Monday, December 25, 2006

A Pirate Looks At Sixty. Happy Birthday Jimmy Buffett!

Jimmy was born on Christmas, 1946. The below info is borrowed from

Early life

The son of James Delaney "J.D." Buffett Jr. and Mary Loraine "Peets" Buffett, Buffett grew up along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay[1]. He graduated high school from McGill Institute for Boys (now McGill-Toolen Catholic High School) in Mobile, Alabama in 1964. He began playing guitar during his college years at Auburn University and The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1969. Although a pledge of Sigma Pi (S?) at Auburn, he was initiated into the fraternity Kappa Sigma (?S) at the University of Southern Mississippi. He later married his first wife, Margie Washichek, at Spring Hill College in Mobile. After graduating from college, Buffett worked as a correspondent for Billboard magazine in Nashville.


Buffett began his musical career in Nashville during the late 1960s as a country artist and recorded his first album, the folk rock Down to Earth, in 1970. During this time Buffett could be frequently found busking for tourists in New Orleans. Country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker took him to Key West on a busking expedition. Buffett then moved to Key West and began establishing the easy-going beach bum persona for which he is known.

Buffett's third album was the 1973 A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean. Havana Daydreamin' appeared in 1976, followed by 1977's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, which featured the breakthrough hit song "Margaritaville".

During the 1980s, Buffett made far more money off his tours than albums and became known as a popular concert draw. He released a series of albums during the following twenty years, primarily to his devoted audience, and also branched into writing and merchandising. In 1985, Buffett opened the first of the "Margaritaville" restaurants in Key West, bringing new visibility and life to the Margaritaville name.

Two of the more out-of-character albums were Christmas Island, a collection of holiday songs, and Parakeets, a collection of Buffett songs sung by children and containing "cleaned-up" lyrics (like "a cold root beer" instead of "a cold draft beer").

In 1997, Buffett collaborated with novelist Herman Wouk to create a short-lived musical based on Wouk's novel, Don't Stop the Carnival. Broadway showed little interest in the play, so it instead ran for six weeks in Miami. He released the soundtrack for the musical in 1998.

In 2003, he partnered in a partial duet with Alan Jackson for the song "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," a number one hit on the country charts.

Buffett's album, License to Chill, released on July 13, 2004, sold 238,600 copies in its first week of release according to Nielsen SoundScan. With this, Buffett topped the U.S. pop albums chart for the first time in his three-decade career.

Buffett continues to tour throughout the year although he has shifted recently to a more relaxed schedule of around 20-30 dates, and rarely on back-to-back nights, preferring to play only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, thus the title of his 1999 live album Buffett Live — Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. Purchasing tickets is difficult with most of his concerts selling out in minutes.

Buffett owns or licenses the Margaritaville Cafe and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chains. He loves baseball and was part-owner of two minor league teams: the Fort Myers Miracle and the Madison Black Wolf. Between his restaurants, album sales, and tours, he earns an estimated 60-70 million a year.

In 2006, Buffett plans a cooperative project with the Anheuser-Busch brewing company to produce his own beer called Lone Palm named for a song from his 1994 album Fruitcakes. The label of the beer bottle will most likely feature a pirate's map. The seaplane airport at the Orlando Margaritaville Cafe is also called Lone Palm.

In June of 2006, Buffett produced, soundtracked (5 songs), and had a small role in the New Line family film Hoot, directed by Wil Shriner and based on the book by Carl Hiassen. While not a big hit, Hoot was a critical success and garnered an award from the Film Advisory Board.

In August 2006, he released "Bama Breeze," the first track on the album Take The Weather With You. The Bama Breeze is a fictional tavern (the physical location actually being the Firedog Saloon in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi) symbolic of all the hometown bars destroyed in Alabama during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Another song on the album, "Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On," refers to 2005's Hurricane Katrina. He pays tribute to Merle Haggard with his rendition of "Silver Wings" and collaborates with Mark Knopfler in the track, "Whoop De Doo."


Buffett has written 3 No. 1 best sellers. Tales from Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant? both spent over seven months on the New York Times Best Seller fiction list. His book A Pirate Looks At Fifty went straight to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller non-fiction list, making him one of seven authors in that list's history to have reached No. 1 on both the fiction and non-fiction lists. The other six authors who have accomplished this are Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Styron, Irving Wallace, Dr. Seuss and Mitch Albom. He also co-wrote two children's books, Jolly Mon and Trouble Dolls, with his eldest daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett.

