ATLANTIC CITY — ALL THAT SQUAWKING IS MORE than hungry seagulls waiting for some easy pickings to wash up on the beach.
It’s also coming from the Parrothead rumor mill that’s been getting its feathers all ruffled for weeks about the possible return of the world’s wealthiest and most famous beach bum.
After playing back-to-back summer dates in Atlantic City in 2008 and 2009 — his first Boardwalk gigs ever — Jimmy Buffett sat out the summer of ’10, much to the disappointment of his loyal local legion of fans, who call themselves Parrotheads.
Now comes several unconfirmed reports that Buffett’s 2011 Fin Land tour will stop in Atlantic City in August, although no dates have been mentioned. Buffett’s Web site doesn’t include Atlantic City on the list of announced concerts, although his annual visit to the Camden waterfront is scheduled for June 23.
However, Buffett has nothing scheduled between Chicago on July 23 and Jones Beach in New York on Aug. 19. In the past, the Buffett camp announces a block of shows and then fills in additional dates later. Since he’s booked pretty solidly from the Jones Beach gig through the last week in August, an Atlantic City show — if it’s going to happen — would probably be something during the first three weeks of the month.
Naturally, Boardwalk Hall — which he sold out within minutes for his first two shows there — is the most likely venue for a Buffett gig. In fact, several unofficial Buffett Web sites are not only confidently saying he’ll be playing Boardwalk Hall, but have also mentioned he’ll be performing two shows with his Coral Reefer Band — Aug. 7 and Aug. 10.
So far, the Boardwalk Hall calendar is wide open for the entire month of August, so the big room on the Boardwalk is available.
Since Buffett rarely plays more than one show per city, a pair of Atlantic City concerts three days apart would be a true rarity.
The possibility of shows on Sunday and Wednesday nights makes sense, especially from the casino industry’s perspective. The gaming halls don’t need much help attracting Saturday night crowds in the summer. But a Sunday show would hold the typical weekend crowd in town longer, and a Wednesday show would provide a midweek financial boost to Atlantic City’s struggling casinos by bringing an extra 12,500 people to the Boardwalk who wouldn’t ordinarily be here on a Wednesday night. Buffett’s organization hasn’t returned several e-mail requests for information — no surprise there. And while I wouldn’t make travel plans based on rumors, Parrotheads have proven to be fairly reliable when it comes to information about the singer, who hasn’t had a chart-topping hit since “Margaritaville” in 1977.
The song not only became an instant summer anthem, but also led to a business empire and brand that now includes a dozen restaurants, a hotel in the Florida panhandle, a clothing and footwear line and a charitable foundation.
Meanwhile, with or without Buffett, the entertainment schedule for spring and summer — while far from complete — is shaping up nicely. Already, there’s a good mix of acts that range from the new and contemporary to the tried and true.
Not surprisingly, Borgata is leading the way with an eclectic array of shows. The casino, which changed the way some people had viewed Atlantic City prior to its 2003 opening, has lured singer and songwriter Paul Simon to its Event Center on May 28, which will mark his Atlantic City solo debut.
The casino has also booked the ’60s band The Monkees for June 18. The pre-fab four (actually down to three now) will play Borgata as part of the group’s 45th anniversary tour, and that show has already sold out the property’s 1,000-seat Music Box. Borgata has guaranteed itself a demographically diverse crowd that night by also booking rock and rap star Kid Rock — who recently took a country turn — who’ll likely fill the 2,200-seat Event Center.
Other early season showroom highlights include the long-running, horn-rich rock band Chicago, who have done so well at Caesars Atlantic City the last few years that one night in the 1,500-seat Circus Maximus Theater isn’t enough. The band will perform there May 28-29.
The Go-Go’s, the all-female rock band that first began making music waves 30 years ago, play the House of Blues at Showboat on June 4, song stylist Michael Bublé hits Boardwalk Hall on June 11 and country music star LeAnn Rimes performs an acoustic set at Resorts Casino Hotel on June 24.
And, building on the foundation they created last summer, the 10-man a cappella group Straight No Chaser returns to Harrah’s Resort for a summer-long run June 21 through Sept. 4.
“I think Jimmy and Morris were brilliant in their forethought because, clearly, the first thing that comes to mind when you visit the Jersey shore is the beach and ocean."
Resorts announces deal with Jimmy Buffett to add a Margaritaville brand complex to casino including a year-round beach bar.
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