When the famous talk of the recently dead, it's normally not about the corpse, but all about them. Madonna's claims this morning that she "can't stop crying" is designed to say nothing about Jackson's life, or his death, and everything about how empathetic Madonna would like us to think that she is.
So, too, is Paul McCartney's statement about Sir Paul, really:
"It's so sad and shocking. I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.
"I send my deepest sympathy to his mother and the whole family and to his countless fans all around the world"
I worked with him, he was so talented and everything, so naturally I worked with him.
Not sure about the "boy man" bit. Given Jackson's predilections, that sounds a little unfortunate.
Jerry Dammers response is a lot less attention-seeking:
"The thing that sometimes seems to get overlooked about Michael Jackson is what an absolutely phenomenal singer he was. He had one of the greatest gospel shouts of the 20th century, quite possibly the last of it’s kind. The outros of some of his songs especially, such as “Gotta be starting something”, were ecstatic, and, or, full of pain, like the one about the environment, which Jarvis Cocker attacked him for. I like Jarvis, but I personally didn’t really understand the reason for that."
He was a great singer. For a while, anyway. Dammers' focus on the music does him well, until he starts to get on to Earth Song - a song so meaningful, apparently, that he can't even remember the name of it. And Jerry never really understood why Cocker took the piss out of a Brits performance which cast Jackson as a mesiah-figure surrounded by adoring children of all nations? Really? You never understood that, Jerry?