Sadly, we lost another music legend on Sept. 1 when Jimmy Buffett crossed over to the other side. I was just getting over the untimely… OK, so it was the timely death of Tony Bennett. By the way, you may not know this but, in France and in Canada, Jimmy’s last name is pronounced Buff-eh; I bet you didn’t know that did you, eh?
Now, I’m not a “Parrot Head” (a Jimmy Buffett fan that takes it to the extreme level), but I did get to see him at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas about 10 or 15 years ago. I felt like I was the only one there without a parrot on my shoulder or wearing a shark hat or a hat with colorful flashing lights. Also, sadly, Jimmy’s Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant was a victim of last month’s Lahaina Fire.
Jimmy was best known for his hit songs “Margaritaville,” “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” “Son of a Son of a Sailorman” and “Come Monday.”
Nibblin on sponge cake, watchin’ the sun bake, all you parrotheads covered with oil and feathers, and signs and pins, strummin’ my six string on my front porch swing. Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville, searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt (Salt, salt, salt). I blew out my flip flop, stepped on a pop top, I broke my leg twice, I had to limp on back home, but there’s booze in the blender and soon it will render that frozen concoction that helps me hang on. (“Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett – 1977)
I did have occasion to sip a margarita at one of Jimmy’s Margaritaville shipboard bars while on a Caribbean cruise back in 2019. The same ship (Norwegian Breakaway) even piped Jimmy Buffett songs into our stateroom (It wasn’t really a pipe; I think it had wires.).
I do, however, tend to go a little overboard in worshiping my musical heroes. For instance, I’m a longtime “Deadhead,” who followed Jerry and the boys around all over the Bay Area and the Southwest for many years, and I’m also a “Stewartista” who followed Folk & Americana singer-songwriter John Stewart all over the West and even England and Scotland one time, for over 30 years. John, like Jimmy, had a great sense of humor and used to converse with members of the audience in between songs.
This sort of extremism in fandom seems to run in the family; my children are longtime Deadheads and devoted “Phish Heads.” My oldest boy just returned from a series of Phish concerts in Denver. Hey, we can’t be any worse than Taylor’s “Swifties,” so I understand how the Parrot Heads must feel about the loss of Jimmy.
Since Jimmy died from a rare form of skin cancer, please remember to dress appropriately when outside and use sunscreen if you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight.
Keep it flyin’,