Jim Guittard’s Place

Man Almost Decapitated by Bus Door

Posted in Bulgaria, Life by guittard on July 11, 2009

Today, I was riding a city bus in Sofia, Bulgaria. The buses are fairly old but that doesn’t bother me. My girlfriend and I had been walking in the rain with umbrellas and got on.

We got on and I casually noticed an old man walking past me for the exit of bus at the back. I didn’t think much more about him until about two minutes had passed. My girlfriend and I had punched our tickets and were sitting. As we were sitting, I heard some screaming that sounded muffled or not very loud. I looked around and saw that the old man was stuck in the bus exit. His head was the only part that was out of the bus. The door was completely shut.

I immediately stood up and went to see if I could open the door. The man was screaming outside the closed door. I screamed at my girlfriend and she and other Bulgarians screamed to “Stop the Bus,” and to “Open the door.”

The bus stopped and the door was opened and the old man jumped off immediately to the rain and I suppose was okay. I was rather disturbed by seeing this. Makes you think about everything around you and to be on guard.

In economic downtown, more across Texas, U.S. choose to volunteer

Posted in Bulgaria, Life by guittard on April 24, 2009
06:54 AM CDT on Monday, April 20, 2009
By MARK NORRIS / The Dallas Morning News
norrism@dallasnews.com

Applications are up for the Peace Corps, Teach for America and AmeriCorps as Texans turn to service organizations in increasing numbers during the economic downturn.

The state numbers mirror national figures that show year-to-year increases beginning in 2007. Initial numbers of applicants this year are far outpacing those for any previous year.

Jim Guittard, who returned in late 2008 from a two-year mission for the Peace Corps, isn’t surprised.

“With the economy the way it is, people are looking for other things,” said Guittard, who lives in northeast Dallas. “They’re searching for a more satisfying or fulfilling life.”

Officials with the Peace Corps are still tallying the number of applications received in February, but according to the Dallas office’s Shannon Borders, it will probably be a record for one month.

AmeriCorps tripled the amount of applications it received in February this year compared with last.

Kerci Marcello Stroud, Teach for America’s regional communications director, said more people mentioned the economy during the just-completed application period than in years past. Some applicants told her the economic downturn made them re-evaluate what was important to them.

“There’s a growing interest among young people to engage in public service,” Stroud said.

The vast majority of applicants for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and Teach for America are recent college graduates.

Of the 35,000 applications Teach for America received this year, 25,000 were from graduating seniors. The remainder was split between graduate students and young professionals less than five years removed from graduation.

Sandy Nunez volunteered for Teach for America after graduating in spring 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin. She thought about joining the Peace Corps or other service organizations before deciding she could be most effective teaching children in underperforming schools.

“It seemed like a very appealing way to get involved,” said Nunez, who is about to complete her two-year commitment in the San Benito schools.

She recently decided to stay on for a third year, saying the state of the economy was a small part of her decision.

Borders said the Peace Corps targets recent college graduates. The median age of its volunteers in 25. There is no age limit, however, and 5 percent of the volunteer force is over 50. The oldest current volunteer is 84.

Guittard joined the Peace Corps 10 years after graduating from college. He had worked at an insurance company among other jobs and decided he wanted to take his life in a different direction.

“In college, I had considered the Peace Corps,” he said. “I didn’t want to have regrets in my life, so I decided to go apply.”

Guittard wound up teaching English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years and taking away an appreciation of how tight-knit families were and how tough his students’ lives were.

He said people who apply need to have the maturity to handle being the situation they are entering.

That vetting is part of the application process, said Borders. She said the biggest surprise is people finding out it can take six to12 months to complete.

But it’s worth it, according to Guittard, who said, “I learned a lot and I’m more appreciative of what I have.”

jim-guittard-dmn-juan-garciaJUAN GARCIA/DMN
Jim Guittard taught English to high-school-age students in Bulgaria for two years.

