Twelve Volt Man

Album: One Particular Harbour (1983)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Mike Nesmith, a member of The Monkees, once told Buffett about a man he ran into down in Baja who is the unknown inspiration for this song. During the Baja race, Mike broke down in the middle of nowhere and went to a small village to wait for his repair team. He ran into an American - a fisherman who lived in a small hut with what he called "the essentials." He had a collection of Buffett's albums, packaged margarita mix from America, an old Waring blender, and a tape recorder hooked up to a peculiar power system made out of a Honda generator and a Sears Die Hard battery.

    It seems he would fish all week, and on Friday night, he and his friends would hook up the blender and tape player and make margaritas while they sang along to Buffett's songs. This ceremony would last until the gas for the generator dried up. Buffett got the inspiration to write this while he was in Isla Mujeres, a small island near Cancun, where life had escaped most of the twentieth century. The tough part was rhyming "Die Hard," but, with a few inspiring margaritas, the word came. This is one of his favorite songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - LaSalle, Canada
  • In 1989, Buffett published a book of short stories titled Tales From Margaritaville. In the story "Take Another Road," a cowboy named Tully Mars is on the way to Margaritaville when he encounters the Twelve Volt Man, who's making margaritas with his generator-powered blender and listening to Buffett's A1A album.

Comments: 2

  • Maggie from Waynesville, OhI really like this song. especially the lyrics:
    just ask for some palm trees
    Or tales from the South Seas
    And I'll make sparks fly round your head

    it sounds liek magic
  • Calen from Lake Forest Park, WaJimmy has said on many occasions that this is one of his favorite songs he wrote.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

90s Music Quiz 1

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A Timeline

"Stairway To Heaven" Lawsuit: A TimelineSong Writing

Untangling the events that led to the "Stairway To Heaven" lawsuit.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The Remasters

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.