A2: Michael Jackson

Brian Woolridge has been channeling Michael Jackson for years, dancing in the alley next to Michigan Theater where he’s become know as the “Michael Jackson guy.” (Here’s a link to a Chronicle article about Woolridge published in May 2009.) In the wake of Jackson’s death on Thursday, Quinn Strassel went in search of Woolridge, and has posted this video shot in the graffiti-splattered alley. Strassel said when he heard that Michael Jackson had died, “I immediately thought of this guy, the Michael Jackson guy, and what must he be thinking….If there’s anybody I wanted to talk to about this process, just to vent with, it was the Michael Jackson guy.” Woolridge doesn’t show, but the YouTube video is titled “the michael jackson guy ann arbor part 1″ – sounds like Strassel will be back. Meanwhile, here’s one of many videos shot of Woolridge, performing in October 2008 to “Walk Right Now.”


  1. June 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm | permalink

    It is such a great loss that a man with great talent like Michael Jackson dies. RIP King of POP.

  2. By Quinn Strassel
    June 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm | permalink

    Thanks for linking to my video. Just so you know, I ran into Brian this morning and should have an interview video w/ dancing and comments from people on the street. I’ll send the link soon.


  3. June 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm | permalink

    I was very glad to see Brian back at it this afternoon; after 15 years of living in AA and seeing him dance, I stopped to talk to him for the first time; he is a very timid, very sweet guy.

  4. June 29, 2009 at 4:33 am | permalink

    Here’s a link to the blog post and video (featuring interview and performance footage from this past Saturday, after Michael Jackson’s death):

    link to video

  5. By Mary Morgan
    June 29, 2009 at 8:34 am | permalink

    Quinn, thanks so much for posting the link. Nice job on the video. Looks like you’ve got an interesting blog in the works – for those who don’t know, it’s called The Mitten and focuses on “exploring the unique cultural landscape of Michigan’s lower peninsula.” I’ll look forward to reading future posts!

  6. By David Dennis
    June 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm | permalink

    Nice posts, Quinn. I’ve always enjoyed seeing Brian perform when out and about.

  7. By Kevin B
    June 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm | permalink

    Last Friday (the day after MJ’s death). Woolridge was dancing in front of crowds at the Motown Museum in Detroit.

  8. June 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm | permalink

    Thanks Mary for the link and support. I love what you’re doing with the Chronicle. Just watched the video you did w/ Michigan Innovators. So cool that you and your husband are really going for it 100%. I’ll make sure to link to Chronicle stories that fit the Mitten, so to speak.

  9. June 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm | permalink

    Oh yeah, and thanks David D. for the feedback.

  10. July 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm | permalink

    Is it true that Quinn will perform at Ypsilanti’s Dreamland Theater near the corner of Washington/Michigan this Thursday?
    Event: Michael Jackson Tribute Show! feat. Ann Arbor Alley Dancer
    What: Goodbye Party
    Host: Dreamland
    Start Time: Thursday, July 9 at 9:00pm
    End Time: Friday, July 10 at 2:00am
    Where: Dreamland