The Kudzu Kronicle

Because not all Southerners are the same

Tag: jimmy buffett

10 Jimmy Buffett songs perfect for your Hurricane Irma playlist

I love the beach. Unfortunately, I live three hours from the nearest coast.

But, thanks to Hurricane Irma, it looks like I’ll have a tropical Monday here in Perry, Georgia. Of course, Irma should be merely a strong tropical storm by the time it gets here as the ensemble models have her tracking right over my house. Ben Jones at WMAZ-13 TV in Macon just reported, “We see Irma hitting Chris Johnson’s house and Margaritahill starting about 9 a.m. Monday. And speaking of ensemble models, we expect Chris to be modeling an ensemble featuring flip-flops, cargo shorts and a Margaritaville shirt with the sleeves cut off about that time — in other words, his formal wear for this special occasion.”

As a Parrothead, I’ll be sure to greet Irma properly with a margarita in hand and Jimmy Buffett tunes playing. I’ll have to make sure these 10 hurricane-related songs are on the playlist. (If you have any that should be added, let me know in the comments below.)

Bama Breeze (2006)
This song was a tribute to the legendary Flora-Bama, a collection of bars on the Florida-Alabama line that got mostly blown away by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It has since been rebuilt.
Sample:
In 1984 Mick Jagger passed through town
Bought the house a round
Signed his name on the wall
In the ladies bathroom stall

Nobody Speaks to the Captain No More (1986)
“Floridays” was Jimmy’s best album of the 1980s.
Sample:
He was a fugitive with a pseudo name
Lost his mind in a hurricane
Coconut upside his head
People said he’d be better dead

Perrier Blues (1978)
This was off Jimmy’s first live album, recorded at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre — with a broken leg, no less. He said he wrote it while in a hurricane hole in Nassau, Bahamas, riding out a storm while listening to a Jackson Browne album.
Sample:
Ridin’ high atop the main mast
Harbor stretched out below
All day I’ve been feelin’ kind of half-assed
So I asked the boy to lower me slow
Lower me slow

Landfall (1977)
This is off the “Changes in Latitudes” album that spawned the hit “Margaritaville” — and the billion-dollar industry surrounding that made-up place. My grillin’ pad is called “Margaritahill,” and I expect a cease-and-desist letter from Jimmy any day now.
Sample:
`Cause I’ve seen incredible things in my years
Some days were laughter, others were tears
If I had it all to do over again
I’d just get myself drunk and I’d jump right back in

In the Shelter (1971)
The subject of this song from Jimmy’s folk-singer days wasn’t hiding from a hurricane, but a lot of folks are right now. This is from the “High Cumberland Jubilee” album that the producers “lost” because they didn’t want to release it. Miraculously, they “found” the tapes after Jimmy hit it big.
Sample:
Past the boutique
down the alley to the river people pass her by
Sits on the big gray rocks takes off her boots and socks
And knowing what she will do next
Just starts to cry

No Plane on Sunday  (1986)
Irma and Harvey have left a lot of folks stranded near airports wondering when they’re gonna be able to leave. Folks who fly to Caribbean islands and third-world countries likely can relate to this song.
Sample:
You can throw your luggage down
Lose your cool and stamp around
But there’s nothin, nothin you can do
Wipe away your girlfriend’s tears
Go to the bar and have some beers
There ain’t no way the bird’s gettin through

Last Man Standing (2002)
“Far Side of the World” is Jimmy’s best album of the 2000s, although that’s not saying a lot. This wasn’t the best song on it, but I hope to be still standing after Monday.
Sample:
Gonna be the last man standing
People crashin’ on the sofas and passed out on the floor
But the last man standing
Sayin’ bring on a little bit more

Survive (1979)
Again, I just hope to survive through Monday — along with Margaritahill, my grill, the house, my electricity, etc.
Sample:
I play the stereo loud
When I’m away from the maddening crowd
Smokin’, jokin’, clowns we all are

If It All Falls Down (1986)
I’m expecting an awful lot to fall down on Monday — just hope it’s mostly small limbs.
Sample:
Never wanted to be
A part of history
I have my days in the sun
A beach bum, a man for all seasides
Guidance counselor said
Your scores are anti-heroic
Computer recommends
Hard-drinking calypso poet

Tryin’ to Reason with Hurricane Season (1974)
Off “A1A” — which Buffett purists consider the definitive Buffett album — this is one of my go-to strumming songs on my guitar. Easy and, of course, breezy.
Sample:
Squalls out on the gulf stream,
Big storms coming soon.
I passed out in my hammock,
God, I slept way past noon.
Stood up and tried to focus,
I hoped I wouldn’t have to look far.
I knew I could use a Bloody Mary,
So I stumbled next door to the bar.

