2015 23 Jun

I was looking through some old pics from 2001 and saw one where I was driving with my window down. I found on Google Maps the location that showed out my window. It is interesting to look at it as a game.  There is probably no place on earth where one cannot be tracked.

Westbound on Hollywood Blvd. Circa 2001

scan0001

 

Here’s the location on Googlemaps circa December 2014.

Greco's Pizzeria

 

 

Published under Lifesend this post
2014 25 Jan

Highland Park Hoodlum Source

I’m posting here the source files to three HP-related songs that you can download and remix. I hope you will think is interesting.  I wrote and recorded them back in 2005 at a time of transition.  I was trying to figure out my next move and where God was calling me.  In early 2003, I had come back from California after literally being run out of town by real hoodlums.  Back in Texas, I was living with my grandparents going here and there as errand boy.  Often at night while they were snoring away downstairs in the “hothouse” I was recording music.  That’s what I called it anyway.  There were wars over the thermostat.

red lights jimmy

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandfather had these hip red lights in the den.

My alter ego during this period was the Notorious G.I.D.D.  I seriously felt like a hoodlum and not able to fit in with the “country club” scene in H.P that my grandparents were members.  The mundane routine had become going to CVS to pick up prescriptions, the bank and the grocery store to buy Oreos for the grandparents.  I also worked a public library job while I was applying to join the Peace Corps.  Answering questions and giving status updates was a regular thing with family during this long Peace Corps application process.  Well, let’s just say the Federal Government is SLOW!  As Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

HPH on the Rise Source

Jim in hothouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flippity Flop Source

Feel free to mix the songs and post them.  Each song has the vocal and instrumental tracks.

Published under Musicsend this post
2013 21 Dec

The lyrics for this song “California” were written during a time of reflection concerning my three and a half year mission pursuing music in Los Angeles, California from 1999-2003. (If interested in other songs from this era, please download my two volume album called “The Guittard Tapes” –  Volume 1  and Volume 2.)

Things ended on a kind of sour note with three guitars being stolen. Consequently, I left L.A. as it was unsafe and too expensive to live.  My mind was in a sort of fog upon return to Texas understandably and I put my Rickenbackers away for some time.  The music was still in my heart but I needed a break.

The original feeling of the song, at least when I wrote the lyrics, was to be a Woody Guthrie type “hard times” song. But after reading over the lyrics I condensed it down a bit and decided against the folkie version. Possibly in the future I could put out a folkier version.

I recorded the song in Fort Worth, Texas using my Tascam Recording machine. I played the keyboard, electric guitar, tambourine, and sing the vocals.

California

I left busted and disgusted.
My thoughts were surely not trusted.
I was bombed out and wiped out.
But not down and out.

I was robbed and without a job.
But I didn’t turn to a snob.
I was pushed, and shoved and almost knifed.
All I want was my life.

I had threats against my life
By hoodlums with much strife.
I’ve seen the inside of jails
There were only thugs.

I know the 3 of Clubs bar.
The place where the BJM star.
I’ve played the Sunset Strip
Go there for a special trip.

Chorus

California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.
California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.

I’ve trekked to Santa Ana’s Rickenbacker
To practice in a tent with McGuinn.
I’ve seen the 24-hour church
Go there if you must.

I left a school and was a fool,
Cause I didn’t want to muck about.
The guys there were like robots.
Not my best place.

I put money down on apartments.
They took my deposit and never gave it back.
I never even moved in.
Oh well, that’s allright.

Chorus

California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.
California, I never knew you.
Until I got to you.

I’m not a bad guy.
Just trying to follow God’s will.
Nobody likes that.
But I don’t really care.

I’ve had panic attacks on Highway 101.
It was not so fun in the sun.
I think that God was there.
I think that God was there.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2013

Raga Jim and 3 of Clubs Smokes Girl

Drawing by Henry McGuinn

Published under Lifesend this post
2013 10 Jun

The Muffin Junkee episode 7 podcast.

