Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Wanna Rock With You. I Can't Help It.

"Who was your first celebrity crush?"  It's one of those inevitable questions.  I have a standard answer:  "Jon Bon Jovi."  Then I describe in detail the poster of him I had on my wall where he's wearing a leather jacket, a horn necklace and a pout.  I figure this answer is dorky enough but cool enough to suffice.  I mean, Slippery When Wet was kinda awesome back then.  And, it's partly honest.  I did love Jon Bon.  I did have that poster.  But, I'm a liar because he was soooo not my first.

My first crush of any sort was Michael Jackson.  Yes, that Michael Jackson.  Jacko.

It started out with a stack of Jackson 5 records.  My parents were really cool and open-minded about music.  (I had a record player in my room practically from birth, my first and only Ice-T album by the age of 12 and was jamming out to Depeche Mode by 13.  The folks grounded me if I made an 89 but allowed me to listen to gangster rap.)  They encouraged my obsession by buying me pretty much any album I wanted, even terrible choices like Sylvia or Starship.  But, early on, they steered me toward kid-friendly jams like the good ole' Jackson 5 or The Monkees.  When it was obvious I was obsessed, I moved on to the Michael Jackson solo album about a freakin' rat,  Ben.   Off The Wall followed, then, of course, Thriller.  I made up a very awesome dance to The Girl Is Mine, playing the parts of both Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson and using a stuffed bear to represent "the girl."  Around this time I had a little bug box, which I filled with three rolly pollies named "Jichael Mackson, Maul PcCarntney and Jillie Bean."  They only lived for a few days but I know they appreciated being placed right next to the speakers so they could hear their songs.

I was pretty sure he was the love of my life and that no one could understand Michael Jackson any more than I could.  We were two peas in a sparkly pod!  One night after Thriller came out, I stayed up listening to the sounds of my parent's dinner party and thinking about my crush.  I wandered out in my Smurf nightgown and announced to the gathered adults that I would someday marry Michael Jackson.  They laughed at me and then yelled for other people to "come listen to this!"  Then they made me repeat myself.  I went back to bed thinking I was awesome and hilarious because they'd laughed.  I probably would marry the King of Pop someday!  I was funny!

In fourth grade, we were given a class project.  Each student was to choose a famous person and write them a letter.  I chose my guy M.J.  I wrote a heartfelt pile of ass-kissing perfection and signed it with lots of hearts. I put stickers on the front of the envelope:  a sparkly glove and a photo of Michael in a yellow sweater with his signature underneath.  I figured he'd definitely open my letter because of my attention to detail.  Over the next month, I watched as my classmates got replies from stupid Crystal Gayle and even Ronald Reagan.  But, no word from Mr. Jackson.  I would not be his P.Y.T as I'd previously assumed.  He didn't care about my love at all.  I got over him and moved my attentions to the aforementioned big-haired New Jersey boy.

I told my husband about my obsession one night over a bottle of wine.  I thought he'd find it quirky and adorable.  His response?  "You only like messed up celebrities.  Like, full-tilt crazy damaged guys.  What is wrong with you?"

Huh.

He was right, of course.  I had it really bad for Robert Downey Jr. back in the day, whom I lovingly referred to as "my coked-up baby."  I also nursed a decade-long crush on the troubled lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland.  I loved him.  Even during his Velvet Revolver days, which is saying something.  For years, he'd be the first person I'd list when someone asked me my Top 5 crushes or cheats or freebies or whatever.  I saw him in concert once at the House of Blues.  I elbowed my way to the front and stood squashed against the stage, staring up at his skinny sweaty clearly-railed self, completely enamored.  My love, although watered-down, lingered until recently when I clicked on a link of my favorite druggie covering one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs.  I figured it was kismet.  It wasn't.  It was train wreck.  Crush gone.

So, Tim had a point.  Scott Weiland is easily one of the most jacked up people in rock and roll and maybe planet Earth.  There have been others over the years.  I can't like someone nice like Matt Damon.  I've gotta go River Phoenix or Dennis Rodman.  If I liked girls, I'd probably think Lindsay Lohan was the shit.  I simply can't help it.  If you're crazy and famous, I like totally heart you!!! xoxo!

Don't worry, I'm in therapy.  But, I still maintain that Jillie Bean is a killer name for a rolly polly.

*Photo by MeetTheChumbeques.