Jimmy Buffett interview in the New York Times

The New York Times has an article and interview with Buffett: “Jimmy Buffett Does Not Live the Jimmy Buffett Lifestyle

Mr. Buffett hasn’t stopped touring in his nearly half-century as a performer, but it had been a long time since he did a last-minute set at a bar. He had to get on a stage with a pickup band like in the old days and really get back into the original iteration of Jimmy Buffett.

That night, he went to the original Margaritaville bar in Key West, which he opened in the mid-1980s, unannounced, and played a three-and-a-half-hour set. He told stories between songs. He kept the audience active. It felt good to be back there, remembering who he once was.

Because that, in a coconut shell, was the problem. Jimmy Buffett is not really Jimmy Buffett anymore. He hasn’t been for a while. Jimmy Buffett — the nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake, getting drunk and screwing, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere Jimmy Buffett — has been replaced with a well-preserved businessman who is leveraging the Jimmy Buffett of yore in order to keep the Jimmy Buffett of now in the manner to which the old Jimmy Buffett never dreamed he could become accustomed. And therein lies the Margaritaville® Mesquite BBQ Rub: The more successful you become at selling the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle, the less you are seen as believably living the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle.

Mr. Buffett and I both saw “Escape to Margaritaville” in New Orleans on Oct. 28, which is a day that fans have long since designated as Parrothead Day, though Mr. Buffett doesn’t know why. In the audience, fans wore feathers on their heads. When they sang along, it was in a unified hum, reminding Mr. Buffett of the recitation of prayers in church during his altar boy days.

After the show, there had been a big party where Mr. Buffett D.J.’ed alongside the movie producer Frank Marshall, who is his friend and one of the show’s creators. He had a tequila on the rocks and “a lot of water.” He’s 71, a married father of three adult children. He only occasionally drinks margaritas these days. “I don’t do sugar anymore,” he said. “No sugar and no carbs. Except on Sunday.” He doesn’t smoke pot anymore, either. Now he vapes oils, only sometimes after work.

A FEW WEEKS before the Broadway debut of “Escape to Margaritaville,” Mr. Buffett had breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental, next to his apartment at the Time Warner Center, where he stays when he’s in town. Once, a long time ago, he left Key West because it had become too commercialized. Now he lives at the mall.

Read the full article and interview at NYTimes.com

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3 thoughts on “Jimmy Buffett interview in the New York Times

  1. I first saw him as a college program in the early 70’s , when he was on the college circuit. It was in Banner Elk, NC at Lees McRea College. I knew of him and told everyone at school 700 students, since I was from the West Palm Bach area! I’ve seen him several times since but this was only about a hundred of us. After the show I was at a club there where you brown bagged your liquor and he showed up and quietly drank. This was the Hub Pub Club.. great memories

  2. Jimmy Buffett is not really Jimmy Buffett anymore. He hasn’t been for a while. Jimmy Buffett — the nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake, getting drunk and screwing, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere Jimmy Buffett — has been replaced with a well-preserved businessman who is leveraging the Jimmy Buffett of yore in order to keep the Jimmy Buffett of now in the manner to which the old Jimmy Buffett never dreamed he could become accustomed. And therein lies the Margaritaville® Mesquite BBQ Rub: The more successful you become at selling the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle, the less you are seen as believably living the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle. Who is to say when the chasm between the Jimmy Buffetts became so deep? Probably it was around the first time he put the Margaritaville name on a salt shaker-shaped pool raft labeled “Lost Shaker of Salt.

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