2014 20 Mar

The tunes from the tapes just keep coming.  It is a time capsule into the life that began in late 1999 and lasted until about 2004.  The Guittard Tapes era was an especially  creative period of my life.  In 1999, after three years of being a working stiff at an insurance company in Dallas, I struck out for a music school in Hollywood.  I made a dry run out there to search for an apartment and found one near Hollywood and Highland that was available for $925 a month.  I wonder what it is now that they remodeled that whole area where the Academy Awards are now held.

I was bright-eyed and optimistic, thinking that I could do something important.  At the school, I put up flyers to see if anybody was interested in making a “Byrds-influenced” band.  I had NO takers.  It was kinda weird that no one was turned on to the jangly psychedelic music.  Henry and I began to hold auditions for our band The Ragas in my Hollywood apartment.  We had a whole biker gang show up but it just wasn’t the vibe we wanted.  We also drove way out to the Inland Empire to audition a drummer.  Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to put an ad in the L.A. Weekly about our little band.  We never did find anyone that way.  Imagine the characters going through my apartment to audition.  One guy didn’t have a bass so we let him use my bass and he picked up a coaster to use as a pick.  That was weird.

During this time, I was soaking up the vibes of Southern California and often found myself in the Brian Jonestown Massacre scene.  The music was all around me and the folks in Texas wondered exactly what I was doing.  The Guittard Tapes were what I was doing.  I have hundreds of tapes from that period and it is great that I still have the tapes because for a period of ten years I had no idea where the tapes were.  I had spent some time in Bulgaria and my stuff was kinda scattered everywhere.

Jim Cine GrillOctober 1999 – Hollywood

The tunes from the Guittard Tapes have been extracted from tapes for over the last year.  I’ve put out two volumes of the Guittard Tapes and now I’m working to possibly put out a third volume.  If you want to know what was going on in my life between 1999 and 2003, listen to the tapes.  One song that I wrote just after two weeks of being in L.A. was called “Standing in the Doorway.”  What prompted the song was the earthquake that occurred on October 16, 1999.  I had never experienced a quake and so that day I did at two o’clock in the morning.  I didn’t know what to do with all the rattling pipes on the third story apartment building so I got out of bed and stood in the doorway.  It seemed like forever the ground was shaking.  It was  a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

After quitting the school, I mainly went to a lot of shows with the Quarter After, Beachwood Sparks and others.  I was writing the whole time.  For awhile I was in a band with Cliff Magreta and Rob Campanella called the Belle Isle.  It was really a happening time.  And then 9-11 occurred and it seemed that a lot of things changed.  The optimism wasn’t there like it used to be.  As part of the Guittard Tapes there was a tune a did a few weeks after 9-11 that is an instrumental and I named it “3 Weeks After.”  It has a psychedelic trippy feel with Rickenbacker Twelve String and sitar.

Byron& JimWith Byron Berline at McCabe’s Guitar Shop

 Around late 2001  to 2002, my brother Bob was also in Los Angeles and for a few months we were in a band together with a guy named Andy McCutcheon.  It was really crazy how I met Andy.  My brother had been auditioning for bands as a bass player.  He came over to my apartment and played me a CD of Andy McCutcheon.  Instantly, I recognized it.  I had heard the music a few years earlier back in Texas as I had found him on MP3.com. I had previously downloaded Andy’s music back in 1998 or early 1999.  I had never met him but he was into psychedelic type 1960’s music.  It was really wild that my brother would say to me that he was auditioning for this band.  And so after a month or so, I was in Andy’s band as a rhythm guitarist.  We had some shows at the Crooked Bar, The Gig, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, and some other places.  I had read about Led Zeppelin hanging at the Rainbow and being up to no good there.

Scan10002Myself, Brother Bob, and Andy McCutcheon

During this period, I was working odd jobs at a rental car place, a talent agency, and some other places.  I did have the misfortune of being robbed of several guitars and some of the material in the Guittard Tapes deal with the loss of guitars and themes of betrayal and a sense of digging in my heels to the ground to stay in L.A. at all costs.  It cost me a lot but the Guittard Tapes to me our priceless.  It’s a musical diary.

Here are a few songs that I’ve just extracted recently from the tapes.

