One of the benefits of writing about artists like Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett — artists whose success has spanned decades — is that after you do so, you hear more stories. Stories from fans whose lives have been soundtracked by songs and albums and careers. It’s fun.
Since Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way was released a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been happily busy chatting with radio stations and reporters and keeping up with a steady stream of emails from people who have enjoyed the book. (Thank you for reading.)
And folks have stories. Old stories. New stories. Fun stories. Ruth wrote from North Carolina to share not only a few memories, but a souvenir. You might remember the liner notes to Havana Daydreamin’, Jimmy and solo Reefer Roger Bartlett stuck in a dressing room, the crowd closing in and Jimmy screaming to Roger that more musicians were needed. Pretty soon thereafter, Buffett filled out the Coral Reefer Band.
Well, Ruth was at that show. And she was in that dressing room. And she has the menu — autographed by both Jimmy and Roger. A large pepperoni pizza was $3.30. A grilled cheese sandwich was $.75. A pitcher of Schlitz was $2.50. Lester Flatt had been at the Pier the week before and, yeah, they spelled it Buffet.
A decade later, Ruth and her husband Doug would win a trip to Key West for the Last Mango Cruise and be treated, along with the rest of the winners to a private set by Buffett on Ballast Key. “A fast moving, magical, fairy tale weekend,” Ruth wrote.
All these years later, and she said she’s still as big a Buffett fan as ever — and she was kind enough to let me share this story, and the photos of that menu.
Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way is available now. Popsugar says it pairs well with Pensacola Beach, Fla., but I think it goes well with all beaches, as well as road trips, plane trips or days just spent lounging around with a fun read. It’s about Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville and how that little song came to be and then went on to become something big. It’s a book about change, but then I suppose most books are.