Jim Guittard’s Place

WWJGD

Posted in Family by guittard on April 11, 2009

Transitions are hard especially at this day in age of “crisis”. There is so much noise to sift through. Alot of screamers, talking heads, know-it-alls with advice.

So the title of the post is in reference to “What Would Jim Guittard Do?” I actually saw these letters on two separate occasions on car license plates. The original idea was WWJD? – What would Jesus do?

I am working now but want to get into something more significant. For a few weeks, I have been going down to Waco. Waco? Yeah, been trying to get in line with my family roots. There’s a street down there named after my great grandfather.

guittard-avenue

Honestly, this family history is eating at me. Great grandfather was history professor and his son my grandfather was chief justice of court in Dallas for a long time and then there is me. It feels like a lot to live up to, at least to me but I chose the more random rambling sorta life of music and art and things. I am back in Texas and wanted to find out about the original Guittard in Texas and why he came here.

He came to east Texas from Ohio at age 19 and basically made it by himself. He attended Baylor University and eventually was head of History Department there for almost 50 years. I studied history in college. However, I never wanted to be a teacher. I recently taught English. Now I’m in transition and am wondering WWJGD. Not what my family would do. So I may go spend some time just where it all began in Waco.

Anybody have any suggestions:

Look here for related post:

Guittard Destiny And Shadows

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The Guittard Brothers – 1980

Posted in Family by guittard on February 24, 2009

This is an oldie. Do you remember the Muppets drum set in the late 1970’s? Well, my dad caught my brother Bob, and I on film. It was probably 1979 or 1980 when the Baylor Bears went to the Cotton Bowl. So we were hyped up with the Bears. Notice my Baylor Football Jersey. My brother was probably two at the most and I was seven at the most. And listen to the song we are playing along with: the Aggie War hymn. Pretty funny.
My brother’s at: Flat People

Wake Up Now Americans!!!

Posted in Family, Life, Society by guittard on February 20, 2009

A lot of stuff is going on right now that is more than mind-boggling.  There are a lot of folks out there that have been negligent, ignorant, selfish and greedy.  This I believe is why all this bailout, stimulus package has come about.

Do you think that throwing money at these people will help?  No!  Because it is an internal problem of the mind.  It is bad habits and total disregard for doing the right thing.  Yeah, in the old days people worked hard to get somethere.  There are a lot of Americans still today that do work hard to get somewhere. 

My Great Great Grandfather immigrated from France in 1846 to Ohio.  He didn’t know English.  He learned it and struggled his way to become a country doctor in New Bedford, Ohio.  He struggled through hard winters and cared after people with pneumonia and other diseases of the day.  There were no cars and he went around by horseback making calls on patients and would be gone from home days at a time.  THIS IS AMERICA!

Many people have the “lottery” mentality wishing for everything under the sun to come there way without any lifting of fingers.  It is sickening.  I believe America will fight the good fight.  There is something higher at play, here.  Will we exist as a nation of hard workers or a nation of “lottery” lovers.  The time is now to wake up and not settle for the mediocre, “I can’t” mentality.  Get up, stand up, rise up!  For God, For Country, For Honor!

Whose in charge here?  We have forgotten what the country was made of.  Overseas we get trashed for how America is now.  They expect us to lead!  How can we lead if we can’t even see through the confusion and chaos?  I lived overseas for two and a half years and I was confronted on few occasions about American Politics.  Let’s put it aside and go back to our roots.  It’s burning within each of us.  And by the way, Mr. Attorney General, Americans are not cowards.  Shame on you!  They stand for what is right.

Dr. Francis Joseph Guittard

dr-francis-joseph-guittard

Jingle Jangle Morning

Posted in Family, Life by guittard on May 24, 2008

Jingle Jangle Morning

Written by

Jim Guittard

Copyright © 2007 by Jim Guittard
Registered, WGAe #155425

“JINGLE JANGLE MORNING”

FRANK IS A SLIM RED-HAIRED 26 YEAR OLD. HE TRIES TO PLEASE EVERYONE TO AVOID FREAKOUTS AND CHAOS BUT IN THE LONG RUN HE HURTS HIMSELF. HE IS FROM A DIVORCE FAMILY. THEY FOR THE MOST PART FROWN ON PURSUING THE ARTS.

