US Weekly has just released never before seen footage of the 1984 accident where Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during filming of a Pepsi commercial.
The story goes something like this, extracted from text in the video at bottom. I typed it out because you’ll probably want to be looking at what happened rather than reading the text. It is stunningly tragic!
On January 27 1984, Michael Jackson filmed a Pepsi commercial at LA’s Shrine Auditorium in front of 3,000 fans. On the first take, the pyrotechnics exploded as planned after Michael descended the stairs. The sixth take went horribly wrong. The explosion went off too early. Michael suffered second and third-degree burns on his face and scalp.
According to Michael, the recovery from this was what led him to be addicted to painkillers. You see, he had no idea his hair had caught on fire. He just went on with the script and danced with his brothers after descending the stairs while his hair burned and people suddenly jumped all over him to douse the fire. I’m sure he knew it then, but it was a little too late. Stuff in his hair would definitely have fueled the fire more aggressively.
It has been argued by some that this event and Michael had to do to recover from it was the start of a lot of his troubles in life, and equally arguably to be the start of his downfall. I would buy some of that. Put that much heat near your brain for a while and see if that doesn’t damage any brain cells! Detractors of the connection just seem to have think it was burns to any other part of the body and had no influence on Michael’s state of mind afterward.
Whether there was any causality or not from the accident, Pepsi settled the suit for $1.5 million dollars with Michael. To his credit, he donated it all to the burn unit of the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, CA (EW.com).
Michael Jackson was also prescribed to some painkillers during the surgery and recovery, which some sources also told US Weekly started his addictions to, both, painkillers and plastic surgery. If he were addicted to painkillers, and he got it from surgery, might additional surgery have also been a convenient excuse to fix a little imperfection as well as get a little more without raising any alarms?
Rest in peace, Michael.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.3