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