Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber

Now open: Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber

By Dave Dondoneau, TGIF Editor

Jimmy Buffett is mixing business with pleasure on his latest trip to Honolulu. While he's playing concerts on Maui and O'ahu, he's also here to help promote his newest restaurant.

Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber opened earlier this month, and last night Buffett surprised patrons with an impromptu concert to christen the joint.

And it is some joint.
Located in the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel (2300 Kalakaua Ave.), it's an over-the-top Parrothead paradise. It cost $15 million to build, is 22,000-square-feet big and can seat 400 patrons.

But you ain't seen nothin' yet.

The restaurant takes up the spot where the late Don Ho used to play at the Blue Hawaii showroom and also where the former Hibiscus Cafe restaurant sat. It's an area large enough for Buffett's surf museum and its walls are molded to look like lava rock. When you enter, you'll see fake lava oozing from the ceiling, tables laminated with island scenes and booths with different themes, like waves breaking overhead.

Live music and bars are inside the restaurant.

Margaritas will be served. Spongecake, we're not sure about yet.

Jimmy Buffett Opens the Beachcomber in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Buffett Opens Waikiki Restaurant with Concert

By Dave Dondoneau, TGIF Editor

Jimmy Buffett christened his new Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber restaurant in Waikiki in style last night, putting on a nonstop two-hour concert for invited guests and VIPs.

"I refuse to participate in this recession," Buffett told a cheering crowd, many of whom wore balloon animals in the shape of shark fins and parrotheads.
Dressed in his trademark yellow T-shirt, red board shorts and standing in bare feet, Buffett brought out old standards like "Come Monday," "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Margaritaville," played "Dukes on Sunday" with local favorite Henry Kapono and jammed all night alongside ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and most of his Coral Reefer band. He also premiered some new songs, basically putting on a full concert preview for fans who also came to town for Buffett's concert tomorrow night at the Waikiki Shell. Lawn seat tickets still remain available.

Buffett talked to the fans throughout the show on several topics, including the fact that the Beachcomber is his first business venture in Hawaii. Though he's known for his Margaritaville restaurants, the Beachcomber at the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel at 2300 Kalakaua Ave. is one of a kind. It cost $15 million to renovate the area where legendary Waikiki performer Don Ho called home for decades. It is now a 22,000-square foot spectacle complete with Buffett's own surf museum next to the second-floor entrance.

The hotel itself is across the street from the beach and has no ocean view, but Buffett played on a stage with two large video screens and palm trees as his backdrop. Ocean scenes from across Hawaii played on the big screens throughout his performance and will continue for patrons during restaurant hours. The restaurant walls look like lava rocks, and each table top has hand-picked photo scenes from the Islands. The glass bar tops have flowing waters cascading through them, and booths have either a wave breaking overhead or are surrounded by lava rocks. As he played, restaurant servers passed out free food and beverages, ranging from mini cheeseburgers and margaritas to beer, tacos, shrimp and other pupus.

"The restaurant is now open!" Buffett said before he walked off stage a final time.

Jimmy Buffett In Hawaii 2009

2 music greats, 1 weekend
Both Jimmy Buffett and Steve Miller Band in town.
By Dave Dondoneau TGIF Editor

This really could be dubbed "The weekend of songs you know by heart."

Jimmy Buffett at the Waikiki Shell Saturday night; the Steve Miller Band at the Blaisdell Arena Sunday night.

In a 24-hour span, music fans can hear classic hits ranging from "Margaritaville" to "The Joker." Together, Buffett and Miller have more than 80 years of concert history, sold tens of millions of albums and, now in their 60s, have become both pop culture icons and rock legends.

They may be both known for their hits of the '70s, but their attitudes and appreciation for their fans have kept their music relevant.

"I don't look back much," Buffett said in a recent phone interview. "It's so much fun to look forward. (Performing) may look easy on stage, but you have to do a lot of hard work, a lot of luck and a little bit of talent. Then you have to manage it well. I've been lucky to have people around who've made good decisions — both in music and business — for me."