You Are On Track

You Are On Track by Guittard Tapes 2

The song is trying to hype myself up to stay and continue with the musical pursuit in Los Angeles. It wasn’t going exactly how I had hoped but this was an honest plea to dig in.

Jangly Ordinary Guy
Jangly Ordinary Guy by Guittard Tapes 2

The lyrics for this tune was written at a coffee shop on Melrose Blvd. I was waiting to meet someone and they did not show up. Being a bit frustrated I wrote the tune. The music for this one is more jangly with my 12 string Rickenbacker and I play simple drum beat. The other version I play the B-Bender Telecaster and it is more a country-rock feel.

Beach Basement Session
Beach Basement Session by Guittard Tapes 2

This one here is a early version of Beach before the more well known one on my “California Daze” album. The tune here was recorded in a care-free way trying to emulate the vibe of Dylan on the Basement Sessions album with the Band. The recording is imperfect but I’m not about perfection.

Station
Station basement session by Guittard Tapes 2

This tune is another raw alternate take. It was again trying to be recorded in a basement session way that was carefree and emotional.

I left L.A. in February 2003 and the picture below is just after I came back to Dallas, Texas.
Jim February 2003

 

Published under Lifesend this post
2010 18 Nov

Some things are worth fighting for don’t you think?

Here’s a song I made in a quick urgent way. It is because of all the hype at the airports with the body scanners and the extensive patdowns.

Make Yourself A Vow

Losing our freedoms.
Patted down by demons.
Liberty’s on trial.
It might go out of style.

Big Sis lied to us.
She asks what’s the big fuss?
A little radiation.
It’s all good for the Nation.

You better wake up now.
Later you won’t know how.
You better wake up now.
Make yourself a vow.

Alex Jones fights the good fight.
And we are all in the right.
We’re not terrorists.
Big sis, take us off your watchlists.

You look into what I’m sayin’.
There’s no time for delayin’.
Your rights are slowly going away.
Get up, don’t stay.

You better wake up now.
Later you won’t know how.
You better wake up now.
Make yourself a vow.

TSA, you’re wrong.
I write this song.
Step aside.
Give us your pride.

You better wake up now.
Later you won’t know how.
You better wake up now.
Make yourself a vow.

Words and Music By Jim Guittard 2010

Video by Youtuber Bloodmeridian67.  Look into his other groovy videos here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/bloodmeridian67

Please share the song!
download it here:
http://www.archive.org/details/MakeYourselfAVow

Published under Life, Musicsend this post
2010 15 Aug

Tracklist:

1    You Know (Spirits of Summer Edit) – Botany Bay
2    Der Flug des Schmetterlings – Schattenspiel
3    Billows – The.Princess.And.The.Pearl
4    The Creek – Orange Crush
5    Beach (Acoustic) – Jim Guittard
6    Five Guitar Song – I Said Yes
7    Joyrider – Danny Spacecat
8    Ich Segele Übers Meer (Instrumental) – Seelenlauf
9    Summer Dreams (In Clouds Above) – Deadstar
10    Things Weren’t Always This Way – Ben Woods

Skeksis Netlabel Project, out of Austria, included my song “Beach – Acoustic” as part of their summer-themed compilation for free download. The songs are quite nice and peaceful with optimism. Please take a listen or download it for free here:

Also, please look into Skeksis’ previous compilations. There are 11 others that are all themed differently, all for free download.
http://skeksisnetlabel.wordpress.com/

Published under Musicsend this post
2010 22 Feb

1    Introduction – 02:16
2    Commentary On Beach – 01:30
3    Beach – 03:55
4    Commentary on BJM-Like Song – 01:45
5    BJM-Like Song – 03:04
6    Commentary On Confusion Lies Guns and Drugs – 02:08
7    Confusion, Lies, Guns, And Drugs – 02:34
8    Commentary on Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 00:58
9    Can’t Be Down That Very Long – 02:29
10    Commentary on 3 of Clubs – 00:53
11    3 of Clubs – 03:46
12    Commentary On Swing Tune – 00:50
13    Swing Tune – 01:28
14    Commentary on Jazz Tune – 00:43
15    Jazz Tune – 02:23
16    Commentary On Beach Acoustic – 01:24
17    Beach (Acoustic) – 05:24
18    Outro Influence of West Coast Scene – 02:27

Download for free here:

http://www.archive.org/details/CaliforniaDazeAlbumCommentary

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2010 11 Feb

Here’s a song about keeping the faith while facing extreme diversity and hype. Enjoy!

