Volume II, Number 10
*December 1999 * January 2000*
"Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you"
Halo Sandlappers and Happy Holidays! I'd like to open this latest issue of the telegraph with an apology for being so late getting this month's newsletter published. My schedule has been tight and my hard drive crashed and I've been breaking in a new laptop to get the job accomplished. Well, the Microsoft Office 97 program is loaded and the news is flowing once again to the masses. Our Christmas party for the Children's Attention Home was a success. Yours truly donned the Santa outfit and passed out presents to the kids. What a thrill it was to see the smiles on their faces as they opened their gifts. We'll be presenting the Home with new playground equipment after the first of the year. Special thanks to Kelly Sebastian for taking the time to purchase the gifts. Also to the Mt. Holly Fish Camp for not only hosting this event but for providing all of the food for us hungry revelers. And to Gala Affairs for giving us a discount on the Santa suit rental.
The very next day we had our own Christmas party at the Summit Restaurant in Chester. Andy Grant did a great job of cooking the pig for us as did Ryan Robertson in preparing the side dishes. Thanks to Worthington Station for supplying the awesome music (they recorded their stuff that night for a demo). We gave away lots of cool Buffett-related prizes and even managed to get a couple of new members during the evening.
So with that behind us it's time to move on to bigger and better things. Y2K promises to be the best year yet for the Sandlappers. Thanks for a wonderful 1999. I really appreciate the hard work put in by the members of this club. We're making a name for ourselves in the community and before Y2K is finished, they'll know us even better. In closing, I sincerely wish that the coming new year is a healthy and prosperous one for each of you and that we can somehow figure out how our ultramodern civilization was somehow traumatized by a slip of a blip on a chip made of sand.
"A sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour having fun"
The following west coast dates were announced for early spring:
· April 12th Dallas
· April 15th Las Vegas
· April 18th Oakland
· April 20th & 22nd San Diego
· April 25th Phoenix
· April 27th & 29th Irvine, CA
Congratulations are in order for two Sandlapper couples. Ashley (Rutledge) and Scott Fripp were married October 16th while Laura (Vaughn) and Roger Hudson exchanged vows on December 4th. May God's yaller moon shine down upon your love and his little lanterns twinkle in your eyes.
Margaritaville Tequila was launched recently at the Margaritaville Café in Orlando. The invitation-only event had Mr. Buffett performing several songs for the Seagrams suits. Available in silver ($19) and gold ($22), the Mexican elixir can currently be found only in Florida. Nationwide distribution will commence in early 2000. Of the reports I've read in the alt.fan.jimmy-buffett newsgroup, this is not a cookie-cutter tequila. Jimmy has apparently formulated a distinct taste in the two liquors.
There have been instances where a lot of pholks aren't able to get the enhanced portion of Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays to play on their computers. Here are the instructions that were left out of the liner notes of the CD:
The application is designed to work with Windows 95/98, NT and most Apple Macintosh computers. You must have a 200MHz processor, or faster, to make the video part run smoothly. You will also need Quick-Time version 3.0 and Netscape Navigator v4.0 and/or Microsoft Explorer v4.0 or better. If you have all of these components, simply put the CD in your CD-Rom drive and close the drawer. If the application doesn't start on its own, go to your desk top and click the My Computer icon. Then click the icon for your CD-Rom. You will then see a list of files. Click on the Home file and you're in. You don't need to be connected to the internet to view this application. If you haven't got QuickTime, you can download the program at quicktime.apple.com If you need to upgrade your browser, go to www.netscape.com or www.microsoft.com. Also, if you are confident enough to download and install, you can download the entire enhanced portion at Margaritaville.com.
A poll was recently conducted by the Church of Buffett, Orthodox web site asking pholksto vote for their favorite Jimmy Buffett ballads. 1034 Parrotheads voted and here are the top 25 songs:
1. A Pirate Looks at 40
2. He Went To Paris
3. Banana Republics
4. Twelve Volt Man
5. African Friend
6. Death of an Unpopular Poet
7. Tin Cup Chalice
8. Hurricane Season
9. Cowboy in the Jungle
10. Coast of Marseilles
11. I Have Found Me A Home
12. If the Phone Doesn't Ring
13. Pacing the Cage
14. Little Miss Magic
15. The Wino & I Know
16. Havana Daydreamin'
17. Come Monday
19. Nautical Wheelers
20. Wonder Why We Ever Go Home
21. The Night I Painted The Sky
22. Lone Palm
23. It's My Job
25. Son of a Son of a Sailor
That would make a helluva concert setlist in my book. To visit the Church, go to www.cobo.org and tell Chris that BobRob sent ya.
