Sandlapper Parrot Head Telegraph
Volume IV, Number 2
A Charter PHiP Club
Last night's business was a very productive one for the SPHC. Here's a breakdown of what we accomplished:
* We will be working both the Winston All-Star NASCAR race on Saturday, May 19th and the Coca-Cola World 600 on Sunday, May 27th. WE STILL NEED VOLUNTEERS!!!! And in the words of our new president Rick Rutland, if you like the nice things this club does for you, the only way to keep 'em coming is to volunteer your time during our fundraisers. Contact Cheryl Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help us in this matter. And it's also
my own hopes that we don't have just the same few folks that always show up to support the club. Get involved....it's easy!
* This next item is a prime example of what your hard work will do for you if you volunteer your time in our fundraisers. Mark June 9th on your calendar as we are cranking up a monthly social that will be held at various locations each month. The SPHC will purchase the goodies for this upcoming social to show our appreciation for the hard work you've done. The goodies in this case will be a huge batch of Frogmore Stew (shrimp, kielbasa, corn on the cob and new potatoes). Also, we want to use this social as a membership drive, so bring along a friend or 3 and if they join the club you'll get points that will go towards your Buffett ticket totals for next year (or this one if he books a date nearby). We have one slight bump in the road that I hope someone will be able to help out with. The original location for the social was to be the clubhouse at my apartment complex (Paces River), but they have upped their rates to $75.00 (from $25.00) and we will not be allowed to use the swimming pool, exercise room, hot tub, tennis court, or outdoor grills. SO, if anyone would like to donate their house, lake house or large facility, preferably with a pool, we would certainly appreciate it. Please get in touch with me at email@example.com or 803-448-8000 if you'd like to open your humble abode to a Saturday
afternoon social. Thanks...
* We began planning our 2001 Endless Carnival Party last night. Looks like it will either be September 22nd or September 29th. The bands we bantered around are Hugo Duarte, Scott Kirby, Erik Smith and the Caribbean Cowboys.
Locations are now being scouted, but if you have any ideas, please get back to me asap as it's never too early to book a location.
* We have tenatively scheduled a field trip to the Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge for Saturday, July 28th. I will forward more details as I get them. We will probably go to Jillian's at Concord Mills afterwards for a little relaxation and games.
* DeeAnna Brooks presented the financial report for the club. We currently have a little over $1500.00 in the account with lots of $$$ on the horizon with the races coming up.
* The Knight's Castle dates that were reserved for us this season are not the best in the world and we may end up dropping them altogether.
That's it for the meeting synopsis. If you have any questions, regards or concerns, get in touch with Rick at NancyR@oltronics.net. Oh yeah, I'm including this month's newsletter in this e-mail as I'm running extremely late again (thanks to ParrotStock ;-). See you at the social....
* The Charlotte PHC is hosting a benefit for Missi , a good friend of Charlotte PHC member Mary Fisher who is battling cancer. The party will be held on Rodger Harrison's (a founder of the Charlotte PHC) house boat at Terry's Marina off of Shopton Road which is off of Hwy 49 on the NC side of the Lake (Shopton is located in between Carowinds Blvd. and the lake). The date is Saturday, June 2nd and they'll be cranking up around 4PM. The cost is $10.00 per person and will include food. Their will be a cash bar with drink prices set at $2.00 per drink. NO COOLERS will be allowed please as
their just isn't enough room on the boat. This benefit will be limited to the first 50 pholks who call Mary for a ticket at 704-829-0169 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh yeah, I didn't mention the musical aspect of this benefit.....the main attraction will be Mr. Hugo Duarte himself accompanied by Rodger Harrison and a couple other special guests.....all for $10.00 per person. Not a bad deal and we'll be helping the cause. Oh yeah (sorry), the SPHC voted last night to cut a check in the amount of $100.00 to present to Missi at the benefit (Mary, if you're listening, don't tell Missi! :-)
* Jimmy Buffett joined Mac MacAnally onsatge at the Margaritaville Cafe in New Orleans over the weekend (May 5th). Here's the partial setlist:
1. It's a Crazy World
2. Pot Top Hop
3. Looking Back
4. Semi-True Stories
5. Presents To Send You
6. Wino and I Know
7. In The City
9. When the Coast Is Clear
10. It's My Job
11. The Ass and the Hole
12. Gentleman of Leisure
13. Oysters and Pearls
14. Southern Cross
* USAToday will have an article on the Don't Stop The Carnival musical this Friday in the Travel section.
