Would you believe me if I were to tell you at the ripe ole age of seven, I was watching movies from Francis Ford Coppola?
You’d call bullshit right?
That my friend would be where you are wrong.
You see, many moons ago while I was just a young lad, I often took trips to California to visit my grandparents in San Diego. During most of these trips my grandparents would make sure that my brothers and I had a great time and filled our summer with amazing memories.
We’d often hit up the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Or the San Diego Zoo. One time we were even treated with the opportunity to visit Miramar Marine Base. (It used to be Miramar Naval Base, and the reason that’s cool, and the reason you should care, is because that’s where they filmed Top Gun. Remember the scene where Charlie is dissecting Mavericks flying, and he gets all pissed? Remember that darkened room? Yeah? I was in there. I sat there where Maverick, Goose, Iceman, and Sundown all sat. Aside from my job at the radio station, this is the only time I really namedrop anyone. However, I have since stopped, cause Tom Cruise is a crazy bastard.)
In addition to all those cool activities, my grandparents made sure that we attended Disneyland at least one day while we were on vacation there. Many of my now existing fears and loves are because of these trips to Disneyland.
My love of pirates? Pirates of the Caribbean.
Fear of the Ocean? Captain Nemo’s Submarine ride.
Hatred of the Outdoors and Cold? Matterhorn.
Back in 1986 one of my new loves was just forming. See, music television had just hit the airwaves, and there was one such a gentleman that was ruling them. His name was Michael Jackson. He was great. Billie Jean was the coolest video. Mainly because he had a tiger in it. I had no fucking clue what was going on, but dammit tigers were awesome. I can remember back then that I often attempted to copy the King of Pop. I had a red jacket that I thought rivaled that of MJ. However, mine was a Members Only jacket, and the only zipper was the one down the middle. I felt that even though it lacked that many number of zippers that MJ’s did, being red, it was very much the same.
Much like any kid my age, MJ’s dance moves were legendary. I can remember a rumor flying around school that Tommy had actually done the Moonwalk. I mean the actual Moonwalk. Not just dragging your feet slowly as you walked backwards like so many other kids in school could pull off. (me included.)
Summer rolled around, and it was indeed time to make it to California for the traditional summer vacation trip with my brother. At the beginning this seemed as if it was going to be just another trip to Disneyland. Seeing as there was no internet at the time information on your favorite Pop star was few and far between unless you heard it on the morning show of a radio station your parents didn’t want you listening to under the bed covers in your room. So being 7 years old, I may have missed out on the fact that my favorite Pop star of the time, and all around cool guy, was indeed going to be at Disneyland.
No, not quite in person, turns out that after his 4th nose job (not a stat I’m making up by the way) MJ was working on his new Sci-Fi image and career. Enter….
For those of you who haven’t seen this piece of work let me fill you in. Disney took the reigns and produced a “state-of-the-art” 3D movie that would be featured in their theme parks. Starring none other than Michael Jackson, and some BAD ASS effects. When you’re 7 people, 3D is amazing. And the glasses are cool. Not only did it star MJ, but Academy Award Nominee Angelica Houston, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
No shit. Francis Ford Coppola.
Apparently at the time, not only was it the coolest movie I’d ever seen in my life. It was also the most expensive per minute movie in the entire world.
I feel as if my words in writing this don’t give this cinematic masterpiece it’s due. So with that being said throw on your 3D glasses and enjoy all that is, Captain EO!
and part two
I’m not sure it works, but if you have some 3D glasses I suggest you put them on and enjoy…. Man this brings back so many memories.
I left that day satisfied beyond all belief. My new found musical pop hero was in the coolest movie I had ever seen. I was at Disneyland. And to take home with me I bought the flying little thing as a plush toy…
I can remember seeing Captain EO a couple times over the next couple years. My grandma always sat through it with me, and always complained about the music of the movie. Another Part of Me by MJ became one of my favorite songs of my childhood years.
The good news, I can watch Captain EO on YouTube, and pick up Another Part of Me on iTunes. And even though he may have been clouded by some “extra curricular” activities, I’ve got some fond memories of The King of Pop. He truly was a talented musician.
Plus, everything is so much cooler when your 7.
Until Next Time…