Remember that question about Michael Jackson and the moonwalk? Well yes, as it turns out Jacko was not the originator of the move, exactly. Nonetheless, it became his signature move immediately after he debuted it at a Motown 25th Anniversary Special in 1983. He performed with the Jackson Five, but insisted that he be allowed to perform Billie Jean solo as well. And here it is for your enjoyment. You can’t help but notice how black he looks, and how, well, not freaky. Funnier still, to me, is his glove, which isn’t the slick fitted glove of later years Jacko, but looks more like something stolen from Mickey Mouse. It’s huge! He only moonwalks a little here, about two thirds of the way through, and the crowd loves it.
Now me, I’m not a Michael Jackson fan. At all. In fact I generally can’t stand his music. But even I have to say that this is one killer performance. The guy is busting out crazy moves almost constantly, singing perfectly, and even keeping the crotch grabs to a minimum. Seriously, I watched some later dancing of his and it’s just absurd, he’s grabbing himself every five seconds! But maybe the best part is the quaint notion that it was conceivable, once upon a time, that a viable premise for a song would be Michael Jackson having to deny impregnating a woman. Ah, the 80s, when life was simpler, cocaine was cheap, and nuclear annihilation loomed over our heads every waking second.
I suspect that dance aficionados will scoff at the move, but damn, I love the moonwalk. It’s just really cool, and I’ll never tire of it. And credit where it’s due, Michael Jackson owned it. Just take a look at these and try not to become mesmerized.
But as our quiz noted, the moonwalk did not come to Jacko ex nihilo. Many, many guys before him did various things that resemble the moonwalk to varying degrees. Check out this absolutely awesome compilation of old school dancing and fancy foot tapping. It’s pretty amazing.
The fat dude at 1:05 has a moonwalk about as bad as mine, and the guy on the table at 2:46 is amazing. Check him out. Major takeaways: Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jr. were really cool.
So now you’ve watched all this stuff, you’ve donned a rhinestone singlet, and you’re thinking “I’m ready. I want to do this”. Well I’ve got just the thing for you. This series of instructional gifs will have you moonwalking in no time. Try to wear a shirt.