Jimmy Buffett in Retrospect

Jimmy Buffett in Retrospect

My earliest, albeit relatively fuzzy, memory of Jimmy Buffett in concert was — I must’ve been early teens or something. He was at an outdoor music festival that celebrated a number of different kinds of music, but mostly “Progressive Country,” which — these days — sounds just like the new term, Americana.

“Same diff. Man.”

Sure, like, you know, what-ever.

Fins Up

Fins Up

The local PBS affiliate had a special on Jimmy Buffett and his music, especially his early material. I sort of watched the show. Between breaks that were pitches for people to send us dollars — for a place that doesn’t sell advertising, sure seemed like a lot of ads — between pitches for support? It was a sanitized, loving tribute to the early material Jimmy Buffett did. Mostly Nashville Country, and mostly he wasn’t happy with that.

On a CD that I bought for maybe two dollars at some remaindered, discount place, I got a couple of Jimmy Buffett’s early recordings, the C&W days, plus a short video done in El Paso, TX, for many years my second home. Buffett was complete with longish, blonde hair, guitar, and cowboy boots.

I wonder if it was Rosa’s Cantina?

I’m guessing that first show I saw was jeans and a pearl snap shirts, but I don’t know — can’t recall.

Jimmy Buffett in Retrospect

Listened to the music, and played the old hits right up until I saw him again, at a small, outdoor venue in the Phoenix area, maybe a dozen years later. I was in school at the time.

Seen him live, now in concert venues, a number of times since then. Sort of became a thing.

I still think Las Vegas is the best place to see the show. 50,000 white people exit the auditorium in a variety of undress, mostly intoxicated, and no one notices.

Jimmy Buffett in Retrospect

It was that first show, though, under the twinkling night sky of East Texas, the piney woods, the aroma of cheap weed drifting through the skies, and I think we ran out of long necks, with the only option being Busch in a can. Best I can recall, that night, when it was Buffett alone on stage, no Coral Reefer Band, just him and guitar, singing stories. Think “Come Monday” was already a radio hit by then. The rest is hazy.

I’ll say it’s the fog of time. First impressions can be important.


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