The Thriller Diaries

The Thriller Diaries
is a nice look back on the seminal 1983 music video by Michael Jackson – a 14 minute horror spoof that changed the way everyone saw music videos ever after.

There’s a lot of behind the scenes stories in the article, and it very much feels like you’re able to glimpse the inner workings of how the video came about. In addition to focusing on Jackson, the article also touches on his relationship with co-star Ola Ray, director John Landis, and Jackson’s father, Joe.

As a child, he had known episodes of real-life terror. Michael’s biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli recounted that Joe Jackson had once put on a fright mask and crawled into Michael’s bedroom through a window at night, screaming; Joe Jackson said his purpose was to teach his son to keep the window closed when he slept. For years afterward Michael suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his room, and said that whenever he saw his father he felt nauseated.

Writer Nancy Griffin does a nice job, writing a very even piece here. She touches on Jackson’s sexuality only briefly – enough to acknowledge it, but doesn’t let it overshadow the entire article.

It strikes me as a very kind and warm look back, at the point in Jackson’s career where he was at his absolute peak. Right before that tipping point where he more or less exploded, becoming the iconic figure he is today.

And it seems only fitting to include the video to Thriller here as well. Watching it again this morning, it’s amazing how mesmerizing it still is, after all these years.

Looping Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson @ California and Milwaukee
Eternal Moonwalk
White Glove Tracking Project

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