Gulf Shores: Gulf Shores : BUFFETT IN THE BAY

10:19 PM


BAY ST. LOUIS - Between nibblin' on sponge cake and watchin' the sun bake, Jimmy Buffett plans to use the Fire Dog Saloon today as a backdrop in a new music video about a devastating hurricane.

But hold on to your flip-flops, because here's the pop-top: It's probably not the same devastating hurricane you're thinking of.

According to Bay St. Louis officials and the parent company of the Fire Dog, the "Margaritaville" crooner is planning to use the blown-out shell of the beachfront tavern in the Bay for a music video about Hurricane Ivan's effects on the Flora-Bama, a beach bar in Gulf Shores, Ala.

"When I first heard about it, I thought it was going to be about Katrina and Bay St. Louis," said Greg Iverson, operations manager at Fire Dog Inc., which owns the Bay saloon and several other Coast bars, including Adventures in Biloxi and The Daq Shack in Gulfport.

Workers spent most of Thursday carefully pouring four truckloads of fresh white sand into the Katrina-wrecked remains of the Fire Dog for today's video shoot.

Set designers painstakingly spread the sand around the concrete columns to give the Fire Dog that just-been-through-a-hurricane look, which appeared to be an easy job to do.

HK Management, the Los Angeles firm that represents Buffett, declined to comment on the video shoot in the Bay, but did say the song is expected to be the first release from Buffett's new album, due out in October.

Buffett, who attended the University of Southern Mississippi and worked for a short time as a reporter for Billboard Magazine, is not currently doing media interviews, according to his management company.

Buffett's management company would not say when the song was first written nor would they release the name of it, but city officials said it's likely the song was inked long before Katrina pounded the Bay.

Iverson said he first learned Pascagoula-born Buffett wanted to use his bar for a video about Gulf Shores when the singer's management asked to paint Flora-Bama logos over the Fire Dog logos on the front of the building.

Katrina's winds flung enough sand and debris at the Fire Dog to scrape away a lot of the outdoor paint and nowadays the logos are difficult to see, but Iverson declined Buffett's offer of a new paint job.

"They asked if they could paint the front of the building and take our logo off," Iverson said. "Obviously, I was real disappointed that the song and video wasn't about us and I'm sure some other people will be, too."

In addition to cheeseburgers and frozen concoctions, Buffett's carefree list of songs includes such titles as "Pascagoula Run" and a ballad simply called "Biloxi."

Mayor Eddie Favre said he is excited to have the laid-back singer-songwriter in the Bay, because Buffett's presence alone could do great things for the city.

"When I learned that the song was about the Flora-Bama, I was a little disappointed," Favre said. "But once he gets here and sees what the situation is, maybe we can get a return trip to do something, not about the Flora-Bama, but about the Fire Dog, the Good Life, Daniel's and all the Old Town businesses."

Last year, Buffett performed with Dave Matthews during a Katrina benefit concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, and this summer, he played the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans.

Like Iverson, Favre is hopeful Buffett will someday return to write a song and film a video about Bay St. Louis' shellacking from the most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history.

"Hopefully we can convince him to come back to do something for us," he said. "He's done songs about San Francisco, Key West and Biloxi, and it sure would be nice to have a song about Bay St. Louis."



Post a Comment

<< Home