Sailing for a Song

}The folks at TBWA\Chiat\Day and Nissan shouldn’t take some of the lyrics on Tom Patty’s forthcoming CD too literally.

“Got up in the morning for another day of work/ Didn’t want to think about facing that jerk/ … Boss was screaming over something I’d done/ I just wasn’t having any fun,” Patty croons on the alternately bouncy and languorous (and appealingly titled) “I Want to Live the Life on my Hawaiian Shirt.”

But Patty, 55, former worldwide account director on Nissan at TBWA\C\D, says the tune is just a playful update on Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It,” and not a reflection on his 20 years at the agency. “I was fortunate to work there,” he says. “I was doing exactly what I wanted to do.”

A quarter century after a propitious chat with Jay Chiat landed him an agency job (“I told Jay I’d be a mediocre writer but a great account executive”), Patty is doing some serious mellow ing out, but has found time to cobble together a 10-song CD titled Living on the Island Side of Life that mixes a whole lot of Jimmy Buffett with some Ricky Nelson and the Beach Boys.

“At first it seemed prepost erous,” Patty says of his guitar teacher’s suggestion that he write songs. “It seemed like trying to create nuclear fission —totally beyond my reach.”

But on a happy 13-day sailing trip to Hawaii, Patty found the tunes flowing out of him. Inspired by his wife Susan and with a little help from his friends—Beach Boys tour member Jeffrey Foskett and Lee Clow among them—the CD was born. Later this month, 2,000 copies will be available for sale on

“My aspiration is to be the Jimmy Buffett of the West Coast,” Patty says. But if sales are modest, he doesn’t mind. After all, he says, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.” ARCHIVE PHOTOS/PICTURE QUEST