2015 29 Dec

The idea of this album came from working with Jay Daniels on the Muffin Junkee Serves Tunes with your Tea Podcast. I have to give Jay most of the credit. We had been talking about live albums as a way to get my listeners to be aware of my diverse music catalogue. In our conversations, Jay turned me onto a rare Syd Barrett live album. It was the one recorded by the legendary John Peel in February of 1970. The album is stripped down with minimal instrumentation and vocals. This is the kind of vibe that I was going for on Jays show. On the particular podcast, I recorded a live set which turned out to be the live album. Jay was interviewing a guest named “Ms Pipa Stafford Shelby” who happened to be the head spokeswoman for the Global Alliance for Muffins, Biscuits, and Crumpets. Ms. Shelby began to trash Jay and I did not like that and so it was that I burst into his studio punk style to have a few words with this crotchety snob of a lady who was pushing Jay around and telling him that he should shave and get a haircut.

The songs for the live album have tracks from my albums Busted in Bulgaria, Forward, California Daze, Rise, the Guittard Tapes Vol. 2, and also several tunes that have not been released on any albums thus far. I think you will enjoy the album. I am proud of it! Thanks Jay!

You can hear the podcast I did with Jay here entitled: muffin-junkee-18-jim-guittard-takes-over-the-studio-for-a-live-set

And here is the Syd Barrett album that Jay and I had in mind when planning the podcast:

jg live3

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2015 27 Jul

Billy Mack, a folk artist friend of mine based in Allentown, Pennsylvania has come up with a couple of projects that I have taken part.  The latest project revolves around putting out a compilation of songs all relating to coffee.  Mr. Mack is putting together a coffee art house to open in September in Allentown, PA called Coffee House Without Limits which aims to serve as an art gallery, all ages music venue, and community space.

Billy Mack performs around the country on a low budget using Greyhound buses or whatever it happens to be to get from place to place.  He has quite an underground following and it is this community of similarly thinking do it yourselfers that he called upon for the coffee compilation.

I wrote a song simply titled “Coffee”.

coffee lyrics

A little video I made for my song:

Billy’s Coffee compilation can be listened and bought here: (I’m song 20).

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2015 30 Mar

Recently, I’ve uncovered more tapes from the archives. This batch of tunes is from the Ragas era in Los Angeles – circa 2000. The tunes were recorded on my Tascam 4 Track in Austin, Texas during a road trip with Henry McGuinn. Our duo called the Ragas was heavily influenced by the Byrds 1965-1967 era.  More to come….

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2014 24 Jul

Happy Summer everyone!

I’ve been working this summer to get out all my musical catalog to ITUNES, Amazon, Spotify, and a few others.  I recommend Distrokid as a way to distribute your albums to all you artists.  It is only $19.99 to upload unlimited albums & songs for a year.  If you have your own label, add an additional $16.  It’s quite a bargain compared to TuneCore which is $49.99 per album per year.  I’ve got 8 albums and that would mean $399.92.  That’s a little steep.  Nevertheless, I haven’t cut all ties with TuneCore.  They still administer my publishing.

The albums are up.  You can stream them all at Spotify.  I really like Spotify because you can listen to all your favorite albums and if you want to buy it then you can.  I’ve gotten quite a few listens since I distributed with Distrokid.  “It’s No Fun But I’m OK” seems to be catching on.

It’s No Fun But I’m OK

In a few weeks, I shall pop in with the Jay Daniels the Raving Loony at the Muffin Junkee podcast studio for a short surprise impromptu live set.  Stay tuned!

Published under Musicsend 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
2013 2 May

Covers by Jim Guittard and Friends

I’m releasing these songs because I thought, “why not?”

The time period the songs were recorded is from 1994-2002 and in various cities: Dallas, Los Angeles, Austin, and Gunnison (Colorado).

It was in college in Gunnison, Colorado at Western State College that I started recording music on my Tascam 4-Track machine. In 1993, at that point, I hadn’t really started to write any of my own songs. Initially, I would make up different lyrics to songs I knew. I had read that that was what John Lennon did when he started out. He had some gig with the Quarrymen at a church and didn’t have any songs of his own so he improvised words to the Del Vikings “Come Go With Me.”

The tunes for my covers album are:

01. Captain Soul – (The original tune is an instrumental on the Byrds 5D album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and rhythm guitar, drums, bass, and hand claps.  Recorded in Los Angeles around 2001.

02. Cars Hiss By My Window – (The original is a Doors song off L.A. Woman album complete with scat singing ala Morrison style.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitars.  Recorded in Gunnison, Colorado around 1994.

03. Eight Miles High – (The original is a Byrds tune off the 5D album again. It does not have the Coltrane type 12-string lead Rickenbacker.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and background vocals, and guitars.  Recorded in Los Angeles around 2001-2.

04. Get Back – (Beatles tune on the “Let It Be” album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitar.  Recorded in Dallas or Gunnison, Colorado around 1994.

05. Hare Krshna Mantra – (This is an obscure George Harrison tune that he did with the Hare Krishnas for an album.

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, keyboard, acoustic guitar, and percussion.  Recorded in Dallas around 1997 or so.

06. Inner Light – (This originally was a George Harrison tune B-side to Lady Madonna.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and background vocals, lead guitar, drone keyboard.  Recorded in Dallas, Texas around 1997.

07. Mr. Tambourine Man – (Originally this was a Bob Dylan tune but Henry McGuinn and I did it in our duo the Ragas. We did it more like the Byrds version.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

08. You Ain’t Going Nowhere – (This was originally a Bob Dylan tune which was on the Basement Tapes sessions with the Band but here is the Ragas covering it based up the Byrds cover off the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

09. No Reply – (This was based off the Beatles tune on the Beatles for Sale/Beatles ’65 albums.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals: lead and background, two rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado.

10 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – (Here the song is based off the Beatles original from the Rubber Soul album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, rhythm guitar, and sitar.  Song was recorded in Dallas, Texas around 1997.

11. Sun King – (The original is from the Beatles Abbey Road album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, lead and rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado in 1994.

12. Thoughts and Words – (This original is a Chris Hillman psychedelic tune from the Byrds’ album Younger Than Yesterday.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, lead and rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Los Angeles in 2001.

