As one of the 8,750 people selected out of the million-plus who submitted requests for tickets to the Michael Jackson Public Memorial Tuesday,  I attended the July 7, 2009 event at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

mjcollageThough very much a life-long fan of Michael Jackson, I went somewhat cynically to observe the spectacle. But what I found was a moving tribute to a son, friend, father and one of the greatest entertainers the world has or will ever know. It was a privilege to have been able to experience it in person.

My Flickr photoset is here. My live-tweets from the day, last to first,  are after the jump:

  1. MJ Memorial recap: I went in cynical and jaded and came away weepy. I’m missing Michael more than on the day he died.

  2. Olvera street on a Tuesday afternoon is quite Pleasant. Might hang around for several margaritas

  3. @lucindamichele Yep. Did the “sraples” give it away?

  4. Maggies at La Golindrina! Such the heat beatbacker after walking up here from Sraples http://twitpic.com/9mh6f

  5. Absolutely!

  6. Margaritas win; Olvera it is

  7. Post MJ memorial foods, I’m debating as i head up B Way between Spring Street Smokehouse, Olvera Street, or going home

  8. Musts missed the email. Sure I’ll chat if she needs someone

  9. Exit the casket

  10. Marlon was very moving and now daughter Paris is making everyone sob

  11. Heal The World http://twitpic.com/9m790

  12. Wow. A perf from the This Is It tour coming.

  13. Kenny Ortega

  14. Nice finish thou, kiddo

  15. some kid onstage. Think he’s a Britain’s got Talent contestant. He’s no MJ

  16. Smokey’s back

  17. @RDJ59 no live Version of Kermie but a pic of mj with Henson and the frog flashed during usher’s number

  18. Usher onstage

  19. Rep Lee decides this is the venue for a review of constitutional law

  20. Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee

  21. Martin Luther King Jr’s son is speaking

  22. I guess all four brothers are wearing sequined gloves

  23. Audience politely supportive of Jermaine. Standing O

  24. Jermaine singing “smile”

  25. Brooke’s struggling a bit, bless her

  26. Brooke Shields

  27. Correction Mayer’s guitaring “Human Nature”

  28. John Mayer singing “Human Nature”

  29. Sharpton to MJ’s kids: there was nothing strange about your daddy.

  30. Rev. Al Sharpton

  31. Jennifer Hudson singing her heart out

  32. I knew I shoulda brought a hanky

  33. Kobe and magic

  34. I’m part of something pretty special here folks. Stevie was very powerful

  35. I’m seeing all these phenomenal performers live for the first time.

  36. Stevie Wonder!

  37. “I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived.” – Berry Gordy

  38. Berry Gordy

  39. Lionel Ritchie

  40. Queen Latifah

  41. I’m getting a bit verklemptified. I can admit that.

  42. Mariah Carey singing I’ll Be There

  43. Pastor Lucius smith speaks

  44. And out comes the casket

  45. And we’re off!

  46. @randyridesbikes oh hell no!

  47. Quite surprised at how no “We love you Michaels!” are being shouted out in this lengthy silence

  48. I think the family’s been seated so things should get going in a minute or 20

  49. The longest that staples has been silent in it’s history

  50. Smokey reading letters from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela

  51. Smoky robinson takes the stage

  52. A hush has fallen over the house, it’s almost… Respectful

  53. Inside! http://twitpic.com/9lrnj

  54. We’re in. Kah Ray zee scene, but subdued. Section 205 row 5 seats 5 & 6 http://twitpic.com/9lrf9

  55. At Olympic & Fig: the second ring of madness

  56. I’m getting the distinct feeling I should be running away from the shitstorm, not toward it

  57. North end of downtown is traffic biz as usual

  58. @seanbonner absolutely!

  59. My wristband has been noticed by a fellow busrider, but no threats of. Violence, money or sex stuff.
  60. @ayogist you should read LA Metblogs more often!

  61. On board the No. 4 to meet the haiku contest winner w/ the prize of my extra MJ Memorial ticket & wristband.

  62. Leaving house for MJ Memorial. Opting to travel light via bus ‘n feet instead of bike