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Jimmy Buffet surprises ISU Pep Band with free tickets to his Boise concert

Some of the student in the band did not know who Jimmy Buffet is, according to its director.
Credit: Courtesy photo
The Idaho State University pep band poses "fins up" with musician Jimmy Buffet at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on March, 12, 2019.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho State University Pep Band got a very nice surprise from a music legend while in Boise Tuesday for the Big Sky women’s basketball tournament.

The Bengals had just lost to Eastern Washington when Jimmy Buffet approached the band’s director.

“The game had just ended and we were all sad we didn’t win,” said Tom Kloss, ISU Pep Band director and ISU associate director of bands. “And Jimmy Buffet came up to me and said, ‘I love the kids, they’re great.' I looked at him and thought, 'my gosh, it’s Jimmy Buffett.'”

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Kloss said some of his students didn’t know who Jimmy Buffet is.

“I said to the kids, ‘hey, this is Jimmy Buffett’ and some looked a little confused and I said, ‘you know, Margaritaville’ and they all said ‘wow, Jimmy Buffett.’”

Kloss said Buffett spent time talking with the students and shaking hands, and then asked if the band would like to attend his Boise concert the next night at Taco Bell Arena.

“So I said, ‘hey kids, want to go to the concert’ and they all screamed ‘yes,’” Kloss said.

“The concert was excellent. He’s 72 and puts on a great show. It was packed and sold out. Half of our seats were on the floor where everyone was dancing and the other half were at stage level.”

Kloss described the whole experience as “pretty ridiculous” and “amazing.”

He said the band returned to Pocatello at 3 a.m. Thursday and it was totally worth it.

“What a whirlwind,” Kloss exclaimed.