We just heard that our old friend and band mate from many moons ago, Greg “Fingers” Taylor has passed away. Our hearts are heavy and sad. We wish you safe travels, old friend. Your music, our good times and your memory will live on.
Back in 2021, Todd Alexander and Katy Waugh reached out to Jeff Pike of A1A and requested that her write an article for the July 2021 edition of 'Phlockers Magazine.' You can read the article in full by clicking on the link below. RIP Greg. You were the best...
Greg "Fingers" Taylor - An Old Rock N' Roller Who Had To Be There
Three weeks ago today, I woke up to a world that was much less colorful, happy, and musically joyous than when I had laid down to sleep just a few hours earlier. The night before, the band had performed a very entertaining and successful concert in Tucker, Georgia. Everything was as it should be. The weather was beautiful, and a large audience was smiling, dancing, and singing along with the band, who were feeling great and playing wonderfully. All that was forgotten when I turned on my phone at 7:00 a.m. to discover that Jimmy Buffett had passed away the night before, most likely while I was performing one of his songs onstage.
The 24 hours that followed were an unexpectedly painful, frightening, heavily emotional, and confusing blur. As you all know, we had a show at The Boot Barn Hall that evening, which I was prepared to cancel as late as 1:00 p.m. that afternoon. Thankfully, prayers and some words with Mike Davis and Peter Mayer brought me to my senses, and I went on with the show as Jimmy would have wanted. Our show that night turned out to be one of the most inspired, emotional, and best performances I, and possibly the band, have ever given. All our spirits in the room came together as one with the music to sing through the pain and confusion we all were feeling. It was all very difficult, yet magic, cathartic yet heavily draining on me. But when it was all over, I felt we had all sent Jimmy on his way in style and that the evening could not have been orchestrated any better than it had been. I felt that Jimmy may have even stopped by for a minute to help me through some very difficult moments I had onstage.
In the three weeks that have followed, like all of you reading this, my heart and soul have been on a strangely unprecedented, painful roller coaster. I am on a little steadier ground than I was three weeks ago, and even though it is far from over, my eyes are dryer, and I see how important it is that A1A continue. I have had thousands of messages from fans near and far to drive that point home. To all of you who were at The Boot Barn Hall show on September 2, all of you know how special it was. It will be a day and a show I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Now, in accordance with Jimmy's dying wish, it is time for us to have fun and keep the party going. There's still so much to be done.
September 23, 2023
I cannot fathom that in five short months, 'Come Monday' will turn 50. I still vividly remember the summer of 1974 when I worked for my Grandfather, helping with construction in Inman and Spartanburg, South Carolina. My job was to sand, caulk, putty, clean up, and paint. I worked nine to five, Monday through Friday, and made $50.00 a week. That was a lot of money to me back then. I was a mere 13 years old and happy to work as hard as possible, for I was saving up my money to buy my first electric guitar. While at work, I listened to the radio all day long, WORD from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to be exact, and Come Monday graced the airwaves a lot that summer. I can still close my eyes, smell the sawdust, caulk, and paint, and feel the putty and sandpaper beneath my fingertips.
I remember one house we worked in that summer for a few weeks. It was a two-story in progress and sat close to a beautiful home next door. The home was attractive, but my eyes were drawn more to the beautiful swimming pool in the backyard. Yes, it was a hot summer, and I loved to swim, but I was more interested in the attractive young girl who lived there, who would swim with her friends every day. I worked hard to impress my Grandfather, but the girls and the music were distracting. (Some addictions start early.) In an odd coincidence, all my memories of her, which have stayed with me all my life, revolve around 'Come Monday.' Jimmy's beautiful melancholy love song embedded itself deeply in my heart that summer and has never left. In case you are wondering, I never had the opportunity to meet her. I would have been too shy to say hello anyway.
