Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way

  • Title: Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way
  • Author: RyanWhite
  • ISBN: 9781501132551
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Jimmy Buffett A Good Life All the Way A candid compelling and rollicking portrait of the pirate captain of Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett In Jimmy Buffett A Good Life All the Way acclaimed music critic Ryan White has crafted the first de
    A candid, compelling, and rollicking portrait of the pirate captain of Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett In Jimmy Buffett A Good Life All the Way, acclaimed music critic Ryan White has crafted the first definitive account of Buffett s rise from singing songs for beer to his emergence as a tropical icon and CEO behind the Margaritaville industrial complex, a vast network of meA candid, compelling, and rollicking portrait of the pirate captain of Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett In Jimmy Buffett A Good Life All the Way, acclaimed music critic Ryan White has crafted the first definitive account of Buffett s rise from singing songs for beer to his emergence as a tropical icon and CEO behind the Margaritaville industrial complex, a vast network of merchandise, chain restaurants, resorts, and lifestyle products all inspired by his sunny but disillusioned hit Margaritaville Filled with interviews from friends, musicians, Coral Reefer Band members past and present, and business partners who were there, this book is a top down joyride with plenty of side trips and meanderings from Mobile and Pascagoula to New Orleans, Key West, down into the islands aboard the Euphoria and the Euphoria II, and into the studios and onto the stages where the foundation of Buffett s reputation was laid.Buffett wasn t always the pied piper of beaches, bars, and laid back living Born on the Gulf Coast, the son of a son of a sailing ship captain, Buffett scuffed around New Orleans in the late sixties, flunked out of Nashville and a marriage in 1971, and found refuge among the artists, dopers, shrimpers, and genuine characters who d collected at the end of the road in Key West And it was there, in those waning outlaw days at the last American exit, where Buffett, like Hemingway before him, found his voice and eventually brought to life the song that would launch Parrot Head nation.And just where is Margaritaville It s wherever it s five o clock it s wherever there s a breeze and salt in the air and it s wherever Buffett sets his bare feet, smiles, and sings his songs.

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    About RyanWhite


    1. Twice named one of the top writers in the country by the Society for Features Journalism, Ryan White spent nearly 16 years at the Oregonian covering sports, music, and culture He s appeared on the public radio variety show Live Wire as both an interviewer and an essayist He has also written for Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, the Washington Post, the Portland Mercury, and Portland Monthly magazine A perfectly Ok beer league hockey player, he lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter.


    125 Comments


    1. If you've ever been to a a Jimmy Buffett concert or listened to a CD, you'll want to read this book to learn more about the man who sings about the good life sailing on his boat yet is the CEO of Margaritaville, a company with restaurants, hotels and resorts. This is a well researched book that traces Jimmy's life from his early days singing for beer in New Orleans to becoming the head of the Parrott Head nation where it's always 5 o'clock somewhere.

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    2. Pull up a bar stool Parrotheads and listen close to the life of the King Conch of Margaritaville as he lives the life we all wish we could.

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    3. This is the best book I've read capturing the mythos of who Jimmy Buffett is--and I've read several. It manages to explain his dichotomy of artist and businessman with trying to apologize for either. It reveals what must be unprecedented access to many long-time Buffett associates, if not the man himself. The story takes a few chapters to get into, and the long cast of characters can get a little confusing (especially if you're not familiar with them already), but White captures the essence of w [...]

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    4. I met Tom Corcoran at a book signing. He wrote the series devoted to Alex Rutledge, Key West Photographer dragged into solving murders around the island. Good author. Why do I mention him here? Well, he is a friend of Jimmy Buffett and provided assistance to White in the production of this book and if you check the index you will see he is mentioned almost as many times as Buffett himself, almost as if the book is about Tom. Want to enjoy this book? Read the first and last chapters and the epilo [...]

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    5. Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way by Ryan White (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2017, 368 pp $26.99/12.99) brings style, wit, deep understanding, and insight to the story of an entertainment phenomenon that would be easy to dismiss as merely a substance infused romp through an aimless and lucky journey to riches and fame. In writing a thorough, deeply researched, and thoughtful biography about one of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries' most potent entertainment forces, Wh [...]