How cool is Buffett? After his last concert at Waikiki Shell, he hung out of the sunroof of his limousine blowing kisses, waving and shouting thanks to his fans as he slowly drove away. When he visited Honolulu after 9/11 in 2001, he saw things were "in a funk," so he decided to offer a little pick-me-up to Waikiki's suddenly struggling economy.

He chose to do an impromptu concert at Duke's, now the neighboring restaurant of his recently opened Jimmy Buffett's at the Beachcomber, a $15 million, 400-seat, 22,000-square foot Parrothead paradise that includes a surf museum.

"Duke's is somewhere I always wanted to play because I love the place and the people," Buffett explained. "It just has a great ambiance. You're right off the beach. Being a surfer myself, it was cool to see surfers just sitting on their boards listening to the music with Diamond Head in the background. Now I want to carry on where Don Ho left off at the Beachcomber."

An equally cool story is offered by Miller, who credits Paul McCartney's words of wisdom for improving his songs.

"Paul and I had just finished a jam session, and I remember asking him about writing music," Miller recounted during a phone interview. "He told me he wished he had taken more time on some of his songs because he could have made them better.

"All I could think of was, 'What in the world could The Beatles have done better?' But because of that, I pulled 'Abracadabra' at 11:59.59, the very last second, before putting it on an album. I wasn't really happy with it, so I sat on it for three years. Then one day I'm out skiing in Sun Valley and I run into Diana Ross and The Supremes on top of the mountain. How weird is that to see Diana Ross in Idaho on a mountain? I had worked with her before, so we talked a bit, and after I skiied down, I pulled out 'Abracadabra' and thought how would The Supremes do this song? Fifteen minutes later, I was finished.

"It had different lyrics and a different title than when I started, but the music was the same. That song took three years and 15 minutes to finish, but it became a No. 1 hit everywhere in the world from Mongolia to Peru because I took some time to get it right. Some songs come quick; some take years."

Part of the appeal of both Buffett and Miller is how they seem to just be ordinary Joes who struck it big.

They are so grounded when you talk to them, you just want to sit and have a beer (or margarita) at the nearest bar and listen to stories of how the music you've listened to the past four decades came to life.

Miller recounted a time when he toured in 1993, around when he was releasing the album "Wide River." He was playing an outdoor concert in front of 20,000 fans when he told the crowd he was going to play some songs from the new record.

"Literally, 5,000 people got up and went to the bathroom or to go get hot dogs, and the minute they heard the opening strains of 'Fly Like an Eagle,' they came rushing back in," Miller said with a chuckle. " I thought, 'How odd.' Now it's changed. We still do new songs, but we don't introduce them like that. To our delight, the fans like them."

Buffett's concerts also include his biggest hits, from "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," to "Come Monday," "Fins," "A Pirate Looks at 40," "Why Don't We Get Drunk," "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," "Son of Sailor" and more, usually about 30 songs worth of memories.
The duo have toured so long and so often, they've even played together. They're just not exactly sure when.

Buffett, 62, laments that Miller, 65, is one of the few acts older than he is and still going strong. He barks out his favorite Steve Miller Band tune — "Fly Like an Eagle" — without hesitation.
"Are you kidding me? That is one of the best songs of all time," Buffett said. "We both do journeymen work. All these years, and I still love to go out and listen to his songs. Who doesn't?"
The feeling is mutual.

"Give me 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' every day of the week," Miller said. "Jimmy has so many good ones. We did some stadium shows together back in the '60s and early '70s in Florida, and we've jammed together at some private gatherings. He's such an interesting guy, but it's been a long time since I've seen him."

(For the record, sadly, there is no chance they'll meet Saturday and play together at the Shell: Miller and his band are playing at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and get into Honolulu Sunday.)

The only thing missing from both artists' resumés is a call from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. That they aren't in yet is a joke.

Buffett could be in not only for his music, but also for creating a way of life for legions of Parrotheads: Blow out your flip-flops, step on a pop top, cruise on back home to find some booze in the blender and from then on it's one sandy, beach-filled, no-worries lifestyle.
When Buffett plays, it's not so much a concert as it as a party thrown by "Godfather of Trop Rock," as Parrotheads have to come to call him.

