Jim Guittard’s Place

Turn On Tune In and Rise Up!

Posted in Change, Future by guittard on September 29, 2009

Music and art can change our World for the good. You already know how chaotic it is these days if you are awake: Swine Flu hype, G20 Riots, Vaccinations, Nuclear Standoffs, RFID chips, health care arguments, economy, Iraq War, terrorism, the New World Order, 1st amendment violations, unemployment, and the list can go on and on.

Now if we all rise up together we can push the oppressive things out of the way. I have compiled a Jamendo only playlist of artists I really like because of their honesty and musical quality. Please download at the link below and pass around. We can do this. It isn’t over and as long as we are breathing we can do something.

And here is another idea: If you can play guitar or piano, sing or write, get going and make a song about whatever you are going through. No matter what. Flood the internet with your viewpoint. Let’s not give in to the elite bullies in charge who want to manipulate, con and destroy us with their fear-mongering. These are all distractions.

if you paint or draw do that, too. Flood the internet with your world. We have more numbers behind us than those elite. They hide behind their power and wealth. Come and get going.

Make youtube videos, too and post. Do it!

Here’s where you can play or download the playlist for free:

Turn On, Tune In, and Rise Up Playlist

1. Rancho Relaxo – From The Hip
2. Rancho Relaxo – Quebec
3. The Zombie Drivers – There Is No Law
4. The Zombie Drivers – Shine in the Rain
5. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – A Girl Got A Car Accident
6. The Henry Chinaski’s Ashtray – One-eyed-woman’s dream
7. The Ragas – Blues Raga 2
8. The Ragas – What Ya Say
9. The Dada Weatherman – What Gandhi Said
10. The Dada Weatherman – Flying On A Cloud
11. Timado – True Blue
12. Timado – Turning
13. THE GOLDEN DAWN – Enjoy the Nature
14. The Golden Dawn – Let the Sunshine In
15. I Am Not Lefthanded – Falling
16. I Am Not Lefthanded – Long Goodbyes
17. Jamison Young – Live On A Moon
18. Jamison Young – Cold World
19. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Monkey Boy
20. Blancheneige Bazaar Orchestra – Meshugge
21. Jim Guittard – BJM-Like Song
22. Jim Guittard – The Sun Shines Today
23. Ben’s Imaginary Band – Connectiveness
24. Ben’s Imaginary Band – My Self-Centered World
25. Charline Lucie – Crimes de compagnie
26. Brad Sucks – Overreacting
27. Brad Sucks – Gasoline
28. Waterfalls – The Dandy Bell
29. Waterfalls – Get Tight And Loose
30. alterlabel -Optimystic
31. Blood Ruby – Midsummer Fires
32. Blood Ruby – Babel Babel
33. Illusion of Art – Machines
34. Illusion of Art – La Plano
35. The Heavens – Echo Serena
36. The Heavens – This Beautiful Machine
37. The Wagner Logic – Conflicting Sound
38. The Wagner Logic – So Hard
39. Glass Waves – Hey Nuclear
40. Glass Waves – Virginia Tech
41. FATHER JOHNSON – Treat Ya Kind
42. FATHER JOHNSON – Transcending
43. ARTSomerville – Are You Sleeping?
44. ARTSomerville – I know, I know
45. Chapter 9 – In the Universe
46. Chapter 9 – Small Apocalypse Song
47. The Verandas – Rescue Me
48. The Verandas – Anemone
49. Charlie Gibson – Eu Só Posso Cantar
50. Charlie Gibson – Porto ou Faxinal

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The Obama Win

Posted in Change, Society by guittard on November 5, 2008

It’s been a long time comin’. I mean gosh, a black President. This is fantastic. President Lincoln must be smiling. And we fought a war over the issue of the black man.

From a young age, I was fascinated with learning about the black man’s struggle for equality and justice. One of my favorite movies growing up was A Woman Called Moses. This is the film about Harriet Tubman and leading the slaves to freedom. It was inspirational to me.

Many people are enslaved today by greed, fear, or doubt. Probably this is why many of the problems in America occured. I say resist, greed, fear, and doubt. This is a great opportunity for America to redeem herself from the shameful past eight years.