13. Ticket To Ride – (The Original is from the Beatles Help! album.)

Personnel:  Bob Guittard – Lead Vocals, lead guitar.  Graham Cathy – Drums.  Jim Guittard – background vocals, rhythm guitar, and bass.  Song was recorded in Dallas in 1995.

14. Eight Miles High – (This is the Ragas version of the Byrds original from the 5D album.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

15. Norwegian Wood (This Byrd Has Flown) – (The Ragas version of the Beatles tune.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, and percussion.  It was recorded in 2000 in Dallas, Texas.

16. Nobody’s Fault But My Own – (The original is a Beck tune off his 1999 album Mutations. The cover version was sent as a demo take for Jim to enter the Musicians Institute music school in Los Angeles,)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, sitar, and 12-string acoustic guitar.  Song was recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1999.

17. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle – (This original is a Nirvana tune off the In Utero album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, wah pedal and effects.  The cover version was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado in the dorms at Western State College.

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
2012 16 Jul

Here’s an assortment of some 40 songs I put up at Youtube.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything for the blog. Recently I found over 100 tapes of my old materials that I recorded on my old Tascam 4-track machines from about ten years ago when I was living in Hollywood, California (the first time). The tapes have been in storage for almost a decade. Among the findings are song demos that are quite good in a lo-fi way. I’ve uncovered demos of early Beach, Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs, Can’t Be Down That Very Long, Creepville, Jazz Tune, some Byrds covers, and other rarities. Currently, I’m going through the tapes and transferring the sounds to digital and then mixing it down. I’ve posted some songs already.

Press here for the link to the Guittard Tapes.

Published under Musicsend this post
2011 11 Aug

Highland Park, Texas – (AKA the Bubble): early 1990s.

FADE IN:

A punk is running up to fountain at a busy intersection carrying liquid detergent. A policeman gets out of his patrol car.

POLICEMAN 1
Hey punk!! Where are you going? Stop it you punk!

PUNK
I’m no punk. It takes one to know one. I’ll have you fired. My dad owns HP.

The punk starts running away sticking his tongue out at the punk cop. He laughs running through the residential streets of his elite neighborhood, Highland Park.

The punk gets to the famous Griff’s Hamburgers and Harvey is behind the counter.

INT. GRIFF’S HAMBURGER SHOP — DAY

The punk looks around the restaurant but sees no other customers.

PUNK
You open?

HARVEY GRIFF
(Sarcastically)
The door’s open isn’t it?

PUNK
Yeah, I guess so.

Punk walks in and goes up to the counter. Another punk friend walks up.

PUNK
(to Mikey)
Hey dude, whatcha doing?

MIKEY
Ah man, just hangin’ with my homies and other punks.

HARVEY GRIFF
You guys gonna make a love connection or order something? I’m working here.

PUNK
I can see that. I’m not blind. My grandfather is Dr. Eyeglasses you see all over the T.V. I get my eyes done for free, punk. Give me a double cheeseburger. No green stuff. I hate vegetables.

HARVEY GRIFF
And what about you wimp?

MIKEY
Oh, I’m no wimp. I’m the biggest idiot around. Give me a hot dog with French fries and a chocolate shake.

HARVEY GRIFF
You want the shake in a sack or cup?

MIKEY
Do you think I’m stupid? A cup.

Harvey makes up the milkshake and pours the shake into the sack and gives it to Mikey. The shake spills everywhere.

MIKEY
Oh thanks, dude. I’ll have you sued.

HARVEY GRIFF
For what?

PUNK
For stupidity and plain dumb stuff. We’ll have you arrested for dumb stuff. We’re connected with the mob, I tell ya.

The guys go sit down in the corner of the room. Another customer walks in the door.

PUNK
(To Mikey)
Let’s see what Harvey says to this guy.

HARVEY GRIFF
Welcome to the Hamburger store of the century. How can I help ya partner? Ribs? Pie? A new brain?

The customer is a business man and he responds with a funny look on his face.

BUSINESS MAN
Come again? A new brain? What?

HARVEY GRIFF
Yes, a new brain. You want one? Looks as if you need one with the awful suit you wear.

BUSINESS MAN
That’s it. I’m outta here.

HARVEY GRIFF
Hold on brainless. We’re all friends here. Can’t you take a joke?

BUSINESS MAN
Ok, well, give me a Griff Burger with chilly and a beer.

HARVEY GRIFF
(Quickly deadpan)
Let’s see your ID!!

BUSINESS MAN
Oh come on. I’m 35 years old.

HARVEY GRIFF
Congratulations. You made it. Here’s your beer.

The business man takes the beer, lets a sigh out and sits down.

PUNK
What are we gonna do today?

MIKEY
You wanna go in that abandoned building?

PUNK
That’d be cool. We can shoot things up with our BB guns.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yo punks, your last meal is ready.

Punk gets up and goes to pick up the food.

PUNK
(To Harvey)
Where did you learn to cook?

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, I learned by watching some punk fire up a grill when I was in the War.

PUNK
You were in a war?

HARVEY GRIFF
We’re in the War on Terror every day. Watch your back, punk. You’ll get cut down in five seconds.

PUNK
Oh yeah. I’m scared.

HARVEY GRIFF
Take your food and get out of here.

PUNK
Thanks Harvey. Can’t we stay for a while?

HARVEY GRIFF
What do you think I run a rest home? Get out of here.

Harvey pushes the tray of food towards Punk in a jokingly rude way. Punk gets the food and goes back to sit down with Mikey. Mikey is obsessively playing on his little Nintendo.

PUNK
Hey Mikey, put that stupid thing away. You’re gonna get carpel tunnel syndrome.

MIKEY
What’s that?

PUNK
It’s something you get when you keep doing repetitive movements over and over. My mother told me about this.

MIKEY
I do that every night when I’m brushing my teeth.

PUNK
Yeah, right. You’re an idiot.

Punk and Mikey begin to eat the food. They look around the room. Hanging on the wall is an Iraq flag and a Saddam Hussein picture.

PUNK
(Screaming)
Hey, Harvey. Did you go over to Iraq?

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, I was there for three months. The punks were running in the streets all day long. Have you been to the ghetto? Iraq is the real ghetto. Punks get shot down everyday.

MIKEY
Did you do any cooking over there?

