Full Moon Over Jones Beach
Aug 5,6 - 1998

By Ken Jenkins

Craig and I standing by the Jones Beach Amphitheatre - one of the more scenic places I've seen Buffett.

"My head hurts. My feet stink, and I don’t love Jesus", I said to Craig (aka Alice) as he walked out the door, heading back to Pennsylvania. "But if I don’t die by Tuesday, I’ll see you on Wednesday morning". A long weekend of overindulgence at Jimmy’s shows at the Nissan Pavilion had just ended. Up till 5:00 AM after the Friday show. Up nice and early Saturday morning to get ready for the bus trip on Saturday. And then of course the after concert party didn’t end until 6:00AM Sunday morning. I doubted I would be going to any more shows this week.

But, like the Nissan shows, the weather was beautiful and I felt I had to be there. By Tuesday I was psyched to go. Wondering whether I might need professional help for a bad case of Parrotheaditis, I set out on my journey Wednesday morning. First it was up to PA to meet Craig and then on to NJ where we were to meet up with a whole slew of other people to see Jimmy at the PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ. After reaching Mike’s house in NJ (and countless tollbooths), our home for the night, it was time to head to the Arts Center. No time to wait for anybody. They would have to meet us there. There were people in the parking lot, and we weren’t among them, and that had to be fixed immediately.

We finally made it to the parking lot and could now relax. We were at our third Buffett show that week. Lots and lots of friendly NJ State police all around. They were incessantly circling the parking lot like landsharks looking for a victim. Only the fins were missing from their police cars. They stopped to talk with us a while. We supplied them with hot dogs and Coronas (well they wouldn’t drink our Corona, but they did talk about sneaking a beer every now and then). And they were getting paid overtime for this? We snapped a picture with our badged friends (as I yelled out "I am a cop, and you will respect my authority" – my favorite Cartman quote) and they were on their merry way. Luckily, they watch South Park too.

The tailgate party was fun as always. We talked with the parrotvision dude and he filmed us and promised we’d be on. Indeed we were on parrotvision that night. Unfortunately I didn’t actually see it because I was searching for Craig who was MIA after having overindulged in Parrot Bay Rum. I eventually found him staggering aimlessly around at the top of the lawn. Oh yeah, I got "leighed" six times in the parking lot by a young lady who was very fond of my license plates (PARUT HD).

For the first time this year, we went in a little early (wasn’t our idea – everyone else wanted to get their lawn seats) and briefly saw Club Trini as they finished up their set. I walked up to Tina and thought it was Amy Lee. Oh well, I’m sure she’ll get over it. That’s what they get for dying their hair.

The show itself was typical for the Carnival Summer ’98 tour. No major surprises (like God’s Own Drunk @ the Nissan Pavilion), but nonetheless extremely enjoyable. It was Jimmy’s first Arts Center show in 3 years, and the crowd was happy to see him.

…On to Jones Beach

Next stop: Jones Beach. Many tolls later and a drive through NY City, and we arrived at Craig’s parents’ house at Jones Beach, Long Island. We left the NJ people for a whole new group of parrotheads to party with in NY, but once again they weren’t ready, so off to Jones Beach Amphitheater we went. The perfect weather continued. 85 and sunny. Talk about Déjà vu. After another day of tailgating we headed in for our fourth Buffett show of the week.

I must say, this is without a doubt the most picturesque place I’ve ever seen Jimmy. Jones Beach is an amphitheater, but it has no lawn. It is basically a wedge of a football stadium that is beautifully placed right on Jones Beach, Long Island. The stage is off the beach and is actually in the water. The seats in front of the stage are literally over the water and stretch back to the wedge. The moon was full. It was perfectly positioned directly over the stage, reflecting off the ocean that surrounded the stage. Although our seats, high in the wedge, were not the best for seeing Jimmy, they were absolutely perfect for viewing the whole stage setup with the moon and ocean in the background. The scene was breathtaking. The crowd was one of the most enthusiastic I’ve seen – really getting into the show. Jimmy always seems to feed off the energy in the crowd, and tonight was no exception. There was one huge problem with Jones Beach though. They don’t sell beer.

Jimmy did throw in a few surprises for his "friends and neighbors" (Jimmy lives on Long Island during the summer). He sang Delaney Talks To Statues for his daughter who was at the show. Unfortunately he sang Delaney just after the break. I had gone to the lower level to escape the long bathroom lines and get a $5 hot dog. Once I realized what Jimmy was singing I ran up the stairs, but got to my seat as I was out of breath and the last note was played. Oh well, maybe he’ll play it again. As usual, Jimmy’s son Cameron was keeping the stage clear of beach balls by kicking them back to the audience. He also threw in Sea Cruise in the first encore, which I haven’t heard him sing in quite a while.

Well another show was over and Merriweather was only 2 weeks away. As we lingered in the parking lot after the show, the crews were cleaning up around us. Security meandered through the parking lot announcing over the loudspeaker "Jimmy Buffett has gone back to Key West. It’s time to go home."