LoniManderson is deeply entrenched in playing GrandTheftAutoV, and during a recent session a song came on. He looked over at me (turning his attention away from the game and acknowledging me for the first time in three days) and said 'whoa, what is this song?'
I couldn't believe it. We were listening to one of the best examples, dare I say the PINNACLE, of 80's scraggly tough-white-guy pop rock music: 'Heartbeat,' by Don Johnson.
Not that I blame Loni. For most of the Youngs, Don Johnson is the old dude from 'Nash Bridges,' that thing your parents let you watch because it such a nice show that didn't have too much violence and also had Cheech Martin in it, so your parents could laugh and make secret jokes to each other about weed that you wouldn't get until you were much, much older.
But of course, before that, my main man Don was on a little show called 'Miami Vice.' I never missed an episode, and if I did ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. My mother didn't fuck around with 'Miami Vice' night, because it was just sacred to me. I once missed a crucial second episode in a to-be-continued story arc, and I cried more than when my first cat, Daisy, died.
Anyway, Johnson fancied himself a rock star, (as all good TV stars should). Keep in mind this is in the mid-80s, so you know shit's about to get real good.
In 1986, he released the most amazing album of fucking ever, 'Heartbeat.' To accompany it, the record company produced a video album.
I'll just let the Amazon.com editorial review speak for itself:
Don Johnson's heartbeat is not just another rock video. It is not a movie. Instead, it is a music video feature using technologies and styles from both mediums. Heartbeat is a surrealistic journey into the experiences and reflections of a documentary filmmaker (played by Don Johnson) as he evaluates the people and places that have made up his life. Containing no dialogue, the video includes all of the music from his smash debut album. This special edition is presented in state of the art surround sound, and contains graphic images and additional music not available anywhere else. It is intended for mature viewers.
This is the video they released for the single, Heartbeat. I cannot tell you how much I obsessed about trying to see this video on MTV. But when it came out, I think it was only played late nights.
Seriously, check out Johnson during the performance footage. Who brings it like that these days? Who?
Here's a few more videos from Heartbeat. I forget the order you're supposed to watch these in though.
Do not just skip over 'Can't Take Your Memory.' Watch that all the way through, man.
'Heartbeat' did pretty well as a single, but I believe the project was considered a 'failure' because it cost a FUCKTON of money to produce this video album. Also, he was pummeled by the media, especially on the talk shows. This stuff was a punchline for schlocky over-produced 80's crap, while were still in the 80's making schlocky over-produced 80's crap.
But whatever. You might ask 'gee, Burt, do you think Heartbeat has held up well over time?' Look, 'Heartbeat' didn't have to worry about holding up well over time. It fucking went back in time, blew up all other things from that time, came back, plopped down on the couch, put it's feet up on the coffee table and went 'how ya like me now?'
Again, let me take you to Amazon for more descriptions of this work.
Don Johnson not only demonstrates his amazing singing tallent but his acting skills shine in this music video. The disturbing danger of the "streets" which the Don Johnson "Heart Beat Video" shows to the viewer is unlike any other video. Of course his sexy persona is for ever present, but it is the depth Don Johnson partrays in regards to the serious subject mattter of everyday life that is identifying to the viewer. This video is for all ages. It is a MUST SEE!
I kind of feel like this review might have been written by me, if I were an astral projection of myself into another dimension.