November 29, 2018

Does Jimmy Buffett Really Have The Answers?


The ultimate Boomer, Jimmy Buffett,  will be 72 on Christmas Day. Even though he only had a few hit records, Jimmy continues to be one of the biggest concert draws, year after year. In fact, he was in Phoenix a few days ago for a sold-out concert. He portrays an image that is a combination of beach, booze, sun, women, and song into his 7th decade. His lyrics are often witty, literate, and captivating. For millions of  Parrotheads, he speaks to their dreams, aspirations and lost youth.


Confession time: I am a semi-retired Parrothead. I have been privileged to see Jimmy in concert several times, once flying to Denver just to see his show. There is no way I can see him in person or listen to his music and not smile. You can bet whenever my wife and I go to Hawaii Jimmy's music is along for the ride. He has been very much part of my satisfying retirement.


With tongue firmly planted in my check, I contend that many of life's important lessons, especially for us retired and pre-retirees can be found in the lyrics of Jimmy's music. Not so sure? Here are some examples to convince you I am not just a cheeseburger in paradise:


"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.

"All of the faces and all of the places, wonder where they all disappeared.
Vision of good times that brought me so much pleasure. Makes me want to go back again."
  • I have known so many people and been to so many places, but they are no longer part of my life. Luckily, I'll always have my memories and I can visit again anytime.
"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.

"I'm growing older but no up. My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck. I'd rather die while I'm living, than live when I'm dead."
  • I don't care what the calendar says, I can still be a little kid sometimes. I don't want to always act like a gown-up and I refuse to stop grabbing all that life has to offer.

"I'm a cultural infidel,. believe in common sense. I'm a cultural infidel, love the present tense."
  • They may not be "appropriate" for someone of my age but blue jeans and funny T-shirts are just fine for me. I don't live in the past; I take what's best about today.

"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.
"Ain't it funny how we all turned out. I guess we are the people our parents warned us about."
  • My 20's were a blast and completely different from my life today. My values, lifestyle, choices, and mindset then would probably shock many of my friends now. But, I learned tolerance and the ability of maturity to work its magic.


Jimmy speaks to the parts of us that mean so much: treasuring our memories but not living in the past, staying active and full of dreams, and keeping the streak of non-conformist alive, if only in our mind. I wouldn't suggest we try to model our life to fit the image Jimmy projects. But, it is a fun escape with some life lessons tossed in.
  


18 comments:

  1. No island vacation is complete without Jimmy playing in the background! :-) My brother and SIL are Parrotheads and my stepson has rented an RV, hauled in sand, and done the beach scene at one of his concerts. I never did, but i love hearing about it. And his music just says warm weather vacation to me. Like you, I'm sure a lot of us look at our twenties with mixed fondness and hesitation to share details. LOL.

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    1. I still enjoy listening to Jimmy on occasion, though his overall message of irresponsibility and self-gratification isn't as appealing as it once was.

      That said, I wish lunch could last forever.

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  2. Jimmy Buffett really does have all the answers!!! We just have to be open enough to listen. And I totally agree – my wardrobe is Jeans and a tee shirt, and if that is not fancy enough, I don’t need to go and a baseball cap thrown in occasionally.

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  3. Although I was never a Parrothead, "Don't take yourself too seriously" was what I learned from Jimmy Buffet. It's been a good lesson that has served me well.

    We lived in Key West from 1986-88, and I worked right around the corner from where Jimmy had lived during his Key West days. He did a concert while we were there, to help raise funds to protect the Key West salt ponds from development. The tickets sold out in minutes (so we didn't get to go), and the day of the concert the traffic was backed way up the Keys. Back then Margaritaville was only a little shack down by the old Turtle Kraals, and you could get a Cheeseburger In Paradise fixed just like in the song. On display in the restaurant there was a copy of the letter Buffet had written back to a military academy that had cancelled his appearance because his music was "degenerate." His answer was pure Jimmy and VERY funny. There was a Margaritaville store too, a tiny little shop on Duval Street, but we all know the empire that came from that!

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    1. One of the highlights of one of our trips to Key West was having lunch at the restaurant Jimmy referred to in one of his songs: the Blue Heaven Cafe, complete with roosters roaming around the grounds.

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  4. Hi Bob! My husband and I have been huge fans of Jimmy for decades. And while we've only been to one of his concerts it was certainly one of our best. He is a great writer, and excellent businessman and knows how to make happy music that reminds us all of some of the better times in our lives. My favorite quote of his from all time, and one my husband and I have quoted ourselves is, "I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead." Thanks for the good reminders! ~Kathy

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    1. Betty and I have seen Jimmy twice in concert in Phoenix. I flew with my oldest daughter to see him in Denver,too, probably 25 years ago.

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  5. He is one of my faves! We've been to many of his concerts and, honestly, the parade of creativity in the parking lot is often more fun than the concert! One time a group showed up and parked together opening a '3 masted schooner'! It was amazing. And, everyone who goes is fun and happy to be around. His music immediately takes me to a sunny place!
    b

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    1. The Parrothead displays in the parking lot before a concert rival any game day event at an NFL game, but with more smiles. Inside the venue, to see 15,000 people "lean to the left, lean to the right" with hands like fins on their heads is quite a sight.

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  6. I believe he is building a retirement community in Florida called Margaritaville. Tempting!

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    1. It has opened, I think. It is always 5 O'clock somewhere!

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  7. Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant, LuLu's, on the Alabama Gulf Coast is awesome...lol

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  8. Jimmy Buffet is obviously rolling with the flow if he's developed a retirement community. Music has that ability to take the listener back in time. Yet I'm glad where I am now. As I sometimes say to my son - been there, bought the t-shirt(s). Buffet's music reminds me to put my holiday frame of mind on and relax at home.

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  9. At the risk of being the party scold.... once someone is 72 they have completed 7 decades a & are into their 8th decade..... feel older now?

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    1. ....Oh & btw for Buffett fans he often live streams his concerts now on youtube on his channel if you need a little pick-me-up some evenings.

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  10. I used to like Jimmy Buffet, until I found out he got paid who-knows-how-much to play at the infamous $2 million Roman-orgy birthday party Tyco ceo Dennis Kozlowski threw for his wife in Italy in 2001 -- not too long before Kozlowski was sent to prison. Sorry, but that soured me on Buffet's Margaritaville lifestyle.

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