KEY WEST (CBS4)- It was a treat for Jimmy Buffett fans as the singer returned to his former Key West home for a rare surprise performance before some 3,500 “Parrot Head” fans.
The surprise performance was held during their 20th annual convention that continues through Sunday.
The singer and songwriter, whose most successful songs include “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” with Alan Jackson and the iconic “Margaritaville,” performed with his Coral Reefer Band for more than 70 minutes from a stage adjacent to his Margaritaville Store and Café on Key West’s Duval Street. The free concert was open to the public as well as convention attendees.
“I heard I was in town,” Buffett quipped as he walked onstage Friday afternoon, referencing one of his well-known song titles. “This is pretty cool, playing on Duval Street.”
He then launched into a set of 15 songs, most inspired by his time in Key West during the 1970s and 80s, or mentioning the island’s people and places. Among them were classics such as “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” “Tin Cup Chalice,” “Nautical Wheelers,” and “Woman Goin’ Crazy on Caroline Street.”
Each year, Parrot Head fans “flock” to Key West to see the island portrayed in their hero’s lyrics. Some concert attendees wore the offbeat tropical headgear that earned them their name, and many sang along as Buffett performed.
This year’s convention continues with activities, including another concert by the Coral Reefer Band, beachside performances, a charity auction and a “Beach Bash” beside the Atlantic Ocean.
In addition to enjoying Buffett’s music and the tropical lifestyle it promotes, Parrot Heads embrace charitable, environmental, educational and humanitarian activities. Since 2002, members of the more than 200 national and international Parrot Head chapters have contributed $22.1 million and nearly 2.7 million volunteer hours to local and national charities.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Andy Newman of the Florida Keys News Bureau contributed material for this report)