Michael Jackson's death has spurred an outpouring of tributes from fans in the local music and nightlife scene.
Clubs are dedicating drinks to the King of Pop, DJs are dusting off Jackson records and fans are revisiting some of the music they grew up listening to. Thursday, after news of Jackson's death spread, sales of his CDs spiked at the Fells Point music store Sound Garden.
"We sold through a lot of what we had, and we had a lot of Michael Jackson inventory on hand," said Bryan Burkert, the store's owner. "Everybody's coming in constantly to pick stuff up. ... There's a real connection for a lot of people in Baltimore City with him."
After learning of Jackson's death, local radio station 92Q played Jackson's music nonstop from 4:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, and will continue airing Jackson songs sporadically through Monday, according to Vernon Kelson, the station's music director. At 9 p.m. Monday, there will be a candlelight vigil outside the station.
"Michael Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers of our time," Kelson said. "We're just showing respect and honoring him the way he deserves."
Months ago, officials at the 9:30 Club in Washington booked a Jackson tribute band, Who's Bad, to perform an early show at 8 p.m. Friday. The band performs Jackson hits - complete with over-the-top costumes. Tickets were selling steadily until Thursday night, when the show quickly sold out, said Audrey Fix Schaefer, the club's spokeswoman. The venue added another Who's Bad performance at 11 p.m., which sold out in hours. Promoters at Rams Head Live in Power Plant Live saw the sellouts and booked the band to play in Baltimore on July 8.
"The timing is ironic, but it's also almost healing," Schaefer said. "People that can't see Michael again and people that feel a personal closeness because they grew up with his music have a place to come and experience his music."
Red Maple, a lounge in Mount Vernon, is concocting a Jackson-themed drink menu, with martinis named after the pop star's singles.
The ingredients weren't to be decided until Friday night, but Red Maple co-owner Leonard Clarke had two of the drink names already: the ABC and the Billie Jean.
"I was a big fan of the Jackson Five cartoon in the '70s when I was a little kid," Clarke said. "I've been a big fan of his all through his career."
At midnight tonight, DJ Mike L plans to spin an extended medley of Jackson's hits at Red Maple. The lounge will also be showing Jackson's music videos periodically this weekend.
Several bars and clubs in Power Plant Live planned to honor Jackson with DJ sets of his music Friday night. At Mosaic, DJs were to spin back-to-back Jackson songs at the top of every hour. At Luckie's Tavern, a DJ was to spin Jackson tunes at 10 p.m.
"It would be disrespectful not to pay some sort of tribute toward him," said Chris Furst, Power Plant Live's marketing director.