HARVEY GRIFF
What do you think? Don’t I own a hamburger shop? Isn’t my name Griff for some reason. I’m no lazy bum. I cooked for the troops over there and we joked.

MIKEY
That’s very nice, Harvey. You’re very patriotic.

HARVEY GRIFF
So what. Big deal. Many people wave the American flag around. But I was there for the troops. Lazy bums with their flags and protest banners.

PUNK
My uncle was at Vietnam.

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t get me started on this one. I’ll talk till I’m blue in the face about this. Punks. Bet he was some pothead.

PUNK
No man. What were you like as a kid, Harvey? Were you a punk?

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, yeah. I was a punk. What’s a punk?

PUNK
A punk is someone who looks different or one who ruffles feathers for change. They are rebels.

MIKEY
I’m no rebel. I eat my Cheerios every morning before school.

HARVEY GRIFF
No you’re an idiot for always doing what you are told. You’d probably jump off a cliff if your best friend did.

MIKEY
Naw, man, I’m smart.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, show us you’re smart, by dressing better. You look like a man that just raided a garage sale clothes rack.

MIKEY
Oh, come on, Harvey. I’m a cool dude. These other freaks dress with all the latest fads and trends. It’s all to show how big mommy and daddy’s bank account is. Punks.

HARVEY GRIFF
Man, you guys are okay. I’m just trying to teach you some manners. This world will eat you up. You might as well do your thing and forget the rest.

PUNK
Forget what?

HARVEY GRIFF
Have a laugh. People get too serious.
(To Business man)
Hey business freak, you need anything else? Your brain working any better.

BUSINESS MAN
Oh yeah, Harvey, they told me that you’re a riot. I guess they are right. You’re funny.

HARVEY GRIFF
You believe everything you hear? Well yeah, I’m funny and you’re a moron. Get a job!

BUSINESS MAN
I’ve got a job. I make six figures.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, let’s call up the Nobel Peace Prize committee. I bet you sit in a little office and talk to idiots all day long.

BUSINESS MAN
I do sit in a little office. It pays my bills.

HARVEY GRIFF
Did you really want to do this?

BUSINESS MAN
I enjoy myself.

PUNK
I bet he looks at porn all day long in his office.

BUSINESS MAN
Huh?

HARVEY GRIFF
You heard him! You look at porn all day long in your little office.

BUSINESS MAN
I do not do this. It’s against company policy.

HARVEY GRIFF
The punks run the internet.

PUNK
Yeah, they’ll hack your little office if you’re not careful. Punks.

The business man gets up to leave.

HARVEY GRIFF
You’ve had enough? Come back when you’ve got your brain and we can talk on a more sophisticated level.

BUSINESS MAN
Okay. You’re a riot.

HARVEY GRIFF
Bye bye, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize.

The business man opens the door and leaves.

HARVEY GRIFF
Okay, punks, the square has gone. Let’s call up Mr. Jones.

PUNK
Who’s Mr. Jones?

HARVEY GRIFF
You’re young. He’s a character in a Bob Dylan song.

MIKEY
Yeah, my dad, is really into Dylan. Wasn’t he a punk?

HARVEY GRIFF
Some would call him a punk. He deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for pushing the limits and getting lazy bums to think differently.

PUNK
Wasn’t he shot?

HARVEY GRIFF
No, stupid man, you’re thinking of John Lennon. Get it together, man. You’re trippin’. Lennon was a punk too. He got himself shot by some loony punk.

PUNK
Yeah, I know. I need to go check my brain. I forgot.

HARVEY GRIFF
What are you punks listening to these days?

PUNK
Oh we listen to our parents.

HARVEY GRIFF
You guys are so smart.

MIKEY
We listen to ~NWA, U2, Milli Vanilli…

PUNK
Shut up Mikey!! We don’t listen to Milli Vanilli. We listen to good stuff like the Stones…

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh great. You mentioned another punk group. Mick Jagger’s a punk. So is David Bowie.

PUNK
What about Elvis? Is he a punk?

HARVEY GRIFF
He was a punk in the early days but sold out and became a cheese ball. The Colonel sold him down the river.

PUNK
Who’s the Colonel?

HARVEY GRIFF
He was Elvis’ slave driver. He made Elvis lose his marbles. Like many business men, the Colonel was some chump with an appetite for money over quality and integrity.
(Pause)
What am I talkin’ to a couple of punks for? You guys don’t know about integrity and quality.

PUNK
Oh yeah. I like Elvis. I guess he was a punk with his long sideburns.

HARVEY GRIFF
I’m tellin’ ya if I was a sell out, I’d be some McDonalds kook working in a little office. Forget that. I’m no sell out. I’m a punk from the streets. Word up. Dig.

MIKEY
Fascinating. Hey, man, we got to go. Remember?

HARVEY GRIFF
Where ya going? Going to watch some teen flick?

PUNK
Naw, they’re stupid. We’ve got some business.

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, you’re taking after the brainless business guy?

PUNK
Naw, we’ve got some packages to deliver.
(wink, wink)

HARVEY GRIFF
You got a sly attorney lined up? You better if you get into this shady business. Well, you’ll learn the hard way. Sooner or later.

PUNK
Ahh, Harvey, we know that hugs are where it’s at, not drugs.

HARVEY GRIFF
Can I get that in writing?

PUNK
You write it up. I’ll sign it.

HARVEY GRIFF
Okay, let me get some paper. Hold on punks.

Harvey looks around the cash register and finds some scratch paper and pen. He writes up a little contract.

HARVEY GRIFF
Okay so, here we go. The language reads, “I, Punk #1 and, I, Punk # 2, from this day forward will agree that hugs are where it’s at and not drugs.” Okay, now you two punks need to sign at the bottom line.

The punks get up and come to the counter.

PUNK
Should we consult our attorneys?

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t get wise! I’ll sue you for breach of contract, punks.

MIKEY
Is this necessary? Can’t you just trust us?

HARVEY GRIFF
No, you guys will be punks forever if I don’t show you the way. Punks are the wave of the future. You know this?

PUNK
Well, we’ll either be punks or thugs, right? And punks are more polite?