Jim Guittard Talks With ‘Tangra Mega Rock’ Radio

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on November 14, 2008

stachkata-1_0001

Back on September 30, 2008, I was interviewed for Sofia, Bulgaria Internet Radio Station ‘Tangra Mega Rock’. Radio DJ Vassil Varbanov ran the show. Various tracks were played and I got a chance to explain the real scoop behind my 3 Psychedelic/Folk-Rock albums, living in Bulgaria as foreigner, and my previous work teaching as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik. The Albums are:

2008 ‘Busted in Bulgaria’
2004 ‘The Notorious G.I.D.D.’
2002 ‘California Daze’

Listen here for radio show.

Tangra Mega Rock

Link To Tangra Mega Rock

You can download all three albums for free at:
Free Albums

“Busted In Bulgaria” Album Commentary Podcast Part 2

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on October 25, 2008

This is part 2 of a series of commentary about my album, “Busted in Bulgaria”, that I recorded while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik, Bulgaria. From April 2006 to July 2008 I taught English in the Bulgarian high school. It was while confined to my Post-Soviet style block that I documented my whereabouts through song.

The songs comment on life outside America and are in the Psychedelic and Folk-rock genres.

In this episode are the following tracks:

1. Listen To Your Voice

2. Rico

3. Pernik

4. Stachkata

5. Survival Mode

6. This Is Random Song

7. What’s Your Role In Life

8. Don’t Know Jack

9. Raga Train

10. The Sun Shines Today

Stay tuned for other commentaries on my albums.

You can listen to Part 2 of the podcast here:
Podcast 2


You can subscribe to my podcast at ITunes under “Jim Guittard”.

“Busted In Bulgaria” Album Commentary Podcast Part 1

Posted in Bulgaria, Music, Psychedelic by guittard on October 24, 2008

This is part 1 of a series of commentary about my album, “Busted in Bulgaria”, that I recorded while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Pernik, Bulgaria.  From April 2006 to July 2008 I taught English in the Bulgarian high school.  It was while confined to my Post-Soviet style block that I documented my whereabouts through song.

The songs comment on life outside America and are in the Psychedelic and Folk-rock genres.

In this episode are the following tracks:

1. Breaking the Language Barrier

2. Gangster 

3. Hoola Hoop Girl 

4. 8A Class 

5. Be Real True 

6. Babas On Their Bench 

7. I Wanna Go To The Moon 

8. Kakvo Pravish? 

Stay tuned for part 2.

You can listen to Part 1 of the podcast here:
Podcast 1

You can subscribe to my podcast at ITunes under “Jim Guittard”.

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

Review of “Busted In Bulgaria”

Posted in Music by guittard on September 18, 2008

“Gangster”-Got to put a Sitar, or a couple of droning Tambouras on this. 🙂

“Breaking the language barrier”-Cool; reminiscent of “Backstreet Girl”, especially Brian’s Accordian part!!

“Hoola Hoop Song”-I REALLY like this song! “Byrdsian” harmonies! I’m wanting to hear a Major 7th chord in the chorus somewhere…

“8A Class”-Almost a “Folkie Jan & Dean meets John Riley”. It’s also cool to hear you doing your job in class!!

“Be Real True”-Very “Beggars Banquet”!

“Babas On Their Bench”-REALLY like this too! I’d like to hear a Greek Bouzouki (Beatles-“Girl”) playing those guitar lines. 🙂

“I Wanna Go To The Moon”-Jim, is this open tuning??? If so, it’s VERY EFFECTIVE. Again, would love to hear Sitar here.

“Kakvo Pravish”-I like the ’50’s Sci-fi effects!!

“Listen to your voice”-More Sitar!!!

“Rico”- DAMN GOOD SONG. 🙂

“Pernik”-VERY NICE. Again; some Mandolin, or Greek Bouzouki, something like that.

“Stachkata”-Nice; didn’t light my fire, but good. 🙂

“Survival Mode”-Same as above, good lyrics though.

