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
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
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
JIM GUITTARD creates music in a documentary music style from psychedelic folk to lo-fi indie-rock. He's been putting out his brand of do it yourself little demo tapes since his college days that serve as a personal diary. Guittard has spent some time in Hollywood pounding the musical pavement. His album "Busted In Bulgaria" was recorded while he lived overseas in Bulgaria as a teacher. In 2014, Guittard has eight albums to boot that can be purchased at ITUNES.