Country Rock Band – Bitter Creek. (Jim, far right).

I don’t remember ever stopping and thinking, “I’m breaking another countries laws.” To me, it was a stupid law. If I wanted to be here then I would come and I would be here. When I was in Tampa, for the first time, I remember going around talking to people on our breaks and in between sets. I ended up talking to a guy who was an immigration agent – just luck of the draw!

He worked in immigration in Tampa, so I said, “Hey, how do I get to stay here?” And he said, “You don’t.” And I said, “What? No, hey if I want to be legal here what do I have to do?” and he said, “You don’t.” He shared with me that at the time, Immigration had an unwritten policy that they all knew and worked hard to follow and it was, “Do not let Canadians and do not let Britain’s in.” This was because the education is so much superior. The Canadian education system was, at the time, the best in the world. Same with the United Kingdom because the education system is so much superior. So, say, I’m up for a job and you’re up for the job – Ill get it.


A young Jim! Sudbury, Ontario.

So back then they worked hard to keep us out. I remember asking, “So what do I do? I really want to be here. So what do I do?” And immigration guy, and he said, “Stay here.” Nobody’s going to know because you are a white guy. Were looking for Cubans.” It wasn’t the answer I wanted but he knew what the real policy was. He kept going and said, “If you are a white guy and were looking for Cubans, as long as you’re cool and just keep your nose clean you will be fine. Even if we had to come busting into a bar on a raid, bottom line is you’re up on the stage were not looking at you. We’re looking at all the other stuff and the people– so just stay!” I said, wow, what a good idea – so I did. I stayed!

6 Weeks – Tops!