Jimmy Buffett Has a Video for ‘Animal House’ Crowd; : Heavy-Metal Addicts See Hope With ‘Hear n’ Aid’

Times Staff Writer

Mention singer Jimmy Buffett and most music critics will gag.

Let’s face it, he doesn’t sing very well. His songs, such as “If the Phone Doesn’t Ring It’s Me,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk,” aren’t models of good songwriting.

Then why is he so popular? “Hell if I know,” Buffett replied recently. He was just being modest. Buffett knows very well that he’s the guru of the “Animal House” crowd. His party-time music is great background for frat parties. Beer-drinkers and rowdies love him.

“Jimmy Buffett--Live by the Bay” (MCA, $29.95) features 87 minutes of Buffett at his best. It was filmed in a unique setting--Miami’s seaside Marine Stadium--before thousands of fans, most of whom seem to have had one too many.


“I wanted to make the audience part of the show,” he said. “You really feel the craziness of the audience. It makes you want to join in.”

He explained why he made this cassette, which is strictly for the home-video audience: “This is for my fans. They’re very loyal, like Deadheads (the fans of the rock band the Grateful Dead). I wanted them to have something they could watch until I come back to town. I’m not looking for new fans that much. I just want to satisfy my old ones.”

Under that boozy bravado, Buffett wounds easily. “Some people say I’m over the hill and I can’t be contemporary. I don’t like to hear that. It makes me mad. I want people to see that I have a following. Watch the video. You’ll see that people can still have a good time with me.”

POP MUSIC: There’s not too much available on the home-video market for heavy-metal addicts. So they should be thrilled with “Hear n’ Aid, the Sessions,” which is due in the stores in the middle of next week. Metalmaniacs should also be thrilled with Sony’s low price--$16.95. This is the heavy-metal version of USA for Africa. The cassette shows what happened when 40 metal acts, including Ronnie Dio, Quiet Riot and Judas Priest, assembled in Los Angeles last year to record a song called “Stars.”


More Tina Turner: Vestron is releasing “The Ike and Tina Turner Show” on April 30 at $16.95. Sony already has “Tina Turner--Private Dancer” and “Tina Live--The Private Dancer Tour” on the market. But they were shot recently. Vestron’s 21-minute cassette is vintage material, including behind-the-scenes footage with Tina’s sizzling renditions of “Proud Mary” and “Sweet Soul Music.”

An obscure 55-minute John Lennon film, “Imagine” (Sony, $29.95), will be in the stores May 20. In 1971 Lennon and Yoko Ono made it as a companion piece for his “Imagine” album. There are enough fans who collect Lennon memorabilia to make this cassette a hit.


(Compiled by Video Insider magazine)


1--"John Lennon Live in New York City” (Sony).

2--"Motown 25 . . . Yesterday, Today, Forever” (MGM/UA).

3--"Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour” (Warner Video).

4--"Iron Maiden, Live After Death” (Sony).


5--"Frank Sinatra: Portrait of an Album” (MGM/UA).

6--"Alabama--Greatest Video Hits” (MusicVision ).

7--"The Best of Elvis Costello” (CBS/Fox).

8--"Wham! the Video” (CBS/Fox).


9--"Hooters: Nervous Night” (CBS/Fox).

10--"Tom Petty: Pack up the Plantation” (MCA).

NEW AND COMING MOVIES: The big new title of the week is “Invasion USA” (MGM/UA, $79.95), starring Chuck Norris. It’s an expensive, high-class action movie for low-brow tastes. Because of Jessica Lange’s Oscar-nominated performance, “Sweet Dreams” (Thorn/EMI/HBO, $79.95), also out this week, should attract a sizable rental audience. It’s a drama about the late country singer Patsy Cline. Another new release is “Once Bitten” (Vestron, $79),” the vampire comedy starring Lauren Hutton.

Next week’s cassette debuts, “American Flyers” and “Krush Groove” weren’t major box-office hits and aren’t likely to be big rental hits. However, several of the releases scheduled for the week beginning April 27 are sure-fire hits, including “Cocoon,” “Agnes of God” and “Cease Fire,” a Don Johnson movie. Embassy’s “A Chorus Line” might do well too.


“The Jagged Edge,” the thriller starring Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges, will be out June 4 on RCA/Columbia. Also in June, Warner Video is putting out “Revolution,” the Al Pacino movie about the American Revolution that was attacked by critics and ignored by audiences. Though a natural July 4 release, it’s due June 16.

OLD MOVIES: MCA is probably kicking itself that it didn’t have “Never Steal Anything Small,” a 1958 James Cagney musical, ready for release much earlier than June 12. Since his recent death, Cagney films have been hot items. True, this satire on union politics, which will sell for $59.95, isn’t close to his best, but fans will be interested in it simply because it’s a Cagney film.

With all the publicity about unsafe airplanes and airports, MCA’s release of the “Airport” movies, all at $59.95, is timely. The first--and by far the best--was “Airport,” a 1970 thriller starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin. The sequels are “Airport 1975,” “Airport ’77" and “The Concorde--Airport ’79.”

Recent releases: Mau Maus terrorize Kenya in “Something of Value” (1957), with Sidney Poitier and Rock Hudson (MGM/UA, $24.95); “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (MGM/UA, $24.95), a warm, sentimental English movie about a shy teacher, is largely remembered for two reasons. First, it was Greer Garson’s film debut. Second, it features Robert Donat’s Academy Award performance. Somehow, he outpolled Clark Gable to win the 1939 best actor Oscar. That was the year Gable played Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind,” possibly the most popular male performance in American film history.


HORROR/ACTION: “Silent Night, Deadly Night” should have been out on home video two years ago. It’s a natural. Understandably, this grisly 1984 movie was too controversial for theaters. Hardly anyone saw it. It’s about a homicidal maniac who dresses up as Santa Claus. Guardians of Santa’s nice-guy image screamed bloody murder when they discovered that, in this movie, he was chopping up people with an ax. Gore-lovers were intrigued and have been eagerly awaiting its cassette debut. USA Home Video is releasing it May 15 at $79.95.

WHAT’S HOT: As expected, “Commando” and “The Goonies,” released two weeks ago, are big rentals. New releases “Witness” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” should be in the Top 10 in a week or two. “Kiss” debuted at No. 20 this week. In the horror market, “Re-Animator,” which had a short life in the theaters, is a popular rental, as is William Blatty’s “The Ninth Configuration.” “Plenty,” starring Meryl Streep and Sting, also had a limited theatrical run. Consequently, renters have shown significant interest in it.


(Compiled by Billboard magazine)



1--"Return of the Jedi” (CBS-Fox).

2--"Silverado” (RCA/Columbia).

3--"Prizzi’s Honor” (Vestron).


4--"The Goonies” (Warner Video).

5--"Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (Warner Video).


1--"Jane Fonda’s New Workout” (Karl-Lorimar).


2--"Return of the Jedi” (CBS-Fox).

3--"Beverly Hills Cop” (Paramount).

4--"Pinocchio” (Disney).

5--"Jane Fonda’s Workout” (Karl-Lorimar).