Why is Jimmy Buffet such a legend
Langen / Paris - Have you ever met a parrot's head? Or a land shark (Landshark)? But do you know Jimmy Buffett? Neither? Well, it doesn't matter, because you feel like almost all Germans. By Markus Schaible
Our editor Markus Schaible is an exception. On the weekend he was in Paris, where Parrotheads and Landsharks from all over the world met for a lavish party at the concert by Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band.
Jimmy Buffett is a superstar - in the US. Not necessarily through record sales, but through his concerts. It fills the largest halls (Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand) and stadiums (Wrigley Field, Fenway Park). In the first decade of the 21st century, it saw 4.5 million viewers in North America; According to a list of the "Top Tours of the Decade", he achieved gross sales of more than 285 million US dollars, which earned him 10th place, well ahead of, for example, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney or Coldplay.
Fans come to the concerts in disguise
He owes his success to his loyal fans, which brings us to the Parrotheads and Landsharks. Not only that they call themselves that, they also show this clearly, which is why the “ignorant” sometimes feel reminded of Carnival (or Halloween in the Bermuda Triangle, as the “Houston Chronicle” recently wrote). They come to the concerts dressed up, wear hats with parrots or shark fins on them, put on raffia skirts or bras made from half coconuts and much more.
Pictures from the concert
The looks of the uninitiated are usually very irritated - even in the USA; in Paris a lot more, of course. But the parrots and sharks don't let that bother them - a good mood is the order of the day. Beach music is what he calls his style - a mix of pop and rock with influences from country and the sounds of the Caribbean and the Hawaiian archipelago.
Rarely appearances outside of North America
He always comes on stage in Bermuda shorts, parks his flip-flops next to the microphone stand before the first song - and can be sure that a frenetic audience will carry him (and his large band) through the evening. This is also the case in Paris - where he has always been in September for his extremely rare appearances outside of North America for the past four years.
Author's recommendations on Jimmy Buffett
He has a close relationship with the French capital, which can already be seen in one of his most famous songs ("He Went To Paris"). In addition, some of his songs have French titles or contain French lyrics. It is shortly after 5 p.m. in front of the Olympia - the concert hall par excellence in French-speaking countries (Piaf, Aznavour, Dion, they all played there, as did the Stones, Sinatra and other superstars). The party is already in full swing.
Who is Jimmy Buffett, anyway?
A video from the Paris concert in 2009 is available here.
Each of the open-top double-decker buses that unsuspecting tourists take on a city tour is greeted with cheers. And again and again locals stop to ask what the disguises are supposed to do. The Landsharks pull out their tickets. "Ah, Jimmy Buffet," says the Parisian, who in reality has no idea that Jimmy speaks the same way as the third richest man in the world, namely Baffett. Then she stumbles away.
Drink a lot and make a fool of yourself
And the party goes on. Shortly before 7 p.m. - the Olympia opens its gates. First the T-shirt stand is stormed, then the counter. Because, as a newspaper from Cincinnati wrote this summer about his 42nd appearance (sold out with more than 20,000 fans) at the Riverbend Music Center there: "The annual celebration of drinking too much, making a fool of yourself and crisping in the sun" - the annual celebration of too much drinking, fooling yourself, and roasting in the sun.
Jimmy Buffett doesn't just make a living with music
Okay, there’s only limited sun in Paris, we’ll skip that with fools - and that with drinking fails because the bar staff are completely overwhelmed. But whatever? 8 pm, the obligatory song before the show sounds: "Hot, Hot, Hot". Everyone - and really everyone - sings along. Just like the following three hours.
Buffett may not be the youngest at 63, but his concerts haven't gotten any shorter over the years. He's a perfect entertainer who delivers exactly what the audience wants - a balanced mix of groovy songs and ballads. He sings about sailors ("As a son of a son of a sailor, I went out on the sea for adventure") and pirates ("Yes I am a pirate, 200 years to late. The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder ... "), but also about the joys of life (" Cheeseburger in Paradise "/" Why don't we get drunk? ").
Buffett always has surprises for fans
He's not a dazzling rock star - but he always knew that ("I've got my Hush-Puppies on, I guess I never was meant for glitter rock and roll"). He never plays the same songs at the concerts, he always skilfully integrates the venues into the announcements or texts, sometimes in French in Paris.
And he always has surprises in store for the fans: At the Olympia it is a joint song with Antoine - the French singer legend. Well, hardly anyone in this country knows him, and most Parrotheads have never heard of him either. They came from Australia, Scotland, Greece, Alaska and combined a vacation with the opportunity to experience Jimmy "up close". Like Roger from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He is happily dancing in his red Hawaiian shirt upstairs on the balcony - "I've never been so close to the stage". And then, like everyone else, he continues to sing along loudly.
In the end it is as always - and the Houston Chronicle is to be quoted again: “Not a ticket was unsold, not a beer was not drunk, not a T-shirt or a fan without a smile.” And it takes a long time until that smile disappears from your face again. Very long ...
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