I asked Buffett, why are you doing Margaritaville TV? You’ve been airing your concerts live on Radio Margaritaville on SiriusXM for the past 14 years. Now that you’re adding video, aren’t you giving away the milk and the cow for free now?
“It is a logical step,” he said. “I like technology. I think there’s a lot of people out there who would like to see our show but can’t. They might be in secondary markets, or they don’t want to put up with the hassle of coming to a show.”
Buffett has been doing fewer tours, with fewer shows in fewer cities in recent years. Which means fewer people get to see the concert in person.
“I didn’t know it was going to last this long, at this pace. If you do the math, we’re only doing about 20 shows this year. I still like doing it, but I’m also 67 years old. I’ve had a good run. I’ve got a lot of things that I want to do that don’t involve me being on the road. With Margaritaville TV, fans can watch the show now.”
Buffett isn’t worried that people may stay home and watch Margaritaville TV instead of buying tickets and coming to his concerts.
“Tonight’s show is on TV. But you still see people scalping tickets in the parking lot. It’s the law of supply and demand. There’s still a lot of demand for our shows.”
Jimmy Buffett is in Hawaii for a couple of shows and in an interview with the Star-Advertiser he reveals his next big project:
Buffett called in from an undisclosed location on Oahu as he was preparing for his Saturday concert here at the Waikiki Shell, relaxing for a few days.
» NEXT BIG PROJECT: A “Margaritaville” Internet TV channel that will allow thousands of his fans to watch his shows in real time on their computers. He already has a “Radio Margaritaville” following. Though he’ll turn 67 on Christmas Day, he said he’s a techie and loves social media.
Buffett hopes to go online in May; there will not only be concert broadcasts but “reality TV” stories of his and adventures. Check margaritaville.com.
In the interview, Jimmy squashed the idea of retiring any time soon:
A lot of people look at Jimmy Buffett and think “That’s what I want to do when I retire,” but it doesn’t seem like you’re looking to retire from being Jimmy Buffett.
You know, Willie Nelson came out maybe a month ago and played a club in Montauk. When I was a struggling songwriter in Nashville, Willie was one of the few people who cut a few of my songs. We played a few songs; I wanted to see what 80 looked like on stage, because I’m 66.
And we were talking about it, and Mickey Raphael, who’s played with him forever and who I’ve known forever, told me a story about how last year the band had a big meeting with Willie on the bus where they asked, “Look, you’re gonna be 80 here, and we’re wondering what we’ll be doing if you’re thinking about retiring.” And Willie looked at them and he said “From what?” [laughs] I got a license to carry marijuana, we’re playing music and traveling and seeing the country, the kids are grown and happy. Retire from what? And if that applies to Willie it sure as hell applies to me, because I’m still having a good time, I still enjoy the creative aspect I’m a junkie for applause. As long as I feel that then I’ll stay there.
Monday I had total access to Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band’s final rehearsal before their 2012 Lounging at the Lagoon tour starts in The Woodlands. The band began practicing two weeks ago in an empty warehouse near Austin. It was the first time an outsider was invited to a full-blown rehearsal. Here’s what I heard and saw.
Technicians and crew arrived around 9 a.m. The stage had been set up since the start of rehearsals. It is the stage that Buffett will take on the road. The warehouse, front to back, was turned into a concert venue, complete with props, soundboard, lighting and video production areas and upstairs catering. The only thing missing was an audience. The place was eerily quiet.
Bicycles were leaned against aisle railings. The crew needs bikes to get around. There was a portable golf driving range at the back of the house. Tuesday was a day off. It sounded like everybody was planning to play 18.
Although the floor and seats were empty, the warehouse was decked out for a packed concert. Chaise lounges and “Lounging at the Lagoon” signs were set up outside the entrances for fans’ photo opportunities. Pretty girls will be there to keep the line moving. The photo ops and chaise lounges were Buffett’s idea.
I learned that practically everything you see at a Jimmy Buffett concert was Buffett’s idea. He’s the boss, and everybody in the warehouse – 11 Coral Reefers, the lighting crew, six video technicians, four sound guys, two costume coordinators, two large security men, tour manager, accountant, IT wizard, Radio Margaritaville disc jockey, stage decorator and even the guy who runs onstage to hand guitars to Buffett – knows it. He’s Bubba.
The band began playing at 3:30 p.m. without Buffett. It did a jazzy song called “Give Henry the Receipt,” written and performed by backup singer Nadirah Shakoor, and dedicated to Buffett’s tour accountant Henry Rosquette. He was there, too.
Buffett arrived a few minutes later, wearing a white baseball cap, aviator sunglasses, white T-shirt, pink shorts and flip-flops. He headed straight to video production. The entrance was his idea, which has tricky special effects. He watched every inch of tape.
Buffett removed his cap and sunglasses, kicked off his flip-flops and climbed onstage at 4 p.m.
The video wall behind the band comprises 96 big-screen televisions. The stage is decorated to look like a lagoon. Buffett’s usual coconut trees are replaced by swamp grass and hanging cypress trees.
The rehearsal lasted about three hours, lengthened by cutting up between songs, Buffett banter and an occasional blooper. Buffett couldn’t get the beginning notes of “Jolly Mon” right, before realizing he had grabbed the wrong guitar.
Buffett wasn’t happy with the video that accompanied “Come Monday.” He told the video producer, “I have some newer video I shot last year in Montana on my bicycle and on a horse. Let’s use that. Trust me, it will work better.”
Be sure to read the full article here for more interesting tidbits.
Buffett takes the tour to Houston on Saturday for a show at the Woodlands.