He's also gone global. It's estimated he makes $100 million annually from his concerts, restaurants (he christened his Waikiki restaurant last night with an impromptu concert), books (three No. 1 best-sellers on the New York Times list and a fourth also on the list), CDs, videos and memorabilia. It's safe to say he's not only no longer living on sponge cake, but he could buy enough Cheeseburgers in Paradise today to feed Guam.

Miller's resumé is just as impressive, but more for the lyrics he's created and for his ability to crank out Top 40 hits.

His flowing lyrics about his tour schedule for his 1976 No. 1 hit "Rock'n Me." (I went from Phoenix/All the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.) was analyzed nearly 30 years later in 2005 by premier pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman in his best-selling book "Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story."

The book is supposed to be about Klosterman's 6,557-mile trek across the country to visit sites where famous musicians met their death, but in reality, it's more about Klosterman's love life and his take on pop culture topics. In one funny, spot-on diatribe after "The Joker" comes on the radio while driving across Montana, Klosterman wonders aloud what kind of tour manager would have Miller zigzagging back and forth across the country, instead of planning a better, more direct route.

His logic makes total sense, but had Klosterman had the chance to ask Miller about it personally, he probably would get the same creative license answer Miller gave when asked what the lyric "pampatous of love" means.

"It means nothing," Miller said with a laugh. "I wrote 'The Joker' in 15 minutes and I just liked the way 'pampatous of love' sounded when it rolled off the tongue.

"You won't find it in a dictionary. To me, it's funny what people latch onto with music and it's always interesting to see how what you wrote is interpreted by others. I get letters all the time from lawyers asking me what pampatous means. I'm not even sure I'd know how to spell it again.

"I do think it's great that 30 or 40 years after something is written, people are still singing it and wondering about it. It's fascinating. I love that young people still listen to my music."


Miller: Steve Miller Band
Buffett: Coral Reefer Band
Steve Miller Band: "The Joker"(1973), "Rock'n Me" (1976) and "Abracadabra" (1982).
Buffett: "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" (2003) with Alan Jackson, "Margaritaville" (1977)
Steve Miller Band: "Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits 1974-1978" (33rd on the Recording Industry Association of America list of best-selling rock albums of all time).
Buffett: "Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett's Greatest Hits" (seven times multiplatinum)
Miller: "Fly Like an Eagle 30th Anniversary Edition," 2006
Buffett: "Live at Texas Stadium" (with George Strait and Alan Jackson) and "Live in Anguilla," both in 2007
Miller: "I love Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker. I hired a 13-year-old neighbor for $10 an hour to download blues and music. Now I have a terabyte of music, over 6,000 blues songs."
Buffett: "I'm very eclectic. As a writer, know what I like to listen to as far as lyrics. I love Jawaiian, Iz, the Ka'au Crater Boys ... a lot of cool stuff. I ran into Jake Shimabukuro and loved his work."
Miller: Led Zeppelin, Gov't Mule, North Mississippi Allstars, Keith Richards, Kings of Leon, Corb Lund.
Buffet: Bob Marley, Moe Keale, Kings of Leon, Jack Johnson, Emmylou Harris
Miller: Plans to release a new CD in the spring, a collaboration with Carole King. "Blues-based rock and roll," he said. He's also planning to do an outdoor festival with Toby Keith this summer.
Buffett: Recently completed a project with Google Earth that will soon be unveiled.

Jimmy Buffett Concert. Maui, HI, 2/24/09 Set List

1. Migration
2. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
3. Tiki Bar is Open
4. I Will Play For Gumbo
5. Fruitcakes
6. Miss You So Badly
7. Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit
8. A Lot to Drink About
9. Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
10. It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
11. Volcano
12. Cheeseburger In Paradise
13. Come Monday
14. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (with Jake and Robert)
15. Cowboy In The Jungle
16. Brown Eyed Girl
17. Makin' Music For Money
18. School Boy Heart
19. One Particular Harbour
20. A Pirate Looks At Forty
21. Southern Cross
22. Margaritaville


23. Fins
24. We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About
25. Lover of Mine (segue into "Imagine" and "Everybody's Talkin" segue back into Lover of Mine)

