Buffett interview with Billboard on getting back to playing live shows

From Billboard.com: “Jimmy Buffett On Getting Back to Playing Live: A Pirate Looks at 75

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. last year, it will surprise no Jimmy Buffett fan that the son of a son of a sailor thought of a boating analogy as he considered how to navigate through the shutdown.

“The pandemic comes along and I’m gin-clear focused on the things that I actually can do, and the things that I can’t do I can’t whine about,” he tells Billboard. “It’s like you getting on a boat: If there’s a storm, you can’t go back to the hotel and order Eggs Benedict. You gotta get your a– through the storm. So that’s what it was kinda like.”

As the storm clouds begin to lift in much of the country, Buffett is primed to return to what he loves best: playing live. The man whom Bob Dylan has called one of his favorite songwriters simply says, “I consider myself more of a performer than anything.”

Tomorrow, he will start a four-night stand (May 13-14, 17-18) at The Pavilion at Old School Square in Delray Beach, Fla., not far from his home in Palm Beach. The reduced seating allows for around 850 people per show— seated in fenced four-person pods. Tickets for all four shows at the open-air venue sold out in around 10 minutes.

Buffett calls the concerts “spring training” for when his summer job resumes — playing full-capacity shows, rescheduled from last year — in July. He played (and filmed) two shows at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. for an invited crowd of 40 people in April, but, otherwise, the Delray Beach concerts will be his first in 14 months, and his excitement is palpable.

You turn 75 on Christmas Day. So what does a pirate looks at 75 look like?

I’d like finish this rock and roll book I’m working on. It’s based on when we went to Montserrat and did the [1979] Volcano album. I’m making it fictitious, but it’s based on that whole episode, which you can’t believe the s–t that happened. I still can’t. There are so many stories and I file them away. It’s a funny book, but it’s a real rock ‘n roll book. It’s not a miserable experience, let’s just say.

I kept writing some songs, and so instead of some 75th anniversary thing — I don’t want to do that — I’d rather put another album out. I’ve got five songs now. I like what I’m doing. It’s a little more kind of down island — authentic Creole and Trinidadian and Calypso kind of influences are in it.