Here are the lyrics:

“The Sun Shines Today”

Push on through.
You know it ain’t true.
Just keep it up.
Drink from the cup.

No matter what they say,
The sun shines today.
Keep up the lovely art.
Avoid the fiery dart.

Nothing’s very solid.
It’s all a bit spotted.
Your treasure chest may disappear.
It could be very near.

What’s the answer?
Avoid the big cancer.
Do what’s fun.
It has all begun.

Money can’t guide you.
Only what is true.
Live by the wisdom.
This isn’t dumb.

Nothing’s very solid.
It’s all a bit spotted.
Your treasure chest may disappear.
It could be very near.

Push on through.
You know it ain’t true.
Just keep it up.
Drink from the cup.

Nothing’s very solid.
It’s all a bit spotted.
Your treasure chest may disappear.
It could be very near.

Nothing’s very solid.
It’s all a bit spotted.
Your treasure chest may disappear.
It could be very near.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard

Published under Lifesend this post
2009 19 Sep

I came across xtranormal.com and made this little piece. At Xtranormal.com you can write little scripts and make animation figures act them out. The site is cool. I had to pass it on.

Here’s my first little thing I did:

and of course to download my music go here:

http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/Jim_Guittard

Published under Uncategorizedsend this post
2009 18 May

Do you remember how Hunter S. Thompson was searching for the American Dream in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Well, the American Dream has been outsourced overseas. In what country it resides is a mystery. With all the bad economy, dream seekers have gotten the hell outta Dodge.

You say, “This is an outrage!” Yeah, it is an outrage.

Our nation is the most divided it has been since probably the Civil War or at least the 1960s. In 2009, we aren’t killing each other as in the Civil War but a war IS going on and I don’t mean the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars.

The present war is a war of ideas, principles, and the American Dream is quickly being put to shame.

The Framers in the Declaration of Independence guaranteed the following:

“That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It further states that, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Folks, something is completely out of whack as they say and we must do something.

Read your Declaration of Independence here:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Published under Future, Lifesend this post
2009 27 Feb

You know what? I think a lot of us are like frogs in a pot that are slowly being boiled alive. Why?

Because we get so used to the stuff around us that we don’t even know we are being cooked alive. You can put a frog in cold water in a pot and then put him on the stovetop and turn up the heat. The frog won’t jump out. The frog will get desensitized and wait patiently for death to come without even knowing it.

The bottom line is for us to wake the hell up! What are we here for? To do stupid stuff day after day after day after day? Get up from your mat and walk. Life is too short to compromise and waste away to nothing. Get up! Do something.

I don’t know who this is directed to but maybe myself. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Published under Lifesend this post
2008 2 Oct

by Jim Guittard

Something has been going on for the past eight years. It is the musical revolution that the Brian Jonestown Massacre front man Anton Newcombe is famous for talking about. In 2000, a Neo-Psychedelic scene with half a dozen bands was birthed in Silverlake, California. The Quarter After was one of those pioneer bands that was turned on from the start and continues today to turn on others.

As described by the band itself, the Quarter After is psychedelic music for the 21st century. The group is led by the Campanella brothers: Dominic and Rob. They formed in the summer of 2000 with then bassist Dave Koenig and drummer Nelson Bragg.

They began playing shows at the Silverlake Lounge, 3 of Clubs, and Spaceland. It was here that the hipsters gathered by the thing that was going on. You ask what was going on? Well simply, it was a spiritual awakening or rather a wake up call. It was a real departure from the philosophy underlying the excess mainstream music.

A new social consciousness was formed which was held together by the reverence of the older music acts such as the Kinks, the Beatles, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Buffalo Springfield, Love, the Left Banke, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Zombies, the Searchers, and the Association. There are too many bands to name.