The concept for the “Guittard Tapes” came over ten years after many of the songs were recorded. Some of the songs were actual early demos for songs for my “California Daze” album. Originally, the “Guittard Tapes” album was released in June 2012 and contained only sixteen songs. Since then I have uncovered many more songs that I consider as part of the Guittard Tapes period (1993-2003).

The cassette tapes that made up the Guittard Tapes were lost for ten years. In 2006, I had put all my belongings in several storage places in preparation to go to Bulgaria for the Peace Corps. In 2008, I returned to the States and was flopping on couches at various family members and I could not locate the tapes. I wasn’t sure where they were. I had my things in four different locations! In the spring of 2012, I was ecstatic when my dad called me to say that he had some of my stuff in his storage unit which he needed to downsize. My wife and I went to Dallas and sure enough there were the Guittard Tapes in one of my storage boxes.

It was in 1993 that my songwriting and recording began on the newly bought Tascam 4-Track machine I acquired. Instead of playing video games and zonking out on pizza, I began recording and being creative. During my college days at Western State College of Colorado, I recorded a lot of cover songs. I consider these as part of the Guittard Tapes as well but have chosen to release them separately and unofficially because they are cover songs.

In Gunnison, I began recording Tom Petty, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, and Nirvana. The Guittard Tapes are a look at my early writing. One of the earliest songs I wrote is called “But Not Right Now.”

It was about living in the college dorm and having to put up with rude behavior of potluck roommates. There are also some songs that I did with friends of mine where a guy named Clayton Coates who is a pastor now did the singing: A-Listen, Clayton Blues, and Gotta Get Out of this Place.


The songs were recorded in Dallas, Wichita Falls, and Huntsville, Texas, Gunnison, Colorado, and Hollywood, California. Looking back on it, I wanted to call it the Guittard Tapes because it is a nod at the infamous “Nixon Tapes.” I was born during the Nixon Administration and believe that Nixon was a gadget guy. He liked to document everything in his life and it turned out that the tapes became his downfall but in my case the tapes, to me, are my upswing. I believe the Guittard Tapes represent the initial seed of my dream. It even began before 1993 with my dad’s dictation machine and in 2013 the music holds up in its lo-fi honest way. Nixon would be proud!

I still hope to release more Guittard Tapes. The time period is significant in that the tragedy of September 11th occurred at that time. It was so innocent and optimistic before 9-11 and after became more cynical and pessimistic. However, the tapes are a slice of time and the music is available for everyone to listen and download. The process of extracting the music from the tapes to MP3 format was quite complicating.

Transferring process:
What I had to do was record each track separately from the old tapes on the old Tascam 4-Track machine to my new digital 4-track machine by lining in a guitar cord from the old tape 4-Track to the new one. Each track was done one at a time. The tricky part is the starting point for the individual tracks in a song may not always line up to the other tracks of the song. Also, the second track on the cassette 4track machine didn’t sound. So I had to flip the tape over and then the second track could be heard but backwards in the 3rd track spot.

After transferring all the tracks of a song to the digital another challenge is that the speed of the old 4-Track is at a different speed than the digital. So basically what you hear on the digital sounds like chipmunks. To fix this, I had to dump the tracks from the digital 4-Track to my laptop which has Adobe Audition 3. There, I was able to fix the second track. I would reverse it back to how it should be. And then I had to slow down the digital tracks so that it would sound “normal” speed.

Some of the tracks are still a bit out of rhythm because I was doing it mainly by ear when mixing it on the laptop. Some of the songs had a count off for a guide but many of the songs did not. Many times the count off sound bled into the other tracks and that helped me to make sure everything was lined up as good as possible.

It was quite a process. I even did some math to figure out how much time to cut. I looked for a certain lyric I sang in the song and marked the timing notation of the editing software and lined things up with that number. It was not exact but that’s what I did. I’m sure there would be more exact ways.

