Whether it’s margaritas, Parrotheads, pirates, lagoons, Land Sharks, Key West or “Changes in Latitudes,” the Jimmy Buffett universe comes packed with songs, images, brands, books and even a couple of restaurants.
Before the “Margaritaville” man hits Omaha with a sold-out concert on Saturday, we decided to dive into the crystal-blue ocean of Jimmy Buffett stuff. We’re offering insight into the history, music, novels and other paraphernalia in the world of the island-hopping singer-songwriter and his fans.
Learn the lingo
Parrotheads (Buffett fans)
Legend has it that Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit coined the term while playing with Buffett's Coral Reefer Band in 1985. At an Arizona concert, Buffett and Schmit noted that many fans wore Hawaiian shirts and hats with parrots on them, and that — like Deadheads — many of their fans came to show after show. Schmit dubbed them "Parrotheads."
This one word, the name of his 1977 song about "booze in the blender," is the face of Buffett's entire empire, including drink mixes, food, restaurants, casinos, greatest hit albums, his official website, clothing, furniture and tons more. You may have seen Margaritaville chicken wings, chips, salsa, hummus and seafood at the grocery store. There's even a Margaritaville drink mixer that makes margaritas, daiquiris and other "frozen concoctions that help (you) hang on," as he sings in the song. "Margaritaville" is Buffett's only No. 1 hit.
"Cheeseburger in Paradise"
What's on the singer's favorite cheeseburger, as identified in the 1978 song? Lettuce, tomato, Heinz 57, kosher pickle and served with french fries and a cold draft beer. You can order one at Cheeseburger in Paradise, Buffett's restaurant chain. In Omaha, it's at Village Pointe.
The Coral Reefer Band
Buffett's longtime band has some consistent players such as band director Michael Utley and songwriter, producer and guitarist Mac McAnally. Former members include Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles and singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, who's most famous for writing "Mr. Bojangles."
One of Buffett's most popular songs, this tune is one of the “big eight,” tunes that he has played at almost every concert.
“Come Monday” was Buffett's first-ever top 40 single. He wrote it for his wife while he was on the road. They've been married since 1977.
“Fins up!” is the call that goes out to Buffett fans when “Fins” comes up in his set. “You got fins to the left, fins to the right,/and you're the only bait in town.”
“A Pirate Looks at Forty”
This 1974 song is a bittersweet look at the first 40 years of the character in the song.
“Son of a Son of a Sailor”
This song is Buffett's ode to sailing the seven seas.
“Cheeseburger in Paradise”
(See definition on Page 1E)
“Why Don't We Get Drunk”
Buffett used to perform this lewd tune at every show. Maybe he's given up on the two vices it describes. Or maybe he's just tired of the song.
“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”
With its eponymous track and “Margaritaville,” Buffett's 1977 album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” was his breakthrough. It went as high as No. 2 on the country charts and No. 12 among all albums.
“It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere”
One of Buffett's biggest hits ever is actually this Alan Jackson tune, on which he appears at the end to sing the chorus a couple times.
Another term for “Parrotheads,” Land Sharks are named after Buffett's song, “Fins.”
In 1999, Buffett started his own record label, Mailboat Records. He releases his material on the label as well as music from Def Leppard, Jeff Bridges, Bret Michaels, Poison, Chris Isaak and Aerosmith's Joe Perry.
In 1996, Jamaican police shot at Buffett and his plane, Hemisphere Dancer. The police believed the plane was running drugs, though they were mistaken. No one was injured. Buffett chronicled the incident in “Jamaica Mistaica,” which appeared on his album, “Banana Wind.”
This 2006 film is about a young man who fights to protect endangered owls. Buffett appeared in the film and wrote songs for it, but that didn't save it. The film was a flop, doing $8 million at the box office on a $15 million production budget, according to boxofficemojo.com.
Jerry Jeff Walker drove Buffett to Key West in 1971 and Buffett ended up moving there. It was then that he switched from his country/western and folk roots to his beach bum, tropical take on country.
“Down to Earth”
Buffett signed with Barnaby Records in Nashville and recorded his debut album, “Down to Earth,” but the folk rock album initially only sold a few hundred copies when it was released in 1970.
The latest album from Buffett has been called one of his best in recent years. It hit No. 2 on the rock albums chart.
This song from the Buffett buddies in the Zac Brown Band was a No. 1 country hit. It features Buffett singing a verse and a duet on the bridge.
“Hey Good Lookin'”
Buffett recorded this tune — a Hank Williams classic — with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait in 2004.
“Where Is Joe Merchant?”
Buffett's writing doesn't only extend to songs and his autobiography. He's also penned a handful of novels including “Where Is Joe Merchant?,” which follows character Frank Bama trying to locate a rock star. The novel spent months on the New York Times bestseller list.
Save the Manatee Club
Buffett co-founded this nonprofit group that helps protect endangered manatees.
“Lounging at the Lagoon”
Buffett has named every yearly tour since 1976, including this year's “Lounging at the Lagoon Tour.” Some of our favorite names are 1999's “Beach House on the Moon Tour,” 1976's “A Pink Crustacean Tour” and 1980's “A Hot Dog and Road Map Tour.”
“Pencil Thin Mustache”
A song looking at the stuff of pop culture during Jimmy Buffett's childhood — the ‘50s and ‘60s.
“One Particular Harbour”
Buffett's 13th album and its eponymous single, “One Particular Harbor,” hit No. 22 on the adult contemporary chart in 1983.
“A Pirate Looks at Fifty”
Released in 1998, the autobiography chronicles Buffett's life up until his 50th birthday. It hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for the week of July 5, 1998.
Produced with Anheuser Busch, this beer is dubbed an “island-style lager.” It also inspired a name change for Miami's Dolphin Stadium to Land Shark Stadium for part of the 2010 National Football League season. It's now Sun Life Stadium.
Singing for Change
This Buffett charity donates to community-based nonprofit organizations that focus on children, familes and the environment.
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