At the risk of sounding disrespectful: we cannot look at Michael Jackson through rose-colored glasses just because of his untimely passing. The dude was, to put it mildly, a weirdo, and probably very, very crazy. And the fact that he is now dead does not change that fact.

That being said, back when the guy was slightly less crazy (or, at least, the general public was less aware of his craziness), there’s no denying that he was major talent who had a huge impact on music. Denying this fact because of his later follies is just foolish. And even though I’ve been listening to metal since before I had pubes, I freely admit that I owned a copy of Thriller long before I owned a copy of Reign in Blood.

Jackson apparently had some kind of affinity for hard rock guitarists, or, at least, had someone in his camp who did. Besides employing Jennifer Batten for years, Jackson worked with Eddie Van Halen (“Beat It”), Slash (“Give in to Me”), and Steve Stevens (“Smooth Criminal”).

For the usual dumb reasons, none of the videos for these collaborations are embeddable, but you can easily find them on the net. In the meantime, here’s Jacko and Slash:

On a more cynical note, except at least one, if not more, of these guitarists to start exploiting their relationship with Jackson for publicity any second now.


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