When Luke Combs was on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night (Nov. 4), the first thing he told Kimmel was that he’d dropped out of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with only a semester and a half left to go.
“I was a pretty bad student. I’d been in school for five years at that point,” Combs admitted. “I didn’t understand that, wow, you can do something that you like and people will pay you for it. I didn’t comprehend that.”
His original plan, he said, had been to join law enforcement and become a cop. “I wanted to be a homicide detective. I don’t actually have the physical build of a police officer, necessarily,” he joked. “I think it was like solving the puzzle was the intriguing part to me.
“Which is what I love so much about writing songs. It’s a puzzle that has no pieces. So you make the pieces, and then you have to put them together.”
When the conversation turned back to his college days and nights, Combs said that it was during those years in Boone that he discovered how he could make more money playing gigs than basically anything else.
“When I started, I played anywhere that would let me play. It turned into my job pretty quickly,” he shared, saying that his other jobs at the time were being a bouncer at a bar and the folding-shirts guy at an Izod store.
Combs eventually took the big Kimmel stage to perform “Even Though I’m Leaving” and “1, 2 Many,” two songs that he pieced together with some of Nashville’s finest puzzle dissectologists: Wyatt Durrette, Ray Fulcher, Dan Isbell, Drew Parker and Tyler King.