Bono’s Touching Tribute To Jimmy Buffett
The entire music world was impacted by the loss of Jimmy Buffett. We’ve heard from Bob Seger, Paul McCartney, Don Henley and so many others about the inspiration of Jimmy and his music. But did you know the deep connection he had with Bono from U2? Take a moment and check out Bono’s touch tribute to Jimmy Buffett at the Sphere (Buffett’s family was there to see this…and Bono took time to acknowledge them)
So where does this deep friendship between Bono and Jimmy Buffett come from? They almost died together in a plane. Seriously.
Hemisphere Dancer is Jimmy Buffett’s personal seaplane. Buffett purchased the aircraft in 1990 and restored it. This is the very plane that Buffett was flying during the incident recounted in the song “Jamaica Mistaica” on the album Banana Wind.
Buffett had recently set off on a tour of the Caribbean, Central, and South America, in celebration of his 50th birthday. Despite numerous efforts at obtaining the requisite clearances and permissions, the Hemisphere Dancer was only allowed to make a water landing once during the month-long odyssey. This action is chronicled in Buffett’s autobiographical travelogue A Pirate Looks at 50, which was an immediate #1 best seller on the New York Times best seller list.
During his tour, on January 16, 1996, Buffett’s plane was shot at by Jamaican police. The “Hemisphere Dancer” was carrying Buffett, U2’s Bono, his wife Ali, their children Jordan and Eve, and Island Records producer Chris Blackwell. Police suspected it was smuggling drugs. Fortunately, no one was hurt, although there were a few bullet holes in the plane.
“These boys were shooting all over the place. I felt as if we were in the middle of a James Bond movie…I honestly thought we were all going to die…You can’t believe the relief I felt when I saw the kids were okay,” Bono recounted.
Jimmy Buffett would later release Jamaica Mistaica (1996) to recount the terror:
“They shot from the lighthouse
They shot from the highway
They shot from the top of the cliff
They’d all gone haywire
We’re catchin’ fire
And there wasn’t even a spliff.”
The Hemisphere Dancer currently resides at Margaritaville in Orlando, FL.