|Jimmy Buffett performing before his loyal "Parrothead" fans. Photo-Wikipedia, public domain|
Last night, I got to hear Jimmy Buffett play in Chicago. It was a super show and he gave us our money's worth, playing for over two hours. For those of you who are not familiar with Buffett's music, he's built a career, an empire really, around songs about sailing, the beach and generally having a good time. He's clearly mellowed in recent time (the man's going to be 70 on Christmas Day 2016) but still can put on a heck of a show.
I'm endeavoring to keep my blogs shorter, so I'll skip the bio about Buffett. I have some links below about him, including the legions of fans he has, known as "Parrotheads." Esquire magazine referred to Parrotheads years ago as, "...Deadheads with MBAs." That is pretty accurate.
I have to credit my friend Dave for turning me onto Buffett back in college. I've seen him perform probably a half-dozen times and always have a good time. I hardly ever go to concerts anymore so yesterday was a treat. Adding to the fun was getting to hang out with friends. One I've known since kindergarten, another since high school, and the rest since frosh year of college. These were guys I hung out with ALL the time back in the day and now, not so much. I miss seeing these guys and sitting around before the concert reminiscing was time well spent. We told stories that are decades old and they still guarantee a laugh. You know it's a good time when you're fighting for air 'cause you're laughing so hard.
A Jimmy Buffett show is many things: It's folks in costumes and loud shirts. It's fun music and a celebration of a good time. Yet it is also a mass reunion. I caught sight of more than one multi-generational family taking in the show. That's really not such a stretch if you consider that Buffett's been putting out music since the 70s. True, some of his lyrics are less than "G-rated." However, he puts on the show in such a way that, in my opinion, any of the "adult" material is glossed over by flying beach balls in the crowd.
One song that Buffett did not play was, "Tonight I Just Need My Guitar." It's a tune that sums up where Buffett is in his life and career. It's a beautiful song. Here are the lyrics:
"Tonight I Just Need My Guitar"
"Gulf coast nights, flounder lights
I'm back on the Eastern shore
With my history of wrecks
I think It's time to check
The crab trap of life once more
Need is a relative thing these days
It borders on desire
The high tech world is full of bright shiny things
We think that we really require
Sometimes more than others
You see who and what and where You are
I'm a one-man band with no Immediate plans
Tonight I just need my guitar
Don't need to feel important or famous
No limos or my little Nash car
One lucky man
With my feet in the sand
Tonight I just need my guitar."
I did not get to hear it last night. That's fine. I heard it once in concert a few years back. I still recall how Buffet closed out the show with it. It was such a class act. Hearing it once was enough.
I'm at the point in my life where I appreciate the moments for what they are. When a moment is good enough, it's enough, it does not have to be repeated. When you can recognize the moment as something worth remembering, then it can be with you indefinitely. It's not milk, it won't go bad.
So thanks Jimmy for a great show. Thanks also to my friends for hanging out with me yesterday. Referring to the lyrics above, I do not have sand around my feet, nor a guitar. Still, I am one lucky man for the experience that was yesterday.
Be well my friends,