Change Is Now 

Change Is Now (Hillman/McGuinn)
Change is now, change is now
Things that seemed to be solid are not
All is now, all is now
The time that we have to live

Gather all that we can
Keep in harmony with love’s sweet plan

Truth is real, truth is real
That which is not real does not exist
In and out roundabout
Dance to the day when fear it is gone

Gather all that we can
Keep in harmony with love’s sweet plan

Change is now, change is now
Things that seemed to be solid are not
In and out roundabout
Dance to the day when fear it is gone
Fear it is gone
Fear it is gone

The Byrds “Notorious Byrd Brothers”
Columbia Records 1968

The Speedy Deletion of Jim Guittard

Posted in Change, Music, Society by guittard on October 23, 2008
The Speedy Deletion of Jim Guittard Screenshot

The Speedy Deletion of Jim Guittard Screenshot

I just found that there is a website where all the Speedy Deletion pages from Wikipedia are uploaded there. It’s a site called: http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com

My page was in this category.  The specific reason for my removal from existence is because user Toddst1 opined that the article claimed nothing “important or significant.”  I would, of course, tend to disagree and I am sure that many others would, too.  I am not claiming to contribute to society in a big huge way but at the very least worth mentioning.  Sometimes I need to pat myself on the back for sticking to my guns.  And believe me, this is an accurate summation of my creative pursuit.  I’m putting in my dues. 

I have done many things since April 2008 date of being banished from Wikipedia.  I have released 3 albums for free on Jamendo.

  • California Daze – 2002
  • The Notorious G.I.D.D. – 2005
  • Busted In Bulgaria – 2008

In addition, I released the debut album of the Ragas on Jamendo.  (The duo I was in in Los Angeles with Henry McGuinn.) 

In early October, I appeared on the Tangra Mega Rock Radio station for a live interview over my happenings here in Sofia, Bulgaria.  I am still here digging my way around, trying to rise up from the underground.  But I don’t know why some people get deleted on Wikipedia and some don’t. 

Here is the explanation why Toddst1 deleted the article at Wikipedia:

Jim Guittard (deleted 05 Apr 2008 at 00:09)
Jim Guittard has been deleted from Wikipedia. An archived version is shown below. Other versions of this page may be available.
Toddst1 deleted Jim Guittard because A7 (group): Group/band/club/company/etc; doesn’t indicate importance/significance.
This page was created 4 April 2008 and deleted 5 April 2008 (0 days).[show]

The page was edited most often during April 2008. (info). 

This page was deleted in a speedy deletion. The reason given was It is an article about a band, singer, musician, or musical ensemble that does not indicate the importance or significance of the subject. (CSD A7).
 The speedy deletion was contested.

Jim Guittard is an American singer-songwriter who has played in the Southern California duo the Ragas with the son of Roger McGuinn, the founder of the Byrds. The music of the Ragas is in the raga rock or psychedelic rock styles patterned after the Byrds.

In July 2005, Guittard told the Dallas Morning News that he hoped to head to Eastern Europe or Central Asia for the Peace Corps in the fall.

Jim followed his heart and he is currently a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. In 2007, there was a country-wide Bulgarian Teacher Strike. He was written up in the Sofia Echo, the leading English language newspaper in Bulgaria for a song he composed on this issue.

He continues to write music while being overseas.

References
Teachers Tussle In Bulgaria. Petar Kostadinov. The Sofia Echo. September 24, 2007.
Introducing the Ragas. Jim Guittard. Alt.Music.Byrds. May 31, 2007.
As Generation X begins to hit 40, it’s finding its place in the world. Katherine Yung. The Dallas Morning News. July 8, 2005.

External Links
Jim Guittard on Myspace
The Ragas on Myspace
Psychedelic Central Online Magazine
Music Archive

Check out the link below.  This is my entry on the deletionpedia site.  Make a search for your favorite bands.  They’ve probably been deleted too.  Post your results as a comment to me.  I’m curious how many honest people have been deleted.

Even Roger McGuinn has had his run in with Wikipedia over pictures he has tried posting. 

Wikipedia deleted the photo I put on my page as a blatant copyright violation. Hey I own it and their removal of it is vandalism! 

and

Trying to put a photo on my Wikipedia page is extremely difficult! I put it up they delete it and say “You aren’t Roger McGuinn himself?”