Bob and Jim Guittard UT Austin – May 2001

Bob's Graduation 2001 Austin Texas

Gotta Get Out of Here
Waiting Around this hard ol’ town.                                                                                                                                                                                                Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The freaks and the bums all being dumb.
Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hearing the sound in the corner lounge.                                                                                                                                                                                           Gotta get outta here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seeing an Elvis walk on by.
Gotta get outta here.
Saw a girl walk on by.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I’ll stay for a while.
Repeat all 1X

Story behind:
In 2001, I wrote the lyrics for this one while sitting in the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The hotel is known for being the place where the first Academy Awards took place in 1929. It was just down the street from where I lived while I was attending the Musicians Institute.

At that time, I was getting a bit weary of the Hollywood scene. The music school had turned out to be disappointing and Hollyweird was taking its toll on me. I wanted to move to a different location because of a home invasion robbery and because it seemed that freaks and tourists were everywhere along Hollywood Blvd.

One time while waiting at Hollywood and Highland, a complete stranger asked me if I wanted some hash. I noticed quickly that there was a guy dressed up as Elvis standing close by and told the drug pusher pointing to Elvis that I didn’t want any hash but that Elvis might. The “Elvis” impersonator quickly told the drug pusher that he didn’t feel called to smoke hash. For this song, my writing method was to sit and observe. In the song, I make reference to this “Elvis” that I had seen around. There was a lounge at the Hollywood Roosevelt named the Cinegrill. It was where Gene Clark (the Byrds’ tambourine man) last performed in April 1991 before his death about a month later. (When I first got to Hollywood, my mother took a photo of me under the Cinegrill sign. I hadn’t learned about Gene Clark performing there yet.)

Recording: It was recorded after the move to a new apartment in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles on a Tascam 4-Track machine. I played a 12-String acoustic guitar with and without a capo, drums, and did the singing.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Cinegrill) 1999 – Hollywood Boulevard

Jim Cine Grill

Tired (Acoustic/Psychedelic Version)
Tired of being sad
Tired of being mad
I do the right thing
But I can’t feel my wings and fly.

Tired of being sad
Tired of being mad
I do the right thing
But I can’t feel my wings and fly.

Chorus
When will I do what You want?
When will I stop having to pretend?
I hate feeling bad.
I want to feel the way I did
As a kid.

Tired of feeling bad
Tired of feeling mad

Story behind:
Both of the versions were recorded in 2001 about the same time in Los Angeles on my 4-Track Tascam machine. At the time, I often experimented with sounds by using my BOSS Digital Delay pedal as a tool to create or inspire me. The Psychedelic Version of Tired is pretty experimental. I hooked up the pedal to an electric keyboard and got some interesting sounds. I had been turned onto Roland’s Vintage Space Echo machine. I was trying to get that kind of sound with my digital delay pedal.

The tune had a kind of weary feel to it. I was just tired of “twisting in the wind.” The phrase came to me as my brother called me once to get a status update on my goings on in California after he had returned to Texas earlier that year. I was digging my heels firmly trying to prove that I could make it in California. I was waiting on the right thing to happen but was getting mad that it wasn’t happening. The song was also a kind of prayer.

Recording:
Psychedelic Version – Acoustic guitar, keyboards, and singing.
Acoustic Version – Acoustic guitar and Singing.

Getting There Is Not Easy
Just wanna be right.
Just wanna be fine.
Something’ll come in time.
Getting there is not easy.
Getting there is not easy

Just wanna move weight.
Just wanna stand straight.
Something’ll give to flight.
Getting there is not easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna break through.
Just wanna be free.
Something’ll give to might.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna be real.
Just wanna have sight.
Something will show real bright.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna be right.
Just wanna be fine.
Something’ll come in time.
Getting there is not so easy.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna move weight.
Just wanna stand straight.
Something will give to flight.
Getting there is not so easy.

