AS the King of Pop, Michael Jackson dazzled millions on the world’s biggest stages with moves such as the moonwalk and the anti-gravity lean.
But three years after the star’s sudden death, four Edinburgh-based fans have become so frustrated at the lack of public events celebrating him that they have set up what they believe is Scotland’s first Michael Jackson appreciation society.
Philip Sayers and his dad, Paul, with the help of cousins James and Stuart Goldie, organised a tribute night to mark the third anniversary of Jackson’s death and hope it will become a regular gathering.
Saturday’s event at the Capital’s Taxi Club featured DJ sets from Philip and his cousins, accompanied by rare, big-screen video footage of Jackson as he toured the world.
Paul, who also runs an Edinburgh appreciation society for Elvis Presley, was set to gather contact information from those attending so the group can keep in touch with enthusiasts across the city and beyond.
Organisers said the event was also being held to remember Philip’s cousin, Michael Goldie, a huge Jackson fan who died from pancreatic cancer in 2007 at the age of 31.
Philip, 32, a bus driver from Easter Road, said: “If we get hold of the real crazy fans, there could well be costume and dance competitions. At last year’s event, which was the first, my cousins and I all got up to dance the moonwalk.”
“There’s an appreciation society in London, I think, but nothing in the rest of the UK.
“There’s nothing really out there for Jackson fans at the moment and nothing really happening to mark the anniversary of his death.
Paul, 52, a DJ from west Pilton, said: “Michael Jackson still appeals to everybody and this event will be something for all the ages – from eight to 80.”
The event’s organisers believe the controversy attracted by Jackson because of his changing appearance and recurring allegations of child abuse could explain the reluctance of fans to be open in public about their enthusiasm.
“It could be to do with his personal life,” said Philip. “Some fans are sometimes embarrassed to say they like Michael because of what happened.
“But what he did in his personal life was up to him and people should respect the legacy he’s left. In the end, his music will come through and that’s what people will remember. All of the other stories will disappear.”
Event doorman James Cameron, 32, agreed there was still a “stigma” attached to the singer but believes it is beginning to lift.
He said: “Since Michael Jackson passed on, you notice an awful lot of people now are playing his stuff again.
“You’ll hear it blaring out of windows. There’s a whole lot of people getting into his music now.”
The Lothian Jackson Five
Blame it on the Boogie in the Morning
Dynamic Earth Song
Wanna be Granton Somethin’
(Bass) Rock With You
Tram in the Mirror