Eastbound & Don Johnson

It’s obvious that the team behind Eastbound & Down are fans of Michael Mann’s ’80s archetypal series Miami Vice — the casting of Don Johnson as Señor Powers Sr. is just one of many shout-outs to Mann’s sweaty Southern neon noir. Herewith, a tribute to Don “Eduardo Sanchez” Johnson and all things Miami Vice.

“The cop show just graduated to the ’80s.” A reel of every NBC (old slogan: “Let’s all be there!”) promo commercial for Miami Vice. “Feel it coming this fall.”

The Nash Bridges Complete Kill Count (Counted by H83tr3d)

“The Heart of Heartbeat.”
A documentary on the making of Don Johnson’s 1986 gold album Heartbeat, for which he snagged songs by Tom Petty (“Lost in Your Eyes”) and Bob Seger (“Love Roulette”) in addition to some self-penned joints. Willie Nelson sang backup on one tune, and Johnson also copped solos from Dickey Betts, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Ron Wood. While that all sounds class, this doc confirms my suspicion that Don Johnson’s booth process is essentially the same as Dirk “You’ve Got the Touch” Diggler’s, but with the bonus of Bonnie Raitt and Whoopi Goldberg just chilling out.

The trailer for A Boy and His Dog — a 1975 movie adapted from a Harlan Ellison story described as “an R-rated, rather kinky tale of survival” set in 2024. I like my avant-garde film techniques ground up into culty scuzz about Don Johnson and a telepathic dog.

“This is for Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith even though they are not married … ”

The last scene of the last episode of Miami Vice. People get older, but their voices don’t.

Jan Hammer rocking the fuck out on his Pure Moods classic “Crockett’s Theme” (used to introduce The Russian on EB&D this season) on the Dutch TV channel Veronica in front of a leaning tower of monitors showing Miami Vice episodes.

Young Don Johnson looks way better in a satin jacket than Ryan Gosling does.

In honor of Lily Tomlin’s surprise appearance as Kenny’s mother on last night’s Eastbound & Down, here’s Frank Zappa’s surprise appearance on Miami Vice.

Ever wish Miami Vice had been a continuous series of still photographs like La Jetée?

Johnson starring in a 1991 ad for non-alcoholic beer. No matter what year it actually is, I will always associate non-alcoholic beer commercials with the early ’90s and nothing else.

“Ah, listen to that Sax, The ’80s was so cool, i didn’t think so at the time, Quality will always last.”

A clip from Lollipops, Roses and Talangka — a Filipino movie from 1971 filmed in San Francisco that featured a young Don Johnson as the villain “Frank” and The Monkees’ Davy Jones (R.I.P.) as himself.

Never forget that not only did Don Johnson date Barbra Streisand for a few years in the late ’80s (they were engaged), they recorded this hilarious duvet-soft duet.

Filed Under: Don Johnson, Eastbound & Down, HBO, Kenny Effin Powers

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert