Saturday, June 9, 2007

He went to Paris looking for answers . . .

On Friday night June 8 Marti & I went to see Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band at New Morning. This was a rare opportunity to see a legendary performer in a small club.

More than 200 Parrotheads & several dozen Frenchies enjoyed a marvelous evening of Jimmy's hits & a few rarities.

I had only heard about this under-the-radar gig a few days earlier. Marti & I had no idea how many Reefers would be in the band, nor whether the Parrotheads would show up in full drag, but we knew it was a not-to-be-missed evening.

Before the show I spoke with steel drummer Robert Greenidge, who confirmed that the gig was a one-off. Jimmy just decided to realize what he announced from the stage was "a thirty-year dream." It was the first time he'd played Paris.

Jimmy brought a core band of eight Reefers to Paris; in addition to Greenidge, Peter Mayer & Mac McAnally were aboard on guitars, along with Jim Mayer (bass), Michael Utley (keyboards), Roger Guth (drums), with Tina Gullickson & Nadirah Shakoor on backing vocals.

The two-hour show mixed greatest hits like "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes," "Son Of A Son Of A Sailor," "Cheeseburger In Paradise," "Fins" & "Come Monday" with rarities & covers. Of course he sang the theme song for the evening, "He Went To Paris."

Marti got two of her favorites in the "Pirate Looks At Forty"/"Redemption Song" medley. The beautiful Nadirah Shakoor took the lead vocal on the latter, a Bob Marley classic. Jimmy was clearly having the time of his life. You could see it in his grin. And he said as much repeatedly throughout the night.

He regaled the audience with his not-so-shabby French, toasted them with a glass of Rosé & sang his bilingual composition "Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants." Other highlights included Keith Sykes' "Coast Of Marseille" & the CSN favorite, "Southern Cross."

The closer was "Margaritaville" & by then Marti & I were ready to go there! We hung out a while with our pals Michel, Romain & Yazid. We schmoozed with the musicians & the Parrotheads, who still could hardly believe their good fortune. They were sporting shark heads, leis, beach balls & Hawaiian shirts, but the most inventive item was Pittsburgh Debbie's Eiffel Tower & parrot bedecked Jimmy Buffett for President cap.

Marti & I headed out the door of the club, stopping to speak briefly with golden-throated chanteuses Tina & Nadirah. They were looking forward to spending one more day in the City of Light before flying home.

The Friday night skate freaks held up our taxi ride for a few minutes, but soon we were wheeling our way to the Champs-Elysées.

Our destination was the Drugstore Publicis, right by the Arc de Triomphe. Marti & I were starving & we knew exactly what we wanted from the menu.

It had been a fabulous evening.

Now the time was ripe for a trip to Margaritaville & a Cheeseburger in Paradise!

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