By now you’re aware that I have other passions besides playing a cop on successful one-hour primetime TV shows. And those passions led to the birth of a fiery little bastard named Heartbeat, which you’ve graciously adopted. Protip: Make eye contact when you’re nursing it. The first single from the album is also called “Heartbeat,” because I believe in the power of human connection and because I want to keep things as simple as possible. You could fall off a city bus and when they revive you, all you have to groggily utter is, “Heartbeat” and I get to keep my condo in Aspen.
Anyway, MTV is now on me like that green stuff on your skin when you wear a necklace in the water. “Where’s your video for ‘Heartbeat,’ Don?” “Don, your face is fucking unreal.” And other questions and statements. It makes the network suits at NBC nervous. Don’s rugged mug on another channel singing songs. I told them don’t worry, there’ll be enough Don for your Friday Night Videos franchise, too. Beyond that I’m just going to do an intimate 46-country tour and then I’ll be back where I “belong,” racing around Miami in a cigarette boat busting criminals and making Nielsen families soil themselves.
But first: let me get the fever out.
And getting the fever out involves getting this video made. Unfortunately there were a lot of late nights at the studio trying to get the record finished. Substances were consumed. Don and company were naughty. I say: Break eggs to make an omelette. But now Epic Records’ accounting department says: No cash is kept at this location. Truth is: I think they’re scared of what they have. It would be like if Guam all of a sudden got electricity. Instead of saying, “Now we can refrigerate orange juice and put kids in schools,” they just kept saying, “Oh, hey, now that there’s no darkness I can’t hide from how unprepared I am to deal with the biggest record of the decade.”
So I’m looking to my fans. If you guys underwrite “Heartbeat,” I’ll provide personalized goodies for you. Example: You scrounge up $100,000, I dress up as Crockett, fly to your city, come to your workplace and arrest your boss. Face first onto a desk while I high-five your office crush.
Sound cool? Share this with your friends so we can get the cameras rolling. I can’t give away every secret, but some of the script is loosely revealed below in the PLEDGES:
$1,000,000 — The opening shot of the video has to be the Chrysler Building. The camera is pushed in tight on it like the Cavity Creeps getting medieval on a 4th grader’s teeth. It rises like, well… call it phallic. Use whatever juvenile psychology you want, but I can’t make my music video without it. For $1 mil, you can fly the helicopter we’ll use to get this shot. You don’t even have to know how to fly it—lessons are included.
$200,000 — Ride along in said helicopter. I already know what I am doing with the shot, so I don’t want your opinions.
$70,000 — In my video, I play a documentary filmmaker who is looking for a heartbeat. I’m also wearing an army green Armani tank top. In reality, I will be wearing several dozen of these as we shoot. You’ll get one, complete with “Essence of Don,” and though it likely won’t fit you very well, as it strains and stretches to hug your girth, your self-esteem will improve 10-fold.
$60,000 + headshot — Be considered for the role of the amazing olive-skinned beauty who catches my gaze in the video a few times. Are you a model? A spy? We never learn. And even though we don’t kiss in the video, I might make out with you in real life, to inform the existential longing my character feels. If you get cast in the video, you will get 25% of your money back and we’ll also return your headshot.
$50,000 — At times in the video, I’m in my studio, which is in a loft in New York’s Soho Arts District. I will send you a coffee table book about Soho (not authored by me), but with a handwritten inscription that says: “Don Johnson’s coffee table book. Please return.” And then you are free to make up a story about how we were hanging out and now I’m bugging you about returning my book and you’re tired of that. (And you never have to send it back, in real life.)
$45,000 — I will observe you making love with your spouse/lover, and I will make notes into a tape recorder that you provide. Free cassingle of “Heartbeat.” Free Miami Vice shorts. (This has nothing to do with my video, it’s just a service I provide.)
$40,000 -– I will watch you make love w/ spouse/lover and promise not to throw up. No cassingle. No shorts.
$35,000 — I will watch you make love w/ spouse/lover. No promises. No cassingle. Facts of Life shorts.
$25,000 — I have another job in this video. I’m a guy who rocks. I play on a stage that looks like a crossword puzzle. But look around, there’s no clues. Not even boundaries, in some cases. That’s a metaphor for life. Everyone wants answers. But no one wants to provide any clues. So that’s why I am a documentary filmmaker. Get it? Anyway, you don’t get to visit the set, but Dweezil Zappa is in my band, and he will make you Baked Ziti and UPS it to you, and then talk to you on the phone for 10 minutes while you are eating it. You can put him on speaker, too, in case you have friends.
And that’s it. For now. Pledge your asses off.
In Rock & Roll,