HARVEY GRIFF
Stop the stalling. Just sign the paper. I’ll frame it and put it up on my wall here. This will be your day of awakening. You decided to step to the path of hugs and not drugs. Maybe I should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ll go down in history as the one who saved you two punks. Your parents should pay me money. Let’s call ’em up now.

PUNK
Fine, we’ll sign it. But I’m telling you, you embarrass us with your legalese talk and how smart you are in front of the girls we’ll kick your butt.

The two boys sign the contract and shake hands with Harvey.

HARVEY GRIFF
You’ve got a mean talk. But inside you’re nothing more than a sweet butterfly. Do you have a backbone to stand up?

PUNK
We stand up everyday. We stand up for the band geeks as they pass by. Haven’t you seen their shirts with the motto “Stand for Band”?

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t mess with the band. You know I play the bagpipes?

MIKEY
Oh, come on. You lie.

HARVEY GRIFF
I take private lessons after hours at the shop. How do you like that?

PUNK
Oh, and you wear the little tartan dress, too?

HARVEY GRIFF
So what if I did? Would you fight me? You little punk.

PUNK
It’s just strange seeing a man wear a dress.

HARVEY GRIFF
Get off it. It’s culture. What’s your culture? Probably bitches, ~hos, 40s, and jewelry?

PUNK
We’re not thugs. We’re solid stand up guys.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, be a stand up guys and take your trash to the garbage can. Hug a cop for me, too.

PUNK
As always, it’s interesting talking to such a philosopher like you. We’ll be back after the smoke clears. We’ve got packages to attend to.
(Wink Wink)

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t forget the contract. You signed it.

PUNK
We’re out. Cheers.

The two take their trash and walk out the shop waving.

HARVEY GRIFF
Peace out homies.

Harvey locks up the shop as the boys leave. The other workers start sweeping the floor and then mopping.

HARVEY GRIFF
Guys, just keep it real, huh? No need to fake each other out.

WORKER
What do you mean Harvey?

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t get a chip on your shoulder. We’re all the same here. Punks, thugs, gypsies, blacks, whites, Chinese, aliens. Blah, Blah, Blah. We all want our own and to be satisfied. Just keep it real.

WORKER
You’re alright, Harvey. I once thought you were racist but no you are not.

HARVEY GRIFF
Brilliant! Where do you come up with these things? Someone feeding you lines? You wearing an earpiece?

WORKER
From my own brain.
(laughing)

HARVEY GRIFF
I wouldn’t have hired you if I didn’t think you had a brain.

WORKER
I’ve got half a brain.

HARVEY GRIFF
Where’s the other half, then?

WORKER
I fried it. I used to do drugs.

HARVEY GRIFF
Get off it, punk. You think you don’t have a brain. I’m tellin’ ya. You smarter than most Wall Street punks. They run around like robots. You’re no robot are you?

WORKER
Last time I checked I wasn’t.

HARVEY GRIFF
If you’ve got a heart and some kind of compassion that hasn’t been tainted yet, then you’re not a robot.

WORKER
What’s your passion Harvey?

HARVEY GRIFF
I like to make people think and to stop being arrogant and snobby.

WORKER
Excuse me, but don’t you act a bit arrogant sometimes?

HARVEY GRIFF
Haven’t you heard of fighting fire with fire?

WORKER
Yes.

HARVEY GRIFF
If I was bubbly and sweet, people’d write me off as just another fruitball. I’m not fruitcake. I’m a thinking man.

WORKER
A thinking man, eh? You better think about your next employee. Word is that ole Freddie is looking for another job. He says he can’t take the constant jokes here.

HARVEY GRIFF
Freddie, that punk. Give me a break. He comes in here smelling of booze and crying about how he lost his shirt at the casino.

WORKER
Yeah, I guess he deserves some jokes. Don’t know why he needs to go to the casino.

HARVEY GRIFF
Same ole story. Wife runs out on him because he was banging some other chick. He now drinks his sorrow away at the casino. Maybe he should be a man and be with his wife and stop the tomfoolery.
(Pause in thought)
That’s it. My mission is to be a person almost like a priest. I’ll show them how they were wrong and lead them to a better life. I’m not punk.

WORKER
No, Mr. Griff, you surely aren’t a punk. We done here yet? I’ve got to go catch American Idol.

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh my. I hope you’re kidding.

WORKER
Yes, indeed I am.

The worker takes the trash out the back door and Harvey waits. Worker comes back in and and they go out the front door. Harvey locks the door and gets into his convertible Volkwagen Rabbit. The worker walks toward the bus stop.

Harvey drives off and honks and waves.

EXT. IN FRONT OF ABANDONED BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS TEXAS — EVENING

The Punk and Mikey are sitting in a 1989 Blue Ford Mustang. Mikey is in the driver seat. The radio is blaring the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

MIKEY
You know how to get in?

PUNK
They don’t call me the Punk for nothin. There’s a boarded up window we can go through.

MIKEY
Man, I don’t know. Maybe there will be bums inside.

PUNK
Come on. Bums don’t hurt anyone. We’ve got our be-buck guns. Let’s go.

They get out of the car and walk around to the back of the building where the boarded up window is. Punk crawls through first.

PUNK
Watch out for the broken glass. You’ve got the flashlight, right?

MIKEY
Oh, will it be dark?

PUNK
Chill out.

The two walk toward the light that shows dimly down the hall. They walk with their bb guns out and ready to shoot.

PUNK
Here’s the stairwell. There is light on all other floors. Let’s go up.

MIKEY
Man, I think I want to leave. Harvey said we shouldn’t be punks. We’re punks.

PUNK
Harvey’s just an old guy. He doesn’t know anything.

MIKEY
I think he does.

PUNK
Let’s go.

They walk up the stairs and come to the third floor. The floor has carpet and is lit up fairly well. It looks like the floor used to be an attorney office.

PUNK
Come here, Mikey, let’s go in here. I’ve got the keys.

MIKEY
How’d you get the keys?

PUNK
They were down in the basement. Let’s go in here.

Punk unlocks the door and it is an attorney’s office. The sign reads “The Law Office Of Frederick A. Johnson and Sons.”

They walk in and it is a reception area and there is a coat and hat rack. Punk picks up the coat rack.

PUNK
Watch this.

Punk lunges with the coat rack toward the glass window that says “the Law Office of Frederick A. Johnson and Sons.” The glass breaks immediately.

