Picture of Jimmy Buffett


According to urban legend, it was at a concert in the early 1980s when Eagles bassist, Timothy Schmidt, looked out at Buffett’s fans dressed in Hawaiian shirts and shark fin hats and dubbed them Parrotheads.

Parrotheads before concert

It was not long before Parrotheads made Buffett one of the top summer concert tours. The concerts were all-day parties complete with boats, islands of sands and plenty of Corona. It is not odd to see men wearing coconut bras and grass skirts, and women with pencil-thin mustaches.

“Dressing up is an integral part of being a Parrothead,” said the founder of the Maple Reefers Club. "You become a different person. Your attitudes change, everybody is your friend and in this strange non-conformist way, we all become the same."

A few ways to identify a Parrothead…

Fins during concert

"It's a Parrothead thing," said a fan who has been to 50 Buffett concerts. "You wouldn't understand."

Even Buffett has trouble pinning down what makes a Parrothead.

"Regarding the lifestyles of Parrotheads, they'll have to speak for themselves," Buffett said in The Coconut Telegraph. "My interpretation is that they're basically pretty normal people with a slight strain of insanity in their makeup. I've never really instructed them in anything; I've just given them the lyrics. Most are non-conformists, they have a badge of Parrothead-ism that they wear very proudly."

Parrotheads before concert