Rancho Deluxe author, and brother in law to Jimmy Buffett (he married Jimmy's sis Laurie Buffett), Tom McGuane is a seasoned writer of fiction who lives in Montana. After eight novels, several movies, a collection of short stories, a collection of essays on sport, a collection of essays about horses and a new collection of essays about fishing called The Longest Silence: A Life In Fishing, Mr. McGuane isn't thinking of slowing down. A new novel is in the works and their ark-load of animals keeps them on their toes. Running their 8,000 acre ranch is a full-time job for McGuane, so it's no wonder he hasn't published a novel since 1992's Nothing But Blue Skies. He is serious about writing, but is quick to let you know that he doesn't let it interfere with his horseback riding or his passion for fishing. A Stanford University graduate, McGuane and Buffett go way back to the early daze of Key West where they met in a Duval Street bar.
The LowCountry ParrotHead Club is at it again. Their second annual Key West to Charleston Revue is scheduled for the last weekend in January. January 28th - 30th to be exact. Yeah I know that's Super Bowl weekend, but you'll be home in plenty of time to catch the Panthers in their biggest game ever J Captain Harry's Blue Marlin Bar is the venue again and the Hampton Inn will play the part of the host hotel again. This year, we won't have to pre-register. They'll just be charging $7 per night at the door with Friday night's admission getting you a free raffle ticket for Saturday's BIG Key West Stuff Giveaway. The entertainment lined up so far includes Scot Kirby, Robert Hutto, Jonathon Birchfield, Bill Blue and the Chris Clifton Band. There'll be a Homemade Bikini Contest, a Conch Blowing Contest, a genuine Key West Mercantile with all the CD's from the performing artists, tee shirts, tropical shirts, henna tattoos and Key West Sunset Ale at the bar. The Hampton Inn will cost you $89 per night and is located next door to the bar (is that convenience or what?). They can be reached by calling 843-723-4000 and asking for the Parrot-head rate. Bands will play from 8PM - 2AM on Friday and 6PM - 2AM on Saturday with an outdoor lunch planned for Saturday afternoon.
House of Blues Concerts, one of Colorado's largest concert promoters, for nearly two years secretly sold prime seats to its most popular shows to ticket brokers for a premium, and the brokers then re-sold the tickets at many times their face value to the public. The practice meant that music fans who stood in line at Ticketmaster outlets to buy tickets for several concerts promoted by House of Blues had a poor chance of getting good seats or else had to pay huge mark-ups to brokers to get those prime seats. Tickets were sold to brokers for the sold-out October 31st Backstreet Boys show at the Pepsi Center as well as 1998-99 concerts at Fiddler's Green Amphitheater by Elton John, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett, Shania Twain and the Spice Girls. They said at least 1,000 tickets per concert were pulled for brokers, and in the case of the 1998 Buffett show, as many as 2,200. The policy was a way for House of Blues to increase its profits on the concerts. The practice reached a peak when the tickets went on sale for the Buffett concert on September 26, 1998. The show eventually sold out. According to House of Blues employee Lisa Bullock, "When they put the holds on for the Buffett show, I knew the first available seat would be on the lawn." Hmmmmm………
RS: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays is your third live album. Why another one at this point in your career?
JB: There are several reasons. It was time to do it. The other reason is I was leaving MCA and I figured I had to beat them to the punch because I'd rather me do it than them and I knew they had plans to do it without me. Another reason is that I think this band sounds so much better than on the previous albums. Mike Utley, our producer and my old friend, did a great job of getting pretty close to capturing the magic of that live show. I wanted to make a statement and get Mailboat Records on its feet. I knew I could drive it if I had to. I was actually working on another album of original stuff that I'll probably put out the first of January.
RS: As one of the top 10 grossing acts, with a legion of Parrotheads hanging on your every word, are you able to walk around unmolested?
JB: The funny thing is, in real life I can, you know? Because I don't do television very much. I think that's the huge factor. I run around a lot. I think that if I listened to everything everybody said on the internet, I'd probably be a basket case and never go out.
