Jimmy Buf­fett takes mu­si­cal shots at Repub­li­cans in West Palm Beach

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - LOCAL - By Skyler Swisher South Florida Sun Sentinel

Florida mu­sic leg­end Jimmy Buf­fett sup­ported the Sun­shine State’s Demo­cratic ticket on Satur­day, per­form­ing a free con­cert in West Palm Beach and chang­ing lyrics to take shots at Gov. Rick Scott and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The singer em­braced Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­nee An­drew Gil­lum and U.S. Sen. Bill Nel­son on stage after they de­liv­ered brief speeches urg­ing the Par­rot Head crowd at Meyer Am­phithe­ater to vote on Tues­day.

“These are your guys,” Buf­fett said. “This is your ticket. … There are bet­ter days ahead.”

He then breezed through some of his best-known hits drawn from the Florida land­scape. He started the show with “Changes in Lat­i­tudes, Changes in At­ti­tudes,” not­ing that it fit with the event’s theme.

On “Mar­gar­i­taville,” he changed up the lyrics to take aim at Nel­son’s op­po­nent — “Some peo­ple claim there’s a red tide to blame, but I know it’s all Rick Scott’s fault.”

He sang dur­ing “Come Mon­day” that “it’s been two in­sane years, and it’s time to re­ally switch gears.” He ablibbed dur­ing “Vol­cano” that he didn’t want to “land on no Mar-a-Lago.” Trump’s Palm Beach es­tate is just across the In­tra­coastal Wa­ter­way from the venue.

The crowd wore shirts read­ing “Gil­lum for gover­nor,” “Dump Trump” and “Nev­er­the­less She Voted.” They danced dur­ing Buf­fett’s per­for­mance and chanted “bring it home.”

The can­di­dates de­liv­ered short speeches — not want­ing to keep the au­di­ence from Buf­fett’s tunes.

Gil­lum, who is mayor of Tal­la­has­see, ac­knowl­edged the shoot­ing Fri­day at a yoga stu­dio in his city that left two peo­ple and the shooter dead and five oth­ers in­jured. Gil­lum briefly left the cam­paign trail to meet with two peo­ple who had been wounded.

He said he talked with one per­son who had suf­fered six bul­let wounds and an­other who had a bul­let go through her back, col­laps­ing her lungs, when she was in a down dog yoga po­si­tion.

“It only for me un­der­scores what we have to do just three days from now when we send an un­apolo­getic mes­sage to the NRA that their time is up in the state of Florida,” Gil­lum told the crowd. “Enough is enough. … My opin­ion is sim­ple: If you want the power of God at your waist belt, you ought to at least have a back­ground check.”

Nel­son, who is vy­ing for a fourth term in the Se­nate, came on stage danc­ing to “Eye of the Tiger.” He said, “You are here to­day be­cause you know what is at stake.”

Repub­li­cans shot back, is­su­ing a state­ment say­ing Nel­son and Gil­lum haven’t ac­com­plished any­thing “to make Florida a Par­rot Head par­adise.”

“No amount of time ‘wasted away again in Mar­gar­i­taville,’ can erase that,” said Taryn Fenske, a spokes­woman for the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

Some in the crowd came for pol­i­tics, but oth­ers just wanted to catch a free Buf­fett show.

Alice Jos­aphouitch, 67, of West Palm Beach, wore a but­ton that read, “Par­rot Heads for Gil­lum.”

“I am here for democ­racy,” she said. “I think it’s a shame the way things are go­ing.”

But Joe Berger, 62, of Lake Worth, said he was mainly in­ter­ested in the show. He said he’s seen Buf­fett at least 10 times, dat­ing back to the 1970s.

“It’s feel-good mu­sic,” he said. “South­ern life­style. No cares. No wor­ries.”

Buf­fett is no stranger to pol­i­tics. On Aug. 23, he per­formed a free show in Hol­ly­wood to sup­port for­mer U.S. Rep. Gwen Gra­ham, who lost in the pri­mary to Gil­lum.

Buf­fett told the crowd he’s feel­ing op­ti­mistic about Elec­tion Day.

“There will be a party Tues­day night,” he said. “I prom­ise.”

ss­wisher@sun­sen­tinel.com, 561-243-6634 or @SkylerSwisher


Jimmy Buf­fett de­liv­ered a free per­for­mance Satur­day in West Palm Beach to sup­port Demo­cratic can­di­dates An­drew Gil­lum and Bill Nel­son.

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