SEAN IS A HEFTY LONG-HAIRED BLONDE 25 YEARS OLD WHO COMES FROM THE MIDWEST FROM A BLUE-COLLAR FAMILY. HE LEFT THE FACTORY TO COME TO HOLLYWOOD TO PURSUE MUSIC.

INT. LAX AIRPORT LATE AFTERNOON – CROWDS OF PEOPLE HUSTLING ABOUT BUMPING INTO FRANK

Frank comes through the gate to LAX airport and then wanders back and forth looking for the way out to the outside. After finally going outside, he sees a blue sign that reads “Super Shuttle.” He sits at the bench and waits not really talking to anybody. He looks over his Los Angeles guidebook. The shuttle shows up as Frank waves it over.

Inside the blue van Frank lets out a sigh of relief.

FRANK
I’m going to the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel….. How far is Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
It’s about 45 minutes.

FRANK
Thanks. I’ve never been here. I’m from Texas.

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You don’t say! You visiting?

FRANK
No, I’m moving here but looking for a place to live. How’s Hollywood?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
Well, it’s not what it used to be.

FRANK
Oh?

SHUTTLE DRIVER
You’ll see. Here’s your hotel coming up. Good luck.

The Super Shuttle stops in front of the hotel and Frank gets out and gets his backpack and small bag and walks inside the hotel.

INT. SMALL HOTEL LOBBY WHICH IS ALL HOLLYWOODIZED WITH PICTURES OF CLARK GABLE, BETTY DAVIS AND MARLENE DIETRICH ON THE WALLS. — EVENING

The Asian hotel clerk is busy on the phone but Frank presents his credit card and after the card is swiped Frank receives his room key which is on the first floor just down the hall to the left. Frank nods to the lady and walks to his room.

In the room, Frank goes straight for the bed because he is tired. He turns on the T.V. and the first thing that comes on is the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. He watches and falls asleep.

EXT. OF HOTEL AND HOLLYWOOD TRAFFIC — MORNING

Frank walks along Franklin Blvd and then down Highland and to a Burger King (something familiar)

INT. BURGER KING RESTAURANT — MORNING

Frank orders sausage biscuit from Hispanic girl and then takes a table in the corner away from everybody. As he sits he listens and watches the people inside the restaurant and through the window on the street.

EXT. IN FRONT OF RESTAURANT — MOMENTS LATER

Frank is stopped by a man on the street.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Hey, you wanna buy a T-shirt? Or a video? Or a bumper sticker?

FRANK
I don’t know. I’ve seen you around before.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Well, I’m Dennis Woodruff. Yessiree! I’ve been trying to get into show business for 25 years.

FRANK
That’s cool. I just got here. I’ll be going to a music school. Got to follow my heart.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
Yeah. It’s tough here. I’ve lived in my car and trailer at times but I keep going.

FRANK
Well, I gotta go.

DENNIS WOODRUFF
You don’t want a T-Shirt?

FRANK
Naw. I gotta go.

Frank walks around Hollywood looking at his small handwritten map. He finds the Musicians Academy which is a 5 to 6 story red building off of Hollywood boulevard next to a Scientology Center where people stand wanting to give stress tests.

He does not go in the school but pauses in front of it. There are several rocker looking types with guitars hanging out in front smoking cigarettes. Now that he knows where the school is, he can look for an apartment nearby.

He walks around for hours ringing apartment intercoms up and only hearing voice mail. He writes down the numbers on a notepad. He leaves a message on each and it begins to sound like a rehearsed mantra.

FRANK
Yes this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment. You can reach me at 555-348-6603, room 103, the Celebrity hotel.

After at least 12 other places Frank walks back to the hotel to make a few calls and to rest.

INT. HOTEL ROOM — DAY

Frank lies on the bed and starts making some phone calls to apartment managers.

FRANK
(On the phone)
Hi this is Frank. I’m looking for a one bedroom apartment…..