Story behind:
It was recorded in January 2002 with a Byrds influence. The song is similar in spirit with “Gotta Get Out of Here.” It speaks about my love-hate relationship with Los Angeles and the disillusionment about the current situation but the lyrics are still hopeful. I still felt as if I was “twisting in the wind” and was hoping that I could make it in California financially. I had worked at a rental car company to make ends meet and was not seeing the fruit of my labor but I felt I was “paying my dues.” I was in it for the long run and not hoping for a quick fix. A heavy burden was on my shoulders that I succeed and prove different family members that I could do it. I remember having different dreams at night about being in a fog, clouds, or basically just trying to find my way. It was as if I was Moses trying to find my way out of the desert.

Recording:
I played the acoustic 12-string guitar and sang.

Jingle Jangle Instrumental

Story behind:
Jingle Jangle Instrumental is one that I’m particularly proud from the Guittard Tapes. It was recorded in my Hollywood apartment in 2000 on my Tascam 4-Track machine. I was heavily listening to the Byrds in that period. The song that I was going for was “Here Without You” on the Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine album.

My recording is quite lo-fi, a bit jazzy. I used a phaser pedal to get the psychedelic effect.

Recording:

I played the drums, Rickenbacker, acoustic guitar, and bass.

Walkie-Talkie Experiment

Story behind:
This tune was recorded probably in 2000 in Hollywood. I was into gadgets at the time having just purchased a couple of walkie-talkies that Roger McGuinn had recommended on his website. Henry McGuinn and I were listening to the Byrds’ song called “2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song)” off the 5D album.

It contained a bit of gadget sounds. The sound effects inspired us and in the recording of Walkie-Talkie Experiment I was trying to emulate the experimentalism I was hearing in the Byrds. Henry and I had talked about using gadgets as part of our music and so I gave it a shot.

For the song, the lyrics were completely improvised. I set up one microphone in front of one of the walkie-talkies and then I hit the record button on the 4-track machine.

The bass line was me trying to do a lively Beachwood Sparks type thing. During those days, I tried not to miss any of the Beachwood Sparks shows if they were playing in Los Angeles.

Recording:
I played the 12-String Rickenbacker, bass guitar, drums, and sang or talked.

Ordinary Guy
I’m just an ordinary guy.
Why don’t you give me a try?
Waiting for you to come around.

Chorus
Just come to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Just come on down to me.
I’m just an hour away.

Verse
As the sun comes up.
As the sun goes down.
I can feel you getting closer to me.
You know I want ya baby. You know it.

Chorus
Just come on down to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Get on down here, man, babe.
You can see that I’m waiting here.

Verse
I’m just an ordinary guy.
Why don’t you give me a try?
With your cute little smile
On your cute little face.
I’d love to see ya now, babe.

Chorus
Just come on down to me now.
I’m just an hour away.
Just come on down to me.
I’ll be waiting for you.
I’m just an ordinary guy.

Story behind:
I wrote Ordinary Guy in early 2000 while sitting at the Stir Crazy Coffee Shop on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. I had been waiting there to meet a musical acquaintance but she didn’t show up and so I was blowing off steam with writing the lyrics. Ordinary Guy was one of my first songs to write lyrics. For nine months, I had been hanging around Hollywood and nothing was panning out. I just wanted a chance and that was the sentiment in the song. It was humble I guess.

I started a duo with Henry McGuinn called the Ragas shortly thereafter. I brought my song “Ordinary Guy” out as a possible tune that the Ragas could play but Henry passed on it. It wasn’t the high quality lyrics that we needed. Henry was into songs about the beach and more groovy nature type songs. My song “Ordinary Guy” was my attempt at being real. The Ragas recorded “Ordinary Guy” but as an instrumental.

Recording:
I played the Fender Telecaster B-Bender, 12 String acoustic, sang the lead and background vocals. Vladimir Maskoff played the electric bass. It was recorded on my 4 Track Tascam machine by Brian McKay in North Hollywood.

Tremolo Instrumental
Story behind:
I recorded this on probably in late 2001 or sometime in 2002. It was my attempt at possibly shoegaze. I might have been listening to the Brian Jonestown Massacre Methodrone album.

I used a tremolo pedal. Not much else to say about it. It’s cool.

