Friday night at the Bloomingdale Firemen’s Hall, a bus driver known as "jimmiejames" became a country rock star. Approximately 150 people attended the premiere of his official music video, “Take a Little Trip.”
Guests included jimmiejames' friends, family, and colleagues from Jordan Transportation Bus Company in Butler. Each guest brought a homemade dish. Country videos played throughout the evening.
jimmiejames (spelled in lower-case letters), whose real name is Jimmy Ribet, grew up in Pompton Lakes, moved to Stockholm at age 17, and now lives in Bloomingdale.
"jimmiejames was what they called me on my block when I was a boy," he said.
Besides driving a bus, jimmiejames is a writer.
“I’ve been writing my whole life," he said. "Short stories, poems, a few country and pop songs.”
jimmiejames said he is inspired by musicians Linda Ronstadt, Tim McGraw, Eagles and Kenny Chesney.
Loretta and Gary Hagen of Bearfort Recording in West Milford are responsible for the music behind jimmiejames' vocals. They opened tonight's event with a live performance.
Greg DeLiso of Munrovia Pictures directed the video. DeLiso said, “I’ve directed dozens of music videos, but jimmie’s was my first country video. Jimmie was the mastermind. He put it together, and hired me to direct, edit, and shoot. There were 10 or 15 people in the video.
jimmiejames picked his friends and colleagues for the parts.
“When we made the video, it was like the circus came to town,” he said.
Suzanne Sanguesa is also a bus driver at Jordan, and has known jimmiejames for about six years.
“Jimmie had a passion for this video from the day I met him,” she said. “He wrote the whole script, right down to the eggs in the basket.
"I play 'Nana' in the video—the ... mother-in-law wearing rollers in her hair."
Sanguesa said jimmiejames told her, "this is going to be very unglamorous part for you."
"It was fun helping a friend," she said.
When the video came on, everyone went wild with laughter and cheers. Afterwards, jimmiejames sang a few country songs, including one, “for my mom, and for anyone who is losing anybody.” The audience was moved.
“This has been his dream for a long time," Sanguesa said. "He doesn’t care if he sells it or becomes a celebrity. He just wants to make music and make people happy.”