Buffett Concert Entertains and Encourages; but Misses Chance to Educate and Engage

Jimmy Buffet has been able to build and maintain a consistent brand that encourages his fans to forget about their cares and have fun!!  He represents a lifestyle that many of us would like to emulate and enjoy.  His live free concert sure delivered all the entertainment, enjoyment and excitement one would expect from Jimmy and his Coral Reefer Band.  I have collected the concert reviews and a set list (including which songs they played after the broadcast ended.).  Keep reading to watch his revised version of “When the Coast is Clear” – along with complete new lyrics.  My only question and concern is why this major TV event did not include any way for the viewers to gain more information or donate money to an established group like the Red Cross?  Did the organizers, conservative country TV station and local leaders want to avoid any direct mention of the BP oil disaster?

Click below to learn more and tell us what you think.

Was everyone involved so intent on displaying a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” attitude that no attempt was made to inform and inspire people to action?”  Jimmy does truly care about the issue, but perhaps he also figured politics would “hurt his brand” especially among the country fans he is trying hard to reach.  Anyhow, a big opportunity to do more was sadly lost.

Editorial: Jimmy Buffett: He’s with the coast until the coast is clear
Tuesday, July 13, 2010, Press-Register Editorial Board

THANK YOU, Jimmy Buffett.  The Gulf Coast’s own son of a son of a sailor made good on his promise of a free beach concert, and in doing so, sent the message that he stands with the people here until, as the song says, “the coast is clear.”

Mr. Buffett didn’t use Sunday’s concert to focus solely on the oil spill, but rather gave a sea of fans on the beach in Gulf Shores what they wanted: familiar lyrics and a Margaritaville-style good time. Even the weather relaxed, after early reports that there might be scattered thunderstorms.

The concert brought an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people to the area, where they booked rooms and otherwise spent money, all helping to salvage the summer season for the local tourism industry. …

Few performers are as associated with the islands and the ocean as Jimmy Buffett. Born in Pascagoula and raised in Mobile, he describes his songs as “90 percent autobiographical.” Whether you like his albums or not, he speaks with credibility when he talks about storm clouds, shrimp trawlers, bikinis and beer.

So when he took the stage, shoeless and clad in a T-shirt and shorts, concertgoers responded with full hearts, especially when he shed his guitar to sing a soft new version of “When the Coast is Clear.”

“It’s the place that we all love/ Wish it hadn’t happened/ But we’ll still all be here/ Living ’til that day appears/ And our coast is clear.”  See BELOW

When the Gulf Coast’s favorite singer/songwriter says he’ll be around through the good days and the bad days, you believe him. He proved it Sunday.

Shirt like Jimmy wore available from http://www.lulubuffett.com

Free Buffett beach show draws crowd on oil coast
By JAY REEVES – The Associated Press.  Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tens of thousands of people dressed in Hawaiian shirts and parrot hats sang and danced on a broad beach Sunday at a free Jimmy Buffett concert meant to show not all the tourists are covered in oil on the Gulf Coast.

The show, which was telecast live on the CMT cable channel, came on a particularly good day: The skies were mostly clear and only a little oil was washing in on the white sand about 100 miles north of the Deepwater Horizon site. A sand-filled barrier erected by the Alabama National Guard kept members of the audience from getting near the surf just in case.

Buffett, who grew up on the Alabama coast, came on stage to a huge cheer.  “It’s a little like Jazz Fest with an ocean,” said Buffett, referring to the huge music festival in New Orleans. “It is a pleasure to be here on a beautiful Gulf Coast day.”

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist even came to see Buffett.  “I think all the Gulf states will benefit from this,” Crist said. “We’re all in this together. God bless Jimmy Buffett.”

The Buffett bash accomplished its goal of luring visitors to the coast despite the oil spill: Parking lots were fuller than they had been in days outside of hotels, condominiums, restaurants and souvenir stores in this beach town of 5,000 residents.  Organizers gave away 35,000 tickets, but an official attendance count wasn’t available.

Businesses say Parrotheads flew needed dollars into local economy
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 – Russ Henderson, Press-Register

GULF SHORES, Ala. — The multitude that rolled into Gulf Shores Sunday for Jimmy Buffett’s free concert provided a needed boost to condo rentals, food and retail sales for the entire weekend, business officials said Monday.  Many of those visitors arrived Friday or Saturday and left Monday morning, while others remained to stay the week, said Marie Curren of Brett/Robinson.  “Our occupancy doubled, which was pretty exciting,” Curren said. …

Allen Hastings, manager of the Gulf Shores Original Oyster House, said his sales on Saturday were much stronger during both lunch and dinner. Sales on the day of the Buffett concert itself and on Monday were “about average,” Hastings said.  “On Sunday I think everyone was in a hurry to get to the show,” Hastings said. “We’re real thankful he did it.” …

Grant Brown, Gulf Shores’ director of recreation and cultural affairs, said the event “easily” drew 35,000 people, possibly 45,000 and was certainly a success by city standards. Only a few arrests took place, and no serious medical problems were reported to emergency personnel, he said.  “We had around 300 calls to the fire department – some cuts and bruises, a few people got overheated,” Brown said. “Safety was our biggest concern.”

Lipsey Mountain Spring Water of Atlanta donated 100,000 bottles of water, which were distributed free among the crowd to prevent dehydration, he said.  The 15 points of sale for beer at the concert were operated individually by local bars and restaurants rather than by one outside vending company, he said. But just one type of beer was sold – Land Shark Lager. The lager is among Buffett’s varied “island lifestyle” business interests.

Brown said there were no oil events on the area’s beaches during or immediately after the concert. He said that on Monday morning, BP contract oil cleanup crews had little else to do, so they helped clean up the litter left behind by the concert.

Jimmy Buffett Offers Another Musical Gift to the Gulf Coast
CMT Concert Special Offered Encouragement and Lots of Hits
July 11, 2010; Written by Calvin Gilbert of CMT

Jimmy Buffett said a fan pretty much summed things up about all the excitement taking place Sunday evening (July 11) on the sands of Orange Beach in Gulf Shores, Ala.  “I saw a sign out there that said, ‘What would Jimmy Buffett do? Throw a party at the oil slick!'” Buffett said. “You’re right!”

And that’s exactly what he did by hosting a free concert to demonstrate support for the people, businesses and culture of the Gulf Coast. The Parrotheads flocking to the concert got the party of a lifetime while viewers throughout the U.S. were able to share the moment with Jimmy Buffett & Friends.

“Thank you all for coming from wherever you came to help support our good friends, neighbors — and some of my family down here, as well,” Buffett told the crowd after opening the show with “The Pascagoula Run,” a track from his 1989 album, Off to See the Lizard.

As an entertainer, Buffett consistently proves he has few peers when it comes to connecting with an audience, even the tens of thousands who showed up on Orange Beach. The 90-minute telecast was packed with the songs that made him famous, including “One Particular Harbour,” “Come Monday,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and, of course, “Margaritaville.” …

Buffett was clearly honored to introduce singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester and New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint. Buffett was comfortable in a sideman’s role as Winchester performed “Rhumba Man” and “Mississippi, You’re on My Mind.” Toussaint delivered “Yes We Can,” a song he wrote and produced for R&B great Lee Dorsey during the ’70s.

Singer-songwriter Mac McAnally, Buffett’s longtime collaborator and band member, assumed Alan Jackson’s role on “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and took the lead again on “Back Where I Come From,” his original song that was later covered by Chesney.

Mac and Jimmy Live

Although everyone on the beach understood that the concert was in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Buffett did not dwell on the problem. He did, however, revamp part of the lyrics to “Margaritaville” to proclaim, “It’s all BP’s fault!”

He also revised the lyrics to “When the Coast Is Clear,” a song from 1986’s Floridays album, to close the televised portion of the concert. The song, one of the first Buffett wrote with McAnally, took on a poignant new meaning with a message of encouragement to those who love the Gulf Coast area.

Born in Pascagoula, Miss., and raised in Mobile, Ala., the concert was something of a homecoming for Buffett. At the end of the telecast, he took a short break and returned with his band to continue the concert with songs such as Winchester’s “Biloxi” before closing the evening with Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Jimmy Buffett draws tourists, dollars to Gulf Shores
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By Doug Walker

GULF SHORES, AL (WLOX) – One day after Jimmy Buffett gave a free concert in front of 25,000 people in Gulf Shores, Alabama, merchants in the city are all wearing big smiles. For at least one weekend, tourists came to Gulf Shores like they did before the oil spill in the Gulf began back in April.

“The concert really helped our business,” said Eddie Spence, owner of The Steamer restaurant. “All of our restaurants here in town were up significantly yesterday, and Saturday and Friday as well.   The oil spill has hurt the city’s economy badly.  Oil skimmers can be seen from the beaches, and there are other signs of the spill as well. But with 25,000 people in town for the concert, it was hard not to do well.

Marie Curren is a property manager in Gulf Shores.  “We own 19 different properties and four of them are within walking distance of the site, and all four of those were at 100 percent occupancy for the weekend,” Curren said.  …

While most business owners are happy with the one day shot of business brought in by the Buffett concert, they’re looking at the big picture.  What happens in the future in the city of Gulf Shores?

Tina Royster is a souvenir shop manager.   “The national advertisement that has been given and all the publicity, it will draw more people here to come and see the beaches and the other things that we have to offer down here.”  And businesses in the city are hoping that what they have to offer will continue to draw tourists, even without Jimmy Buffett in town.

Meanwhile, what went up last week to host the Buffett concert had to come down Monday. Millions of dollars worth of equipment, lighting, and stages had to be broken down and packed up, and then shipped to Buffett’s next concert location. But a new one could be going up soon.  There is talk of bringing in other big name entertainers to Gulf Shores for more concerts during the summer months.   But those plans have not been finalized yet.

Jimmy Buffett Concert May Only Be the Beginning
Posted: July 12th, 2010 By: Chris Parton

If you caught Jimmy Buffett and Friends: Live From the Gulf Coast when it aired Sunday night (July 11) on CMT, then you had to have noticed the huge crowd that turned out for the free show in Gulf Shores, Ala. I don’t know the exact number, but it looked like attendance came pretty close to the 35,000 mark that organizers were expecting. That’s a great thing for the people and businesses of the Gulf Coast area and, at the very least, shows one thing to local officials: People still want to head to the beach — especially if you give them a special reason.

To that end, it looks like Buffett’s show may only be the first in a series of free concerts held on the Alabama coast. According to the Associated Press, there’s a $15 million tourism grant from BP that could be used to put on more shows. Promoters are already pointing toward Faith Hill and Zac Brown Band (who had to miss the Buffett show due to a scheduling conflict) as possible performers, as well as Hawaiian beach rocker Jack Johnson. What do you think? Who would you want to see? And how much would it help the area?

Jimmy Buffett revises Margaritaville lyrics: ‘It’s all BP’s fault.’

On Sunday, singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett performed a free concert that drew thousands of people to the Gulf Shores of Alabama. The concert was an effort to show support for the Gulf Coast and hopefully lure visitors to the area. Attendees showed up to the concert sporting anti-BP shirts. Buffett — a Mobile, AL native — sang “a very special version” of his famous song “Margaritaville,” changing his famous refrain to: “Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame; but I know, it’s all BP’s fault.” The lyric drew cheers from the crowd.  He could have changed the rest of that line to “Some people claim that it’s the liberals to blame” or “that it’s Obama to blame.”


First 19 songs where shown commercial free live on CMT.  Jimmy’s friends for this show were: Will Kimbrough, Jesse Winchester, and Allen Toussaint.

  1. The Pascagoula Run
  2. I Will Play for Gumbo
  3. One Particular Harbour
  4. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (w/Mac)
  5. Come Monday
  6. Nobody From Nowhere (add Will Kimbrough on Vocals)
  7. Son of a Son of a Sailor
  8. Rhumba Man (Jesse Winchester on Vocals, Allen Toussaint on Piano)
  9. Mississippi, You’re on My Mind (Jesse Winchester on Vocals and Guitar, Allen Toussaint on Piano, Jimmy on Guitar)
  10. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
  11. Bama Breeze
  12. Yes We Can, Can (Allen Toussaint on Piano and Vocals)
  13. Cheeseburger in Paradise
  14. Where the Boat Leaves From (Zac Brown Band Cover)
  15. A Pirate Looks at Forty
  16. Back Where I Come From (Mac and Jimmy)
  17. Fins
  18. Margaritaville
  19. When the Coast is Clear (w/ new Gulf Themed Words)
    # # #

    Intermission (End of Live CMT telecast)
    Would love to see these sometime!!
    # # #

  20. Piece of Work (Will Kimbrough takes a verse)
  21. School Boy Heart
  22. Hang with Jimmy Buffett (Allen Toussaint on Vocals)
  23. Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? (Jimmy on Vocals, Allen Toussaint on Piano)
  24. Volcano
  25. Surfin’ in a Hurricane
  26. Southern Cross
  27. Biloxi (Jimmy and Jesse Winchester on Vocals)
  28. Brown Eyed Girl

Watch a video of the performance of “When the Coast Is Clear” from Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live From the Gulf Coast.

Jimmy did manage to update his final song of the telecast to address the impacts of the oil spill and the need for people to get involved.  This was the first song that he and Mac wrote (appeared on the Floridays album.)  First you will see the new words, followed by the original lyrics.

When The Coast Is Clear – Updated July 13, 2010
By: Jimmy Buffett, Mac McAnally

Out on our coast waters
A different kind of storm
People run for cover
As opinions like clouds form

The trawler nets are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town

It was bound to happen
It happened to be here
We’re gonna have to work to see
That the coast is clear

The gulf is in my body
The gulf is in my soul
I wish like you that I could
Stick a wine cork in that hole!!

Anger makes us doubtful,
while fear can cloud the view.
I for one don’t think that we have done
The best that we could do,

It was bound to happen
Where crude and greed appear
I hope I am around to see
When the coast is clear

It’s the place that we all love
Wish it hadn’t happened
But we’ll still all be here
Living till that day appears
And our coast is clear…
So Clear … So Clear … So Clear!!

When The Coast Is Clear – ORIGINAL VERSION
By: Jimmy Buffett, Mac McAnally (From Floridays)

They’re closin’ down the hangout
The air is turnin’ cool
They’re shuttin’ off the superslide
The kids are back in school

The tourist traps are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town

That’s when it always happens
The same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

Hello mister other me
It’s been a long long time
We hardly get to have these chats
That in itself’s a crime

So tell me all your troubles
I’ll surely tell you mine
We’ll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke and
Have a glass of wine

That’s where it always happens
The same place every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

It’s the only place he knows
Where it always happens
The same place every year
I still come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear


I have listened to and played his songs since the mid-seventies.  One of my favorite songs remains “The Great Filling Station Hold-up” written way back in 1973.  It sure makes a lot of sense now in the days of the BP oil disaster.  However it is also harder to get away with such a caper.

“The Great Filling Station Hold-up”

I pulled into the regular pump
I was feelin’ quite at ease
Rolled down my window and told the man, “Fifty cents worth please.”
Then out jumped my partner with his trusty pellet gun
He said, “Boy this is a holdup, keep ‘a pumpin’ and don’t run.”

And now I wish I was somewhere other than here
Down in some honky tonk, sippin’ on a beer
Yes I wish I was somewhere other than here
Because that great fillin’ station holdup
Cost me two good years

We got fifteen dollars and a can of stp
A big ol’ jar of cashew nuts and a japanese tv
Feelin’ we had pulled the biggest heist of our career
We’re wanted men, we’ll strike again
But first let’s have a beer

REPEAT Chorus:

We were sittin’ in the Krystal
About as drunk as we could be
In walks the deputy sheriff
And he’s holdin’ our TV
Roughed us then he cuffed us
And he took us off to jail
No pictures on a poster, no reward and no bail

REPEAT Chorus:

I love this song as a way to revisit my own “mis-spent youth.”  I  grew up in Chicago suburbs and loved STEVE GOODMAN.   So I thank Jimmy for continuing to write songs in the “Goodman-Tradition.”

Steve Goodman and Jimmy Buffett


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