It was not all by chance that this scene formed. Early on, the Campanella brothers made 4-track recordings of psychedelic pop. It was at the time of grunge. They were following the path set by the previous revival of psychedelic pop with bands like the Bangles, the Three O’Clock, and Dream Syndicate. In 1994, at a show at the Foothill Club in Signal Hill, Rob obtained the stamp of approval he needed to make psychedelic music. The show was a Sonic Boom concert where the Brian Jonestown Massacre was opening. It was even before the BJM had released any records. That night Rob listened to the psychedelic sounds of Anton’s band and something clicked. It was the green light and no turning back for Rob and Dom.

For a long time Rob remained behind the recording console as music producer for other psychedelic bands- the Beachwood Sparks, the Tyde, Dead Meadow, the Black Angels, and even the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Sunstorm. It was only two years after establishing the Quarter After, that the band caught the ears of Arthur Lee of Love. The band was asked to open up for Arthur Lee’s first show after being released from prison. In May 2002, the Quarter After soared high at this Los Angeles Knitting Factory gig. They were well received but shortly thereafter unofficially split.

But Rob was pulled back in 2003. The band reformed with a new bassist (Victor Peсalosa), and drummer and opened for Dead Meadow, a band Anton had found for the Committee to Keep Music Evil label. With renewed interest in the Quarter After, Rob and the band resumed work on their debut album that had already been started. The tracks were mostly recorded live with very little overdubs. Much of the time, Anton Newcombe manned the recording console.

The standout tracks from the debut album were “Too Much To Think About,” “Always Returning,” “One Trip Later,” and “So Far To Fall.” The album on a whole has a hypnotic energy, featuring soaring Rickenbacker 12-String, high harmonies and a hint of raga rock influence. Any serious lover of the Byrds, Gene Clark and the Beatles would be satisfied with the album.

After the record was released in 2005, Newcombe asked them to go out on tour with him as opening band for the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The tour went well and the revolutionary spirit was kept alive. The boys were writing new songs and were preparing to record their second album once back in Los Angeles.

The second album is Changes Near and was released in April 2008. A standout track is “Sanctuary,” which has a spiritual undertone- a beautiful song about faith, where fear and doubt are wiped away. “Follow Your Own Way” and the title track also follow this theme of faith and believe in the self.

This is the part of the revolution that Newcombe has been pushing, where he once said “I’m here to destroy this fucked up system… I’ll use our strength. Let’s fucking burn it to the ground.” He was pointing to the whole music industry. Time has now caught up with him as the record companies and labels are no longer in charge. And the Quarter After is poised to be part of this new world.

Also see The Quarter After’s website

Article is reprinted from the October/November 2008 Edition
Perfect Sound Forever Online Music Magazine

2008 19 Jul
The Sun Shines Today
Intro

D	Bm	C	G 	2X

A		A4		2x

D		Bm
Push on through.
C		G
You know it ain't true.
D		Bm
Just keep it up.
C		G	A	A4
Drink from the cup.

D		Bm
No matter what they say,
C		G
The sun shines today.
D		Bm
Keep up the lovely art.
C		G	A	A4
Avoid the fiery dart.

A		A4
Nothing's very solid.
A		A4
It's all a bit spotted.
A		A4
Your treasure chest may disappear.
A		A4
It could be very near.
A		A4

D		Bm
What's the answer?
C		G
Avoid the big cancer.
D		Bm
Do what's fun.
C		G	A	A4
It has all begun.

D		Bm
Money can't guide you.
C		G
Only what is true.
D		Bm
Live by the wisdom.
C		G	A	A4
This isn't dumb.

A		A4
Nothing's very solid.
A		A4
It's all a bit spotted.
A		A4
Your treasure chest may disappear.
A		A4
It could be very near.
A		A4	2x

D		Bm
Push on through.
C		G
You know it ain't true.
D		Bm
Just keep it up.
C		G	A	A4
Drink from the cup.

A		A4	2x

A		A4
Nothing's very solid.
A		A4
It's all a bit spotted.
A		A4
Your treasure chest may disappear.
A		A4
It could be very near.

A		A4
Nothing's very solid.
A		A4
It's all a bit spotted.
A		A4
Your treasure chest may disappear.
A		A4
It could be very near.
A		A4

Outro (Slow)
D		Bm

C		G

A

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2008

The Sun Shines Today

Published under Musicsend this post
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