Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm listening to thunderstorms roll in and to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Not a CD. Not the iPod. Not from the High Def. Not from Pandora or the Computer.

It's the actual album.


Oldest son has a portable turntable and a growing collection of vinyl but this record came from the crawlspace. It is mine. Or Hers. I'm not sure. Actually there are two in the musty crawlspace box so one is mine and one is hers. That is how you sell 65 Million records. Everybody buys two.

I was reading today that Michael worked out a deal with the record company were he got $2 on every copy of Thriller. That means I contributed $4 towards diapers for Bubbles , crazy statues or glitter socks.

Like I said. It was ubiquitous. Everyone had one. Or two. Everyone chipped in for amusement rides at Neverland.

The other fact that strikes me about the time when Thriller was big is screaming.

My first screaming memory was of my future wife and one of her friends in my Volkswagen bug/walkman.

The Bug/Walkman had a 50 Watt stereo and I had turned the back "cubbie hole" behind the rear seat into a woofer speaker cabinet. The stereo separation stunk but that thing cranked. There were also a pair of midrange speakers and a pair of tweeters in the doors. The receiver was so large a unit that it would not fit as a replacement radio so I put in the glove box and built a black pleather boot around it. I think the receiver had a separate front/rear stereo amp. It was huge.

Small Space, big speakers. It rocked. Like Myth-busters, break the glass, your ears will be ringing, rocked.

This might explain the ringing in my ears after the Bruce concert.

Anyway, Billie Jean came on the radio. Billie Jean was at the peak of it's popularity at the time and She turned it up to 11 screaming. Both of them screamed the whole song and yet could not overcome the 50 in-your-face watts.

The next scream fest was the Victory tour in September 84. We had a group place in Ventor, NJ for the summer and it was Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah. A group of 6 or 8 of us either drove up or waited in Philly for the Saturday night JFK show. I sat next to girlfriend, some day to be wife, who screamed like it was Beatles at the Ed Sullivan show for the entire show. More ringing in the ears.

The thunder has passed and the record stopped so my reminiscing has come to and end. I have to go pick up oldest son from his hiking trip.

One last thought:
How ubiquitous? Enough that Philippine prisoners eventually staged their own version.

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