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Jacksonville Coast Guard Volunteer Rocked The 90s

11:32 PM, Mar 4, 2011   |    comments
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Tim Burton works the raido at the Coast Guard Mayport station, minus the sax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- He'll put on a great sports broadcaster routine behind the mic at Coast Guard Station Mayport, but Tim Burton takes his job very seriously.

"The manual says be clear when you speak, but the manual also says don't overdo it. So I wouldn't actually want to speak in my sportscaster voice," he said.  

Burton is a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary at Mayport. He volunteers one day a week in the communications center where he runs the radio.

He listens for boaters in distress, monitors shipping traffic and keeps an ear out for under way Coast Guard vessels as they're out working.

But if you're out pleasure cruising, and happen to hear Burton giving a radio check, it's not his voice you'd recognize.

And since he can't bring his horn to he office, he doesn't get swamped with fan calls.

"Sometime in the mid 1980s some friends of mine in the music scene in Boston started a rock band called the Mighty Mighty Bosstones," he said.

Burton plays the sax in the band, which sold millions of albums and toured the world. They're probably best known for their hit "The Impression That I Get."

--click here to take a listen on Youtube and to spot Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton in the video-- 

And now that the band has pumped the breaks a bit, slowing down after 15 solid years of touring and recording, Burton decided to make Jacksonville his place to settle down.

"I was always a recreational boater and just wanted to get back into that," which he said is the main reason he decided to start volunteering with the Coast Guard five years ago.

"It's a great way to help out the boating community and the community in general," he said.

"For them to take a guy like me, who's an old rocker, and provide me this training and usher me into this is a very cool thing and a great opportunity the Coast Guard offers anybody."

The Bosstones still play shows occasionally. In his spare time, Burton plays in a couple local bands as well.

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