I have been listening to Jimmy's music all day today while working, but when 'Come Monday' began playing early this afternoon, I had to pause, look out the window, listen, and reflect. Upon doing so, I suddenly realized that the lyrics would never feel or mean the same to me again. For 49 years now, whenever I listened to my 45, cassette, 8-track, album, CD, MP3, or stream of 'Come Monday,' it filled my heart with many emotions; even when some were sad, I still gained comfort, because I knew things would be alright once the long Labor Day weekend was over. Then came today.
For countless people like myself, whose lives were deeply touched, changed, and even guided in part by the music, lyrics, books, and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, the Monday our then-young Troubador sang about will never again feel as carefree and comforting as it did just four short days ago. The L.A. haze will remain, and from now on, we will all have an aching space by our side that will stay unfilled, for our hero will not be returning come Monday. The Hemisphere Dancer has flown its last voyage into the sunset and taken our beloved Frank Bama with her.
Those of you who have followed my writings and concerts with A1A this past weekend know how difficult this has been for me, as I understand it has been for those who have taken the time to read this far. So much has changed in three short days - three short days that have seemed like a month. I have spent Labor Day 2023 listening to Jimmy Buffett's music and continuing to go through endless emails, messages, texts, voice mails, and social media posts addressed to me. It is nearing the end of the day, and unexpectedly I am starting to see a distant ray of light. No, we will never again have the chance to see Jimmy work his magic in concert. As heartbreaking as this is, today, I have been thinking deeply about the music, magic, friendships, relationships, laughter, tears, and endlessly beautiful memories he gave all of us. These memories are treasures and can easily last for generations.
Ah, the stories we can tell, and eventually, we will, through smiles without tears. In time, the storm shall pass, the heart of Margaritaville will beat again, and there will be songs to sing forever in tribute to a man who touched millions. No, the coming Labor Day weekends will never be the same. The following Mondays will sting, but eventually, the blender will start to spin. We will once again find our one particular harbor, and all live happily ever after every now and then.
Count all your blessings, remember your dreams....
September 4, 2023
It is amazing what 24 hours can bring. I woke up yesterday to the crippling news that Jimmy Buffett had left us, and today I opened my exhausted eyes to a beautifully written article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution mentioning me, A1A, The Atlanta Parrot Head Club, and discussing Jimmy's passing and how Atlanta was dealing with it.
For so many of us, yesterday was devastatingly difficult. I am humbled, flattered, surprised, and deeply moved by the viral response to my Facebook post yesterday paying tribute to the passing of Jimmy Buffett. You will also be happy to hear that our sold-out A1A show last night at The Boot Barn Hall in Gainesville, Georgia, was a phenomenal success in every way.
I have so many people to respond to and much to share. Everything has changed overnight, and it is hard to take in. I have an emotional hangover today, the size of Texas, but please know that I am reading your emails and texts. Each one is special, and I thank you for taking time out of your life to share your thoughts and deepest feelings with me.
Please enjoy and share the article, play Jimmy's music all day, hell, all week, and find joy in the music, legacy, love, and friendship he left us with. Love to everyone. - Jeff Pike
Last night, like so many countless nights before, over the past 40-plus years, I went to bed with a Jimmy Buffett song playing on an endless loop in my mind, and like always, it kept me from sleeping. I no longer consider that a bad thing when my insomnia has a good soundtrack. I haven't in years. I just roll with the tide. Yet, when I awoke this morning, the wind had unexpectedly shifted, the tide was rolling in, and I felt an instantaneous realization that an unprecedentedly dreadful and unavoidable hurricane had finally made landfall.
The music, lifestyle, and global community that surrounded the man and all he stood for and gave us is that of legend. Jimmy Buffett was responsible for bringing an unfathomable amount of people together. Be it for fun, community outreach, relationships, careers, sharing memories, fantastic music, concerts, and a good story, or to simply sit on a boat or beach and look at the sunset while his music plays softly in the background.