Look here: 

 

Retrieved from http://deletionpedia.dbatley.com/w/index.php?title=Jim_Guittard_%28deleted_05_Apr_2008_at_00:09%29

Creative Passionate Types

Posted in Change, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic, Society by guittard on May 22, 2008

The creative pursuit is one of the most important things one can do. Sometimes the creative types are a bit fiery and extreme in their thinking. But, isn’t this good though? Creative types bring the passion into society and really are the catalyst to make things happen.

More and more people in America are waking up to what’s going on. Right now, an underground scene is emerging. We are in the midst of the “3rd Wave of Psychedelic” music. The first wave was with the Beatles, the Byrds, the Jefferson Airplane, Love, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the 13th Floor Elevators, Pink Floyd and many others. The second wave had two offshoots: the 1980’s “Paisley Underground” scene in Los Angeles with such bands as the Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, the Three O’clock, Green On Red, the Secret Syde, and Rain Parade. The British offshoot included the post “new wave” bands such as XTC, the Soft Boys, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Shamen, and Doctor and the Medics.1

The “3rd Wave” was born in 2000. The wave is spreading out, now. It consists of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde, Beachwood Sparks, the Quarter After, the Warlocks, the Lovetones, the Telescopes, Spindrift, the High Dials, Floorian, the Black Angels, Silver Apples. (My music fits in this wave. I co-write a song with Dominic Campanella from the Quarter After back in 2001.)

Beach by Jim Guittard

“Beach”

I look up into the sky
See the clouds and colours all around.
I hear the waves go in and out
See the birds and stars tonight.

Chorus

Going with the rising tide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.
Moments pass as I decide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.

I tell myself the reason why.
Waters flow and there’s no turning back.
Reaching for the horizon line,
Where it ends has only just begun.

Chorus

Going with the rising tide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.
Moments pass as I decide.
Shouldn’t wait till morning time.

Drifting through my open mind,
Ray of light about to shine.

Music by Jim Guittard 2001
Words by Jim Guittard and Dominic Campanella of the Quarter After

The Quarter After

We shall see how things progress from here. The world needs freethinkers and people with passion to guide the way. No need to dumb things down anymore. As the New Hampshire motto says, “Live Free or Die.”  America really is at a crossroads.  It is time for decisions.


up1Wikipedia contributors. Psychedelic music. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 21 2008, at 23:57. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_music. Accessed May 22, 2004.

Time Between

Posted in Change, Family, Music, Risk and the Unknown, Society by guittard on May 9, 2008

From my journal on March 21, 2004 Dallas, Texas:

I am out on the balcony of my grandparents 2-story home smoking an Indian Bidis cigarette in the dark sneaking around like I am a child. I am 30 years old with nothing concrete to show.

As I sit and breathe in and out, I feel that familiar sinking, pushing down feeling on me. The fear and anxiety grips me along with the regret of much of my life. The feeling is that I should have spoken up for myself and not pretended that all was fine.

I’ve been in my current living situation for about seven months. I have never wanted to be like everybody else, to live an insignificant life of mediocrity. I just never knew my thing or felt confident enough to express it.

I think back on my college days in Colorado and the years I wasted going through the motions. I remember watching on late night cable “The Lost Weekend” where the actor locks himself up in his apartment to try to shake the booze cravings and to be a writer. Shame and fear or whatever else always kept him down. For me it was the fear of the unknown that got me caught up or the fear of breaking from tradition or the mold.

Fastforward to today 2008.

I guess, enough is enough, right?

Well, I have been in Bulgaria for the past two years with the Peace Corps teaching English at a high school. Not really teaching, mostly supervising. Ha, ha, ha….

Jim - Sofia, Bulgaria

I told you I wanted to do things different. I have been writing songs and posting about my experiences in a foreign culture. It is pretty foreign. I have even written some songs in the Bulgarian language.

Gangster by Jim Guittard

Stachkata by Jim Guittard

Blog title comes from Chris Hillman’s song on The Byrds 1967 Album “Younger Than Yesterday”

Influencing Society Through Music

Posted in Change, Good Music, Music, Society by guittard on May 7, 2008

Today’s mainstream music is not very healthy for the average person’s psyche. It leaves most people going in circles and never resolving anything, only hoping to win the lotto of material wealth and fame.

