As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man
I have chalked up many a mile
Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks
And I learned much from both of their styles
Son of a Son of a Sailor
Without Buffett there probably wouldn’t be a blog called Screenwriting from Iowa. No blog, no Emmy. No blog, no shout-out from Tom Cruise’s website, etc, etc.
Buffett’s first hit was Come Monday back in 1974. I was 13-years old— peak time for discovering music. By the time I was sixteen I was well versed in his albums A1A, Living & Dying in 3/4 Time, Havana Daydreamin’, and Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes. By the time I left the University of Miami for film school in California I was already indoctrinated into Son of a Son of a Sailor, Volcano, and Coconut Telegraph and had already been to the Conch Republic and taken my first big road trip—to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
I’m not sure the first time I saw Buffett in concert, but I dug up an old file over the weekend and the first ticket stub goes back to ’78 at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. Probably seen him in concert at least 15 times. I took the concert photos above my senior year of high school in 1980 when Buffett opened for the Eagles at Tampa Stadium. (Back when we both had more hair, as you can see what I looked like back in the day with my hat and Buffett t-shirt.)
Lots of memories from outdoor concerts in Colorado (Red Rocks), California (The Greek Theater), Hawaii (Waikiki Shell) , and the most unusual indoor venue—the Jai-Alai Fronton in Casselberry, Florida during his Coconut Telegraph tour in ’81.
While his concerts are known to be quite a party, it was always the lyrics that drew me to Buffett. The stories. The people. The places.
He went to Paris, looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
He was impressive young and aggresive
Saving the world on his own
He went to Paris
For a kid that grew up on a dead-end street in Central Florida, Buffett opened up a world of curiosity, travel and adventure.
A world of Tony Lama boots, Carmen Miranda hats, Hemingway, John D. MacDonald, Key West, Aspen, Livingston, Montana, expatriates, Patsy Cline, Steve Goodman, Irma Thomas, manatees, sailing, steel drums, Paris, the Cafe Du Monde, Austin City Limits and a quest for paradise.
And there’s that one particular harbour
Sheltered from the wind
Where the children play on the shore each day
And all are safe within
Jimmy Buffett (written with Bobby Holcomb)
One Particular Harbour
If you only know of Buffett’s music by Margaritaville or It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere, check out this song of his that Bob Dylan once said he liked (Highway 61 Meets A1A);
P.S. Did you know that there is actually a Key West, Iowa.