In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Jimmy Buffett reveals that he’s planning to take some time off:
“I’m not working as much as I used to work. I turn 70 this year, and I’m going to take some time off and enjoy myself. I have some other projects in mind, though. I’ll be doing things and bringing a camera along to take fans places that aren’t so easy for them to get to,” he said.
The rest of the article is a good read and includes a wrap of the Houston Show on Saturday night, how he came up with the “I Don’t Know” name for the tour, and how he got Jeff Bridges to voice a talking cartoon coconut:
“We always have a meeting when a tour ends to start planning the next one. ‘OK, now what are we going to do?’ We were joking around, and everybody kept saying, ‘I don’t know.’ It got humorous and we just followed that trail,” he said.
Buffett is letting fans help create the concert set list this year. They can go online and vote for songs they want him to play. The catch: Fans can only request songs that Buffett hasn’t performed live in the past 10 years.
“I’m liking what they’re picking,” Buffett said. “They’re voting for some interesting things. We did ‘Barefoot Children in the Rain’ in Atlanta. I’m still tweaking how to get more of those songs in the show.”
For Houston, Buffett played “In the Shelter,” a song originally recorded in 1971. It’s as far back as Buffett goes.
OK, that’s one song. There are nine songs – the hits like “Margaritaville,” “Come Monday,” “Volcano” and “Fins” – that he has to play or fans would revolt.
That leaves 654 more songs on his jukebox according to buffettnews.com, the mind-boggling compendium of Buffett facts and figures.
How does he pick and choose?
“I can’t tell you that … that’s part of the mystery,” he said.
“Without rehearsing, we can do 105 songs. That gives me a lot of room to move around and call audibles. I still read crowds to see what would work that night.”
Another twist for this year’s tour: a talking cartoon coconut that kibitzes with Buffett throughout the concert. The voice behind the coconut: Jeff Bridges. How’d that happen?
“I asked him, that’s how,” Buffett said. “We’re old friends. The coconut needed a voice. So I asked Jeff and he said yes. Warren Buffett once told me, ‘Ask for what you want, but be prepared for somebody to say no.’ Well, Jeff didn’t say no.”