Like the rest of the world, the Library of Congress was very saddened to hear of the passing of Jimmy Buffett this past weekend. His passing was, to us, all the more poignant as Mr. Buffett’s iconic recording, “Margaritaville,” was added to the Library’s National Recording Registry just earlier this year.
At the time, Mr. Buffett expressed his great pleasure at having his song selected, providing to us not only a wonderful interview on the song and his career but also generously sharing his memories of its making.
At the time of its induction, esteemed music writer (and Buffett fan) Scott Atwell wrote for the Library the following essay. We share it below.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
The first person I met at the Bar & Chill was a bald guy in a black T-shirt, black drawstring shorts, and flip-flops, with a Harley-Davidson tattoo on his right arm and a claddagh ring on his left hand. He was drinking and laughing with a few friends. He gestured to the empty stool next to him and said, “We don’t bite.”
I offered an expression of if-you-insist, and he said, “Bring it.” His tone was cheerful, as you might expect at the Bar & Chill, the principal drinking-and-dining establishment that looks out on the town center of Latitude Margaritaville, an active-living community for Jimmy Buffett enthusiasts, aged “55 and better,” in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Bar & Chill was open to the evening. A gentle breeze fanned the lanai. On a flat-screen, the Providence Friars led the Vermont Catamounts by a few buckets. A bartender brought a Perfect Margarita in a plastic cup.
The bald man, drinking a vodka soda, said his name was Phil. Phil Murphy, from Arlington, Massachusetts, aged sixty-four. Formerly a research director at Forrester, retired since 2015. “I was in the air for twenty years,” he said. He looked and sounded less like my idea of a Parrothead, as Jimmy Buffett’s diehard fans are called, than like Mike Ehrmantraut, the melancholic fixer in “Breaking Bad.”
Standing off his left shoulder, his wife, Betty, red hair cut short, added a dash of urbanity, a spritz of Allison Janney. Phil and Betty had organized an emergency fund for the restaurant’s staff during its Covid shutdown. One of their friends declared them “the king and queen of the Bar & Chill.”