Jimmy Reflects on Passing of Jim Harrison

posted April 2nd, 2016 at 11:10 pm

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by Josh Martin

In an interview in Men’s Journal, Jimmy Buffett reminisces on his good friend, the late Jim Harrison.

On Sunday Jim Harrison, the brash, uncompromising author of more than 30 books passed away while writing at his cabin in Patagonia, Arizona. Lifelong friend Jimmy Buffett, who first met Harrison in the 1970s, remembers the good times.

On Hearing of His Death

The first thing that I did when I learned that he died, I went out and jumped on my paddleboard and paddled out to jump in the water — just started swimming around. I had to go jump in the water to try to make sense of it all. When something like that happens, you just start thinking about so much, because we did so much together, you know. You’re just hoping that you can remember the best things about somebody that good.

On the Making of the Documentary Tarpon

There are so many funny things we did that people never knew about. One time, we worked on this Tarpon movie together, a fishing documentary from the ‘70s. Basically, we had no fucking idea what we were doing at the time, starting with the script. [Director] Guy de la Valdene had all the money and sent a crew that was all French. I speak French now, but I didn’t at the time, so there was a huge communication issue. So we’re in the Keys and taking out boats with [poet] Richard Brautigan and [novelist] Tom McGuane. It really captured the Key West of the ‘70s. It’s sort of a treasure today.

But we didn’t really get paid for it. I wrote the music and Harrison was going to do the narration. And so, they said they’d give us a ticket and we could live at Guy’s family’s castle on the outskirts of Paris, and we’d work in town. So I told Guy, I said, “Don’t call me before you’re down to, like, six hours of footage, because I really can’t do anything until it’s down to that.” When we arrive, the house looks like a castle or something out of a movie, with a boat and everything. Jim had to go in earlier than us to work on narration, and came back out to the castle in the afternoon and he went, “Jesus Christ, you’re not going to believe this.” And I said, “What?” And he said, “Well they got it wrong, they don’t speak fucking English. They thought you said 60 hours!” And I went, “What?!” He said, “Yeah, they said, ‘Jimmy said call us when we’re down to 60 hours.’ ” And I went, “Holy shit.”

Read the full interview at Men’s Journal.


Tagged in Interviews, Personal/Family

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