Jimmy Buffett died peacefully on September 1st, surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs, according to a statement issued late on Friday to Buffett’s official website and social media accounts. “He will be sorely missed by so many and lived his life like a song until the very last breath.”
The announcement omitted the location of Buffett’s death and his cause of death. Buffett admitted in social media posts that he had been hospitalised but did not disclose further details, explaining that illness had forced him to reschedule shows in May.
Margaritaville, released on February 14, 1977, quickly took on a life of its own, becoming a state of mind for those “wastin’ away” an excuse for a life of low-key fun and escapism for those “growing older but not up”.
The song is the unhurried portrait of a loafer on his front porch, watching tourists sunbathe while a pot of shrimp is beginning to boil. The signer has a new tattoo, a likely hangover, and regrets over a lost love. Somewhere there is a misplaced salt shaker.
“What seems like a simple ditty about getting blotto and mending a broken heart turns out to be a profound meditation on the often painful inertia of beach dwelling,” Spin magazine wrote in 2021.
Steel drums were added to his unique Gulf Coast fusion of country, pop, folk, and rock, along with other instruments and tonalities more typically heard in the Caribbean. Steelpans, trombones, and pedal steel guitar were all mixed together. His rhymes about fish tacos and sunsets frequently eclipsed Buffett’s amazing ear for hooks and light grooves.
Actually, Buffett was in Austin, Texas, when the idea for Margaritaville first entered his head. Before she drove him off at the airport for a flight home to Key West, he and a friend had stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant and started drinking margaritas.
“And I kind of came up with that idea of this is just like Margarita-ville,” Buffett told the Republic. “She kind of laughed at that and put me on the plane. And I started working on it.”
He wrote some on the plane and finished it while driving down the Keys. “There was a wreck on the bridge,” he said. “And we got stopped for about an hour so I finished the song on the Seven Mile Bridge, which I thought was apropos. ”Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters, Savannah and Sarah; and son, Cameron.