Mon 29 Jun 2009
UPDATED 1/16/10: I just came across the best video of the night yet (better than mine below) and a great video from the ride itself… see updates at the bottom.
Four or five news vans, 200 (300?) people, a musical bike ride through the city, sing-a-longs, moments of silence and tears. That’s the short version of Thursday’s special Michael Jackson memorial Trike ride and FlashDance. It was the best FlashDance ever.
Click the link below to get the full scoop, write up, playlist & more video:
Around 3pm I heard the news. As disbelief broke, I found myself quitely crying (surprised myself) in my office. Friends started txting and pinging me on Facebook, knowing how much I’ve always loved Michael. Soon thereafter, first one, then more and more, started suggesting (& some demanding – I <3 you Alida! ) a memorial FlashDance...
It took me a while to get there. Mostly because I was just so sad. Would I or anyone feel like dancing? But the answer came in my thoughts on other people's Facebook posts trying to put MJ's sad tale into perspective & reconcile their sadness with the sordid details and innuendoes of his life. As I said on Facebook, "I know he had his problems, perhaps vast - but no one in the world brought the joy like Michael Jackson." It was always about the joy. No one brought the JOY, like Michael. And the one relatively small way I bring the joy is my Trike and my FlashDances. The way forward was clear.
So we were on. I sent out an email to my FD list, which was soon picked up by some blogs and SFStation (a local events site) & then SFWeekly's page. It was getting noticed fast. Other people had similar plans and I tried to coordinate...
At 7:15pm, I made it to the park where 2 news vans and maybe 10 bicyclists waited. We took it to the streets to cheering and dancing and lots and lots of smiles. Pretty soon, we were 20 or 30 bikes - this was on.
After a good hour of roaming San Francisco we rolled into the Embarcadero (UPDATE: video of the ride below!) - expecting there to already be a big crowd - but there wasn't. Some groups had evidently planned for something at 6:30 but I heard later that they didn't pan out. We rolled in and set up. What started at 20 people at 8:30 was maybe 100 by 9 and very quickly 200 soon thereafter.
It was epic. 3/12 hours (I brought 2 laptops) all Michael, The Jacksons, and The Jackson 5. We started with a moment of silence. We danced and danced. Even though we lost a speaker, and thus had only one working, it was non-stop for 3 and a half hours. There were news vans and reporters. There were visitors from outside the US and homeless folks. We had sing-a-longs & at least one brilliant Thriller dance. The vibe was more beautiful than any other FD - which is saying something... I think it was the best FlashDance ever.
It also was the kick off for an amazing four days. One more gift of joy from the man who has given so much of us the most. More on that soon.
***UPDATE 1/16/2010: Here is my favorite video YET of the evening & a GREAT video from the ride - thanks Patrick & Boris!
I’ll update this with some more video as soon as people send it to me, but here is the best news footage I found, from KPIX. It is long, but if nothing else, check the 6:30 & 8:40 marks in the link below:
Here is some more of those amazing dancers… (and where I got my snippet from)
Here is my “Best of Michael Jackson & The Jacksons” playlist – which was the basis of all the dancing this weekend:
- Just A Little Bit Of You – Michael Jackson
- Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
- Working Day And Night – Michael Jackson
- You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson
- Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson
- Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
- Beat It – Michael Jackson
- Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
- Bad – Michael Jackson
- Rock With You – Michael Jackson
- Black Or White – Michael Jackson
- The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson
- Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
- Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Live from the 1981 U.S. Tour) – The Jacksons
- Walk Right Now – The Jacksons
- Can You Feel It – The Jacksons
- Lovely One – The Jacksons
- Blame It On the Boogie – The Jacksons
- Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – The Jacksons
- Sugar Daddy – The Jackson 5
- Mama’s Pearl – The Jackson 5
- ABC – The Jackson 5
- I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
- Love Is The Thing You Need – The Jackson 5
- Body Language (Do The Love Dance) – The Jackson 5
- Get It Together – The Jackson 5
- Little Bitty Pretty One – The Jackson 5
- (Come ‘Round Here) I’m The One You Need – The Jackson 5
- The Love You Save – The Jackson 5
- Stand! – The Jackson 5
- You’ve Changed – The Jackson 5
- I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix) – The Jackson 5
Also “Thriller” and “I’ll Be There” were in the mix…. especially “Thriller”….
Looks like we got covered on NBC’s today show. Here is a snip from a longer segment (we’re around 0:28):