From the Chicago Tribune: “Jimmy Buffett and his Parrot Heads take over the Playhouse”
The event was Jimmy Buffett talks with Chris Jones and Christopher Ashley, but it could have been a listed as a quadruple bill: Jimmy Buffett, the Tribune’s Chris Jones, Christopher Ashley and a house full of Parrot Heads, so much a part of the proceedings were the room full of Buffett fans Monday night at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
Buffett, fresh off a concert at Wrigley Field this weekend, was still in town come Monday to talk about “Escape to Margaritaville,” his current project, a theatrical musical based on his songs and directed by Ashley, set to stage in November at the Oriental Theatre. The conversation in the intimate Playhouse covered a grab bag of topics, from Buffett’s early days playing in Chicago at the now-defunct Quiet Knight Bar, where he crossed paths with a musical influence (Bob Marley), to what song he had better not leave out of his musical, as demanded by some cheerfully boisterous booing from the crowd (“A Pirate Looks at Forty”).
Other topics for the evening’s conversation: Buffett’s Margaritaville empire (there are plans for retirement homes, with yoga, paddle board “and yes there will be medical marijuana”). Why Buffett crowds still feel welcoming in our divided times (folks at his concerts are in a “state of exuberation,” he said, “ and then on Monday everyone has to go back to work.”) A funny anecdote of him falling off stage in Australia, only for him to wake up in a hospital watching a video of him falling off stage in Australia. The low point of his musical career when his record company tried to make him a country music star (“I got out of Nashville. I went to Key West. There was a reason.”). His own retirement (“Retire from what?”).