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Jimmy Jamz

Thursday
July 1, 2010

A malware attack struck my main computer two days ago, crippling my ability to do any website updates and putting a serious strain on my ability to get much of anything completed.

To solve the problem it took about 48 hours of near around-the-clock work, including the computer running scans while I slept. In the past I had been able to use a wonderful program called Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware to eliminate malware problems, but in this case the "Fake Alert" malware program ignored the anti-malware's attempts at removal like the Road Warriors no-selling an opponent's offense.

Ultimately I had to break down and buy a program called the Spyware Doctor to fix the problem. Money is ultra-tight for me right now, so shelling out even the $20 and change on the program wasn't desireable. But, the way I saw it, I didn't have a choice.

While the Spyware Doctor ultimately helped me to beat the stubborn malware, it took more than just software to get the job done. I had to go into the system via Safe Mode and manually delete files, pressing my computer know-how to its upper limits. Somehow it worked and, at least for now, my computer is working the way it should.

Complicating the situation on Wednesday afternoon was that, shortly before my computer went haywire, I read a recap of the previous day's Bubba the Love Sponge show that referenced the death of Jimmy Jamz (real name: Jimmy Falco) from an accidental drug overdose. Wanting to find confirmation of this, and with my Sirius Starmate receiver still out of commission, I scoured the internet looking for confirmation. Then the computer chaos began, and it wasn't until a short time ago that I was able to confirm his passing.

I met Jimmy in December 2005 at the BTLS compound. Bubba called an all-staff meeting where we went over the plans for the show leading up to its return from a nearly two-year long hiatus. The show was slated to come back exclusively on Sirius satellite radio, with it eminating for the first two weeks from Sirius' Manhattan studios before returning to Tampa. Bubba made his return to radio on 1/9/2006, the very same day that the legendary Howard Stern began his five-year run on Sirius. It was Stern who gave Sirius his blessing not only to bring BTLS on board, but also to add him to his "Howard 101" channel.

At the meeting I was introduced to two interns who were coming on board: Dynamite Dave and Jimmy Jamz, who both happened to work as DJs at Thee Dollhouse, a strip club in Tampa. I had been there a couple of times, and my friend Katt worked there as a dancer, so I was familiar with the place. I welcomed them both to the team.

Sirius put the BTLS crew up at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, within easy walking distance of Sirius. As fate would have it, I was assigned to room with Jimmy and then Dave when they switched out after the first week. We were busy with various job duties related to the show, though there was some downtime. Those two weeks in NYC were exciting and very enjoyable (read here for a few more stories from that trip).

Jimmy Jamz
Jimmy Jamz e-mailed this photo to me in early 2006.

From the start Jimmy was a nice guy. He definitely was someone who liked to talk, whether about MMA or his "Lucky Strike" clover leaf tattoo or about his daughter. He told me stories about working as a traveling strip club DJ, dealing with the various drama and problems inherent with the job, and about how he managed to get the crowd down in Fort Lauderdale to applaud after a dancer had finished her set. Jimmy told me that, because of knowing some Spanish, he was able to address the crowd in both English and Spanish. "By the end of the night I had them applauding," Jimmy told me.

Jimmy had big ideas, probably too big for the unpaid intern position he had. He pitched to me the idea of the two of us teaming up for one of the one hour-long timeslots on Howard 101. I tried my best to downplay his idea, urging him to take some time to plan it out before he tried suggesting it to anyone up the ladder. We had just returned from a long hiatus, so for me I knew it was vital to take a first-things-first approach with the BTLS show before we thought about any spin-off projects.

Much like the problems I have suffered with migraines and neck spasms, Jimmy had medical issues of his own, though he looked fit and strong for a guy almost on the wrong side of 40. Jimmy had been in a terrible car wreck involving a drunk driver a couple of years before I met him, and he had trouble sleeping in part because of that. I was astounded by the volume of xanax he took, somewhere in the area of 6-8 mg per night, which he told me he had to have to be able to sleep. I'm not sure if he was still using xanax at the time of his death, but that is not a drug designed to be taken in large quantities over a sustained period of time.

As much as I enjoy the NFL and cheer for the Titans (and/or the Colts), Jimmy loved the New England Patriots with a fervor that I've never seen matched. I discovered this on January 14, 2006, when the Patriots traveled to Denver to face the Broncos in a playoff showdown. NFL fans might remember this as the game where Patriots TE Ben Watson chased down CB Champ Bailey after an interception in an incredible display of athleticism. With it being a Saturday, we were off from work, so we were able to concentrate on the game.

To describe Jimmy as being "on pins and needles" for the game would be putting it very mildly. He was as anxious as I had seen him as the game began, with him fixated on the action and his emotions in a state of near-constant flux. After a scoreless first quarter, the Pats were first on the board with an Adam Vinatieri field goal. But his fortunes turned when Mike Anderson punched it in for a touchdown, giving the Broncos a 7-3 lead. When it became 10-3 Denver, Jimmy was inconsolable, going into a near catatonic state. The following exchange then took place, as Jimmy curled up into a ball on his bed.

Jimmy: "Wake me up when the Patriots are winning."
Me: "What if they're tied?"
Jimmy: (pause) "No, just when they're winning."

Rest proved elusive for him in that situation, but he watched from that point on with a more detached outlook, unusually quiet for him particularly by his normal outspoken standards. It was 10-6 Denver in the third quarter, but the Patriots had the ball on the Broncos five yard line. Unfortunately for Jimmy, and New England fans everywhere, the aforementioned interception by Bailey flipped the script. Watson stopped him at the New England one yard line, but Mike Anderson scored a second rushing TD to make it 17-6 en route to a 24-13 victory by Denver.

I mention this not as a way to goof on Jimmy, but because I remember how passionate he was about it. I'm not sure that I've ever felt that passionate about anything, or perhaps he just had an unusual way of demonstrating his feelings. Whatever the case, it stood out enough to remain clear in my mind nearly five years later.

Ultimately things didn't work out for Jimmy and the BTLS show, with a now-infamous on-air verbal altercation between Jimmy and UFC fighter Rich Franklin which lead to Jimmy leaving the show. But he kept his strip club DJ gig, and as far as I know he was still doing that when he lost his life.

My condolences go out to his family. Rest in peace, Jimmy.


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