“This Is Random Song”-Is it “Only A Northern Song”??? 🙂 Jim; these are better lyrics here than you may think…

“What’s your role in life”-I think it’s a GOOD song that could be a GREAT song…

“Don’t Know Jack”-Love it! Dylanesque writing.

“Raga Train”-Again; GOOD song that needs SOMETHING to make it great. 🙂

“The Sun Shines Today”-Jim; THIS IS A HIT SONG!!! I’d love to get my hands on this, and do some arranging, etc.

Are you walking through dried leaves for that sound effect???
That really took me back to the mid & late ’60’s; walking through the Eucalyptus leaves in Burlingame/San Mateo.

Christian Bryan “Craviola 990” June 9, 2008

To download the “Busted In Bulgaria” album for free: Click Here

Bard Fest 2008

Posted in Music, Society by guittard on September 13, 2008

Last weekend I played at a festival in Lovech, Bulgaria.  There were over 40 guitarists who call themselves “Bards.”  It was a rather nice event.  I will admit that I was very nervous getting up to play because I hadn’t played  public in over two years.  I guess it was kinda similiar to Elvis’ 1968 Comeback but I didn’t have the nice leather outfit. 🙂

The whole Bard movement is especially needed in Bulgaria.  The whole Chalga thing will wither away I predict when people wake up to how stupid it is.  I mean Aziz, what’s so great about this guy?  Nothing at all. 

The Bards sing about meaningful and important stuff not just kickin’ it with your homies in da club.  So I hope that those in Bulgaria with take up the Bard cause.  The Revolution Is Now!  Are you tuned in or tuned out?

My girlfriend filmed me and so here I post me playing my song “Stachkata.”  I wrote the song back a year ago and it caused quite a stink with the powers that be:  namely the Peace Corps.  I almost got kicked out of it.  The song has survived.  For you non-Bulgarian readers, the song was written for the nation-wide teachers strike in Bulgaria that lasted two months.

Jim Guittard – Stachkata

Chords for “Pernik”

Posted in Music by guittard on June 7, 2008

Pernik

Intro
A       G       D       A 2x

A       G       D       A
Az znam malko Bulgarski.
A       G       D       A
Az iskam da oocha Bulgarski.
A       G       D       A
Sega az jivaya v Pernik.

E                               D       A
Moje bi posle ste znam minogo Bulgarski.
E                               D       A
Moje bi posle ste znam minogo Bulgarski.

Break
A       G       D       A 2x

A       G       D       A
I know little Bulgarian.
A       G       D       A
I want to learn Bulgarian.
A       G       D       A
Now I live in Pernik.

E                               D       A
Maybe later, I ll know a lot of Bulgarian.
E                               D       A
Maybe later, I ll learn a lot of Bulgarian.

Break
A       G       D       A 2x

A       G       D       A
Az znam malko Bulgarski.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2006

Pernik

 

Chords for “Breaking the Language Barrier”

Posted in Music by guittard on June 7, 2008

Breaking the Language Barrier

D               A
I walk around the town
E               A
To see what’s around.
D               A
The people sit in cafes
E               A
And all I say is “hey”

D               A
Then I ride the bus
E               A
To the center for some lunch.
D               A
I order some Tzsatza
E               A
And some Zagorka beer.

Chorus
Bm      D       A       E
Breaking the language barrier is hard.
Bm      D       A       E
Almost as hard as the sound barrier.

D               A
I listen to the people talk.
E               A
Wish I could respond.
D               A
Later I will know more.
E               A
Enough to open the door.

D               A
Now I’ll take it in.
E               A
That’s the way to begin.
D               A
It will be easier
E               A
After awhile.

Chorus
Bm      D       A       E
Breaking the language barrier is hard.
Bm      D       A       E
Almost as hard as the sound barrier.

D               A
I’ll move around the town.
E               A
So that I’ll be found.
D               A
It’s just a start.
E               A
It’ll be my part.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2006

Breaking the Language Barrier