December 28, 2013

Oldest Surfer on the Beach

A few years ago I wrote the post, Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Jimmy Buffett. He is one of the few singers I will pay to hear. I have over a dozen of his albums in my CD changer, have been to several Margaritaville restaurants, and have various Buffett T-shirts in my closet.

At 65 he continues to perform to sellout audiences year after year even though he hasn't had a legitimate hit record for several decades. Here is a fact that might shock you: he is the third wealthiest male singer in the world, worth an estimated $400 million dollars, behind only Paul McCartney and Bono.

He has tapped into a fantasy world for those who want to abandon responsibility and predictability, but to do so in a safe and "appropriate way" for a few hours every now and then. With concert ticket prices close to those of Las Vegas shows, his appeal is to those who can afford to dream of tropical islands and margaritas all while paying a large mortgage and driving to the show in a new car. His image of a casual, happy beach bum has nothing to do with the reality of an extremely successful marketer of all things Jimmy.

No matter. His songs are upbeat, happy, and usually quite positive. He is a PG artist in an R-rated world. 
Recently I reread that post from 2011 and found several of the observations continue to resonate with me. To read the entire article click above, but if you are in a hurry here are a few of the lyrics and my thoughts:

"I wish lunch could last forever. Make the whole day one big afternoon."
My schedule is mine. I understand the importance of being wholly invested in whatever I am doing at the moment. And, if that is a long meal with friends, so be it.

"Oh, yesterday's on my shoulders so I can't look back for too long. There's just too much to see waiting in front of me. And I know I just can't go wrong."
Memories and the past are great, but sometimes they just hold me back. I am excited by what is ahead.

"Few have ever seen, most of them dream.  I've got to stop wishin' and got to fishin'."
Too many folks dream their life away without doing what they really want to do. There comes a time to stop dreaming and a time to act.

The reason I dug back in the archives to find this particular post was a note from a good friend who sent me the lyrics to the latest Buffett song. She thought it would be a good fit for this blog, and right she was.

Entitled, The Oldest Surfer On The Beach, this song continues to promote one of Jimmy's main messages: living in the present is the only way to go. Here is a sample of some of the lyrics:

There's nothing that I wanna do
No place I'm trying to reach
Only time is now more precious to
The oldest surfer on the beach
The oldest surfer on the beach

I stopped searching for perfection
Many waves ago
What really matters is the here and now.

I may quibble a bit with the lines that there is "nothing I wanna do, No place I'm trying to reach." Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows I am not content to drift.

But, he has nailed my mindset with the lines," only time is now more precious" and I stopped searching for perfection many waves ago. What really matters is the here and now." 

 if you are in a Buffett kind of mood, take a trip to Margaritaville, too


  1. I remember a poignant moment from my working years. As an ice breaker to what was going to be a day long seminar, the leader asked us what had been our best memory ever. As she went around the room, the two most resounding answers were 'the day I got married' and 'the day my children were born.'

    As I listened, awaiting my turn, I remember feeling sad that their best memories were from so long ago. When my turn finally came I answered truthfully that my best memories were generally from whatever adventure or trip I'd just completed. In this case, a 1,500 mile motorcycle ride with my dad, husband and some friends through S. Arizona, exploring Phoenix, Prescott, Jerome and Sedona.

    My friend has a tag for me which I'm thinking of putting on my epitath, "When she's done, she's done," meaning that as one adventure comes to a close, I'm already working and moving on to the next one.

    Life is so bloody short, I don't want to waste a moment of living my definition of big. Which is why after just a few days home from our last adventure, we're loading up our travel trailer and heading out again today. Yesterday doesn't count!

    1. Off to Palm Springs? Have a great time at the film festival.

    2. San Diego county first, then Palm Springs for nine days. Tickets to six movies, plus the Palm Springs Follies, daily hiking, and nightly dining out once we arrive there. You two should join us next year!

    3. Next year Betty will not have a commitment to a church project that keeps us homebound for the first four months of the year. So, Palm Springs Film Festival is a very strong possibility.