RS: Did you have anything to do with creating the Parrothead community or did it just spring up around you?
JB: No, I didn't have anything to do with it at all. This thing just sort of came up. It's easy for people to take whatever view they have now, but I sit back there and about the early years before I was a success. There's those twenty years when I couldn't get on a label. And there was only my mother and her bridge club that would come to a show. Those are the trying years for any performer when nobody's there, and you have to take your career in your own hands and have the courage to pursue it. And unless you've been in that situation, you can't understand it. That's why I can sit back now and be amused by it. I don't get mad or angry…it doesn't even help to communicate with anybody like that because they don't understand the whole picture.
RS: Your music sounds so fun-filled. You seem to communicate an essence of a perfect lifestyle and trouble-free life. Do you really live in this paradise?
JB: I'm lucky enough that I come pretty close to it. I really believe that if I were just to walk out there and do it all over again, I'd still do it all over. I've been here for 33 years and I've been up and down, but I'm still here. I gotta be doing something right. It's been fun too-but to deal with success is as challenging as trying to get it. And I can only say that the best thing that ever happened to me is I found a lifestyle that I truly loved before I became successful.
RS: You've taught a course on songwriting at Berkelee School of music in Boston. You've mentioned that you wanted to teach more. Do you really?
JB: Yeah, I would love it. There's a professor down at Louisiana State who teaches an accredited course in geography that's based on the geography in my songs. The young people growing up today don't know one end of the country from the other.
RS: Do you think working at Billboard gave you a leg up on your career?
JB: It was great training, particularly because it gave me a real education in the record business. I learned an incredible amount about what to do and what not to do when and if my time came. So that when it came there were some very vital and simple and important rules that I set for myself back then that have really done me pretty well. Most kids don't get that. And particularly today, the road to success is so short-circuited; a lot of people don't have time to sit in a bar situation and go on the road for years to get their craft together. I can remember doing 250 days a year back in those days. And it shows because there are a few bands out there now that I really admire who understand that - Phish and Dave Matthews and a couple of other bands coming up - but as a whole, people go out on tour with million dollar sets and they're broke in a year.
RS: What inspired you to start your online radio station, Radio Margaritaville?
JB: I saw the opportunity. Looking at 40 to 50 year old deejays who are great musicologists, now there's no fitting them in the corporate takeover radio like the corporate takeover of the music business. We're just in our development stages, but I have big plans for it. We're at a point where we're making a deal for some development capital to make it better-a multi-channel, an all-Buffett show, a surfing channel, and put it up there. And we're about to do a complete overhaul of Margaritaville.com to make it as fun on the web as we are on the stage.
RS: Are you impatient about getting the radio station running at full capacity?
JB: The one thing I've learned about surviving this long is you can't be in a hurry for anything creatively, and if you are, you just drive yourself crazy. Fortunately, I've got other things to work on. There's been rumours of a Where is Joe Merchant movie since the book came out. Well, we may get there next year, but if it doesn't get made, it's not a life-or-death situation.
RS: I've read that you were thinking of creating an online record label.
JB: Well, you know, I think this can be anything we want. I think the Internet is a marketing tool as opposed to a download thing. So what I'm trying to do is design something that is entertaining within the current band rate. And when broad band becomes the norm, of course it opens up tremendous opportunities. One of the things that's interesting about surviving this long is that most bands don't do that. So at least I've got 3 or 4 faces to this career and all I've ever tried to do was my job. I go to work. But all of a sudden other people are affected. There's one segment out there that doesn't think I made anything worth a shit after my 4th album. At least I like the fact that people that don't like what I do like what I did for 4 albums. And then there are others that despise the 20 year old Parrotheads. I just have to sit back and laugh because I never did it with any of that in mind. I'm happy I went from playing to 20 people to 20,000 people and I'm not going to apologize for anything.
RS: Do you have a personal motto to drive yourself in hard times?
JB: I'll tell you what I do…if I get into hard times, all I do is think about that plane crash, that I might not be here. And I was lucky to have lived through that, and things don't seem to intolerable or critical after that. My guardian angel's up there.
