If you’re and yours are Parrotheads , then you probably already know where the term came from.
For everyone else, this might come as a bit of a surprise. Every cult classic or major music fan club has an origin story. This one is even more fun because it involves a member of one of the most famous bands in music history. No, not Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band (although this guy was a member, we’ll get to that in a minute). We’re talking about the legendary Eagles.
And while we’re on the topic of things you might not know, here’s another one. Timothy Schmidt, AKA Timothy B. Schmidt, was a member of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band in the 1980’s. Schmidt was with the Eagles until they broke up in 1980, but then he did his own thing. That included many collaborations with other artists.
Schmidt is credited on the albums of several other artists beyond the Eagles.
Schmidt‘s voice can be heard on Don Henley‘s Dirty Laundry, Bozz Scaggs‘ Look What You’ve Done To Me, and Bob Seger‘s Fire Lake. He also did some songs with Crosby, Stills and Nash. And he’s the voice of the So Much In Love cover on the Fast Times At Ridgemont High album.
And that is just naming a few of the works Schmidt has done with other artists. But for the purpose of this story, we’ll stick with his time with the Coral Reefer Band.
Schmidt joined the Coral Reefer Band in 1983 and toured with them until 1985.
On June 28, 1985, the band was playing a show at the Timberwolf Amphitheater in Maineville, Ohio (wikipedia.org). During some between the songs banter, Buffett was commenting on the crowd’s attire. They were donned in the Hawaiian shirts and parrot hats they still wear today. Buffett mentioned how the same people kept coming back, much like the Grateful Dead‘s “Deadheads”.
Schmidt got on the mic and referred to them as Parrotheads. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Parrotheads now have over 200 registered clubs. And his fans travel all over the country to see his shows. You can easily pick them out of the crowd. Flowered shirt, Parrot hat, a lei, and most likely a beer (or margarita) in hand.
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