And while Deadheads packed up the VW van and drove all over to catch Jerry and the boys, Parrotheads need only move to South Florida, where Buffett is good for about a show a year, as long as it doesn't take him far from home. And then there's the added advantage of being able to live the life featured in Buffett's songs -- beaches, palm trees, margaritas, and so on.
This must all come as quite a shock to Buffett himself, even 30 years after the whole beachcombing-poet image got its start. The Mississippi native originally plotted a career in country, traveling to Nashville and putting out one sad album, Down to Earth, before going through a divorce and fleeing to the sun of South Florida. When A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean appeared in 1973, he gained a bit of fame for the song "Why Don't We Get Drunk?" which any Parrothead will tell you is among the finest odes to drunken sex the world has seen. And finally, Buffett became a beach-bum demigod in 1977, when Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes and "Margaritaville" came to the national spotlight. Another 30 albums, several books, and a chain of clothes and nightclubs followed, along with fans who buy it all, like marlin aiming for Jimmy's well-baited hook as he fishes from a beat-up pier on some nameless island.