Florida Keys

What are these Jimmy Buffett fans about to do? Flock to a Parrot Head convention

Jimmy Buffett performed before some 3,500 of his fans on Duval Street in Key West in 2011 at the 20th Parrot Heads Convention. Fans were surprised when Buffett made a rare appearance, playing with his Coral Reefer Band for more than an hour.
Jimmy Buffett performed before some 3,500 of his fans on Duval Street in Key West in 2011 at the 20th Parrot Heads Convention. Fans were surprised when Buffett made a rare appearance, playing with his Coral Reefer Band for more than an hour. Associated Press

Key West existed before Jimmy Buffett but South Florida’s favorite troubadour sure gave the southernmost key its signature sound.

Thousands of Parrot Head fans of the singer-songwriter will descend on the island for the 25th annual Parrot Heads in Paradise Meeting of the Minds convention, “Here We Are,” on Nov. 2-6.

In his early days, when he was “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time” and writing songs about Key West and name-checking Captain Tony in “Last Mango in Paris,” Fausto's Food Palace, the Blue Heaven Restaurant, the Chart Room Bar and that woman goin’ crazy on Caroline Street, Buffett had a base in Key West. In the mid-1980s, Buffett established the original Margaritaville Store on Duval Street in Key West. The store and its adjacent Margaritaville Café, as well as his private Shrimp Boat Sound studio remain Key West staples.

Read Jimmy Buffett’s tribute to late Eagles pal Glenn Frey.

Events during the 2016 convention include performances by Buffett band members and friends — Keith Sykes, Marshall Chapman and Will Kimbrough — a street concert, charity events and beach side musical performances at the Casa Marina at 1500 Reynolds St.

Buffett, himself, isn’t scheduled but he has been known to bless the faithful flock with surprise appearances, as he did for the 20th annual event in 2011. Members of his longtime Coral Reefer band, like Mac McAnally, Peter Mayer and Michael Utley (who got his own shout-out in Buffett’s 1979 classic, “Volcano”) are on tap this year. Coral Reefers will join the band Ramajay Intercoastal on Nov. 5 to perform Buffett's 1978 LP “Son of a Son of a Sailor” album. Regional acts Jerry Diaz, Tropical Soul, John Frinzi, “Sauce Boss” Bill Wharton and Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band are also scheduled.

While most convention activities are open only to registered members of Parrot Head clubs, the public is welcome at The Lone Palm Foundation Meeting of the Minds Street Festival, planned for 1-6:30 p.m. Nov. 4, adjacent to Margaritaville at Duval and Fleming streets.

Event information: www.phip.com/MOTM.asp.

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