MIKEY
Punk, what are you doing? Stop it.

PUNK
Don’t be such a square. This is fun. Shoot the window out with your gun.

MIKEY
I don’t think I can.

PUNK
Just do it. Let me see your gun.

Mikey gives the gun to Punk reluctantly.

PUNK
Now watch.

Punk shoots out more of the window.

PUNK
You try it now.

Punk gives the gun back to Mikey.

MIKEY
Only once and that’s it.

Mikey shoots the BB gun and it makes a small hole in the window.

PUNK
Come on. Take out your aggression.

Mikey puts the gun back in his coat pocket.

MIKEY
I can’t do it. We’re not punks. We’re little scared kids.

PUNK
I’m going. I guess you’re not an HPH anymore.

MIKEY
I guess not. Let’s go.

They walk down the stairs again and back to the car. There is a cop car nearby.

MIKEY
Oh no. What do we do?

PUNK
Just act normal

POLICEMAN 2
Have you been in this building?

PUNK
No, we’ve been in the church across the way.

POLICEMAN 2
We’re looking for two punks with guns shooting up things.

MIKEY
We’re not punks.

POLICEMAN 2
We got a call in that two punks were yelling and screaming about being on top of the world. That wasn’t you?

PUNK
No Sir, we surely aren’t on top of the world. We have jobs to go to. And are in school. That’s hardly ideal.

POLICEMAN 2
Okay guys, you be careful.

MIKEY
Yes, sir, we will.

The cop walks away and the two boys look at each other in relief.

MIKEY
Let’s go home, Punk.

PUNK
Let’s go.

They get into the car and Mikey starts the car and they drive off.

INT. GRIFF’S HAMBURGER SHOP — AFTERNOON

Harvey is behind the counter while the worker is clearing the tables.

HARVEY GRIFF
Hey Bud, you ever gonna take vacation?

WORKER
I don’t know. I really need the money. I can’t afford it. Many bills.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, man. You can’t work nonstop.

WORKER
You work nonstop.

HARVEY GRIFF
It’s my business. If I don’t do it no one will. Take a break punk. You’ll grow old and senile like me with no friends.

WORKER
Come on Harvey. You’ve got a lot of friends. You’re not senile.

HARVEY GRIFF
What day is today? I don’t know. See I’m senile.

WORKER
Well I didn’t remember either. I can’t already be senile at twenty.

HARVEY GRIFF
Just on drugs.
(Wink)

WORKER
You know I don’t use anymore.

HARVEY GRIFF
You put down the crack pipe just last week.

WORKER
Harvey, come on don’t joke about this. I’ve had it hard.

HARVEY GRIFF
A hard life? You have a life of luxury in the HP Hood.

WORKER
We’ve got thugs here. Maybe they dress with nice clothes and drive nice cars but they are thugs.

HARVEY GRIFF
What’s a Highland Park Hoodlum?

WORKER
You’re lookin’ at one, homie.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, you throw, homie, in a sentence and you’re a gangster.

WORKER
Things go down here everyday.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah what? Stealin’ from your daddy’s liquor cabinet?

WORKER
I’m tellin’ ya. Those guys that were in yesterday, Punk and Mikey. They’re walkin’ the fine line and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them ended up in jail.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, what do you know? I’ll set ’em straight. Those little punks.

WORKER
I only hear and am not sure. But Punk is always lightin’ smoke bombs at school and I heard that they broke into one burned up house and ran only when the cops came.

HARVEY GRIFF
I’ll teach them a thing or two. Punks. I think the new punks are the ones that play it real. They’re just posing. I bet they live in one of those Mansions on Beverly Drive.

WORKER
No. They are both from single-parent families.

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, boy. Where’s the daddy? I guess I’ll have to be their role model.

WORKER
It’s a hard life in the H.P., seriously.

HARVEY GRIFF
What? Your illegal alien maid ran off with the money?

WORKER
My parents don’t have a maid and anyway, I don’t live in HP. I live across Northwest Highway. But the same stuff happens there because the HP thugs come over there to buy their beer and drugs.

HARVEY GRIFF
Have you seen Punk and Mikey over there?

WORKER
Yeah, a time or two.

HARVEY GRIFF
You record them next time. I’ll let them have it. Those punks will learn.
(Pause)
Hey look. We have some customers.

An old couple comes in the shop for the senior citizen special that is every Wednesday.

MR. JENSEN
Hello Harvey.

HARVEY GRIFF
So it’s the King and Queen of Highland Park. How’s the castle?

MRS. JENSEN
Oh we’re fine. We just got our grandchildren off to summer camp.

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, they went up to that cult camp for boys?

MR. JENSEN
You’ve still got it Harvey.

HARVEY GRIFF
No. I’m serious. There’s this new cult camp for boys. Don’t you know?

MRS. JENSEN
Oh, Harvey. We’re smart outstanding Christians and we watch out for these Jonestown type loonies.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, I hope so. What will you too have today? A shot of Whiskey? A shot of heroin?

WORKER
(In a whisper)
Harvey.

MR. JENSEN
No, I think we’ll have the usual. Isn’t it senior citizen Wednesday?

HARVEY GRIFF
You know it. We’ve got senior citizens coming from all over. They drive over from the rest homes and come in in wheel chairs, on canes, and on walkers. Hey, are you sure you two are senior citizens?

MRS. JENSEN
What a dream you are Harvey. Thank you. I do look like a young chick, don’t I?

HARVEY GRIFF
You look gorgeous and all there. Mr. Jensen, you getting a divorce any time soon?

MR. JENSEN
Sorry sonny.

HARVEY GRIFF
Go sit down and we’ll bring you your goodies.

The couple go sit down and Harvey puts two hamburger patties on the grill. He starts singing.

HARVEY GRIFF
“Moon River, wider than a mile. I’m crossin’ you in style some day. Oh the dream maker. You heart breaker. Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way.”

The old couple laugh. The worker fills up the tea machine.

WORKER
Harvey, I think I want to take a week off in July. Would that be alright?

HARVEY GRIFF
You have another punk to fill in for you?

WORKER
I’ll get my cousin. He’s a stand up guy. I vouch for him.

HARVEY GRIFF
Let’s talk after work. Take the food to the Jensens. It’s ready.

