Friday, June 26, 2009

Hollywood: Paying respect to Michael Jackson

A very "Day of the Locust" afternoon in Hollywood as streams of people gather to place flowers by Michael Jackson's star in front of the Mann Chinese. An outpouring of people and emotion that reminded me of the tributes and flowers to Princess Di outside Kensington Palace but with some only-in-L.A. craziness and media frenzy: 10 satellite news trucks, LAPD on horseback, helicopter buzzing overhead and all of Hollywood Blvd.'s best impersonators out in full force asking folks if they want a picture (Elvis, Marilyn, 2 Captain Jack Sparrows, 2 Obamas, Spider-Man, Batman & the Joker and Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ).   
I met Michael backstage at a Queen show at the LA Forum--Freddie Mercury was still in the band so it was decades ago.  I was there to interview the band for Videowest. I asked Michael if he wanted to be interviewed. No, he politely declined, but he told me he recognized me from TV.  Not sure what channel he was watching since I've never been on TV, but I was too awed to correct him (and he had two huge bodyguards in the days before anyone had bodyguards). He went to say hi to Freddie and watched the show from the side of the stage. Quiet and soft-spoken--he thanked me for getting him a soft drink--and a music fan--that's how I remember him. Take a final bow.

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