Well, it’s been almost fifteen years and Jarvis Cocker still hasn’t gotten his much deserved knighthood for jumping onstage during Michael Jackson’s ludicrous “messianic” performance at the 1996 Brit awards when the King of Pop implied he had the power to heal children and sick people. While the incident is well-known, of course, in the UK, this story is less known outside of Britain.
As Cocker told BBC’s Question Time in 2009:
“He was pretending to be Jesus. I’m not religious but I think, as a performer myself, the idea of someone pretending to have the power of healing is just not right. Rock stars have big enough egos without pretending to be Jesus – that was what got my goat, that one particular thing.”
Cocker and his friend, former Pulp member Peter Mansell jumped onstage and caused comic confusion before being led off by security. It was reported at the time that Jarvis “mooned” Jackson (that’s what I always believed) but this is not true at all.
The incident itself, which took place on live television. GENIUS!!! Even if you’ve seen it before, it’s still laugh out loud funny.
The police detained the Pulp frontman on suspicion of assault. A former attorney, comedian Bob Mortimer represented Cocker, who was released without charge.
Noel Gallagher, of Oasis proclaimed, “Jarvis Cocker is a star and he should be given an MBE.” Clearly the editors of the Melody Maker felt the same way. I was already a huge Pulp fan at the time, but this made me love them—and their lanky, fashionable and intellectual frontman—all the more.
Below, Jarvis Cocker press conference from 1996 on the matter of his protest against Jackson’s performance at the Brit awards.
In 2009, Jarvis was asked to comment on the incident and Jackson’s passing on BBC’s Question Time television show.
How it got reported in America: Deborah Norville on Inside Edition: