Jimmy Buffett was my favourite musician. I had become a fan during my second week of University when I picked up Jimmy’s album, ‘’A White Sport’s Coat and a Pink Crustacean.’’ I found his songs amusing, inspiring and fun. I loved the Caribbean feel and the smart lyrics.
As life progressed I continued to be a huge Jimmy fan. I would get excited when he’d make a late-night appearance and couldn’t wait for the Coral Reefer Band to play. I felt like a member of a small group who supported this guy who nobody knew about. I was wrong. When ‘’Margaritaville’’ blew up, the secret was out, Jimmy was a tremendous talent. Soon, the world was craving his escapist music and buying into his messages and lifestyle.
Over the years I watched him and his brand explode. He wrote brilliant, funny books and kept releasing great albums. Soon, there were Margaritaville slot machines and sunglasses, sandals and hotels, restaurants and casinos, Jimmy had found the masses and they found him.
The whole Parrothead movement was predicated on one thing, having fun. It was something my Sister Susie and I weren’t having a lot of in July of two thousand and eight. Our Dad hadn’t been well. In fact, he had been on dialysis for eighteen years and it was starting to take a toll on his body. My Dad, Joe, never complained. No matter how terrible he felt, he never wanted to trouble my Mom. We admired and loved him with every ounce of strength in our collective bodies.
I knew the stress was constant and my Sister’s Birthday was coming up, so I wanted to do something special for her. Something that would transport us away from reality and escape for one night into the fun stratosphere.
August fourth was Susie’s Birthday, and on the morning she opened her Birthday card, two tickets fell out for a Jimmy Buffett concert at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto. We had great seats and she and I were both genuinely excited. The concert was happening the following Thursday night. There would be Parrothead activity all day on the Ontario Place grounds. We made plans to go in early to take in the atmosphere and to have fun.
All week we were excited about going and played Jimmy Buffett Cds on a non-stop basis in the house. Thursday we made plans to go to the concert site at around…