"The New Year's that first comes to mind is the one I spent in the Virgin Islands. I came down to my home in North Miami Beach trying to escape the cold, but when I got here it was actually kind of nippy. I couldn't go in the water. I was pissed. So, at the last moment we packed up all our gear and took off to some place even more tropical. When we got there, I was wearing this sequined jacket. I mean this thing had all sorts of crazy bling on it. The guy that was unloading our bags saw it, or was blinded by it, and asked me: öEh, mon, you some sort of musician or something?' Turns out this guy was a bass player, not too shabby either, but he only listened to reggae and island rhythms. Still, he had one group from the States that he was in love with. He was wondering if I had ever heard of these guys and preceded to ask me, öYou ever hear of the legendary Bootsy Collins and Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey?'
"So, me and the people I came down with start cracking up. I told the dude it was me, but he wasn't having it. Finally I had to dig into my shiny jacket and pull out my ID. Then, and only then, did he finally come to grips with realty. He was really embarrassed, but we didn't give him a hard time, and it turned out his family owned a Jeep rental shop. He took us all around the island for free. The cat was awesome, he ripped on the bass. We had some wicked jams right there on the beach until the sun came up. To this day we still hang out. I was just chilling the other day when he called."
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Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey was the drummer for Parliament-Funkadelic. He is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-wrote the song, "We Want the Funk."
"My most memorable New Year's Eve has to be fourteen years ago. I was living in New York at the time and decided to spend the holidays in Miami. What was supposed to be a little vacation turned into one the most influential experiences of my life. It all happened while I was sipping champagne at the rooftop party at the Century Hotel. Aside from the great climate, the palm trees, and the half-naked women (all things New York was lacking), I got a chance to meet the legend himself, Gianni Versace. I tell you it had a profound effect on me. After that, I realized that Miami had a flavor that just didn't exist in New York. I mean that was it.
"After that, I packed up all my shit and moved down here for good. I've never looked back. Since then every New Year's Eve has been a special one. They all start to mesh together after so many years of throwing parties, but I remember getting crazy with Mickey Rourke one year. We were quite inebriated and dropping lots of cash at the Strand. The year after that, we tied a 125-foot yacht to the dock of a mansion on Star Island. That was pretty great. The whole house was jumping with all these famous people. The yacht became a kind of impromptu VIP area with all sorts of debauchery going on. Everyone thought the house party was where all the action was, but boy were they wrong. I wish I could go into more detail, but I'm a married man these days. This year, I'm throwing a huge event at the Raleigh Hotel, and I'm not lying when I say people will be writing about it for years to come."
Tommy Pooch is the ubiquitous nightclub and party promoter from Miami Beach.