Harvey puts the food on the tray and the worker brings it to the Jensens.

WORKER
There you go. You need anything else?

MR. JENSEN
No sir. It looks just fine.

As the worker walks behind the counter, an old man comes in. He’s wearing an old-timey hat and is looking down a bit.

HARVEY GRIFF
What happened to you old timer?

MR. SIMS
My wife died today.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, sir, if I may, she’s probably in a better place. She suffered didn’t she?

MR. SIMS
(With tears)
Yes sir.

HARVEY GRIFF
Come on fella. We’ll fix you right up. This one’s on us. Go sit down and we’ll bring you anything you want.

Mr. ~Sims goes to sit down in the corner. He takes his hat off and puts it in the next chair.

HARVEY GRIFF
(To Worker)
Go, take Mr. ~Sims an iced tea.

The worker makes up the tea and takes it to Mr. Sims. Mr. Sims looks up at the worker.

MR. SIMS
Thanks son, I really appreciate it.

The Worker puts his hand on Mr. Sims shoulder. Mr. Sims nods his head.

WORKER
What else would you like right now?

MR. SIMS
Just the usual. Thank ya.

The Worker goes back to the counter and prepares Mr. Sims special.

HARVEY GRIFF
Well, I just got a phone call from the Mayor. He wants me to sell my shop so that they can build a more economical McDonald’s. What do you think?

MR. JENSEN
Harvey, don’t do it. I hope you’re kidding. We’ll help you if you need. Won’t we, Betty?

MRS. JENSEN
Of course.

HARVEY GRIFF
What gets my goat is all the sellouts in this world. No, I’m sure there will come the day when the greed heads come knocking on my door. I pray that I don’t temporarily get brainwashed and sell.

MRS. JENSEN
Harvey, America just wasn’t like this in the old days. It was made of dreams and there was a spirit of giving and not taking. You know, Mr. Jensen got help from some kind folks down at the courthouse to set up his practice. We are forever grateful.

HARVEY GRIFF
Preach it, honey!!

Harvey takes the food off the grill for Mr. Sims and takes the tray over to him.

HARVEY GRIFF
Mr. Sims, here’s your fancy deluxe chicken sandwich. Now let’s have a cause now. We can’t let the punks take my shop can we?

MR. SIMS
I’ll be there for you. Give me some time.

HARVEY GRIFF
You can have all the time you need.
(Pause)
Did you hear the joke about the punk who didn’t know his name?

MR. SIMS
No. What?

HARVEY GRIFF
The Punk woke up one morning. He woke up from a long nap, in his car. The cops woke him up. The cops came tapping on his window and said, “what’s your name sonny?”

MR. SIMS
Was he drunk?

HARVEY GRIFF
No. The boy stuttered and stammered, trying to answer.

HARVEY GRIFF
After some time, the policeman said, “Oh boy, what’s your problem? We just wanted some directions to the nearest donut shop. We saw the donut box on your passenger seat.”
(hysterical laughing)

MR. SIMS
You need some new material.

HARVEY GRIFF
I’m working on it. I’ve had a dry spell. I need some more punks to make fun of. You know any?

MR. SIMS
What exactly is a punk?

HARVEY GRIFF
Don’t you know the Sex Pistols?

MR. SIMS
Some rock and roll outfit?

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, they were an English group with strange hair. Hey Mr. Sims, you want to grow sideburns and have a mohawk?

MR. SIMS
No, I’m too old for that. The good ole days are gone.

HARVEY GRIFF
Come on. You’re some sexy dude, like Sean Connery. Give me your best Bond, James Bond.

MR. SIMS
I’m not in the mood.

HARVEY GRIFF
(Starts singing “In The Mood”)
Da, da, da, dat, dat

MR. SIMS
Boy, that takes me back. Did you know that was the first song that Mrs. Sims and I danced to. It was the hit of the day. Glenn Miller was the Elvis of our day.

HARVEY GRIFF
How’s the chicken sandwich?

MR. SIMS
Very nice. What’s that spice you use?

HARVEY GRIFF
I’m not at liberty to say.

MR. JENSEN
Oh, come on, Harvey, give us the secret. We’ve been coming here for twenty five years.

HARVEY GRIFF
You guys would sell and post the recipe all over the internet.

MR. JENSEN
We don’t use the internet. I guess we’re missing out.

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, yeah. You’d be surprised at all the rubbish on the net. The punks run it you know? Bill Gates and his team of nerds have infiltrated almost every home in the world.

MR. JENSEN
The power of Bill Gates is a bit scary. I guess in our day the Bill Gates was Alexander Graham Bell.

MRS. JENSEN
Oh, come on, Richard, we’re not that old. You make us seem ancient.

MR. JENSEN
I guess my alzheimers is kicking in.

MRS. JENSEN
This isn’t true. I didn’t have to remind you this morning to brush your teeth. You’re still very quick.

MR. JENSEN
Yes, I’m quick to run to the dinner table and to the bathroom.

MRS. JENSEN
Oh, Richard, stop it.

HARVEY GRIFF
I’ll have no bathroom talk in my restaurant. You say it again and I’ll throw you out or call the cops.

The door opens and Punk and Mikey come in.

PUNK
Harvey, the cops came after us the other day.

HARVEY GRIFF
We’ve heard about you guys. You guys need to straighten up and fly right. You’re walking on a slippery slope.
(To Mr. Jensen)
What do think about these two here? You know there parents?

MR. JENSEN
Yes. Mikey’s grandfather is a well-respected judge. And Punk’s father, well, I can’t say much for him. But his mother is a talented singer.

HARVEY GRIFF
You have any advice?

MR. JENSEN
Only to stay out of trouble. I know about trouble. Before I met Mrs. Jensen, I was clueless about my life. I was all over the place and into everything. Back then, we didn’t have as many things to get into but I was into what was around. I smoked and drank and ran around with hoodlums. Growing up is hard. And then one fine day it hit me.

MRS. JENSEN
I hit you, right?

MR. JENSEN
No, it was a bottle in the head that hit me.

MRS. JENSEN
Oh, gosh. You were a fightin’ man in those days. I remember.

PUNK
You were a fighter? Like Mike Tyson?

