MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WIAT) — More than the music, David Hood remembers how Jimmy Buffett was just a fun person to be around, something that was clear from the get-go.

“I thought the world of Jimmy,” said Hood, bassist and original member of “The Swampers” on Buffett, who died Friday at the age of 76.

Hood and other musicians based in Muscle Shoals played on countless albums with everyone from Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan. In 1981, Buffett came to town to record “Coconut Telegraph” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, which Hood and other “Swampers” had started in 1969. Hood would also play on Buffett’s album, “Beach House on the Moon,” in 1999.

“It was always fun,” Hood said. “Jimmy was just a fun guy to be around. It was like a party.”

David Hood playing a replica of the 1961 Fender Jazz Bass that was his primary instrument before it was stolen in 1973. Over the years, he has played on many classic albums as a member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. (Courtesy Matt McKean/Florence Times Daily)

Hood said that prior to Buffett’s international success in the mid-1970s with songs like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” he and others had known the young songwriter who would often play solo shows in Alabama before starting his own band, the Coral Reefer Band.

“Being from Alabama, we were all familiar with Jimmy,” he said. “We all knew we were going to work together.”

Playing with Buffett, Hood knew what to give him: simple, easy bass lines, as heard on songs like “Waiting for the Next Explosion” or “I Will Play For Gumbo.” At one point, Hood said there were originally plans for him and other “Swampers” members to record with Buffett in Mobile, but it never happened.

With Buffett, what always stood out to Hood was the devotion his fans–including some of his own friends– had for him.

“They were addicted to him,” he said.

Hood said what made Buffett’s music so appealing was the way he kept things simple and care-free, both onstage and off.

“He played simple music that wasn’t complex but that appealed to people who like the water and things he liked,” he said. “His body of work was based around water and having a good time.”