“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Time for something a bit different now. Now we all know about Thriller, Billie Jean and Black or White, am I right? But how much do we know about the untimely death of a pop icon?
“He has ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was looking through the window at the one joy which he must be forever barred.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
This book is a true story, written from a whole host of sources and interviews surrounding the King of Pop. In particular, it focuses on the death and court case and the role Dr Conrad Murray played.
“All this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
The book begins by giving us a background. Now I’d you’re an avid MJ fan then you probably won’t need to read the first couple of chapters or so but for someone like me who has only been told or read bits and pieces; this section fills in a lot of the blanks and gives us a background.
How he never had a childhood. How he first took drugs as a result of an injury on the set of a shoot he didn’t want to be a part of. How the doctors who prescribed him it didn’t realise or didn’t think about the side effects, the fact that it’s highly addictive. This was the start of the end.
“‘It’s awfully sad,’ the first twin said cheerfully. ‘I don’t see how it can have a happy ending,’ said the second twin.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
It also details his estranged relationship with his brothers and father as well as other controversies in his life, mainly the child abuse allegations made against him. It seemed like every time he tried to do good, it went wrong. And unsurprisingly so, the stress was getting to him…A LOT.
“Peter has seen many tragedies, but he had forgotten them all.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
His Neverland home intruded upon by police, he felt he couldn’t go back. He escaped. Where new friends and foes were made. But MJ couldn’t run forever and had to return to pay his debts as they were mounting up.
“When people grow up, they forget the way.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Then an opportunity arose. What if he could perform again? His agents thought this was the only option and Michael had no choice in the matter. If the debts were to be gotten rid of, he must perform again.
We see the sneakiness of AEG Live, how the amount of shows he agreed to kept rising, without his knowledge. How he was pushed to his limits. Yet he had no choice. Without the shows, he would lose everything.
“Take care, lest an adventure is now offered to you, which, if accepted, will plunge you in the deepest woe.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Unbeknownst to AEG Live, Michaels reliance on drugs was heightening. He was losing weight. He would turn up slurring words, stumbling. They wanted a medical. To prove he was fit to perform.
It was at this point that Michael ‘officially’ hired Dr Conrad Murray.
“Two is the beginning of the end.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Desperate to sleep after rehearsals, Michael begged for new drugs, different drugs to help him. He wanted ‘milk’ (Propofol). So with that, the downward spiral continued, Murray would order in Propofol by the bucket load to appease his patient. All the while, no one thought to question or look into the doctor himself.
“To die would be an awfully big adventure.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
For if they had, they would have found some remarkable findings which may have made them question his employment and involvement all together. But spoilers…
“Without knowing it…Dr Murray entered the 83-minute window that was to make him notorious around the world.”
Between the time Murray had noticed that Jackson wasn’t breathing and the time he phoned the ambulance was an astounding 83 minutes…in this time Michael Jackson was dead.
“So much had happened in those 83 minutes, but for Jackson it was 83 minutes too long…it slowly began on Dr Conrad Murray that there was no hope for his patient. And, consequently, no hope for him.”
After a court trial he refused to appear at and after relying on his sole interview he gave police, two hours after MJ was pronounced dead, an interview full of lies – his arrogance belied him and he was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson.
“When people grow up they forget the way.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Whether you liked Michael Jackson or not, the world was in shock and disbelief.
But so were those trying to gain from Michael Jackson…
“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Suddenly, Michael Jackson was back in the charts, CD’s flying off the shelves. He was now worth a heck of a lot more.
So AEG Live pounced, so did his father. Suddenly they were in the money making business too. Yes, Michael Jackson is certainly worth more dead than alive and those using this to their advantage were only too happy to exploit it.
“Sometimes, though not often, he had dreams, and they were more painful than the dreams of other boys. For hours he could not be separated from these dreams, though he wailed piteously in them. They had to do, I think, with the riddle of his existence.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
But what of Dr Conrad Murray? Well he denied everything of course. He used excuses on his release such as:
“Michael Jackson accidentally killed Michael Jackson.”
Every interview he gave he refused to admit to his mistake. To this day he thinks of himself a saint. He almost has been deluded by his innocence. His only remorse is that his friend is dead.
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This book is something to be marvelled at! From start to finish, the insightful knowledge into the before, the during and the aftermath. This book isn’t biased in saying Michael Jackson was angel or devil. This book is portraying it how it should be portrayed – a doctor, using his qualifications as an advantage and administering drugs in the knowledge of the damage they cause then trying to cover it up when it all went pear shaped and his world came crashing down. This is a victim and a perpetrator.
“All children, except one, grow up.” JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Michael Jackson was, essentially, the boy who never grew up. He was never going to grow old. Never going to be an old man playing with his grandchildren. No; Michael Jackson was always destined to have an early death, as premature as it was.
But now Michael is out of reach of everyone. Even his adoring fans. No one knows where he actually is buried, nor can they worship at his grave. Hidden from the world is a superstar who never craved the spotlight but loved the fans it brought with it.
“It seems deeply ironic that Michael Jackson, a man craved and revelled in the adulation and adoration of his fans is now buried in relative obscurity, out of touch and out of sight of the fans for whom he cared so much.”
If this sounds of interest then check it out on Amazon.
To continue on the MJ theme, I will also be reading and reviewing Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in his Final Days written by his former body guards which promises to be yet another interesting read so stay tuned for that!
Until next time,