Recording:
I played drums and electric guitar.

The track in the lost interview is an experimental track called Loony also from the Guittard Tapes.

Here’s where you can find additional podcasts for the Muffin Junkee Show
Jim Guittard
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, Texas June 2013

Published under Musicsend this post
2012 23 Nov

The following songs were recorded mostly in Pasadena, California from 2010 – early 2012 on my Tascam 8-track machine.

 Tracks

1 2:14 122 listens
2 3:06 93 listens
3 2:25 82 listens
4 4:56 89 listens
5 4:32 98 listens
6 2:24 82 listens
7 3:03 112 listens
8 4:00 99 listens
9 2:10 118 listens
10 2:37 117 listens
Published under Musicsend this post
2011 19 Mar

I had a good night in Malibu, California. I met up with a friend who is an extreme Chris Stills fan. I am too! It was at this event to save the Malibu Lagoon. I didn’t know it was endangered! But it sounds like a good cause.

There were a lot of scientists talking and doing their thing at the microphone. I guess I got sucked into it. I think it would be a shame to bulldoze all that stuff down. The dang politicians need to get out of their offices and enjoy nature for once. I’m telling you! Sometimes you just gotta relax and smell the flowers and look at the byrds.

Anyway, my friend and I sat up at the front to see Chris. I hadn’t seen him for, I think, at least nine years. I remember seeing him at the Viper Room and the Mint. Or was it Largo. Probably both!

The show was nice and I just couldn’t get over the obvious God-given gift that Chris has. I mean seriously, he’s got the gift. Look him up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Stills I won’t mention whose son he is because he has earned his own thing.

For now that is all I can report on. I met a few other types that were interesting. I met a Mr. Malibu. Not sure if that is his real name? He told me that at 10 he was at the birthday party for Jane Fonda where the Byrds played. That sounded really far outl! I advised him that I had played with Roger’s son for awhile. Another guy named Howard Thorne is a musician.

All is well, in California. I haven’t been eaten alive by any nuclear radiation. My wife is caring off in Bulgaria land. It’ll be okay! Damn, homeland security, hurry it up would you!  Chris says that good things come for those that wait.  I think so too!

Daryl Hannah was there too! And I finished up my second quarter at Fuller!

http://www.savemalibulagoon.com

Pic from the evening:

Published under Lifesend this post
2010 21 Oct

It took me 7 years to get back to Los Angeles. I felt robbed how I left so abruptly. Literally, I was robbed. And so I am back. Maybe more this time for closure and to take up where I left off but in a different direction. Back in 1999-2003, I was actively pursuing music. I was in a few groups around town and the scene was fantastic. The Beachwood Sparks, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Quarter After, the Tyde, Wiskey Biscuit, the Warlocks, smallstone, the Belle Isle, the Snakes. I was there and the scene still influences me today.

I found these lyrics that I wrote on January 15, 2002. I remember recording a song to the lyrics but I don’t know where the tapes are. It’s probably in storage somewhere. But here it is:

Just wanna be right.
Just wanna be fine.
Something will come in time.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna move weight.
Just wanna stand straight.
Something will give to flight.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna break through.
Just wanna be free.
Something will give to might.
Getting there is not so easy.

Just wanna be real.
Just wanna have sight.
Something will show real bright.
Getting there is not so easy.

I think at the time I must have felt that I had something else to do in life but wasn’t so sure. There is so much confusion and distraction in the world sometimes.  I often told my brother over the phone that I felt like I was just twisting in the wind in L.A.  I had made a go of it.  It was a little over a year after I wrote this song that my world was turned upside down. You can read about what happened here: Run Out of Town

A lot has happened since January 2002. I went back to Texas, worked there for while, lived with my grandparents taking care of them. This was a bit hellish at times. I put my life on hold for a few years. Then I applied to the Peace Corps. I was accepted and went overseas for 2 1/2 years in Bulgaria. I met my wife there.   She is still there.  Damn, Homeland Security.

