I was going to choose the fantastic live, double album, You Had To Be There, and I think that may have been the first Buffett album I actually heard, but I decided to go with this one. Why? I don’t know! I like it and I just did, so there. The good thing about listening to Jimmy, is that you can do it all day long. So grab the blender, mix up a frozen concoction or four, kick back and listen to a few of his discs. You will be feeling all right in no time.
Jimmy Buffett – Volcano
I am not a Parrot Head… Okay, maybe a little one. I have seen Jimmy live a number of times… always fun… but am not a super fanatic. I mean I love his music a lot, but I have not been able to fully embrace the lifestyle of a true Parrot Head. Perhaps I should. Life would be a whole lot better if we just kicked back a little bit, right?
I remember being by the lake at Northwestern, hanging out with some my older fraternity brothers and having Dave April blasting music out of his car. I remember booze and Hawaiian shirts and I really think this is the first time I heard Jimmy Buffett. The music was great and created such a strong sense of mood and place. The tropical rhythms, the melodies that seemed to float on air… This was a lifestyle I could get used to.
Our frat used to have these amazingly detailed progressive drinking parties, where each room would create a theme and serve a drink to match. I think it was Doug Neff who filled his entire room with sand for his tropical beach theme, and I am either actually remembering or guessing that Jimmy was playing. I am trying to recall what Barry Flanik, my first year in the frat roommate, and I did. Myron? I do vividly remember a frisbee flying through the hall and hitting Barry’s amazing, tropical fish tank… Not sure if it was that day, but there was a loud thud and then this eerie, creepy cracking sound… And then… the tank exploded. Water and fish flooded onto our floor… I think we saved a few of the fish… or is that wishful remembering? I don’t know… Either way, those were the good old days…
For me Volcano is one of those great albums that I can just sit and listen to from start to finish. “Fins” and “Volcano” have such a party vibe, but then he hits you with these beautiful and romantic ballads like “Treat Her Like A Lady,” “Stranded on a Sandbar,” or “Survive.”
“Sometimes I kinda get real ill. When I receive my monthly telephone bill. But you say it and I’ll pay it. Cause it just helps me to survive, survive… stay alive…”
And yes, I do love the harmonica parts, usually played by Greg “Fingers” Taylor. I have taught myself many of them…
Jimmy is a major talent and a smart as hell songwriter… He knows what works. And forget about his life as an author and businessman. Jimmy Buffett really has it all… and on a slow Saturday afternoon at the very start of summer, he makes for some great listening.