The Real Reason Jimmy Buffett Nearly Became A Drug Smuggler

Putting aside the outlandish prison sentences, the high probability of getting shot, the hand you'll play in ruining a lot of people's lives, and the requisite involvement with a drug that makes your nose crawl into your face, there's really no downside to smuggling cocaine. It's a great way to see other parts of the world, and then, you know, smuggle cocaine either into or out of them.

But it wasn't the travel that drew the eye of Jimmy Buffett to this exciting potential career path in chaperoning drugs on their way to new homes. He'd already seen his fair share of geography by the mid 1970s. Born in Pascagoula, Mississippi and beginning his music career in Nashville, the man who would be king of the Parrotheads settled into Key West and became part and parcel with the shady side of hippy culture's shift towards harder fare. His new base of operations, the southernmost city in the United States, was a regular port of call for all manner of seedy characters: shrimpers, human traffickers, Ernest Hemingway's cats.

And then there were the drug runners, who Buffett claimed "unloaded in the middle of the day down at the shrimp docks," according to the Daily Mail.

How he almost got there, he hasn't a clue

What apparently intrigued Buffett about drug smuggling? Well, it's going to come as a bit of a shock, but apparently he thought there might be good money in it.

In Ryan White's biography of the singer, "A Good Life All the Way," it's stated that Buffett "was told he could make twice what he'd made for the record with a single run." Buffet is quoted as saying that he "was tempted occasionally to get into it."

Buffett managed to do alright for himself without breaking irrevocably bad. Thanks to his continued popularity, as well as his chain of resorts, bars, restaurants, and retirement communities, he's currently valued at around half a billion dollars, and he never even had to go Tony Montana to do it.

Not that everyone has always believed that. According to Buffett's website, in 1996, his airplane, the Hemisphere Dancer, was shot at by Jamaican authorities who believed it to be carrying illegal narcotics. Buffett responded to the incident by writing a song called "Jamaica Mistaica," which is roughly the most Jimmy Buffett reaction possible.