MR. JENSEN
Man alive. Put me in the ring with him and it will be curtains for him. He’s got nothing on me. I was a thug before it was popular and in style. You youngins listen to rap and this type stuff. I lived the life of the fighter before I woke up and realized what was more important.

MIKEY
It’s hard these days. Everybody’s hatin’ on me.

PUNK
You’re a wimp. You play the trombone.

MIKEY
Get off it. You quit.

HARVEY GRIFF
Okay, here’s my advice. Just forget everything. Punks, vampires, scam artists, thugs, thieves, robbers, will all have their go at you. Bottom line. Just quit trying to please everyone. Pleasing everyone will make you wind up sleeping all day long depressed in the bed.

MIKEY
I like sleeping. It’s cool.
(Pause)
Hey, I’m hungry. I came here for food. How ’bout a chocolate milk shake and IN a cup, not the bag. No jokes today. I’ve had enough and a chili hot dog.

HARVEY GRIFF
You want chili? That’ll cost you extra. You want a cup. That’s extra, too. As is the air you breathe in here. I have these specialized air filters.
(to the Jensens)
We had them shipped in from the rest home where some of the stars lived.

MR. JENSEN
Who?

HARVEY GRIFF
Oh, you know. All of them. You name it, they used it.

Mr. Jensen looks to Mrs. Jensen.

MR. JENSEN
We better get, huh?

MRS. JENSEN
Yes, we’ve got to go to another funeral service. That’s all we do these days. Kinda sad.

HARVEY GRIFF
Okay folks. Say hello to the Reverend for me. He hasn’t been in for a while.

MR. JENSEN
We will. Adios.
(Pause)
Best to you Mr. Sims.

Mr. Sims is done with his food and has just been sitting there spacing out.

MR. SIMS
Thanks.

The couple leaves.

HARVEY GRIFF
Mr. Sims, can I get you a fried pie or anything else?

MR. SIMS
No, I’m not too hungry. I guess it will take some time. But it’s been mighty good being here. My wife and I came here every Wednesday.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yes, I know. You guys practically ran off every customer I had.
(wink)

MR. SIMS
You know that my wife and I appreciate you. It’s not every day that you meet some one of a kind guy like you. You cheer us up. But you know that some people don’t understand.

HARVEY GRIFF
Like the thugs that shot holes in my windows. You remember that?

MR. SIMS
Yes.

HARVEY GRIFF
Punk, so it was thirty five years ago and there was a fight in the shop. Some punk was drunk and I made some remarks. He didn’t like it.

PUNK
What’d you say?

HARVEY GRIFF
Let me describe the scene. The guy comes in looking like Charles Manson. He has this crazed look on him. He was dressed in all the hippie gear. Texas was a late bloomer in the hippie scene. But this guy was tuned in.

PUNK
He was some pot head?

HARVEY GRIFF
Who knows? The guy comes in asking to use the rest room. He’s weaving back and forth and almost knocks over the tea machine. I quickly say, “Dude, Woodstock is calling ya, man. Go piss outside, you hippie.”

MIKEY
What’d he do?

HARVEY GRIFF
Hold on. Let me check your food.
(Pause)
Okay. He jumps over the counter and starts to punch me but my cook stepped in and punched the guy in the stomach. The hippie falls to the floor and some college students leap on top of the guy.

PUNK
So when did the shots come into play?

HARVEY GRIFF
My cook picked him up and then threw him out the back door of the restaurant. He got up stumbling and left. Later that night around closing, we heard gunshots.

PUNK
Where?

HARVEY GRIFF
In those days, there was a window on the back door. That’s where it happened.
(Pause)
Oh gosh, your food. Hold up.

Harvey gets the food for the two boys.

HARVEY GRIFF
Here you go guys.

The two boys take the tray and sit at the closest table and continue listening to Harvey.

HARVEY GRIFF
So anyway, we heard a loud bang just after coming back in from taking the garbage out. My cook yelled, “Oh God, Harvey.”
(Pause)
I grabbed my pistol from underneath the counter and ran back to the back. The cook was in a daze. I opened up the back door and went out and there was a car driving off. I shot my gun in the direction of the car but it kept going.

MIKEY
Boy, Harvey, just like in Compton or something. You were a real gangster.

HARVEY GRIFF
I was defending what was mine. Someone shot my property up. The glass was everywhere. The punk dissed me. Word up. I don’t take no guff from nobody. HG represents.

MIKEY
Did the cops show up?

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, we called the pigs up. I wanted to get on record my version before the punk went squealing to the pigs.

PUNK
You called the fuzz? Man, I’d never call the fuzz. What happened?

HARVEY GRIFF
The cops come blazing in with their sirens, almost crashing my Lenin statue out front of the restaurant.

PUNK
You had a John Lennon statue? That’s cool.

HARVEY GRIFF
No, dummie. The Russian leader Lenin. So anyway, the cops come storming in and ask, “Are you a commie?”
(pause)
I say, “no sir, I’m just a working class gentleman with hippies running amok up in here.”

MIKEY
You don’t like cops do you?

HARVEY GRIFF
I was trying to hold my cool. The cop gets mad and leaves. I just threw my hands up in the air.

MIKEY
Some ego trip, huh?

HARVEY GRIFF
Yeah, I let the whole matter go. I didn’t have any more trouble from the hippie. The funny thing is that five years later, that same hippie came in but he was clean cut.

PUNK
Wow, what’d he say?

HARVEY GRIFF
He said that he had found Jesus. I said, well, good for you, man. It was at the time of the Jesus Freak movement in the ’70s.

MIKEY
Oh, man, how could you even let him in your shop?

HARVEY GRIFF
I didn’t recognize him. He started talking about how he had been in the shop one night. And you know, I never forget a face. I looked at him and then it clicked. I remembered his eyes. I asked, “Were you ever a hippie?”
(pause)
He said, oh no.

PUNK
Harvey, I would have punched the idiot out.

HARVEY GRIFF
Fellows, don’t you know that I mellowed with age?

PUNK
I bet you smoke weed.

HARVEY GRIFF
Yo, Punk, you talk about weed and I’ll kill you. I haven’t totally mellowed. I can still light a fire under your ass if need be.

PUNK
You’re a poser, man. Come on you serve food to geezers all day long. You’re so tough.