No live person again. After 5 messages he is feeling hungry and so he walks out into the lobby as an Indian couple comes in the door. Frank goes back to Hollywood Boulevard for food. As he walks he notices what he calls Hollywood Freaks with mohawks, tattoos and piercings.

FRANK
(Mutters to himself)
Boy, this isn’t like home.

He then notices the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He notices the Elvis Presley star and stops to take a picture when a rather greasy looking man approaches him.

GREASY MAN
Hey, dude, you want to get a beer?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m good. Just hangin’.

GREASY MAN
We can go right over there.
(Pointing to nearby bar)

FRANK
I’ve gotta go. I’m in the middle of a big project.

Frank quickly walks away and being hungry he looks all around for some place to eat. The nearby places are cheesy souvenir shops or tourist places. He finally sees a sign which reads “Hamburger Hamlet.” The Hamburger Hamlet is right across the street from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

INT. HAMBURGER HAMLET RESTAURANT ALL GLAMORIZED WITH HOLLYWOOD STAR MURALS ON THE WALLS AND CEILING OF HUMPHREY BOGART, HARRISON FORD, JUDY GARLAND, AND MARILYN MONROE. — AFTERNOON

The hostess comes after a few minutes and Frank is led to a table. He browses the menu and again notices how the menu is Hollywoodized with such items as the Babe Ruth cheeseburger, the Marilyn Monroe Sundae, the Clark Gable Steak and the Betty Davis chocolate milk shake.

As Frank sits he glances at the other tables to see if anyone famous is around.

The waitress comes, a young pretty blonde. (Maybe an Actress)

BLONDE WAITRESS
Can I take your order?

FRANK
Yes. I’d like the Clark Gable steak and the Betty Davis Chocolate Milk Shake.

BLONDE WAITRESS
Anything else?

FRANK
No.

Frank sits and waits for his food and glances at the bar across the room and notices RON JEREMY.

FRANK
(To himself he lets out a sigh)

By this time the food comes and he doesn’t eat everything because he is excited about his new adventure. He begins listening to the next table over.

AGENT
Write up a final draft; we’ll submit it. Warner Brothers will be lightin’ fires this Friday. You have to get it done.

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
All right, all right. I just don’t think I want to cut that part out. Warner Brothers can kiss my ass.

AGENT
Listen, man, you’re right. But we’ve got to play ball here. It’s a game out here. You know that?

SCRUFFY BASEBALL CAPPED GUY
Yeah, well. I’m no sell out.

Frank listens intently trying to soak up everything.

Frank finishes the food and he pays the waitress and leaves.

EXT. IN FRONT OF THE CHINESE GRAUMANN’S THEATER — AFTERNOON

In front of theater there are many tourists and people handing out flyers to see the filming of T.V. shows. Frank tries to avoid the flyer people.

He looks to the left side of the theater and sees Spiderman, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe and tourists posing for pictures.

FLYER PERSON
You want to see a free T.V. Show?

FRANK
No. Maybe later.

Frank walks back towards the hotel and in a block he gets stopped by a drug dealer.

DRUG DEALER
(Talking in a hushed scratchy tone)
Hey, you want some hash?

FRANK
Naw, man. I’m not into that. You might ask Elvis over there.
(Pointing to a man dressed as fat Elvis who was walking along the street)

DRUG DEALER
Naw, naw, man. Elvis is straight.

Frank shrugs his shoulders and steps off the corner and to the hotel.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY — MOMENTS LATER

HOTEL CLERK
Mr. Frank, there is a message here for you.

FRANK
Oh, okay. Thanks.

ANGLE ON WRITTEN NOTE:

Yulia at the Trocadero apartments has 2 apartments available and would like you to call ASAP.

FRANK
Thank you.
(As he walks towards the room)

INT. HOTEL ROOM — MOMENTS LATER

He sits in the 1970’s looking chair next to the phone and calls Yulia.

FRANK
Yulia, I got your message. This is Frank.

YULIA
(In Russian Accent)
Yes, we have two available apartments. You want see?

FRANK
Yes, of course. When can I come?

YULIA
I have to show to other people this afternoon. You come tomorrow morning?