I’ve put out 5 albums on the internet for free, been interviewed live on the Bulgarian Radio and more things.  And I’ve kept up with writing and recording my music.  It is a new age in music.  In 2003, it was starting to happen with putting online music out but now it is booming and I’m not talking about illegal pirated music. The point is, there is no excuse why your music shouldn’t be heard.  Do-it-yourself all the way.  No need to wait on record companies or anyone like that.  Just do it.  I also lived in Portland, Oregon for about six months but I couldn’t hang with the rain.

In 2010, I got married and came back to California and now I am attending the Fuller Theological Seminary Theology and Arts program. So you can see, I still have strong beliefs that music and the Arts can make the world a better place. In 2003, I almost thought that my music was over and that I was down and out for good.  Not so.  I’m a bit more grounded this time but still have the California Dreamin’ vibe.

So please, if you are reading this and think you are down and out, you are not.  It is just a season.

Ecclesiastes 3

Published under Lifesend this post
2010 10 May

Here are a couple of albums recorded by JIM GUITTARD, currently living in Portland, Oregon, USA.
His music is an interesting mixture of folk/folkrock and country rock with some psychedelic undertone. As one of his influences he mentions THE BYRDS, and I think that one can clearly hear that (e.g. Beach).

If you like the genre, his albums are well worth checking out!
Enjoy!

Jim also worked with Henry McGuinn, the son of BYRDS co-founder Roger McGuinn in a project called THE RAGAS (to be posted later), while living in California.

Q: Where exactly are you from?
A: I am originally from Dallas, Texas. But have lived in various places, thus soaking up the vibes of wherever I have lived. I went to college in a small town called Gunnison in Colorado. After that I worked the corporate world of insurance and got fed up and struck out for Hollywood to attend a music school. After 3 years in Hollywood I traveled back to Texas and became a caretaker for my grandparents. After two years of that, I applied for the Peace Corps and was accepted to teach English in Bulgaria. I was there for almost three years and came back to the States and to Portland, Oregon.

Q: Do you want your real name mentioned? If so: What is your real name?
A: Jim Guittard is my real name and what all my solo music is under.

Q: How recorded?
A: I have been recording myself really since 1994 when I got my first 4-track machine. It was a Tascam. In the early days, I recorded myself mostly doing Beatles, Tom Petty, or other classic rock music. – My favorite guitar to use is a 6-string 330 Rickenbacker. I also have a 12-String 330 Rickenbacker. For some songs I used a Dr. Groove drum machine and make shift shakers (beer can filled with rice taped up). On my earliest album 96/98 I had a friend, (Jim Seagroves) play pots and pans drums. He was a drummer but didn’t have any drums so this is what we did. – In California, I had a lot of gear that was stolen that I used. – I had a Telecaster B-Bender guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guild, and a Fender Jazz Bass. Hope the thugs that stole it are making some good music. – While in Bulgaria, I used a 12 String acoustic guitar.

Q: When recorded?
A: “Busted in Bulgaria” was recorded between July 2006 to July 2008 on my dell laptop using Adobe Audition 3. – “The Notorious G.I.D.D.” was recorded in 2004-2005. It was when I lived at my grandparents and I used the Tascam 6-track recorder and Cool Edit Pro for editing and mixing. I used some kind of keyboard for a few of the tracks. Can’t remember what kind. – “California Daze” was recorded in 2001 to 2002 and on the 6-track Tascam recorder. Brian McKay engineered some of the songs like “Beach (Acoustic)”. But otherwise I recorded it myself. – 96//98 was recorded during the years 1996 – 1998 on my Tascam 4-track recorder.

