Former Eagle Timothy B. Schmit, coined the the term “Parrot Head,” a reference to fans of the rocker Jimmy Buffett. Parrotheads don tropical shirts, sunglasses, and grass skirts; some bring inflatable sharks to concerts and even haul in sand to simulate a beach in parking lots. The new Netflix documentary, “Parrot Heads” transcends the foundational; it’s a look at “Parrot Head 2.0,” which has spawned an entire rock genre, “trop rock.” Trop rock bands and festivals are a vestige of Buffett culture, supporting an argument of this blog that this is truly pop culture religion.
If religion is reduced to belief, community, and ritual, the Parrot Heads qualify. Songs elicit feelings about tropical paradise and the need for escape. Considerthe song, Fins; fans sway in unison and repeat various hand movements.
Parrotheads advocate a simple life that respects nature; many support environmentalist causes. It’s a search for a laidback lifestyle and the reclamation of spontaneity, which they find missing from a nine-to-five, overworked society. Many Parrotheads are critical of institutions; Buffett himself has a particular aversion to authority.These communities are neither superficial nor ephemeral. Parrotheads exist outside the concerts through parrothead clubs, informal gatherings and websites.
The documentary is riddled with compelling facts such as $42 MILLION raised FOR CHARITIES. Parrott heads DONATED MORE THAN THREE MILLION HOURS OF VOLUNTEER TIME SINCE THEIR INCEPTION 25 YEARS AGO. What could be more religious than that?