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Flip-flopping it into town

Summer must be peaking if Jimmy Buffett is in town. The Parrothead minstrel, who headlines the Tweeter Center tomorrow and Saturday, took time this week to reflect on what's ahead in a career that shows few signs of slowing down.


Q. You have a new song called ``Party at the End of the World." What's that about?

A. Considering that I wrote it a year ago, I'd like to think I'm a little more prophetic and more positive than the Rapture believers. It literally started at the end of the world. I was in Tierra del Fuego, and I had always wanted to go there. It's like the Key West of Argentina, and there are duty-free shops and cruise ships and people who sail in from all over the world. I had a great Italian meal with a nice bottle of wine and thought, ``It ain't bad at the end of the world." So I jotted that down in my book.

Q. You have a new album due this fall. Weren't you also going to title it ``Party at the End of the World"?

A. Yes, but I learned a long time ago that if you have to explain it, it's not really a good title. People said to me, ``What does it mean? Is it the end of the world? Is there a party? What?" There were too many questions for an album title. So I came up with ``Nothing But a Breeze," from the old Jesse Winchester song. I won't have to explain that.

Q. You just released a DVD of your live shows at Wrigley Field, which came a year after you played Fenway Park. You say in the DVD that you were very humble to be in the home of the Chicago Cubs.

A. It was overwhelming to be in Fenway, but Wrigley was actually my field. I wasn't around Boston in the early years. It wasn't part of my heritage, but Wrigley was. Chicago is where I really came out of. It was the first city out of the South that I worked in a club situation.

Q. Would you play Fenway again?

A. I don't know. I'm not saying I'd never do it again, but the other side of me says that was such perfect timing at Fenway with what happened in that season, I don't see how you can duplicate it. They've asked us back, but I haven't made the decision.

Q. You're on a DVD (coming out Aug. 22) featuring the Concert for New Orleans that took place in New York after Hurricane Katrina. You sang with Dave Matthews and Paul Simon. That must have been emotional.

A. It definitely was. It really hit home. There we were in rehearsal with Allen Toussaint's band, and the guitar player had to borrow a guitar because he didn't have one. His guitar was wiped out, and so was his house.

Q. You just made a new video for the song, ``Bama Breeze," about a club damaged in another hurricane.

A. It's a tribute to those honky-tonks that line the Gulf Coast where I grew up on the Alabama, Mississippi, Florida coast of the Gulf. It's about the infamous Flora-Bama bar. It had been blown away in a storm. The patrons had given it an Irish wake and that was a neat story. So I used that as the format for the video.

Q. What was it like playing the role of a schoolteacher in the film ``Hoot" this year?

A. Well, it was pretty easy. Will Shriner, the director, coached me through it. People seem to like it, and I had a good time doing it. I'm looking at a couple of other things in the future. But it has to be fun for me to get involved, and not too much work.

Q. So no Shakespeare?

A. No, I don't think you'll see me do ``Hamlet" any time soon. Schoolteacher, surfer, wharf rat -- those are the roles I'm looking for.

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