Jimmy Buffett: RIP — ‘Stepped On A Pop Top’

September 2, 2023

Another musical death was announced today — Jimmy Buffett has died at 76.
And apparently, he was way-more than a wonderful songwriter and lifestyle persona:

Beyond the artistic whimsical, however, in that sense of being ‘lucky‘ with a certain financial sense (Barron’s): ‘Buffett built an enormous business empire valued at several hundred million dollars: Margaritaville may have started as a song about living the beach bum life in the 1970s, but it’s expanded into a portfolio of hotels, merchandise, and even retirement communities. Forbes estimated Buffett had a net worth of $1 billion this year.

Whoa! On that, I really had no idea. I’d been out of touch with him for decades. The only time I was really musically acquainted was in the late 1970s when he was still the easy, laid-back musician — as ‘old‘ Joe gets a bit poetic himself:

The whole tweet (ain’t gonna roll with no dumb-ass ‘X’):

A poet of paradise, Jimmy Buffett was an American music icon who inspired generations to step back and find the joy in life and in one another.

We had the honor to meet and get to know Jimmy over the years, and he was in life as he was performing on stage – full of goodwill and joy, using his gift to bring people together.

Jill and I send our love to his wife of 46 years, Jane; to their children, Savannah, Sarah, and Cameron; to their grandchildren; and to the millions of fans who will continue to love him even as his ship now sails for new shores.

In those original, early ‘Margaritaville‘ days (the song released Feb. 14, 1977), Biden was most likely like me, and an instant fan/enjoyer of Buffett’s easy grace with a beach-bum style — he was more musician than financier in those early times. And although I never got anywhere near into the “Parrothead” fandom, I always liked this songs when I hear them on the radio.
However, back 46 years, out of Margaritaville’s lyrics, this verse caught my attention and I hummed/recited it to myself (and occasionally out loud — I was then a journalist working in an old-fashioned newsroom).

I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop top
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender and soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

The ‘stepped on a pop top‘ circulated in my brain for months. Memory: In those days the pull-openers on soda cans detached themselves and could be found everywhere. So stepping on a pop top became part of the reality of the song.

And ‘Margaritaville’ in its glory:

And the second song that forged the legacy, though it originally pre-dated the ‘pop top’ song, ”Come Monday,’ plus an intro from Buffett:

Buffett was only a year older than me. I’ll be 75 in November. Time is a mystery well way-beyond my comprehension.

Also in the dying/death announcement category today: ‘Bill Richardson, a former Democratic governor of New Mexico who went on to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has died. He was 75.

Same age as me — shit!

Sad again, oh, yes,, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ [June 30, 1972], was originally found here.)

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