Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way – Ryan White

(Reviewed by Don Jung)

There are so many interesting tidbits in this book about the life of Jimmy Buffett, but it is different than most biographies. It’s written by an outsider who has been fascinated by this man, since both of their lives have been dominated by one word, “change”.

Jimmy Buffett-A Good Life All The Way takes you back to his early days when Buffett is an unknown troubadour going from Alabama to Texas and then to Nashville only to find frustrations along the way. He later goes to Key West, Florida, to get focused on a new identity and a charisma that will define his career.

He enjoys performing on stage and develops a rapport playing in dive bars for drunken sailors and long lost souls trying to find their way. It takes three albums before he has a hit in “Come Monday” and finally gets a band together as his first wife leaves him.

When “Margaritaville” becomes a major hit, he gets talented friends like Michael Utley to make his music great and they go touring almost all though the late 70’s and 80’s. Irving Azloff becomes their manager and has Jimmy opening for the Eagles national tour where he gets a bigger following even without any radio air play on his record albums.

There are your typical crazy scenes while on the road but in 1985 he opens his first Margaritaville store and soon the brand name takes off in a big way. The story evolves as both his music and his Margaritaville hotels and stores become very successful; yet reviewers cannot label his music as either “country” or laid back “folk rock”.

White got his information by interviewing those close to Buffett. This is more like a series of short stories in chronological order where Jimmy Buffett just tries to have fun and make life interesting. Whether it’s based on the fact that Buffett is as a son of a son of a Sailor or he’s flying his airplane or just hanging out with his drinking buddies, the author stumbles on a life that is very memorable and a joy to read.

Serious Jimmy Buffett fans are sure to enjoy Jimmy Buffett-A Good Life All The Way.

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