…Kate and Jack fell in love to a Jimmy Buffett soundtrack.
I’m not going to bother running a poll, because his best album ever was Banana Wind, and not just because I got to see him in performance on that tour.
First time I saw him live, a reward I gave myself for getting a three-book contract for the Liam Campbell series with a one-page outline. I flew to Seattle, stayed at the Inn at the Market, and took a bus from Pioneer Square to the Gorge, an amphitheater on the edge of the Columbia River. Jimmy flew in on his amphib and out again after the concert.
The concert began with him surprising us on a pop-up palm tree mini-stage in the middle of 20,000 fans, and ended with an encore performance of his version–the best version–of CSN’s Southern Cross. In between he played all the faves plus the songs from the album. “Jamaica Mistaica,” “Desdemona’s Building a Rocket Ship,” “Bob Roberts’ Society Band”–there’s just no bad or even indifferent track here.
It was a clear night and the moment the sun went down all the stars came out to play. As a special treat, he waited until the Pleiades came up over the horizon before swinging into “Desdemona.” The guy was a pilot and de facto a navigator; nobody tell me he didn’t do that deliberately just for me.
This was a guy who thought a lot about what comes next. He didn’t know, any more than the rest of us, but he was determined to live while he waited to find out. He knows now.
Goodbye, Jimmy, so long, and thanks for all the margaritas.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.