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Shuttle Crew Prepares For Spacewalk With Buffett Song

posted February 13th, 2008 at 10:49 am

by Josh Martin

The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis awoke Wednesday morning to Buffett’s song “Oysters and Pearls.”

The crew began preparing for the spacewalk after waking up to Jimmy Buffett’s “Oysters and Pearls,” which opens with lyrics about Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

It was played for Atlantis’ pilot, Alan Poindexter, who will coordinate Wednesday’s spacewalk from inside the station.

“We’re looking forward to a great day on orbit and a great (spacewalk) and having Rex and Hans out the door here real soon,” Poindexter said.

It’s not the first time that the shuttle Atlantis has hosted Buffett’s music. On September 16th, 2006 the Atlantis crew awoke to Buffett’s “Twelve Volt Man.”

Tagged in In The News

Asheville Cheeseburger In Paradise Closes

posted February 12th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

1 Comment »
by Josh Martin

The three year old Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina has closed, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times:

“The closure is a prudent business decision for us at this time, but we would like to serve our loyal Asheville customers again at some point in the future,” Matt Wissman, joint venture partner of Cheeseburger in Paradise in the North Carolina area, said in a press release. “On behalf of all of us at the restaurant, we want to express our appreciation to the Asheville community for their patronage over the past years.”

Wissman said the company will work with employees “to re-locate them to one of the other company restaurants in the area.” Cheeseburger in Paradise is a subsidiary of OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, which also owns Outback Steakhouses.

Buffett played a benefit show there on January 11th, 2005 to celebrate the grand opening. The event raised $96,000 for Eblen Charities, whose programs serve thousands of Western North Carolinians.

Cheeseburger in Paradise was founded in August 2002 and is owned by Outback Steakhouse, under a license from Buffett. The “island fantasy” concept features colorful cocktails and live music as well as Key West-style architecture and decor that offer customers an escape from the daily grind.

In 2005, Jimmy Buffett sold his holdings of the chain to Outback Steakhouse, Inc., who previously held a 50% share in the chain. Outback pays a royalty of 4.5 percent of restaurant sales to Buffett.

To find locations and get other information, visit the official homepage of Cheeseburger In Paradise here.

Tagged in Business Empire, Charitable Causes, In The News

Panama City Margaritaville To Open In Early March

posted February 8th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

by Josh Martin

Construction is rolling at Pier Park in Panama City, Florida and Jimmy Buffett’s latest Margaritaville Cafe is scheduled to open the first week of March.

Several restaurants and small specialty shops will be opening as soon as next week on Valentine’s Day. By the end of the month, thirty to thirty-five other stores are expected to open including Ron Jon’s Surf Shop on February 22nd.

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is scheduled to open the first week of March.

Pier Park is a 900,000 square foot retail and entertainment lifestyle center located on 93 acres that covers land from Front Beach Road (at the City Pier) to the heavily traveled Highway 98 (Back Beach Road).

Margaritaville was originally supposed to be open in time for the Pier Park grand opening on February 14th.

Read the entire article here, which includes a list of all stores and restaurants that will be located in Pier Park. Also, check out WJHG.com for a video detailing the progress of Pier Park (scroll through the small icons in the player to find the story). NewsHerald.com also has some video.

Learn more about Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafes and other business ventures in our Buffett’s Business Empire section.

Tagged in Business Empire, In The News, Margaritaville Cafes

Article On Buffett’s Former Pilot

posted February 6th, 2008 at 10:27 am

by Josh Martin

The Palm Beach Post has an article on Jimmy Buffett’s former pilot Randy Leslie, who was let go by Buffett a year and a half ago and died in December: “Did Buffett Botch Jamaica Pilot’s Exit?”

“Randy said to me about a year and a half ago: ‘They’re retiring me!’ He didn’t seem to know why,” said contract pilot Jon Norkus, who also worked for Buffett. “He was disappointed that Jimmy didn’t talk to him about it. It was handled by an underling.

Palm Beacher Jimmy Buffett is accused by several friends of his longtime pilot and party accomplice, Randy Leslie, of turning a blind eye to Leslie’s ouster after 15 years.

