WHEN JIMMY BUFFETT SINGS “THERE’S a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us,” he might be referring to the legion of fans who flock to his concerts in pickup trucks full of sand for impromptu tailgate parties. Called Parrot Heads (for reasons known only to Eagle Timothy B. Schmit, who coined the name), they wear hats festooned with plastic lobsters and mix their much-needed margaritas with battery-powered blenders.
“I wish I could say that some secret plan for world domination was devised years ago, but I don’t have a clue as to why, when or how all this happened,” says Buffet, one of the top five concert draws in the country. “I’m not going to dissect it. It’d ruin all the fun of being in the middle of it.”
But don’t believe for a minute that the offstage Buffett just lies around the Key West estate he shares with his wife of 17 years, Jane, and their two daughters, Savannah, 14, and Sarah, 2, soaking up rays and living on sponge cake. The millionaire record company CEO, Margaritaville Cafe franchise owner and best-selling author (Tales from Margaritaville, Where Is Joe Merchant?) is also working on a musical adaptation of Herman Wouk’s Don’t Stop the Carnival. “It’s the signature book of the Caribbean,” says Buffett, who’s thrilled that Wouk himself is writing the libretto. “When I was trying to get the rights, I wound up talking to Herman, and we hit it off. So here’s this 79-year-old Orthodox Jew in Palm Springs and a 47-year-old ex-altar boy from Pascagoula, Miss., in cahoots for a Broadway show. Pretty neat, isn’t it?”