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The Chauffeur: New Orleans To Paris

As I write this I’m in New Orleans preparing for the Saints game and then getting on a plane for Paris.  Nothing like visiting the French Quarter to get ready for France.  September is a time of year for football and over the years a time for a Jimmy Buffett concert in the land of wine and cheese.  It’s a time the band and crew consider vacation and reward, a gift from Jimmy for a job well done this summer.

Why does Jimmy go to Paris?  If Jimmy is anything, he’s a writer.  Paris has had its share of authors and poets that have lived there.  Jimmy lived there for a time in St. Germain.  Food, music and wine are a big part of the city and wouldn’t you know that’s a big part of Jimmy.  People who haven’t gone to this concert ask us, “Who goes to the show?  Is it all ex pats?”  There are some ex pats, there are the parrothead faithful that fly from the states who have made it a yearly vacation and then there are the parrotheads who live elsewhere.  We’ve met fans from Scottland, Ireland, England, Germany, Norway and Dubai.  There are French citizens that discovered Jimmy from this theater show and buy tickets every year just to see the Caribbean party and all the happy faces.

Some of the happiest faces you’ll see are on stage.  It’s a smaller scale show because the stage is so small so Jimmy brings most of the band and some of the crew.  He flies them all first class to Paris and we all get to spend a week there before the shows.  Jimmy knows the value of working hard and being rewarded for that so the band and crew get a mini vacation with this trip and it’s a favorite for all of them.  There’s a greater reward when Jimmy and the Coral Reefer Band take the stage and they see the Margaritaville spirit is strong enough to be anywhere.  It crosses boarders, oceans and cultures.  It’s one of the best shows of the year and all you have to do is ask someone who has seen the show and they’ll tell you.  You had to be there.

— Heikki Larsen