My allegiance to the original salty soul with a salute to his successor.
A few days ago I posted a tweet about loving both Kenny and Jimmy’s music but being more connected to the original salty soul; the King of Somewhere Hot himself. So with that I thought I would elaborate a bit.
Now, a lot of people around my age seem to be more into Kenny and I guess because of the closer age proximity that makes some sense. Obviously for the girls Kenny has a greater sex appeal than Jimmy and that adds to it as well I am sure. But for me, as much as I love Kenny’s music and have a real connection with his songs and way of life, Jimmy’s music has been the background to my life since I was a young child and will always hold that special spot for me.
Part of this connection comes from how genuine Jimmy is in beach culture in contrast to the novelty of Kenny’s new found island spirit. Not saying it being new to Kenny makes it any less real, but as someone who was raised on the sands of Florida’s Gulf coast I feel a greater connection with someone who is a native born salty soul. But again, some of us were born with salt in our veins, some of us had it injected; but in the end we are all brothers and sisters of the same rummy, sun soaked lifestyle.
Kenny and Jimmy both sing of the ocean, the island lifestyle, sailing, and having a good time in the Caribbean sun; and as I said before, I feel a connection with both as that has been my life. But Bubba just has a yet to be identified ingredient (a secret ingredient perhaps?) in his musical libations that brings in a certain magic, a certain spirit that has yet to be replicated for me. Maybe it’s the haunting sound of Fingers Taylor’s harmonica or Nadirah’s soulful backing vocals, but there is something there that can’t be reproduced.
I guess one of the main reasons I feel this way is because how long Jimmy has been the music in my life and how short a time Kenny’s has. Bubba’s music was playing at some of the more important parts of my life growing up, and while a few of Kenny’s now have similar places for me those formidable years have a deeper connection. I think our early years always seem to ring through more as they are at our foundation. So in essence Jimmy’s music is at my foundation and as I said to someone on twitter, his music is responsible in part for who and how I am today. Mix that with a childhood on the southern coast and you get the rummy beach bum you see today.
It was a tradition for me growing up to turn on “Margaritaville” (the Parrot-Head national anthem) as I got to the beach and the smell of salt air filled my car. “Changes in Latitudes” always reminds me of strolling down Clearwater Beach with my headphones on watching the “pale invaders” worshiping the sun. And so many songs remind me of the crazy drives my buddy Mike and I made down to Key West or early mornings on the boat as we came to the rivers mouth and put her on plane heading to the island for a day of fishing and drinking. Each song always floods my memory banks with these nostalgic moments in time from my life on the southern shores. So to Jimmy, thank you for the dis-function and craziness your music has inspired in my life as well as the lazy days in the sun I have known and love!
But one day in the future the original trop-rocker will retire and one day he will sail on leaving behind a legacy and generations of island going party-pirates. In Kenny we have a great person to carry the tiki torch for him and keep another generation or two salted, tanned, rum soaked, and in good sprits; spreading the island lifestyle across the world and inspiring that one lucky soul that will carry the torch for him. But for me anyway, nobody will ever be able to replace Jimmy nor have as much meaning to me and to my life. And whether I am at a Jimmy or a Kenny show my Parrot Head flag will fly high on it’s flagpole, as that is the seed for this lifestyle we all live in so many ways and certainly the foundation for so much of the craziness we all love.
“Love and Luck”