If there is one person who single-handedly kept the babysitting industry alive in the 90s, it was Jimmy Buffet. He was the universal bad night out for mammas and papas everywhere looking to get away from the kids, down margaritas at the bar, and get freaky with Pam from accounting just around the time Jimmy got to singing the bridge in “Margaritaville.” Alas, the ‘ville sounds like it’s going through a heavy drought right now, as Jimmy says his fuddy duddy diet is keeping him from half the shit he sings about in his song.
The New York Times profiled Jimmy, and it sounds like his no-sugar, no-carb diet means he can’t imbibe on the frozen sweet cocktails he made famous (no, Bethenny Frankel, it wasn’t you). He does drink tequila on the rocks, but he douses it in water. He also no longer smokes pot! Something I didn’t know, but apparently everyone else did, is Jimmy supported himself in the early days by smuggling marijuana from the Caribbean to Florida. Where’s THAT version of Breaking Bad, AMC?? Instead of hitting the good kush, Jimmy said he’s now just that annoying guy in public who occasionally vapes.
Jimmy has also embraced commercialism. He left Key West because he felt it was getting too commercial. But now he lives at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan and loves it.
He likes being on Columbus Circle. Central Park is right there. But also, can he just say it? “I love the mall.” He eats at Bar Masa and gets coffee at Bouchon. He likes to visit the Cole Haan, hoping that one day he’ll find the right boots for a New York winter. He stops in at Bose to see what kind of new headphones they might have. But also, his whole adult life he’s been touring, and in practically every city, there’s a mall. When you don’t have a home base, the sameness of a shopping center can be a comfort.
Before your mom starts to sob thinking she’s never going to get her annual day of buying some weed off the neighborhood kid who cuts the grass and heading to a Jimmy concert, it doesn’t sound like he gives a shit if his Parrotheads toke up and sip the sauce. It’s mainly that he’s more business mogul than beach bum as of late. Jimmy runs a chain of casinos, hotels, and restaurants under the Margaritaville label and has a Broadway musical, Escape To Margaritaville!, on the way.
While it’s not a problem for audience members to get sloshed, it might raise some investor eyebrows if Jimmy walks into a board meeting smelling like a freshman dorm and slurring about the good ol’ days of outrunning the Coast Guard to give South Beach its spring supply of Mary Jane!