Q: Who involved? Who played what?
A: “Busted In Bulgaria”: I played all acoustic guitars, all percussion or drum machine, all lead and back up singing. There are various background noises that I got from various real news events like: on “Survival Mode” the Andrew Meyer Taser scandal at University of Florida John Kerry Rally. – On “Gangster” I used some of my students for background talking. – On “8A Class”, you can hear me “trying” to instruct my students over the loud classroom noise.
– “The Notorious G.I.D.D.” is all me with acoustic and electric guitars and lead and background singing.
– “California Daze”: “Beach” is co-written by Dominic Campanella of the neo-..psychedelic band the Quarter After. I wrote the first verse of the lyrics and he wrote the other verses and chorus. I put the song to music. – On “Beach – Acoustic” Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. – On “Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs” Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. – The songs “Swing Tune” and “Jazz Tune” were instrumentals songs I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. The recordings of these songs were an actually playing test that I did. I came into class with charts for the musicians that I had written out and they sight-read the 2 songs. The back up electric guitar is a Brazilian guy named Reginaldo. He was a friend of mine. I do not know the name of the drummer. The teacher you can hear in the background is Lupo Groinig who gives a critique.
– On 96/98 I played the acoustic guitars, electric guitar, sitar, tambourine, sang lead vocals unless noted otherwise. My brother Bob Guittard played bass on Chapatis, and electric guitar on “Once Around the Moon.” – Warren Barry played keyboards and drums on “Once Around the Moon.” I played bass on “Once Around the Moon.” – Jim Seagroves played pots and pans drum on many of the tracks as well as sang or talked some backgrounds.

Q: Any more releases? Any “official” releases?
A: No other official releases but I am constantly working on new material.

Q: Since when does this band/project exist (are you into music)?
A: I have been fascinated by the tape recorder and sounds since a small child. I think the first song I learned on the guitar was George Harrison’s “Don’t Bother Me.” I guess I related to George the most because he was the quiet Beatle and often overlooked.

Q: Any previous bands worth mentioning?
A: While in California, I had a duo with Henry McGuinn called the Ragas. We recorded a bit and had a few shows. The music can be found here:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/The_Ragas It is pretty raw. – He is the son of Roger McGuinn co-founded the Byrds. – Here’s a little piece I wrote on the Ragas:
http://jimguittard.com/?p=6

Q: How’d you “label” your music?
A: I don’t like labeling myself because my music may be heard differently to everybody and labeling is rather meaningless sometimes. To me, my music is honest optimistic, psychedelic, folk-rock, country-rock, “figure it out as you go” hopeful music or experimental. A kind of travel life diary music or who knows it may be just crap music.

Q: Influences?
A: I was a child of the 1980’s and I was not into Motley Crue or Def Leppard at the time. I was the guy with sideburns since I was 16 and looked up to Elvis and the Beatles. I got turned onto the Byrds while in California and Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is probably who I am influenced the most by. It is really his philosophy of life that has influenced me. The rebelliousness of Johnny Cash has also influenced me quite a bit. In that he does his own thing and does not need to please anyone. – And lastly Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre has heavily influenced me in the music and again mostly for his philosophy of life to keep at it and never give up no matter what jokers are attacking.

Q: Website, myspace?
A: Main website:
http://jimguittard.com/
Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/guittard

Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/jgidd
To download the albums for free:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/Jim_Guittard

Q: Anything that you think is interesting, that you’d like to inform the blog readers about…
A: Only thing I have to say is that every one should find their own voice through art, music, writing or whatever. The world needs more idealists to express feelings to bring about change. We have been told what to think for so long and we don’t need to be told. As George Harrison said, “Think For Yourself.” Experience things for yourself. Be open-minded and get out of your back yard and experience things that may be out of your comfort zone. – I had a live interview just months before coming back to the States on Tangra Mega Rock Radio Station in Bulgaria: http://jimguittard.com/?p=241
(J. G. via email)



link to interview at Homemade Lo-fi Psych blog

Published under Musicsend this post
2009 16 Feb

So it has been six years since an eventful night in my life.  I can still remember quite well.  I was living in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles at the time.  For three years, I was hitting the pavement in hopes of being a known musician.  But something knocked me down.

What knocked me down was a robbery.  It was in my Los Feliz apartment.  The place was ransacked and trashed and death threats were written all over the walls in honey.  Why did it happen?    Because of shady contacts.  Yep!  Los Angeles has quite a bit.   The cops were called and the chips fell.

