sI’ve got more than just a touch of cabin fever and the only cure is…no, not more cowbell, but a little Jimmy Buffett.
I’m a Florida boy at heart. While I’ve lived in the northeast a heck of a lot longer than I did in the land of my birth, every time I step off the plane and feel a blast of Ft. Lauderdale’s finest humidity smack me in the face, I feel at home. I’ve often heard that home is where the heart is, and I do believe that to be true, but who’s to say that my heart isn’t in a more tropical climate?
I didn’t truly embrace Jimmy Buffett until I was in my late teens. Up until then I was into metal—hair metal to be exact. Boy did I love bands like Poison, Def Leppard, Dokken…the list could go on. At some point, though, my older siblings’ affection for Jimmy Buffett grabbed hold of me. Once I went to my first concert (Meadows Music Theatre, Hartford CT, Summer of 1993), I was done. I loved the spectacle of the parking lot and the true escapism of the music. In addition to the albums, I’ve bought (and read) all of his books, eaten at his restaurants, and someday hope to retire in one of his nursing homes. That last one is a joke (kind of).
Now I realize he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. My wife, for example, can’t stand him. She questions if anyone really likes his music and claims they just to the concert to party in the parking lot (not that there’s anything wrong with that). To that, though, I say Phooey! I love the music. It’s simple, pleasantly melodic, and can whisk you away from a mundane reality and transport you to that tropical island in your mind, no passport required.
Last night I grilled some chicken and put some Buffett on the outdoor speakers. Fortunately, my wife was inside so I didn’t have to hear her say, “Turn that $hit off.” For twenty minutes I felt as if I wasn’t under lockdown in Stamford, CT but on a Caribbean beach searching for my lost shaker of salt, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Adults, just like kids, need to use our imaginations more and Buffett’s music and lyrics have a transformative effect on me, much like a blast of hot and humid air letting me know that I’m home.
So, join me if you will, in putting your fins up and escaping off to St. Somewhere while we shelter at home. I’ll provide the blender, if you bring the ice.