A brief word about the video for Bertie Higgins’ ‘Key Largo’

September 9, 2014

The next two installments of Karina Longworth‘s You Must Remember This podcast focus on Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.  (You can download the Bogey one right now, even.) Since I am old, I remember, with perfect clarity, Bertie Higgins’ 1982 bid for yacht rock immortality, “Key Largo,” which name checks “Bogey and Bacall” in the chorus and shares a title with one of their films.

I bring this up because the podcast (which you can download on iTunes) gave me cause to look for the “Key Largo” video.  With all due apologies to Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and other envelope-pushing artists, Higgins’ work here breaks all the rules.

Did you catch it?  No, not the disregard Bertie and his lady friend (who is almost definitely named Linda) show for life jackets on the high seas.  Nor the white-on-white, plunging neckline outfit Bertie sports, which is just, man.  No, it happens almost right away: BERTIE HIGGINS IS SMOKING A CIGARETTE

If you’re going to be transgressive in 2014, enjoy the smooth, adult flavor of a tobacco cigarette* on camera. Twerking is common as water and about as out-there as Everybody Loves Raymond.  Taking a looooong drag on a heater?  That’s how you make Standards & Practices itchy.

While I was writing this, a brand new U2 album popped up for free in my iTunes.  Instead of sampling the first new record in five years from one of the biggest bands in rock history, I listened to “Key Largo” at least seven times.  I regret nothing.

*Infinite Guest does not endorse smoking.  Don’t be dumb.