* Don't Stop the Carnival Review from the Washington Post (Wednesday, May 2nd)
Jimmy Buffett looked like one of his own laid-back lyrics as he flip-flopped across the clay-red terrace outside the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas' Paradise Island. Shades on, wearing a yellow polo shirt and a coral-pink cap, the tradewind-blown minstrel of Margaritaville could have just stepped from his sailboat.
Unlikely. Buffett has been working, spending more of his time in the darkened back row of the nearby Atlantis Theater than in the tropical sun. Over the previous three weeks, he has been dropping in on preview performances to tweak his musical comedy "Don't Stop the Carnival," an unlikely collaboration between Buffett and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
Herman Wouk. Now he's back for the grand opening of what promises to become a new mandatory pilgrimage for the cultish multitudes of Buffett fans known as Parrotheads.
"I'm kind of relaxed," the 54-year-old Buffett said during an interview, basking in the Caribbean sun while massive yachts roared by in the marina below. "Because, if I know anything about audiences, this show works."
And clearly Buffett knows much about how to please an audience, especially the shorts-and-shades crowds that flock to his concerts year after year for a chance to sing along with "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and other Coral Reefer Band standards. I know, because -- although I stop short of calling myself a Parrot- head -- I'm a hard-core fan. I make at least one of his shows every summer, own all but three of his 32 albums and reach for my Margaritaville coffee mug on warm, sunny mornings. Buffett's music is my perennial soundtrack for summer.
Now, this pied piper of paradise is luring his fans to the tropics with what he hopes will be a permanent show about expatriate tribulations in the Caribbean. "We are in the right place doing this show," said Buffett, a self-styled "salesman of escapism" whose sold-out concerts, albums, Margaritaville Cafes and related merchandise have made him one of the
top-money entertainers in the world. "Who wouldn't want to come here?"
Who indeed? As soon as I heard Buffett's new project was debuting two weeks ago, I threw my best Hawaiian shirt in the carry-on and booked a flight to Paradise Island. And I wasn't alone.
"Oh, yeah. I've seen it already. It has started," Buffett said of the earliest Parrothead arrivals. "There are people who had to be the first ones here."
But is this place and show a match made in paradise? Coming over the new toll bridge from Nassau into Paradise Island, I gawked at the Atlantis resort's Royal Towers, rising pinkish and skyward across the harbor. Inspired by the myth of the lost continent of Atlantis, the resort is at once surreal, gaudy and undeniably fascinating in its excess and eccentricity.
From the golden flying horses fountain that dominates the Royal Towers' main entrance to the cavernous lobby and massive casino, Atlantis's scale is colossal. Outside, extensive lagoons are home to stingrays, sharks and tropical fish -- some 50,000 sea creatures in what the resort claims is the world's largest man-made marine habitat. A re-creation of Atlantian ruins features elaborate underground corridors. There are 11 fresh- and salt-water swimming areas, cascading waterfalls and a three-mile stretch of white-sand beach. Suites at the 2,300-room, $850 million complex go for more than
$1,400 per night. (The cheapest rooms cost $310 per night in season, $220 in the summer off season.)
Many Parrotheads will no doubt opt to stay at the many cheaper beach hotels nearby and come to the Atlantis just for the show. Even so, will those sometimes rowdy hordes, with their outrageous shark hats, coconut-shell bikini tops and high-octane tailgating, feel at home amid Atlantis's conspicuous opulence?
Buffett hopes Wouk's circa-1959 story line will take care of that. The show brings to life the expatriate misadventures of Norman Paperman, a Broadway publicist whose midlife crisis stirs him to live out his fantasies in primitive Kinja, a fictitious island.