  2. I'm a Jimmy Buffett fan, too, even though I don't surf; never been to Key West. But methinks you've put your finger on the issue -- he's selling the laid back, nothing-I-want-to-do, noplace-I'm-trying-to-reach dream; but he himself in addition to being a talented, hard-working musician is an aggressive, driven business person who's developed his brand and made millions. P. S. Nice song!

    1. I was stunned with the third richest male singer fact. Between his concerts, restaurants, Margaritaville Radio on SiriusXM, his merchandising and album sales, he can afford several homes, boats, a vintage airplane, and a lifestyle most would envy. Just think about going to "work" and having thousands of people singing along with your worlds and loving you.

      It is important to separate the image and the man, but he is living his dream. More power to him.

    2. And the books, dont forget he is an author as well.

  3. We are currently in training for a life of "HERE AND NOW", long lunches, and nature adventures .. what a great post for starting this day Bob! Are you and Betty getting ready for another RV trip soon? We love to hear about them!!DETAILS PLEASE!!!

    1. We are heading over to Usery Park in Mesa this afternoon just to "exercise" the RV. Every few months during the off season it is important to get the tires heated up and get the engine nice and hot. So, we'll take the hour drive over and back, with maybe a nice hike in the park.

      Unfortunately, our next planned trip isn't until the end of April for a quick 2 nighter to meet up with Mike and Tamara Reddy. But, I have a post next week about our plans for our long summer trip. Hopefully, I can convince Betty to take a break in February and we can go to Lake Havasu or Laughlin for a 3 day trip.

    2. Betty (Bob's Wife)Sun Dec 29, 12:56:00 PM MST

      OK, I've got the adventure bug in my system again. Let's go somewhere and "Get off the world" for a day or two! Even an afternoon! Let's see how fast we can pack a lunch and go!

  4. I admit to being a parrothead. His music just takes you there...island breezes, drinks in pineapples, all of it. We've been to many a concert, but the last one kind of turned me off. He had a long intermission which gave him the opportunity to show a 'home movie', of sorts. It was all about his expensive lifestyle and toys. Bit of wretched excess, really.
    I don't deny he's worked for everything he's got, but when the ticket prices keep going up he should have been more humble and grateful, in my opinion, to those who got him there.
    Still...nothing takes you to a happy place like his music does.

    1. I once flew to Denver to see a concert of his, but I haven't been to his Phoenix concerts in over a decade - just too expensive. That doesn't change my love of his music and the fact that his lyrics often contain some tremendous insight into the human condition. He is also extremely clever at times with his wordplay (like last fast boat to China).

      Betty and I always load up on Buffett cds for long RV drives. The miles go by much quicker with island music.

  5. What fun! I was introduced to Jimmy years ago and have always found his music uplifting and just down right fun. If you haven't read any of his books, they are equally as relaxing and imaginative with characters developed that I am sure were 80% real some where along the way in Jimmy's life. One of my favorites is "A Salty Piece of Land". Thanks for the little reminder about what matters... :)

    1. Your profile picture shows you in an Aloha shirt, so I know you understand the draw of surf, sand, and good times!

  6. I've been a parrothead for decades, and I'd live in Key West if I could afford the housing. Since I can't, I'll have to stick to visiting, and Jimmy. A couple of my favorite reminders/aspirations are still:

    the chorus from " Growing Older But Not Up"

    "I'm growing older, but not up.
    My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck.
    Let those winds of time blow over my head;
    I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead."


    "I ate the last mango in Paris,
    took the last plane out of Saigon,
    took the first fast boat to China--
    and Jimmy, there's still so much to be done." from "The Last Mango in Paris."

    I'm sorry that Jimmy Buffett has taken to showing off his expensive toys; but I can almost forgive him, considering how hard he has worked to earn them.

    That Other Jean

    1. Betty and I belonged to a parrothead club for awhile. There were gatherings at local restaurants and bars or the dog track but after a time we lost interest. The members seemed stuck somewhere in the 80's.