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   Apropos Michael Jackson (Jacko), even if they give me... (October 25, 1996)

Apropos Michael Jackson (Jacko), even if they give me a free ticket and a seat between Mr. And Mrs. Anil Ambani, I do not think I would go. In America, perhaps, in Andheri, no.

The very idea of first of all going to Andheri, which will take the better part of the day, not counting comign back, managing all the major traffic jams, finding parking space, then being there from early afternoon to make sure I am not left out, then standing or sitting (I suppose it would be sitting, since I would ne between the Ambanis) through all the preliminaries of Sharon Prabhakar and Baloo Sagoo or whatever he calls himself and then the show.

The show, I am sure, would be excellent. Mr. Jackson (Ms?) could not have reached the stage of international popularity he has if he was not very good and thoroughly professional. Unfortunately, except for one song, and possibly two, he does not appeal to me. I find him too loud, too jerky in his movements, somewhat repetitive. And I dislike all those disco lights flashing about so that you do not get a decent look at the man.

The fault, of course, is entirely mine. I was born too many generations preceding Michael Jackson's. Actually, and since I am not a woman my age is not secret, I was born before Boney M and before Elvis Presley and before the Beatles.

My favourite singers were Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, Judy Garland, Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, up to Tony Brent and Frankie Laine, and even Sinatra's daughter, Nancy Sinatra.

My favourite, I think, was Bing Crosby. He did not sing, he talked music. And you could hear and understand every word and line of the song. Now what you get are grunts and screams. Though I am knocking today's music, it suits today. But I can close my eyes and see Bing Crosby under Blue Skies, or singing about a White Christmas to the Gis in the sweaty tropical Malaysian jungles.

Or Nat King Cole among the falling autumn leave, or singing Blue Gardenia. Before the restaurant at Churchgate became Gaylord, it was Blue Gardenia. I wonder how many people know that. And, yes, Harry Belafonte, before Worrell and Sobers and Viv Richards, making the islands in the sun popular in song and music.

And I remember the big bands, Harry james and Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, the Xavier Cugat, and the time Louis Armstrong came to Bombay and played ‘When The Saints Go Marching Home' on his silver trumpet at the Rang Bhavan.

After hearing that, I don't think I would go and listen to Jacko ‘In The Closet'.

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