"What we do is take [the audience] back," Buffett said. "Because even if they are at these over-the-top resorts or on a cruise ship, what everybody's looking for in the Caribbean, and always have, is that palm tree on the beach, maybe that exotic woman, or that guy out there. A good-tasting rum, a little passion, a little salt water."
Buffett said he had read Wouk's 1965 novel dozens of times before he contacted the writer in 1992 about a musical adaptation. Wouk's response: "Who's Jimmy Buffett?"
Soon Wouk was working on the libretto and Buffett was writing songs from the characters' points of view, a process he said was harder than his usual ocean-of-consciousness song-writing, and with quite different results. Different latitude, same attitude, these are show tunes that would be equally at home on Broadway as at beaches and bars. The show's original six-week run in 1996 in Coconut Grove, Fla., was a box office hit cheered by many critics, though criticized for its three-hour length. (They cut it in half for the new version).
The show's big attraction, at least for Parrotheads, is the music. All written by Buffett, the 20 catchy, energetic songs with names like "Calaloo" and "Champagne Si, Aqua Non" are a masterful mix of calypso, soca, bossa nova and other Caribbean music. To emphasize the tunes, he moved the show's collection of Bahamian and U.S. musicians from the hidden orchestra pit to directly behind the show onstage.
As I waited for showtime, though, I had questions. I loved the 1998 "Don't Stop the Carnival" album from the second time I heard it. But how would Buffett's show fly without Buffett onstage? And could the show do justice to Wouk's legend of Norman Paperman in just 90 minutes?
Attending the final preview show one night and the grand opening the next, I got the answer. Vigorous and stimulating, the show moves so quickly I would have welcomed another 15 or 20 minutes in Kinja.
"Carnival" speaks to every suit-and-tie who ever contemplated beating a tropical retreat from the rat race. If there's an island in yourdreams, you'll probably like this show.
And the troubadour of the tropics? To the delight of the opening-night audience, Buffett quietly sneaked onstage with a guitar to lend his voice to the chorus on two songs.
Afterward, Buffett smiled. "I think we've found ourselves a home here for this little show," he said.
And a new roost for Parrotheads.
GETTING THERE: All-inclusive package deals (including airfare, hotel and taxes) dramatically reduce the cost of a long weekend on Paradise Island. Through May 28, Atlantis (800-285-2684, www.atlantis.com) is offering
"Parrot Head Packages" that include airfare from Washington, room (two nights) and show tickets, starting at about $743 per person. Delta Vacations(800-654-6559) offers a two-night package deal that, depending on hotel choice, ranges from $447 to $827.
STAYING THERE: Rates at the 2,300-room Atlantis resort start at about $310 per night through May (about $220 and up in summer). Within walking distance: Comfort Suites Paradise Island (242-363-3680) has full use of all Atlantis facilities, and rooms start at $175; Sheraton Grand Resort Paradise Island (888-625-5144), with rooms starting at $190 per night; and Holiday Inn Sun Spree Paradise Island (242-363-2561) , from $89. If money is no object, the nearby Ocean Club (888-528-7157), an elegant and understated resort, charges from $645 for beachfront rooms in the off season.
WHERE TO EAT: Beyond Atlantis's 38 various restaurants are plenty of alternatives. Well worth it are reservations at the upscale Dune, the Ocean Club's exceptional beachfront restaurant of French-Asian and Caribbean dishes. For moderately priced Bahamian fare, Anthony's Caribbean Grill is only a couple of blocks from Atlantis's Theater, though its Caribbean-Denny's decor and food are unexceptional. Better to take a taxi into town to the Shoal Restaurant (242-323-4400) for cracked conch and lobster.
"DON'T STOP THE CARNIVAL" runs Mondays through Saturdays. Tickets are $60 for theater seating, $70 per person for cabaret table seating, and are available from Atlantis at 800-285-2684 (U.S.) or 242-363-SHOW (Bahamas).
INFO: Bahamas Tourist Office, 212-758-2777, www.bahamas.com.
