It's a Saturday morning I will never forget. It was 7AM and I was ready to start yoga outside and I turned on my phone to get to the yoga app. The BUB was in the kitchen. I saw that I had a text message and I opened it up. I read the one sentence that Max sent me over and exhaled in disbelief. BUB was notably concerned and said, "What!" I brought the phone over to her and she didn't want to look at it, it was like a nuclear bomb. Finally she did look at it and that was how we started out Labor Day Weekend, Jimmy Buffett dead at the age of 76.
After an hour of contemplation doing yoga, I turned on Radio Margaritaville and sure enough, there was Kirstin crying talking about Jimmy's passing. The entire weekend was a memorial to Jimmy and it was gut wrenching. I did a voice recording and sent it over to them as did thousands of Parrot-heads. They played them all weekend and continue playing them today.
For me, I listened to Radio Margaritaville when I worked out, on my drive to the office and my drive home, happy hour and after dinner, so at least two hours daily and almost non-stop on the weekends. Jimmy knew what his fans wanted and he delivered it 24/7. His history is amazing and it is best read on Wikipedia.
Jimmy never had a #1 song (Margaritaville reached #8) and his critics panned him. They never understood his purpose in life and one reason never to trust what critics say. All I know is that his concerts were sold out and he died a billionaire. He has more licenses for his name than I think the state of Rhode Island has for motor vehicles. It is totally amazing.
I don't know the future of Radio Margaritaville. I hope it never stops airing on Sirius XM Channel 24. But gone forever will be Jimmy's voice; future concert dates; future new album releases and so much more. The fantastic DJ's no longer have Jimmy Buffett to sell, so what is their role moving forward? The station has elevated hundreds of artist's careers and Jimmy himself inspired many artists like Keith Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown and so many others.
Jimmy made Key West, Key West. Caroline Street is world famous. He even made the ubiquitous cheeseburger famous but most of all, he made summer 24/7 for all his listeners. There is nothing better than having a boat drink on a Friday evening listening to him sing on a hot summer night.
I truly think Jimmy is going to be missed by millions of people. There was no one else like him that could reach into your heart and know that you were getting older but never growing up. His last album, Life on the Flip Side, his last song, I'm Not Ready To Put the Book on the Shelf, I think he knew his diagnosis when he wrote it and every time I listen to this song, it makes me cognizant how little time we really have on this side of the ground. On the same album, he mentions frequently to "Live everyday like it's your last," and while enjoying fish tacos, "Who get's to live life like this?"
Knowing Jimmy, he is probably now on an unlimited tailgate picnic on the beach strumming his 6-string guitar and waiting for all of us to join him. And he finally found his lost shaker of salt.