I had been illegal for 6 and half years when I met the woman who I would soon make my wife. We had another band together at the time and we were in Florida. We then had made our way around southern Texas to McAllen and then we were going to play our way back to Florida. That was the plan, anyways. We would play the gigs we had lined up, buy stage clothes, invest in a better PA system and have fancy pictures taken of us. You know – all that band stuff! Well it turned out that when we made it to Texas and started playing there our manager quit and left town. We had nothing. The keyboard player and the drummer, the original folks who formed the group, were from Ottumwa, Iowa. They offered that we could go back to Iowa and we can play there. Myself and the bass player agreed to go back to Iowa with the rest of our band, but we agreed that we would only be there six weeks – tops!
Oh man we hated Iowa! It was the first week of February and it was cold! Jeff, the bass player actually couldn’t handle it. He left after several weeks and went back to Cincinnati, where he was originally from.
So anyways, here’s the deal. It was about week four, and I was at the bar here in Iowa and one of the waitresses said, “Oh, Jim, this is my friend Audrey. Audrey, this is Jim, this is the guy who played in the band.”
I remember Audrey turned around and said hi and then looked away. And I was in love! I know this sounds corny, but literally, no joke, no fooling around – that was it, for me.
What was difficult was Audrey’s parents and also the fact that I was 34 at the time and Audrey was 19! So, as you imagine, of course they were concerned. Here I was, this major rock n roller and now was coming in to sweep up and whisk their daughter away into this crazy life. I’d never touched drugs or alcohol, even though, ya know, it was the 60’s and 70’s when it was really common and the thing to do. I just didn’t care to do it – so I didn’t.
“I just remember running as far and as fast as I could! Ha-ha. I think the hardest part about Jim and I being together was my mother. We had to tell both my parents that Jim was illegal and that was just really hard. I think they were worried Jim was going to take me away and involve me in this rock n roll life. What many people don’t know is that Jim never drank alcohol and he never did drugs! Our kids don’t believe us but he never touched the stuff.” -Audrey