Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to the World's Greatest Singer, Songwriter and Calypso Poet

When you see him sing and when he's prancing around on stage at a show, it's difficult to accept that 61 years ago today in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Jimmy Buffett was born. Luckily he doesn't act his age.

I saw him first in concert in Chastain Park in Atlanta in 1986 with Chris Haney and with crazed Canadian Gary Benny. Jon Andrew and I met him backstage at a benefit show to help protect manatees that he held in Fort Lauderdale in 1992. I still have the Corona bottle that Jimmy opened for me back stage that night. The last time I saw him (my 31st show) I went with my daughter Dana and watched him singing under palm trees with a volcano nearby, at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu in 2005. He was great in 1986, he was better in 1992, and he was fantastic in Honolulu.

So, to honor this most sacred day on the Parrothead calendar, do like I do every year. I look south toward the reality of the tropics (the direction I'm looking as I type this). I raise a boat drink to my lips, and when I'm done with the drink I sing his birthday song "Christmas in the Caribbean" from disc 2 of the Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads collection. And if you want to make it a 2-fer, have a mojito for your boat drink because today would have been Papa Hemmingway's birthday also.

Unfortunately there is no video available of Jimmy's Birthday song...so here's a vid from a year ago today on Jamaica, mon featuring Bob Marley. It doesn't get more Caribbean dan dat, mon.

No comments: