Harder to Cross the Border for Eek-A-Mouse. "Rumor has it he can't get back in this country," says Coach House Records CEO John Bullard about his label's dancehall-reggae star.
For the past 15 summers, you could find "Mouse" playing about every other week somewhere in Southern California; he's played the Belly Up, 'Canes, the Blvd., and 4th&B.
"He was definitely the most active reggae artist in California," says Russell Gerlach, who compiles and sends out a free weekly reggae calendar (firstname.lastname@example.org). "Some say he would actually play too much. Little clubs, big clubs -- he'd play anywhere."
But, so far this summer, no Mouse. Two promoters say they have learned that he is trying to resolve immigration problems.
Local reggae impresario Makeda Dread has booked Mouse at shows on both sides of the border. She recalls a Mouse moment 14 years ago.
"One time he had immigration problems in Tijuana. He couldn't get back in. I had to get a hotel room for him. So, he upgraded to a more expensive room, which I had to pay for. I had to keep sending him cheese [cash]. He goes through money so fast."