Uncle Tom’s Gabbin’
Wednesday - January 20, 2010
IT BEGAN IN 1982 when I took Jimmy Buffett to perform in Tahiti at the O’tac in Papeete. After the show Monte Brown, a friend from Kona who was GM of Hotel Bora Bora, invited our party to spend a few days at his beautiful hotel. While there, we all enjoyed an evening at the island’s newest restaurant, Bloody Mary’s. We were invited to stay after all the other customers had left for a “surprise.” Out came a 16mm projector, and we were treated to a screening of South Pacific. What made it really special was the mountain visible from Bloody Mary’s that, rumor had it, was the legendary “Bali Hai.” Wow! What an evening. We headed back to the hotel humming songs from the movie. The favorite seemed to be Some Enchanted Evening.
A year later, I got a call from Tahiti’s premier entertainer and dear friend, Gabilou, asking to put together a fundraiser for victims of a recent hurricane. Jimmy immediately agreed to perform, and along with John Rowles and Loyal Garner we all headed for Tahiti. While there, Jimmy finished recording One Particular Harbor, which he had written on the previous visit with Tahiti resident Bobby Holcombe.
In the following years we often talked about returning. It finally happened ... after Jimmy’s surprise concert at Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber in Waikiki, we headed for Tahiti for the show’s last weekend at Bloody Mary’s. Thanks to managers Craig Gould and Rick Guenett, and owner Dexter Hewett, all proceeds from ticket sales are being donated to build a playground for the children of Bora Bora. And thanks to another dear friend Francis Teai, the Tahitian government provided the best technical equipment to make it a truly first-class presentation. And Gabilou flew in from Papeete to provide a special introduction.
Needless to say, it was very special with Jimmy concluding his performance with a rousing One Particular Harbor.
The crowd wanted one more encore. Well, I had witnessed Jimmy and his brilliant sidemen, guitarist Mac McAnally and steel drum virtuoso Robert Greenidge, working for hours on a special Buffett arrangement of Some Enchanted Evening, and was delighted when Jimmy wisely chose this as his final offering.
He had never performed the song in public before this special moment, and the look on the faces in the audience, young and old, was something to behold. There were tears in many eyes - including mine ...
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