It’s funny…I was originally thinking that I’d be writing some travelogue-style posts about my Keys “working vacation.” And I might still do that. However, in the process of taking some down time tonight, away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street and the Casa Marina, I started pondering something very different.
For those who are just tuning in and haven’t been following the whole thing on Facebook, I’m at the Meeting of the Minds in Key West – an annual convention/festival/party for Parrotheads. It’s the twentieth annual such event, and the ninth that it’s been my privilege to attend. Hopefully I’ll also have some reflections later on how my participation here as a musician has evolved over the years, but that’s also a topic for another time.
The perennial rumor is that “Buffett’s going to be here.” We hear it every year. Generally, the expected time is one show or another featuring many of the Coral Reefers, members of his band. The last time he actually *did* show up was in 2004. It was a memorable year for me, for multiple reasons. The Buffett show at the Casa during a Peter Mayer concert was one of those reasons.
This year, there has been a last-minute scheduling shift on Friday afternoon for the Street Fest on Duval right outside the Margaritaville. The new schedule lists Mac MacAnally and a “Surprise Guest” to do a show around Mac’s new album. Several other major programming items were timeshifted to make room for this. So if Jimmy’s going to show up this year, this makes sense as one possible time. Then again, Mac knows everyone in Nashville, so we could get anyone from Zac Brown to Kenny Chesney.
And on Saturday, all of the Coral Reefers – except Ralph Macdonald, who’s had some health issues – will be doing a show at the Casa. It’s another possible time for Jimmy to show.
Personally, I think he could show at one, both, or neither. But if *I* were Jimmy, let me tell you what *I’d* do:
I *might* show up at both. It’d be a zoo, but the Key West PD and con security could probably handle it. But where I *would* show up would be the Trop Rock Music Awards on Friday night. I’d show up to encourage all of the new artists doing their (okay, our) best to create new stuff based on the inspiration of Mr. Buffett and others. I would at least stop by, give a short talk and present an award or two, and maybe arrange to meet all the award nominees personally, just to give them some encouragement from the Head Parrot. I’d do it just because it’s the right thing to do, and because other than paying some extra money for security – which I, as Mr. Buffett, would certainly have in my other pair of pants – what would it really cost me? A day away from fishing and flying?
As the TRMAs aren’t that heavily-attended, he could attend without being horribly mobbed, at least initially. And as the word spread across the island, it would bring more people to the TRMAs, which would be worthy.
(Note: Despite much effort on my part and a great song originally in contention, I’m not an award nominee, and wouldn’t get to meet Jimmy as part of this. I still think it’d be a good idea.)
Don’t get me wrong. Jimmy doesn’t “owe” us anything. He’s produced some great music, which we’ve taken as inspiration to do other great music. He’s helped instigate some good community service among the Parrothead Nation. That’s all he has had to do, and he’s been compensated for that. He doesn’t have to do anything more.
But it would sure be a kick if he *did*.
I’m just sayin’.