Last night, like so many countless nights before, over the past 40-plus years, I went to bed with a Jimmy Buffett song playing on an endless loop in my mind, and like always, it kept me from sleeping. I no longer consider that a bad thing when my insomnia has a good soundtrack. I haven't in years. I just roll with the tide. Yet, when I awoke this morning, the wind had unexpectedly shifted, the tide was rolling in, and I felt an instantaneous realization that an unprecedentedly dreadful and unavoidable hurricane had finally made landfall.
The music, lifestyle, and global community that surrounded the man and all he stood for and gave us is that of legend. Jimmy Buffett was responsible for bringing an unfathomable amount of people together. Be it for fun, community outreach, relationships, careers, sharing memories, fantastic music, concerts, and a good story, or to simply sit on a boat or beach and look at the sunset while his music plays softly in the background.
I find it difficult to believe that this morning, September 2, 2023, anyone who followed in his wake can fully process what Jimmy's departure profoundly means, what a lifetime lived, unprecedented, and like no other. Like the universe, the ripples in the ocean of life that his drop made will expand forever. It is impossible to measure. He gave you a personal island in your soul, like no other where you could retreat to when the world was just a little too much to handle or whether you just wanted to blow off steam, smile, enjoy life, turn up the radio, and crank up your blender.
I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of making a living performing my tribute to Jimmy Buffett's music for the past 34 years. I cannot even imagine how my life's songline would have played out or where I would be today had it not been for the man and his music. I haven't the words to describe how the ripples of his music affected my journey. Perhaps in time, they will come, but this morning, I feel adrift at sea, alone in the doldrums and praying for the wind.
Jimmy Buffett, the man, all his band members, and his organization have always been very kind to me, stood behind the band, and given us many great opportunities. I have so many spectacular memories. We had a fantastic gig last night in Tucker, Georgia, and unfortunately, or fortunately, it is how you look at it; we have a show this evening at The Boot Barn Hall in Gainsville, Georgia. If I could, I would cancel, for I have no idea how to get through it in one piece, but the show must go on. I am sure Jimmy would agree. If you can make the show tonight, that would be wonderful. We can all say goodbye to an old friend together. I could definitely use a shoulder.
Ironically enough, tonight is our official Labor Day Weekend show, and Jimmy set sail for the last time yesterday evening, probably while I was onstage singing one of his songs. One of my fondest musical memories of my youth is falling in love with 'Come Monday' at the tender age of 13. Little did I know how far the love of that song would take me in life. It seems poetically fitting that Jimmy came to us through his first hit and pulled the curtain down for his last bow, heading out full circle for the Labor Day Weekend show.
My deepest sympathies and condolences to Jimmy's family, friends, bandmates, the entire parrot head nation, and the thousands of people I have had the honor to get to know and to perform for through the music and life of Jimmy Buffett. His was a life well lived, a long and memorable lovely cruise.
September 2, 2023
"Ramblings From Jeff" - is a dedicated personal blog page within JeffPike.com written and posted by Jeff Pike.