Michael Jackson’s Thriller Video – the power of music and memory

We were all there, lolling on the bed in Lori’s house on a Friday night with her TV tuned to MTV.  Recently minted graduates of Douglass College we had spent our summer launching our new careeers, while a few of us were getting ready for graduate school.  But before we went out to a party that night, Lori, Atchie, Joanne and I,  had to see Michael Jackson’s new mini-movie, Thriller.  It had been hyped for weeks on MTV and the making of the video had been showcased on an HBO special.  So we were there to watch and witness.  And we were dazzled.  Remember?  If not enjoy the video now:

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

In the early 1980s, MTV actually played music videos instead of insipid reality shows.   We spent an inordinate amount of our time in our dorm apartment with MTV playing in the background while studying, talking or hanging out.  Michael Jackson went on to create other distinctive music videos including Billie Jean, Beat Itand Black and White, among others, but none of these videos had the cultural impact and influence of Thriller.   Twenty-six years later it’s still a visual blockbuster blending narrative, dance and music. And who doesn’t love the voice of Vincent Price?

As for my college buddies, we see each other when we can and keep each other updated on our changing lives.  I don’t remmber who’s party who attended later that night, but I can tell you on December 2, 1983 I was hanging out in Lori’s bedroom in Union watching Thriller.  Michael, rest in peace.

Leave a Reply