My heart actually skipped a beat when I heard this bio was coming out this spring. Very excited. I’m a big fan. I love Key West. And I love what Jimmy and his music stand for. I think that especially now with all the crazy meanness in the world, there’s plenty of room for Jimmy’s laid -back lifestyle, songs, and margaritas.
Years ago when I visited Key West I enjoyed slipping into the original Margaritaville store. It was small and unique back then. Often, you would arrive to find a hastily written sign on the door saying “be back soon, gone fishing” or something to that affect. That’s how laid -back Key West was in those days. That was way before there was a restaurant, let alone the huge casinos and resorts that sport Buffett’s name now. Just the idea of the place makes me happy.
Jimmy Buffett’s been playing “Margaritaville” for forty years. It’s allowed him to become someone he would only have dreamed of being. Millions dream of being like him. It’s bought him everything he’s ever wanted and allowed him to move with siyle around the globe in much the same way Hemingway did after his myth-defining years in Key West.
If you love Jimmy Buffett you’re going to love reading this book. White takes you behind the scenes in Jimmy’s albums and many of his gigs in famous places. Buffett’s earlier years make for an entertaining story. And the comments from people who know him are authentic. I will say that this book is no tell-all. There are aspects of Buffett’s life that are never mentioned here. Things like his separation from his wife, Jane. I was working at a famous restaurant on Captiva Island many, many years ago called The Bubbleroom, when Jimmy came in for dinner, late. He was with someone not his then wife…. I remember like it was last night as we packed up a container of homemade whipped cream for them to take back to their rooms….. Oh boy. I was happy to hear that he eventually got back with his wife and family.
Tom Corcoran says,” Finally–a full-length Jimmy Buffett bio that’s accurate and entertaining…Great writing makes for great reading, and this book outshines all earlier looks at Buffett’s career and lifestyle.” Tom writes a series of novels set in Key West that are dynamite. If anyone knows Jimmy Buffett and Key West it’s him.
Parrot Head nation. The Coral Reefer band. CEO of $1.5 billion-per-year Margaritaville industrial complex, a vast network of merchandise, chain restaurants, and a soon-to-be Broadway musical: all this because one man wrote a song about wasting away in Margaritaville and a lost shaker of salt. Wow, anything is possible.
I’ve looked at the picture of Jimmy as a young man. And I’ve looked over the ones that are more recent. There is just something about the man that oozes laid-backness. He’s got a kind soul, I think. And he’s probably helped more people relax than even he knows.
I would recommend a trip to Key West for anyone in need of a change; whether it’s attitude or latitude or both. Jimmy Buffett’s
Key West has changed, for sure. But it’s still a place to become whoever you wish to be, if even for a day, or a weekend, or a week. Take that drive down the overseas highway. Check out the little dives on the way down. And then check into one of the most unique and welcoming places in this country. And, at five o’clock, well, it’s always five o’clock somewhere….
My finished hardcopy of “Jimmy Buffett A Good Life All The Way by Ryan White was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by Touchstone Publishers, a division of Simon and Schuster. I loved it, guys. It sure brings back lots of great memories. Thanks a bunch!
Ryan White is the author of “Springsteen: Album by Album. He’s written for numerous publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and daughter.