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.”
Soon you’ll be able to waste away on Buffett Beach in Pascagoula, Mississippi:
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant wasn’t wasting away any time signing a bill to honor Jimmy Buffett.
The beach just blocks from the musician’s childhood home in Pascagoula will now carry his name. City leaders said they want the world to know they are proud that the famous singer-songwriter was born in Pascagoula. They say putting Buffett’s name on the beach would boost the city’s tourism market.
Officials told us previously they hope to hold the dedication ceremony for Buffett Beach on May 6, 2017. The city already dedicated a bridge to the singer in September 2015.
Recently North Carolina passed into law a “religious freedom” bill that essentially legalizes discrimination against the LGBT community. Several corporations, sports leagues, and entertainers have criticized the legislation. Paypal canceled plans to expand its campus in Charlotte and Bruce Springsteen canceled a show in the state because of the law.
Jimmy Buffett has two shows scheduled in North Carolina later this month. He released a statement this morning criticizing the “stupid law” but saying that the shows will go on:
As a traveling musician for 40 years, I played many shows years ago, in many states where you could go to prison for 20 years for smoking a joint. It was a stupid law based on stupid assumptions. Time has fortunately reversed a lot of that way of thinking. But now another stupid law, based on stupid assumptions, has sprung up like kudzu in North Carolina, where we are scheduled to play shows next week in Raleigh and Charlotte.
North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.
That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
The Mississippi State House has already passed a bill to name the Pascagoula beach after Jimmy Buffett, and now the State Senate has followed suit:
Now, a bill moving through the state legislature combines George’s love of Buffett and the beach. The measure would rename the three-mile stretch of sand in Pascagoula “Buffett Beach”.
City leaders say the move would put Pascagoula on the tourism map.
“I want them to Google “Buffett Beach” and for Pascagoula to pop up on the map, and for us to be on Google Earth and everybody say, ‘Oh man, we need to go check that out.’ That would be really exciting for us,” said Steinberger.
Many agree renaming the beach just blocks from Buffett’s childhood home would be a fitting tribute to a native son who never forgot his roots.
“I think it’d be awesome. I think it would be great for the town,” said Laurie Lambard of Pascagoula.
If the bill becomes law, the city hopes to hold the dedication ceremony on May 6, 2017. May 6 is “Jimmy Buffett Day” in Pascagoula, and also his parents’ wedding anniversary.
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.
Jimmy Buffett and his wife Jane were once again spotted at the Vanity Fair Oscars party on Sunday:
photo AFP / Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez
The Buffetts attended last year and in 2013 too.