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Jimmy Buffett


James William Buffett was born on December 25, 1946 in Pascagoula, MS. Jimmy's father's name is James Delaney Buffett, Jr. and his mother's last name is Peets. Jimmy grew up in Mobile, AL where he attended McGill-Toolen (Catholic school) and attended Auburn University before receiving a B.S. in history from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1969. Jimmy was a brother of Kappa Sigma fraternity. Before signing a recording contract in 1970 with Barnaby Records, Jimmy lived in Nashville and worked writing articles for Billboard. Around this same time, he appeared in a cover band The Now Generation. Buffett is credited on two of their albums: Come Together and Hits Are Our Business. Jimmy married his second wife, Jane Slagsvol from Columbia, South Carolina, on August 27, 1977. They were later separated for 9 years, but have since reunited. Jimmy has one son (Cameron) and two daughters (Savannah Jane and Sarah Delaney). Jimmy currently resides in Palm Beach, FL where his daughters attend school. He also has residences in several other locations including Key West and Long Island. He maintains an apartment in New Orleans and owns a farm/ranch near Orlando. Jimmy is chairman of the Save the Manatee club. For more information: Save the Manatee 500 N. Maitland Ave. Maitland, FL 32751 1-800-432-JOIN or www.savethemanatee.org -- And Jimmy was a founder of Friends of Florida, an enviromental group which focused on the problem of preserving the Florida ecostructure. Jimmy Buffett has recorded over thirty albums, including the two hit singles Margaritaville and Come Monday. He is also the author of three bestselling books -- Tales from Margaritaville, Where is Joe Merchant? and A Pirate Looks at Fifty. Jimmy is one of only three authors to ever have a number one best-seller on the fiction list and non-fiction list. He plays to sold-out stadiums across America every summer and his "Parrothead" followers are known to be among the most devoted fans in the music industry. Buffett has also collaborated with Herman Wouk on a musical Don't Stop the Carnival. He resides in Florida, summers on Long Island, and has managed to keep the same summer job for 34 years.




Pageonelit.com: Let's talk about Parrot Heads. What was the beginning?

Jimmy Buffett: It actually started in Cincinatti, OH with the audience. It was audience generated. They started wearing outlandish Hawaiian shirts and costumes and so they started decorating themselves. I wish I could take credit for it, but it was an audience thing. So it started in Ohio and sort of just picked up. And now, you dress if you go. They looked like Deadheads with a little better wardrobe so that's how the name sort of originated.


Pageonelit.com:You've written books, you've got restaurants, you've got a clothing line, and you've done Broadway. Where do you find the time and do you have a preference in all this?

Jimmy Buffett: Well, I sort of pace it. I actually have found some kind of unique way to balance the time. Moderation is the key so I work certain amout of time and then I take a certain amount of time off. I still consider it a summer job, though. So, I try to maintain that summer job as long as I can. But it's exciting to be able to have the opportunity to do things I always dreamed of as a kid. First of all, to make it successfully as a performer and then to branch out into other areas that always interested and challenged me. it's all about learning how to be a good performer and entertainer sort of created an audience, and the audience created a demand for other things. The stores and the things like that, the business side of things came out at the point when, I'd say probably in the early '70s, it looked like the year of the singer-songwriter was over, 'cause music changed in our time and the spotlight was out. You know, I saw people dropping off of record labels like flies. Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, I figured I was next. So, I said, well hell, I'm going to cash in on something, which is only my good name-and we went into the merchandising business because people wanted it. And from there it just developed into stores. You know, I figured in those days really making it would be owning your own club.

That's what the musical was all about. To write with somebody on the caliber of Herman Wouk in itself is an experience and an honor. And, we spent 3 years quietly working on the Broadway project. It was an assignment which was new for me. Herman sends me material and then I had a character for which to write, from the book "Don't Stop the Carnival" which it was based on. So, that's definitely different, and in terms of volume, it's twice as much as I've ever put into an album.


Pageonelit.com: And what do you credit to your success?

Jimmy Buffett: Luck. And I try to give the best bang for the buck. I love performing more than anything else.”


Pageonelit.com: I read that you wrote Barometer Soup at the public library in Key West. Is that true? And was Carl Hiaasen singing in the background on The Ballad of Skip Wiley?

Jimmy Buffett: Yes, Barometer was written in Key West and I did spend many hours at the library there. Every song on that album has a literary connection. As for Carl signing? He was clapping.


Pageonelit.com:I love the album Barometer Soup. Where'd you get the name?

Jimmy Buffett: Mark Twain. If you're gonna borrow, borrow from the best. Actually Herman Wouk had told me about a story and it just was a great metaphor. You know, as a writer, I'm more of a listener than a writer, cuz if I hear something I will write it down. And that was such a great metaphor and it sort of summarized where I've sort of been. I'm a big follower and reactor to weather. So, this thing sourt of hinged on that whole title.


Pageonelit.com: Are the book and short stories you have written a logical extension from songwriting or is that a whole other process for you?

Jimmy Buffett: Well, it's a logical extension but it's what I wanted to do first. I, fortunately, had a 20 year music career that got in the way. I wanted to start out being a writer, 'cause when I first came to New Orleans it was a writers' haven, there were great writers-Walker Percy, Tennessee Williams, people that I'd read. And when I lived there I stared reading the things that were effected by their being there. And I wound up in New Orleans for all those years and it was a great place, really a catalyst creatively. Places I've lived since then had to have some kind of uniqueness and character about them. And logically Key West, and then Down Island. So, all of that stuff sort of had it's roots in New Orleans and went crazy.

Pageonelit.com:Do you have more novels in you?

Jimmy Buffett: I might. But I'm not forcing them out. When they come they come. I think more short stories now. You know, you just have to do what you're going to do, and I'm just going to see what happens. When I was doing the books I went to New Orleans and spent a lot of time just holed up and let it flow, and it really works. And you find as a writer there are certain spots on the planet where you write better than others, and I believe in that. And New Orleans is one of them.


Pageonelit.com:What do your fans say about your literary career?

Jimmy Buffett: The fun is finding people that don't know I sing but like my books. I've been doing music long enough that you'd think people might know I do this for a living


Pageonelit.com:I heard you once say that pirates were your heroes. What do you mean by that?

Jimmy Buffett: Oh, yeah, when everybody else was studying generals and American war heroes, Jean Lafitte was my hero. I remember when I was a kid I had a plastic model. Everybody else was building battleships, I was building the Black Falcon, which was Lafitte's ship. And he, of course, was heavily entwined with the early history of New Orleans. I guess he was my pirate hero and still is in a way.


Pageonelit.com:What do you do for hobbies?

Jimmy Buffett: Exchange good books with friends.


Pageonelit.com: Who are some of the young stars on the music scene you like today?

Jimmy Buffett: Phish and Dave Matthews really know their audiences and really treat them well. There's something missing in the music industry today . . . and it's music. Songs you hear don't last, it's just product fed to you by the industry. Some people get that #1 hit and they're off, but the quickest way up is also the quickest way down.








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