Music in the past had worthwhile messages and often empowered the listeners to strive for something good and meaningful. Nowadays, the listeners are often led on selfish head trips that do not empower at all but rather cripple.

Much of the music of the past was geared to correct society’s problems. Now, music is rather limited in its focus. The main focus is on appearance, material gain and other rather selfish themes. Take a look at MTV for evidence.

Plato

In Plato’s, The Republic, the role of music was discussed for the ideal state. In the ideal state, harmonies which expressed excessive sorrow and relaxation were to be banished completely. In musical terms, Plato only allowed for two modes in songs and melodies: Dorian and Phrygian1 Probably, Spinal Tap’s sad piece, “Lick My Love Pump”, would have been banned.

The modern Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said in his Case of Wagner in 1888: “Only sick music makes money today.” I believe this quotation has much relevance to most of today’s mainstream music.

Here is the Top Ten hits from Top 40 Charts for May 2, 2008 for sales and airplays.

1. Lil Wayne – Lollipop
2. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
3. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown – No Air
4. Usher & Young Jeezy – Love in This Club
5. Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
6. Madonna & Justin Timberlake – 4 minutes
7. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
8. Ray J & Jung Berg – Sexy Can I
9. Chris Brown – With You
10. Lupe Fiasco – Superstar

Let us examine some of the lyrics.

Partial lyrics Chris Brown – With You

‘Cause if I got you
I don’t need money
I don’t need cars
Girl you’re my heart

Mr. Brown’s implied message is good. He implies that material things are less important than people. I give him a thumbs up for good positive message.

Usher & Young Jeezy – Love In This Club

Might as well give me a kiss, if we keep touching like this
I know you’re scared, baby, they don’t know what we’re doing.
Let’s both get undressed right here, keep it up and, girl, I swear.
I’m gonna give it to you non-stop.
And I don’t care, who’s watching.

I believe this is bad message that promotes impulse and lack of commitment. Thumbs down.

Mariah Carey – Touch My Body

Touch my body
Put me on the floor
Wrestle me around
Play with me some more
Touch my body
Throw me on the bed
I just wanna make you feel
Like you never did.
Touch my body
Let me wrap my thighs
All around your waist
Just a little taste
Touch my body
Know you love my curves
Come on and give me what I deserve
And touch my body….

Trash lyrics. Maybe Mariah is tired of the Paparazzi filming her and claiming they had relationship with her. Thumbs down for negative message. (oh boy).

Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

Closed off from love
I didn’t need the pain
Once or twice was enough
And it was all in vain
Time starts to pass
Before you know it you’re frozen um ooh ooh ooh yeah

But something happened
For the very first time with you
My heart melts into the ground
Found something true
And everyone’s looking round
Thinking I’m going crazy

But I don’t care what they say
I’m in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don’t know the truth
My heart’s crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I

Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
I keep bleeding
I keep, keep bleeding love
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
You cut me open

Trying hard not to hear
But they talk so loud
Their piercing sounds fill my ears
Try to fill me with doubt
Yet I know that the goal
Is to keep me from falling

But nothing’s greater
Than the rush that comes with your embrace
And in this world of loneliness
I see your face
Yet everyone around me
Thinks that I’m going crazy, maybe, maybe….

I’ll give credit to Ms. Lewis for staying committed and fighting the good fight through the problems. This song is obviously about love. Thumbs up for positive message.

The music of the 1960s brought about change in a turbulent decade. The time was about questioning authority. George Harrison’s song “Think for Yourself” is a good example of the philosophy of the 1960s. Now people do not question authority much. We have become too satisfied with life. We have too much idle time and so we become obsessed with determining who has “The Sweetest Ass in the World”. If you do not know this song, look up Alex C. on google or youtube. These are the type songs that are not only popular but sell money today. I think Nietzsche would be having a fit!

David

In the past, music had the power to literally break down walls. In Biblical times the town of Jericho was liberated by music and sound. The walls surrounding Jericho came down from the loud blasts of trumpets and the shouting of priests. 2 The music set the people free. The music of today often keeps us in bondage to depression or to bad situation we are going through.