* The Margaritaville Cafe at Universal Studios CityWalk in Orlando will be going for the Margarita world record on May 18th at 7:30pm. They will be creating the Big Rita with 1100 gallons of tequila in an attempt to make it into the Guinness Book Of World Records. For more info and pictures, visit http://www.margaritaville.com/orlando/record.htm
* Peter Mayer's web site (www.PeterMayer.com) has apparently been hit by internet pirates. There was a profane message against the U.S. Government posted. That message has since been removed. The site is not operative yet,
but there is a "technical difficulties" screen displayed that states they are aware of the problem and are working to correct it.
* Buffett, a long-time Phish Head, will perform "Gumbo" (Not Jimmy's version, but the Phish song) on the upcoming Phish Tribute CD called "Sharin' the Groove: Celebrating the Music of Phish."
* Former Coral Reefer, Claudia Cummings has written and produced a song, called 'Dizzy', that has been chosen for the title track for the new Jim Carrey movie, "The Majestic". The film is written, produced and directed by Frank Darabont who also did " The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile". Claudia also produced 7 other songs that are to be included in the movie as well. The film is due for release in December, 2001.
* The Rum Punch Bandits will be gigging this Friday night, May 11th, at Curley's Bar & Grill on Old York Road in the Winn-Dixie Plaza. The show will begin at 9PM and they'll play until 1AM.
* Wanna see some cool images from Don't Stop The Carnival? Visit the BuffettNews DSTC page at http://www.buffettnews.com/dstcstuff.html.
* A new Margaritaville restaurant is now open in Jamaica's Montego Bay. Visit http://margaritaville.com/jamaica for more info...
* Da Big Dog (Bill Lack) has officially shut down the Buffett ListServ after 7 years of service to ParrotHeads worldwide. The ListServ was an organized way to let ParrotHeads communicate with each other in an e-mail-style and kept archives of every post ever sent out. Along with the shutting down of the ListServ, the annual RACAFest (Rum and Cooked Animals) Party has been axed as well as the annual Buffett ListServ Party held in Key West during Meeting of the Minds.
* Have you seen those really cool Adirondack chairs at the different Margaritaville Stores around the country? Well, those cute little chairs are made by none other than Wood Butchers of Louisville, KY. Visit
http://www.wood-butchers.com to check out their stuff.
* ParrotStock 2001 has just concluded and man are my wings tired ;-) The event was held at the Windjammer Beach Club on the Isle of Palms, SC and there were 3 days of sun, phun and phrivolity, not to mention the great music by Sunny Jim White, Scott Kirby, Hugo Duarte, Caribbean Cowboys, Erik Smith, A1A, the Delta Riders and the Immortal Reefer Band. In my opinion, one of the strongest performances of the event was by the Caribbean Cowboys. Yeah, I've seen them many times, but they were especially ON last Friday night. I've never seen Matt Sluder so in tune as he scorched his Fender all evening. And when Erik Smith was invited up on stage to play Steve Weams' guitar and sing Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See," they turned it into a 12+ minute jam session that brought down the house. Truly an inspiring display
The Immortal Reefers, despite limited rehearsal time, put on a great show as well. Roger Bartlett, Hary Dailey, Greg "Finger" Taylor, Keith Sykes, Phillip Fajardo, Jay Spell and Deborah McColl were the players, and they had a blast going back to their past and digging up a few of Buffett gems. They also played several of their originals as well to give the ParrotStockers aglimpse of what they've been up to in the past 20+ years. After their first break, Keith Sykes came out with Deb McColl for an acoustic set that brought tears to my eyes. Keith did his rendition of JimmyBob as he sang
Margaritaville in the good ol' fashioned styleof Bob Dylan. Truly hilarious! Then he sang "Coast of Marseilles" and showed a true emotion of the song that I've never felt from Buffett's version.
All in all, it was great weekend for the ParrotHeads in attendance and the Charleston club has offered to bring it back again next year. My thanks go out to all of the volunteers, both local and from out of town, who made that weekend a huge success. Topping it will be tough, but at least we have a year to plan it ;-)