HARVEY GRIFF
(Raising his voice)
Get out of my store! Didn’t your parents teach you to respect the elderly?

MIKEY
(To Punk)
Come on man! Cool out. You’re wasted.

PUNK
Let’s go, Mikey. You heard Mr. Griff. He’s kicking us out.

HARVEY GRIFF
Boys, you best watch yourself. You’re walking a fine line. You get messed up with drugs and you’ll be between a rock and a hard place. And when I say rock, I mean you’ll be down on your hands and knees searching the floor for your coke.
(Pause)
I’ll give it to you straight cause no one told me.

Both boys get up from the table and walk to the exit. Punk exits and Mikey stops in the doorway and looks back to Harvey.

MIKEY
Thanks Harvey, I know you’re right. I better go talk to Punk. He’s a bit hyped up.

EXT. GRIFF’S HAMBURGER SHOP — EVENING

Punk tries to light up a cigarette with his lighter but it doesn’t work. He tries for a bit and gives up. He throws the lighter as far as he can in front. Mikey stands there with him.

MIKEY
Come on, man. Let’s just walk around a bit, huh?

PUNK
Give me your lighter, man.

MIKEY
You know I don’t smoke.

PUNK
Fuck, man. I can’t even smoke a stupid cigarette.

MIKEY
Let’s walk.

PUNK
I’m pissed at that fool. I don’t do drugs.

MIKEY
Yeah, well he’s just watching our backs. He knows what it’s like at home. He’s cool.

PUNK
Nah, man. He’s just a clown-acting fool who knows nothing. He can talk his jokes and serve the geezers. What good does he do? He’s a punk.

Mikey starts to walk and gestures for Punk to follow. Punk reluctantly follows.

The sun is going down and they walk down a busy street that has restaurants on both sides of the street and a nearby 7-11.

Punk catches up to Mikey.

PUNK
You wanna go in the 7-11?

MIKEY
Sure. What ya want?

PUNK
Just wait here.

MIKEY
(confused)
Ok?

INT. 7-11 STORE — EVENING

Mikey waits outside. Punk walks around the store not giving eye contact to anyone. He walks up to where the refrigerated beers are.

EMPLOYEE
Can I help you son?

PUNK
(irritated)
Listen, dude, I’ll let you know if I need help.

EMPLOYEE
Aren’t you a bit young to be looking at the beers?

PUNK
Is that illegal?

At that time, another customer walks up to the employee.

CUSTOMER
Sir, I was looking for the bread?

EMPLOYEE
Okay, let me show you.

The employee walks over to the bread with the customer following.

EXT. 7-11 STORE — EVENING

Mikey looks into the store at Punk. Mikey starts pacing back and forth nervously.

INT. 7-11 STORE — EVENING

Punk looks over to see that the employee is talking to the customer still. He opens the refrigerator and takes a 40 ounce Budweiser out and puts it inside his coat and walks quickly out the store.

EXT. 7-11 STORE — MOMENTS LATER

Punk comes out.

MIKEY
Dude, man. What’s going on?

PUNK
Let’s go. Hurry.

The employee comes outside the 7-11 to the two boys.

EMPLOYEE
(to Punk)
Alright, open up your coat!!

MIKEY
Punk, show him.

Punk opens his coat up and pulls out the beer. The employee takes it.

EMPLOYEE
Man, why did you have to steal? You could’ve just asked.

PUNK
I don’t know. I just did it.

EMPLOYEE
You’re going no where. Here’s the beer, man.

The employee hands the beer to Punk. Punk takes it. The employee goes back in the store shaking his head.

MIKEY
Come on. Let’s get out of here.

PUNK
Okay.

The two boys take a side street.

MIKEY
What about the beer? We’ll get caught.

PUNK
There’s an alley up here.

They take an alley. Punk quickly stops and opens the beer and takes a swig.

MIKEY
Ah, man. Not here!

PUNK
Stop being such a whuss.

MIKEY
I think we should just go home.

Punk takes a long swig down to the half-way point. He coughs and gasps for air. Mikey looks to see if anyone is around.

PUNK
You drink.

MIKEY
I don’t want to. My mom will know.

PUNK
Don’t you want to be in the gang?

MIKEY
I don’t know.

PUNK
Just drink it. It’s not drugs or anything.

Punk forces the bottle in front of Mikey’s face.

MIKEY
I’ve never drank before.

PUNK
Don’t worry.

Mikey takes the bottle.

MIKEY
I’m not gonna slam it like you.

PUNK
(Looking at watch)
You’ve got two minutes to slug that beer down.

MIKEY
I told you I don’t want to.

PUNK
(Angrily)
You’re doing it!

Mikey begins to slam the drink.

PUNK
Do it.

Mikey gets to about half-way and stops for a breathe.

MIKEY
I can’t do it.

By this time Punk is feeling the effects of the beer and is mellower.

PUNK
Just take a break.

Punk starts to dance around in the alley and clapping his hands.

PUNK
(Like Cheerleader with clapping)
Who’s the best?
(clap, clap)
We are.
(clap, clap)
Who’s the coolest?
(Clap, Clap)
We are.

MIKEY
Punk, let’s not be so loud.

PUNK
(loud)
Who are the HPH?
(Clap, clap)

Punk stumbles.

MIKEY
Alright, I’ll finish the beer. Just be quiet.

Punk starts laughing hysterically.

PUNK
You’ve never drank before. Some thug you are. You’re tough. My butt.

MIKEY
Come on man. Just shut up. I don’t understand why you had to steal.

PUNK
We didn’t steal. He gave it to us.

MIKEY
Oh, man, I’m drunk.

1980

Copyright Jim Guittard 2011

And here’s part of the soundtrack I’ve done for the music:

Tracks are as follows:
1 Highland Park Hoodlums 2:00
2 Hitting The Lotto 2:27
3 Flippity Flop 2:45
4 I Drive Your Car 2:18
5 HPH On The Rise 3:12
6 Lonely Road 1:27
7 HPH On The Rise – Alternate Take 3:02
8 Flippity Flop- Alternate 1:03

The Notorious G.I.D.D. Album

Join the Highland Park Hoodlum Facebook Group

Published under Lifesend this post
2011 29 Jul

Published under Musicsend this post
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