Another Biblical musical reference is about the Shepherd David. David was requested to calm down the anxiety-ridden king of Israel. In the King’s palace, David played his soothing harp. This is an example how music can be used to benefit mental health.3

Most of today’s music is aggressive but it makes sense with the War on Terrorism and Iraq both raging. There are so many bad vibes floating around. The workplace is also very volatile and up and down with lay-offs, wage freezes, and rumors of recession. Maybe we are all fed up with what is going on or we should be. We are in a fearful and uncertain time. It is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I believe that most people should be a little angry and fed up. If the person is not, then the person is probably numbed by anti-depressants or other pills. (Been there, done that). Living in the comfort zone of America, people have become too apathetic to break away from American Idol or the latest fad or trend.

In the 1960s, there were riots, protests, demonstrations, assassinations, the most turbulent of decades. Today is probably just as turbulent or more but where is the cry for change from the mainstream?

There are a few but it is limited. System of a Down has been one of the more outspoken bands about the war in Iraq.

B.Y.O.B.

Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.

In 1969, at Woodstock, Country Joe sang his famous protest song of the Vietnam War. Here is the first part of the lyrics.

Country Joe

I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die

Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die….

The band, Rage Against the Machine has been outspoken on such issues as censorship and artistic freedom.

This is a very big issue in the music industry these days. Stay tuned…

To end on a positive note, here is a list of artists that have thoughtful and forward thinking messages and have meant a lot to me. You cannot go wrong here!!

1. Animals, The
2. Arlo Guthrie
3. Association, The
4. Band, The
5. Beach Boys, The
6. Beachwood Sparks
7. Beatles, The
8. Beck
9. Black Angels, The
10. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
11. Bob Dylan
12. Bob Gibson
13. Brian Jonestown Massacre, The
14. Bruce Springsteen
15. Buffalo Springfield
16. Byrds, The
17. Canned Heat
18. Carl Perkins
19. Carter Family, The
20. Chi-lites, The
21. Chris Stills
22. Chuck Berry
23. Coasters, The
24. Counting Crows, The
25. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
26. Cure, The
27. Dandy Warhols, The
28. David Bowie
29. Deep Purple
30. Depeche Mode
31. Donovan
32. Doors, The
33. Edie Brickell
34. Elvis Presley
35. Fairpoint Convention
36. Flat People
37. Flying Burrito Brothers, The
38. Further
39. Gene Clark
40. George Harrison
41. Go-Kart Mozart
42. Gram Parsons
43. Grateful Dead, The
44. Hank Williams
45. INXS
46. Janis Joplin
47. Jay Farrar
48. Jefferson Airplane
49. Jesus and the Mary Chain
50. Jimi Hendrix
51. John Lennon
52. Johnny Cash
53. Kinks, The
54. Kula Shaker
55. Led Zeppellin
56. Left Banke
57. Lenny Kravitz
58. Little Richard
59. Lou Reed
60. Louvin Brothers, The
61. Love
62. Lovin’ Spoonful, The
63. Merle Haggard
64. Monkees, The
65. My Bloody Valentine
66. Mystic Chords of Memory
67. Neil Young
68. N.W.A.
69. Oasis
70. Paul McCartney
71. Pink Floyd
72. Poco
73. Police, The
74. Quarter After, the
75. Radiohead
76. Rage Against the Machine
77. Red Hot Chili Peppers
78. Richie Furay
79. Ride
80. Roger McGuinn
81. Rolling Stones, The
82. Ryan Adams
83. Sheryl Crow
84. Sly and the Family Stone
85. Simon and Garfunkle
86. Son Volt
87. Spacemen 3
88. Stephen Stills
89. Strawberry Alarm Clock
90. System of A Down
91. Thrills, The
92. Tom Petty
93. Troggs, The
94. Tyde, The
95. U2
96. Uncle Tupelo
97. Van Halen
98. Van Morrison
99. Velvet Underground, The
100. Violent Femmes, The
101. Warlocks, the
102. Who, The
103. Willie Nelson
104. Wiskey Biscuit
105. Wilco
106. Wings
107. Zombies, The
108. ZZ Top


up1Plato. Republic. Trans. Benjamin Jowett.

up2 Josh. 6:20

up3 1 Sam. 16:23

The BJM Philosophy: Not Giving Up

Posted in Change, Family, Music, Neo-psychedelia, Psychedelic, Society by guittard on March 16, 2007

I got into the BJM in late 1999. It was well before Dig but after the Viper Room and other events made “famous” in the movie. Put aside all the fistfights, verbal attacks or whatever, the music of the Brian Jonestown Massacre stands the test of time. Forget all the hype of Anton Newcombe being some crazy guy. Who cares? It’s about music right?