I find it difficult to believe that this morning, September 2, 2023, anyone who followed in his wake can fully process what Jimmy's departure profoundly means, what a lifetime lived, unprecedented, and like no other. Like the universe, the ripples in the ocean of life that his drop made will expand forever. It is impossible to measure. He gave you a personal island in your soul, like no other where you could retreat to when the world was just a little too much to handle or whether you just wanted to blow off steam, smile, enjoy life, turn up the radio, and crank up your blender.
I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of making a living performing my tribute to Jimmy Buffett's music for the past 34 years. I cannot even imagine how my life's songline would have played out or where I would be today had it not been for the man and his music. I haven't the words to describe how the ripples of his music affected my journey. Perhaps in time, they will come, but this morning, I feel adrift at sea, alone in the doldrums and praying for the wind.
Jimmy Buffett, the man, all his band members, and his organization have always been very kind to me, stood behind the band, and given us many great opportunities. I have so many spectacular memories. We had a fantastic gig last night in Tucker, Georgia, and unfortunately, or fortunately, it is how you look at it; we have a show this evening at The Boot Barn Hall in Gainsville, Georgia. If I could, I would cancel, for I have no idea how to get through it in one piece, but the show must go on. I am sure Jimmy would agree. If you can make the show tonight, that would be wonderful. We can all say goodbye to an old friend together. I could definitely use a shoulder.
Ironically enough, tonight is our official Labor Day Weekend show, and Jimmy set sail for the last time yesterday evening, probably while I was onstage singing one of his songs. One of my fondest musical memories of my youth is falling in love with 'Come Monday' at the tender age of 13. Little did I know how far the love of that song would take me in life. It seems poetically fitting that Jimmy came to us through his first hit and pulled the curtain down for his last bow, heading out full circle for the Labor Day Weekend show.
My deepest sympathies and condolences to Jimmy's family, friends, bandmates, the entire parrot head nation, and the thousands of people I have had the honor to get to know and to perform for through the music and life of Jimmy Buffett. His was a life well lived, a long and memorable lovely cruise.
September 2, 2023
Welcome to fall, everyone, and welcome to the end of the A1A 2022 season. I forever hate to use an old cliche, but it rings a loud truth when I say that time seems to be passing much quicker than it used to. It may be because I stay too busy for my own good. Be that as it may, we have reached the end of another very successful A1A season. It is a remarkable ending this year, for it marks the end of our 30th year as The Official and Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show. Just in reading that last sentence, I have an endless well of convoluting memories and emotions that overwhelm me. As I mentioned, time goes so very fast, but I feel you do not realize it until a great deal has gone by.
A lot has changed since I brought Scott Nickerson in as my partner, and we formed A1A in 1989. Heck, back then, it was booked as Jeff Pike, and Scott would just sit in. It was when things started to take off in 1992 that we changed our name.
When we formed A1A, tribute shows, for the most part, did not exist. We got much attention due to our continued success and the fact that, at the time, we were a duo and not a full band. I have not looked into it, but we may be the country's longest-running tribute show still touring. Also, when I first met Scott in the spring of 1989, the entire Parrot Head Club Community consisted of 30 people in the Atlanta Parrot Head Club, which as of today has grown into tens of thousands of people nationwide.
When A1A performs at large Parrot Head Functions and Music Festivals these days, I am usually approached by someone, be musician or fan, who reminds me of how important I and A1A were in the formation, growth, and existence of The Parrot Head and Trop Rock Community. Many people have humbled me and, in some cases, brought me to tears. A1A has been a large part of my life, but I keep myself busy with other musical projects, which means a lot to me. Thus I only spend a little bit of time reflecting. How 30 years have flown by and all that I accomplished and influenced with A1A in that time is hard for me to believe. In all honesty, I could write a good-sized book on the unexpected legacy I will be leaving behind with A1A. Perhaps someday I will, but for now, I am still busy with too much I want to do before I sail off into the sunset.
