For this year’s Fun-A-Day project I’ll be going through the lists of the #1 songs from the last 31 years. Starting with 1985 and working my way to 2015, I’ll randomly choose one of the songs that made it to #1 that year, watch the video for that song and then make a drawing based on or inspired by that song.
In past Fun-A-Day projects where i’ve done drawings, i’ve tended towards the smaller side of the spectrum, working in 5-6″ squares. In preparation for a larger scale art project that i’ll be doing this year, I’m working on drawings of a larger scale. I purchased an 18×24″ sketchbook and will be working on using a page of that for each day’s drawings.
For our first day we’re working with 1985. That year had a lot of notable hits by the likes of Madonna, Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, Wham, etc, but the power of the random number generator I used to make my selection gave me the only instrumental TV theme song among them, that being the “Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer.
As an 11 year old, I remember really loving Miami Vice and remember actually enjoying this theme song. On a listen to the full version of the song 31 years later, it leave a bit less of an impression on me. I’m guessing part of that is that the version used for the TV show intro was a stripped down version that was less than one minute long. Stretch it out to 2 1/2 minutes and it just start to get boring.
The video itself in this instance is just an extended version of the opening credits being shown behind Jan Hammer himself as he plays the theme song on synthesizers, keytar, and guitar with added footage of him dressed up like a Miami Vice extra running around with a briefcase and pretending to be a drug dealer or something.
I’m not sure who’s idea it was to get a Czechoslovakian guy to do the music for a show about Miami, but apparently it worked as he did most of the music for the show for several seasons. Unfortunately in the video he definitely looks like a balding Czechoslovakian guy dressed up in Miami Vice garb.
As much as I thought drawing Jan Hammer playing a keytar would be fun, I opted against it. The opening credits of Miami Vice provide lots of great visuals to choose from. Obviously, as noted in my drawing, there are some images that appealed greatly to my 11 year old self (and admittedly still appeal to me now), but the other thing that always caught my attention was the Jai Alai player. It’s a sport that just looks crazy to me.
Note: in the first version of the video that I was watching the resolution was so low that I couldn’t figure out what the text about the “11” said, so I just faked it by putting “ABCD”. Afterwards I did a little more research and found out that it should be “Serve” above the 11 mark on the jai alai court. So a reminder to not rush, do your research fully, before beginning your daily drawing.