It’s too often the case that musicians are misunderstood. Jimmy Rutabaga was a saxophone scholar who unfortunately met his early incarceration at the ripe, young age of 22. Nobody could criticize Jimmy for a lack of commitment to the art of saxophone playing, but that devotion to the art failed to keep him outside of the county lockup.
Jimmy came onto the jazz scene at a time when the French culture was really starting to transition away from the arts and especially public artistic expression. You could say it was the start of a new dark age for culture in this part of Europe. Jimmy was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The smattering of small bills and coins in Jimmy’s saxophone case was meaningless against the bail set by the state upon his arrest. The authorities surely knew that one saxophone player Manchester couldn’t stand up to such force.