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Where were you when Michael Jackson died?

Posted by Greg / June 26, 2009

MichaelJackson2.jpgI was buying beer at my corner dep near Drolet & Mont Royal. I'd taken time off from my going away party to meet with my summer subletters about moving plans, etc., and invited them out once we were done talking business. The plan was to have a drink in Jeanne-Mance park, meet up with friends slowly over the course of the evening, and hit Copacabana later in the night. I had read about Michael Jackson being hospitalized in the afternoon and didn't think much about it. How many times has Fidel Castro been sick by now? Then I saw the headline flashing across the dep's TV screen: "L.A. Times Reports Michael Jackson Dead." I'm so accustomed to TV being full of bullshit that I had to remind myself over and over again that it was real. I was sadder than I thought I would be. I realized that I'd always hoped he would get his life together and make a huge comeback, raising the pop music bar like he did during the 1980s, changing dance floors for good. Where did all that genius go? We left for the park and got bombarded by a rainstorm. As we took shelter in a doorway on l'Esplanade, jokes flew like lightning: "This is God crying for MJ," "He has finally gone to Never Never Land," "Didn't it storm the day Jesus died?" People will always speak of Michael Jackson with such hyperbole, whether calling him a genius or a joke.

Where were you?

Photo via J. L. McVay's flickr page



Sarah / June 26, 2009 at 08:52 am
I was hanging in my hammock chair when my neighbour told me the sad news. :(
Gabriel / June 26, 2009 at 08:56 am
I was biking home on Hutchinson, when someone shouted the news out of a apartment window.

I got home home and half the web sites weren't reporting it yet only the the first few were confirming.
Jer / June 26, 2009 at 09:57 am
At home, having dinner with friends, glued to coverage on TV and online, hoping they might play more than just 30 seconds of the Thriller video.

Luckily Youtube didn't disappoint. Also watched the 9 minute epic, "Remember the Time", with Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson. Sweet.

It was a weird day for music yesterday.
Paloma / June 26, 2009 at 10:51 am
I was flipping channels and all of a sudden landed on CNN, with Wolf Blitzer blaring "Michael Jackson is in hospital." Then like a cascading seizure, each of the news channels began reporting the news, trying to figure out whether the King of Pop had indeed fallen.
valerie / June 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

I was on my way to Vieux-Longueuil, switching radio stations in the car, getting different info from all of them.. So frustrating!
Carli / June 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm
I was at work on the Plateau and everyone was talking about it... It got even worse when I got out of work and into the street!
Tara / June 26, 2009 at 02:47 pm
Eating veggie burgers underneath a taxidermied moose head on a patio on Hutchison. We immediately put 'Don't Stop' on, drowning out the cacophony of the downstairs neighbours' brass instrument jam session, and danced.
nat / June 26, 2009 at 03:00 pm
was sitting in front of my tv with two bags of frozen peas and a completely numb mouth after having four wisdom teeth removed less than an hour earlier. now I will forever remember that they were removed on the day Michael Jackson died.

Emmanuel / June 26, 2009 at 03:11 pm
I was at my job. Strangely enough, my manager had put thriller on the stereo before the announcement of his death. Kinda creepy.
Nora / June 26, 2009 at 05:11 pm
I was coming out of Joliette Metro Station in Montreal, Quebec, (had been at work since noon till 20h00 and had no radio at the office to hear of it sooner) on June 25, 2009 about 20h30 my time when my friend also named Michael gave me the sad news on my cell phone. I was in shock and sadness, still am. May you rest in peace Michael! Your fans remember you always.
LX / June 27, 2009 at 02:57 am
Oddly enough, I was (and still am) at a conference at UCLA. We noticed a number of helicopters circling campus and I heard MJ from a number of cars passing by. Saw the crowds at the hospital but never would have guessed.
Philippe / June 27, 2009 at 03:02 am
I was in Kyoto, Japan. Listening to the morning news show. They kept showing old footage of his carreer. I do not speak Japanese so all I was understanding was "Micheal Jackson" and "America". I thought they were promoting his upcoming tour. I had to go online to finally figure it out.
Suzanne / June 27, 2009 at 06:25 am
I was home. Had the tv on, but was only half watching when I saw it was about Michael Jackson. And I asked myself : why in the world would they do a retrospective of his life ? And it took me a while to get it. As though Michael Jackson has been part of our 'imaginaire collectif' for so long, and was always going to be around. Mixed feelings. Beyond the musical genius, he had now become a sort of freak. And freaks don't age well. Now, he will be eternal like the Monroe, Presley, Hendrix, Cobain, Dean, etc. Sad sad sad ending.
Elliot / June 27, 2009 at 08:42 pm
I was picking up a gyro at Arahova on St. Viateur and the cashier was watching the news. She told me that he'd had a cardiac arrest.

I went home and ate my gyro while checking all the news sites until finally the LA Times reported him dead.

It took until mid-friday for it to truly sink in, and I was very saddened by it. I grew up on MJ, and thriller was the first ever album that I obsessed over and listened to endless times. In addition to it being an incredible album that still leaves its mark on today's pop music, I think it's unlikely that anyone will sell more copies of an album, maybe ever again.

Aside from his music, he had such a tragic life and it seems like he was completely lost right until the end. RIP.
Corn Elius / June 29, 2009 at 01:01 pm
Yes that´s THE all those 25-45 Year old people... we collect all answers and hope lots of People will join, because this site ist only for the King of Pop and your feelings: wwywmjd . com
I was on my way home, when my girl called and it took a while to go on riding...he was my soundtrack for a decade.
Seez / June 30, 2009 at 01:37 am
I was walking up the Main on my way home from school. i could feel a strange energy in the air. people were out on the sidewalk talking to one another, the weather was changing and sky was getting darker. i passed by a bunch of people hunched over a laptop outside of the Pop Shop near the corner of St. Laurent and Duluth. I ran up the block to my apartment to check the news. Thats when I heard.
alex / July 1, 2009 at 05:07 pm
i was at home on my laptop and i was on days of our lives seeing if there was some news and that's when i saw that michael jackson has died
kimberleyblue / July 11, 2009 at 04:47 pm
I was napping and my boyfriend called me from work. We talked, and at the end of the conversation, he told me, oh yeah. michael jackson died!"
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