"I have my ship and all her flags are flyin'. She is all that I have left, and Music is her name"
South Carolina Guardian Ad Litem Program
The SPHC donated $50 to the South Carolina Guardian Ad Litem program recently. The GAL program is a group of volunteers appointed by the Family Court of South Carolina to act as an advocate for abused and neglected children. Most of the volunteers have full-time jobs and take the time from these jobs and their families to help a child in need. Each year they give these volunteers an appreciation dinner. The only way this dinner is possible is through donations from the community. This is one small way they can thank their volunteers. We also donated a couple of club koozies and ball caps as prizes during this dinner. In return, the SPHC will receive a mention in their "thank you" ad in the local papers. Thanks to Randy and Jean Little for bringing this important program to our attention.
A couple of months ago, we solicited donations from our members to send to the NC Governor's Hurricane Floyd Relief Fund. Our lone member from the hinterlands of Florida (West Palm Beach to be exact…1 ½ miles from Jimmy's house), Gator Dave Van Camp went to work and did some soliciting on his own. $80 worth! Thanks for the efforts GD!
Asked when he was going to run for President, Jimmy responded:
"Oh God! We've come down to Donald Trump and Pat Buchanan. Please! I couldn't pass the drug or morality test and I'm having too much fun doing what I'm doing. The only thing that would interest me would be Air Force One. I've been on that plane and I like that plane but as far as the rest of it, no, not interested. I'd rather be the court jester. I don't need to be the king. I reckon I'd be too honest and you can't get there by being honest these days. I like wrestlers as politicians. I think we need more wrestlers. With the ridiculousness of Florida politics, I thought last year about running for Governor and get Billy Tiger to be my Lieutenant Governor. And if we won, then I'd resign and then the Seminole Chief would be the Governor of Florida, the way it should have been 200 years ago. You know Skink (a fictional former Florida Governor in Carl Hiaasen's novels) is my political hero. I even have a "Re-elect Skink" bumper sticker.
After Jimmy finished his last concert in West Palm Beach last week, he flew to Nassau in the Bahamas to purchase a new sailboat. Apparently, his old 62 footer wasn't roomy enough so he bought a 90 foot Cheoy Lee Explorer. Price: seven figures! Hey Jimmy, where ya goin' now that you've finished your Beach House Tour? Well it sure as hell ain't gonna be Disney World!
Gino Michellini of LA radio station KLOS has procured several hundred tickets to Jimmy Buffett's Millennium concert on December 31st. The tickets are $99 each and are for the concert only, minus the pre and post concert bands and parties. To get the tickets, call Ticketmaster and mention KLOS to get the special price.
Saturday December 4th will go down as one heck of a day in the annals of SPHC history. The Sandlappers showed up en masse to help put smiles on the faces of 7 kids from the Children's Attention Home. For most of them, this will be their first Christmas without their parents but the sad part is that it may be the most pleasant Christmas they'll ever have. Yours truly donned the Santa outfit and dished out presents to the kids as each one climbed up in my lap. Special thanks go out to Kelly Sebastian for taking time out of her schedule to purchase the toys; to the Mt. Holly Fish Camp for not only hosting this event, but providing the food for everyone; to Gala Affairs for giving the club a discount on the Santa suit rental; and to all the Sandlappers who took the time from their Saturday to help us out at the party.
A.c: I understand you get much of your material for songs by sitting in restaurants and bars and eavesdropping. Do these people know you're eavesdropping?
JB: I don't know, but I've got one that just came out of the bar the other day…"I'll get a case of plutonium, you get a case of beer." It's a song I'm working on.
A.c: You've got the Southern ear, too, and a finely honed sense of irony.
JB: Somehow or another I got kind of plugged in between my Southern ear and my love for British satire. I love the English sense of humor. It's certainly different from the American sense of humor. Satire and humor are definitely in everything I do.
A.c: Do you feel the same impulse you have to write songs is the same as writing books? When you sit down, do you know what's going to come out?
JB: No, I don't know. I'm a lot busier now than I was when I was writing songs, and sometimes I think maybe it takes away from my music to be that occupied. But I can still find my space to go in and write songs. It's interesting because I really like to write longer things. I also tend to pluck things out of my short stories and my prose that eventually wind up being songs. The first thing I do when I've completed a 35-40 page story is to go back and say, "Let's see, is there anything in here that would work as a song?"
A.c: You do have a sense of rhythm in your books.
