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From The Vault: Cincinnati's been bonkers for Buffett since 1984

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Posted: 6:00 AM, Jul 06, 2017
Updated: 2019-07-18 08:54:39-04

CINCINNATI -- For 35 years, Cincinnati has been the epicenter of Jimmy Buffett mania.

On Thursday, Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band come to town for one sold-out show at Riverbend Music Center.

The tradition that transforms Cincinnati to Margaritaville is strong; in fact, the term “Parrothead”  originated in Cincinnati in 1985.

Buffett was performing at Timberwolf Ampitheater on June 28, 1985 when he saw concertgoers wearing parrots on their Hawaiian shirts and parrot hats. In a spin on the Grateful Dead’s “deadheads,” Buffett coined the term “parrotheads” to describe his most loyal fans.

BELOW: John Matarese reports on ‘Buffett mania’ in 1993

 

By 1993, Buffett was playing five shows in a row in Cincinnati. The shows were accompanied by insane tailgates.

Buffett has stopped in Cincinnati on every tour since 1984. (In 1983, he went to Oxford, and in 1982, he went to Dayton.)

BELOW: The business repercussions of Buffett popularity in Cincinnati

 

In 2013, WCPO talked to a Buffett fan who hadn’t missed a concert since 1993 (except the year her daughter was born). Kim Ertel Miller said  her husband even proposed on the lawn at the Buffett concert at Riverbend in 2000.

BELOW: Buffett in Cincinnati in 2001

One of Buffett’s songs — Fins — has a Cincinnati shoutout. The 1979 song “Fins” is about a woman who “came down from Cincinnati” by train to a beach town, only to be preyed upon by “land sharks,” or bar-dwelling guys.

SEE other video and stories about Tri-State history in our  "From The Vault" series.

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