Well, let’s just start off, right here, right now, with a confession:
Your RovingRaconteurs simply cannot pass a bookstore. Chain booksellers; independent bookstores; mom and pop operations; book corners within other stores, if books are sold, we will browse!!! Our most favorite store will have a café, although a coffee bar will do. But even the outdoor bookseller in Mumbai captured our attention!!!
And we mention this, why???
Because recently, we were browsing a bookstore and came across a special publication by Life Magazine celebrating Jimmy Buffett’s 75th birthday. We couldn’t resist!!! Had to buy and read this journal of accomplishments. No, we are not Parrotheads. Never have been. But after living in Hawaii during the 1970s. we were acquainted with the tropical/coastal vibe described in Buffett’s music. Originally called the Key West Sound, Buffett’s music reflects a tropical languor mixed with a blend of rock, reggae, and country. He and his Coral Reefers band combine guitar, percussion heavy with steel drums, keyboard, and even harmonica to create this distinctive sound, now known as Gulf & Western.
Jimmy Buffett’s career began in the 1960s while he was still in college and playing guitar in a Hattiesburg, MS pizza place. After graduating, he enhanced his musical skill and experience in New Orleans; eventually moving on to the country music scene in Nashville where he put his journalism degree to use working for Billboard magazine. He networked, made contacts, and formed friendships. He was young, ambitious, dedicated, and talented. His first album, Down to Earth, came out within the year. Two years later, he moved to Key West, FL and finally, in 1977, his seventh album, Changes in Latitudes; Changes in Attitudes topped the charts and introduced the hit song, Margaritaville. He was on his way to stardom!!!
Buffett won and expanded his fan-base through his many live concerts. His fans were devoted and loyal. They followed his stage performances. They bought his albums. By the 1980s, he was making far more money from his tours than his albums.
And Jimmy Buffett opened Margaritaville!!!
And exactly where do we find Margaritaville?
Ahh well, this is the fun part. Margaritaville is anywhere and everywhere!!! It’s all a state of mind.
Now the first Margaritaville gift shop opened in Key West, Fl. and was followed by the Margaritaville Café in 1987. That was only the beginning. Today, the Margaritaville empire includes restaurants, shops, bars, hotels, resorts, casino, rental cottages, RV camps, 55+ residential communities, a brewery, a radio station, a cruise ship, books, and of course—music!!!
Whew, Buffett has worked long and hard for his success. And yet he personifies that old saying, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” He managed to combine his beach-bum lifestyle with his desire to write and sing and entertain. And he created a whole new genre of music!!! Now, how cool is that!!!
It’s easy enough to get into the “Margaritaville” frame of mind: visit any facility (they are all over the planet and may be researched at Margaritaville.com); read a Jimmy Buffett book (he’s written 7 including two children’s books with his wife, Jane), 3 hitting #1 on the New York Times best-seller list; turn on a record or CD; then sit back and enjoy a frosty margarita!!!