Entertainment Tonight / YouTube
In 1982, Jimmy Buffet sat down to do his first-ever interview with Entertainment Tonight where he discussed his life and what he thought the meaning of Margaritaville was to him.
He said with a laugh that contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t spend most of his time on the beach sipping margaritas. 100 days of the year were spent on the road playing concerts and with 27 people working for him, an airplane, two buses, and a semi-truck carrying all his equipment, it was a “full-on circus.”
“The circus comes to town,” Jimmy Buffet laughed. “But when it’s over, I just tottally disassociate with it. I go away. I won’t answer the phone. I won’t pick up a guitar until the next tour. I shouldn’t say that but it’s true.”
Jimmy says what Margaritaville means to him is a combination of some places he loved. To Jimmy, the song is about “basic pure escapism” from the hum, drum, and the dull routine of normal day life.
“Everybody wants to go where it’s warm, and everybody’s image of a vacation is sittin’ by the beach with whatever your cold drink is you want there. But it’s something to do with being by the beach and being away from what would be your normal life,” he said to Entertainment Tonight.
35-year-old Buffet went on to speak about his audience, who was the “war baby generation” and who were all growing older together. His audience always seemed to show up to his concerts ready to escape from their normal life, and what was most impactful to him, ready to listen, laugh, and love his music.
He made a point to say that his crowds always remained faithful to him, even during musical recessions. He also loved that it was easy for him to reflect his audience’s feelings back to them because he was one of them. The only difference between him and his audience is he just got to get out and do the things they all wished they could do.
“The only way I can share it (his success) with them (his audience) is in songs. Let them put their Hawaiian shirts on and come out and see us and let them forget their problems for two hours – If I can do that, then I’m doing my job.”
Buffet ended the conversation by picking up his full glass of margarita and cheersed the interviewer. You can watch the full interview below to hear everything the legend had to say.
Jimmy Buffett was devoted to philanthropy. He founded two charitable organizations, Singing for Change and Save the Manatee Club. He also had a company called Last Mango Boatworks that sells apparel and accessories. Items sold from Last Mango benefit Singing for Change and Freedom Fighter Outdoors. Learn more about Jimmy’s philanthropic efforts or donate to one of the above-mentioned organizations here.