Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the late Jimmy Buffett, who passed away at age 76 this weekend from a very rare form of skin cancer, it is worthwhile to point out when the loss of …
Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the late Jimmy Buffett, who passed away at age 76 this weekend from a very rare form of skin cancer, it is worthwhile to point out when the loss of someone who was so awash in the public spotlight for so long results with so little controversy.
Throughout his decades in the limelight, the worst thing anyone could say about the late Mr. Buffett was perhaps that his range as a musician was limited, but we would contend that isn’t really a valid complaint about an artist who was always upfront about the easygoing nature of their art.
Indeed, Buffett’s career centered around celebrating the little joys of life that many Rhode Islanders can (and do) appreciate as well — relaxing in nature, particularly on the beach with a tropical boozy beverage, not sweating the small stuff, and finding the joy in every sunset.
Up until the very end, Buffett’s ability to bring a crowd of people to their feet, smiling and savoring a moment of creativity, was evident. The singer, who according to reports has sold over 23 million albums, recently showed up to a small venue in Portsmouth in July, surprising everyone in attendance with a 45-minute performance no one saw coming, but everyone appreciated all the same.
And as it turns out, the performance holds a heck of a lot more weight now, because it was to be his final ever public performance.
“He was genuine, sincere and humble and appreciative," Mike MacFarlane, the owner of Sunset Cove, the Portsmouth venue where the concert occurred, told WJAR in a recent story following Buffett’s death. MacFarlane said Buffett had one of his bandmates call and ask him if Buffett could come play, because he “Just wanted to get out of the house.”
Take that in for a moment. Someone of Buffett’s fame and notoriety, essentially calling in a favor to a local business owner to be able to appear for a short set just to feel some of the spark he had felt throughout a lifetime of sold-out arenas, all the while knowing that his life was coming to a close.
Without Buffett in the world, it’s going to feel like we’re searching for a lost shaker of salt for the rest of our remaining summers. So in honor of Jimmy, blend up a mocktail or a traditional margarita, break out your flip flops, and try to spread some sunshine however you can.