Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Others Remember Jimmy Buffett

Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Others  Remember Jimmy Buffett

Photo Credit: Chris Marden

On Friday, September 1, Jimmy Buffett passed away at age 76. Following the release of an official statement issued by the family of the deceased, tributes and memories poured out on social media, honoring the larger-than-life figure behind hits such as “Margaritaville,” “Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude,” “Come Monday” and others, which fit the island escapism archetype. 

Writing at length, Paul McCartney shared his sentiments, “I remember once on holiday when I had forgotten to bring my guitar and was itching to play. He said he would get me one of his, but I said, ‘I’m left-handed.’ So, Jimmy had his roadie restring one of his guitars, which he loaned me for the duration of the holiday. He then followed this act of generosity by giving me my own beautiful left-handed guitar that had been made by one of his guitar-making pals. It’s a beautiful instrument, and every time I play it now, it’ll remind me of what a great man Jimmy was.”

After piecing together other memories, the original member of The Beatles tacked on “Last, but not least, is his songwriting and vocal ability. If someone made an interesting remark he repeated it in his gorgeous Louisiana drawl and said, ‘That’s a good idea for a song’. Most times it didn’t take too long for that song to appear. I was very happy to have played on one of his latest songs called ‘My Gummy Just Kicked In’. We had a real fun session and he played me some of his new songs. One, in particular, I loved was the song, ‘Bubbles Up’. And I told him that not only was the song great but the vocal was probably the best I’ve heard him sing ever. He turned a diving phrase that is used to train people underwater into a metaphor for life when you’re confused and don’t know where you are just follow the bubbles – they’ll take you up to the surface and straighten you out right away.”

Fellow music industry luminary James Taylor posted on his official Instagram account. In addition to a photo, he added, “@JimmyBuffett invented his own character, which, in a sense we all do: invent, assemble, inherit, or fall into our inner identity. But Jimmy was the founder of an actual tribe: tens of thousands of us made our way to where he was holding court, just to be near him.”

Taylor continued, “People say he was a lord of life and that’s true: somewhere between Falstaff and the pirate, Jean Laffite. But to me, my friend Jimmy Buffet was a real example of a man: no puffed up defensive macho bullshit, but a model of how to enjoy the great gift of being alive. And that’s what he shared so generously with us: a positive enthusiasm at being here. That so few of us knew how ill he was is essential Jimmy Buffett: he had no intention of burdening us with his illness.”

Former President, Bill Clinton, wrote: “Jimmy Buffett’s music brought happiness to millions of people. I’ll always be grateful for his kindness, generosity, and great performances through the years, including at the White House in 2000. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and legion of devoted fans.” Wife, Hilary Clinton added, “Fair winds and following seas, dear Jimmy.” 

Sammy Hagar shared, “The Godfather of lifestyle. Jimmy started it all and took it farther than anyone. He taught us all how to live. Jimmy taught us all how to wear shorts, flip-flops and a worn-out T-shirt, walk on stage or to your favorite restaurant, and be comfortable. Jimmy turned us onto Corona beer, tequila, and margaritas. The first time I met Jimmy he said “Oh you’re the guy that’s trying to get my job” and I said, “Of course, we all want to be you.”

Nancy Sinatra posted to X, “We’ve now lost @jimmybuffett. The thing about his music that strikes me is it was so much fun and we needed that in our lives. Thank you for the joy, Jimmy. Condolences to his family and friends and his legion of Parrotheads who adored him.”

In addition, other well-wishers, who wrote in and remembered the musician and his massive impact, including, current President Joe Biden, Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, David Letterman, Sheryl Crow, Jenny Lewis, and many others.

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