Welcome To Margaritaville

A Review of That Strange Place Called Margaritaville

First it was a song, then a short story collection and now a sea-cruise musical. No matter how you look at it, Tales of Margaritaville has more lives than a smart, alley cat. The song came out in 1977 and was written by Mr. Buffett himself. It quickly became a #1 hit in the U.S. and Canada and helped to make Jimmy, a household name, especially among slightly intoxicated barflies. The lyrics in this song are first-rate, as the offbeat humorous tale winds it way through a mythical Gulf Coast tourist town, where the storyteller learns a little bit about love and life.

Next came the collection of short stories, Tales from Margarita, which along with a novel, Where Is Joe Merchant? and a memoir, A Pirate Looks at Forty, made Buffett and overnight literary star (and a wealthy man). Putting material success aside, Buffett's memoir seems to have the most lasting power, for it has always been Jimmy's forte to seize the moment and put it into words.

After his delve into literary world came the restaurant chain (also called Margaritaville) and a short run on Broadway with a Hermann Wouk tale, called Don't Stop the Carnival. That musical didn't do so hot, but more recently, two other writers have transformed a selection of Buffett tunes into a stage show that is strangely enough called Tales from Margaritaville. And just to make things interesting, the show is becoming popular on cruise ships.

Finally, there are all those Margarita brand products that most people might want to forget about. It's a long list that includes Radio Margaritaville, Margaritaville tequila, Margaritavill Landshark Lager, Margaritaville malt beverages, Margaritaville key lime pie filling, Margaritaville chips and salsa, Margaritaville frozen seafood, Margaritaville chicken wings and Margaritaville beach cruiser bicycles.

Put all these things together at the same time and it's enough to make you sick of Margaritaville....but not Margaritas. In fact, now that I'm finished writing this article, I think I'll go have one now.