And, yes, Parrotheads, I left 2009’s “Surfing in a Hurricane” off this list on purpose. It may be the most literal song about an actual hurricane, but it is simply awful. Awful.

No Margaritaville in North Korea

I wasn’t exactly a world traveler when I joined The Fuller Center for Housing in June of 2011 — unless you count that one night in Windsor, Canada, when I nearly missed the last bus of the night back into Detroit. The bus went through a tunnel under the Detroit River, which I found a wee bit disturbing.

But one of my first tasks with The Fuller Center was to get myself a passport. The Fuller Center works all around the world — in faraway places like Nepal, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, India and a few African countries and a few relatively closer stops such as Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Peru. I didn’t get my passport to go to any of those countries at first. No, I needed to get a passport quickly because my first stop would be North Korea.

It’s hard to believe now, but The Fuller Center had developed an initiative to build 50 homes for families on a farm collective known as Osan-Ri, about 25 kilometers outside of Pyongyang. The plan was to send volunteer teams from the United States to work alongside the North Koreans to develop friendships and trust as much as simple, decent housing. It sprung from a dream Jubilee Partners’ Don Mosley pitched to Millard Fuller, the then-leader of The Fuller Center who saw nothing as impossible.

In the beginning, it seemed to be working. Even after Millard’s untimely passing in 2009, new President David Snell (still my boss today) carried on with the dream as best he could — making four trips to North Korea and bringing back a slew of images from the rogue nation. He was even there for the groundbreaking in 2009 alongside North Korean leaders and families in a festive, friendly atmosphere.

(Click here for my fascinating Q&A with David about his experiences in North Korea, complete with photos from his trips.)

As The Fuller Center’s new director of communications, I was tapped to visit the communist nation and document the progress of this unique project. I wanted to do something different that would capture attention for the work or possibly even go viral on them interwebs. I decided that I would take my colorful acoustic guitar and film myself playing and singing Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” in North Korea. I’m pretty sure that’s never been done. Continue reading

Duh study you never needed

Every now and then researchers come out with a new study that truly wows you and utterly changes the way you once thought — a paradigm shift, if you will and if you’re someone who doesn’t regurgitate at the sound of every overly used corporate buzzword from the past 25 years.

This study, however, is not one of them.

A study co-authored by Michigan State University’s Amber L. Pearson is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space. I believe the study was funded by a generous grant from the I Already Knew That Foundation.

Apparently, folks are happier, healthier, less stressed and significantly less wacko when they spend time around water, especially at the beach. Now, I feel quite happy myself when I’m out in some quiet greenspace — such as a forest or in the woods behind my under-construction house — but there’s just nothing that compares to being at the beach. Continue reading

Utter lunarcy?

Back in 1999, Jimmy Buffett released his 22nd album, “Beach House on the Moon.” Now, I’m a huge Buffett fan — a Parrothead, if you prefer — but I must say that it just might be the worst one he ever did.  I own the CD, but not a single song from there shows up on my extensive Buffett playlist on Spotify.

But the album’s title track is an interesting concept. There are seas on the moon, after all. Of course, the Sea of Tranquility is no Gulf of Mexico as it has significantly fewer drunk teenagers and rednecks — two groups that at various times in my life were “my people.”

However, it appears you can actually have a beach house on the moon. Or any kind of house. All you need is a lot to build upon — and you can get an acre of the moon for $24.99. That’s the going rate on LunarEmbassy.com, where you can get the same price for an acre on Mars or buy Pluto — the whole darn ex-planet — for just $250,000.

My wife and I recently purchased a lot on planet Earth, but in this coming Sunday’s column, I wonder whether we should have expanded our search. Then again, even final frontier-exploring Captain Kirk was from Iowa.

© 2017 The Kudzu Kronicle

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