Jimmy Buffett was one of those American musicians whose songs defined a generational lifestyle.
Buffett, who died Sept. 1 of cancer at age 76, generated widespread appeal, reflected in tributes by esteemed columnists Maureen Dowd in The New York Times and Bob Greene in the Wall Street Journal.
The songwriter, author and entrepreneur also received warm praise from one of his generation's defining writers, Tom McGuane, his longtime-brother-in-law, married to Buffett's sister, Laurie.
McGuane disclosed that Buffett had wished to travel to the Telluride Film Festival for a showing of the documentary "All That Is Sacred," directed by Scott Ballew, but was too ill.
The 34-minute film looks back at the 1970s literary circle in Key West, Fla., that included Buffett, McGuane, Miiami Herald columnist and novelist Carl Hiassen and their late friends, novelist Richard Brautigan, artist Russell Chatman, outdoors writer Guy de la Valdene and writer Jim Harrison.
At the time, Buffett was an unknown songwriter and singer, playing for his friends on acoustic guitar the songs he later made famous.
Like Buffett in his songs, McGuane, Brautigan and Harrison wrote with spare vernacular language, expressing a masculine desire to seek tests in the disappearing natural world.
After achieving widespread popularity for his music, Buffett went on to create an empire of restaurants and bars and residential retreats where his fans could pursue their Margaritaville lifestyle. His Parrothead empire was built on a desperation for lost youth.
One of his projects, the Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham in downtown Atlanta, caused the destruction of the historic building at 152 Nassau Street where the first country song was recorded in the 1920s.
Despite protests and efforts to save the building, Buffett went ahead with the project. Like many Atlanta developers through the years, he erased part of the city's history.
Buffett's Margaritaville resorts reflected his generation's desire for an outlaw lifestyle mixed with self-indulgent luxury.
Yet his songs with their simplicity expressed more than nostalgia, finding deeper truths about regret, love and the American desire for freedom.