and discomfort in his own skin forced him to maim himself with cosmetic surgery until he himself couldn't bare to look. Sad? More than a little. There is NOTHING that we ever witnessed in his adult life that was not, for better or worse, characteristic of a child's fears, curiosities, playfulness and kindness. To be "stuck" in childhood.. how profoundly beautiful and sad at the same time. Unlike John Marracks physical deformities, Michael's were emotional and he was every bit as powerless and helpless to them. But that "little kid" who took the stage and filled our hearts with often overwhelming Joy!!! That "young boy" who dazzled us year after year of our lives with some sort of divine and other-worldly ability to sing and dance. That person who TRULY cared for the children of the world. Who gave so much of himself for all of humanity in efforts to end hunger while selflessly and tirelessly spreading love and peace all over the entire globe. It was there that we saw that same beauty in his heart and strength in his spirit..
There is no doubt in my mind that God made Mike EXACTLY as he was meant to be and laid out his entire life's path in the same fashion. Given to him were abilities as well as vulnerabilities we have NEVER seen in any other individual ever to live. He was made to be a special piece in the history of our world and rest assured there is more to learn from his life than how to do the Moonwalk... I wonder today what would be different if the world had shown him the same compassion that he showed the world. Maybe that's just it.. I myself took part in my share of "MJ jokes". I guess I hadn't given much thought to what I was laughing about.. someone else's sickness? someone else's personal struggle? someone else's thing about themselves that they wish they could change and would give up anything in the world to do so? someone else's inability to love themselves? Yup. All of those things and more... Well, I learned something very valuable today...
That s#@t isn't funny.. Guess I never thought much beyond the surface before today. Looking back I'm humbled and disappointed with myself for that. Especially having been directed at someone who gave ME so much of their life..
I'll never forget Christmas morning when my older brother TJ and I got "Thriller" on tape. I was young enough to actually be scared to death of the song "thriller" and always had to leave the room when my brother played it. It came with a poster, you know the one. Mike with a tiger, and it hung on our bedroom wall for years before we eventually moved to a new house. I still consider "Man in the mirror" to be the first Gospel song/choir I'd ever heard. Confusing as it was, that's my first memory of music making me cry when I had nothing to cry about.. Later in life when I developed an affinity to gospel music I learned that the movement to tears often comes from an absolutely overwhelming sense of hope, love and goodness. Most of the time it's because you've allowed life to make you forget that so much hope, love and goodness could actually exist, and when you're reminded in such a way by those who are filled by it, it can be staggering. What a great and powerful joy to be reduced to tears by someone telling you that we can all do good, that there is a lightness in us all capable of illuminating any darkness, that simply.. there is hope. Michael Jackson brought me this joy from a very young age. I will be forever grateful to him for that.
Thanks to y'all for listening to me. Maybe this is just me needing a shoulder or maybe some of you will find this enlightening. Either way feel free to respond or to forward it around if you think someone else might be interested or think of someone I missed.

There will never be another Michael Jackson. Much like our celestial sun, just one has proven to be enough to light up the whole world.
Thank you, Michael from all us. God rest your soul, but we're keeping your spirit down here if that's ok...
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