So, for now, I will just say thank you. Thank you to Jimmy Buffett, The Coral Reefer Band, Scott Nickerson, The Atlanta Parrot Head Club, Vance Kelly, Ansley Segraves, Rhonda Segraves, Chaz McDonald, Koney Ferrell, James Cobb, Chad Stewart, Kathy Mullen, and all of the fans and friends who have stuck with me. Most importantly, all of the musicians and pirates who have performed in A1A over the past 30 years. I am still blessed to have one of the best bands in the country and to play with musicians whom I highly respect and appreciate. An enormous and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped me live my life like a song. It has indeed been a lovely cruise.
October 26, 2022
I hope this message finds all of you safe, healthy, and happy. Given the state of the world we are in at the moment, I realize that might be a bit of a tall order, but it is my hope all the same. We can do it.
In going through my notes, I realized that my last update was seven months ago, in March of 2021. To me, that seems like a lifetime ago, and yet, at the same time, our concert season this year has seemed to fly by like a Space X rocket headed towards outer space in search of William Shatner. I cannot for the life of me believe that it is already almost the end of October. In retrospect, I am chalking that up to the fact that we became substantially busier and more booked than any of us had counted on - which of course, was an excellent problem to have after the previous year of lockdown and almost no work at all. Although, the unexpected but welcomed work did bring about its own set of scheduling problems for other projects I had previously planned.
We started off our season with a short weekend tour of Tennessee which was very successful. That fun-filled weekend got the ball rolling, and the rest of our summer and fall calendar quickly became filled. I have many new photos that I am working on getting posted as quickly as possible, so please be sure and check out 'Photos' under the 'Media' section here at A1A-Live.com regularly to see what content has been added. Make yourself a cocktail, plop yourself down in a comfy chair and check out the many photos from our travels this year. Feel free to save and share the ones you want.
I have to say that the band came into 2021 with renewed vigor and gratitude for the blessings we all have in getting to play music for a living, and it paid off in spades, both for the band and our audience. This year, having our horn section and The A1A Pirates become a more consistent part of our show was a real treat, and if that weren't enough, we were blessed to have the opportunity to add a new female voice to our family this year in Adena Brumer. Adena is an incredible vocalist and performer and just an all-around wonderful human being. Please check her out in the 'About' section here at A1A-Live.com and bid her welcome! All of the above got rave reviews from our audience, and I am looking forward to exploring the theatrical possibilities of this lineup even further in 2022.
Every person in A1A is world-class, and I am very grateful to share the stage and work with them night after night. That being said, it should come as no surprise that all of them are involved in other projects. To be a successful full-time musician in today's world, you have to juggle a lot of musical plates. If you are exceptional on your instrument and bring a professional attitude and work ethic, your plate can quickly become full. I encourage you to read about all the members in A1A on the "About A1A" page here on A1A-Live.com and support them. They are all incredible at what they do.
Unbeknown to some, Chris Blackwell, Wayne Viar, and I also tour in ABBA MANIA during our off-season. For those who do not know, ABBA MANIA is the world's #1 Touring Abba Tribute Show. If you would like to know if ABBA MANIA is coming to a town near you, visit www.jeffpike.com. All of the dates and ticket information will be posted there. We will be hitting the road in a few days, which is why our A1A season got cut a little short this year. We return a couple of days before Thanksgiving and will be taking the rest of the year off. During my time off, I will be working on packaging and marketing my new album that I need to get out next year and re-working the A1A show for 2022. ABBA MANIA goes out again in late January and finishes up on March 14. Soooo.....we look forward to seeing you starting in April of 2022.
I want to thank everyone who came out to see a show this past year. We played in front of many people, and each and every one made us feel happy, special, and needed. Believe me when I tell you that I do not take it for granted.
In closing, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you are not already on it, please sign up for our e-mail list for up-to-the-minute information and updates. Everyone stay safe, healthy, happy, and productive....until we meet again.
