Remember When Jarvis Cocker Mooned The Moonwalker

Clint Drieberg
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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: in 1996 when Michael Jackson dropped in for a performance of his quietly contemplative single Earth Song.

In a typically understated performance, Jackson portrayed himself as a Christ-like figure, offering hope and healing to the pleading children and adults that surrounded him as he howled a seven-minute song about environmental disaster.

When Jackson finally stepped onto a crane and soared above the audience, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker lost it. He’d had enough of this rubbish and he decided to do something about it. He got up on stage, looked around in disgust, turned his back on the audience and wiggled his arse…actually, it was more kind of fanning away a fart, if we’re being honest: and of course, the whole thing was on camera – full screen, including a really good close-up – because the camera crew thought Jarvis was part of the act!

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Go in to about 4’20, sit back and watch the action unfold below:

While the likes of Noel Gallagher were calling for him to be knighted, and Neil Morrissey and Martin Clunes led a “free Jarvis” campaign some took the stunt very seriously.

Cocker was immediately rushed to a police station and kept there until 3am on charges that he said were to do “assaulting some kids,” but of course they had nothing concrete on him.

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. 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.’”

Watch his interview with Chris Evans below:

Asked about that “wafting gesture” and whether he does it often, Cocker said: “No comment.”

And when asked exactly what the authorities were asking him while he was detained Cocker simply replied: “Where’d you get your zip-up top?”