Singled Out: BM LINX
"The Outlaw Jimmy Rose" is about a guy I met while locked up in Huntington County Jail in Indiana. Before I broke out of Indiana in search of fame and fortune, I worked at a factory called Hartson Kennedy in Marion Indiana (in Grant County). Third shift, back breaking work. But factory jobs pay better than anything else so if you can get one, you never turn it down. When the weekends came we'd sometimes pack up our cars and drive 25 minutes to the Salamonie Reservoir in Huntington County and blow through as much Wiedemann beer and SoCo as we possibly could.
For some reason this time around the campgrounds were just slammed. We set up and started drinking, got some food going and just started out having a great time. Got a little buzz on and a couple of us set off to find our friend Josh, which we did, but he was busy defiling some poor girl in a nearby tent so we kept walking and came up on some hippies in a trailer playing hacky sack. I started off toward them, but I'm the only one that didn't notice the police en route to intercept the hippies, and unfortunately me.
So I got cuffed and questioned, I lied about my age and my name which they didn't believe. The others broke out so at this point I was the only one that got caught. They really wanted to know where I was camping, so I led them by the site, hoping that my friends would see that I was cuffed and they could at least hide. But even when I was 10 feet from them, they were too into whatever the hell they were talking about to notice me. I thought for a second I could run away from these fat f**k cops, but they know the deal and were wise to my smart ass so I was screwed. They threatened me and I gave in, walked them to my campsite.
Now I'm in county jail. They decide to put me and my friend in the work release wing, so most days we just sat around playing chess and watching cartoons while the rest of the inmates were at their jobs. My cell mate was named Matt, and he was in there for armed robbery. He was a chef at a decent Ft Wayne restaurant that I went to after I got out, but he was off that day. His thing was hip hop, and he'd rap to me every night. He had tons of rhymes and it was really uncomfortable to try to sleep while some dude is rapping to you but he was actually pretty good. Hope he went somewhere with it.
My friend, however, and the misfortune of being locked up with a kid named Jim Rose who was in there for murder. He was 17 and wiry, full of energy almost like he was doing lines of crystal in his cell every 20 minutes. He had written "ROSEBUD" on the top of the pocket of his orange inmate garb. Like in the song, the deal was that Jimmy didn't actually kill the guy, but they used his gun so he got some kind of accessory rap. He must have had a s***ty lawyer cause he was going to prison for a long ass time. Not that he minded.. He was really psyched and couldn't wait to "own that f**king place". Guess he didn't have HBO.
Jim thought I was alright but didn't like my friend, his cell mate.
After lights out Jim liked to box and my friend just wasn't that kind of guy, so Jim thought he was a pussy. One day Jim approached me and told me that my friend had better take a shower. We weren't in there for very long so I assured him that since we'd be out pretty soon, it wasn't a big deal and went on to my chess game. Jim was adamant, and let me know that he'd f**k him up really good if he didn't take a shower. It seems like small potatoes to me but after my friend took a shower, I took one too. F**k getting shanked in county for some little s*** like that. A shower is easy.
I wasn't in for very long, just a few days. Never heard from Jim again but he certainly left an impression on me. I think what struck me the most about him was that he seemed so uninformed about almost everything, that he was way too violent and had too much to prove, and he was completely insulated having never traveled out of Huntington County Indiana his whole life. All this posturing seemed to expose his fear of the world outside the imaginary county borders, and it made me consider what could have caused that to happen. I didn't want to get too preachy in the song, though, so it's up to the listener to consider if Jim is really an outlaw or just some punk ass that has been manipulated by pop culture to believe that, even though this is one of the safest places in the world to live, he needs to have the "courage" to carry a gun around with him.
The song was originally called The Ballad of Jim Rose because Jon (our bass player) thought his name sounded kinda western.. We worked with that for a while til I came up with The Outlaw Jimmy Rose as a tribute to one of my favorite movies, The Outlaw Josie Wales. The first version that I made has a sample from the film in the second breakdown, right before we go into the end chorus, but we didn't even try to get it cleared because it would have been way too expensive and time consuming. When you see us live, the sample is still in there:
"We'll find em up in Kansas. They're with the Union. We're going up there to set things a right."
It gives me chills every time I hear it. I think there's something in men that makes us want to "set things right", but that energy can turn dark when someone has too much time on their hands, no leadership, no purpose. I'm sure by now Jimmy has found God.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!
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