Jimmy Buffett Shares How He Wanted To Be Remembered In Unreleased Interview Post

Jimmy Buffett Shares How He Wanted To Be Remembered In Unreleased Interview Post | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Island escapism adherent and self-described drunken Caribbean rock ‘n’ roll star Jimmy Buffett had a simple answer when asked the question, “How would you like to be remembered?”

It’s not “the singer of beach bum anthem ‘Margaritaville’”. Not “the owner of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise”. Certainly not for his salt-shaker-seeking escapades and boat-sailing exploits.

“I’d say “He had a good time and made a lot of people happy” would be good. Yeah, that’d be good,” the iconic singer-songwriter said.

Rolling Stone has recently released a “never-before-posted interview” with the late Buffett, who died on September 1 at the age of 76.

The laid-back star had always enjoyed life’s simple pleasures and had advised his legion of Parrotheads, singing “Live like it’s your last day, time just keeps slipping away.”

“I tend to live like it’s my last day – you never know,” Buffett said in the interview.

The melancholy in “Margaritaville”

Buffett talked to Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt about a lot of things in the recorded interview, and, of course, he talked about “Margaritaville”.

He said that he never thought about embedding themes of melancholy in the song when he wrote it. 

The singer-songwriter added, “I started [writing the song] in Austin, Texas, in a bar. A friend of mine put me on a plane to go back to Key West, and I finished it there. I played it in the bar; people liked it. But I go back to what Ry Cooder once said: “You never know what the public’s going to buy.”


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Buffett revealed in a 2018 New York Post interview that “Wasting Away in Austin, Texasville” was originally the title of the song. It became “Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville” when they were recording until it became the “Margaritaville” the world known as.

The song, from which Buffett built an empire, was only written in six minutes. It also inspired a Broadway musical called Escape to Margaritaville.


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Speaking about the musical, Buffett told Hiatt: “When we did the musical and the play, it was presented as a melancholy song there. But the theme of Mardi Gras is “folly chasing death,” so you gotta have fun to keep the devil away. I loved the way they did it in the play, and I’ve never done it that way, but I sure liked listening to it that way.”

This beautiful pessimism in his music had drawn him a loyal fanbase, affectionately known as Parrotheads, whose feathers certainly sagged low when he died on September 1st.


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A business mindset paradox

Jimmy Buffett is a walking paradox: he was clearly a laid-back tropical rock hero, but he was also a business titan. When asked by Rolling Stone about this “entirely different part” of himself, for the most part, he chalked it up to being “lucky”.

“It’s interesting because, yeah, sometimes I do have to ask myself, “Hey, how lucky was I to figure this out?”, Buffett said, referring to how he was able to take charge of his business while also performing as a musician.

Jimmy wasn’t always successful in his career and had once struggled to break into the thriving Nashville music scene. During one of those when he had “no job and couldn’t play”, the singer tried his hand at journalism.


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He became a Nashville reporter for Billboard for a year and the entertainment magazine giant even called him their “Most Famous Alumnus”.

In his time with Billboard, he discovered he couldn’t “give anyone a bad review” because he knew how hard it was being a musician. He also learned “what the music business really was”.

These experiences and realizations became the foundation of his business mindset. He revealed, “I wanted to be a working musician, playing on stage… I was thinking about ways to make performing easier and less expensive. It all started there.”

A happy boat owner

Even if he did not become the rock icon and billionaire that he was, Jimmy Buffett was content and happy to be the owner of a boat, even if “Margaritaville” became his only hit. A happy Jimmy could have been sailing around the islands even if he had become a one-hit wonder back then.

But he did score a hit, and he scored big. It propelled him to become one of the most prolific songwriters with over 30 albums, eight of which are certified gold and nine are certified platinum or multiplatinum. In total, Buffett sold over 20 million albums.


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Buffett, who died due to complications from a rare form of skin cancer, had stayed true to his tropics-loving ethos and spent a lot of time sailing on his boat. 

Despite the melancholy in his laid-back songs, there will always be that infectious happiness in his singing and songwriting that will be sorely missed by his fans.

So, Jimmy Buffett was right. He did have a great time and made tons of people happy.