I was in the West End of London last night - as I walked through Trafalgar Square, an impromptu and slightly incompetent 'Vigil' was being held.
It wasn't an horrible mawkish Lady Di thing. As I walked up the Charing Cross Road, there were loads of people walking along, singing Jacko songs. Later on, in the tube station, there were about 20 people standing in the ticket hall singing...
"Sunshine .... Moonlight .... Good times .... Boogie!" - lots of clapping and whooping.
London had gone a bit suntroked and bonkers and it was quite nice really. It made a change. For most people, I suspect that it was fairly unreflective. Unusually, every radio in town had been playing only one artist all day - it had quite a positive unifying effect on a big city.
It all really makes the case for national days of celebration, doesn't it? How about 'Marvin Gaye Day', or 'Shane MacGowan Day'?
Whatever else you say about Michael Jackson, there'll always be the slendour of 'Off The Wall' - a cracking LP with a 'She's Out of My Life' sized mistake on it. When I was a teenager, there was the stuff I pretended to like and the stuff I really did like but kept quiet about. Off The Wall was pretty near the top of that second category.