FRANK
That’d be great. When exactly?

YULIA
Ten AM.

FRANK
I’ll be there.
(Enthusiastically)

After hanging up Frank does a victory dance around the room.

Frank then calls his mother.

FRANK
Ma, well, I’m in Hollywood.

MOTHER
How is it?

FRANK
It’s good. I hear everybody talking entertainment biz here. I just listen and listen.

MOTHER
You find a church yet?

FRANK
(With frustration and tension)
Ma, I just got here. I think….

MOTHER
(Interrupting)
Why don’t you call that lady I gave you the information about?

FRANK
I just got here. I’m trying to soak it all in now. Maybe later.

MOTHER
I wish you would. You can’t live without God’s people.

FRANK
Well anyway, I’m excited. I saw the school briefly and students hanging out in front. I’m searching for an apartment. I’m looking at one tomorrow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

MOTHER
Let me know.

Frank hangs up and goes to take a shower. He’s hot and sweaty after walking around so much. After the shower he towels off and he hears a couple upstairs banging.

FRANK
(To himself)
Guess I’m in Hollywood now for sure.

He goes to the small refrigerator and gets a Coors Light. He sits on the bed, takes the remote and watches the 5 O’clock news. There’s some live car chase on the 5 freeway. After finishing the beer he calls a current student at the Music School.

FRANK
Sean, this is Frank. The guy from Texas. We’ve emailed each other about the school.

SEAN
Yeah dude. What ya doing?

FRANK
Awe, nothing. Just searching for apartments. Hope to find one before my flight back to Texas this Friday.

SEAN
Don’t worry man. It’ll all work out.

FRANK
So what are you doing tonight?

SEAN
Right now just chillin’. You want to meet up?

FRANK
That’d be cool. I haven’t been down to the Strip yet.

SEAN
Cool. I’d be up for it. What time you want to meet?

FRANK
Uh, how ’bout 6:30? Where can we meet? Where are you?

SEAN
You know how to get to Sunset and La Brea? I’m over there.

FRANK
I think so. Yes, at 6:30? There?

SEAN
Right on, man. I’ll see you soon.

FRANK
See ya. Bye.

After Frank hangs up he remembers what Sean told him about his life in Illinois before Hollywood.

INT. SLAUGHTER HOUSE IN ILLINOIS — DAY

Sean is shown in slaughter house clothes dealing with animals on the way to get slaughtered. He looks the same as he does in Hollywood but shorter hair.

After a few minutes, Sean walks into the boss’s office.

SEAN
(To boss)
I can’t take this anymore, I quit.
(He walks away without even letting the boss respond)

INT. INSURANCE AUTO CLAIMS OFFICE (FRANK’S PAST) — DAY

Frank is sitting at his bare cubicle. The only thing he added was his Beatles mouse pad. The telephone rings and he picks it up hesitantly after two rings.

FRANK
(With a fake pleasant voice)
This is Frank Davis. How may I help you?

VOICE
Frank there’s a Mr. Jones at the front desk for you.

FRANK
(Sighing)
Oh boy. Ok. I’ll be right down. Thanks, Susan.

Frank walks the long hallway.

FRANK
(Thinking to himself)
Some day I’ll get out of here.

Frank goes down an elevator to the next floor and through the wooden doors to the front desk. Upon entering the room, he sees a young black man with sports jerseys on and dew rag hat.

FRANK
(To Mr. Jones)
Are you Mr. Jones?

MR. JONES
I have a problem, bro. Why you not givin’ me the money, homey?

FRANK
What? What do you mean? Hey, can we go into the conference room?
(Pointing)

They both enter the room and Mr. Jones continues to stand.

MR. JONES
I’m tellin’ ya man. I got these rims and spinners. They’re worth $500. You givin’ me only $700. I need at least $1200.

FRANK
I have no authority. I’ve given you all I can. You haven’t even sent me the receipts for the rims and spinners. I need to see them for a better evaluation.

MR. JONES
Naw, naw, man. You give me more money or I’ll claim bodily injury.

FRANK
I’m sorry man. That’s all I can do.

