With the dust settled on another BRIT awards show we thought we’d take a look back at one of the most notable moments of the event’s history as Jarvis Cocker mooned Michael Jackson on this day back in 1996.
Although not the most shocking thing by today’s standards, when Pulp’s frontman Cocker took to the stage to crash the righteous party for the holier-than-thou Michael Jackson at the BRIT awards he shocked the world.
During MJ’s now-infamous set, one thing became very apparent, this was the Michael Jackson show and we had to watch, without comment, and get taught a lesson about compassion. The crescendo of this lesson came as Jackson was in the middle of his insanely over-produced performance of his 1996 hit ‘Earth Song’.
When we say over-produced we’re not just being flippant, we mean this was the stuff of high-budget West End musicals. Villagers worshipping at the feet of the King of Pop while the screen behind the multi-millionaire shows images of starving children, wartime atrocities and more award show delights.
There are many who would say that MJ was trying to do a good thing, trying to open the eyes of the world to the pain and suffering that has always been kept out of sight and out of mind. Perhaps in some ways it was the point of the whole performance. But Jarvis Cocker, on the other hand, felt something very different.
During the middle of one of the largest performances that the BRIT Awards had ever seen, by one of the world’s biggest artists, pounds and pence vanishing with every extra light flicker, Cocker took to the stage pulled, down his trousers and bent over to waft away the stench of what he perceived as absolute shite.
Following the incident, Cocker took to popular iconic ’90s TV show TFI Friday to share his thoughts. “I was just sat there and watching it and feeling a bit ill, ’cause he’s there doing his Jesus act,”—an assessment that’s hard to counter on the evidence. It’s there in the crucifix position Jackson take sup at every opportunity.
“And I could kind of see – It seemed to me there was a lot of other people who kind of found it distasteful as well, and I just thought: ‘The stage is there, I’m here and you can actually just do something about it and say this is a load of rubbish if you wanted.'”
And that’s exactly what he did, Cocker made his point loud and clear, or should it be silent but deadly? Either way, the moment will go down in history as one of the most iconic in BRITs history and one we never see the likes of again.
Enjoy the moment Jarvis Cocker mooned Michael Jackson back in 1996.