Just another bad-hair night until Mick came in

January 18, 1998|By Dave Barry | Dave Barry,Tribune Media Services

SO GET THIS: I partied with Mick Jagger.

Well, OK, perhaps "partied with" is too strong a term. Perhaps a better term would be "was in the vicinity of." But still. Mick Jagger!

The way this happened was, back in December I got a fax from a public relations agency inviting me to a party being given by a person named Chris Blackwell, who is very famous although I honestly still don't know why. The fax said that the purpose of the party was to celebrate the "new incarnation" of the Marlin Hotel, which is a swank nightspot in an area of Miami Beach called South Beach, a chic, avant-garde, jet-set sector where you never see a woman who is under 6 feet 3 or weighs more than 83 pounds. This is a place where Barbie would look like a middle linebacker.

The invitation said: "Among the guests expected are the Rolling Stones, as they're in town for their concert this Friday." Of course I wanted to go to this party. I have been a gigantic Rolling Stones fan since approximately the Spanish-American War. In college, I was in a band called the Federal Duck, and we performed many Stones songs, and at the risk of tooting my own horn, I will say that we sounded exactly the way the Stones themselves would have sounded if they were not all playing the same chords.

On the night of the party, my wife was out of town, so I asked my 17-year-old son, Rob, if he wanted to go with me. You can imagine his excitement when I offered him a chance to meet the Rolling Stones in person.

"No thanks," he said.

Like many young people of today, my son does not appreciate classical musicians such as the Stones; he is more into bands with names like Heave and Squatting Turnips.

So I asked a friend, novelist Paul Levine, if he wanted to go to the party, and he courageously said yes, despite the risk that I would, in this column, mention his forthcoming book "9 Scorpions," which Paul describes as "a story of seduction and corruption at the Supreme Court."

Paul and I arrived at the Marlin Hotel and immediately determined that we were the oldest people who had ever set foot in there by a good 30 years. The party featured very loud music and many avant-garde people lounging around amid the new, reincarnated hotel decor, which included, among other sophisticated touches, window treatments that looked like gigantic shower curtains. We did not see any Rolling Stones. But there were several famous people on hand, including: An artist named Kenny something whose work "is in, like, museums all over the place."

An actor named Antonio something who had been in a Janet Jackson video and a Calvin Klein underwear commercial.

Paul and I got this information from a 20-year-old woman hair stylist named Nate (pronounced "Na-TAY"), who also gave us free advice on what to do with our hair. She told Paul to use gel. She told me -- and this is a direct quote -- "You should rock the Caesar."

"I should rock the Caesar?" I asked. "Definitely," said Nate. "You really should," said Paul.

It turns out that "rock the Caesar" means getting the style of haircut worn by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar and the TV actor George Clooney. I definitely plan to adopt this style, just as soon as William Rehnquist does.

So anyway, Paul and I were sitting in a corner, a pair of fossils with outmoded hair, when the front door opened, and guess who walked in, in all his rock-idol glory? That's right: Elvis.

DTC No, seriously, it was Mick Jagger. When I saw him, I felt a thrill, and I will tell you why: Because suddenly, there was somebody at the party who was even older than I am. He's only a little older if you calculate it in normal human years; but he has been living rock-star years, which take a much greater toll. In person, he looks like Yoda wearing a Mick Jagger wig.

But he seemed like a pleasant enough person, as near as I could tell from watching a crowd of avant-garde people trying to get as close to him as possible while pretending not to. I considered trying to push my way in there and strike up a conversation with Mick, maybe try to find out the correct chords to "Under My Thumb." But it seemed like a lot of work, plus it was 10: 30 p.m., way past my bedtime. So Paul and I left. But I enjoyed the evening. The way I see it, I was, briefly, hanging out with an actual Rolling Stone. If you see it differently, get offa my cloud.

Pub Date: 1/18/98

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