Early HistoryEditJimmy was born in Camden, New Jersey to Nicodem Dreja, a second generation Polish immigrant and policeman who moved to New Jersey two years after marriage to lounge singer, Arlene Waverley whom he’d met on the job. The move was necessitated by the scandal resulting in a string of affairs Arlene had after her marriage, one of which was with Nick’s partner. If not for confirmation of paternity that Jimmy was in fact his child, Nick would have divorced Arlene.
Unfortunately, Jimmy’s birth did not improve the marriage and if anything made things worse. Arlene, who was bored of the domestic life, spent most of her time at bars during the day, steadily working towards becoming a fully fledged alcoholic. Jimmy spent most of his first five years at the homes of neighbors or in some instances, waiting for her in the car.When he was five years old, the arguments, the affairs and toxic nature of the marriage took its toll on Nick and when Arlene finally demanded a divorce, Nick already suffering depression, ate his gun when she was out of the house.
It was Jimmy who found his father and his brains splattered across the wall.
After Nick’s death, Arlene then attempted to resume her singing career with varying degrees of success. Traveling from one town to another, as Arlene chased music jobs, mostly acquired because of her attractiveness rather than her singing ability, Jimmy barely attended school. There was also little opportunity to make friends since they were never anywhere long enough for him to make any. As a result, he was often a loner and had developed a deep indifference to his mother and assumed that all women were like her.
As well as the sporadic schooling, the lack of friends or permanent address, there were also Arlene’s lovers. Arlene’s type seemed to be losers and the only time she had exercised any kind of maternal instinct was when one of her lovers had attempt to molest him. It was her fierce defense of him that prevented Jimmy from outright hating her.
Not long after however, Arlene struck up a relationship with one Barry Summerfield, supposedly an ex-fill in guitarist for the Grateful Dead. Whether or not it was true, Barry had a deep paternal affection for Jimmy and taught the boy to play the guitar when he was ten.Barry soon learned that Jimmy had a talent for it and soon Jimmy was not only learning the guitar but also how to play bass. He found he preferred the later. Surprisingly enough Barry learnt, that Jimmy had inherited his mother’s talent for vocals and tried to encourage the young boy to develop this. Barry was several years younger than Arlene but he and Jimmy formed a close relationship with the man who awakened his musical talent.
Unfortunately Barry’s relationship with Arlene went the way most relationships did and by now Arlene was an alcoholic. When Barry left, Jimmy wanted to go with him. Losing Barry however, ended Jimmy’s desire to develop his musical ability into any kind of future vocation. The music was his refuge and Jimmy had no desire to share it with anyone. Around this time, he also started drinking that soon escalated into drug use.
By the time he was sixteen years old he was drinking steadily, had lost his virginity to a 30 year old waitress and had hardly spent any time in school. Nevertheless, he wasn’t stupid. Jimmy was highly intelligent and it was reflected in the songs he wrote for himself but played for no one. When her looks were no longer able to get her singing jobs, Arlene settled down in El Paso, Texas. During those last two years, Jimmy struggled in school, barely managing to graduate.
Eventually, he started playing in bands around town needing a fill in guitarist. When he nineteen, he played with a band called the Crows who traveled across the country, performing at night clubs and bars. Its members were all about the music and had no real desire for fame which suited him find. Jimmy spent a few years with the Crows, feeding his drug habit that came to an abrupt halt when he hit New York and was arrested for being in the company of a dope dealer during the raid.
Unable to convince the judge he was buying not selling, Jimmy was sent to Riker’s Island for six months.
The six months in jail had been tough ones for Jimmy. Young and good looking, he was raped on his second night there. Eventually he learned how to avoid such assaults but the damage was done. When he was released, he was remained clean for only a few hours before getting high again. He went home to El Paso long enough to sell his father’s car, the only thing that he had left of the man and used the money to buy himself a Fender P-Bass. Jimmy returned to the club circuit, playing with a string of bands who’d eventually turf him out because he’d get wasted, miss rehearsals or just didn’t plain show up.
Jimmy had just been fired from yet another band when he heard that his mother died in El Paso. Going there for the funeral, he ran into Barry Summerfield who offered him a job in San Francisco, playing with his own band. Jimmy didn’t respond right away, uncertain whether or not he wanted the man who had been the closest thing to family to see how badly he had degenerated. When he met a girl named Star at a bar who claimed that she was going to San Francisco, Jimmy thought it was fate. Star came from money and was ‘finding herself’ on her parents dollar.
Using his natural affinity with women, Jimmy charmed her into accepting him as a traveling companion and they were soon sexual and drug partners for the length of the trip to San Francisco. Once in San Francisco, Star rented an apartment for three months and Jimmy bunked with her, with the intent of catching up with Summerfield at some point. However, the Visitors’ return put end to all that. Trapped in the city, Jimmy and Star spent the Pulse in a methamphetamine induced fugue. By the time they had run out of drugs, it was almost a week after the Visitors arrival.
Cut off from any pushers, both of them experienced an enforced detox. When they were finally clean, Star named Rebecca White, decided she would try to head to Seattle to find her parents. She asked Jimmy to come with her but was somewhat relieved when he didn’t. Leaving him with the apartment since there was no landlord to kick them out after the Visitors had swept the neighborhood, Jimmy found himself alone again. He tried finding Summerfield but realized that the man had been taken in the initial sweeps.As the Visitors returned normal services back to the city, Jimmy decided to remain since he had nowhere else to go. Clean and sober for the first time in his years, Jimmy had been pondering what to do when he saw open auditions for a band called the Benders. Figuring he had nothing to lose, Jimmy decided to try out.
Had things been different, Jimmy Dreja could have been the next Kurt Cobain sans the unfortunate ending. The influences of his life ensured that Jimmy would have no ambition, no sense of responsibility and certainly not much connection to the people around him. He sees women as disposable as his mother saw his lovers and has no wish to be slave to one the way his father was. Past abuses have kept him defiant instead of broken so there is hope for him becoming a better person but Jimmy hasn’t had any prolonged influence in his life that might want to make him aspire to something more. Cynical, jaded and feeling older than his years even though he’s only 26 years old, Jimmy doesn’t think there’s much in life worth fighting for.
And if there was, it wouldn’t last anyway. Nothing ever did.
Height: 6’ 1”
- Mother – Arlene
- Father – Nicodem, deceased
Distinguishing Marks? Scars on his back from the time he was in Rikers.
Place of Birth: Camden, New Jersey
Professional Occupation: Musician
Jimmy spent a lot of time in a number of different schools, however the two he spent most time at was Davis Elementary School, New Jersey and Coronado High School, El Paso, Texas
Played by Scribe