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    6. Jimmy's been my favorite singer/songwriter since I listened in 1983 to my first album of his- 'You Had To Be There'. That's when I swallowed the hook. I've always wanted to know his legend, how the songs came to him, and how much of those were semi-true stories. This book explains a lot but there's something missing here and I think it's Jimmy Buffett. The book traces his life from its beginnings all the way up to the top of his Margaritaville empire, and it's a good line, very interesting, but [...]

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    7. There is a good chance that I may return to write a longer review. But while I am here.I truly enjoyed this book. As dense as it is with names and dates and details, it never lost the charm of a good biographical read about a person who has etched his way musically into many parts of my life. If Jimmy Buffett were a super hero instead of a beach bum, this would be his origin story, though some would claim that he eventually created the very thing that he fought against (or did he simply embrace [...]

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    8. I excited to get this book because I've loved Jimmy Buffet songs since I was in college and before he was truly famous. It was the combination of his thoughtful lyrics and infectious enthusiasm that made me look forward to each of his early albums. But this biography disappointed me.Ryan White clearly did his research in writing the book; he interviewed scores of people who knew Buffet from the times he was struggling in Key West and Nashville to the present day, he got the back stories on the w [...]

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    9. Well I first took this book with me on vacation to the beach in Wales this past summer, finally really got started on it this fall, and finished it today. It is fitting, not only that I finished on Jimmys Birthday, but also that this book is a lot like being a ParrotHead. You can read it, put it down and go about your life being a mom, a doctor, a friend, a daughterwhateverd then just like JB’s music you can pick it back up again and find yourself welcome right back where you left off. I like [...]

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    10. I would recommend this book to all Jimmy Buffett fans/Parrotheads. It was fascinating how he made a lifelong career with only 1 big hit (Margaritaville) and little or no air time on the radio, yet he is worth about 500 million and packs stadiums all over the United States, is generally one of the top ten grossing concerts every year, has written bestselling books and has made a business empire from Margaritaville. He learned what some "stars" never do, that if you give your fans what they want, [...]

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    11. Starts out a little slow and picks up speed along the way. Not really an authorized biography by the sounds of it but a nicely researched summary of JB's ride. I was expecting more of a book based on Jimmy's perspective but it's more of a narrative that was compiled by interviews with folks who were there with Jimmy along the way. It's a good read and I think it's worthy of the 4 star rating but I think I will be on the look out for another book on the subject to fill in the blanks.

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    12. I love all of Buffett's music, I love Margaritaville, and I love Key West. I did not love this book and DNF'd it. It's written in a very music-reporter kind of way with lots of names and record labels and people who apparently were movers and shakers in the industry but as a non-music-industry person, I had a hard time following it all and found it supremely uninteresting to read. It's a shame. I wanted to really enjoy this book but it's just not worth reading.

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    13. As a Parrot Head since I was in diapers, this was AWESOME and I now have a new desire to live in Key West! It is fun knowing how he could make so much money off the song where he’s searching for that lost shaker and how it never got old. So crack open a LandShark Lager, kick back and chill and read the book about your favorite guy and let the Fin begin!

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    14. Not at all what I was hoping it would be. I love Jimmy Buffett. Love his music. Really was wanting to read about him and his journey & the stories behind the songs. Not every other person. That ever encountered him. The book was scattered with too many other stories.

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    15. Great book for parrot heads! I learned new things about how some of Buffett's songs were created.

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    16. Met expectations and also got a history lesson about the music industry in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

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    17. Review title: Grown older but not upJust past his 71st Christmas Day birthday, Jimmy Buffett has indeed had the good life all the way in the song lyrics White appropriates from "He Went to Paris" for the subtitle of this biography. He's done it, and achieved remarkable success all the way, by not growing up (an idea I've taken from another Buffett lyric for my review title) out of his own personality and musical style. White, a journalist and author of a Springsteen discography, has a deft touch [...]

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    18. I'm really surprised that I hated this book, since I really like Jimmy Buffett. Actually, it's precisely because I like Jimmy Buffett that I hated this book. It really should be called "A Hundred Lives Part of the Way, With Occasional Mentions of Jimmy Buffett's Life", because it's about almost everyone EXCEPT him.JB gets probably less than 20% of the book, and the other 80% is about everyone who has ever played with him, talked to him, heard of him, passed by him on the street walking, or serve [...]