MR. JONES
(Quickly and agitated)
That’s shit. Who’s your supervisor?

FRANK
(Quickly but not loud)
Well, okay. She may be busy now. Can you wait here?

MR. JONES
Okay, but hurry up, homey.

Frank rides elevator again and walks nervously the hall to the cubicle that supervisor sits and is on the phone. Frank sits in the chair in front of Supervisor Liz and waits.

She finally hangs up.

FRANK
(Unassertively)
Uh, Liz, uh, sorry to bother you. Um, you know that claim with Mr. Jones? Well, it’s still back and forth and he refuses to give me any receipts to his custom things on his car. He’s in the conference room now. I can’t get anywhere with him. He said that he may claim bodily injury now. I’m sorry could, could, you go talk to him?

SUPERVISOR LIZ
You say he’s here now? These claimants are something else.

FRANK
Yes he’s down in the conference room.

SUPERVISOR LIZ
I’ll go talk with him. You have the file?

FRANK
Yeah, here it is.
(Handing the file)

Frank and Liz both get up and Frank goes back to his cubicle.

FRANK
(To himself)
I’d rather be mowing lawns than this.

The full script is 139 pages.

Me In Hollywood

Me in Hollywood 1999

Flat People

Posted in Family, Good Music, Music by guittard on May 13, 2008

SAMPLE Press Articles
Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nothing “Flat” About Flat People’s Bob Guittard

Bob Guittard of Flat People

Digesting music from a steady bowl of oldies, with large sprinkles of the Beatles on top, Bob Guittard developed an interest in music very early in life thanks to the combined influences of his father and brother. “I played violin and piano growing up for years, then my brother gave me one of his guitars when I was fourteen and that completely changed me forever. I taught myself to play out of Hendrix and Zeppelin tab books and immediately started writing songs and formed a band with my buddies.”
His first band, formed in the seventh grade, was called The Little Puppy Dogs. His eighth grade year saw the birth of The Daring Chapstick Officers, followed by Fandango in late high school, The Bob Guittard Band during his first year as a Radio-TV-Film major at The University of Texas at Austin, Timado in his second year of college, and on and on through a variety of front man and back up band positions until, in 2007, he formed his current enterprise Flat People. Guittard’s older brother, Jim, writes music as well. He plays sitar, guitar, trombone and he sings. Guittard’s father and grandfather both played brass instruments in their respective high school marching bands. And his mother, maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother played violin and piano quite well, which explains how he came to choose his first instruments as a child. “[That] was kind of forced on me as a kid. I liked it for a few years then gave it up when high school hit, probably because I felt like a nerd in the orchestra would rather play the guitar.”

Guittard and his wife recently had a child of their own, a little boy named Miles, and Guittard, although he has no intention of forcing music on his son, is adamant that the boy’s time not be wasted playing video games. He’s hoping that a love of music and creativity will grow from time not spent… well… wasting time. “I think about that a lot,“ said Guittard. “He’ll always be around music and I think he won’t be able to help loving music. Kids love banging on drums so I’ll bet he’ll originally be into that. I’m definitely not going to discourage him playing music. I’m all for my kids not melting their brains and wasting the years away on video games. It seems so common these days and is such a huge waste of time. Think of all the time that could have been spent creating art, music, stories, using the imagination, whatever. I don’t get on a soapbox often, but overuse of video games for kids and overuse and prescribing of anti-depressants, especially for kids, really bugs me. I talk about that in one of the songs on my album called ‘Everybody’s Got a Syndrome Here.’”

Guittard admits that his primary musical influences as a now-seasoned songwriter vary greatly from those of his childhood. He continues to cite the Beatles as a major influence, but has added Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Neil Young, Beck, Radiohead, Air, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and more to the list, explaining, “All of these folks stretched themselves either musically, vocally, lyrically, or sonically. They were all so passionate and so good. These are the folks that will give me goosebumps on that long road trip at night, or make me cry, or make me wish I could write a song like that. Or angry that I didn’t.”

