From CBS News Sunday Morning: “Jimmy Buffett and “Margaritaville” come to Broadway”
From Tracy Smith: “You might say the newest musical on Broadway feels like an old friend. This is Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville.”
You won’t see Jimmy on stage, but every song is his. Feel free to sing along!
Smith said, “Broadway is a big gamble. You don’t have to do this; you’re rather comfortable, I would say. Why stick your neck out?”
“‘Cause for me it’s the challenge of doing it,” Buffett replied. “I’ve always wanted to do it. You know, one of my favorite songs was always The Drifters — They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. I sing it every time I walk down here to work.
“And I think about my mother and when she would drag me to musicals, you know, when I was a kid. It’s more about for her. I wish she was here to see this, but she’s the one that set me on this path. So, I figure I gotta do it!”
This is a jukebox musical: Of the 27 songs in the show, only two are actually new. The rest, like “License to Chill,” are proven crowd-pleasers.
“Most of the songs people have heard,” Buffett said. “It’s not like we’re waiting to see if they’re good or not. We’re kind of OK, right? We don’t want to go in there and do what they don’t know!”
Smith asked, “Do you think there would be a Jimmy Buffett if there wasn’t a New Orleans?”
“That’s a very interesting question. I don’t think there ever would have been. I could have gotten a job going South, probably would have had a bar in the British Virgin Islands and singing there,” he replied. “But those years being here really were formative years for me. And it made me a better professional player, so that I thought I could make that leap and all of that. This was my training ground for all of that.”
For Buffett, a married father of three, it’s been a long voyage, and not always an easy one.
When asked what was the biggest storm he’s weathered, he replied, “Wow. There was a point — I think it’s a year or two-year period — where I lost my mom, my dad, Ed Bradley, one of my best friends. But I have to think that, what would they want me to do? And all I can think of is continue doing what I’m doing.”