The video for MICHAEL JACKSON‘s “Leave Me Alone“ was in heavy rotation on MTV when I was a kid. I wasn’t old enough to be in charge of the remote yet so whenever I heard the music start for it, I knew I had at least a minute to get away from the T.V. and find something else to do. The part that freaked me out about it when I was a kid was when MICHAEL dances with the Elephant Man‘s skeleton. My Mom had told me that M.J. bought the Elephant Man’s bones which she said was pretty morbid. At 8 years old, I also thought it was very strange.
I didn’t know who the Elephant Man really was. The only frame of reference for a man that resembled an elephant I had was my Snout Spout figure from the HE-MAN/SHE-RA cartoons. To think that there was an actual 6-foot-tall man with the head of an elephant walking around at one time and now MICHAEL JACKSON had his bones at his house really disturbed me.
Years later, I saw the movie THE ELEPHANT MAN with my Mom. I remember feeling sorry for him and thinking how silly I felt believing the Elephant Man actually had the head of an elephant as portrayed in the video for “Leave Me Alone.” It also turns out JACKSON never actually purchased the bones, although he did make an offer to buy them.