Maui Arts & Cultural Center - Maui, HI.
February 24th, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Alpine Valley Buffett Tailgate

Thanks to SongBuff1 for checking in from Alpine Valley.
Alpine Valley, WI. July 19, 2008.
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Jimmy Buffett Alpine Valley Tailgate

Thanks to LittleMissJen for checking in from Alpine Valley.
Alpine Valley, WI. July 19, 2008.
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Jimmy Buffett Vibrator Racing

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Jimmy Buffett Melon Heads

Melon Heads is the name given to mysterious beings found in long-running urban legends in parts of Michigan, Ohio, and Connecticut. They are described as small humanoids with bulbous heads who occasionally emerge from their hiding places to attack people. Different variations of the legend attribute different origins. The first ever sighted Melon Head was apparently found by an old lady to her cottage and named Thomas Dove after her husband. It is said that his head exploded shortly after.

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Jimmy Buffett Tailgate Limbo

Limbo is a dance that originated on the island of Trinidad, though Hawaii is often mistakenly associated with limbo. The dancer moves to a Caribbean rhythm, then leans backward and dances under a horizontal stick without touching it. Upon touching it or falling backwards, the dancer is "out". When several dancers compete, they travel in single file, and the stick is gradually lowered until only one dancer — who has not touched either the stick or the floor — remains.

In recent years, limbo dancing has been conducted as a social "icebreaker" game for fans at Jimmy Buffett concerts as well as in the Caribbean and other tropical resorts.
The winning dancer often receives a prize.

The name comes directly from the Trinidad dialect of English; Merriam-Webster (see definition #2) lists the etymology as "English of Trinidad & Barbados; akin to Jamaican English limba to bend, from English limber".

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Jimmy Buffett Upside Down Margarita

Ingredients to use:
  • 1.0 i squeeze lime juice
  • 1.0 oz Margaritaville Tequila
  • 1.0 oz Cointreau Triple Sec
  • Borrow old chair from neighbors porch


Victim lies back on bar with mouth wide open.
Squeeze lime into the mouth and coat lips with salt.

All liquor is poured directly from the bottle into the persons mouth. Pour in Triple Sec
and then Tequila. Person SLOWLY closes their mouth , lifts their head a little, shakes it vigorously then sits up and swallows. No liquor must escape the mouth or you must go back to the beginning and repeat.

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Jimmy Buffett Tailgate Beer Bong

Bonging a Beer is the act of using a funnel, or beer bong, to rapidly consume a large amount of liquid, most commonly beer or a similar alcoholic beverage, as a drinking game or as a means to consume a large amount of alcohol in a small amount of time. The inherent challenge is to swallow the rapid flow of beer in one attempt, without spillages.
"I bet she could suck a golf ball through a garden hose"

Funneling (or tubing) beer in this fashion is made significantly more difficult when foam (or froth) is present. The bubbles rapidly fill the drinker's mouth and throat, impeding the flow of liquid and can cause the attempt to be abandoned due to coughing fits. Part of the purpose for the funnel itself, aside from allowing more volume, is to allow a greater surface area for the foam to subside than a tube alone would be able to.

For optimum results, a funnel should be de-foamed before use. This makes it easier to drink the beer, as there is little or no foam to choke on. The choice of beverage can have a significant effect on the amount of foam. In the UK, "smoothflow"-style bitter beers are readily available and - when chilled adequately - generate very little foam.

The drinker may choose to de-foam the apparatus by sealing their end of the tube with a finger, lowering their end of the tubing and raising the funnel up in the air. This ensures that the air bubbles will travel up and escape out of the funnel, leaving the drinker with a clean tube with no foam.

Rinsing the apparatus with ice-cold water beforehand can also help reduce foam, as does the choice of plastic tubing used.
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Jimmy Buffett Tailgate Sights

You never know what you will see at a Jimmy Buffett Show

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Jimmy Buffett Tailgate. Post-Gazette Pavilion 2007

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Jimmy Buffett Tailgate. Pittsburgh, PA. 2007

Pittsburgh will always be Star Lake to us!
Post-Gazette Pavilion. Pittsburgh, PA. June 23, 2007.
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