Starting in late 1999, I was lucky enough to see the band in person while living in Los Angeles. Anton was a cool dude to me. I never saw any of the abuse the movie is so based upon. In fact, he’s quite intelligent and courteous.

But the mark left with me from experiencing the BJM firsthand is tremendous. If I could sum up what I have gotten out of it. For me it left me with the feeling that I can have numerous chances to do “my thing.”

It’s about going for it no matter what, not giving up. Striving through all the hype. One does not have to be near famous to have hype about them. It seems that most families have hype. They have opinions on how one’s career should be or when they should marry, etc.

With the BJM, it’s about showing the press or mainstream or others that they are wrong with their close-minded routine thinking. It is a wake up call to society to think more positively and courageously with vision. A Beatles’ song comes to mind: “Think For Yourself.” Words are “Do what you want to do and go where you’re going to. Think for yourself ‘Cause I won’t be there with you.” It’s about standing on you own feet. Making your own history.

It is funny how when I read news stories about this famous person or that. The articles always bring up the past. Writers say nothing new. They write about what they’ve been told and don’t give people the chance to better themselves. Writers go along with the status quo, maybe for what is entertaining or controversial. I think the BJM evokes courage.

In America, we talk about free speech and everything but I think, in general, it is slanted toward the controversial, trashy, and rubbish category. Why do Americans like to read about controversy? I don’t but maybe most people do. I’m 33. Not that old. I’m among the Generation X, which have been written about to be cynical or the children of divorce families. I am from a divorced family and some of my family’s past is chaotic with fistfights and verbal attacks.

Here’s an excerpt from a news article I was mentioned in concerning “Generation X” finding their place in the world.1

Jim Guittard of Dallas, who will be 32 in October, lives with his grandparents, shelves books part-time at a branch of the Dallas Public Library and hopes to head to Eastern Europe or Central Asia for the Peace Corps this fall.

Armed with a degree in American history from Colorado’s Western State College, Guittard started out working as an automobile-insurance-claims adjuster but grew tired of the constant bickering over money.

To pursue his passion for playing the guitar, he moved to Hollywood, Calif., where he found gigs playing in clubs. But the money wasn’t enough to provide a steady living. To survive, he worked a series of low-paying jobs at a talent agency, a rental-car office and an apartment-locator firm.

The experiences left him disillusioned about working in corporate America, and he moved back to Dallas a little more than two years ago.

“I don’t want to settle,” he says of his decision to seek happiness rather than money. “Do what your heart says.”

That’s why I take comfort in the BJM. The BJM, I think, looks past the obvious. The obvious is, yes, you may have a disfunctional past but you can be somebody. It’s about not labelling others. Labels can be bad.

So what else can I say? Well, if you’ve read this far then, thank you. The BJM is cool.

Back in 2001, I recorded an instrumental in tribute to the BJM.

BJM-Like Song by Jim Guittard


up1Katherine Yung, “As Generation X begins to hit 40, it’s finding its place in the world,” The Dallas Morning News, 8 July 2005.

Guittard Destiny and Shadows

Posted in Change, Family, Risk and the Unknown by guittard on March 5, 2007

I’ve figured everything out!  I think destinies are a bit demanding and take so much thought.  But maybe if things were spelled out more.  Here are the obvious choices for the rest of my life.   

1. I could move to California and go sell chocolates for a little company called Guittard Chocolate Company. However, I despised sales when I worked for a car rental company.  My last name may get me into this company.  I’ll show up at the front door and say, “I’m here for my job.  Give it!” 

Currently, my uncle is feverishly working on linking the Texas Guittards to the California ones by way of DNA testing.  As soon as the results come in with a positive match, I’ll fly to California and make my demands.  This will work I know it. 🙂

2. I can be a song and dance man.  My Guittard last name must have some meaning.  Maybe it was back in France that my ancestors took up the guitar because they got sick of hauling around the Hurdy Gurdy or the French Horn.

