So, it’s August on the East End of Long Island, and with time on my hands between summer-tour runs, I make the 45-to-60-minute drive out through the winding back roads from North Haven to Montauk Shores. If I am transporting boards or gear, I drive my Honda Ridgeline truck. If the weather “suits my clothes,” as Fred Neil wrote in the lyrics to “Everybody’s Talkin’,” I take my ’58 Porsche convertible.
I’m in the habit of using the drive out to rehearse songs that will be part of our set lists for upcoming shows. I sing along to familiar and not-so-familiar lyrics. It’s usually the songs you are supposed to know that can trip you up on a stage facing 20,000 people who do know the words to the songs. I also throw on a News in Slow French podcast and a few songs in French to keep my right brain in the game.
On the ride back after surfing, the work is over and I have a collection of playlists I put together that fit my mindset and the length of the drive. They work not only on my Montauk run but on the Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu to Solana Beach, on the slot-car-track-like back road from St. Barths’s Gustavia to the break at Toiny, or on the Côte des Basques run from Biarritz to Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
So I thought those playlists would be a good source for this playlist. Hope these songs can be the background music to whatever route takes you to your favorite summer spot. I am heading to mine as soon as I get this list down on paper.
Jimmy Buffett is a musician, singer, and songwriter. Tickets for his summer tour are available here