Guittard has floated from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles and back again in a quest for creative and musical fulfillment. Originally from Dallas, his move to Austin was prompted by both his desire to attend the University of Texas and Austin’s “vibrant history of music.” Two months after he graduated college, he moved to Los Angeles – following in the footsteps of his brother who had moved there two years earlier and was deeply embedded in the “darker coming” of the 60s era rock revival – hoping to satisfy two dreams. The first was simply to pursue his music. The second was to utilize the RTVF degree he’d earned in college.
“I had aspirations, like everyone else in that town, of becoming the next big screenwriter, director or producer of films. Once I got out to L.A. it was cool, but I figured out that I wasn‘t that into pursuing the film dream and, once I‘d decided that, I figured I didn‘t really need to live in L.A. to do something special with my number one love, music.”
While in L.A. Guittard joined a couple of different bands and played regularly on the Sunset Strip, but didn’t stay long enough to focus on his own music as much as he would have liked to. He said that his time there contained several “dark and low points” which matured him a great deal. His car was stolen and totaled, and he had broken up with his girlfriend, a girl he knew he wanted to spend his life with.
“It made me think a lot. The beach, writing songs, and the upright piano I rented weekly helped me get through it. The journey there was a necessary evil that I look back on fondly.”
Guittard moved back to Dallas in 2002 both in the hopes of getting a “real” job (in case his musical aspirations didn’t work out), and reconnecting with the girl who would later become his wife.
“I’m not planning on leaving Dallas any time soon unless there is a really compelling reason to. Although I’d love to just take off and travel the world, I’ve got some pretty firm roots here and I’m really happy being sedentary for now.”

Art imitates life for Guittard and his music. He stated, “I tend to write about what’s going on in my life, what I’m going through, what’s got me down or up, or general things or insecurities I’ve noticed as I walk through life. Sometimes it’s in the form of a narrative disguised as other folks and sometimes it’s in a vague metaphorical journey that may make sense to me, but no one else. I’m not sure whether it hits home for others or not, but it makes me happy so I’m good with that.” According to SAMPLE Press Music Writer, Jason Manriquez, Guittard’s lyrics are “a cut-and-paste collage of image-laden tongue twisters and fantastical descriptions of everyday occurrences.”
Guittard said of his songwriting style, “I hope [people] think about the lyrics. My songs, I think, are naturally emotive in terms of how they make me feel so I hope they strike a chord with other people. I’d hate to make a record that fails to stir up some emotion in my listeners. What’s the point if not? I’ve never been one to enjoy an entire album of light, fluffy material.”

Guittard’s decision to work with Nourallah on his album was not one that he came by blithely. Although he’d seen Nourallah play a couple of live shows and loved the music, his interest wasn’t peaked until he read the Dallas Observer article regarding the troubled relationship between Salim and his brother, Faris.
“After doing some research, I figured out that he was also a great producer, really putting out some great music. So, because I loved his approach to music and songwriting, I knew he’d be a great fit to work with me on producing my album. I emailed him and he actually said a friend of his had told him about my music already, which was cool. It just seemed like it was meant to be. I later met with him and gave him my songs and he was really excited, so we began the journey together. I can’t say enough about how great that studio experience was.”

The name, Flat People, did not come about until after the studio recording was complete and the final mixing was in progress.
“We were wrapping up the mixing and I was trying my best to take a step back and look objectively back through the song lyrics and general themes that make up the record. Flat People is the result. Vague, I know.”
Vague indeed. But, unraveling the nuances and mysteries behind Guittard’s music and the Flat People name is the link that binds the listener to the sound. However vague it may be, you are guaranteed to be entranced by it.
— Jennifer Manriquez

(Photos courtesy of Bob Guittard)
Copyright: SAMPLE Press, 2008

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”

Living With The Elderly

Posted in Family by guittard on April 25, 2008

From my diary July 1, 2005 (Dallas, Texas)

Last night, I served my grandfather dinner. We had tamales that the maid, Socorra, brought us. Before dinner, I set up the T.V. trays so we could watch the Wheel of Fortune on the new T.V. I brought down from upstairs. It was placed on top of the huge old 1980’s T.V. my grandparents still had. The old T.V. had very bad reception and no sound. (Buying cable was out of the question.)