3. I could go to Waco, Texas and hang out on Guittard Avenue on the campus of Baylor University.  I could start yelling and hold up a sign about how my Great Grandfather was a History Professor at the University for fifty years. 

4. Or I can do what I do and make my own destiny without reference to the shadows of the past. 

I think that I will choose number four and I’ll make my own shadow.

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The Need For a Music Revolution

Posted in Change, Good Music, Music, Psychedelic, Rock and Roll History by guittard on November 24, 2006

REVOLUTION NOW:

A BOMP EDITORIAL!

by Greg Shaw

Those of you who remember the old Bomp Magazine (1970-1979)  know that my editorials were one of the staple features. The topic was usually “the State of Rock and Roll.” In the early to mid 1970s, when music had never been so oppressively controlled by corporate powers, and choice so limited, it seemed insane to believe that we, as fans, could ever have a meaningful voice in what we were allowed to hear, or how it was presented. But we had to try, because we loved rock & roll and didn’t want to let those bastards kill it.

Strangely enough, all the things dreamt of in those editorials came to pass, and sooner than anyone expected. Local bands re-emerged. The great raw sounds of the ’50s and ’60s were reissued (either by major labels under fan supervision, or on fan-made compilations), and had a galvanizing influence on a new generation of bands. Punk Rock was born in the spirit of the ’60s garage explosion, blowing open the doors that the industry had held fast against any fresh breath of rebellion. Vast networks of indie labels, fanzines, radio shows, record distributors and more, scarcely imaginable in 1975, were fully in place two or three years later.

 

Bomp’s editorials didn’t cause these things to happen, of course; rather, they voiced the need for them, encouraged people to believe in and work for change, and pointed out areas in which progress seemed possible. There was intense resistance from the established order to the kinds of changes we wanted, but amazingly enough, a relative handful of people who shared a common vision were able to make a huge difference simply by doing the right thing at the right time.

I stopped writing editorials 20 years ago, and don’t intend to make a practice of it again. My views are my own, and I recognize that I am of no mind to formulate any grand theories of pop or anything else. Yet I can’t help being struck lately by the similarities between 1975 and today.

Item: In both cases the record industry had turned its back on new talent and concentrated on a handful of boring superstars they could count on to sell a huge volume of records.

Item: In both times, local music either didn’t exist at all, had no focus, or lacked any kind of scene to take root in.

Item: Then as now, audiences had been turned into passive consumers of prefab culture, with no interest in creating anything of their own

All this could be coincidence. Or it could be a clue that the conditions for a revolution are once again ripe.

There is a misconception about revolution, namely that they are supposed to accomplish somethng lasting. This is simply not true. What a revolution does is replace an existing order with a new one, which left to itself, will soon become as rigid as the one it replaced. Revolution is a process, and its main payoff is to add value to the lives of those who participate in it, and improve conditions in general for awhile. When it stops moving, it dies.

The point of a music revolution is not to replace today’s pop stars with a new slate; it is to kick out the jams! Riot in the streets! Do it now! etc. It’s all about direct engagement, and the result of all that activity should be a better time for all, a party that will keep everyone coming back to do it some more. And not only that–“parties” are not radical in themselves. The sense of being more fully alive, empowered, having an impact on your world and your culture, these are the chief rewards. This is what rock & roll at its best can provide–leading to the idea that perhaps rock & roll itself should be seen not as a genre, not as a mere noun or even a verb, but also as a process.

Punk rock was a fantastic thing for those who took part in it, but listening to the Sex Pistols today is not a “punk rock” experience: it is an “oldies” experience. Same for the revolutions of the ’50s and ’60s. The “My Generation” of The Who will be on Social Security soon! The only meaningful revolution is the one that is taking place right now, if at all. There is no other time but now that we can live in, existentially speaking, and we either seize or or we don’t. We can use history to see what other revolutions have looked and sounded like, but we can’t truly know what it is until it’s happening all around us, and we have a personal role to play.

It may be folly to believe you can alter the course of the world, which is inevitably becoming more centralized, more controlled by large money interests, and less free–in terms of mass pop culture, at any rate. Out on the fringes, the Internet is enabling more and more variety, which is great, as long as you’re satisfied with a very small cult following and no money. This you are free to have. But the dream of rock & roll, from Elvis to the Beatles to Nirvana, has been the dream of doing something cool and changing the lives of millions with it. This is a dream each new generation of musicians embraces, for better or worse. And no matter how great the odds seem to be against it, I firmly believe it can happen any time people decide they’ve had enough crap.

