We were working at Shaw's Crab House one night in July. After our second set, they always feed us. After dinner I went to the men's room to wash my hands. I was approached by a younger guy in a black suit & he says "You guys are great, can you play Margaritaville ".
I looked at him, trying to be as nice as possible and say "No we're not going to play that. We're a Blues band." He says "Well, could you play Sweet Home Chicago?" I told him we could definitely do that for him.
He then tells me "The reason I asked if you could play Margaritaville is because Jimmy Buffet is out in the audience. When you go back into the room look two seats to my left and you'll see him with his manager". I say " yeah, OK thanks , will do." and walk away thinking - yeah, sure he is. (We hear a lot of stories late at night by people in bars)
We go back out and play the third set and I look at the bar and I see a guy that could honestly be anyone sitting where the younger guy told me to look.
We play the third set and I occasionally glance over his direction and see if he's paying attention. He seemed like he wasn't interested at all.
So, after we play the last tune and I say goodnight, I figure if it is Jimmy Buffet I better take a picture for bragging rights later. I hold up my cell phone to take a picture and he looks up and points at me.
Ah crap, just got busted.
He gets up , walks over to me shakes my hand and proceeds to tell me it's good to see me again (he has apparently seen us perform there once before) and how much he liked our set and starts listing off the titles of the songs I played.
He said he loved our originals.
Then he proceeded to ask me about my guitar and amplifier.
I gave him a copy of my Cd and he said "I'm going to put this up on our XM Satellite radio station for the rest of the month. I can do that, you know why ? Because I own the damn thing and can put anything I want to on the station and this is good music !".
The guy that told me Jimmy Buffet was in the audience approaches. He turns out to be Jimmy's chauffeur (I'm not allowed to call him Mr Buffet. I HAVE to call him Jimmy). He tells Jimmy "I asked him to play Margaritaville but he said NO".
Ah crap just got thrown under the bus...
Jimmy says " Why Not?"
I say "I figured I'd leave that to the pros".
He then says " You need to cover that song, you'd do it really well. But - you have to do it in a Blues style. As a matter of fact I insist you cover that song".
HOLY CRAP , he's not only giving me permission to record it but is insisting that I do it and then starts playing air guitar and singing it the way he thought I might sing it. He then tells me that he used to play Sweet Home Chicago on tour and thought our version was the coolest he had ever heard.
We talked for a while longer about guitars and amplifiers he even tried playing my lefty G&L upside down. He's one of the nicest guys I've met and one hell of a good tipper.
He said next time he's in town he'll look us up.
I better start working up that version of Margaritaville... you never know who's in your audience.
** Update to the story. We we're at Shaw's again on Wed Aug 17th & Aaron (his chauffeur) was there. He took a video of us and sent it to Jimmy. I love my job.