Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Where were you?

Bobby Kennedy: 1968
Not sure when I first heard but vividly remember walking to school as he lay dying in hospital and seeing a heart drawn in chalk on the pavement with the words 'Pray for Bobby' inscribed.

Elvis Presley: 1977
Sitting in my dad's Holden Kingswood at the intersection of Cross Road and Goodwood Road, taking my younger sister to school.

John Lennon: 1980
Sitting on the beach at Barwon Heads in Victoria. A child ran up to a nearby parent calling out that John Lennon had been assassinated. I thought they had made a mistake because no-one assassinates pop stars.

Princess Diana: 1997
Putting a video on for my two year old early on a Sunday morning in the summer. I was heading back to bed but I couldn't work out why the news was screening pictures of the Royal Wedding from 1981 so I stopped to watch.........

Paula Yates: 2000
Driving with my friend Claire to pick up our children from a party. I was so sad but almost unsurprised. I had been devastated by the death of her partner Michael Hutchence too but I can't remember where I was when I heard about him.

The Queen Mother: 2002
We'd been in Spain on holiday and returned to England to be picked up at the airport by our friends. Back at their house the radio announced plans for her funeral. We were stunned. We hadn't heard she was dead. "Where have you been?" asked my friend, "it's all anyone's been talking about for days." Well, we'd been in SPAIN!!!!!

Heath Ledger: 2008
Arriving in Glenelg for our first staff gathering of the school year I heard it on the radio and texted the Bestie immediately. Again we were in shock. We had both adored him.

Michael Jackson:2009
Walking into the school library this morning, frantic and flat out trying to complete a modified exam for a 9am start. A host of students greeted me with the news...and their opinions. Fascinating.

At 11 years of age my bedroom walls were plastered with pictures of the Jackson 5. Even today the strains of "I'll Be There" bring a lump to my throat. My parents bribed me to good behaviour with promises of the 'Going Back To Indiana' soundtrack! (I still have it) Somewhere along the line Michael lost the plot. Mightily. Actually he went out with less of a a bang than a whimper it seems to me; but when he was flying high we were all watching.


headbang8 said...

I had miseed the news about teh Queen Mother completely. You mean she's dead?

JustJessie said...

You forgot Kurt Cobain. I was 15 and in LOVE with him. I was riding in the back of my parents' car and heard it on the radio.
Isn't it sad that Michael turned out so strangely? He's such a part of all our life soundtrack, and yet when you think of him, you automatically think of all the weird stuff, too.

Mid Sis said...

Do you remember the practical joker in me covering all your Osmond posters with the Jackson 5? I think that was one of my best ones ever - and it took aaaaaaages to do!!!!

A Free Man said...

Who's Paula Yates? I know I should, it's sort of required by social convention, but I just can't summon much grief for these people. The only ones that I remember affecting me much beyond that 'Huh, well I guess I should be sad' level were Johnny Cash and, as Jess mentioned, Kurt Cobain.

I don't know if that makes me heartless or just out of touch.

Arizaphale said...

I think as Jessie says...they have been a soundtrack of our lives or in the case of Diana,forced into our conciousness by the media. I remember feeling, when Diana died, as if they had killed off a favourite character in a soap opera. It was like..."HEY! I was watching that!!!!"
And I don't know about 'out of touch' but I didn't know who Kurt Cobain was until after he died....
Oh and Middle Sis..... I am sure I had my own Jackson posters up too....didn't I?

Andi said...

I think I love the expression "our life soundtrack"- what an interesting concept that has never really occured to me until I saw it in your comments...how true in some ways. In my life, it is more of a background sound...I could not say where I was when I heard about any of those, but I do remember some of the losses. None of those people were exactly central to my personal experience. I remember my brothers feeling very saddened by John Lennon's death, but I did not get that really, until much later in my life. Like AFM, I have no clue who Paula Yates is (I assume his girlfriend/wife/lover or something), but I do very much know who Micheal Hutchence is. INXS was one of my very first live music concerts, and I remember being so upset at the thought of that lovely man hanging (?) / killing himself. I have no idea where I was though.
Like with Heath Ledger, I always feel surprised that such death and subsequent despair can touch those that seem untouchable.

Arizaphale said...

Paul Yates, TV presenter, was first married to Bob Geldorf and mother to Fifi, Peaches and Pixie; then left Geldorf for the INXS heartthrob and bore him 'Heavenly Hiraani Tigerlily' before both father and mother followed their destructive paths to their logical conclusions.

Stacy said...

I was in my living room getting ready to go over to my girlfriends' house for a good cry over our friend's death. She picked a rather memorable day to die...or should I say her lack of care did. The memorial service was today and I just feel drained. It's not the first time I've been to a funeral for someone that died young, and they always take so much out of you. They lost their futures. I'm sure you feel the same way about your friend that died recently. :(

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

I don't remember most of those (didn't even know who the Yates one was - thanks for paving the way for me to admit my ignorance, AFM! :-) :-)

I remember being sad about John Lennon and asking my social studies teacher at school the next day why someone would do something like that. He was a student teacher, very young and I imagine as baffled as I was.

I was born in '68 so I don't have my own Kennedy memory but I heard one I think it was one of the Houston DJ's talking on the radio who said he remembers his teacher hearing about it and running out of the classroom crying. He said that the entire class followed her outside like little ducks as she ran laps around the playground or ball field or whatever it was.

We heard about Michael Jackson at the dinner table in a restaurant no less. My gal got a text in the middle of dinner from a friend. We're just all talking and she says, "Michael Jackson died." And we're all "No he didn't." And then The-Guy gets out HIS cell phone and checks it out. And here's this big news and along with being horrified that someone could die of a heart attack at 50, I'm thinking, "What are these people doing with their cell phones out at the dinner table fer cryin' out loud?!?!?"

I guess this might be a Texas/regional thing, but my list like this would include Selena. I remember hearing on the radio - I was like 122 months pregnant with my gal. It's not like I was a great fan or anything, but I was still so shocked.

Arizaphale said...

Right, I'm off to Google Selena.....

Mid Sis said...

Right this is a long time after the original thread BUT - I never owned any Jackson 5 posters - what happened was you had J5 posters first, then you went off them and adored the Osmonds and had their posters up. I found your old J5 posters and pinned them OVER your Osmond posters. Crikey I thought it was a really good joke and it obviously made NO impression on you at ALL - what a waste! x