Remember That One Time When...Breen Pissed Off All the Parrotheads?

Particularly when Cincinnati was dominated by conservative powers, CityBeat was one of the only outlets in the city to give voice to liberal and progressive ideas others wouldn’t discuss.

Particularly when Cincinnati was dominated by conservative powers, CityBeat was one of the only outlets in the city to give voice to liberal and progressive ideas others wouldn’t discuss. In 2000, since no one else was doing it, we decided to give voice to another largely silent segment of our community: people who think Jimmy Buffett sucks. Sick of seeing local media trumpet the parade of locals who used Buffett’s annual visit to town as an excuse to dress up in stupid beachwear and headgear and get drunk, CityBeat’s music editor Mike Breen wrote a short piece for our summer preview issue titled, “Ten Things I Hate About Buffett” (sample entries: “His music” and “He tricked Brian Wilson into recording one of his songs”). The story was shared on a Buffett fan page, which also gave out Breen’s email and home address (though the home address turned out to be for a different Mike Breen in Cincinnati). This resulted in hundreds of hate emails from Buffett fans from across the country, most of which were nastily vitriolic, some even violently so (one writer said he hoped Breen’s children were raped by drug dealers in Over-the-Rhine and given AIDS), a far cry from those smooth tropical vibes Buffett emits from stage. Years later, Buffett still enjoys a lot of success in Cincinnati (which has loved him the hardest; the description of his fans as “Parrotheads” originated in the Queen City), though his days of multi-night sellouts are long gone.


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