Now, there are a couple of things necessary for a revolution. One is that the people be unbearably oppressed. Oppressed we surely are, with only three major record companies now controlling all channels of distribution (even indie records are distributed by a branch of EMI) and desiring nothing more than for us to shut up and buy more Britney Spears and Eminem. But “unbearably”? There are so many other obsessions these days; a kid with a new Nokia cell phone doesn’t have a clue he’s missing the joys of being part of a rock & roll scene. The masses will not rise in the name of something they can’t even imagine.

The other ingredient lacking is some charismatic band to carry the revolutionary banner. There’s been no shortage of overnight sensations in music recently, of course. But whatever their success, acts like Oasis, Radiohead, Beck, or (you name it) have not inspired their generation to “seize the means of production” or whatever it is proletariats are supposed to do. Any such band, I suspect, will need to be a whole lot more subversive than anything we’ve seen before. And probably something incapable of being packaged and sold for a profit!

(In many ways, the Grateful Dead met most of these criteria: underground till the end, they did create a substantial alternative culture around them. Unfortunately it was not a particularly viable one, and not one that many of us would care to join. But it is a valid example of what I’m talking about, I must admit.) Then there are “paint-by numbers” bands, starting possibly with Bomp alumni the Flamin’ Groovies, who think that by retracing the steps of past heroes, they can launch some new Heroic Age. Much as I have enjoyed some of these bands, their premise has clearly been proven wrong. (If we can’t learn from our own history, we may be condemned to endlessly reissue it…)

And yeah, there’s rap… but among other problems, rap comes out of a completely different cultural vein. I’m talking about a tradition called “rock and roll” that has been invented and re-invented continuously since the early ’50s, going always back to its roots and coming up with something new and more powerful. In my opinion, rap is the belated black response to punk, parallel to it in some ways, and like punk, long past its most creative days. Public Enemy and their ilk were subversive, in their way, in their time. But that revolution died when its heroes grabbed the gold chains rather than holding out for real change. Sure, some cool stuff has gone on in the name of rap, not to mention reggae, techno, the rave scene, and so on, empowering individuals in the context of music culture. Movements have arisen, and changed lives in way I can’t but admire. But all this is a far cry from what rock and roll has done in the past, and from what I expect it to do for me, being who I am. So I address myself to what I believe can be done in the name of Rock and Roll.

An artist who will command the world’s imagination and set it on a new musical course is what’s needed to set off a wide-scale revolution. In their wake, a whole wave of superior bands would be able to follow. But such an artist may or may not appear, like it or not.

Revolution, however, does not need to be as massive as all that. It is a process that begins at the grass-roots level, and needn’t necessarily rise above it. Horizontal growth may actually be what’s called for… (I’ve always maintained that if punk rock had happened on labels like Rough Trade instead of EMI and Warner Brothers, it would not have burned out so soon.) The point of revolution, in this sense, is to be a part of it. That’s where the pleasure comes from–the involvement, the participation in creating something. And this is a revolution we can have–if we want it badly enough to make it happen.

The conditions for it are better now than they have been in quite awhile. Healthy local music scenes are emerging all over, with bands whose vision embraces folk and blues, ’60s pop and ’70s punk, all the elements of the tradition they yearn to be a part of, with intelligence and historical savvy. I won’t mention any bands, but there are some great ones out there all of a sudden (Parenthetically: of course there are always plenty of cool local bands; most of them, however, have nothing to do with any of this, not to knock them. It may sound vague, but I know the kind of band I mean when I see it, and so will you.) I’ve talked with many in the past year or two and the same ideas keep comig up: there’s something happening here, we’re all a part of it, we don’t know what it is, there’s no marketing slogan, no ad campaign, but it’s real and we can feel it. And that’s the way it ought to be. Right now, there’s no excuse for anyone who loves music not to get out and support the good bands, who are either in your town or coming through soon. Don’t wait to read about it in Rolling Stone; put your ear to the ground.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! The revolution begins with you ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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