Miami moments with Pickett, Buck
A few weeks ago, South Florida rock legend Charlie Pickett released “See You in Miami,” his first studio album since 1988, when Pickett and R.E.M’s Peter Buck produced “The Wilderness.” That was when Charlie Pickett and the Eggs’ raw and incendiary live shows seemed destined to carry them to stardom — just before the vagaries of musical trends cast the band aside, to become part of local mythology.
With Buck back on board for three songs, “See You in Miami” (Y&T Music) is a remarkable, rollicking comeback for Pickett, an attorney in Boynton Beach who can still be found performing in clubs around South Florida from time to time.
Not merely a rekindling of the passion he once felt, Pickett seems to be raging anew on the thumping boogie of “Miami Interlude,” the velvety underground anthem “Teajay & Mindy” and “So Long Johnny,” a Peter Buck-penned salute to “See You in Miami” is a remarkable, rollicking comeback for Charlie Pickett.
Pickett guitarist and friend Johnny Salton, who struggled with drugs and other demons. Salton died in 2010.
In Rolling Stone, music writer David Fricke once celebrated Pickett and his band for forging a “brawling-roots mix of Johnny Thunders, Sun Records and trailer park Lou Reed in Florida bars … That rattle 'n' smack now sounds raucously prescient.”
Still ahead of the curve, “See You in Miami” does Pickett’s legend proud as an extraordinary time capsule valuable not just for the memory of what South Florida rock ‘n’ roll was capable of 30 years ago — but what it should be aspiring to now.
In separate conversations, Pickett and Buck answered questions about their friendship, the new record and the great Johnny Salton.
What is it about your relationship that has allowed it to endure?
Buck: We were all part of the same kind of scene. We were passing through some of the same clubs. I loved the band, and I really loved Charlie’s songwriting. And we got to be friends. Then it was, I guess, like around 1986 that I produced the record [“The Wilderness”], and I played on it a little bit. Over the years, we kept running into each other. He’s in Miami, which is someplace I’d pass