Michael Jackson -Scrapbook
Scrapbook photos from DJ Bunnystyle

Facebook screamed with puns immediately following the news of Michael Jackson’s death — “His heart just couldn’t ‘Beat It,'” “‘Do You Remember the Time,’ when he was alive” — but people on the streets and in the bars Thursday night had many things to say about life and career of the King of Pop. It was a night to recollect our first memories of MJ and marvel at the creative peaks and absurd images that characterized his long career, with everything from the immortal Thriller video (and Bollywood and Phillipines’ prison variations) to the disastrous Pepsi commercial coming up in conversation.

Here’s a wide-ranging collection of thoughts from San Francisco bargoers on the night of Michael Jackson’s passing:

“It was 1982. I was in 2nd grade and Thriller was the record that I was listening to. I remember looking at him with his baby tiger and seeing his ligament in his arm and just thinking ‘wow, he’s skinny!’ But I still loved him. I danced to his album nonstop over and over again.” – Beth Schuenemann

“The first time MJ came into my life. I was seven years old. My older brother was ten. This was 89′. One day I was going through the couch cushions and found his Jackson 5 cassette and I stole it. For two weeks I listened to it nonstop. My brother cried everyday because he couldn’t find it. I think it broke a few weeks later.”  – Marisa Lehnert

“My theory is that everyone from 18 to 40 has an MJ story. Mine goes back to when I was five years old. I wanted to be like the guys in his “Bad,” video, the one where they’re doing backflips at the end of the song, so I started trying the backflips. That was the first time I knocked the wind out of myself. I bawled my eyes out.” – DJ D.A.V.O aka David Richardson

MJ Scrapbook

“I remember my little sister listening to it, but I was totally into different shit. I was ten years old listening to Pink Floyd. But all my friends were obsessed with the jackets and shit.” Jerome Broussard – Age 30, Doorman, Lipo in Chinatown

“If I lost Prince today, I would take tomorrow off. Not MJ, though. It’s Prince’s raunchiness that does it for me.” – Simone Grudzen

“I didn’t know him, but I bet he would like us dancing in his honor.” – Kim at Lipo’s in Chinatown

“My brother worked for MJ. He did productions for Jackass, too. He said ‘he was a nice guy, well mannered, very skinny’.” – Man at Buddha on Grant Street

Michael Jackson - Scrapbook

“The way that he danced. The way he sang. The moonwalk was cool. He was only fifty. ‘He he he, Ow!!!’ ” – Mark, Bartender at Buddha on Grant Street

“There isn’t a person in this bar who hasn’t danced to the Thriller record. He’s part of our DNA. There was a time in this country when everyone felt good.” – Anonymous @ Buddha

“I took badminton in high school and our coach made us listen to an MJ medley every practice. It was kind of traumatizing.”  – Ashley Pheil – Age 23

MJ - Scrapbook

“I was obsessed with him last summer. It was all about the gravity lean. I think they put holes on the stage and used pegs on their shoes to do it.” – Peter @ Jack’s on 24th Street

“I was involuntarily committed to a psyche ward because I thought MJ was a modern messiah. Live and die in the public eye. It’s all a metaphor.” – Lindsey @ Jack’s on 24th

“RIP Mike. He gave you the ‘durty soul.’ He’s the greatest. All the way from Jackson 5.” – Man @ Jack’s on 24th

“Black Michael, I’m not so sad about. He died a long, long time ago.” – Girl @ Jack’s

“I just think the whole thing is totally lame.” – Dude at Jack’s on 24th

“My roommate is obsessed. Thriller jacket, all the videos, Billie Jean jacket. He broke every dish today. His hands are fucked up.” – Roger at Jack’s on 24th

“First thing I remember I was in my basement. It was ‘Heal the World.’ I felt like I was in a stadium.” – Mike Graef

Michael Jackson - Scrapbook