Michael Jackson died today. The official cause was cardiac arrest but I believe it was a case of nothing left ot live for. He was no longer a singer or an entertainer. He was a celebrity, and a charicature of one at that. During his heyday (THRILLER) he crossed boundaries as one of the first black artists (along with Prince) to be a staple of MTV and one the first R&B artists to feature prominent Rock guitarists on chart topping hits. BEAT IT just wouldn't be the same without Eddie Van Halen's infamous solo. Steve Stevens reworked Tommy Bolin's Echoplex tricks into the 'ray gun' effect that became the instrumental crescendo of DIRTY DIANA. Over the last 15 years he became a running joke. Too much plastic surgery, too much rich celebrity indulgence, too many accusations and lawsuits. Now that he's gone I prefer to remember the popular culture icon of my youth as the groundbreaking entertainer he was 'back in the day' who crossed boundaries that today we can barely imagine existed. Farrah Fawcett has also passed away today. Another popular culture icon whose name and face were everywhere. I don't often pay attention to the mainstream but when two of the most recognizable names and faces pass on it does remind you of passing eras and your own mortality.