Jimmy Buffett Live 2019

Jimmy Buffett Live 2019

Some years back, a marketing maven suggested that a successful business has to specify a target audience. With our increasingly litigious society, I’m unsure that I could break down my demographics in away that wouldn’t offend some group.

Most recently, and especially for “pride,” I was trying to figure a way to work in a rainbow flag of some sort, but I tend eschew any political kind of banner. But if I did? Rainbow is a safe bet as colors I would want to fly.

Looking around the people, as we arrived at the Jimmy Buffett show in Dallas? This was my proper demographic. There were couples with small children, looked like a two-year old already in tears before the show started, a baby in arms, and numerous old guys. Yes, mostly white, and mostly straight-ish, but then, a lot of guys in nothing but grass skirts and coconut bras. Buff dude in Daisy Dukes.

I would prefer a portion of my demographic to include a little more colorful options, but other than that? Yeah, my people. Can’t dance. Was repeatedly observed throughout the show.

Just, long pause, can’t dance.

No amount of alcohol would improve the dancing, but then, at a certain saturation point, who cares?

Jimmy Buffett Live 2019

As the music started, and the band filtered on stage, this was “Son of a Sailor Tour 2019,” which just makes it an extension of last year’s tour, the people watching was more colorful. Solid sets of music, intervening with an “Acoustic Set,” a medley on stage with less amplification. Adds a certain tone.

In fit of reverie, recalling the shows, listening to music, I started to wonder. It’s been a constant sound track for my life, over these last years, for a very long time. The beach music threaded with a touch of Texas, sort of country and pretty much genre-defying, but mostly happy music?

While it predates my love affair with bars and motorcycles, it played a part in that chapter of my life, more the music itself, back when there was an “Alt County” radio station that was more akin to our modern version of with its moniker, “Americana.” That station, those radio stations, they played “progressive country,” which is now known as Redneck Rock, but then, it was different. Most playlists included some of Jimmy Buffett’s deeper cuts — at the time.

It has been a constant soundtrack for my life. Life on the road, traveling, looking forward to landing at home again for few days, the constant drill of a troubadour astrologer, and then, “Beaches, ballads, and boats.”

Whether it’s coastal fishing, relaxing under a winter’s sky along the shoreline, or hot summer eves spent laconically casting a line in the lake water? The music wends its way back to some Jimmy Buffett tune.

A few weeks back, I ran into a buddy’s neighbor, and he asked if I had any trips planned. “Buffett, next weekend.”

Jimmy Buffett Live 2019

The guy — wired into a strata of the local scene — offered up a tidbit, “They’re opening a ‘Landshark’ on the river walk, across from Margaritaville, the old…” he paused, unable to recall what chain had previously occupied that space. I finished the sentence with the name of the restaurant that used to be there. For some people, that’s the singular connection.

But listening under the hot Texas summer stars, I realized, go deep in the performer’s collected works, and there are a couple of books, a broadway musical, and most important, dozens of albums with fresh, personalized soundtracks.

For me, indubitably, it is the music. Maybe sparse in the last few years, there have still been some albums release, and while a tenuous thread at best, pulling on it I realized that he covered at least three Grateful Dead songs, in the last couple of decades, and that holds deeper value. Symbolism, too.

Jimmy Buffett Live 2019

Unsure if it was intended or grew out of an organic love of the material itself, the “Parrot Heads” are a camp following like no other. Festooned with feathers, paint, the aforementioned grass skirts and coconut bras, the sheer insanity of the summer costumes, my collection of shirts pales in comparison.

Casual sales and a firm hand stewarding the branding, the songs have spun off restaurants, casinos, and bottles of liquor, a tequila brand, and I think, a beer. That all makes Jimmy Buffett one of the most recognizable names in the business. In his seventies, he still tours and sells out stadiums.

Not being much of a drinking man these days doesn’t inhibit sheer enjoyment and that emotional sense, tied to deep heartstrings, when certain opening chords play. It’s personal, but most of the oeuvre can serve, in one capacity or another, as sound tracks for portions of my life. From carefree, idyllic childhood scenes, forward through traumas and dramas of the current era, all has a backbeat, and allegory buried in the sands of a Jimmy Buffett song.

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