Jimmy Buffett is one of the highly regarded singer-songwriters and an incredible storyteller – and that’s was one of the reasons why Bob Dylan admires him.
Dylan first showed himself as a fan of Buffet back in 1982, when he gave a surprise appearance with Joan Baez shockingly performing Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks at 40.” During an interview with Bill Flanagan in 2009, Dylan named Buffett as one of his favorite songwriters (along with Gordon Lightfoot, Warren Zevon, Randy Newman, John Prine, and Guy Clark).
Buffet shared some of his stories regarding Dylan in the new episode of The Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition, he admits that they’ve spent some time together, and there’s a twist with that story. The meeting took place after Dylan’s performance with Baez, on a harbor off the island of St. Bart’s, where Dylan’s schooner is located named, Water Pearl.
“I was walking by the marine-supply store,” Buffett recalls, “and I heard a voice say, ‘Hey, Jimmy, that’s a nice-looking pair of shoes. And it was Bob Dylan! He was seeing a girl that I knew on the island, and I knew a couple of guys that worked for him on the road. And he invited me out on the boat, and we sat there and talked. We got stoned all day long.” Buffett came away convinced he’d made a deep connection with Dylan: “I’m thinking, man, we have a bond here.”
Five years later, Buffet went to see Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Paris, and a mutual friend who was working as security told Buffett that Dylan would love to see him backstage. “And I go backstage,” says Buffett, “and Dylan was sitting there. He had these gloves on. He’s got his hoodie on. I said, ‘Bob, how doin’?’”
Dylan responded with just a grunted “eh.” “He never said a word,” says Buffett. “I sat there, ate my meal and said, ‘Well, have a good show. See you later.’ That was it. I haven’t seen him since!”
Watch the interview below:
Jimmy Buffett’s new album, Life on the Flip Side, is now available.