We ate the food and it was fine and my grandfather explained this to me about five times. Five times I said, “I’m glad you liked it.” My grandfather was ready to go to bed quickly and didn’t want to finish the Wheel of Fortune. This was early. Wheel of Fortune ended at 7 PM. So I walked down the hall behind my grandfather on the walker. I then reminded him to brush his teeth, which he did. I waited and then we went to his room. I turned down the covers on the bed and waited till he got in okay.

I went back into the T.V. room and after about forty-five minutes I went into the kitchen to clean the dishes. Then I heard him coming and I looked up and saw him coming down the hall into the T.V. room.

I asked, “Do you need something?”

He asked, “What are you cooking breakfast?”

I said, “No.”

It was just barely night. It was just 7:30 PM and the sun was still up.

I then said, “Go back to bed. It’s still night.”

I followed him back to bed after he realised what was the deal.

Another time, I was in the kitchen talking on the phone when I heard some noise in the T.V. room. I came in and looked and my grandfather was running without his walker to the sliding glass door and banging on the glass with his fist. He was trying to scare the squirrels away that were outside.

Guittard Chocolate Factory

Posted in Family by guittard on October 5, 2007


In the 1850’s, Etienne Guittard embarked on an arduous journey from France to America. It was during the California Gold Rush, and in just a few short years, while still in his twenties, this adventuresome Frenchman struck gold on the rough and tumble streets of early San Francisco.

An experienced chocolate maker, Etienne had brought delicious French chocolate to trade for mining supplies, but soon discovered that wealthy miners were willing to pay premium prices for this elegant treat. Etienne sailed back to Tournus, France, where he worked in his uncle’s chocolate factory until he could afford to buy his own chocolate making equipment. In 1868, he returned to San Francisco and opened Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street.

In no time, San Francisco became one of the great chocolate manufacturing centers in America, where ships from exotic regions
of the world brought their cacao beans to market. Of the original
family-owned companies that brought commerce and culture to the dusty, often lawless streets of early San Francisco, Guittard Chocolate Company is the only one that remains family-owned.


For Horace C. Guittard, who succeeded his father, Etienne, running the Guittard Chocolate Company would be no less challenging. Along with most of San Francisco, the legendary 1906 earthquake destroyed the family business. Undaunted, Horace quickly rebuilt on Main Street, near the Embarcadero, where he introduced coffee, tea and spices to the family’s offering of fine chocolate.


Horace’s son, Horace A. Guittard, became President of the company in 1950 and relocated the factory to Burlingame in 1955, where it became and still remains one of the foremost suppliers of fine chocolate to acclaimed professionals in pastry, confectionery and ice cream trades. Though Horace A. was instrumental in bringing the company into the era of automation, he continued to operate in the old-world tradition, producing small, carefully tended batches of chocolate and working closely with customers, tailoring products according to their needs. This visionary approach placed the Guittard Chocolate Company at the forefront of innovation for several American food trends.


One of Guittard’s earliest and perhaps most important innovations was their proprietary Guittard Sweet Ground Chocolate, which was used by San Francisco’s Cliff House at the turn of the century and later sponsored a popular radio show. Cliff House Vanilla, a specialty using Guittard Sweet Ground Chocolate, may have been the forerunner of today’s trendy cafe mochas. Guittard milk chocolate chips, white chips and super-sized chips were other notable innovations as was the idea of truffles, which Guittard passed along to some of their confectionary customers.


As the oldest family owned and operated chocolate company in the US, a new generation now continues to grow the company with the same indomitable spirit that has made the Guittard Chocolate Company one of the world’s most respected purveyors of premium chocolate.

(source: http://www.guittard.com/home/guittard_history.html )

Old Farsi (Persian) Song

Posted in Family, Music by guittard on April 4, 2007

The following clip is something my grandfather played to my brother and I as kids. Everytime we came to visit I would ask him to bring out the “Laughing Record.” That is what we called it.

I believe the music is very rare. Wish I knew what the guy was joking about. With all the Iran/British Sailor hype going on I figured I’d post on the general topic.

So here’s the clip: 

Unknown Farsi Singer

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.