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Story Behind The Song: Jesse Rice, “Too Drunk to Meet Jimmy Buffett”

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Jesse Rice is an award winning singer and songwriter from Nashville. If you’ve heard his Pirate Sessions recordings, you’ve most likely heard “Too Drunk to Meet Jimmy Buffett.”

Did you wonder about the background that inspired the song? Jesse took the time to explain who had a little too much to drink and how it happened. Too bad he missed out on meeting Jimmy, but it’s a great tale! Here is the Story Behind the Song “Too Drunk to Meet Jimmy Buffett.”

Jesse Rice

One of my best friends in Nashville is Django Walker, is who is Jerry Jeff Walker’s son. Django has collaborated with me on a few Pirate Sessions songs over the years as a writer, and he also features as a guest singer on my song “Hope Town.” Anyway, Jerry Jeff has a house in Belize and a bunch of Nashville songwriters were down there on a writing retreat one time. While they were down there, they wrote a song called “Something About a Boat,” which Jimmy Buffett recorded and then was the title track of one of his records.

Sometime after that, Jimmy was playing in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena downtown. He contacted Django and asked him if he would like to get up on stage during the concert and sing the “Something About a Boat” song with him. Of course, Django was all excited and he started contacting all of his friends to see if we wanted to come with him to the show.

Unfortunately, all of us were out of town, so the only friend of ours he could find was our buddy Anthony Billups. Anthony had been playing the 8 AM to 11 AM shift at Tootsies downtown in Nashville on Broadway, and had been drinking since he started playing. So by the time the Buffett show rolled around, they were all backstage in the green room with free Landshark beer and rum, and all. Everybody was partaking and having a good time.

Jimmy’s manager came in and told the guys, “Hey, Jimmy would like to say ‘What’s up’ before the concert starts.” Django looked at Billups and said, “All right, cool – let’s go meet Jimmy.” Billups looked back at him and said “I can’t.” Django asked, “What do you mean, you can’t?” And Anthony said, “I am too drunk.”

Sometime later, they are telling me this story as the three of us are in a songwriting session. So I halted the conversation and I looked at Billups and I said, “Wait, you mean to tell me that you got too drunk to meet Jimmy Buffett? I thought that was the whole point!”

We all started cracking up and I looked at them and I said, “You know what – that’s the song that we’re going to write today!” We did, and now it is one of my favorite songs to play out live because the fans really get into it and have a good time with it!

— Jesse Rice

Want to hear this song? Listen to Jesse Rice’s “Too Drunk to Meet Jimmy Buffett” lyrics video:

Keep up with Jesse Rice on his website where you can hear his music and find his latest tour dates: Jesse Rice

Photos courtesy Lisa Burke, What’s Going On Live – Music Promotion

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