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    19. I admit I am a fan of Jimmy Buffett and have been for over 20 years. My first CD by Buffett was the classic "Songs You Know by Heart" greatest hits and I then jumped head first into Buffett music by buying his boxed set "Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads." After that, I was hooked. I have read most of Buffett's literary creations and still try to keep up with what he is currently promoting.This is probably the best Buffett biography I have read. Yes, some of the names and references can be diffi [...]

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    20. So I'll start by agreeing with other reviewers. It's a poorly written book. In some chapters, there's very little coherency and bounces around. It's like he wrote a stream of consciousness. Ryan will start talking about something at length and it really has nothing to do with the story. Other times it's a tie in with Buffett but he takes the unnecessarily long way to get there.That being said, once I got used to the writing style I really enjoyed the book. I'd say about 100 pages or so in, you s [...]

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    21. Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way by Ryan White (Touchstone 2017) (780.92). Here's a Buffett bio. It's full of great stories which brought back many fond memories. I became a Buffett fan in my junior year of high school in 1974. “Pencil Thin Mustache”, “The Great Filling Station Holdup,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” and “Grapefruit Juicy Fruit” were my early favorite Buffett tunes. I saw him for the first time in 1974; he had a cast on a broken leg and wore a UT football jerse [...]

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    22. I'm a ParrotHead, born and raised. I'm told one of my first favorite songs was "Magaritaville", as it came out when I was two. My Dad LOVED Buffett, and he passed it down. My nephew and niece are now 3rd generation fans. This book is a well done study of how this guy who sings about Beaches, Bars, Boats, and Ballads has had an amazing career that has turned into a philosophy. I think my favorite thing in the book is when it's revealed that Jimmy used to lock himself in his hotel room to organize [...]

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    23. I love musician bios. I love Jimmy Buffett. I did not love this book.It's not a biography, exactly. It comes across as more of a collection of anecdotes connected to various stages of Buffett's career and musicography and it's so scattered I kept losing track of who was speaking, who the hell that was anyway, what year we might possibly be inI mean, yeah, it's got a timeline, but the author keeps introducing new figures into the mix and telling their backstories and I guess I'm just too old to b [...]

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    24. While I found the stories behind the songs really interesting, I felt the author was kind of all over the place. The chapter would start out talking about one thing, branch off into the life stories of three more people, and then move into another topic. I often had to read back over what I read, because he was referencing someone, and who that someone was and why they mattered at the moment had become lost. I felt it spent a little too much time on the background of producers and others. But th [...]

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    25. Not exactly what I was expecting. I was very excited to read this book. However, it was hard to follow all the side stories of musicians I don't know. The first part of the book really focused on the side stories which were slow. The last half of the book picked up the pace considerably and was more directed in its story line. The author did a great job (during the last half) explaining the Margaritaville phenomenon. The entire book was more about seeing JB's rise to success through the musician [...]

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    26. Someone I respect had this on his top ten list, and I was on a cruise, so it seemed like a fit. I don’t respect the recommender as much, and most of the reporting is quoting from on stage musings by Buffett. If you can’t interview the principle, perhaps discussion of the appropriateness of his message when so many people struggle with drinking in his band would had been interesting, but this is a fan trying to make money. Waste of time.

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    27. I love Jimmy Buffett, but I am not a Parrot Head. I dream about living the life of a beach bum, but I don't appreciate the hijinks of the (imagined) life of the person who spawned Margaritaville. So it was nice to see that one of my favorite musicians is a loyal, creative person without a huge ego. Kudos to his parents. I don't like the way this writer writes, but I did appreciate the story of the life, and the fact that Mr. White was pretty clear that not every story was complete fact.

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    28. A book I was waiting for someone to write. Author Ryan White hits it out of the park. Deeply researched, well sourced take on Buffett's rise to music titan. Happy he included chapters on the how Buffett monetized the "Margaritaville" song into a multi-million dollar business. Buffett's life story is fascinating and author captures it well in this biography.

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    29. A marvelously detailed and quite entertaining (it could be an encyclopedia for all the detail) examination of the life of Jimmy Buffett and the Margaritaville empire. The good, the bad and everything else.

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    30. White writes an engaging and sometimes funny bio about Jimmy Buffett. The author makes Buffett's live come alive while lots of details. There's not much analysis of Buffett's rise but it's a fun read.

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