I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.
Ah, yesterday the King of the Misfits’ returned to the stars.
Today I have regained the ability to form sentences to some degree. Grief sometimes makes no sense. We were not friends. My daily routine is not affected in any way by the loss of this icon. My husband is still here. My children are still here. I am in relative health. So it would make sense that my seven-year-old son should ask me why I am crying.
“There is nothing upsetting happening right now…” he claims with some puzzlement.
You are right. It’s just a reminder. That is all.
A reminder that sometimes a person can be touched by a moment, something that can change a person, get in deep and under the skin, becoming part of who you are from that day forward. Art in many forms can transfer that meaning between people who have never met, and who never will. It is for such a moment that I want to remember you by, Mr. Jones.
I remember sitting in my high school bedroom, listening to the borrowed vinyl “Space Oddity” being mesmerized by the sadness of the lyrics as if he were speaking directly to me. Just coming out of the super saccharine sugary lyrics of 80’s pop radio, and not yet cresting the cultural horizon into the 90’s grunge scene, I began to realize that there is sadness, there is heartache, there is that strange weakness within us to sometimes want to take that step from the safety of one’s tin can, to float in a most peculiar way. And that sometimes feeling that way was okay…
But that is not the moment.
There are people in the world who seem to be born to performance, who hold within them a spark, a light which draws to them the eyes of every person in the room. Call it charisma, charm, beauty, inner light. Whatever it was you had it. Through the course of your career you embodied the ageless, the magical, as you did playing the iconic Goblin King in the movie Labyrinth.
For anyone living under a rock since 1986, “Labyrinth” is a magical tale of a young girl who accidentally wishes away her baby brother to the realm of the Goblin King. He appears and commands her that she must solve the imposing maze to save her brother, or the baby will become one of his goblins forever.
But the Evil King was no monster. Your performance of Jareth embodied everything that could tempt a young girl into turning away from her task at hand. You were beautiful, brimming with power, magic, glamour, pretty boubles, sparkling enchantments, the promise of castles, dresses, eternal devotion. And then…
You became defeated by an ordinary girl.
This was a benchmark moment for all of us ordinary girls watching, when Sara uttered those now famous words, “You have no power over me!”
It made a difference that you were so dynamic, so magical, so charismatic, so powerful, so strong…
But Sara was stronger. And becouse of that moment we all became stronger. And the defeat in your eyes as she spoke those words, breaking the spell. We knew it was true.
If Jareth had been played by any other actor it just would not have worked. Anyone else would have come across as just a man wearing eyeliner and a wig, but you, sir. You stepped into it, as you did with every character making it fully realized. You brought with it every nuance and beat, the bricks which build a performance. You never hesitated.
You became the Goblin King. Larger than life.
And for that I thank you… Rest well, Starman. Until we meet again.