Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: aching for the '80s.
Hey, kids, remember the '80s? That era of big hair, leisure suits, and Phil Collins? Yeah, a lot of Phil Collins. Maybe too much Phil Collins, in fact.
While most people tend to latch onto the musical aspects of that otherwise forgettable decade, we locals can be grateful for a signature show that brought us worldwide notoriety. We're talking about Miami Vice, of course, an extraordinarily popular network program that made pastels, flamingos, and going sockless ever so popular.
Aside from introducing its signature characters, Crockett and Tubbs, the show was also the first to license original music for each episode, spending up to $10k a shot to secure the rights to songs by Collins, Billy Idol, the Pointer Sisters, Sheena Easton, Jan Hammer, Glen Frey, and others that were considered the height of hipness in that otherwise lackluster decade.
I'm obligated now to mention that back when I was a thespian (for those unawares, a "thespian" refers to one who acts onstage, as opposed to acting out one's sexual preferences), I got a bit part on a Miami Vice episode. I played a stretcher-bearer whose job was to remove a body after the individual it once belonged to was tossed off a bridge.
His misfortune made possible my television breakout, a remarkable acting debut that had me figuring in a full seven shots within that one special scene. I put my all into that role -- much like the great Sir Larry Olivier would have (had been assigned to play a coroner) -- and I must say that I'm a bit disappointed that an Emmy nod never came my way as a result.
OK, I'm kidding about that last part. They don't give Emmys to extras. But if they did, I swear to you, I would have been a contender. In fact, I was coached by no less than the great Philip Michael Thomas, with whom I shared the scene. As he and Don Johnson prepared their entrance, Philip tapped me on the shoulder and generously shared an acting tip for which I'm forever grateful and which I remember to this very day: "Hey, man, can you scrunch down a little? You're blocking me out of the shot."
Brilliant! And from the mouth of the master himself!
I digress, but it's all in the interest of explaining why a news release I received last week had such an immediate impact on me. It seems that the Mayfair Hotel & Spa, always one of the loveliest destinations in Coconut Grove -- and where Vice was sometimes filmed -- has come up with a promotion intended to mark the show's 30th anniversary and its own. Unfortunately, Crockett and Tubbs aren't scheduled to attend, but anyone looking for a quick getaway might want to consider this opportunity to rekindle some memories, both the TV type and their own as well.
In keeping with the commemoration, the Mayfair is offering three exclusive vacation packages based around songs that were part of the show's soundtrack.
For example, there's the two-night stay in a fantasy suite inspired by Shannon's "Do You Wanna Get Away?" No, we're not familiar with this particular song either, but I gotta admit that the lyrics ("Face to face/and back to back/you see and feel my love attack") do leave open a wide array of possibilities. A "love attack"? Yeah, I'm ready for that. This sexy little soiree also includes what the news release refers to as "The Pleasure Paradigm," a "sensual retreat for couples teaching Tantric harmonizing techniques to heighten passion." Count me in.
I'm a little less enthused about the "Jump! For My Love" Pointer Sisters package that offers a two-night stay, a private plane ride for two above the Miami skyline and the Florida Everglades, and a tandem skydive. Hopefully it doesn't land you in the jaws of Crockett's pet crocodile -- who may in fact be spending his retirement in the aforementioned Everglades. A couples massage is also included, which may come in handy after you and your partner punch each other black and blue during freefall as you ask each other why you opted to do the jump in the first place. Personally, I don't have a great love of heights, which makes me less inclined to jump for my love or anyone else's.
The most appealing of these options, based on the song that inspires it alone, is the Billy Idol "Flesh for Fantasy" vacation, which includes "a tangerine mimosa couples massage" (which presumably finds you slathered with a tangerine mimosa?), that aforementioned Tantric touch "connectedness session," a private yoga class, two nights in the presidential suite, and a Japanese soaking tub for two.
The Miami Vices Romance packages range in price from $1,150 to $1,900, and you can book one today by calling 305-441-0000.
Hmmm, I wonder if we extras get a special rate...