“I want you to make me out to be some kind of a god. Deify me.” That’s what went with the fact that he could get me a ticket, at the last minute, on the front row. Just a single ticket, but still. To be honest, the lad doesn’t need any deification, tons of planets in Gemini, he does all right, just by himself.
The show was billed as “Jerry Jeff Walker & Mystery Guest,” but the mystery was leaked earlier in the week, hence my sudden desire for a ticket. Takes me way back to time left to memories. It was in a field, in East Texas, under a starry night, and I don’t recall if Jerry Jeff was on the bill, but I’m sure he was. First time I saw Jimmy Buffett. Just him and guitar, and that was many millions of albums ago.
Prior to the opening, a short video clip ran, among other luminaries, it included Willie Nelson, reciting something he remembered, “Jerry Jeff once told me, ‘We do it just like Williams Sr. except he left the stage to throw up.'”
The opening set Saturday night was just Jerry Jeff Walker and his pal, Jimmy Buffett, on stage, sitting there, swapping stories, strumming guitars and singing each other’s songs. Intimate like, a real treat. Being on the front row, I got to see, up close and personal, that Jimmy Buffett is really kind of short.
I think a highpoint, for me, was listening them do a duet of Buffett’s “Stories would could tell,” as that refrain is one that’s stuck in my mind over the years, especially in the last decade when I’ve been doing the ‘gypsy troubador’ thing myself.
As Jerry Jeff launched into another tale, he was interrupted by Jimmy, as Buffett made a remark, “There’s always a guy named Bubba.” I think that quote will be added to the data file. It’s useful.
They closed that first hour and half of picking and grinning with two of their all-time classics, “You know, neither one of these gets any radio play, but everyone knows the words….” Buffett did “Let’s get drunk and screw,” followed by Jerry Jeff’s “Pissing in the wind.” Buffett’s commentary on this duo of songs? “Can’t get any more white trash than this.”
In a nod towards more modern rock and roll aesthetics, in the second set, Jimmy and Jerry both launched themselves off of the chairs they’d been sitting on. When you’re dealing with aging rock stars, folks stars or whatever they are, I guess that fits. Pretty brave for some old men.
Throughout the show, allusions to ‘Margaritaville’ were plentiful. According to the legend bantered about, somebody named “Vicki” got Buffett drunk on margaritas for his first time, in Austin. The rest, as they say, is history.