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How the West was won by Michael Jackson, with help from Bob Marley

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Oh, the mixed feelings about the alleged Jackson 5 reunion tour! You can almost hear the beat rumbling toward a concert venue near you, but these middle-aged scandal magnets (okay, not all of them are scandal magnets) aren’t the spry dynamos they used to be (okay, not all of them were dynamos).

Whatever happens if and when the brothers cobble their spectacle together, here’s hoping Michael can stay out of trouble with the law. And I don’t mean Jesus-juice trouble. I mean that time M.J. shot the sheriff, remember? Back in 1977, inside a saloon full of dancing cowboys? As you can see below, he did not shoot the deputy—get it on! The clip’s quality is on the grainy side (squint and you’ll see miscellaneous Jacksons in boogie-oogie cameos—is that Janet perched on a piano and Tito tending bar?), but this vintage vignette captures a bizarre and magical moment in time when the future King of Pop, on the ascent toward his early-’80s peak, was still trapped inside the schlock of his family’s TV series, The Jacksons Show. Watching it sure makes me wistful for the days when Michael’s only crime was outshining his siblings. What’s your reaction?

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