Michael Jackson has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is seeing the videos from the album Thriller on TV. Something about this man drew me, even though I was only about seven years old.
I remember being mesmerized by his dancing in BEAT IT and especially BILLIE JEAN which to this day is one of my favorite songs. Then one Saturday morning I was watching a children’s TV program on Irish TV called ANYTHING GOES. It was a typical kids Saturday morning program. It was on for about 3 hours every Saturday. They showed cartoons and played silly game with the children in the studio. They also showed the new music videos each week. This particular week they showed the full length version of THRILLER and I was amazed. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, the mix of music, dancing and a story-line which other music videos at that didn't have. After they played the video they had a discussion in the studio about the video. One of the presenters was totally against showing it to children. I couldn't believe this as; even though I was only seven, I wasn't scared. Normally I can’t stand horror films and even now I still don’t watch films like SCREAM or HALLOWEEN. Over the years I have found out that many children were and still are scared of THRILLER but to me it was just Michael.
After the THRILLER era I was still fascinated by Michael but it wasn't until the BAD era that I really became aware of who he was and how amazing he really is. My parents couldn't believe I was still interested in him. I think they thought that I wouldn't remember the THRILLER era as I was so young. The BAD era is when I like so many others fell in love with Michael. By this stage my parents had bought one of the new video recorders and I was able to spend hours searching the TV channels for anything about Michael. Whenever he was mentioned in the newspapers or magazines I had to have it. Around this time when I was about 10 years old on-wards I began to have a hard time in school. I lost all my self esteem and confidence and had very few friends. For me Michael was my only way out of my lonely world. Watching him dance and listening to his music helped me to get though each day. When I came home from school I would spend hours listening to his music. I filled notebooks with descriptions of his videos, lyrics to his songs and would spend hours reading the inside covers of the albums. Names like SETH RIGGS, KAREN FAYE and MICHAEL BUSH would appear again and again and I would wonder what these people were like, never dreaming that one day I would meet them!
As the years went by Michael continued to be one of the main parts of my life. My parents didn't have the money for me to join a fan club so I was really on my own. I knew no other fans and so Michael became my secret world, where I was free to believe in magic and wonder. I was one of those children who were always alone, not even my parents realized how much Michael meant to me. I come from a rural conservative family even though I was born and lived all my life in the city. Both my parents are from the country and all my life I have spent holidays in the country with my grandparents. My parents come from a generation where being a music fan meant that you bought the albums and books, watched the person on TV and maybe went to the concert, so that is what I did.
In the summer of 1987 Michael was in Europe for the BAD Tour. As soon as I heard about it I really wanted to go. I didn't understand why but something inside me was pulling me to see this man. No matter how much I pleaded with my parents I was told no, that I was too young and concerts were dangerous. They didn't understand and thought that I would grow out of it. My parents have never had an interest in what they call "popular culture" i.e. pop music, dancing or films. They have never been to a major music concert and have no interest in ever going.
The concert was in Cork city and to make matters worse that weekend we were visiting my grandparents in Co Kerry, about 2 hours drive away. No matter how much I asked they wouldn't even bring me to the area to experience the atmosphere. They didn't understand how much I wanted to be a part of that event. Years later I met another fan from Cork whose parents also said she was too young, but her parents unlike mine saw how much it meant to her and brought her to the area so she could still experience the joy and magic that surrounds Michael. All I remember of that day is being totally miserable and watching Michael on the news. The clip they showed was of him jumping from the back of the stage to the front during the song WANNA BE STARTIN SOMETHIN. He was wearing a white costume.
After seeing how upset I was at not being able to go to the concert my parents promised me that the next time Michael came to Ireland I would be allowed to go to the concert. And so I waited and waited. I began to fill notebooks with descriptions of videos and songs. Every time Michael was on TV I taped it. I would spend my pocket money on magazines and books and stated to cover my bedroom walls with posters.
Around the start of 1991 my parents started talking about taking me and my sister to Disneyland in Florida. As long as I could remember my parents had been promising to take us there and now finally we were going. It was decided that we would go in the summer of 1992 just after my first state exams. Christmas 1991 was really exciting as along with the holiday to look forward to Dangerous was released. As I wasn't part of a fan club and there was no internet I relied on magazines and radio for information about Michael.
Just as I was preparing for my exams I found out that Michael was coming to Dublin for the Dangerous Tour. OMG, I couldn't believe it, he would be back in Ireland. This time I was 16 I was determined to go. I talked one of my friends into going with me and went to my parents to tell them my plans. That was when I realized that the day of the concert was the day before we were due to go to Florida. No matter how hard I pleaded with my parents I wasn't allowed to go. They said that going to Florida was a big experience and that if I went to the concert the night before I would be too exhausted for the flight. Yet again I was heartbroken. How could they do this to me yet again?? To try to cheer me up the night of the concert they arranged a family night out to a nearby restaurant to celebrate our first holiday abroad but I was totally miserable. Michael was staying in a hotel and doing a concert 1 hour away in the same city and I was in a restaurant with my family.
On the flight we made a family pact that if one person wanted to go on a ride then everyone had to go. In Disneyland I got my revenge. I dragged my family to see CAPTAIN EO. That is why there is a Captain EO section on my site. It was the first time I saw Michael on a big screen with an amazing sound system. I had never heard his voice at that sound level before and for the few minutes of the show I was in heaven.
All through the years after the summer of 1992 I started loving Michael even more. I bought any magazines and newspapers he was in, taped his music from the TV and radio and put posters all over my bedroom walls. People at school knew I like Michael, but no one knew how much he really meant to me. I don’t have many memories of the 93 allegations, because my way of dealing with traumatic stuff is to block them out, but I do remember playing his music over and over. When the Bucharest Dangerous concert was on TV I taped it, and every morning before I went to school I had to watch half an hour of it, I would get up early every day to make sure I had time to watch it. I also created scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings, and would spend hours reading the sleeve notes of the albums.
All though school and college, right up to the age of 21, I just continued on loving Michael waiting for him to come back to Ireland.
Finally on 19 July 1997 my dream came true, Michael came back to Ireland with HISTory Tour and my life changed forever....