John Mayer is a Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling recording artist.
People don't get upset when they talk about Michael Jackson dying; they get upset when they talk about how much a part of their life he was. I mean, what are the '80s? A Rubik's Cube, 3-D glasses and Michael Jackson. And that's the giant cornerstone that's gone. He's one of the few crossover artists that would make even the most radical white supremacists say, "Well, he's not black he's Michael Jackson." He's not black, he's Barack Obama. He's not black, he's Jimi Hendrix. He's not black, he's Tiger Woods.
As a musician, the man was one of the purest substances ever in music. But it's frustrating, and somewhat pointless, to ever try and figure out how Michael Jackson arrived at an album like Thriller and how you could arrive at something like it. It's impossible. I mean, it's one of those things you actually don't want to bring up to musicians. They don't want to remember that that kind of greatness is achievable because it skews the bell curve completely.
Michael Jackson proves, in a really sort of perverse way, that maybe we're not as offended by behavior as we are entranced by music. And think about that. Think about what level of quality you must have to attain to have somebody say, "I know that you're accused of having molested children, but I can't hate you for that as much as I love you for your music." I'm not saying that's right or wrong; I'm saying that it's fascinating. That somebody could be that great. That somebody could have that much of a marriage with your emotions just through music.
There's just one Michael Jackson now. We don't have to reconcile the Michael Jackson we love with another Michael Jackson. In a way, he has returned to pristine condition in death. We can be free now for the rest of our lives to love the Michael Jackson we used to love.