Jimmy Buffett Marks 40 Years with Sound Image

01-1995-air-marg-600ESCONDIDO, CA — Sound Image is no ordinary sound company and is among the rare few whose beginnings go back more than four decades. Now headquartered in Southern California, the company was originally founded in Rochester, NY by Ross Ritto and Joel Silverman in March 1971. Ritto and later partner Dave Shadoan changed the company name to “Southern California Sound Image,” dba Sound Image in 1983. The 1995 “Air Margarita” tour is shown here.

And yes, since the very beginning, the company’s main focus was touring sound reinforcement. Over the years, the company has amassed a long list of top clients, including Linkin Park, The Eagles, Robert Cray, Def Leppard, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and — with the opening of a Nashville branch in 1991 — expanded its portfolio of country artists, including Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith — to name a few, along with major events and festivals.

But one client, who stands out among the rest is Jimmy Buffett, who this year marks 40 years with Sound Image as his sound provider. And, Buffett has also been fortunate to work with an elite club of top FOH engineers, including the late, great Dave “Snake” Reynolds, shown at the helm in this rare 1990 photo.

There were a lot of “firsts” along the way, including the 1995 “Air Margaritaville,” tour, which marked the first outing of Sound Image’s successful Series 5 loudspeakers, in a massive system with 48 cabinets hung on each side of the stage. Or on Buffett’s side, the 2003-2004 “Tiki Bar” tour, which featured a working bar on stage, capped by Buffett pouring a tall one and handing it off to some lucky audience member each night.

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