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Wasting away

Feb 18, 2008
by Shannon McGregor, '05

Ultimate Parrot Head Nickerson might just be Jimmy Buffett’s biggest fan

Leaving St. Augustine after his time at Flagler College was hard for Scott Nickerson.

“After all the places I lived in my life, St. Augustine was one of the only places where I felt completely at home,” the 1982 communication graduate said. Nickerson missed St. Augustine so much that, after moving he found solace in a Jimmy Buffett song, “Wonder Why We Ever Go Home.” The song took on a special meaning to him, and he went on to found the first official Jimmy Buffett Parrot Head club in 1989.

As the club grew, it morphed into Parrot Heads in Paradise Inc. The organization allowed for the start-up of other clubs under its charter. PHiP gathers Buffett fans for fun and charitable purposes.

“I was bored with my social life, and I wanted to create opportunities to get involved in various charities,” Nickerson said. The first club formed around him in Atlanta and attracted well over 100 initial members. Chapters of the non-profit corporation operate in most states, Canada and Australia. Although not officially affiliated with Jimmy Buffett, the clubs got the go-ahead from his lawyers.

Nickerson, as founder, has been able to meet Buffett a few times. “I got roasted by the Pleasure Island Parrot Head Club a few years ago. A big screen came down and a video of Buffett with a personal message to me was shown. It’s the nicest thing he’s ever done for me personally,” Nickerson recalled.

But this Buffett fan does more than just listen to the music. He used his own musical talents to jam in a tribute band, A1A. After receiving a call from fellow Parrot Head Jeff Pike, they formed a duo in 1992.

“I started playing drums when I was five or so,” Nickerson said. “[Now] I make most of my living playing music.” His music career started in St. Augustine with some Flagler friends, playing with The Bridge Street Kings from 1980-82. Nickerson added, “That’s another story in itself.”

A1A became successful enough to bill itself as The Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show. “A1A was the only Jimmy Buffett tribute band at that time, so we ended up having such good luck, business-wise, that we were able to do it full time for a living,” he said. He continued to play with A1A full time until October 2006 and he still plays on request.

For more on his organization, visit
Scott Nickerson’s personal site:

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