|The infamous Phil Clark|
In the early seventies, when Buffett was an unknown hippie folk singer trying to scrape a living together playing Key West watering holes, he met a sometime bartender, sometime marijuana smuggler named Phil Clark. Probably a good ten years older than Jimmy, the mysterious Clark regaled Buffett with stories of his adventures sailing around the Caribbean, drinking, drugging and romancing beautiful women.
|Buffett during his hippie days|
Not much is known about Clark before he showed up in Key West (some say he was an insurance man from up north somewhere) but around the keys he was thought of as a modern day twentieth century pirate. His hedonistic lifestyle was a big influence on Buffett and you have to wonder, would there be a Parrotthead Nation if Jimmy had never met Phil Clark?
Eventually, Clark got into trouble with the law and fled Key West. (After he went on the run, locals started referring to Buffett 's song as, "A Pirate Looks At Five To Ten". He reportedly drowned near Sausalito, California a few years later.
Here is a video of Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker (who also lived in Key West in the early seventies) reminiscing about Phil Clark.
"Jimmy Buffett: The Key West Years" by Tom Corcoran
"Mile Marker Zero" by William Mckeen
Both are available at: Amazon.com
--Rock N Roll Casey
January 13, 2016