Jimmy Jam: He loves California, misses 'Nice'

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2011 - 9:45 PM

Music producer and performer Jimmy Jam returned to his hometown to perform with the Original 7ven at the State Theatre. These are the original members of the Time, the band Prince put together in 1981 but won't give permission to use the name by which they are best known because Symbolina owns the rights to it. After the group autographed copies of their new CD "Condensate" at the Mall of America for some of their most longtime, devoted fans, Jimmy Jam talked with me about more pleasant matters. A sports fan and former Wolves courtside season ticket holder, he says something that may have jittery Vikings fans praying from "Jimmy's lips to Zygi's ears."

Q How's the family?

A The family's great. Absolutely wonderful.

Q You happy you made the move to California?

A I am. I love living in California. It's been great for my family. Good for business. I miss here, as Terry [Lewis, his partner in Flyte Tyme Studios] likes to say, Minnesota Nice. That's the thing I miss about up here. But I can come back and get that. I'm getting it right now.

Q What is your typical day like?

A I wake up at about 6 in the morning. I wake up my kids. I usually go back to sleep for about an hour. Then they wake me up and go, "Dad, I'm ready to go to school." I take them to school. Max is home-schooled. So I usually then take him to his tutor, or sometimes she comes to us. I pick him up around noon. We'll have some lunch. Usually just hang out the afternoon [until] it's time to pick up [the kids] and whatever their afternoon activity is. Bella's a volleyball player, Max is a football player, and Tyler is a basketball player. They all are into sports. I usually will have dinner and then I'll head into the studio around 5 or 6 at night and be there until 3 in the morning. Get my three hours of sleep, then start my day over.

Q That's all you require, three hours sleep?

A I don't know if that's requiring, but that's about all I get because it's a pretty busy schedule. The weekends I get to sleep in.

Q Do you want the Minnesota Vikings to move to Los Angeles?

A No, I don't. I think the likely teams [to relocate to L.A.] are either going to be the Chargers, because they originally were the L.A. Chargers, or the Rams, because they were the original L.A. Rams.

Q Is your brother-in-law Kevin Garnett (whose wife, Brandi, is the sister of Lisa, Jimmy Jam's wife) willing to come back to the Wolves to help them win an NBA championship now that the sheen is off the Celtics?

A I don't think the sheen is off the Celtics. As a matter of fact, in a shortened NBA season I think it gives them a big advantage to the old legs of the Celtics. In a 40-game regular season, I would make the Celtics favorites.

Q Is there anybody who does not return your phone calls?

A Yeah. My son Tyler doesn't return my phone calls or my texts, especially when it's about homework he has.

Q But Clive Davis, Patti Austin, people like that from the music world, return your calls?

A The phone calls [to] them get returned. Not my son, he's the tough nut to crack.

Q What is your favorite new music trend?

A It has to be the Original 7ven because we were "Trending" [the name of their song they sang on "The Tonight Show"] last week.

Q What is the next big thing coming out consumer-wise to acquire music?

A I don't know if there is any next big thing. I think everybody is waiting to see what Apple does next. Everybody's been talking about them getting into the streaming business, which they are not currently, and they are acting as if they are not going to do it, but I think they eventually will. I think that will be the next thing that people accept as a way to get music.

Q Is Terry Lewis, who has always behaved like your silent partner around me, ever going to speak to me?

A I don't know. Where's Terry? Let's get him right now.

Terry: What happened? I would have had to see C.J. to speak to C.J. Hi, C.J. Now that question is answered, right?

C.J.'s interviews are edited for space and clarity. C.J. can be contacted at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be heard on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.

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  • Jimmy Jam: "Minnesota Nice. That’s the thing I miss about up here. But I can come back and get that. I’m getting it right now."

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