Looking back in time: Treasure Island Resort

Postcard picture of Treasure Island Resort. - Photo: Courtesy of Ivan Burges

Everyone talks about the ‘good old days’ when times were simpler. Take a look at this picture from yesteryear and see if you can spot places, people and scenes you recognise.

Treasure Island (1980s)
To look at this picture, you might not recognise the buildings immediately. But, upon closer inspection (and maybe playing close attention to the pool down the centre), you’ll probably realise it is the property that was recently Margaritaville Resort, but back in the 1980s, was known as Treasure Island Resort.

In those days, Silver’s Nightclub on the ground floor (now a restaurant) was one of the top hotspots for entertainment. Perhaps it was because the resort was owned by a host of celebrities at the time, such as Conway Twitty, Larry Gatlin, Ronnie Milsap, Earl Thomas Conley, Deborah Allen, Dave & Sugar, Helen Cornelius and Jerry Reed – storied names in the halls of country music.

When I was in my late teens, I loved going to Silver’s with my friends to watch resident bands like The Marvels and visiting acts. James ‘Sunny Jim’ White, who many of you will probably remember from that time, stayed on the island after his band left to be a solo act at the old Hyatt Resort, among other venues.

A notorious entertainer on the Silver’s stage was Joe Savage, who chain-sawed his way out of a wooden box on some nights, or brought a python or baby panther out to show the audience. (Can’t believe he was allowed to bring them onto the island at the time.)

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One evening, someone forgot to raise the large projector screen hanging over the stage (which used to show popular music videos before his performance), and when he slashed his way out of that box, he sawed right through the screen.

Eddie Brill, a stand-up comedian from the US who also did gigs at the Coconuts Comedy Club at the Holiday Inn in the early ’90s, performed for the first time in Cayman at Silver’s. Years later, he went on to be the booker of comedians for ‘Late Show with David Letterman’.

Further into the ’90s, Nick Van Eede – lead singer of Cutting Crew – sang at Silver’s for a night or two, and even the hit family band The Jets (remember ‘Crush On You’ and ‘You Got It All’?) did a residency for a while.

Anyone else recall the Vanilla Ice and Laura Branigan concert outdoors on the property? They were big names to have here at the time.

For those who didn’t go to the club, there was Sons of the Beach playing out by the pool bar (my friends and I snuck there many a night when we were supposed to be studying in Sixth Form) or the Top of the Falls Restaurant, with long-stemmed candles in wine bottles around the room, covered in melted wax. That restaurant had some amazing Christmas parties, with a DJ playing everyone’s favourite classic and pop festive numbers.

It’s amazing to look at this picture and recall those times. I’m sure more will come back to me after this piece is published. Just fabulous memories.

If you have some old photos that you’d like to submit, we’d love to see them to consider them for publication. Be sure to include the credit for the image and any information you have about it. Email to [email protected].

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