Jam City is located just outside of Los Angeles, California. It is a small town where every resident is musically inclined. All play, some compose, and others record music, but all are involved in the music creative process in some way. The city, with its relatively short existence, has drawn musicians from all over the world.
From its inception, Jam City has always had the intention of only allowing the musically inclined residence. A man by the name of Robert “Ribeye” Thomas started planning the city in 1918, because he was tired of never having anyone with whom to play, write, or record music. There were small, governmental loopholes he had to manipulate in order to get approval for the city, but once the Los Angeles County Planning Department signed off on the blueprints, Thomas began to build. Jam City was finished in June of 1923. Immediately, Thomas began taking applications for residence. Applications were thoroughly examined, and then potential residents were subjected to a mandatory, in-person performance to prove musical intelligence. Within a year, the town had grown to just over 2500 people.
Through the rest of the twentieth century, Mayor Thomas, along with his close team of advisors, associates, and residents, created a new and unprecedented community. The amount of talent in such a concentrated area really began to surface as Jam City’s musical influence reached America’s main stream. From classical to jazz, fusion to rock n’ roll, the influence of Jam City was on almost every record. Artists would travel to the city for inspiration from other artists. Certain residents were hired as session musicians that would produce record after record for famous artists. Jam City became known as the “Nashville of the West.” Soon, the town faced a crisis as too many applicants for residence flooded the local government. What followed was not pleasant for the town, and a lack of diversity took its toll.
During the late 1960’s and 1970’s, the demographic of the town started to show. Local business had a hard time staying open with only musicians as employees. Banks, hardware stores, pharmacies, and more all had difficulty staying open without having experts operate them. Within ten years, the town was barely functional. By The late 1970s, Jam City was in disarray, and many areas had fallen to slums, reminiscent of post-offshore-manufacturing Detroit. Amid all the chaos, Mayor Thomas fled the city and was never seen again. Within eighteen months, Jam City turned into a ghost town. Now it’s nothing but a distant memory to all its prior residents, who retained only a vague recollection of the harmony that was once Jam City.