It’s Five O’clock Somewhere!!! Recalling Times Spent at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Walking Into a Bookstore

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!!!

Books for sale on a Mumbai street corner. This is just so amazing!!!


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. 

Life Magazine put out a special issue to celebrate Jimmy Buffett’s birthday, 12/25/46 (Christmas Day!!!)
This issue celebrates Buffett’s life and accomplishments.
Buffett’s big “breakout” song was Margaritaville, released on the album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” in 1977.

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!!! 

Jimmy Buffett has built an empire around his fabulous 1977 song, “Margaritaville”.

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.

No, now don’t jump to conclusions!! This is not us!! We were not there. This photo was taken at Ohio’s Timberwolf Amphitheater on June 28, 1985 when a publicity promotion of inflatable and stuffed parrots was introduced. The Parrotheads were born!!!

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!!! 

After the Chi-Chi’s restaurant chain tried, in 1983, to trademark “Margaritaville” as a drink special, Buffett sued for trademark infringement and won. Then immediately started to brand the Margaritaville name EVERYWHERE!!! He began with a T-shirt shop in 1984.
And then he opened the first Margaritaville Café in 1987. Here it is –still operating on Duval St. in Key West. FL. (Ecragg, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).
A new and revamped Margaritaville logo atop the first restaurant to open under the 1999 Margaritaville Holdings, Inc. partnership of Buffett and John Cohlan at CityWalk Universal in Orlando, FL.
(Miosotis Jade, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.)
The Margaritaville in New Orleans is the very first one we ever visited. Most assuredly, we had a good time!!! (MusikAnimal, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Margaritaville, Grand Turk in the British West Indies
Margaritaville in Pier Park Mall, Panama City Beach, FL
Margaritaville in GeorgeTown, Grand Cayman Island.
All Margaritaville Cafes are not alike. This is not the most attractive one. But look! It has a pool!
And all Margaritavilles serve—MARGARITAS!!! Ahh, our drinks arrived!
The Margaritaville Resort and Marina in Key West, FL.
One of the newest resort hotels, along with a Landshark Bar & Grill, is located in Times Square, New York City. (Photo from Margarita Resort Times Square website)
The bar at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafe in Key West, FL.
An Air Margaritaville bar-stand in the arrival area of Cancún International Airport. (Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)
A Margaritaville Shop, Grand Turk
Latitude Margaritaville, a 55+ community in Daytona Beach, FL…..
……where they’re selling the good life!!!
Landshark Beer (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.)
The Margaritaville-at-Sea ship, PARADISE, will join the ranks of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville offerings in the Spring of 2022. (This image was photographed from the Margaritaville Resorts website:
Jimmy Buffet has written 7 books. Not to mention the many books written about him!!! Tales From Margaritaville was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 7 months when published in 1989. (Photo is of the book for sale on Amazon.)
Album cover of Songs You Know By Heart; Jimmy Buffet’s Greatest Hit(s)
And he’s still touring. Here, he’s entertaining the troops in 2016 for the 7th Fleet FLEACT in Yokosuka, Japan. As a matter of fact, his 2022 tour schedule was just announced! You can find it at (POI Peter Burghart USN, Public Domain)

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!!!

This is his life!!! The caption says it all!!!

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; 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!!!           

Margarita on the rocks with salt. Buffett was drinking a frozen Margarita in Austin, Texas when he began to write THE song. He finished the song in Key West. Is this where the phrase Salt Life came from?

While you chill,

we’ll go looking for that lost shaker of salt!!!

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