Day 22: Miami
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES
(Sorry for the delay: this Herculean outpouring required a Herculean actual pouring of gin. Fear not though dear reader as I expect another straight twenty days or so to be recounted over the next month or so).
Athens. Ruins. It was a dream that this time I could not complete. I did my bit for erosion by pissing on various town monuments (a Michael Stipe statue, a bench devoted to the other bird in the B-52’s) and then finally made my plans for getting to Miami. It was still a fail trot away, require some form of automotive transport. Whilst I could not drive, I did have an extraordinary long thumb (honed and sharpened through trying to stab Jools Holland in the eye. That guy is such a sucker for knots in a plank of wood.)
So hitching again, and this time a huge Coca-Cola truck did me the good turn of driving me all the way, and I only had to listen to ten different country songs. Often I would curse bog-standard country music radio stations, but on balance I would rather listen to the same inanity over and over than novel inanities…
I got into Miami quite late, and made my way to the shipping offices. They were shut but I managed to sneak round the back where there were some pallets to sleep on. However it was a fitful night, as the entire city seemed to pulse and vibrate like a varicous vein. As I slept I dreamt of Gloria Estefan and one of the great triumphs of my youth. Miami I hated, but I had struck back once upon a time.
MIAMI SOUND MACHINE
It was 1990. My career as a music hater had only just begun (as the Carpenters would have it, Karen’s demise being an inspiration for this stunt). Many a time would I sneak into an indie disco and either attempt to literally hang the DJ or kneecap all the punters so the would be Sitting Down. But in truth it was the pop clubs that irritated me the most. The faceless masses in their white trainers at Ritzy’s in Luton: I knew they did not care for the music (they did not care for much except their long slow comfortable screws against the walls) and were therefore potential converts to my cause. However five hours in Goldiggers in Chippenham handing out anti-Brother Beyond fliers almost drive me mad. Especially as every hour, on the hour, they played Rhythm Is Gonna Get You by Estefan’s Miami Sound Machine.
The rhythm was never going to get me. Oh no. No way. However the incessant thud of it anglo-latin beats did get me thinking. Thinking that leaflets was no way to progress this campaign. And so operation Disassemble Miami Sound Machine begun. Namely, to remove a key steering pin from their tour bus.
The rest is a footnote in rock history. Rhythm did not get them, it was a nasty hairpin bend. Estefan broke her back, and was rebuilt as some sort of six million dollar torch singer. All very sad. All very tragic. All very career shortening, as beyond the one triumphant “I’m alive” hit of Turn The Beat Around (a paen to spanking) her career faltered. She became a Miami slightly less sound machine, and the world was a better place. Strike one for direct action. Look out John Denver.