Trop Rockin' You Through '22,
Hey, it's me, Jeff Pike. Oh, and my band is here too. A1A. Remember us? Yes, I know. It has been quite a long time since I checked in with you. My bad. As you are all very aware, 2020 was not much of a year to write home about. Since we were all living out the same nightmare, I figured why waste words? Save energy and time, right? Hmmm....now that I think about it, most people did have a lot of time at home in 2020, so perhaps I should have written more often. Again, sorry about that. Hey, it is a new year, and I am back and in good health, as is the band. I sincerely hope you are too. As you may well surmise, like the rest of you, I could write pages on all the horrible things that happened last year and what a very frightening state the world is in right now, but I will not do that. Yes, we all lived through major losses, some more than others, but for those still alive and can read this, I suggest we be thankful, happy, and full of gratitude - on a grand scale.
There is so much on earth to be thankful for. The list is literally endless, but for narrowing it down to one common interest, all of you reading this share - music. Countless musicians lost the opportunity to perform their craft and earn a living last year. A1A played only 6 shows last year. The worst year in our 30 year history. The industry itself was almost destroyed, and regardless of what happens in 2021, it will take years to come back completely. Assuming that is even a possibility. People missed so much last year, and I believe one could make a reasonable argument stating that everyone missed "live music" more than anything. COVID-19 forced everyone indoors, and so much of the world was isolated for a long period of time. This isolation forced much of the world to exist mainly online, and what did you find online more than almost anything? You found live streaming concerts. The crisis made people think outside the box. One result was that new platforms were born and perfected to bring communication and music to a world that craved it. If I may say so, I believe that, if anything, the past year in lockdown has shown us, music and the arts are more important and vital to life than many recognize or understand. Music is like blood. It gives life. It hurts. It heals. It is extraordinarily powerful. Respect the art and those who create it, for there is still much beauty in the world. Look for it. Find it. Embrace it, and share it with those you love.
So I tell you all of that to tell you this. This is a new year, my friends. Spring is just around the corner, and we need to remember that life is what we make of it. Attitude, action, and confidence are everything. We have a good number of shows booked for 2021, with more on the way. We are very excited and pumped to get back on stage. We will be adding some more new songs this year and promise to give you the high-quality, energetic, frenzied fun we have always given you. Check out our concert calendar, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and be sure and share your thoughts. We are all in this together. Ok, I have written enough. It is a nice day out, so I think I will put on some island music and go for a walk. See you from the stage in 2021! Stay well, take care and be sure, and catch a show!
Yours on island time,
Hello Phriends and Phans,
It appears to have been quite some time since I shared some A1A news with everyone, so before the holidays commence, I wanted to touch base.
The first thing I want to share with you is that we have a brand new website. The address is still the same (www.A1A-Live.com), but it is still under some serious construction. Given the fact that we are 28 years old, I can most likely say that it will be under construction long after I am gone! There is so much history to put up there it is mind-boggling. So please come back often and see what we have added.
Speaking of new content, we are working on editing new audio and video to add to the website and to use for promotional material. We hired our good friend Josh Jachles of Jakyl Films to shoot the entire last concert of our 2019 season in Grayson, Georgia, on October 5. Josh brought out a full ten camera shoot for us, and we all had a fantastic evening. We are hoping to have all of the new footage up on the website before the New Year.
Once again, the season flew by, and I cannot believe it is almost December. The last thing I remember was last February when I was looking at my extremely full calendar, which lies ahead for 2019 and wondering how in the world I would get through it all. Blink of an eye, and it is Thanksgiving. I still can't get my head around the passing of time.
At any rate, we had a fantastic year. All of the shows were fantastic, the band was superb, and we made a lot more wonderful memories. I want to thank everyone who is involved in and around A1A, for none of it could happen without them. I am blessed and very proud to be surrounded by the best musicians and sound engineers I have ever known, and it is always a treat when I take the stage with them. Of course, the most important people are the people who come to our shows, book the band and who have stood beside us since it all started back in 1991. Our 30th anniversary will be coming up in 2021, and I look forward to a big celebration. In the meantime, there is still work to be done and fun to be had. So let's party with a purpose, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020!
Let's get tropical,
We are excited to announce our new updated website version 2.0. Have a look around and let us know your thoughts.