Philip Michael Thomas

UK Smash Hits: 29 Jan – 11 Feb, 1986


I used to sometimes have a tipple of Miami Wine Cooler.  At the time I just thought it was a nice drink my mum sometimes let me have with dinner, but now I realise it was wine mixed with fruit juice.  I’m not a snob about wine but even I have to admit that there is something a bit wrong about this.  It tasted nice and all, but I can’t imagine wanting to do this if I had a bottle of wine and a bottle of fruit juice at home: “A slug or two of Raro would really lift this chardonnay.”

I also had the jacket.  The Crockett Jacket that the fake Don Johnson is sporting on the left in the photo above.  I really liked that jacket.  It made me feel really cool.  I still had it well into the 90s when I passed it on to a friend after being badly traumatised by a bunch of unkind first year uni students who sniggered at its shoulder pads.  By the mids 90s I was probably just looking like an unshaven, chubby twat in a white jacket rather than Don Johnson.  Anyway, flannel-chic was in by then and pastel T-shirts and white jackets were out.

The other dude in Miami Vice was Tubbs: Philip Michael Thomas.  Everything about this man is rather wonderful.  Everything.  There are so many things to discuss it is hard to know where to begin.  He appears to be a case study in vaulting marble ambitions built on the shifting sands of public opinion and very limited talent.  Despite this all his endeavors are pursued without a shred or irony or self-awareness.  Take the man’s name for example: Philip Michael Thomas.  He used it as an acronym for his many business ventures.  PMT.

Was there no one, not one single person, who could tell him that PMT was not a good acronym for his business ventures?

The reason that PMT is in Smash Hits at all is because he had just released an album called Living the Book Of My Life.  I think this is called a vanity project.  Eddie Murphy and Don Johnson were doing the same thing.


Three things.  Firstly, for an actor, PMT is being pretty unconvincing with his right hand. It looks a lot like he is trying to subtly signal to the photographer that he wants someone off camera to his left removed by security. Secondly, whoever he hired to hang his pictures needs to be fired unless they are at crotch level for some reason I can’t fathom.  Thirdly, take some time to enjoy the picture.  It has levels, man.

There is a great interview between Johnny Carson and PMT where Johnny notes that some recent interviews with the Miami Vice star have been called things like “The Ego Has Landed”.   The interview doesn’t do much to dispel the headlines.  Johnny is superb at being friendly and lacerating (he just comes straight out and says he hasn’t even listened to PMT’s album).  Philip tells us he wants to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

“How’s that going?” Johnny asks.

“Well, I was nominated for an Emmy in 1979 for Whack Attack.”

It’s hard not to snort into your wine cooler.

Johnny also reveals that PMT has published a book of aphorisms: The Perfect Moment of Truth Sayings.  The four Philip gives us are instantly trumped by Johnny who by this time seems bored.

After Miami Vice PMT became the face of the International Psychic Network.  While the whole clip below is great (including the ad that comes after his ad) you might miss some of the captioning if you’re not paying attention.  Pay attention.

I have no way of knowing if the next picture is legit, but it’s funny as hell and is part of his ongoing work in the world of psychics, although he is now branded as PMT Psychic Connection.  Again, I think the use of PMT here was a mistake, but he’s a richer and more famous man than me so who am I to offer an opinion.


But let’s remember why we’re here: a short piece in Smash Hits alerting us to his debut album.  When I read this piece in Smash Hits I thought they had probably just made it up, but I now think it is probably real.  It also reveals how fun Smash Hits was to read: “snoozesomely” is just perfect.


What is he doing in this photo?  Why is he kissing this bunch of grapes and looking at me?  Is it because I’m a Pisces?

PMT had a crack team of fully legit reggae musicians to work with him on his album, and the title track features one of my favourite things in a song: a spoken section.

Listen to the magical, mystical melodies of the universe calling out your name

Moving your soul and spirit through life’s cosmic game

Look deep into the mirror of your soul and discover a wonderful truth

The greatest book you’ve ever known was written and lived by you

The first (only?) single of this album is called Just the Way I Planned It.  While I was watching this absolutely fantastic video I found myself wondering how different this film shoot was from a film shoot on an LA porn set at about the same time.  More Illuminati shit in the PMT clip I guess, but otherwise it feels like it’s at about the same level.

For a long time the song seems to be about sexual entrapment, but towards the end he starts belting out about “wisdom, knowledge and understanding” and it seems to have (d)evolved into a musing on the nature of psychic power and transcendent forms of comprehension.  This video is gold from start to finish and is fully worth four minutes of your life.  You can thank me later.



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I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō

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