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Jim Anderson back on main stage

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Jim Anderson and The Rebels will perform at the 29th annual Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair this weekend. He will take the main stage on Saturday from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

POSTED October 3, 2013 11:43 p.m.

Jim Anderson cups his hand around the back of the microphone.

He leans the stand forward and lets his body follow suit.

Then, without warning, his lower body violently shifts to the left while his head – and his perfectly coiffed hair – go in the opposite direction. For a split-second, Jim Anderson looks just like one Elvis Aaron Presley.

No, Jim Anderson doesn’t wear a rhinestone-clad jumpsuit. No, Jim Anderson doesn’t speak with a snarl or leave his lip curled when he talks to those who come out to see him and his band – the Rebels – perform.

But that doesn’t mean that the Manteca product doesn’t try to channel the spirit of “The King” every time he steps on stage. For the last five years he’s been traversing Northern California with this throwback style, and most of his performances have been billed as a tribute to one of America’s seminal artists.

So when he steps out onto the stage at the Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair in downtown Manteca on Saturday from 4 to 5:30 p.m., it’ll be a backyard show for a local boy doing what he loves in front of people he cares about. Even if he hasn’t met you yet.

“My wife and I were raised here and our boys go to school here and my grandchildren live here so we’re very involved with the community,” Anderson said. “It’s great to have an event like that where everybody comes out for the day and has a great time and you just enjoy a rock-and-roll concert.

“Even if I don’t know you, you’re a Mantecan and I consider you to be family. That’s just the way this thing works.”

Anderson performed last year with The Rebels – consisting of guitarist Frank Muscucci, bassist Mickey Yamo, keyboardist Tom Farnsworth and drummer Kevin Polatta – at the annual fair, and said that he loved every minute of performing at one of Manteca’s signature events.

It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that the former law enforcement officer was able to pull off his on-stage gyrations without paying a hefty price for it afterwards.

Injured while on duty, Anderson was forced to perform while wearing knee braces and lidocaine patches and had to apply icepacks in-between sets. Pain medication was a regular part of getting through the night, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to have to be helped off-stage and put into a car because he couldn’t walk – spending the next 48 hours immobilized.

It was the price he was willing to pay in order to entertain his fans and do what he loves.

Fresh off of a pair of knee replacement surgeries, Anderson says that he feels better than he has in years and doesn’t need the patches or the painkillers to make it through a show anymore. The loose-fitting suits that hid the knee-braces are also a thing of the past, and now he can work on channeling his inner-rockabilly self without fear that he won’t be able to use his legs for the days following a performance.

“To be able to walk off the stage by yourself and not have to rely on things to get you through the night is a blessing,” he said. “My first passion has always been singing, and now I get to do what it is that I love to do and not have to pay for it later. It’s all about the music and the performance for me, and you can’t channel Elvis if you can’t move.”

For more information about the band or its upcoming performances, visit

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