I awoke surprisingly early next day – perhaps the men had never stopped talking – and with 2 things on my mind – getting back my bag, and hitting Miami beach. I phoned the American Airlines baggage people with my newly acquired hotel information, and was told the bags would be delivered by around 3pm. Also, I would be allowed to buy up to $100 worth of clothing and toiletries to make up for my loss which sounded like a reasonable deal. Things weren’t looking so bad. I booked in for another night, with the intention of finding a nicer hotel closer to the WMC action for the remainder of my week’s stay. I went to get some cash and cigarettes. Was disappointed that Lucky Strike were not on sale, and in fact didn’t see them on sale anywhere except at the airport. I’d thought they were common place over here, but obviously not any more. There has been a revival of them in the UK of late, and I can’t help thinking I am somehow responsible. I sent British American Tobacco, who make Lucky Strike, a letter, with a photo of my Lucky Strike Tattoo about 10 years ago. I got a letter back from them, can’t really remember what it said, but ever since then, this particular brand of fags seems to have been on sale a lot more over here – perhaps there was something in the letter I sent that made their marketing men prick up their ears. Anyway, passing a diner on the way back, I couldn’t resist calling in for some breakfast – 2 pancakes, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 sausages & 2 eggs topped with maple syrup. Yum. With food this good, you can understand the American propensity to becoming overweight.
Shortly, I was being driven towards downtown Miami by Bob, the hotel’s general handyman and all-round good bloke. Miami beach is actually separate to the mainland, and I’m not sure if Bob had driven this way too often, but we managed to find my desired destination quite soon. I basically had a list of places I wanted to check out, taken from DJ mag’s What’s on in Miami guide. There were a few hotels near the beach which had things going on, one of which was DJ Mag’s WMC opening pool party for $10 (a snip compared to many of the events, which were mostly $40+). Bob dropped me off near one of the hotels, but first things first, I wanted to spend my $100. The first shop I went to, you could barely buy a single shirt for $100, but I did eventually find some cheaper shops where I got a few t-shirts, pairs of shorts, etc.
Finally, I decided it was about time I located my reason for being here, ie. PARTIES. (I should point out that, as someone I met put it, the name Winter Music Conference is more than a little misleading, as it’s a. not in Winter, and b. not a conference). First off was the pool party. By the time I’d got there, you couldn’t pay to get in, as it had become guest-list only. Not to be deterred, I showed them my copy of DJ Mag, to show I was a fan. I showed them a copy of Square, to try and make out I was an important magazine editor. I don’t think the guy at the gate was buying any of it, but I think he did admire my tenacity at least, and eventually, when there were fewer people around, he slapped a band on my wrist and ushered me in.
Quite chuffed to have finally got into an event that was officially a part of the WMC, my first thought was to unburden myself of the quite heavy bags I had. There was no cloak room though – guests at a pool party clearly not expected to be wearing cloaks – but instead I paid a member of the hotel’s staff a few dollars to have my bags stored in a back-room. Always having to pay for things in America, it seemed – if there is money to be made for something, guaranteed, there will be someone willing to take this money off you.