I stumbled across this obituary of Joe Jackson today, the former patriarch & manager of the iconic musical family, who passed away last week. While the article was fascinating, it was the quote above that got under my skin.
A failed musician in his own right, Joe Jackson was a crane operator struggling to make ends meet for his large litter. When he discovered his children had secretly been mastering his guitar, the same one he had forbidden them to play, something clicked. Investing his meager paycheck in their musical abilities, he encouraged & enforced a culture of discipline, cultivating an offspring of unprecedented creativity in their humble Indiana household.
A contentious and complicated figure, ‘Joseph’ Jackson was later outed as a ruthless tyrant by his children, alleging that he ruled by fear and wasn’t above using force to make his point understood. While such treatment of children is abhorrent, the cultural impact the Jackson clan wrought on the world can't be denied. Its influence lingers to this day.
The other week my teenage sister wanted to play me her new jam. When 'Black or White’ came blasting from the Bluetooth speaker, my jaw hit the floor. As we started to boogie to it my mind drifted back to the first time I heard it as a child, seated in the back seat watching my parents bop along on the way home from dinner. The innocence of it all brought a smile to my lips.