This is going to take a while. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. So far, I’ve been doing both.
Before his death, I actually never realized how much of a Jimmy Buffett persona that I display to people. Hey, I’m just being me! But during Jimmy’s final Labor Day Weekend show, I learned that friends associate me with Buffett. I did kind of introduce a lot of them to Buffett, or certainly expanded their exposure to him, either by often playing his songs, quoting his lyrics in everyday conversations or going to concerts with them. To several friends, I’m the biggest Jimmy Buffett fan they know.
To me, I’m just living my life like a song. A Jimmy Buffett song.
Going to some 70 Buffett shows and organizing party buses to several of those certainly helped to create that aura. “The only person who has been to more Jimmy Buffett concerts than Kevin,” a friend once said, “is Jimmy Buffett!”
Of course, that’s not true. At what turned out to be Buffett’s last concert, San Diego in May 2023, I ran into a chum who was at his 200th Jimmy Buffett concert.
Still, every time I talk to or message someone, I think of another Jimmy Buffett story, another Buffett moment. Like the time I hosted a Jimmy Buffett party at a beach house in Manhattan Beach, converting a band from surf music into our version of the Coral Reefers, complete with the Coral Reeferettes in grass skirts (we went through seven kegs by the way, and there’s even more stories created from that day).
Or when real-life Coral Reefer Peter Mayer got me into Jimmy’s “secret” show at Margaritaville New Orleans before Jazz Fest (we met because a friend took photos for one of Peter’s albums).
Or when I tried and tried to get a New York girl on my party bus to a show only for her to follow us in her car and then get mad at me when she realized how much fun Buffett shows were and she couldn’t drink because she had to drive home.
Or when I formed a long-term friendship with a dad because I tried to pick up his daughter in a bar, using my upcoming Jimmy Buffett bus as bait. Turns out we all went to the concert together! She was the blonde stranger – actually The Blonde – who entered my life.
I am not the only person, by far, who has fond moments and memories because of Jimmy Buffett. But I don’t know how many of them have friends that associate them so closely with Jimmy. I’m certainly not going to change, because there’s someone to blame, tho maybe it’s my own damned fault.
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