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Ian Dear Remembers Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville in Jamaica

by Howard Campbell

SOUTH FLORIDA  -Jimmy Buffett, whose distinct brand of country-meets-tropicana music made him a mega star, had a love affair with Florida and Jamaica, both of which he invested heavily.

Ian Dear Remembers Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville in Jamaica
Jimmy Buffett

Buffett, owner of the world-famous Margaritaville restaurants, died in Sag Harbor,  New York on September 1 at age 76. The cause of death was skin cancer.

Although born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, Buffett was synonymous with the scenic island of Key West where he owned a home and the Margaritaville Cafe. Buffett was a regular since discovering the popular getaway destination in 1973.

Key West inspired several of his songs including I Found me A Home and Last Mango in Paris.

Residents and visitors saluted Buffett’s contribution to the area by leaving flowers and signing a condolence book at Margaritaville Cafe on Duval Street.

In Jamaica, the Margaritaville restaurant on the Montego Bay strip was a popular spot for locals and tourists. Ian Dear was one of Buffett’s partners in that venture.

Ian Dear Remembers Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville in Jamaica
Margaritaville in Montego Bay,, Jamaica

Dear told the Gleaner newspaper in Jamaica that he met Buffett 26 years ago and quickly developed a friendship.

“Out of everything he has done, he loves Jamaica. He was an amazing person, who was engaging, and lived everything that he projected,” said Dear.

Buffett was so taken with Jamaica that he satirized a life-threatening incident that took place in Negril in 1996. Police in the resort town mistakenly fired shots at his aircraft, believing he was a drug dealer.

On board the plane was Bono of U2, members of his family and Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.

Preferring to look at the lighter side, Buffett recorded Jamaica Mistaica, a reggae-flavored ditty that was released in 1996.





South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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