JB: I didn't know how to write a book, but I knew how to put a set list together for a show and I know how to sequence an album. I think it's just an emotional roller coaster with highs and lows. You go up and you go down. I had that sense of pacing from my shows and from my records and that's the only tool I had when I went in to write books. That's why I gave every chapter a title: it gives me a sense of where I am.
A.c: Do you get any criticism because many of your songs are set in bars and you talk about alcoholic encounters?
JB: Sure I do. But I'm one of those who believes you can't legislate morality, and moderation is the key to everything. I was fortunate enough to have lived through the crazy period of my life and those songs are part of what I did back then. On the other side, I know that it's a party, but I also know that when we come to town it's kind of like carnival. It doesn't go on 365 days a year. We're everybody's excuse to go out and have a good time and blow off a little steam. As a part of that, we've been looking for ways that we could do something about it. The coolest thing I've seen around this thing is called Tipsy Taxies, which started out in Aspen. We've supported it for the last 20 years. Basically, you give money to this fund and it's free taxies if you can't drive home. We're trying to create that as a part of our concert tour.
Grover Washington, Jr. passed away December 14th after collapsing while taping a TV special in New York. He had lived in Philadelphia since 1967 and played saxophone on Jimmy's Hot Water album. Also passing on was Hank Snow on December 20th. Jimmy mentioned Hank in his song The Wino And I Know.
SPHC Christmas Party
The Sandlapper PH Club's 1999 Christmas Party is history and a good time was had by all. Worthington Station provided our backbeat and Andy Grant provided the BBQ. The Summit Restaurant in Chester was our host and you probably wouldn't recognize the place after we were done decking their halls with all of that Parrothead regalia. We gave away some nice prizes and pigged out on, well, pig. Now for a more serious note. We had over 40 members commit to attending the Christmas Party. Only 20 showed up. If it weren't for the kindness of Summit owner Ryan Robertson, we would be out $200 for those 20 members who were no-shows. Thanks Ryan! Pholks, if we were asked to pay the full amount we committed to, we would have no choice but to ask you to pay for your commitment. I hope everyone understands. Thanks!
OK Sandlappers, it's time to put your thinking caps on and help with ideas for fundraisers during the first quarter of Y2K. We've had success in the past with our yard sales and concession stand work, but I just know our membership can pull through with several thoughts on the subject. If something comes to mind, please forward your idea(s) to us at the next meeting on January 12th at O'Charley's in Rock Hill.
Peter Mayer has released his latest CD called Spare Tire Orchestra. The eight song collection includes tunes written by Mayer, brother Jim, Jay Oliver and Coral Reefer drummer Roger Guth. The band includes Peter on lead guitar, lead vocals and foot stomps; Jim Mayer on electric bass and chest slaps; Vince Varvel on rhythm guitar and hand drums; Scott Bryan on percussion; and Daisy and Audrey on barkup vocals. No, that's not a typo. Daisy and Audrey are Peter's pups.
Also, somewhere on the horizon are releases by SPHC members Erik Smith of Hilton Head and the Worthington Station boys Kevin Loop and Russell Ruckterstuhl. I have Erik Smith's demo if anyone is interested in getting a copy, just get me a tape and I'll dub it.
Calendar of Phlockings
|December 25th||Happy Birthday Jesus and Jimmy Buffett|
|December 31st||Buffett plays his Millennium Concert in LA|
|January 12th||SPHC monthly meeting at O'Charley's, Rock Hill, 7PM|
|January 28th - 30th||Key West to Charleston Revue, Captain Harry's, Charleston|
|February 8th||SPHC monthly meeting at the Summit Restaurant, Chester|
|February 8th||Deadline to announce candidacy for SPHC office|
|March 14th||SPHC monthly meeting in Rock Hill, location TBA|
|March 14th||SPHC Elections|
|March 25th||SPHC's 2nd Anniversary Party, details TBA SOON!|
|April 11th||SPHC's monthly meeting, TBA|
|April 12th||Buffett plays Dallas|
|April 15th||Buffett plays Las Vegas|
|April 18th||Buffett plays Oakland|
|April 20th & 22nd||Buffett plays San Diego|
|April 25th||Buffett plays Phoenix|
|April 27th & 29th||Buffett plays Irvine, CA|
|May 9th||SPHC's monthly meeting, TBA|
|June 13th||SPHC's monthly meeting, TBA|