Don’t you people up North get the weather channel or what? I’m down in Key West, where I was sitting out last night in a hot tub, marveling at the stars. It’s been a wonderful creative high writing down here. I was going to continue our discussion on the virtues of selfishness, but during a break last night there came such a beautiful example of the power of tribes that you should look at…
As most of you know, I’m a member of the “Parrot head” tribe, which for you heathens that don’t know, is for Jimmy Buffet fans. So for dinner last night, I walked over to Duval Street and had a “cheeseburger in paradise” at Jimmy’s Margaritaville café.
Buffett has done such a magnificent job leading the tribe, it should be a case study for everyone that wants to lead a movement. He’s not trying to save the world in the traditional sense, but he leads a movement that can make it a better place for all of us. His tribe is about fun, music, and giving back.
Although he’s had some chart hits, you almost never hear a new Buffet song on the radio. His music defies categorization, and the station music directors are just too stupid to know what to do with that.
So Jimmy skipped the traditional radio record company distribution channel and took his movement directly to the people. He set up his own studio and his own label. Year after year he tours the globe, along with his “Coral Reefer Band,” selling out venue after venue, without any of the normal promotion.
He writes books and they become best sellers, both fiction and non-fiction. He releases album after album, DVD after DVD, and his public keeps snapping them up.
He embraced the Internet long before the rest of the music industry, creating his “Radio Margaritaville” website which attracted legions of followers, then morphed into a channel on Sirius Satellite Radio when that began.
Long before the rest of the business got it, Jimmy was streaming all of his concerts over the website for free. (Yet a parrot head would NEVER knock off a Buffet album.) And instead of hurting concert attendance, these free Internet offerings drive even more traffic to the live shows. Each event is packed with the tribal faithful, sporting parrots heads, fins, grass skirts and other trinkets connected with their favorite Buffet songs.
Jimmy gets it. It’s not about selling records or concerts, it’s about creating an experience. And a remarkable one at that. Check out his site here.
Tomorrow will be my traditional “Night before Christmas” poem, but with a new twist this year. Watch for that. Then after the holiday we’ll look more at the necessity of meeting your own needs first.