His latest book, A Salty Piece of Land, was released on November 30, 2004, and included a CD single of the same title. The book was a New York Times best seller soon after its release.


  • While he was at Auburn University, Buffett was a pledge of Sigma Pi Fraternity, but left Auburn before he was initiated.
  • He is a regular visitor to the Caribbean island of Saint Barts and other islands where he gets inspiration for many of his songs and some of the characters in his books.
  • Buffett has been instrumental in the work of the Save the Manatee Club.[1]
  • He is friends with legendary investor Warren Buffett and they suspect that they are distant cousins, but they have not been able to document this. (Wall Street Journal, 5/2/2005)
  • Buffett appears on a Phish tribute album called Sharin in the Groove, where he performed the band's "Gumbo" (which references a gun-slinging parrot) with Lamont Berry of Chicago, Illinois. He also performed Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl in concert with Phish in 1995.
  • Buffett wrote the music for and appears in the 1975 movie Rancho Deluxe. The movie was written by his brother-in-law, author Tom McGuane.
  • Buffett has had cameos in several movies, including Repo Man as "Additional Blond Agent", Congo as a pilot, a pirate in Hook and in a cameo in Cobb. Additionally, he and his music appear in the 2006 release Hoot.
  • Buffett appeared in the May 13, 1978, episode of Saturday Night Live. He also wrote and performed the theme song to the short-lived 1993 CBS television series Johnny Bago.
  • An avid pilot, Jimmy Buffett owns several planes including a Grumman HU-16 "Albatross". The plane, named "Hemisphere Dancer", is currently parked next to his Margaritaville restaurant in Orlando, Florida. Previously it could sometimes be seen on the ramp at Princess Juliana International Airport (IATA identifier SXM, ICAO identifier TNCM) in nearby Saint Maarten while he was in the area. This is the plane Buffett was flying during the incident recounted in the song "Jamaica Mistaica" on the album Banana Wind. While in Jamaica on January 16, 1996, Buffett's plane was shot at by Jamaican police. The "Hemisphere Dancer" had been carrying Buffett, U2's Bono, and Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, but they were not onboard at the time. Police suspected it was smuggling drugs. No one was hurt, although there were a few bullet holes in the plane. Buffett's company has since licensed use of the name Margaritaville to several restaurants in Jamaica, in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, where the "Jamaica Mistaica" incident took place.
  • Buffett was hired to sing for Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski at a party on the Island of Sardinia. The local news showed a video of him singing at the extravagant Roman toga party. Horatio Sanz impersonated Buffett on SNL after the incident, alleging he "smoked dope with Hulk Hogan."
  • On November 23, 2004, Buffett raised USD$3.4 million at his "Surviving the Storm" Hurricane Relief Concert in Orlando, Florida to provide relief for hurricane victims in Florida, Alabama and the Caribbean affected by the four major hurricanes that year. He has donated $500,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief so far.
  • Buffett wrote the sound-track for, co-produced and acted in the film version of Hoot which focuses on issues important to him, such as conservation.
  • On February 4, 2001, he was ejected from a Miami Heat/New York Knicks game for yelling profanities at referee Joe Forte.
  • Buffett sang for President Bill Clinton on the White House south lawn for his birthday in the year 2000. [2]
  • Buffett owns a super yacht that goes by the name "The Last Coconut", with which he frequents the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • Buffett is mentioned in The Offspring song "Mota" as one of the things the singer finds more enjoyable while taking drugs.
  • Current members of Buffett's Coral Reefer Band include saxophonist Amy Lee.
  • In September of 2005, Buffett became the first musician to stage a concert at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
  • Tom Corcoran shot photographs for seven of Buffett's album covers, as well as cowrote the hits "Fins" and "Cuban Crime of Passion".
  • In 1978, the University of Southern Mississippi renovated its Student Union Building. A time capsule, found over a telephone booth, contained a picture of Buffett and several of his fraternity brothers wearing dresses. (The Student Printz, Oct., 1978)[citation needed]
  • Some of Buffett's 1976 Havana Daydreamin' albums are misprinted with two versions of "Woman Going Crazy on Caroline Street", a song that may be titled "Please Take Your Drunken Fifteen Year Old Girlfriend Home", and are missing the song listed on the cover and on the album label as "Defying Gravity"

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