Leslie entered Margaritaville lore when the Buffett seaplane he was piloting was fired on by Jamaican police who mistook Leslie and his boss for drug runners. The incident inspired the tune Jamaica Mistaica.

“Randy loved his job, but employers love younger pilots. They work longer hours than we do.”

Leslie had recently started flying again when, on Dec. 6, he died during emergency brain surgery.

Yet, says another friend of Leslie’s, Buffett eventually came through.

“He visited Randy’s widow the morning of the celebration (at DuBois Park in Jupiter) and told her he’d start a trust fund for the education of their son,” said Kelly Bergel.

“Jimmy intentionally didn’t attend anything that was public because he didn’t want the focus on him. He didn’t want to draw any attention away from Randy.

“When he left Jimmy’s employ, Randy was taken care of. He got a nice pension and got paid for six months. I never heard Randy talk ill of Jimmy. He was a fan as much as his employee, and we played Jimmy’s music during the celebration.

“Believe me, working for a celebrity isn’t all it’s made out to be. You miss a lot of birthdays.”

Someone in Leslie’s entourage who declined to be named said Buffett told the widow, Terri, he now wishes he had handled the firing differently.

Read the entire article here.

Also, learn more about Buffett’s seaplane here and about the Jamaica Mistaica incident here.

Tagged in Aviation, In The News, Personal/Family

Ticket Brokers Reporting April 28th Concert In Frisco, Texas

posted February 5th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

by Josh Martin

Multiple ticket broker sites are reporting today that Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will perform at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas (suburb of Dallas) on Monday, April 28th. Buffett played there last year on the same date, though the 28th fell on a Saturday then.

Ticket sites listing the date:

Keep in mind that this date is not confirmed. When we do get confirmation, you’ll find it first here at Buffett World. We expect tour dates to be officially announced by Margaritaville.com or Ticketmaster within the next couple of weeks.

Sign up for e-mail updates here and you’ll get the Tour Dates delivered to your inbox shortly after we hear about them.

(Tip o’ the hat to Dawgfan for passing this info along)

UPDATE: The actual date has been confirmed for Saturday, April 26th. See this post for details.

Tagged in Tour Dates

7 Year Anniversary Of Buffett’s Ejection From Heat Game

posted February 4th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

1 Comment »
by Josh Martin

Seven years ago today Jimmy Buffett was ejected from a Miami Heat game for swearing at referee Joe Forte, who didn’t even know who Buffett was. Jimmy is a season ticket holder and regularly attends Heat games.

After the game, referee Joe Forte said that he ordered the singer moved during the fourth quarter because “there was a little boy sitting next to him (Buffett’s son Cameron) and a lady sitting by him. He used some words he knows he shouldn’t have used.”

However, Forte apparently didn’t know who he’d just removed from the arena. Heat coach Pat Riley tried to explain who Buffett was to Forte and was censured himself because the referee thought Riley was insulting him by asking if he’d ever been a “Parrothead,” the nickname for Buffett’s loyal fans.

In the days after, Buffett appeared in various media, including the Today Show. In one interview, Buffett mentioned that he was more upset that some news outlets reported that Cameron was actually his grandson, not his son.

In a Q&A with Sports Illustrated, Buffett recanted the incident:

I got tossed for yelling at a game by referee Joe Forte. It was a big international incident (laughs). I’d say it’s nothing I had not heard from the bench or people around me. Yeah, my son was next to me and I apologized to him first. It was a bad call. It still is a rotten call! John Starks clobbered Tim Hardaway. It was a close game. I just said you stupid, mother——, that is the worst call I ever heard. People yell all the time but he turned at me. Normally, referees do not make eye contact. So while he did not come over to me, he told the local security guard. By then the crowd was getting into it. Pat Reilly was on the bench, asking ‘They are kicking you out of the game? Alonzo was like: Sit down. You stay there. I told the security guard. This is probably not a good idea. Then they came to me and said they would give the Heat a technical foul. So I said, Okay, I’ll go.

Read more about Buffett’s ejection, along with other Incidents in Jimmy’s life, here.

Tagged in In The News, Personal/Family


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