I was not in the apartment at the time of the robbery but had been there right before and left to go to a hotel in Pasadena because of a funny feeling.  I thought about taking my guitars but I didn’t and so three were stolen.  My apartment was broken into and a 12 String Guild acoustic, Electric Fender B-Bender and a Fender Jazz Bass were stolen.

I was betrayed in a big way.  I now forgive the people that were responsible.  I never got the guitars back.  They may be around Los Angeles somewhere.  My Rickenbackers survived the robbery.  I guess they are a bit holy.

It is good for you to be stripped of your possessions at times.  What is it anyway?  Property and meaningless.  I picked up my guitars again after recovering back in Texas from the whole ordeal.

The door was busted open and it said something like “West Side Gangsters” written on the inside of the door.  Straight into the apartment ahead was my bedroom, the door was shut but hanging on the door was a note of some kind saying something like, “We know where you are and will kill you.”  My entrance was the second door on the lower level as the picture will show.

Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California

los-feliz-los-angeles-california

I remember rightfully being paranoid while inside and found a suspicious looking thing that I didn’t know what it was.  It almost looked like a handmade bomb.  I called the police out again and this was in 2003 you know and the cops came out with their dogs to see what it was.  It was nothing.  They taped off the whole street and I sat on a wall down the street and played like I knew nothing.  It was embarrassing.  Old ladies were being escorted across the street and I just said, “must be a terrorism scare or something” when people would ask what was going on.

So for a week, I stayed at the Westway Inn across from the Pasadena City College.  It was a new low and I wondered what to do next.  I had actually put a down payment down on a new apartment that was cheaper and in Van Nuys, California.  When I got on the phone with mom, she said it was time to come home.  I got a U-Haul and got out of there.   I maxed out my Discover Card and lost the deposit on both apartments.  I hadn’t even moved into the second one.  Let’s just say I was depressed as everything.

Back in Texas, I didn’t pursue charges.  It wasn’t worth it.  I had been through enough and so had the person I was trying to help.  God knows what happened and I let it go.  I think I made the right decision.

The Pasadena Westway Inn

westway-inn-pasadena-california

I wrote a song around this time about the thing I was dealing with.  It’s called “Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs.”  The song is country-rock and I was listening to a lot of Johnny Cash at the time so it came out this way.


The lyrics are:

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs

I woke up this morning half past two.
My only problem is where are you.
You ran off with another guy.
I don’t know why.

Confusion, Lies, Guns and Drugs. 2X

We’ve been through this many a time.
It’s starting to be a crime.
Give up the jerk with the gun.
Let’s have some fun.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

I just don’t know what you see in him.
It seems like it’s just a whim.
He doesn’t like you for who you are.
It’s just a game.

Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs 2X

Ya gotta clear your mind, choose the Way.
It’ll be a brand new day.
Give up the junk and soon you’ll see.
I promise you.

No more confusion, lies, guns and drugs. 2X

Feel free to download my “California Daze” album for free that I did in 2002 here:
California Daze

Published under Lifesend this post
2009 30 Jan

Here are some paintings done by Henry McGuinn.  They are quite colorful and much like the “Yellow Submarine” cartoon of the Beatles.  During that time, Henry and I watched the Yellow Submarine a thousand times.

Jim with 12-String Rickenbacker and Korg

jim-guittard-with-rickenbacker-by-henry-mcguinn

The Ragas at Topanga Beach

the-ragas-playing-at-topanga-beach

Jim Sleeps In Bush On PCH Near Malibu

jim-sleeps-in-bush

The Car Chase

the-car-chase1

3 of Clubs in Hollywood

jim-at-3-of-clubs

Jim Drinking Stout for Breakfast at Neptune’s Lounge – Topanga Canyon

jim-at-neptunes-lounge

Thanks Henry.  The art is rad and really sums up my life in 2000.  Cheers.  Jim Guittard

Listen to a live show of the Ragas from 2000.

Published under Music, The Artssend this post
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