Tuesday, March 06, 2012

"Now I know how Jimmy Buffett feels..."

I've always considered myself and Jimmy Buffett to be kindred spirits. Let's take a look at the facts: We both love the beach. We've both blown out a flip-flop, granted with varying degrees of notoriety. He writes songs. I wish I could write songs. He's the son of a son of a sailor. I've.... been on a boat before. I think we can all agree that any more examples would only serve to cloud my point.

And so, when I saw he was coming to Birmingham, subtle hints were strategically dropped into everyday conversation.

Things like:
"Jimmy Buffett is coming to Birmingham!"
"Hint, hint, birthday, hint."
"That would probably make a really great gift for someone who has a birthday in February." (Ed.'s note: The "someone" in that sentence is really me.)

OK, so not so subtle. But it got the job done. Tickets were procured and a concert was attended.

I must say it was a little odd to be wearing a winter coat to a Jimmy Buffett concert. But temps were supposed to be in the thirties for once, and I'm just manly like that.

He, of course, came on stage in shorts and flip-flops. Then again, I'm fairly certain he didn't have to hike ten blocks to get to the arena. It's all about the free parking for me. It's more the principle than the cost, or so I tell myself.

This was my first Buffett concert and one of the curiosities I had was whether all the Parrotheads would also be potheads. Much like when I attended that Willie Nelson concert a couple of years ago, I wondered if I would experience a second-hand high. Or low. Or whatever you get. I don't know, I've never even smoked a cigarette.

Those concerns seemed to be unfounded. For I have walked amongst the Parrotheads, and maintained my inhibitions. Although after the show I did notice I scarfed down my food at Chili's like I hadn't eaten in two weeks.

Buffett, as comfortable on stage as he (or I) would be on the open sea, moved seamlessly through familiar favorites "Volcano," "Fins," "Come Monday," "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes," and of course, "Margaritaville." There was newer fare, such as "Trip Around The Sun," "It's Five O'clock Somewhere," and "Knee Deep," which featured a guest appearance by a member of the Zac Brown Band.

He also sang several songs about Alabama, which is one of 3 or 4 home states claimed by the Head Parrot. There was the expected "Bama Breeze" and "Sweet Home Alabama" (replete with audience chants of "Roll Tide Roll"). But there were also a couple of songs I'd forgotten about: "Birmingham" and "Stars Fell On Alabama."

Then following an encore of three or four songs, the band left the stage again. But Jimmy stayed behind to do one last number, by himself, for the home-state crowd. Almost like he didn't want to leave.

After that, we went our separate ways -- he to his Hush-Puppy-wearing, island-hopping, sponge-cake-nibblin' ways; me to begin the ten-block hike back to reality.

The guy who wrote Wikipedia describes Jimmy Buffett's music as "often portraying an 'island escapism' lifestyle." Now there's an ideology I can embrace!

Yep, kindred spirits.

"I got a school boy heart, a novelist's eye, a stout sailor's legs and a license to fly. I got a bartender's ear and a beachcomber's style..."


  1. So I'm guessing he didn't sing "Why don't we get drunk" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_Don%27t_We_Get_Drunk

    I can't picture a Buffett concert in a coat. Course I've never been to one of his concerts which seems like a total crime seeing as I used to live in FL, but I honestly don't even remember any possibility of going to one.

  2. As soon as you mentioned Jimmy Buffett, I immediately wondered if you'd been affected by the second hand smoke. I had friends who went to his concert years back and were amazed at how much pot smoking was going on. But that was here in D.C....maybe they're more mellow in Alabama? Wait, it they're mellow, that must mean...?? Nevermind. lol

    So glad you enjoyed your concert, Bone! I was struck by the similarities between you and Jimmy. :D

  3. You're not really embracing the Buffett lifestyle if you're still walking 10 blocks to your car. You may need to "pregame" for the next concert, let someone else drive, and enjoy the short stroll up to the venue.

    Parking far away at Buffett is like Katniss worrying about her hair. Just wrong. (See what I did there!?)

  4. I've never smoked either but I did go to a Steve Miller concert once and I'm fairly certain I walked away with a second hand high. Never been to a Buffet concert but I do own his Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads box set and enjoy listening to the whole works now and then.

  5. I can't think of anything clever to say but really enjoyed reading this :)

  6. We have a Margaritaville where I live in the Cayman Islands and although he's been here several times I've never really been into his music, perhaps a couple of his songs... Glad u enjoyed the concert!

  7. Renee - No, he didn't. I actually said something about being surprised, as I figured that'd be a big concert favorite. Pretty interesting stuff in the Wiki entry you linked to. There were a lot of kids at the show.

    Sherri B - Thanks. I figured the similarities were pretty obvious without me pointing them out, but I went ahead just in case :)

    Cami - Yes, what I really need is a driver! I don't know who Katniss is, and I'm not googling it.

    Ed - Ooo, Steve Miller Band. I bet that was one, um, hazy concert.

    Pia - That's OK, because I probably wouldn't have been able to come up with a clever reply.

    Sunshine - Thanks for stopping by! I'd like to see a concert of his at the beach. That'd just feel more right than some indoor arena in February.

  8. That would be a good concert.
    We saw Elton John in Costa Rica in February.

  9. Sounds like you had a mighty fine birthday celebration there, Bone!

  10. Blimey, good thing your wife telepathically knew just how much you would love to go to this concert, eh? Thanks for the clip, I've never heard of this guy, but now I've heard him, I guess I could become a fan, too.

    You've NEVER smoked? Sheesh, I'm disappointed in the non-mis-spent youth you've had, how can you honestly and sincerely look your kids in the eyes and not lie to your back teeth to them about such things, in the future?? (Walking away with a deep sigh, shaking my head..)

  11. I put a link from my blog to yours in my sidebar....

  12. I'm glad you had a good time for your birthday!

  13. MarkD - I remember Elton and Billy Joel toured together a few years ago. I kinda regret not going to that now.

    Thanks. I linked to yours as well.

    Sage - Yep. I can't complain.

    Shrinky - Well, that's probably not his best song. Definitely not his most popular. Boy, I'm not doing a great job of promoting him here, am I?

    I know. That was hard to admit in a public forum. I guess I'll just have to regale them with tales of my athletic prowess.

    Xinh - Thanks.